I'm in a bit of a cooking frenzy on this gorgeous sunshiny Sunday afternoon. Got what is basically "vegan tacos" in process right now, to share with my son when he stops by (words cannot describe how much I love cooking for and eating with other people...if you ever want to totally make my day, talk to me about coming over for dinner...and then follow through!)
There will be another picture blog later when the vegan tacos are done.
For now, I had to share with you this yummy-licious recipe I just made, called "Breakfast Rice Pudding," from the plant-based nutrition book. My plan is not to eat it for breakfast. I'll be putting it in little half-cup bowls for snacks and eating it cold from here forward...but just now I got to enjoy a steaming hot cup of it (which you'll see below), and I am AMAZED.
Here is the basic recipe:
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup slivered raw almonds
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 T vanilla extract
1 T ground cinnamon
3 cups unsweetened soy milk
Combine it all in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until pudding thickens.
First of all, know that it is richly sweet...like, roll your eyes back in your head sweet...and punctuated with the crunchiness of the almonds and the little explosions of raisin goodness, it feels positively decadent. It's wonderful hot, and I can tell it's going to be great cold as well.
If you don't cook, you might now know this, but 1 T of cinnamon or 1 T of vanilla looks like a misprint when first read. These are both items I'd typically expect to add 1 t of. It seemed really wrong to me.
But I had noticed there's not a lick of sugar, honey, splenda...nothing to help it be sweet. Even the soy milk is of the unsweetened variety (note: I ran short on soy and substituted unsweetened almond milk for about 1 cup of the "milk" portion.) I'm noticing a common theme in these recipes is HUGE amounts of some spices. Here's why: in non-healthy cooking, the way we jack up the flavor is add more butter, more cream, more oil, more fat, more salt. All things that are asking for a heart attack, but DANG they make the flavor better! So if we're not gonna toss a stick (or 2) of butter in a recipe...well, the huge portions of spice fill that void in a much healthier (and equally delicious) way, not to mention the added health benefit. This page and this page and a whole lot of other pages on the internet also tell the surprising health benefits of many spices....so, you see, they're not only NOT giving you a heart attack, but they also ARE adding quality and maybe even length to your life.
Finally, this is a nice, quite low-calorie food that packs a nice nutritional punch, considering how sinfully sweet it tastes. My half-cup servings will be about 140 calories, 4 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 304 mg of calcium, 4 grams of fat, 12 grams of sugars.