Posts Tagged ‘pudding’

Tofu Good to be True

February 22, 2014

I love desserts and snacks (who doesn’t?). Unfortunately, they are a perfect example of “too much of a good thing”. I’m always on the lookout for a healthy and tasty option which I can gorge on without doing much damage to my health. Of course, everything is best in moderation, and all rules are made to be followed, right? Well… one can dream.

tofu pudding

chocolate tofu pudding in a jar. everything’s better in a jar, right?

A runner friend who is interested in alternative diets, raw food, and vegan ultra athletes, recommended some recipes from Scott Jurek. I have had limited success with my friend’s previous recommendations but am always willing to try new things. Especially when the new thing is chocolate pudding with ingredients that are already in my pantry! An added bonus: this healthy dessert actually tastes good!

Chocolate Pudding

adapted from Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

  • 16oz tofu
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 3 T maple syrup
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Chill for about 30 minutes.

Notes and Variations

It’s easy to get a bit crazy with the ingredients, particularly including only raw options. The original recipe adds chia seeds and suggests cacao nibs instead of cocoa powder. It also uses agave nectar which I don’t keep on hand but can be substituted with maple syrup, honey, or any other liquid sweetener you like. These additions probably add nutrition value which is more important for active ultra runners than it is for an office worker who sits at a desk most of the day.

The recipe also specifies using silken tofu, which I conveniently forgot the second time I made it. The pudding texture was extremely dense, almost like a concrete custard made at popular chain restaurants. Lucky me! I made a healthy version of a popular dessert for a fraction of the cost! If the mixture gets too thick for your liking, just add some water or liquid of your choice (almond milk, soy milk, lemon juice?).


Put the Lime in the Coconut…

August 27, 2010

I held off on posting this recipe for a while even though it’s one of my staples. The reason being that I could not quite perfect it. I have read many variations on this basic dish and tried as many combinations as I could think of. They all tasted delicious but the texture frequently left something to be desired.

The dish? Rice pudding. Best consumed as a steaming bowl in winter, it’s a quick and simple dessert that can be whipped up with just a few common and inexpensive ingredients. In an effort to use what I had on hand, I tried this version of my favorite dessert and decided it was finally time to share… the recipe, not the pudding. Make your own!

rice pudding

Coconut milk rice pudding topped with lime zest. Surprisingly satisfying in the heat of the summer!

Rice Pudding: Coconut and Lime

created on-the-fly by Sarah Johnson


  • 4 c coconut milk (creamy)
  • 1 c arborio rice (short-medium white rice)
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1 T lime zest
  1. Combine rice and milk in a pot deep enough so that it only rises halfway to the top.
  2. Cook on medium heat uncovered until boiling.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove cover and add sugar and lime zest.

Usually I use regular milk instead of coconut milk. The coconut milk was ridiculously rich (and high in fat) and gave a nice thick pudding texture. Traditionally puddings are made with milk and eggs. I prefer just to use rice and milk for my rice pudding. If you don’t want to use four cups of milk, you can cook the rice with water then add some milk at the end.

As for the flavoring, it is up to your wildest dreams. In fact, I just started wondering what a pumpkin rice pudding would be like. My guess is very good – use the traditional pumpkin pie spices and a touch of whipped cream on top. Serve it in a graham cracker crust and you have an alternative Thanksgiving dessert!

My staple flavors for rice pudding include various combinations of the following ingredients:

  • lime zest
  • lemon zest
  • orange zest
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • cardamom seeds
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cocoa powder
  • dark chocolate shavings
  • espresso powder
  • dried cranberries
  • dried currants

So make your own, experiment, suggest some new combos, and enjoy!

Pudding and Kisses

September 11, 2009

Pardon the hiatus but finals zapped all of my cooking energy. I have now returned, hungry and inspired. Thanks in part to three weeks of vacation from school and restaurant week, complete with cooking demos at Reading Terminal Market. Of course, I start with dessert!

chocolate kiss, used atop rice pudding or enjoyed by itself

chocolate kiss, used atop rice pudding or enjoyed by itself

Chocolate Kissed Rice Pudding

created on-the-fly by Sarah Johnson
with inspiration from Jose Garces


Rice Pudding
1 c medium or long grain rice
2 c water
1 c sweetened condensed milk
2 t nutmeg

Chocolate Kisses
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 t almond extract
1/2 t orange zest

Rice Pudding

  1. Add rice and water to a pot.
  2. Bring to a rapid boil then simmer covered for 30 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
  3. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and nutmeg.

Chocolate Kisses

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate at half power for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in milk and heat at 3/4 power for 30 seconds – just enough to heat the milk.
  3. Stir in sugar, extract, and zest.
  4. The chocolate should be thick, smooth, shiny, and should form small balls easily. At this point the chocolate can be added to the rice pudding or it can be chilled first.

Serve rice pudding hot with a chocolate “kiss” at room temperature or chilled on top.

Any flavors can be used in these recipes. My favorite zest is orange, but I also enjoy lime and lemon. Almond extract is my preferred flavor, but vanilla works just as well. I imagine using some instant coffee granules would be tasty. I would add them before heating the milk and chocolate so they dissolve a bit.

The chocolate would also work well with chopped nuts, such as hazlenuts, almonds, or walnuts. The rice pudding could be made with coconut milk – the creamy kind. Nutmeg is my preferred spice, but cinnamon is also a popular choice for rice pudding. The extracts could also be added to the rice pudding instead of or in addition to the chocolate. The possibilities are endless!