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.
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.
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.