[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
I had hoped to post recipes for both Easter and Passover (occurring only one day apart this year), as a way to help celebrate each. Well, even the best laid plans, as they say. . .
My attempts to perfect the Eggy Soufflé I mentioned earlier were to no avail, yielding truly abysmal results: the interior was too soggy, the crust was too hard, and the poor thing sank like the spirits of a toddler who just learned there’s no Easter Bunny. It does look good, however, so I’m going to keep at it. For the time being, though, scratch that one.
No fear, thought I, there’s still the feast of Passover–and Mock Chopped Liver!
When I was a child, my mom used to make a mock chopped liver from cooked green beans (the canned variety, which were called “French Style Green Beans,” for some reason–did they trill their Rs, or something? Grrrrrrrrrreen beans!). When I found a similar recipe featuring eggplant, I was certain I’d hit upon my holiday jackpot. I roasted the eggplant, scooped the flesh, sautéed the onion, blended the whole mess in the food processor. . . and wound up with a serviceable, if not overly flavorful, eggplant dip. No, not exactly holiday fare. And so, scratch that one, too.
While contemplating dressing The Girls in bunny ears for an Easter shot (definitely scratch that one), I suddenly remembered this magical, ridiculously easy recipe–a Flash in the Pan that I’d actually intended to blog about almost a year ago (complete with original photo). I call this “Chia Tapioca,” and it’s one of my favorite quick desserts. I could eat this pudding almost every day and never tire of it–even when I’m not on the ACD. I like it that much!
If you’re a fan of tapioca pudding, you will adore this dessert. Essentially, all you do is add a liquid to whole chia seeds, allow the mix to sit for 20-30 minutes (or more), then gobble up with a spoon. Because the chia absorbs up to five times its volume, the seeds plump and soften, creating a slightly gel-like pudding base around them. The longer the mixture sits before you eat it, the larger and softer the chia “pearls” become.
You can switch up the flavors by choosing different juices or alternative milks. For instance, the HH prefers his pudding with chocolate almond milk, while my all-time favorite variation is made with strawberry soymilk (which I’m sorely missing at the moment, as it contains sugar).
As a bonus, chia seeds provide an incredible source of Omega 3 fatty acids (as I’ve mentioned before, they’ve overtaken flax as the star in that area), they’re high in protein, and they contain a host of antioxidants. So you can preserve your heart health, decrease inflammation, promote bowel regularity and feed your brain–all while enjoying a delicious, decadent-tasting dessert!
And because chia is a gluten-free seed, it’s also acceptable for Passover. Beauty!
To everyone who’s celebrating this weekend, whether Easter, Passover, or both–enjoy your holiday!
“Elsie, did you see this pudding? I’d dress up in bunny ears for a taste of that. . .”
“Zip it, Chaser, do you want a repeat of our Christmas embarrassment? Just whine a little and look sad, and Mum will give you the pudding anyway.”
Almost Instant Chia “Tapioca” Pudding
This recipe offers the most basic version of this pudding, but variations are endless–add whipped topping, puréed pumpkin or squash, melted chocolate or chocolate chips, shredded coconut, chopped fresh fruit. . . it’s all good!
2 Tbsp (30 ml) whole white chia seeds (the grey are fine, too, but they don’t look as pretty)
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup (80 ml to 120 ml) liquid of choice: plain or flavored soy, almond, rice, hemp, oat, or other milk, or juice
1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) additional sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar, etc.), if desired
Place chia in a small bowl and add the liquid. Stir well to try to submerge most of the seeds. Allow to sit 20-30 minutes, stirring once after about 5 minutes to prevent clumping. Stir again before serving. Makes one serving.
Note: you can also mix the chia and liquid, cover and refrigerate overnight for a lovely, soft breakfast pudding the next morning.
Anti-Candida Variation: Use unsweetened almond or soy milk with 5-7 drops of stevia for sweetness.
Last Year at this Time: Tagine of Quinoa with Chickpeas, Olives and Prunes
© 2009 Ricki Heller
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