Being pregnant has made me realize something upsetting: Marketing works. Most humans on this planet are inundated with ads all the time (particularly if you live in the USA), but I think most of us feel like we’re just ignoring them and that they have no sway on our habits, spending, cravings, etc. I now realize that we’re not giving these images enough credit. For example, I follow a lot of people in the food space – chefs, food stylists, food magazines, food companies, food blogs, etc – and I used to scroll through my Instagram feed in the morning and look at their food pics passively, thinking they were just pretty pictures. Now, because I am pregnant and probably more sensitive, I have come to realize that these photos literally dictate my entire food day. If I wake up and the first thing I see is a photo of mozzarella sticks, my cravings for the day will center around getting that exact dish, or at least mozzarella. If I see a pretty popsicle, I’ll be damned if I don’t find myself purchasing one later that day. I was oblivious to this connection until I found myself reaching for one of those shitty tubs of rice pudding at my local deli after I had seen an Insta photo of the stuff just that morning. I NEVER EAT/CRAVE/THINK ABOUT/EVEN CONSIDER rice pudding. Literally, NEVER. But even as I realized I was being a slave to a marketing ploy/Instagram photo, I just HAD to have that pudding (again, being pregnant probably did not help). Then I got home and had a spoonful of the store-bought stuff and remembered why I never buy the stuff – YUCK! Still, that morning’s rice pudding image had the craving burned on my brain and churning through my subconscious, so I set out to find a better, impatient foodie friendly recipe.
This rice pudding recipe is good for any time of year, but I have to say it’s been particularly wonderful in this summer’s intense heat and humidity. The coconut milk reminds me of being on the beach and gives a lovely thick creaminess without the dairy (something I never want in the summer time), and the lemongrass, ginger, and cinnamon keep it light and fresh. Once you make this, you’ll never go back to the store bought kind again. I’d also like to say to all my fellow pregnant ladies out there that this rice pudding was really helpful when I was feeling horribly sick and nauseous in the first trimester! It was light, yet also substantial enough to help keep my energy up, and the ginger really helped give at least a bit of respite from feeling awful. Feeling more like rhubarb and black rice? I got a great recipe for that too!
Hope you all enjoy and cheers!
Vegan Thai Coconut Rice Pudding
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 (13.66 ounce) cans coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 inch piece ginger, finely grated
3 inch piece lemon grass
1 cinnamon stick, broken
Pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried fruit such as mango or pineapple, chopped
1 pint vanilla rice or almond milk ice cream, such as Rice Dream or Almond Dream
- Stir together the rice, coconut milk, sugar, ginger, lemongrass, and cinnamon stick in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, over medium heat; cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the pudding becomes very thick, about 15 minutes.
- While the pudding is cooking, toast the shredded coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.
- Fluff the rice, and stir in the vanilla rice ice cream and dried fruit. Continue to let the pudding cool. Before serving, remove the lemon grass and cinnamon stick, and top with toasted coconut.