Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rebellion of the Rice Cooker

Last night I thought that I would like to have a healthy rice pudding for breakfast this morning.  However, rice and I are not friends.  I have NEVER been able to cook rice.  I can't even make Minute Rice turn out right.  I spent a year in a Caribbean third world country where all we ever ate was rice, and I STILL can't cook it.

A friend of mine gave me a rice cooker.  It's just a simple one, no programming or options.  You just put in the rice, the water, and hit the cook button.  That's hard to mess up, right?  I've even managed to make decent enough rice in it a couple of times, though mostly I use it to cook millet.

Well, since I can't make rice on the stove, I figured I probably couldn't make rice pudding there either, so I decided to put it all in the rice cooker.  I wasn't making real rice pudding anyway.  I just wanted to cook up some brown rice with a lot of liquid so it got a thick pudding like consistency.  Last night before bed I put one cup of brown rice and two cups of soy milk into the rice cooker.  I thought that soaking the rice would help break it down and make it thick and sticky when it was all cooked.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dessert Hummus

I've been (morbidly) intrigued with the whole dessert hummus thing ever since it took the food blog world by storm.  If you Google "dessert hummus" you get dozens of different recipes and variations.  As near as I can tell, it originated with the very talented Evan at The Wannabe Chef.  I used his recipe as a base, and tweaked it a bit to suit my own tastes.

I was incredibly skeptical about this.  While I love hummus, I didn't really believe it could be made into a decent dessert.  It's an appetizer; it's a great snack; it's a fantastic sandwich spread, but beans for dessert just doesn't even sound that appetizing.  I couldn't imagine it being good.  I was SO WRONG.  This stuff rocks my socks.  I actually used my finger to get every last bit out of the food processor.

Usually desserts aren't the healthiest things in the world, but sometimes you can find a dessert that is at least not bad for you.  This is not only not bad for you, it's actually GOOD for you!  Chickpeas are low fat, low cholesterol, high fiber, high protein, and an excellent source of folate and zinc.  They may also assist in lowering cholesterol in the bloodstream.  Natural peanut butter is low in cholesterol and is a good source of niacin and manganese.  It's a good source of protein and is full of mono and poly-unsaturated fats, or the good fats that help lower cholesterol and have heart-protective benefits, and here's an entire article about the health benefits of pure maple syrup.  So yay!  An actual healthy dessert.  I'm so excited.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I make it a practice to NOT drink my calories, unless the drink is an actual meal, like a smoothie for breakfast. I generally require my liquid calories to provide me with a pretty big amount of nutrition in order to make drinking calories worth it in the first place.  Note that I said generally.  From time to time I'll have a cocktail or a glass of wine, and every now and then, I get hit by a stray, random, and really rather strange craving.  I swear I have more cravings now than I ever did when I was pregnant!  Anyway, yesterday was one of those times.

I woke up really wanting some horchata.  My ex-mother-in-law used to make a mean horchata, and they sell a decent enough version at a local Mexican hole in the wall restaurant.  Since I don't have access to the ex-MIL, and I'm pretty sure Allende isn't open at 6:30 in the morning, I decided to see if I could make it myself, so I turned to Doctor Google for help.  I found a plethora of recipes, and the grand majority of them included milk as a main ingredient.  In my experience authentic horchata is an agua fresca, and milk totally defeats the purpose of drinking it in the first place, so I did what I always do.  I pieced together several different recipes and made my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple Nachos

There are recipes for apple nachos all over the internet.  I love apples, and I love them even more now that it's Honeycrisp season, so apple nachos seemed to be just the ticket, but so many of the recipes are soooo unhealthy. I mean come on! Marshmallows? An entire stick of butter? Caramel sauce? Commercial chocolate syrup? Do you have any idea what's even in that sticky, sweet, processed chocolate stuff? I'll give you a hint: high fructose corn syrup is the number one ingredient in the grand majority of them. This is a snack that has such potential to be healthy, so I decided to health it up. I had mine for dinner last night! This recipe is for a single serving, so feel free to up it and make more. Had I done that, I would have eaten the whole thing!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wheat Berries of Joy!

I've got a deep and abiding love for wheat berries.  It's strange actually since I have a just as deep and abiding loathing for wheat bread and wheat crackers.  However, I love wheat pasta way more than regular white pasta.  As usual I digress, but there's a glimpse into one of my interesting and adorable quirks.  What was I talking about?  Ah yes, wheat berries.

Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels that contain all three parts of the grain:  the germ, bran, and endosperm. Only the hull has been removed. Because of this, wheat berries retain all of the grain's vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Wheat berries, like all whole grains, have tons of health benefits. Whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.  Eating whole grains instead of refined/processed grains can help with weight control, as well.  The best part though, is that wheat berries are yummy.

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