Coconut and Almond Rice Pudding

I’ve always loved rice pudding or ‘rizogolo’ in Greek as my wonderful mother-in-law calls it (and I should note her more traditional cinnamon and vanilla version is to diet for…and she has made this for me MANY times in the last decade).  This rice pudding just has a little dairy free and coco-nutty twist!  This is a great little dessert but I ate it for breakfast too! It is so creamy and tasty you wouldn’t guess it is dairy free, gluten free and low in added sugar too.  Perfect for the adults and the kids.

Now that I’ve made it, I think this would also be divine made with quinoa instead of the rice which would make it higher in protein, fibre and lower glycaemic index too.

This creamy deliciousness is GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, LOW ADDED SUGAR, MODERATE GI LOW FODMAP20130407-140452.jpg

What you need…

  • 1 cup (250g) arborio rice
  • 1 x 400ml Can Coconut Milk
  • 3 cups Almond Breeze, unsweetened
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded and scraped (or 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste)
  • ¼ cup Stevia, Xylitol (these are the sugar free options)…OR… Coconut sugar or Rapadura (these are sugar alternatives but still contain sugar but in a less processed form)
  • 1 cinnamon pod
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract (optional)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted slightly
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

 

How the magic happens…

…on the Stovetop:

1. Start by rinsing the rice with water. Add rice to a medium saucepan. Add sugar substitute, vanilla bean and pod (or paste) and coconut milk.

2. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 2 more cups of almond milk, about 1/2 cup at a time. Let the milk absorb before adding more.

3. After 25 minutes, the rice pudding will be thick and creamy.

4. Let cool slightly and stir in the last cup of milk. Remove vanilla bean and cinnamon pod.

5. Serve. Garnish with fresh coconut flakes, almonds, berries and ground cinnamon.

 

…in the Slow cooker or Rice cooker:

1. Turn the slow/rice cooker on.

2. Add rice, coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla paste, sugar substitute, almond extract (if using) and cinnamon to the slow cooker. Set to high for 2-2 ½ hours or low for 4 hours.

3. Remove vanilla bean and cinnamon pod if used. Allow to cool slightly.

4. Serve. Garnish with fresh coconut flakes, almonds, berries and ground cinnamon.

 

…in the Thermomix (adapted from the fabulous Quirky Cooking)

1. In your Thermomix, grind up the sugar and vanilla bean for 1 minute on speed 9.

2. Scrape down lid and sides and add remaining ingredients. Cook for 25 minutes at 90 degrees, reverse, speed 1 1/2.

3. Allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes before serving (it will thicken slightly).

4. Serve. Garnish with fresh coconut flakes, almonds, berries and ground cinnamon.

Quirky Quinoa Salad

We have posted about how much we love the super grain Quinoa before (check it out here) so I thought we should post another recipe for you all to try!  I made this for a family Summer BBQ we had last weekend.  I knew my sisters would love it however I was less certain about the boys in my family.  Our boys love salad – but they are very quick to tell you how much they hate the way we add ‘all that other junk’ (i.e chickpeas, fruit, noodles) to them – they just want normal green salads ‘like mum makes it’.  Time to think outside the box guys!

The result? My husband was at first cautious about this strange looking salad but I think it was proof that he loved it when he scoffed all of the salad leftovers before any of the others the following day!  SUCCESS!

If you’d like to make this more substantial (i,e as a complete meal), add some chicken or boiled eggs. Perfect for lunches as it can be pre-made just leave the dressing in a separate container until ready to eat.

This salad is GLUTEN FREE, LOW GI HIGH FIBRE.  Leave out the white part of the spring onions and the chickpeas to make it LOW FODMAPS.

quinoa salad

What you need…

  • 170g (1 cup) mixed coloured quinoa as desired, soaked in enough water to cover for minimum 30 minutes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tin (425g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ sweet potato or pumpkin (approx. 250g), sliced approx. 1 cm thick pieces
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 4 spring onion/shallots, sliced on the angle
  • 3 sticks celery, sliced thinly
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 100 g reduced fat feta, cubed
  • 100g (approx) mixed toasted nuts and seeds, (I used walnut, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pepitas lightly roasted in the oven on a baking tray)
  • ½ bag mixed salad greens or baby spinach
  • Few Italian parsley leaves (optional)

 

Dressing:

  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 30g (1-2 tbspn) tamari or soy sauce
  • 40g fresh lemon juice (or juice of approx. 2 small lemons)
  • 30g (1-2 tbspn) extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil

 

How the magic happens…

Doing it the traditional way:

  1. Combine water and quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat chargrill or oven grill on med-high. Spray lightly with oil. Cook the sweet potato/pumpkin for 8-10 minutes or until slightly tender. Break up roughly into large pieces.
  3. Add the all other ingredients to the quinoa.
  4. Blend together the lemon juice, garlic, oil and soy sauce until well combined.  Add the dressing to the quinoa mixture.
  5. Toss salad gently.  Top with extra seeds and serve!

 

Thermomix magic:

  1. Drain quinoa and place into simmering basket. Fill Thermomix bowl to 1L mark with water and set basket into bowl.
  2. Place the lid on the bowl, with Varoma on top, and pumpkin/sweet potato spread evenly in Varoma dish. Ensure it is spread apart enough that steam can get through.
  3. Steam quinoa 18 min/Varoma temp/speed 2. Remove basket from bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the rest of the salad by combining all remaining salad ingredients.
  5. Make dressing by placing all ingredients into Thermomix bowl and blending 20 sec/speed 8.
  6. Pour over prepared salad and add quinoa. Toss gently.
  7. Garnish with additional seeds, nuts, spring onions etc.

 

Recipe inspired by Quirky Cooking and Tenina

 

Crunch & colour – Beef, beet, lentil and walnut salad

My sisters and niece came over for a surprise home warming lunch at our new house and I had to whip something up rather quickly.  I found some leftover beef strips in thr fridge and so I tossed together this amazing salad.  It is a very well rounded salad with crunch and colour – plus it is very filling.  Love the lentils and walnuts for the fibre and protein, not to mention the antioxidant punch you will get from the coloured veg such as the beetroot, sweet potato, tomato and baby spinach.  The best thing yet, it tasted even better for lunch the next day.  Enjoy!

 

BEEF, BEETS, WALNUTS AND LENTIL SALAD

[gluten free, low carb, high protein; omit onion and garlic (infuse in oil), beetroot and lentils for low FODMAP option]

Cooking Time   15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 500g beef fillet
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 medium beetroot, trimmed  OR  425g can baby beets, drained, halved
  • 400g can lentils, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 sweet potato, chopped
  • 120g baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 75g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. If using fresh beetroot:  Preheat oven to 200°C/180C°C fan-forced. Wrap each beetroot in foil. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Set aside to cool. Remove and discard foil. Wearing gloves, peel beetroot. Cut into 4cm pieces.
  2. Heat small amount of oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan or chargrill over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and 1 tbspn balsamic vinegar. Cook for 1-2 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add sweet potato.  Cook until tender.
  4. Add lentils and beetroot. Cook, tossing, for 3 minutes or until heated through. Remove to a plate.
  5. Add beef to frying pan. Cook beef until cooked to your liking. Remove to a plate to cool slightly.
  6. Combine spinach, mint, feta, tomato and walnuts in a      large bowl. Thinly slice beef. Add to salad. Add beetroot and lentil mixture.
  7. Combine vinegars and remaining oil in a jug. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad. Toss to combine. Serve.

Banana and Walnut Muffins – gf, df, sf, low FODMAP

I had a whole heap of mushie brown bananas and didn’t know what to do with them. I put it on our Facebook page, and our followers had terrific suggested to use them up. Some great ideas included smoothies, banana frozen yoghurt, pancakes (using banana instead of sugar) and even cocktails!  The winning vote however was for muffins.   Being a self confessed horrible muffin maker, I was guided by the suggestions of all our followers to make a really amazing finished product.  The trick is – don’t overmix, keep the oven temperature lower and only cook them for 15-20 minutes. 

These delicious banana and walnut muffins are perfect for a sweet treat – even for those that are gluten free, dairy free, soy free or on a low FODMAPs diet.  Plus, they are higher protein  and have good fats due to the walnuts and chia seeds.  Don’t forget to freeze them for lunchbox fillers.

 

BANANA & WALNUT MUFFINS

[Options for gluten free, dairy free and soy free]

Cooking Time   20 minutes

Makes   12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (150g) self-raising flour (I used Orgran gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 70g butter, melted, cooled (I used Nuttelex lite)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup chia seeds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line 12 x muffin pan.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, chia seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk butter and eggs together. Stir in banana and walnuts (do not overmix). Spoon into prepared muffin pan.
  3. Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.

Note:

– To make this into banana bread instead, use 1 cup plain flour and ½ cup self-raising flour.  Cook for 45-50 minutes.

– Freeze extras for easy snacks