If you are like me, when the weather turns cold, you crave warm, cozy comfort foods. One of the foods I find most comforting is rice pudding. I’ve made rice pudding several different ways over the years. When I was growing up, we used to make the Betty Crocker recipe, which was a very eggy baked custard affair with lots of sugar, lots of egg yolks and lots of yumminess. I’ve also made it on the stove-top using a recipe that involved a lot of stirring. Both of these methods yielded tasty results, and… large quantities.
When I was a kid, we would sometimes have a bowl of rice with milk and sugar for breakfast, and it was one of my favorites! Yesterday I was craving a bowl of rice for breakfast so I decided to put a pot of brown rice on to cook while I was busy with my morning routine. I only started eating brown rice in place of the usual white rice pretty recently, and I think I have grown to prefer its nutty goodness. It takes a little while to cook, 45- 50 minutes, but it takes me a little while to get prettified enough for work, to pack my lunch and to make sure that I have my clothes on with the proper side facing out. Hey, mornings are tough! Even with the usual concerns about what I was going to wear and whether Anna Karenina would fit into my work bag along with my uncomfy boots and my lunch, I figured I had time to cook a pot of rice.
I followed the directions on my rice package: Put 2 1/4 cups of water, a cup of rice (this was for four servings) and a pinch of salt in a 2-3 quart saucepan, bring to a boil, stir once or twice, reduce the heat to a simmer (I turned it down to low), cover the pot and let it cook for 45 minutes. After I got the rice to a simmer and put on the lid, I hopped in the shower. After the 45 minutes was up, the directions then told me to turn off the heat, remove the lid and let it stand for five minutes before I fluffed it with a fork. Aside from putting it in the pot and fluffing it at the end, there was really little effort involved, and I was rewarded with enough rice for breakfast as well as leftovers.
I had a serving of my rice for breakfast yesterday with some dried peaches, some honey and a little splash of unsweetened almond breeze:
This morning, I was planning to do the same thing until I had the sudden craving for rice pudding. Using the basic ideas of the recipes I made as a kid, I came up with my Just Sweet Enough Rice Pudding For One. It doesn’t have a lot of sugar in it, but I think that having less sugar makes the raisins really pop. I usually try to use around 4 ww points for breakfast, and this fit the bill. You might want to add more sugar. You might want to replace the sugar with honey or splenda. You might want to skip the raisins. You might want to use a whole egg instead of just the whites. I’m sure that any of those variations would work just fine. Those decisions are totally up to you, of course, but I will say that I like mine this way.
Just Sweet Enough Rice Pudding For One
2 egg whites (Using 1/4 cup of egg beaters in place of the egg whites results in the same points total.)
1/4 cup skim milk
1/8 t vanilla extract
1/2 T sugar (You may want more, as this isn’t incredibly sweet. That’s fine. Just make sure to count the extra points! I find that 1/2 Tbsp of Torani sugar free vanilla, coconut or almond syrup makes it sweeter without adding points.)
1/2 t ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg (freshly grated if possible… yum!!)
pinch of salt
1 T raisins
2/3 cup of cooked brown rice
Into a small microwaveable bowl (probably the same size bowl you use to make instant oatmeal in the microwave), combine the egg whites, milk and vanilla extract beating them with a fork until they are slightly frothy. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat again with the fork. Add the raisins and the rice and mix well. Pop this into the microwave for three minutes. Let it sit for one minute. Stir the pudding and then sprinkle with extra cinnamon for decoration if desired. I always desire a little decoration with my breakfast!
I liked it so much, I decided to have another bowl this evening after I got home from the gym. I also thought I should test it out once more before I recommended it to you. In addition to the fact that this satisfies my rice pudding craving in a healthier way than my old childhood versions, I love the fact that I get to eat the whole bowl. I’m also very happy that there are no leftovers!