Back in my days as a single lady, I got used to dealing with a lot of leftovers.
One day’s sheet of roasted vegetables made the next day’s wrap fillings.
One night’s mashed sweet potatoes made the next day’s Shepard’s pie topping.
One evening’s batch of cookies made the next night’s… cookie. (<< Don’t mess with a good thing!)
Sadly, since moving in with a man, leftovers have basically become a thing of the past. So, when there was some unseasoned brown rice to spare at the end of our dinner a few days ago, it was cause for celebration.
Or, at least, a good reason to make a fun, new breakfast.
Chocolate Rice Pudding
You didn’t read that wrong, either: This is really an awesome breakfast recipe!
I know what you’re thinking, “Chocolate for breakfast? Hello, sugar high!”
On the contrary, although there is big chocolate taste, there isn’t any table sugar in this recipe. Instead, the faint bit of sweetness comes from one tablespoon of maple syrup. That’s doable, right?
Better yet, by consuming cocoa in its unsweetened form, you’re getting some major nutritional rewards: According to Harvard researchers, among other benefits, cocoa can help decrease blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
- 3/4 C unsweetened almond milk (alternatively, any milk)
- 2/3 C cooked brown rice, cooled (<< leftovers!)
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1 T cocoa
- 1 t cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- ~1 T pure maple syrup
- In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Add in rice and vanilla. Return to a simmer and continue stirring for 3-5 minutes, until mixture thickens.
- In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon, cocoa, cornstarch and pinch of salt. Stir into simmering rice mixture. Continue stirring for an additional 2-4 minutes, until desired thickness is attained.
- Remove from heat and mix in maple syrup.
Notes: This makes two side servings, which would pair well with fresh fruit, or one large breakfast serving.
I actually had this breakfast on my first day of school and it kept me filled, focused and (mostly) enthusiastic all the way until noon. Then it was time to break into the brown bagged lunch that I half-heartedly prepared.
I say “half-heartedly” because, as much as I thrive on routine, it is still an adjustment to get back into the swing of classes. I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can, since I know I won’t have it to fall back on next year.
Then, I’ll have to figure out life. Just don’t get me started on that topic unless you want to see a face like this…
Questions: What do you like to do with leftovers? Any good leftover reinventions?