The streets are quiet, except for the low rumble of the occasional snowplow or the shuffling of boots walking down the sidewalk. My house is quiet too, just my book and the occasional creaking of the floor boards settling to keep me company. Peaceful as it was, by 7:30 all I could think of was breakfast.
I wanted something warm and creamy to tuck in to and snow days always call for something a little bit special. Immediately I thought of my Mom's rice pudding. I made it a lot last [school] year but I've pretty much given up white rice entirely now, and haven't made it since. Actually I hadn't even so much as thought about it until recently when the recipes started showing up all over blog world. Everyone has their own little twist to put on the classic favorite, but one idea in particular caught my attention.
Quinoa instead of rice. I knew I would be trying this soon and then I promptly forgot about it. I've gotten so caught up in my breakfast routine that it took me close to a month to finally get to it. Actually, I've become quite picky and boring about breakfast. I eat greek yogurt or steel cut oats every single morning and I get pretty [unnecessarily] fussy if I'm forced to have something else. Finally I reasoned with myself and decided today was the day. Quinoa has a pretty similar texture to steel cut oats anyway.
In the end, it was good but it's not rice pudding. It doesn't get nearly as creamy without all that refined white rice starch and; In all honestly, it just tasted like oats with milk and sugar...and double the carb content. It left me thinking what's the point? I could solve some of that issue by adding a little cream, but that's a bit excessive for me, at least for breakfast. Next time I think I'll just go back to the traditional white rice. Either way the recipe is the same just use whichever grain your prefer.
I used 1% milk but feel free to switch it for whatever fat % you prefer. Fat-free is okay with white rice but I don't recommend it for the quinoa. You could also replace 1 cup of milk with light or heavy cream for a richer pudding. I like my pudding a little looser but If you like a drier result use 1 less cup liquid.
Serves 8 to 10.
1 cup quinoa or white rice
4 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries (or cranberries, blueberries, raisins, currents etc.)
In a small pot heat milk, sugar and vanilla until almost boiling.
Add quinoa or rice and bring down to a simmer.
Let cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Don't worry if a bit of a skin forms just stir it back in.
Add dried fruit and cook 10 minutes more.
The pudding should be thick and the grain should be cooked through.
Remove from heat and eat immediately.
Surprisingly, this actually freezes fairly well. The Consistency will be a little thinner than before you froze it but certainly not bad. Especially if you are just one person and have trouble finishing things like me.