Ultra Tasty Coconut Ginger Rice Pudding

This rice pudding recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, AND vegan, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who won’t enjoy it! Made from coconut milk, this warming winter treat provides ample medium-chain triglycerides which are believed to provide energy for athletes and be a fat source that is less likely to be stashed away by the body for future use. Coconut is popular in Ayurvedic medicine and cooking, and is well known for its antimicrobial properties and its ability to balance fats in the bloodstream. I created this recipe in response to having a delicious coconut-ginger tapioca pudding at my local health food store earlier this week.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • water
  • 2 cups coconut milk (or 1 can + 2 oz. water or non-dairy milk alternative)
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup date sugar (or sucanat)
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger bits

Place rice in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick and add water until just covered. Bring rice to a boil and turn heat down to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick.

Add coconut milk, vanilla, and date sugar and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add candied ginger and simmer 15-20 minutes longer, until most of liquid is absorbed. Be sure to turn heat off when some liquid remains, as it will thicken upon cooling.

Serve warm or cold, and garnish with shredded coconut if desired.

Recipe: Hoppin’ John

Traditionally, Hoppin’ John uses ham hocks or bacon to add a smoky flavor to nutrient-rich beans. In lieu of this, I’ve used chipotle powder to add spiciness and smokiness to this traditional Southern New Year dish. Eaten annually on the first day of the New Year, Hoppin’ John is supposed to ensure good luck. It certainly worked for me last year!

  • 6 scallions
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 small bunch collard greens or kale, chopped
  • 1.5 cup dried black eyed peas, cooked (or 2 x 10 oz package frozen black eyed peas, thawed and rinsed or 2-15 oz can, thoroughly rinsed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 12 fl oz vegetarian broth or bean liquid

To cook dried peas, place in a small soup pot and cover with water – about 2″ over bean line. Soak overnight, drain, rinse, and cover with water again. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering until tender, about 2 hours. Drain.

Trim scallions. Remove the dark green tops and set aside. Cut the white and light green sections into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and stir well to coat with oil. Add the white and light green sections of the scallions and the celery, reduce heat to low and saute for 2 minutes. Add the kale and bell peppers and saute for about 3 minutes or until the carrot begins to brown. Add the black-eyed peas and stir well. Saute for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, salt, black pepper, chipotle, garlic and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed – there should still be about 1/3 cup sauce.

Thinly slice the dark green scallion tops while the mixture simmers. Then stir in half the scallion greens. Ladle the hoppin’ john over a bed of cooked rice and sprinkle with remaining scallion greens.

RECIPE: Apple Gorgonzola Fettuccine

This simple yet tasty dish is sure to impress dinner guests! Serve with a spinach salad and a grilled lean protein such as fish, chicken, or tofu. Pears will also work well in this recipe.

  • 2 inches dry spinach or rice fettuccine, cooked according to package direction
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium apple, sharp and crisp
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • salt, to taste

1. Cook fettuccini according to package directions.

2. Cut the apple into 1-inch pieces. (Peel first if you like- it’s up to you.)

3. Melt one Tbsp of butter in a pan, and sauté the minced garlic until soft.

4. Add the rest of the butter to the pan, then the walnuts and apples and saut̩ until the apples are just heated through Рmake certain the apples do not become soggy!

RECIPE: Pat’s Tomato Basil Bisque with Roasted Garlic

I created this soup for my uncle who came up with the concept but didn’t have a recipe. I created it by morphing several recipes I was able to find for tomato basil soup, tomato bisque, and roasted garlic soup. I omitted the cream found in traditional bisque due to keep my own tummy happy.

1 head garlic
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 lbs ripe Italian plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil, loosely packed
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Whole basil leaves, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Remove loose, papery skin from garlic, leaving heads intact.
3. Place garlic on a sheet of heavy-duty foil; drizzle with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Loosely wrap foil around garlic, folding foil edges securely.
5. Roast until garlic has softened, about 40 minutes, and then transfer to plate.
6. Open carefully and discard foil; let garlic cool.
7. Separate garlic into cloves.
8. Squeeze soft garlic from each clove into a small bowl; set aside.
9. Heat about ¼ cup water or broth in a large saucepan until simmering

10. Add the onion and roasted garlic. Cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the onion is softened.
11. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, then add the stock, white wine and sun-dried tomato paste, with salt and pepper to taste.
12. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, half cover the pan, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, shirring occasionally to keep the tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
13. Process the soup with the shredded basil in a Vitamix or food processor until smooth and return to the pan.
14. Do not allow the soup to approach the boiling point.
15. Check the consistency and add more stock if necessary, then season with salt and pepper.
16. Pour into heated bowls and garnish with basil.
17. Serve at once. (Can also be frozen and served later.)

Each pot contains about 13 servings of vegetables, or 2-3 per bowl.

RECIPE: Nefratiri's Vegetable Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup water, more as needed
2 large potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced in half lengthwise and chopped
2 cups kale or favorite mixed greens
3 tbsp. fresh parsley
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
Tamari or soy sauce, to taste
1 tbsp. chickenless broth powder mixed in 1 cup Imagine Foods non-dairy cream based soup mix (can be found at Fred Meyer in natural foods section)
1 tsp. arrowroot powder (cornstarch may be used)
1 leek, sliced thin
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
4 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
Red pepper flakes to taste
Rosemary to taste
Pepper to taste
Oregano to taste

BISCUIT CRUST
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. sweetener of choice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup non-dairy cream soup base or hemp milk
3 tsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. Earth Balance, palm oil or coconut oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sauté onion in water until clear. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until they begin to soften. Add all remaining veggies and cook for 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat, and add nutritional yeast, tamari, and seasonings. Dissolve broth powder and arrowroot/cornstarch in soup base and pour mixture into steaming veggies. Stir and continue cooking until mixture thickens slightly.
Spoon mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with crust and bake until crust is browned, about 30 minutes.
For Crust:
Sift flour(s), soda and powder, salt and sweetener. Cut the margarine into the mixture until it becomes coarse. Mix the vinegar with the soup base and let sit for approximately 3 min. Pour soured milk into flour mixture and mix with a fork until moist. Knead dough in bowl and turn out onto floured cutting board. Roll dough to fit the top of the casserole and lay it over the veggies.

RECIPE: Pinto Bean Yam Chili with Chipotle

The colors and flavors of this untraditional chili are wonderfully diverse and complex. Like many chilies, this one tastes better the next day! Serve over brown rice or in a large baked potato.

2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tsp. chipotle powder (or 3 dried chipotle chilies ground in a spice mill)
1 tsp. cumin
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 large garnet yam, peeled and diced
2 large zucchini, chopped
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 15oz. can No Salt Added pinto beans, drained
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. lime juice
4 tbsp. cilantro, chopped, and more to garnish, if desired.

Heat olive oil on med-high. Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring for one minute. Add vegetable broth and yams. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until yam is softened. Add corn, zucchini, tomatoes with their juices, and beans. Cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until chili thickens and yam is very tender. Stir in orange zest, lime juice and cilantro. Spoon into bowls and garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.

Serves 4.

Recipe taken from Pioneer Organics Healthy Home Delivery Newsletter, week of 11/08/04

250 calories, 6.6 grams of protein, 47 grams carbs, 4 grams of fat per serving (a recipe makes 4 servings)

Recipe: Vanilla Rice Cream with Blueberries

Too orgasmic to keep to myself, this recipe is taken directly from “A Celebration of Wellness” By James Cederquist and Natalie Levin. A BIG ‘thank you’ to them both!

  • 1 cup organic brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vanilla coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • maple syrup or honey to drizzle on top

Toast the dry rice in a medium hot skillet until evenly browned, stirring constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Grind in a Vitamix or coffee grinder until fine and powdery (I left mine with a few chunks).
Bring water and dairy-free milk to a boil in a pot, whisk in rice cream, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes (I think it took about 20 with the chunky bits) or until desired consistency is reached.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and blueberries. Drizzle with sweetener of choice.

Serves 3 to 4 (It took me three tries to finish the pot)