Recipe Swap: Coconut Brown Rice Pudding

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It’s our first recipe swap of 2012, and I’m only a few days late to the party. (Oh well! Better late than never, I suppose…)

As many of you know, I’m part of the Burwell General Store Recipe Swap. The swap consists of 25 foodies and writers from all over the world, and each month we re-interpret a vintage recipe (selected by Christianna of Burwell General Store) and post our creations on the first Sunday of the month.

This month, Christianna selected this recipe for the swap: Zabaglione for Two.

I was a bit flabbergasted by this recipe. First off, I had to google Zabaglione as I had no idea what it was. The images that appeared on my screen horrified me: it looked like a rich, lumpy, custardy mess. Granted, this recipe came at a bad time – I had just started my January detox and was feeling particularly over-sugared from the holidays. I couldn’t stomach the thought of a heavy custard. I decided that I needed to transform zabaglione into something light and healthy.

The only problem was that I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to pull off this transformation. I was stumped.

After a lot of thought, I finally decided to make a coconut milk brown rice pudding. It’s vegan, gluten free, and it doesn’t contain much sugar. And, most importantly, it’s easy to digest. It makes my belly happy. And as of right now, a happy belly is a top priority.

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but I do think it is worth mentioning that I have IBS.

Meaning: my stomach hates me.

I’ve tried various medications, elimination diets, fasts, probiodics, kombucha, vitamins, herbs, and more. I’ve been tested for various diseases and allergies, but everything comes back negative. In my opinion, IBS is the diagnosis doctors give you when they can’t figure out what’s wrong with your digestive system. So, I just do my best to take care of myself. I try to listen to my body. I started a detox on January 1st, because I wanted to cleanse after the holidays. I drank a lot of chicken broth and ate a lot of veggies. And the funny/tragic thing is, my stomach felt even worse during the cleanse. I was downright miserable. Nothing I ate or drank (or didn’t eat or drink) seemed to help.

I just didn’t have the heart to cook anything, let alone create a recipe for the swap.

But, I gave it a couple days and gradually I began to feel better. I allowed myself to dream of delicious and tummy-friendly recipes that might work for the swap. And then I remembered an amazing rice porridge I had for breakfast a couple years ago at a local brunch spot in Portland. I specifically remember that I ordered the porridge because I wasn’t feeling well and it was named something clever like “The Belly Pleaser”. It was made with coconut milk and had fresh mango on top. I loved it (and so did my stomach).

So this is my ode to “The Belly Pleaser”. It’s no zabaglione, to be sure. But it is a pudding — a pudding that happens to be vegan, gluten free, low-sugar, and is quite easy on the stomach. It also happens to taste wonderful. And that, my friends, is a fabulous thing.

Coconut Brown Rice Pudding
Adapted from The Witchy Kitchen
Note: This recipe uses pre-cooked brown rice, so make sure you factor that into your cooking time. Once the rice is cooked, however, this recipe takes 5-10 minutes to throw together.

Ingredients:
2.5 cups pre-cooked short grain brown rice
1 can (14 ounces) of light coconut milk
1/4 cup soy milk (or dairy milk)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus cinnamon stick for garnish)
1 teaspoon vanilla*
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cardamom pods
1/4 cup golden raisins (plus more, for garnish)
Slivered almonds, for garnish

*I think this recipe would be incredible with real vanilla bean, I just didn’t happen to have any at home when I made this. Vanilla extract works nicely, I just think that real vanilla would be killer.

Method:
Heat coconut milk, soy (or dairy) milk and sugar together in a medium sized pot. Until warm. Whisk in corn starch and vanilla. Add in rice, 1/4 cup of golden raisins, and cardamom pods and bring to a simmer. Stir constantly and reduce heat if necessary. Allow mixture to gently simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

Once the pudding has thickened, remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve warm, with a dusting of cinnamon. Garnish with almond slivers and extra golden raisins. Can also be enjoyed cold.

19 Responses

  1. PolaM says:

    I love rice pudding! I make a salty version that is perfect to comfort my tummy.

  2. sarah says:

    I’ve had a really similar recipe to this bookmarked for months now- looking forward to trying yours instead! My sister has Chron’s disease and IBS and has tried everything diet-wise so I feel you! She’ll love this recipe too!

  3. Mari says:

    That sounds like a warm cozy morning next to a snowy window and blazing fireplace! And I bet it would be ah-mazing with hazelnut milk instead of soy. Great interpretation Linds!

  4. I’m so sorry you’ve been sick and fighting an undefined gastric demon. Are you gluten free? I would think that would help some. And you are my hero for rallying to post this month. I always come to your blog first dying to see what you’ve created and I’m so glad to not miss out this month. This is such a soul-satisfying dish to me. I am drinking some of your Ginger Broth (a la Bon Appetit) right not and am not at all excited by heavy sweet dishes I was mere weeks ago. This feels to be the perfect dessert to settle into the quiet of winter and one to still quench the sweet tooth in a much more civilized manner. Feel better!

    • Mari says:

      Toni, you’re so great. I’m so very glad we’ve become cyber friends :)

    • rosemarried says:

      Toni, I’ve gone without gluten and it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference! And I’ve been tested for Celiac, and I don’t have that. I may try it again (going GF), but at this point…that doesn’t seem to be it! Thanks for your kind words, as always.

  5. Susie says:

    This sounds so good and it’s not bad for you seems a bit devious lol, does that mean I can eat more than my fair share?

  6. Kiri W. says:

    This is gorgeous! I love coconut rice, and I can only imagine that zabaglione flavors would work wonderfully. Very creative! :)

  7. Kim Bee says:

    Oh you poor girl. I’ve had IBS for 17 years, although I think I’ve had it my whole life and they just diagnosed me 17 years ago. Same thing as you nothing helps much. It is far more under control these days then it used to be. I was at a point where I could not leave the house. If you ever want to vent/talk/bitch about it hit my email. I cannot do brown rice, makes my tummy crazy. Apparently mine just hates anything brown or wheat coloured. This looks good and I am so glad you found something to quiet the raging beast. Looks absolutely wonderful and a wonderful take on the recipe.

  8. NubianOR says:

    I too have IBS and this sounds like a perfect tummy food.

  9. Rachel says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles. At least it’s something you can somewhat fix with food! I love your translation from zabaglione to vegan comfort food. I think I need this rice pudding right now, for my mood more than my stomach.

  10. What a perfect rice pudding. It sounds delicious and your photos are stunning.

  11. Richard says:

    I have never been a fan of rice pudding, but my late father would have hurt someone getting to this dish!

  12. Beth says:

    It’s definitely worthwhile to eat the food that makes us feel good. Your rice pudding looks great!

  13. Candyce says:

    please let me eat this right now. you are a genius.

  14. Oh, this is beautiful! I love rice pudding, and this is such a nice way to enjoy the dessert without too much heaviness. And I’m sorry to hear about your tummy troubles– I have a very sensitive stomach as well, and for those of us who love to eat, it can be pretty rough sometimes. Keep doing what you’re doing, though– listening to your body and feeding it delicious and wholesome stuff like this lovely pudding!

  15. this looks so delightful and delicious I’m adding it to my list to try once I’m done with my holiday detox business.

  16. Monica says:

    This looks delicious. I’ve been searching for a coconut brown rice porridge to make for breakfast and I’ll give this a try . . . quick question – you reference corn starch in your instructions but not in the ingredients list. How much corn starch do you recommend? Yum.

    • lindsay says:

      Monica, thank you for catching this error! I forgot to include corn starch in the ingredient list (but I’ve added it now). You don’t HAVE to include the corn starch, but I do think it thickens the pudding nicely. I hope you like the recipe!

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