Dairy Free Rice Pudding

First of all, a great big thank you to Cindy from Skip to My Lou who featured my  Spaghetti with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables recipe!

I’m trying to get the school year off to a good start. I’ve updated my calendar with all of the important deadlines. And now I’m working on good eating and exercise habits. I hope to attend at least three yoga classes each week and, until it snows, I will continue to bike to as many places as possible. As for good eating habits, I’m trying to have a hearty breakfast to start each day and making large meals for dinner that can be enjoyed as leftovers for lunch the next day.

I’m not a huge fan of cereals. Most of them are too sweet for my liking and I find the texture of almond milk a bit strange when mixed with cereal. Instead, I rely on breakfast items that I can make a big batch of and reheat the leftovers  next day. Such as:

We ate quite a few of the breakfast quesadillas this week. I even let Bryan in the kitchen to make them for breakfast one day. However, I also tried out rice pudding made with almond milk (I usually make this with cow’s milk, but was out and wanted to try a diary free option). While my family frequently serves rice pudding as a dessert, I enjoy it very much as a breakfast food!

Dairy Free Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Jasmine rice – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 cups almond milk – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/2 cup raisins – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1 egg – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 cup water
  • Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Add 1 cup almond milk and 1 cup water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add Jasmine rice.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Cook until rice is tender (about 15-20 minutes).
  5. Whisk remaining 1 cup of almond milk and egg in a bowl.
  6. Add can sugar, almond milk mixture, cinnamon, and raisins to the rice.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Allow to cool and serve either warm or cold!

Makes about 6 servings (approximate cost: $0.62 per serving).

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Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Smoothie

I’ve had a smoothie almost every day this summer. They’re really a great breakfast. Filling and nutritious, yet easy to prepare (and to take on the road if you’re in a hurry). I try to keep things interesting by combining different ingredients. I usually start with a liquid, such as water, chilled tea, almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. Add whatever fruit I have on hand. Greens of some sort, such as spinach, kale, or cucumbers, Sweeteners such as maple syrup or honey if the flavours are tart. Maybe a spoon of cacao, maca powder, or chia seeds to make it extra healthy.

What is maca powder, you ask? Maca is “a highly nutrient-dense whole food, as it is packed with vitamins, plant sterols, many essential minerals, amino acids and healthy fats. This is a particularly powerful and balanced food for athletes and those who are looking to combat stress or increase stamina” (Navita Naturals). I learned about Maca at the Raw Food Workshop last year. Chef Shaidle told us of the many benefits of eating maca. The first few times I included it in a smoothie, I hated the taste. So I put less in, hoping that the other flavours would overpower it. Though, I’ve found that I’ve come to enjoy it (still in moderate amounts).

Maca powder gives smoothies a strong flavour. If you dislike or don’t have maca powder, you can easily leave it out. If it’s your first time using maca powder, use about half of what this recipe calls for.

If you eat maca, how do you add maca powder to your food? I’d like to know how I can use this other than in smoothies!

Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, cut into 1 inch pieces – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1 inch pieces – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 heaping teaspoon maca powder – approximate cost $0.70
  • 1 tablespoon honey – approximate cost $0.50
  • Handful of mint leave, reserve 4 pieces for garnish – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 6 ice cubes

Method

  1. Place the watermelon, cucumber, maca, honey, mint leaves, and water in a blender.
  2. Blend until ingredients are well-combined
  3. Add ice cubes.
  4. Blend until ice cubes are crushed and mixed well into smoothie.
  5. Pour into two serving glasses.
  6. Gently rub the mint leave to release flavour.
  7. Garnish with reserved mint leaves.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $2.10 per serving).

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Garden Update

Happy 4th of July to all my American family, friends and readers!

Thank you everyone for your suggestions on making sure my garden is successful this year! Look at how well the plants are growing this year!

The herbs look healthier and are much bigger!

The tomato plants are taller and starting to sprout buds!

Improv Challenge: Cherries and Almonds

I’m so excited to be participating in another Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker!

I actually had thought I missed the Improv Challenge . Somehow I had convinced myself that the posts needed to be up on June 15th. A big thank you to Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake who pointed out that I had misread the date and still had a week to write the post!

This month’s ingredients are cherries and almonds. I don’t recall ever pairing these ingredients. However, I’ve been assured over the last month that I would love it. And I do!

My cherry and almond recipe is inspired by the heat wave going on right now. It was 32 degrees Celsius today (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit). I didn’t want to turn the oven on to bake (we don’t have A/C). So I made an icy drink instead. I enjoy it very much! Bryan’s not a fan of the texture of the ground almonds. I’ll make this with an almond extract next time.

Icy Drink with Cherries and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw almonds – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries – approximate cost $1.00
  • 2 sprigs of mint leaves – approximate cost $0.06
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 ice cubes

Method

  1. Soak almonds in a glass of water for at least 2 hours.
  2. Drain almonds.
  3. Blend almond in blender until finely ground.
  4. Add cherries and continue to blend.
  5. Add water and ice cubes.
  6. Blend until smooth (you may need to add a bit more water).
  7. Serve in two tall glasses and garnish with sprigs of mint leaves.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $1.03 per serving).



Look at my garden grow!

This year I’m not starting a garden. It’s too much work weeding and preparing to plant. It’s a lot to maintain it. Last year’s garden didn’t grow so well (neither did the neighbour’s), all of the herbs died within the first month and I only got two tomatoes from four tomato plants. Or at least, that’s what I kept telling myself.

But, when my Aunt was in town the other week, she brought tomato plants with her. I couldn’t say no.

This year, I’m taking a different approach to gardening. I bought planters and fresh soil, then placed them in the garden. Each tomato plant (Yellow Cherry and Moonglow) and the basil have their own planter. The other herbs (rosemary, mint, cilantro, and chives) are two in each planter. The plants look healthier than last year already.

My brother is growing a Pink Ponderosa tomato plant. This is one of the ones that didn’t work out for me last year.

My herbs are still growing. The tomatoes haven’t blossomed yet. They’ll grow… I hope.

Any tips for a successful garden?

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