Sunday, January 3, 2016

Rice Pudding

I have yet to find a way to make good chocolate or vanilla pudding fat free.  For now I rely on the little skim milk cups of pudding I can sometimes find in the grocery store.  But this morning I tried rice pudding for breakfast, and I thought it was fantastic.  I bet the girls would have eaten more of it if I had added cocoa powder, so I'll keep that in mind for fat free pudding in the future.  We made it with leftover brown rice, so it was extra healthy!  Yay fiber!

The recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks. It's not all low fat, but every recipe is perfected to full flavor (so making it fat free is generally still very tastey!).  (Don't tell, but this recipe technically was from the 'dessert' section... but in my book, all good breakfasts would also make great desserts...)

100% delicious
Cook a cup of rice according to the directions of the package.  We prefer brown rice for added nutrient density.  OR use 2 cups of whatever leftover rice is in the fridge and doesn't smell funny!

Put 4 cups fat free milk and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium pot, bring to a simmer, Add the rice and cook on a slow simmer, uncovered and stirring frequently (though I neglected it horribly and it still didn't burn! score!), until the mixture is thick (45 minutes ish).  Remove from heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla.  Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

Breakfast this morning!

Flavor options:

  • plain old vanilla
  • add grated orange zest while it's cooking, maybe with a 2-3 almonds, chopped, on top
  • add cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup dried fruit at the end with the vanilla
  • for a more Indian flavor (Yum!) add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom with the vanilla and sprinkle 1/3 cup toasted chopping pistachios on top of each bowl (if your fat intake can take it... let's see, 1/3 cup for the whole batch, it's supposed to serve 6 people, so slightly less than a tablespoon per person... 18 grams of fat in 1/3 cup of chopped pistachios, so... 3 grams of fat per tablespoon! not too bad!)
  • unsweetened baking cocoa added with the vanilla would be great, too!  I'd estimate 1/3 cup for the whole batch would be about right, but add more for a darker chocolate flavor (another secret of our family is our oatmeal is often chocolate flavored for breakfast, using this same trick...)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Kettle Corn!!

I've finally figured out how to make a batch without burning it all.  The secret seems to be letting go of perfection - I cook popcorn in a whirley pop, which we were given by my parents, but I like to cook it until every.  single.  kernel.  is popped.  Which, when there is sugar added as for kettle corn, just doesn't work.  The sugar burns before every kernel pops.  Never fails.  Lower heat?  Doesn't matter.  Longer time cooking?  Doesn't matter.  Always burns.  So that's my secret.  Otherwise, here's the recipe:

Et voila!  Happy New year!
Heat a large pot (or a whirley pop) with 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (olive oil works great, too) on medium high heat.  After it's getting warm, add 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup sugar, keep covered.  Toss around (or stir with whirley pop) at regular intervals until the popping  starts and then slows down.  Remove from heat at the first smell of anything burning, or when the popping has 1-2 second intervals between pops.  Let go of your perfectionism! Let some kernels be thrown out!