Cardamom Rice Pudding

rice pud'“As many of you know, last week, a crazy frankenstorm named Sandy hit the East Coast of the U.S. leaving millions without power, thousands evacuated from/lost their homes, several lost their lives, and it wreaked chaos and havoc across the northeastern seaboard, and affected people as far west as the Appalachians,” wrote Jenn Oliver of JennCuisine and Barb Kiebel of Creative Culinary on their blogs earlier this week.

In response to the devastation, Jenn and Barb had a great idea. “Food brings people together in good times and bad, and food can bring us together this time, to help those in need. We decided to create this event to bring the food blogging community together, so that we can join hands, and meals, and support for the victims of Sandy.”

So they asked food bloggers “that you post a comfort dish on your blog and share this need with your readers” and to post today, November 8th, with “something that you would make for someone in need, to help them feel at home. But more importantly, let’s encourage everyone to donate to relief efforts.”

rice pudding

I wanted to do this right away. We are so far from our friends and family back East and feel so helpless as we watch them valiantly respond. If only we could invite them in, give them shelter, warm food, loving support and quiet refuge. We can’t do that in person. We can’t serve up comfort food live. But we can do something more important…  we can support them with our donations to and let them know how much we care.

Basmati Rice

As I thought about it, I knew I wanted to create something that would be satisfyingly comforting. Not just comfort food that fills you up, making you feel full but also regretful, but comfort food that comforts and nourishes.

Cardamom

I also wanted it to be something that you could make with ingredients you’re likely to have at home, so that whatever storms you are facing in your life, you can stay in, get cozy and make up a warm bowl of nurturing comfort. After all, food is a love story, and comfort food should be like a mother’s loving embrace.

So in honor of all the heroes and survivors, I offer a warm bowl of Rice Pudding, and invite the rest of us to make whatever contributions possible to help our Eastern neighbors.

Click for Print Version

This Rice Pudding makes a delicious breakfast, snack or dessert. It is especially Vata-reducing – great for children, anyone recuperating, and anyone needing a pick-me-up. I hope you will try it and let me know what you think.

Riso Pudding Cropped

There is still time to post your own favorite comfort food to your blog and help with Support for Sandy. Go to Jenn Cuisine for details. And there is always time to make a donation to the Red Cross to support those in the path of Hurricane Sandy, many of whom remain without power, even now as another huge storm hits.

To all those who suffer anywhere, our hearts are with you!

For Fathers I Am Grateful

I am Grateful Live Coconut Cream Pie

In our household, the World’s Best Dad Award goes to my husband whose devotion to his son proves that dads can do just about anything. He loves coconut, so we are making him this Live Coconut Cream Pie for tonight’s Father’s Day Dinner. It is heavenly and raw with a pure, healthy goodness to show Dad just how much we love him.

As a Summer Opener, Father’s Day comes just as the weather is heating up. At this time, Mother Nature lovingly, knowingly, provides the refreshment we need. Her seasonal harvest, including cucumbers, summer squash, melons, berries and herbs like dill, mint and cilantro, is balancing and cooling.

For its chill factor and numerous other benefits, Coconut, grown in the hot tropics where it is practically always summer, is that perfect hot season food. Offering sweet, healthy hydration to restore moisture, minerals and electrolytes, coconut is so delicious and so perfect for humans it has even been used in I.V. drips.

Coconut Meat and Water make this Pie Perfect

This recipe comes from Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Grateful Recipe book by Terces Engelhart, which I so gratefully received from a friend. If there is one raw food recipe book to have, for me it is this one. Along with great recipes it is filled with techniques, inspiration, and a fabulous Resource list at the back.

With only a few dates to sweeten and a bit of spice, this Live Coconut Cream Pie is almost all coconut, making it a great reason to eat dessert and celebrate Dad all summer long!

LIVE COCONUT CREAM PIE

For The Crust

2 1/2 cups coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Heaping 1/4 cup well packed, finely chopped dates

For The Filling

1 1/4 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup coconut meat
Heaping 3/4 cup well-packed, finely chopped dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 pinches of salt
3 tablespoons lecithin
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons raw coconut butter (I used a mix of coconut oil and coconut manna)

I added a dash of Cardamom too, to aid digestion deliciously.  

Garnish

3/4 cup dry coconut flakes

I toasted half the flakes and once cool, mixed in with the raw flakes so it created a lovely dapple of gold, caramel and snow white sprinkle over the pie. It is not technically raw, unless you toast at a very low heat, very slowly, but worth it to me for the color and crunch. 

To Make the Crust

Put coconut flakes, salt, and vanilla in your food processor and process, adding small amounts of dates until it gets sticky. Press crust into a greed (with coconut butter/oil) 9-inch pie pan.

To Make the Filling

Blend coconut milk, meat, date, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add lecithin and coconut butter and blend until well incorporated. Pour into prepared crust. Set in fridge/freezer until set (about an hour). Top with thin layer of coconut flakes.

I Am Grateful’s Live Coconut Cream Pie

We made this pie yesterday for the South Park Old House Street Fair, where it was gobbled up before you could say, “Look at the detail on that charming Craftsman Bungalow!”

The Coconut Cream Pie was hosted by the Urban Gourmet folks who were there to let locals know about their imminent opening at 30th and Fern. I’ll have some of my “Dancing Plums” specialty foods there ~ things like Organic Split Mung Beans, Ayurvedic Herbal Jam, Detox Protein Shake Mix and weekly Raw Pies. I’ll let you know when it opens as I am sure we will celebrate with more Live Coconut Cream Pie.

Dancing Plums is named in memory of my father George L. Plumb

Once Dancing Plums is launched, I look forward to posting with many more simple ideas for keeping cool, strong, and elegantly at ease all summer long. I am also looking forward to my next Ayurvedic Nutrition and Cooking Class for August 7th. Lots of bubbly ideas and new inventions for that! Details are on our website.

Meanwhile, I wish you a bountiful summer of nourishing food, love and lazy days.

Namaste!