Maple Quinoa Pudding with Ricotta
I really am a pretty big fan of quinoa. I love its texture, those little grain bubbles, and how they become translucent when cooked with that little thread running through the center. I've told you already about how I sometimes eat it in the morning, prepared pretty much like oatmeal and with many of the same fixings. And I still like that way. But I like this way even better.
If I had to say, I'd choose this as the best way to eat quinoa for breakfast. Or dessert. Or throughout the day, with spoonfuls taken furtively from the bowl in the fridge. However, it does require a few notes on ingredients. The original recipe calls for fat free ricotta, which you can use. But imagine how much better it would be with at least part-skim. And if you don't like tofu, you can always skip it and just double the ricotta (or replace it with vanilla yogurt, like Megan did!). I personally love silken tofu in things like fruit shakes, so it was perfectly at home for me here.
Also, the recipe is kind of specific about what kinds of dried fruit to use, which is just silly since you can do anything you want. And next time I make it, I might even consider going a little retro and adding in drained canned pineapple chunks or, maybe even better, chopped drained mandarin oranges. Dated? Probably. But I love those little mandarin oranges. I also happened to have a dwindling bag of red quinoa, so that's what I used because it's pretty and it was on-hand. But you can just as easily use the normal kind with no difference in flavor.
Maple Quinoa Pudding
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup ricotta (the recipe says fat free, which you can get away with, but wouldn't even part-skim be better?)
1 cup silken tofu (if you can't get behind tofu, leave it out and double the ricotta or replace it with vanilla yogurt)
3-4 tablespoons pure, Real, maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 handfuls of dried fruit, according to what you like. Some suggestions: current, raisins, dried pineapple, dried apricots, dried papaya. I used pineapple and currents. (Another idea would be to use drained canned pineapple chunks or chopped mandarin oranges.)
In a large pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Be ready with the lid, then add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow the quinoa to cook for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk together the ricotta and the tofu until smooth. Add the maple syrup, start with 3 tablespoons and add the forth only if you want it. Add the vanilla, then stir in the cooked quinoa (you don't really need to wait for it to cook). Fold in the dried fruit. You can either refrigerate it before serving so that it's a uniform coolness, or just dig in. I did both.
By The Way:
Do you like those gray napkins? I know, they're lovely, aren't they (that's not really a question). Well, I got them on Etsy from my new favorite seller. I am majorly coveting those beautiful colander napkins. Anyone want to send them to me?