Sweet Potato Rice Pudding: the Lazy Cook’s Recipe Hacks

Iva Mae Swinford from Lubbock, Texas offered up a perfectly good Pumpkin Rice Pudding recipe for Thanksgiving from The Cooking Club of America.

And I promptly proceeded to change it.

I’ll give you her version – tasty enough. And then my changes, which involved, among other things ….. you guessed it – butter.

Iva Mae’s Pumpkin Rice Pudding

15 oz can of pure pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
12 oz can evaporated milk
2 eggs beaten
2 cups medium grain rice
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

(and a whipped topping which we will skip – buy some Cool Whip, food-tards)

Oven at 350 degrees. Whisk pumpkin, sugar, spices in a large bowl. Stir in milk and eggs. Stir in rice, raisins and 1/2 cup pecans.

Pour into 11 x 7 inch glass baking dish: place in shallow roasting pan. Add enough water to come about 1 inch up the sides of the dish.

Bake 15 minutes, stir well. Then bake 30 to 35 minutes until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.

Sweet Potato Rice Pudding

Well, the condensed milk was the first thing off the list. And the whipped topping. I substituted coconut milk. But silken tofu would work too. And I prefer prunes to raisins. And there wasn’t nearly enough fat to make it interesting. Finally, I had just bought some sweet potatoes on sale, so out with the pumpkin. This allowed me to cut the sugar in half. And I added 1/2 stick of butter.

I made it. It was very good. And well received.

But the Lazy Cook took a few bites and said,  “You know what this needs?”

So I made it again; adding in my extras. And I didn’t put it in the double boiler thingy… frankly I forgot. It came out a bit denser (which I liked), so unless you are a stickler for process or your oven burns things, skip it.

Here is my version which is only slightly more involved.

1 large baked sweet potato
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 13 oz can coconut milk: pour off thin milk, keep heavy cream
2 eggs beaten
2 cups cooked medium grain rice
3/4 cup chopped prunes
3/4 cup butter roasted pecans
1/2 stick unsalted butter melted
1 tbsp of cognac (optional)

Oven at 350 degrees. Whisk sweet potato, sweetener, spices in a large bowl. Stir in coconut cream, butter and eggs. Stir in rice, prunes, pecans, cognac.

Pour into 11 x 7 inch glass baking dish. Bake 15 minutes, stir well. Then bake 30 to 35 minutes until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.

This is a great snuggley warm winter food. Really good hot. Really good for breakfast. Just really, really good.

Enjoy.

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Tofu Cheesefake

The problem with gluten and casein intolerance is cheesecake. Well, okay, not directly. But once in a while, you miss little things like a billion calories in a vehicle of rich, thick flavored cream cheese.

So what’s a girl to do?

Cheesefake.

I’ll leave the choice of crust to you. This is an amazing dessert even if you tolerate gluten well.  So a premade graham cracker crust would work fine. The original recipe called for a 9 inch spring-form pan. To that I say “Fie!” Whatever you use, it needs to be cool and ready to go when you finish mixing the filling.

The filling is often tricky. Mine will sometimes form cracks which call for creative decorating like strawberry slices or pecans. It’s probably because I use egg yolks in the recipe which shockingly had no fat in the original. What were they thinking?

Leave the yolks out if you want to trim the fat. It won’t hurt the outcome. But in my case, nixing the fat would definitely hurt my sense of Yum.

This is a time intensive process, but it can be made ahead and it keeps well in the fridge for about a week.

Preheat your oven to 350.

1.5 pounds of tofu crème cheese (Tofutti makes a good one)

10.5 oz of silken tofu. In a pinch, soft or medium will do; but it might crack.

¾ cup sugar. You might know of a way to make stevia work, I have not figured that one out yet. Sugar is necessary for the body.

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blend well in a food processor until smooth. In batches if you have a small processor.

Pour mix into cooled crust. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the cheesecake in the warm oven for another hour. Remove and cool completely before putting it in the fridge with a tight wrap to prevent uneven cooling (and probably cracks). Cool at least four hours until well chilled.

When you are ready to serve it, hide any cracks with fruit, dabs of whole fruit jelly, whipped cream or any other gilding of the lily you think is necessary. Trust me, this is so good and so light, you might just be tempted to eat it all in one sitting, so to heck with how it looks.

I was so impressed by the nutritional information on this one I actually kept it on hand:

3670 calories in the entire cake. So divide total calories by number of servings. 1 serving = 3670 calories, 2 = 1835, etc. Stop dividing when the guilt goes away.

But they list it as 10 servings, so:

5 g. protein

26 g. fat

28 g carbohydrates

1 g. fiber

450 mg sodium

Less heart clogging than a traditional cheesecake and it makes a great breakfast food too.