Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quick Cardamom Rice Pudding

Quick Cardamom Rice Pudding
When I tried cardamon years ago I didn't care for it at all, until my daughter brought home some fresh ground cardamon from our local natural foods store (Lori's Natural Foods).  It was so good, I had to find more uses for it!  It complements the taste of coconut milk and vanilla (two other favorites) very nicely in the rice pudding.  Storing it in the fridge in small containers (as shown above) keeps it fresher for each serving, and easy to grab on the way out the door!
Quick Cardamon Rice Pudding
1- 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (Native Forest classic is my favorite)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cardamom powder
5 cups cooked medium grain brown rice
Whisk together briskly all but the rice in a high sided pan.  Stir in the brown rice.  Bring to a low simmer stirring constantly.  Continue to stir and cook for 3-5 minutes until a creamy consistency.  Cool, cover and store for 5-6 days in a 35 degree F fridge, or  enjoy warm.
Yield: approximately 6 cups
Fresh cooked rice for this recipe:
1 1/2 heaping cups of dry medium grain brown rice
3 cups water
1/4 tsp whole salt
Mix all in a small pot.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and reduce to low/very low heat.  Simmer 40 minutes and remove from the heat.  If there is still a bit of water in the bottom after 40 minutes, leave cover on for 15 minutes before measuring out 5 cups for the pudding.
Heaping: pouring the dry rice into the measuring cup so it mounds up but still stays in the cup.  (Visually, think mountain range, as apposed to a round hill shape, which is called a rounded cupful.)
Please note:  If it is too thick for your taste once it has cooled, stir in  (room temp) water half a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired creaminess. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lentil Sweet potato Soup

                                                           Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

This recipe is the "One Pot Lentil Soup" recipe from the 'Comfort Food' recipe book with sweet potatoes replacing the white potatoes.  Besides producing a prettier soup, it gives it a bit more of a festive flavor.  The top photo shows the raw ingredients right after mixing together in the pot, with the bottom photo showing the finished soup.  (The organic celery used had a large amount of dark green leaves as evidenced by the prominent green pieces seen in the raw photo.)

Two things to remember regarding all these writings:  When it says sweet potatoes, it means yams, and when it says garlic powder it means garlic granules.  Why might you ask?  Simply put, My Mother always called yams sweet potatoes so the habit stuck with me also.  My friend Jen introduced me to garlic granules a decade or two ago and I never went back, but garlic powder rolls off the tongue better...so there you have it!

Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

1/4 cup xv coconut oil
1 large bay leaf
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (2/3 cup)
1 large clove garlic, chopped fine (1T)
1 medium carrot, chopped (2/3 cup)
2 large stalks celery, chopped (1 1/3 cups)

1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp whole salt
2 1/2 cups green or brown lentils
1/4 cup red lentils
1/2 tsp liquid lecithin
10 cups water
2 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes (one large)

1-2 T fresh italian flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional: try before adding)

Saute first 6 ingredients until half cooked.  Stir in the next 7 ingredients and bring to a low simmer when the lid is on.  Simmer covered for 1 1/2- 2 1/2 hours until lentils and potatoes are soft, stirring every 30 minutes if possible. Stir in the italian parsley once fully cooked.  Add more water or seasonings to your personal taste, and serve.

-Use xv olive oil in place of coconut oil.
-Lecithin may be omited, but the oil and water will separate more.
-Mix all but parsley and lemon juice in a crockpot, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring every two hours if possible.  Stir in the parsley and enjoy.

Have a joyous and blessed day!