My nephew Elijah has recently discovered the joy of the word "Delish." Munching on some apple one dinner time he regaled the family with his excellent command of the English language at the grand old age of 19 months. This got me to thinking; what constitutes as "delish" these days?
In the new year every man and his dog is posting on facebook and instagram their veganuary meals or low carb, high fat banting journey or the joys of the store cupboard recipes when trying to pinch pennies, as January is a long haul when you have had a blow out Christmas. Yes, I am guilty of all of the aforementioned. Is it all really that delicious? I watched a recipe video on facebook this week, posted by Goodful, for Lemon Chicken and Spaghetti Squash and it looked so good. I am usually very sceptical about recipes I see on facebook but I thought I would give this one a go. It was low carb blah, blah, blah and I happened to have the key ingredients lying around the house, which is unusual for me. To my surprise it was quite a tasty dish and even Kyle said it was "ayoba." Ayoba means cool in South African slang according to the online urban dictionary.
Over the festive period I had to rack my brains for a recipe for dessert. Someone very close to us in on a special diet - not to lose weight or for any reason other than good food is the best medicine. They cannot eat dairy, sugar, not even sweetners. Certain fruits, some nuts or gluten to name but a few. How in goodness name was I to make a "delish" dessert when my list of ingredients was fairly limited? To the recipe books! Michelle Cranston, the food editor for Australian Women's Weekly is also a food writer and has produced a number of recipe books over the years. I have 3 of them. So I flicked through for inspiration and saw a recipe for rice pudding. Light bulb moment. Yes, I know, rice pudding is traditionally full of milk and sugar and her recipe was no different but I was sure I could tweak it. So in keeping with current trends and dietary requirements I replaced the milk and cream for coconut milk and coconut cream, none of your light kinds mind you. The sugar I replaced for honey, I am sure you could use xylitol if you are vegan, but in this case I couldn't. Eh Voila!
For quality control purposes I had a few of teaspoons of pudding while it was cooking, while it was cooling and when it was cold. Even though I say so myself it was "Delish". The end product went down a treat and I was very happy with my dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, Rose Tinged Rice Pudding with Pistachios and Fresh Raspberries. Thank you Michelle Cranston for the idea. So to sum up, if you put your mind to it your veganuary, banting, clean eating and store cupboard staple meals can be "delish," as long as you put a little love in them and above all use quality ingredients.
500ml coconut milk
3Tbsp runny honey
2tsp finely grated orange zest
1/4tsp fine cooking salt
75g pudding rice or white short-grain rice
125ml coconut cream, beaten until a little fluffier
65g raw pistachios, chopped or whole
Bring the coconut milk to a boil in a saucepan over a medium heat with the sugar, orange zest and salt. Add the rice, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every so often to make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. When the rice has cooked let it cool. Once cool beat in the coconut cream and the rose-water.
Spoon the pudding into small bowls straight away and top with pistachios, the raspberries and if you like another drizzle of honey. Or put into a large bowl and into the fridge until you are ready to serve and garnish.
For a winter option use orange blossom water instead of rose-water and top with slices of orange poached in orange juice, honey, cinnamon and cloves. The kitchen will smell heavenly!
Have fun with your food, don't limit your possibilities, forget the fads and above all else enjoy!
Bon Appetit my lovelies,
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. - Anthony Bourdain