Posts Tagged ‘rice’

Less Light – More Color!

October 28, 2011

The days get short, the light's gone from the sky, we wake up and come home to darkness as wintry weather turns the sky gray. This is not a fun time of year in the Northeast. So to cheer things up, here's a recipe that pulls together a variety of foods and textures in a single healthy dish. And it's so bright! Be sure to serve it in a glass dish so you can see the colorful layers.

Warning: this recipe will take time! It's best prepared with leftovers. So go ahead, cook a whole pumpkin. Make soup, pie, toast the seeds, and leave a little for this recipe. Need an excuse to cook cranberries? Make juice! Greens and tempeh can be cooked easily as needed. The measurements are vague estimates since it can all be prepared to taste or ingredient availability. Overall, this turned out to be a wonderful mix of ingredients on hand – both delicious and pretty!

Colorful Harvest Medley

A mixture of colorful fall foods that are good for your body, your palate and pleasing to the eye!

Colorful Harvest Medley

created by Sarah Johnson

  • ½c wild rice
  • ½c brown rice
  • 1c roast pumpkin cubes
  • ½c fresh cranberries
  • ¼c sugar
  • 4 leaves chard
  • 4 slices tempeh
  • 4T olive oil
  1. Cook the rice. For me this means 1c rice, 2c water, bring to a boil, simmer covered for 40min.
  2. If your pumpkin is fresh, cut in half, place face down on a baking sheet, cook at 400F for about 20-40min until just soft.
  3. Place cranberries and ½c water in a small pan, bring to a boil, then simmer covered for at least 5min. Cranberries will turn totally red and taste sweet (add more sugar to taste). Strain and save the juice for drinking!
  4. Chop tempeh into squares and cook in a pan with 2T oil until tempeh browns on both sides.
  5. Layer the ingredients: rice, chard, tempeh, pumpkin, cranberries.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture and enjoy!

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!