It’s no shocker that I’m a total carboholic. I love the stuff. I could easily polish a plain baguette for dinner, and I always get multiple servings of any grains at the table, be it rice, pasta, or more bread. It’s my kryptonite. My poison. My cherry on top. Enchiladas are basically nothing without the tortilla. And those people who choose to eat burgers without the bun–not for a gluten reason, but just as a preference–you make my heart cry.
So when it comes to rice? I lurrrrve the stuff. We used to have rice as a kid all the time. I remember being OBSESSED with rice pilaf out of the box growing up. We ate it so much that my mom had to begin buying multiple boxes for one dinner because my siblings and I would fight over the third-and-fourth-helpings of rice. It was just so perfect–the perfect texture that held its firmness even after it was cooked–and lent such a nice bite yet a very mellow flavor to anything it was mixed with. It managed to be both the star of the dish while also letting the other flavors shine through. It’s basically like a magic grain!
From Japanese sushi to American jambalaya, rice is such a versatile grain that is essential in many global cuisines. Every variety has its own distinct flavor, aroma and texture. RiceSelect™ knows that creating the most delicious dishes possible starts with choosing the right rice.
When RiceSelect asked me to create something using their Royal Blend® with Quinoa, I immediately flashed back to My Strange Rice-Pilaf Addiction days. But rice pilaf is so predictable and I’m a dessert blogger, so I knew I had to stretch my mind a little larger than my enormous love for rice pilaf. Alas, I remembered someone brilliant in history invented rice pudding, and I was determined to create it since — *shocker* — I’ve actually never had it. Maybe I thought my heart couldn’t expand to any other rice product, but man, I was wrong. Rice pudding, quite possibly, could be my new favorite! The Royal Blend with Quinoa is a unique grain combination of Texmati Light Brown, Red Quinoa and (isn’t this the coolest name ever?!) Freekeh. The delicious flavor of Texmati® combines beautifully with these two ancient grains; quinoa, with its slightly nutty flavor, and freekeh, with a subtle smoky flavor, adding visual and flavorful appeal to any meal! (And also, you can tell people you ate super freekehhhh, yoooowwwwww). Anywho, back to this pudding business. I mixed the Royal Blend with Quinoa rice with some fluffy Cool Whip, creamy chocolate pudding and some crushed Oreos to create delectable chocolate pudding parfaits. And with Halloween around the corner, I spookified them by adding gummy worms and candy bugs and bones which are fun ways to decorate these parfaits for the kids and encourage them to eat their grains Dig in!!
- 1 cup RiceSelect Royal Blend with Quinoa
- 2 cups water
- Dash of salt
- 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip Free, thawed
- 1 small box sugar free/fat free instant chocolate fudge pudding
- 1 cup fat free or low-fat milk
- ¼ cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1 pkg Oreo cookies, crushed into coarse crumbs
- Gummy worms
- Candy bugs, candy bones, candy eyeballs
- First, make your rice: in a medium saucepan, bring together the Royal Blend with Quinoa, water and dash of salt together; bring to a boil. Stir once and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let cook on low heat about 20 minutes.
- Once rice has cooked, remove from burner and let it cool a bit to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, spoon the rice into a gallon-size Ziploc baggy. Seal all the air out and place the baggy into a large bowl filled with ice water. Let it chill in the ice bath for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in another large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk until combined. Gently fold in the Cool Whip to incorporate, stirring in the mini chocolate chips at the last second. Finally, fold in the rice carefully.
- Let the rice pudding sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to allow the rice to soak in the flavors and so everything can get acquainted.
- Spoon the rice pudding evenly among parfait glasses or bowls. Top with the crushed cookies, gummy worms, bug and bone sprinkles and eyeball sprinkles, if you’d like. Serve immediately.
- For a more grown up version, consider spooning the mixture into martini glasses and topping with chocolate syrup “spider webs” and a raspberry garnish.
*recipe adapted from Something Swanky Admittedly, I was kinda scared the pudding would taste, well, rice-y. But after letting it set overnight (which I think is the KEY to a successful rice pudding!!) allowed the rice to kind of soak in all that chocolate and milk and softened the texture a little so it didn’t remind me of the same rice I’d have in my beloved pilaf. It was soft, still maintaining a nice bite, and married so nicely with the creamy chocolate fudge pudding. I loved that this Royal Blend with Quinoa blend added some nutrition to the pudding — the heart-healthy quinoa and the unique freekeh added such subtle yet delicious background flavors — that complex nuttiness — to the pudding. It almost tasted like Nutella!
RiceSelect wants YOU to have the chance to cook with their delicious, healthy rice blends too! Answer the question below in a comment and you could win a $100 Visa gift card to buy RiceSelect to create your own flavorful, healthy meal experience from the comfort of your kitchen!!
How would you get ‘freekeh’ with RiceSelect’s Royal Blend with Quinoa? In the meantime, if you’re looking to purchase RiceSelect, use the RiceSelect store locator, or conveniently purchase it online at Amazon.com, as product availability may be limited. You can also connect with RiceSelect on Facebook and Twitter.
Good luck, and have a freekeh day!!
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