Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quinoa Rice Pudding with Saffron.

Happiness. We all hope to find it in different places, within different scenarios, among the people in our lives and in endless ways. Our mind somehow has a picture of what is supposed to make us happy. The picture revolves around things like achieving a certain goal, landing the dream job, owning a house, and so much more. I am no exception to this. I have always set goals in my life and assumed that achieving those goals would make me happy. Achieving one goal lead on to another and another and it never ended. I constantly kept adding on to the list of things that's supposedly is going to make me happy and my quest for the so called " happiness" continued.

There was a point when I got tired of running after the things in my so called "happiness list", achieving some, failing miserably at some and avoiding some for the fear of failure. It took a while but I finally realized that happiness does not come from achieving things on a list. I still believe in having goals and working towards them, but that's not what being happy is all about. Being happy is that surprise hug my little guy gives me, receiving an unexpected text from the love of my life in the middle of a crappy day, waking up early enough to watch the sunrise, and being thankful for the wonderful men in my life.

On that note of happiness, I made this pudding with some left over rice and quinoa. The pudding feels like a burst of happiness in each bite, filled with flavors of love and warmth reminding you of all the wonderful things in your life.
Cooked Rice and Quinoa

Rice puddings are usually made by boiling rice in milk. In this recipe I used left over rice and quinoa that were already cooked. I mixed the rice and quinoa and boiled them in milk with a pinch of saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from a flower. The dried stigmas of the flowers are harvested and are used in various cuisines. It takes close of 70,000 blossoms to get a pound of saffron, so it is a bit expensive. However, a little goes a long way and you really don't need more than a pinch to get the amazing  saffron flavor. Saffron adds a creamy yellow color making this a simple yet exquisite pudding.

1 cup of cooked rice

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

3 cups of milk - I used 2% Milk

A pinch of saffron

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of sweetened coconut flakes - This is optional. It can be substituted with raisins or any dried fruit.

1/2 tsp of cardamom powder.

Boil the milk with saffron, sugar and cardamom.

Once the milk comes to a boil add the rice, quinoa and coconut flakes.

Boil the mixture for about 20 - 30 minutes until it thickens.

Keep an eye on the mixture while its boiling and stir it in between.

Let it cool completely and refrigerate for at least  an hour.

This is best served when cold.

If the consistency is too thick after refrigerating, go ahead and add more milk before serving.

The pudding can also be garnished with nuts of your choice - usually pistachios go very well with this.

The little guy brought home this cute little pot he made in his pottery class. He was very proud of his pottery skills. Enjoying the pudding in the pot of love and watching the smile on my little guy's face defines the very essence of being happy to me. Goals and achievements are good but finding happiness in simple things is priceless.

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