Black Sticky Rice Pudding Recipe – Gluten Free, Vegan, Yum!

black sticky rice

“I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something. ”
~ Mich Ehrenborg

 

This is truly one of those comfort-in-a-bowl dishes. Black sticky rice pudding is popular in Thailand and parts of Asia. It can be eaten warm or cold, and makes a delicious dessert, but it’s equally good for breakfast or as a snack.

To serve I use a splodge of coconut cream or coconut yogurt, some fresh seasonal fruit, and sometimes a handful of nuts or seeds as well. It’s endlessly versatile.

Black sticky rice pudding is a great recipe – gluten free, dairy free, vegan and full of fibre, anti-oxidants and nurture-y goodness.  Black rice is a source of amino acids, iron, zinc, copper and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is great for supporting and nurturing the liver and kidneys, two organs/energy centres that get very depleted during times of stress, illness or depression.  It’s great food for people with burnout or adrenal fatigue as it is warm and easy to digest.  Coconut is also good for low thyroid function and boosting slow metabolisms.

I usually make double this quantity and keep some in the fridge.  I reheat in a saucepan with a little extra water, but if you are a microwave user, I guess you could go there…

black sticky rice 2

Ingredients

1 cup of black glutinous rice (you can find this in most Asian grocery stores or good supermarkets), 2.5 cups of water, 2 tablespoons palm sugar or soft brown sugar, salt, vanilla essence, 1 cup of coconut milk/cream

Note – If you are sugar-free use Natvia, stevia or your favourite sugar substitute.

Method

Soak the rice overnight (or at least 6 hours)  in the water in a ceramic or glass dish. It’s really important to soak your rice well, so please don’t skimp on that part of the cooking process. The water will go a nice shade of purple – try not to get it on you as it will stain some fabrics. Many people suggest you discard the soaking water, rinse and start over, but then you’d lose many of the minerals and anti-oxidants that have leached from the water overnight.

Transfer to a suitable saucepan and place on the heat.  Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce the heat to low, and cover.  Cook for a further half an hour to forty-five minutes, until the rice is soft and the mixture has thickened.  You need to play this by ear a bit, as you might need to add a little more water and cook longer. It all depends on the rice.

Add a pinch of salt and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of  coconut milk/cream, then sugar to taste. Add in a splash of vanilla essence too. I use about 2 heaped tablespoons of palm sugar, but if you prefer it sweeter, add more.  Stir occasionally over the next ten minutes until the rice is thick and pudding like. (I sometimes omit the coconut milk as a variation, which gives a nuttier flavour.)

Cool slightly and then serve in bowls with the remaining coconut milk/cream drizzled over the top.  Sliced banana or tropical fruits such as papaya or mango are also good.  In winter I may use berries.  Right now I am using a big dollop of coconut yoghurt (yoghurt made on coconut milk!) from a company called Co Yo, which is divine.

If I have made a less-sweet pudding, I will sometimes also add a sprinkle of palm sugar or a dash of maple syrup when serving.

Enjoy ♥

sticky rice 3

sticky rice pudding

 

 

Green Goodness Sauce Recipe

green sauce

“She pulls on her heavy boots and carries the water bucket past the rose bushes, past the herb garden, and back to the barn behind the house. Her steps kick up the scents of herbs: thyme, mint, and lemon balm. The plants send up new stems each year from the roots that survived the winter and grew up again along the path. The perfumed walk is a mystical part of her world. Walking here is her favorite part of mornings. Sometimes, this is the highlight of her day.”
J.J. Brown

 

One of the simple pleasures of my life is to grab a handful of herbs from one of the pots or vegetable gardens at my back door to use in our evening meal.

This green sauce recipe takes just a minute or two to whiz together, and it elevates all kinds of meals to a new level of yum.

The sauce itself is vegan. It’s also sugar, dairy and gluten free.

I love the versatility of this sauce. I often use it as a dip with chopped up vegetables, or I fold it through a little yogurt (use coconut yogurt if you’re dairy free) for a creamier version – it’s also good with chunks of fresh bread or crackers.

You can spoon this sauce over steamed or baked vegetables, toss it through a bowl of pasta, add it at the end of a risotto dish, or serve it with fish, chicken or any kind of meat.

It’s a fabulous accompaniment to barbeques. I’ve even used it as a salad dressing.

I’ve given you this recipe base upon parsley and basil, but you can experiment with whatever other soft herbs and edible leaves, including bitter greens, you have to hand. Just a caution on bitter greens – use only 1/4 to 1/2 of your total herbs as bitter ones or the sauce becomes a bit too bitey. This recipe makes about a jar’s worth of sauce.

2016-04-07 16.55.28

Ingredients:

An equal-ish mix of parsley and basil leaves to make three cups. (If you have a little mint, thyme, chives or dill feel free to chuck a bit of that in too!) Up to three cloves of garlic. Juice and zest of one lemon, a tablespoon of gherkins, a tablespoon of capers, up to one half cup of extra virgin olive oil, pinch of salt and a grind or two of pepper, half (or one small) red salad onion.

Method:

Tear the leaves off the basil and add in the tops of the parsley. It’s okay for there to be some parsley stalk – don’t be too particular. Rinse if necessary.

Keep one cup of leaves aside and chop roughly. Dump the other two cups in a food processor or blender.

Add the peeled garlic, gherkins, capers, lemon zest and juice and 1/4 cup of oil in your processor or blender.

Whiz until combined and smooth.

Basil and Parsley 2016-11-18-18-33-51 2016-11-18-18-35-17

Spoon the green sauce into a bowl.

Add the chopped herbs and finely diced red onion to the sauce and stir to combine. This gives a lovely contrast of textures. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve and enjoy!

If there is any sauce left over it will keep in a jar in the fridge for up to one week.

2016-11-18-18-46-50 2016-11-18-18-47-59 2016-11-18-18-58-55

 

The vegan version – green sauce spooned over roasted cauliflower and sweet potato with a fresh garden salad.

2016-11-18-20-01-32

 

The meat-arian version – green sauce served over barbecued sausages with roasted cauliflower and sweet potato with a fresh garden salad.

green sauce

 

(Tip – if you have sausages left over, use them the next day in pasta – slice sausages and add to the green sauce then stir through pasta)

2016-11-18-18-46-50

Easy Mango Mousse #dairyfree #glutenfree #vegan #yum #paleo

vegan mango mousse

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
~ Susan Polis Schutz

 

Mangoes are finally in season here in Australia. This is a super-easy and yummy mango mousse that tastes of summer and is something you can make all year round, even if you can’t access fresh mango. I’ve made this before with frozen mango and canned mango too. Perfect if it’s winter in your neck of the woods but you’re craving a little sunshine.

I’ve adjusted an old recipe of mine that called for cream and loads of sugar, and converted it to a recipe that is dairy-free and refined sugar-free. You can make this as a vegan or a paleo dessert – and it’s so healthy you could eat it for breakfast!

All you need to make this is a blender.

Ingredients:

270ml can of coconut cream – chilled (or use one cup), cheeks of three fresh mangoes, or the drained contents of an 800 gram can of mangoes or 2 cups of frozen mangoes, 1 tablespoon of agar agar (or use 1 tablespoon of gelatin if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian – this is a great option if you follow a paleo diet), 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of maple syrup or sweetener of your choice – natvia is a favourite of mine for sugar-free but coconut sugar also gives a great flavour (if you’re not vegan you could also use honey), a squeeze of lime juice or lemon juice if you have no limes!

Method:

Chill the can of coconut cream in the fridge for an hour or two or until when you shake it there is no liquid sloshing. If you’re in a cold climate it may already be like this at room temperature, but you need your coconut cream cold or it won’t whip.

Slice up your mango flesh or drain canned mangoes.

Soak your agar agar in 1/3 cup of water so it swells. Do the same if you are using gelatin. It’s fine to use the juice from canned mangoes or any squeezed pulp if you prefer.

mango1

2016-11-11-16-23-17

Place the chilled coconut cream (omit any liquid), mango flesh and agar agar mixture (or gelatin) into a blender or food processor. Whip on high speed until combined and fluffy. The time for this will vary depending on the speed of your motor, but really it should only take a minute or two.

2016-11-11-16-27-54

Now taste your mixture. Some mangoes are so sweet that they will need little extra sweetening. Add the quarter cup of sweetener (less if you feel it only needs a touch) and the squeeze of lime to freshen the flavour, pulse or blend quickly to combine and then taste again and add more sweetener if necessary until you are happy with the levels.

Pour into individual serving dishes or one larger bowl and refrigerate til set. You’ll need at least one hour for this.

2016-11-11-19-29-38

You can eat the mousse on its own, or garnish with more mango pieces. It’s also fabulous with a side of gelato or ice-cream, or a few gingersnaps.

I had a friend coming for dinner and I wanted to make pretty, so I chose a dollop of coconut yoghurt, some grated dark chocolate and a few fresh blueberries as my garnish. The nasturtium flowers made it feel completely celebratory.

The result?

Mango party for your mouth! <3 So very yum. 🙂

2016-11-11-19-32-58

2016-11-11-19-36-21

2016-11-11-19-37-30

Green Goji Bliss Balls

2016-05-21 10.35.41

“Humor keeps us alive. Humor and food. Don’t forget food. You can go a week without laughing.”
~ Joss Whedon

 

I often whip up a batch of these healthy, yummy snacks. Green Goji Bliss Balls are packed full of nutrition, and the lemon gives them a lovely fresh tang.

They are incredibly easy to make, especially if you have a good food processor or blender.

This recipe is high in good fats and protein, and in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It is also vegan and gluten-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free. A couple of these Bliss Balls and a fresh juice make a satisfying lunch if you’re on the go, and a great snack anytime. Don’t let the green colour put you off – they are absolutely delicious and lemony.

Note: Broccoli sprout powder is super-nutritious and helps to detox the body of heavy metals, as well as metabolising estrogen, normalising DNA methylation and working as a potent anti-oxidant and immune booster. But it’s fine to omit or to substitute for something else. 🙂

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pepitas, 1/2 cup brazil nuts, zest of two lemons, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 cup of unsweetened coconut, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup goji berries, 2 heaped teaspoons spirulina, 1 heaped teaspoon broccoli sprout powder, 3 tablespoons of maple or rice malt syrup . Extra coconut for rolling.

Method:

Zest your lemon and then squeeze the juice.

2016-05-21 09.56.59

Use a food processor  or spice grinder to chop the almonds and brazil nuts until they are finely chopped. Do this in a couple of batches if you need to. It’s fine for there to be a few larger chunks. Don’t process until it is a paste – you are looking for a crumbly, chopped texture rather than goo!

2016-05-21 09.54.36

2016-05-21 09.54.11

2016-05-21 09.53.37

Add all the dry ingredients and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix well with a spoon.

2016-05-21 10.26.25

Add the lemon juice and mix the entire lot together with a clean hand. You could use a spoon but your hand will do a better job!

When the mixture is well combined, roll into balls about the size of a golf ball. Drop the balls into a small container of coconut and cover them well. Place into the refrigerator to set (about thirty minutes).

These bliss balls will keep for a week refrigerated, if they last that long. Enjoy!

2016-05-21 10.35.41

 

Coconut Rice Pudding with Banana

2016-04-11 13.23.30

“And to this end they built themselves a stupendous super-computer which was so amazingly intelligent that even before its data banks had been connected up it had started from I think therefore I am and got as far as deducing the existence of rice pudding and income tax before anyone managed to turn it off.”

~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

This is an easy and delicious pudding for people who need to eat gluten and dairy-free, but who still enjoy the occasional dessert. The pudding can also be easily made sugar-free too.

It is perfectly scrumptious served with just a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg on top, but fresh banana slices and a drizzle of maple syrup make it out-of-this-world good.

Ingredients

400g coconut cream, 600ml water, 1 scant cup of uncooked white rice if jasmine or basmati or 3/4 cup of shortgrain rice (shortgrain rice has more starch and thickens better), 2 tablespoons of sugar or sugar substitute – I use Natvia (or to taste), 1 teaspoon of vanilla, pinch of salt, nutmeg or cinnamon, fresh banana and maple syrup to serve.

*note – if using brown rice use 3/4 cup, extend cooking time, and you may need to add a little more liquid

Method:

Place the coconut cream, water, sugar or sugar substitute, pinch of salt, vanilla and rice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on the stove, over medium heat. Stir occasionally as you bring the liquid to a strong simmer (lots of bubbles but not boiling), turn down to a low simmer (just a few bubbles on the surface) and then cook for twenty to thirty minutes on low heat or until the rice is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed or reduced. Stir every so often so that the rice doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pot and burn.  Pudding should be thick and creamy.

2016-04-11 12.43.22

2016-04-11 13.18.23

Place in bowls.

To serve plain, add just a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.

2016-04-11 13.22.15

For best results top with slices of fresh ripe banana and a little drizzle of maple syrup.

Can also be eaten cold. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.

This is so, so yummy and good.

Enjoy!

2016-04-11 13.23.30

2016-04-11 13.24.26

Chilled Coconut Soup with Tapioca and Rockmelon

2015-09-29 13.23.10

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
~ Ruth Reichl

 

Many years ago, when my sister and I were sharing a house, we’d sometimes venture out for dinner to a little Asian Restaurant in Market Square at Sunnybank. Our restaurant of choice was called Gourmet Court – a cheerful and cheap eating place, which was good because neither of us had any money back then! None of the staff spoke English, and the menu was all in Mandarin, but it did have a helpful photo for each dish. We would always point to what we wanted, smile profusely, and then mime drinking tea. Somehow, this crazy system always seemed to work for us. The tables were covered in red and white checked plastic tablecloths and little vases of fake flowers which was the only decor beside the lucky cat at the till.

Simone and I were always the only Caucasians in the place, and we looked out of place with our pale skin and long blonde hair. At first that felt uncomfortable but we were treated so well that we came to love going there. After we became regulars the owners would usually bring us a complimentary dessert at the end of our meal. In winter it was a plate of sliced fresh fruit, but when the temperature warmed up they brought out this unusual dish – a cold, sweet coconut ‘soup’ with tapioca pearls (made from a form of root vegetable called cassava) and freshly diced rockmelon. It was our complete favourite; cool, refreshing and delicious.

Gourmet Court no longer exists, but I’ve found a way to recreate our old favourite dish! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. An added bonus is that it’s gluten-free,  and dairy-free. I also make mine sugar-free now too, using a sugar substitute. The tapioca/coconut milk mixture will keep in the fridge for five days, if it lasts that long.

2015-09-29 13.22.41

Ingredients:

1 x cup of small tapioca pearls, 2 x cups of coconut cream, 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar or equivalent (I use natvia!), one rockmelon (cantaloupe)

2015-09-29 09.48.50

2015-09-29 09.50.02

2015-09-29 13.18.18

Method:

Add the coconut cream, water, salt and sugar to a saucepan and stir well over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.

Soak the tapioca for twenty minutes in cold water, then drain in a colander. Bring two litres (8 cups) of water to the boil in a large pot, and add the drained tapioca pearls. Stir well so nothing sticks to the bottom, and keep stirring every so often. Bring back to the boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for another fifteen minutes. Then rinse well under cold water to stop the cooking process. The pearls should be mostly translucent and jelly-like with perhaps a few white spots still in the middle. Be careful not to overcook, or the tapioca will turn to mush.

2015-09-29 10.12.06

2015-09-29 10.17.21

2015-09-29 10.47.37

Add the tapioca pearls to the cooled coconut mixture and refrigerate until needed. The pearls will swell a little more with the coconut milk, and will provide a nice chewy texture.

To serve ladle the ‘soup’ and pearls into a serving bowl and then add a generous portion of freshly diced rockmelon to the top. I served mine to Ben and the workmen here at the farm as a post-lunch treat, after they’d spent the morning slaving away repairing fences in the heat. It was soon devoured!

The rest became breakfast this morning. 🙂

2015-09-29 13.22.49

2015-09-29 13.24.10

Note – this is also delicious served with freshly sliced banana, mango or strawberries.

Mandarin, Zucchini and White Chocolate Cupcakes

2014-10-16 15.34.17

“Baking is like washing–the results are equally temporary.”
~ Patricia Briggs, Raven’s Shadow

 

I experimented with a new cake recipe earlier in the week. But it was so good that it was devoured before I thought to take any photos.

So I made it again!

In fact, I tested two versions. A straight-up version using dairy, flour and sugar and a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free version.

Happily, both of them tasted delicious. The cakes are sweet and moist and rich-tasting, but not too heavy.

I did contemplate using a cream cheese icing with a hint of mandarin to finish these little cakes off, but honestly, unless the Queen was coming for afternoon tea it would have been complete overkill. That, and the fact that again, at least half the batch was eaten before I could get to the making icing part, after which any kind of frosting seemed redundant.

This recipe is inspired by the monster zucchini glut currently underway at our farm. Enjoy!

Ingredients – Standard:

2 medium mandarins (about 350 grams), 1 cup grated zucchini, 1 cup white chocolate chunks, 1 cup sugar, 1 and 1/2 cups self-raising flour  (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1/2 cup almond meal, 125g (1/2 cup) of melted butter, 3 large eggs – lightly beaten

Ingredients – Gluten-free, Dairy-free, sugar-free

2 medium mandarins (about 350 grams), 1 cup grated zucchini, 1 cup gluten-free white chocolate chunks (list of gluten-free chocolate here) OR omit chocolate OR substitute for your favourite nut OR dried apricots cut into fine dice, 1/2 cup of natvia or a sugar alternative, 1 and 1/2 cups of your favourite gluten-free self-raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1/2 cup almond meal, 125g (1/2 cup) of melted dairy substitute, 3 large eggs – lightly beaten

Note: Keep a half cup of flour handy in case your mixture is too wet. Gluten-free flours all differ slightly so it’s a good idea to be prepared. 🙂

Method:

To prepare the mandarins, place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and then simmer one hour. Cool in pan.

2014-10-12 07.42.11

 

Slice open lengthways and remove seeds. You could use a spoon for this but I prefer clean fingers. That way you can feel any seeds that are hiding. Seeds make things bitter, so do your best to get them all. It’s an easy job. Pulse mandarins in a blender until smooth.

2014-10-15 13.30.03

 

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Grate your zucchini to give a generous cup full. Squeeze it lightly to press a little moisture out of it.

2014-10-15 17.02.25

Then add the zucchini and mandarin pulp to a large bowl and stir well.

2014-10-15 17.02.10

Fold through the other ingredients. The chocolate on top was added by my husband who thought that the recipe could use another handful. This is not including the additional handful that went straight in his mouth…

2014-10-15 17.16.11

Spoon into cupcake liners in prepared tins.

2014-10-15 17.24.58

Bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean. Cakes will rise nicely, but will settle again once cooled.

2014-10-15 17.54.51

Leave in tins to cool completely. Cake will store well for one week. It also freezes well.

2014-10-16 15.32.34

Serve to friends, with cups of tea. Or eat while snuggled up on the couch watching old movies. I trialled both methods, and both were satisfactory!

2014-10-16 15.32.45

2014-10-16 15.33.32Note Bert’s hopeful face, as he lies beneath the table waiting for a cupcake to fall on his head…

2014-10-16 15.31.12