Quinoa peach pudding

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Well, this is my first attempt to try something sweet with quinoa. As things started to flow along, the lack of contrast made me to add some fruits, especially peaches instead of any other fruits. Luckily, I had some extra slices available in the refrigerator and seems to be apt and sort of soft for a pudding, definitely a nice contrast to the texture and tasted delicious.


Quinoa is such a versatile and diverse ingredient. I’ve been using it for quite a while ever since I came to know its copious amount of goodness as powerful as spinach, Swiss chard and beets. I wouldn’t mind spending extra dough on anything rich in nutrients. It doesn’t matter if I use it or not on a day to day basis, the flow and the steady supply of few healthy ingredients attracts a healthy and positive vibe in the kitchen. When you have that positive energy around, it automatically pulls you in that direction.

The year 2013 as “The International Year of the Quinoa” also triggered the demand and spread the awareness across the world. Before that, ages ago, people in South America had been the only folks ever knew about the rich factors of quinoa and utilizing its health benefits. The key factor is that it’s gluten free and high in protein which is great for a vegetarian diet.IMG_4756-02

Apart from its benefits, the texture of cooked quinoa is quite alluring. As it cooks, a delicate spiral ring can be seen around it. It is said to be the core of quinoa that holds most of its nutrients. A cup of cooked quinoa goes a long way. Once cooked the texture of it appears sort of fluffy and nutty which makes it a promising super food. Sweet or savory, it adapts well to almost anything such as salads, rice, yogurt etc.

There is an inedible part, the sinner saponin. It is a bitter soapy resin – an inedible powdery substance -which could easily spoil the whole thing. So remember to rinse thoroughly and get rid of any hint of resin before cooking.

IMG_4743-31 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups milk
4 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
¾ tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups of sliced fresh peaches
Few raisins

Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water for few minutes. Rinse and drain it using a strainer.

Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa to it. I would add butter at this point to avoid any cohesion.  When it starts cooking half way through, add milk to it. Stir well. At this point keep stirring since the milk has been added. This prevents from sticking at the bottom of the pan and scorching. That could spoil the entire dish. Turn the heat from medium to low and frequently stir the mixture to avoid scorching.

As it progresses, add sugar, salt and vanilla. The texture of the mixture should be neither thick nor thin, rather a smooth creamy delicious consistency. You can tweak the liquid content according to your desired level of consistency. Turn off the heat when the mixture has cooked through and creamy. Add the fruits of your choice and close the lid to allow blending everything well. You can say it is cooked when the outer ring of the quinoa pops out and encircles the seed. In the end just throwing a bit of better butter wouldn’t hurt anyone 🙂 Serve hot or cold with extra addition of fruits or nut. Enjoy,

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Good old rice pudding

Rich and silky rice pudding is an ever comforting food. Grown-ups or kids, no matter what age, rice pudding is a pleasant comfort food which is easy to prepare and it digests smoothly.

It all began with overcooked mushy rice resting at the corner waiting for its fate whether to end up neatly at the table or tummy?! As luck would’ve it; the entire quantity got rescued little by little. Who would want to waste food? I never ever entertain the idea of wasting food. I would find a way to save the deal gone bad. A few spoons got the chance to satisfy someone’s sweet cravings as an after meal dessert and so and so… Happy ending! Thanks to my grandmothers!! They used to make me eat sweet porridge when I was little. Nothing fancy yet I loved it so much since I love my grandmothers a lot. I had two pairs of fantastic grandmas. They were the masters of sarcasm and sacred food savers!

IMG-98876 Rice Pudding

So, the idea of adding milk to the mushy rice and then giving it an apt title to categorize as an ever delicious pudding popped in the picture. Normally mushy rice and milk are intended to fill up an infant’s tummy 🙂 But this goes an extra mile for us adults to indulge in some velvety smooth and creamy pudding. Add a hint of butter and sweeten it with little bit of sugar or honey. Add a hint of vanilla. You’ll never go wrong, a darn delicious dessert in a jiffy. The taste and the look were just perfect. I couldn’t find anything wrong. The whiff of delicious fragrance etched something elegant.

That being said, if I sight it at the store, the love of it prompts me to grab one. It’s hard to just ignore the neatly packed delicious ready-made rice pudding displayed at the store shelf!  The small portions are perfect for any time. At the same time, when you prepare it in the comfort of own kitchen, it feels so good! You get to add little bit of this and that while maintaining the warm consistency of the pudding. So here it goes.

Ingredients
Well cooked rice – 1 cup
Milk – 1 cup plus (depends on how you like the consistency)
Water – 1 cup (often less than one cup – adding water avoids the tendency to thickens the overall consistency of the pudding)
Sugar – 4 tbsp (or as per your taste)
Honey – 2 tbsp
Butter – 3 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Vanilla – 1 ½ tsp

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients except vanilla essence in a 3 quart sauce pan.
Turn the heat from high to medium and frequently stir the mixture to avoid scorching.
Turn off the heat when the mixture is creamy.
Add 1 ½ tsp vanilla. Serve hot or cold with your desired dry or fresh fruits and nuts.
Follow your instincts as well, very important:)

Caramel bread pudding with blueberries and raisins

Seemingly elegant and humble things are always appealing to my eyes. It soothes my soul, even nudges me to get closer to it. I would say it’s simply a Capricorn trait. They do not go for anything trendy unless it has some element of elegancy or quality. Those things attract them naturally, is the fact.IMG_38638IMG_38768
That’s same when it comes to the food we eat as well. Mix and match, show the elegancy through the food we eat. Let the delicious aroma spread in the kitchen and the corridor… Otherwise the house doesn’t seem vibrant and lively. Fairly reasonable ingredients and moderation is the thumb rule. Our innate tendency to indulge in junks that are delectable to the palate seems inevitable, and we’re no stranger to such vices. But, that’s okay if we set the rule and play the rebel.
Caramel Bread PuddingJust keep our unhealthy approach at bay, develop a habit of balanced eating and moderation is what it requires to stay positively healthy! The result would be a happy soul, seriously! So here you go…I wanted to prepare something simple yet vibrant…

So this time, though, I was ready to hit the kitchen if someone says pudding since I have been thinking of it ever since I came across a different recipe than our traditional one. Our traditional bread pudding is very simple normally to save stale bread. The recipe I have been thinking of it requires extra ingredients like condensed milk and evaporated milk together. I was kind of skeptical at first, but decided to go ahead and try it any way with the guidance of my instincts, of course. The consistency looked perfect yet I was not very sure about the outcome. It spent around one hour in the steam and I was so happy to see the wooden stick easily comes out clean. Still I was darn impatient, a slight slice at the edge to see its texture and taste. Voila! It was a proud moment. What do you think?!

Ingredients
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
12 slices of bread
1 cup dried fruits (I used a mixture of blueberries and raisins)
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp Salt

First step would be caramel preparation. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat sugar over medium to low heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching and blending the mixture equally. When the mixture turns light brown color and dissolves well, instantly pour onto a medium cake pan and swirl to coat the pan and set it aside.

Cut bread into small cubes or crumble it. In a large bowl, add the evaporated milk and condensed milk, mix thoroughly. Add the beaten eggs, vanilla and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Add the bread cubes and combine everything well. Pour the mixture into prepared caramel pan. Steam it for one hour or when the wooden stick inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean. Enjoy!