Eat your heart out (healthily)

January is the month many people choose to start a diet that helps them shed pounds and set course on a new beginning for health. February is “American Heart Month,” and what better way to make your diet work double duty than by enjoying delicious recipes that are good for your heart and help you lose weight.

Heart disease affects more than 82 million Americans, according to statistics from the American Heart Association. A simple first step in prevention is to eat more fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories, and do not contain cholesterol.

“There is no one ‘superfood’ or nutrient that can prevent heart disease,” registered dietitian Kathleen Stanley said in an interview with the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. “Research has shown that diets that contain whole grains and fruits and vegetables, and are generally low in fats, can help reduce risk for heart disease.”

Boost your heart health nutrition by adding these dishes to your diet this week.

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HEARTY ITALIAN SPROUTED LENTIL SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

One can (14 ounces) organic diced tomatoes

3½ cups water or vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1 cup sprouted lentils

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery, and cook, partially covered, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in water and bay leaf. and bring to a boil. Add lentils. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, until lentils are tender. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From TruRoots Originals

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Studies show that a high consumption of orange and red vegetables might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. These recipes are from natural foods chef Christine Waltermyer, created for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

WARM OR COLD BEET SALAD

3 medium beets

11/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon apple juice concentrate

1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 to 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced

Wash and peel beets. Cut each beet in half, and each half into four wedges. To prevent staining your counter top, place a dark-colored towel or paper towels under your cutting board. Steam beets over boiling water until tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mix lemon juice, vinegar, apple juice concentrate, mustard and dill in a serving bowl. Add beets and toss to mix. Arrange beets on salad plate with sliced yellow peppers. Serve warm or cold. Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 36 calories, 0.2 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 1 g. protein, 8.4 g. carbohydrate, 1.1 g. fiber, 61 mg. sodium.

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When you serve this dessert to the family, don’t tell them what’s in it.

SUPER RASPBERRY PROTEIN BROWNIES

1/4 teaspoon safflower oil

2 cans (15 ounces each) low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup all-fruit raspberry jam

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with the oil. Combine black beans, dates, jam and vanilla in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt, and process again.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks set. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then cut into 16 squares. The brownies will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week. Makes 16 brownies.

Nutrition information per serving: 145 calories, 1 g. fat, 5 g. protein, 8 g. fiber, 0 mg. cholesterol, 110 mg. sodium.

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Chocolate: Passion or addiction?

I am not a sweet person. OK, well I am, but I don’t gravitate toward sweet snacks usually. People are amazed that I only eat chocolate once in a while. Not just any chocolate either. Maybe I’ve just lucky enough to have a professional palate.
But, there have been times, as I looked at the pile of crumpled silver and red foil on my desk, when I wondered: Is it possible to be addicted to chocolate?
I know I am not alone here.
I find that as I get older, I have a greater appreciation for the richness of pure vanilla. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a box of chocolates, or a bowl of foil-wrapped ones, will turn my head.
This is the week when many of us may be receiving a head-turning box of chocolates. If we’re lucky, the box alone, heart-shaped, red and frilly, will be as much of a treasure as what we may find inside it.
But before we go crazy and turn our box into a wasteland of brown paper liners, perhaps we need to have a serious chat.
Maybe it’s time for a chocolate intervention.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to still have some of those chocolates left when the weekend is over? It is possible, I am told. It just takes a little effort and the will to eat mindfully.
For help, I turned to Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, who specializes in eating issues. She has written numerous books on the topic, including “Eat Mindfully,” “But I Deserve this Chocolate!” and “50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.”
The doctor and I had a little chat about chocolate and whether someone can actually get addicted to it, the way they would alcohol or drugs. That’s a matter of debate in the science community, but Albers knows the desire is real.
“You don’t have the same kind of withdrawal, but the intensity of the cravings are pretty high. People talk about really wanting that chocolate. It’s like a magnet really calling your name from the other room,” she said.
Those intense cravings are what prompted her to start a monthlong help session on her Facebook page, offering tips to help folks deal with their chocolate cravings during the month of February. (You can visit at www.facebook.com/eatdrinkmindful).

Eating mindfully isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
According to Albers, it’s really as simple as taking the time to slow down and be in the moment when we eat. She doesn’t believe in trying to deny ourselves chocolate or any foods we love, because that’s a recipe for failure.
“Forget the just-say-no approach,” she said. “The more you fight it, the more you want it.”
Instead, try the Five S’s:
Sit down: Don’t just gobble up empty calories on the run. Sit down and enjoy the experience.
Sniff it: Take in the aroma of the chocolate before you bite it.
Section it or snap it: If you have a large bar, snap off a small piece to focus on.
Savor it: Eat it really slowly and pay close attention to how it tastes and how it feels in your mouth.
Smile: Take time to pause, and think about how pleasurable the experience was before racing off to have another bite.
The thing is, if you follow the five steps, chances are there won’t be another bite.
Albers said many of the people she counsels find that after eating one piece of chocolate mindfully, they are satisfied and don’t want another.
When cravings come — and they will — Albers said there are ways to deal with them. Walking is an excellent way to control chocolate cravings.
You can also enjoy a small amount in a healthful way, like Albers’ chocolate salad dressing. It contains just one ounce of chocolate. Here’s the recipe so you can make it for your own Valentine and serve it with a kiss, chocolate or real.
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DR. ALBERS’ CHOCOLATE SALAD DRESSING
1 oz. dark chocolate, chopped fine
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. honey, or to taste
Dash of salt and pepper
Melt chocolate in the microwave. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Whisk to combine.
Add to a salad with spinach, apples, blueberries, cashews or almonds and whole wheat croutons.
Makes about 1/3 of a cup.
— www.eatq.com
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Lisa Abraham can be reached at labraham@thebeaconjournal.com.
©2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Theater raising funds for music

Bring Back the Music
What: Stockton Civic Theatre fundraiser
When: 6 p.m. Sunday; 5:15 p.m., reception
Where: Stockton Civic Theatre, 2312 Rosemarie Lane, Stockton
Tickets: $20
Information: (209) 473-2424

By Tony Sauro
Record Staff Writer
Live music is returning to Stockton Civic Theatre.
“We’re really, really excited,” said Dominee Muller-Kimball. “It’s like old-home week. It was great.”
She was reacting to a Thursday rehearsal by the 10 musicians and six vocalists who’ll perform during a Sunday fundraising concert at the theater.
An actor, singer and director, Muller-Kimball plans to help raise $32,000 so the four musical shows scheduled for 2014-15 at SCT can be accompanied by live music.
For most of four seasons, the 51-year-old community theater troupe has relied on taped music — with exceptions made for elaborate musical productions such as “Sweeney Todd.”
“It’s the immediacy,” said Muller-Kimball, who’s husband, Paul Kimball, conducts Sunday’s ensemble. “It’s the connectivity of everything in that space at one time. The actors, the stage crew, the audience, that live orchestra. You make magic.
“It’s exhilarating as an actor. It’s phenomenal. You’re living for each moment. That’s the beauty of theater. It’s in the moment.”
With enough funding — basically necessary to pay the “pit-orchestra” musicians at appropriate union rates — those musical moments occur during “Monty Python’s Spamalot” (June 25-July 20), “Chicago” (in the fall), “The Sound of Music” (holiday season, 2014) and “Legally Blonde” (summer, 2015).
The Sunday concert — all but one of the musicians and singers have performed previously with SCT — includes tunes from previous productions (“Pretty Women” from “Sweeney Todd,” “Suddenly Sidney” from “Little Shop of Horrors”), medleys from “Beauty and the Beast” and “Miss Saigon” and songs from upcoming 2014-15 productions.
Muller-Kimball said $8,000 has been raised with donations ranging from $500 to $1,000. The Webster Family Trust has donated $4,000.
“It’s amazing,” said Muller-Kimball, adding that 150 tickets for the fund-raiser had been sold as of Friday.
Contact Tony Sauro at (209) 546-8267 or tsauro@recordnet.com. Follow him on Twitter @tsaurorecord.

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Fancy feast

Don’t go the boxed dinner route tonight. Muster up some energy and dine like a lord, or lady, or whatever your awesome title is.
Take some inspiration from “Downton Abbey” for a fancy feast (recipe below). (And if you need a few table etiquette lessons, just check out a few tips from “Pretty Woman.”)

BAKED HADDOCK WITH SHARP SAUCE
4 skinless haddock fillets (8 oz. each)
cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
cup fresh bread crumbs
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
Lemon wedges
2 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
cup water
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, add onion and saute until softened. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in brown sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are well browned. Sprinkle with flour and cook until blended.
Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened. Strain and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
Place the fillets on the baking sheet. Combine the mayonnaise and mustard and spread over the fish. Stir together bread crumbs, parsley, and Parmesan; sprinkle over fillets.
Bake the fish 7 to 8 minutes or until opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until topping is evenly browned.
Transfer to heated platter and sprinkle with chives. Serve with lemon wedges and sharp sauce on the side.
Makes 4 servings.
- “Abbey Cooks Entertain” by Pamela Foster

 

 

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Loco for Mexican cacao

There is a rich diversity in Mexican foods that reflect the diversity of Mexican people. One of the most brilliant discoveries in the world comes from the Aztecs – chocolate. The people were passionate about it. Spices were mixed with cacao beans and served as a drink for leaders and those of nobility. The heavenly taste of chocolate is celebrated in much of the world. However, Mexican chocolate kicks it up a notch. It has a rich flavor and is made with an assortment of spices sold in bars, discs, powder and syrup.

Here are a few Mexican chocolate recipes that go with a story on Wednesday’s page B2 of the LENS section.

MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE (Champurrado)
Mt. Lebanon, Pa., elementary-school Spanish teacher Tania M. Conte sent this recipe home with her students, noting that Abuelita brand chocolate can be found at some grocery stores. If you don’t have a molinillo, you can use a regular whisk.
2 cups milk
4 wedges of Mexican chocolate, or 2 quarter tablets
Put 2 cups milk in a small saucepan on low heat. Warm the milk gradually. Don’t let it boil.
Unwrap a Mexican chocolate tablet. Cut/break off the wedges u

Edgar Alvarez adds a disk of Abuelita Mexican chocolate to the milk and water mixture he was using the for hot chocolate he was preparing at his Pittsburgh stand. Photo by Larry Roberts/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

sing the dull side of a knife.
Put the chocolate in the warm milk and let the wedges soften for about 30 seconds.
Use the wide end of the molinillo — or your whisk — to gently mash the chocolate.
Then use the molinillo or whisk to stir the chocolate milk.
When steam begins to rise from the milk, spin the molinillo (or whisk) briskly back and forth in the milk to create tiny bubbles that gang up together to become froth.
Carefully pour hot chocolate into cups and enjoy!
Serves 2.
— Tania M. Conte
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MEXICAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
This simple but exotic loaf cake recipe comes from the first cookbook from Aliya LeeKong, a former professional cook who has an Indo-Pakistani and Tanzanian background and who is married to “a guy from Brooklyn, whose family comes from Trinidad by way of Venezuela, Spain and China.” It’s a very interesting book with some very interesting recipes, many of them vegetarian like this one.
LeeKong writes that she has “a serious love affair going with Mexican chocolate,” which made her go on “a rampage, sneaking it into desserts whenever I could and even going so far as to add it to my morning coffee on occasion (ridiculous, I know). A pastry chef I work with looked down his nose when I told him I was doing a loaf cake, but I adore them! Loaf cakes are unassuming and, when decadent enough like this one, an unexpected bite of seemingly casual luxury. This one is rich and moist, with melted bites of Mexican chocolate and that kick of cinnamon.”
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
¾ cup creme fraiche, softened at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped finely
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or use a hand mixer, and cream together the butter, creme fraiche and the sugars until light and fluffy using medium speed. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is fully incorporated. With the mixer back on, add eggs one at a time and vanilla extract.
Reduce speed on the mixer and add 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/3 of the chocolate. Repeat twice and then scrape down. Mix again briefly only so that the batter is just uniform — be careful not to overmix.
Transfer batter to the loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Let cool on a rack before unmolding — run a thin knife along the sides if it’s sticking. Serve garnished with confectioners’ sugar.
— “Exotic Table: Flavors, Inspiration, and Recipes from Around the World — to Your Kitchen “ by Aliya LeeKong (Adams, Nov. 2013, $35)

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Yee-HAW!: Mark your calendars, country fans

If you didn’t know, country is S.J.’s top-rated radio music. So all you country fans may be excited to know that the Bay Area has a lot of upcoming shows you may be interested in this year.

Mark your calendars!

Country musicians — 10 of America’s most prominent — will be dominant this summer at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Season tickets to the shows in Mountain View will be sold in a variety of configurations and combinations.
The schedules include: Tim McGraw (May 10); Toby Keith (May 31); Lady Antebellum (June 15); Dierks Bentley (July 31); Miranda Lambert (Aug. 9); Rascal Flatts (Aug. 23); Keith Urban (Sept. 6); Blake Shelton (Sept. 13); Jason Aldean (Sept. 27); and Luke Bryan (Oct. 18). Bryan also performs Oct. 18 at Concord Pavilion.
Tickets for individual shows will be available at later dates. Season tickets, which go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 24, range from $299 to $849 and $999.
Information: Megaticket.com.; (800) 745-3000.

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Gluten-free doesn’t have to be boring

It is not hard to find a friend or family member who is following a gluten-free diet these days.

I have a sister who has celiac disease and my cousin-in-law has a wheat sensitivity that has developed over the years, which makes dining out a little challenging and cooking at home sometimes daunting.  Now, though, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of cookbooks to help manage a gluten-free diet.

One gifted over the holidays, Donna Washburn’s “Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking,”  includes more than 250  with delicious and dependable recipes, and even features desserts, which has been the worst part of my sister’s gluten-free dietary struggles. (Can you imagine not being able to enjoy chocolate cake or a brownie?)

Here’s a sample recipe from the book for a flavorful Grilled Chicken Mandarin Salad:

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GRILLED CHICKEN MANDARIN SALAD WITH SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING

For the dressing:

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

2 tbsp. white vinegar

2 tbsp. snipped fresh parsley

¼ tsp. salt

Pinch freshly ground pepper 2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce

For the salad:

6 oz. baby spinach

1 cup sliced celery

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

1 can (10 oz.) mandarin orange segments, drained

4 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into ¼-inch strips

1 recipe caramelized almonds (recipe follows)

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Set aside for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate for up to three weeks.

In a salad bowl, toss together the spinach, celery, green onions and mandarin orange segments.

Pour dressing over the salad and toss lightly. Top with grilled chicken strips and sprinkle with caramelized almonds.

Makes four servings.

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CARAMELIZED ALMONDS

½ cup slivered almonds

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

In a small frying pan, cook almonds and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and almonds are coated and lightly browned.

Set aside to cool, then separate. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Makes ½ cup.

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Get your bake on

 

Stephanie Carpico's Caramel Cups

Don’t you just love walking into a home and getting a whiff of carbs baking sweetly in an oven?
Cookies and candy are easy to make and are great gifts for your neighbors, hairstylist, gardener and more. Or, you could just leave them all for “santa.”

CARPICO CARAMEL CUPS

Dough:
6 ounces cream cheese
2 sticks butter
2 cups flour

Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer. Add flour, mixing well. Press dough into mini muffin pans to form cups. Bake for 15 minutes at 350.

Filling:
1 bag of caramels
1/2 can evaporated milk

Microwave then stir until smooth and creamy. Pour into cooled cups.

Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup evaporated milk
Beat with electric mixer until creamy (this will take a few minutes). Put on top of the caramel cups.

Yields 48 cookies.
From Stephanie Carpico, East Canton

COOKING WITH KIDS
If you’ve got little ones who want to help with holiday cookie making, try no-bake Granola Bites, a recipe from fishersfoods.com/recipes. Kids can measure the ingredients, because precision isn’t necessary, and stir it themselves because there’s no need for electric mixers. Then the fun part – rolling the dough into balls, and rolling the balls in a crumb coating of ground almonds and oatmeal.
This dough, which includes peanut butter, oatmeal and dried fruit, is adaptable to personal tastes. (YUM: Try increasing the coconut to 3 tablespoons, leave out the sunflower seeds, and add 2 tablespoons of mini-chocolate chips. Or replace the apricots with dates.)
These nuggets are a good choice for traveling because they don’t make crumbs. Call them “cookies” in front of the kids, but you’ll know they are pretty close to health food.
– Info provided by MoreContentNow

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Puffed stuff

Want to add some pizazz to your breakfast table? Check out our story on puffed pancakes in today’s LENS, then try this recipe.

German Puffed Pancake

Note: The recipe is for a 10-inch ovenproof skillet or round cake pan, but can easily be doubled and baked in a 9- by-13-inch pan (metal or Pyrex.) This recipe, often also called Dutch Baby, is adapted from “The Joy of Cooking,“ although we halved the amount of butter. (Don’t worry; there’s still plenty.)

Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1/2 cup milk

• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup flour

• 1/4 cup sugar

• Pinch of salt

• Sauteed apples, see recipe below

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in the middle position. When the oven is at the proper temperature, put the butter in the baking pan and place in oven to melt the butter and preheat the pan.

In the meantime, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until batter is smooth and only a few lumps remain. It’s OK to have a few; you don’t want to overbeat the batter or the pancake could become tough. You also can combine all the ingredients in a blender, processing until just smooth.

Once the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, carefully pour the batter into the hot pan. The butter will disperse to the edges. Do not stir.

Bake for 15 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Bring the puffed pancake out for people to see, then slice and serve with sauteed apples and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Makes four servings.

 

Sauteed Apples

Ingredients

• 2 large baking apples such as Cortland or Haralson

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 3 tablespoons sugar

• Cinnamon for garnish

Instructions

Peel and core the apples, then slice each into about 12 slices, thick enough that they’ll hold their shape and not melt into applesauce.

Melt butter over medium heat in a shallow saucepan, then add apples and sugar, stirring gently to coat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until apples soften and begin to color a bit. Set aside on lowest heat to keep them warm until the pancake is done.

Makes four servings.

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Go nuts for this trend.

It seems like coconut-influenced products are popping up in all sections of the grocery store lately. Read more about the trend in today’s LENS, then try these recipes.

 

Caribbean Seafood Stew

INGREDIENTS

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/8 teaspoon pepper

• 1 pound orange roughy or tilapia, in 1-inch cubes

• 1 cup each, chopped: onion, green bell pepper

• 1 tablespoon minced garlic

• 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped

• 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

• 3/4 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk

• 8 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled, deveined

• 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

• 2 cups hot cooked rice

INSTRUCTIONS

Stir together 1 tablespoon olive oil, the lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add fish; toss to coat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, green pepper, garlic and jalapeño. Cook and stir until onion is tender, four minutes. Stir in tomatoes and coconut milk; heat to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

Stir in shrimp, the fish mixture and cilantro; return to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until fish just flakes easily with a fork and shrimp turns opaque, five minutes. Season to taste. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with more cilantro.

Makes four servings.

Source: Corrine Kozlak, Tribune test kitchen

 

Brazilian Coconut-Rice Pudding

INGREDIENTS

• 1/2 cup golden or dark raisins

• 1/4 cup light rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract plus 1/4 cup water

• 3 cups water

• 1 cup arborio rice, rinsed until water runs clear

• 1 stick cinnamon, 3 inches long

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 3/4 cup sweetened condensed skim milk

• 1 cup light coconut milk

• 2 to 4 tablespoons light-brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon each: grated orange zest, grated lemon zest

• Pinch of salt

• 1/2 cup toasted shredded unsweetened dried coconut

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine raisins and rum (or rum extract and water) in a small bowl; let soak, 15 minutes. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine water, rice, cinnamon stick and vanilla. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer, covered, until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.

Stir in condensed and coconut milks. Add raisins and their liquid. Simmer, covered, until rice is very soft, 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, citrus zests and salt. Cook five minutes. Add more sugar if desired. Cool pudding to room temperature. Discard cinnamon stick. Spoon into serving bowls or martini glasses. Refrigerate until cold. To serve, garnish with toasted coconut.

Makes eight servings.

Source: “Steven Raichlen’s Healthy Latin Cooking”

 

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