Friday, April 20, 2012

coconut quinoa pudding + very inspiring blogger award

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i adore spring, a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.
every year i look forward to the freshness & renewed energy spring brings to the garden, neighbors and table. the first beautiful day of spring everyone walks about town with huge smiles on their faces. spring is a happy time - who doesn't like happiness?

this sweet treat reminds me of spring- full of goodness & happiness.
to simply put it, coconut quinoa pudding topped with sliced almonds, chia & wild blueberries puts a smile on my face much like the first day of spring does.

truth is i have never had or  made any type of rice pudding. after seeing a few different posts & pins on rice pudding i thought I'd give it a try- i became even more intrigued when i saw a few version's made with quinoa. it was officially placed on my must make list.  i was inspired by a version from Ashlae over at Oh Lady Cakes, however i can't seem to find the link to her version, regardless you should head over and check out her blog, she is pretty amazing.

the simple ingredients in this quinoa pudding are quinoa (of course), coconut milk, coconut almond milk, vanilla, salt & Vietnamese cinnamon (amazing cinnamon!)
frozen wild blueberries from last summer, chia seeds and almonds top the finished pudding
i love the contrast of the toppings with the pudding - silky, sweet & crunch all in one bite

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the coconut milk adds a creaminess to the overall pudding - and i absolutely love anything to do with coconut. actually, you should definitely top a few puddings with toasted coconut flakes

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blueberries for antioxidants, chia seeds for omega 3, fiber & proteins, almonds for  vitamin e
almonds have long been revered as symbol of wellness and health
a perfect bit of sweetness
this recipe can easily be halved - the full recipe does make a fair amount, which could always be enjoyed throughout the morning at breakfast or as an afternoon snack
Coconut Quinoa Pudding
serves 6

you will need:
1 cup quinoa rinsed
1/2 cup agave
pinch of salt
2 cups coconut milk (i used light)
1 cup coconut almond milk
1/2 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scrapped

1/2 cup wild blueberries
1/4 cup sliced raw almonds
1 tsp chia seeds

in a medium sauce pan add quinoa through vanilla - gently whisk until cinnamon is evenly distributed. bring to a bowl, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes until mixture thickens. remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

ladle out 6 portions and top each serving with blueberries & almonds; sprinkle with chia seeds. if saving a portion of the pudding for later store in a container without the toppings and top just before enjoying.


...wait there's more!

Gabby from the veggie nook made my day last week- i cannot believe how many amazing people are out in the "blogging" community,it seems each week i have the pleasure of meeting another creative and sweet person through blogging. I was presented the very inspiring blogger award by Gabby @ the veggie nook , i feel very lucky to have received this award and can't wait to share with you a few of my favorite people that inspire me on a daily basis
(truth is every single blog i read and relationship i have formed inspires me on a daily basis)

Award Rules:
  1. Choose 5 blogs you find inspiring to award this to.
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger that nominated you by linking back to them.
  3. Post the award on your blog and list the bloggers you are awarding it to.
  4. Share 5 facts about yourself!
Willow @ Will Cook for Friends - Willow has an absolutely beautiful blog - you get the whole package with Willow; gorgeous photos, inventive recipes, entertaining posts and just an all around wonderful person and friend
Courtney @ Fig Tree: I love Courtney's Blog- her photos & recipes are clean and beautiful. every time i make one of her recipes it never disappoints. Not only is her blog super sweet, but she is one of the sweetest & thoughtful girls i know
Alison @ this homemade life - Everything Alison creates is beautiful. her photos are stunning and her blog is all about real life. i never leave her space uninspired, i love how her pictures always tell a story. one day i hope to build & create as great a family as she has.
Ella @ Lifeologia: Oh Ella, I can't get enough of this girl and her blog. She is truly inspiring, you need to  go see for yourself.
Ashlae @ Oh Lady Cakes: Ashlae's blog is so much fun - her humor and outlook on life inspires me. I never fail to laugh at least once while reading her posts. if i had a multiple personalities disorder i would want at least one of them to be just like ashlae.

okay - 5 facts about me

1. i never like to write fun facts about me...but i LOVE reading fun facts about others
2. i am a perfectionist and can be too hard on myself a lot of the time
3. if i could fly down to DC every weekend to be with my sister and eat all weekend at the fabulous vegan restaurants they have i would
4. i want to live on the west coast at some point in my life
5. my dream home has a big barn that i would renovate to include a loft studio where i would blog, create recipes, practice my photography. the lower half of the barn would be my guest house, this said guest house and loft studio is already designed in my head.



  1. Congrats! And thank you so, so much, Heather... I am so honored to get this award from you, it means a lot to me. :)

    Also, I'm exactly the same on 1, 2, 4, and 5 of your facts. Not quite 3, since I don't know your sister, but I still really want to travel around DC and experience all the great restaurants!

    And that pudding... it looks so good for dessert, but also like a super healthy way to start the day. I seriously have to make this sometime! :D

    1. Well you certainly are one of the most inspiring bloggers I know!

      I am heading to DC next weekend if you want to hitch a plane ride and meet us at BWI - sightseeing and yummy food included :)

    2. Haha, thanks for the invite! I love in old movies how 'hitching a plane' is so easy to do on a whim. Wish it were that easy now a'days. *Dreams wistfully of DC*

      And ditto - I literally thought, as I read about the award: 'well dang, I need to pick five bloggers *other than* Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes?' ;)

    3. Aha! Finally! I accepted the award here:

      Thank you again! :D

  2. My goodness, what a nice way to start the day. Thank you! We've been enjoying a little more quinoa lately and I love the idea of making it into a pudding. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. You are so welcome - it is well deserved!

      Quinoa has definitely become more popular in our home that last few months - I love its versatility :)

  3. Ok, not going to lie - waking up to this made me smile reaaaaally big. Despite the fact that my stomach is trying to rid itself of the rest of last nights dinner.

    Anyhow - thank you! And I'm with you on all of your little facts, except I'd fly to Ohio to be with my five (yes, five!) brothers.

    PS - adorable wooden spoons and as always.. gorgeous photos!

    1. awww I hope you feel Better Ash, being sick is never fun. I'm glad this was able to make your day a little brighter :)

      WOW 5 brothers - there must be some craziness at your family celebrations!

  4. I LOVE your blog! Your pictures are divine, and I just Pinned a handful of them! You are definitely inspiring me to work on my food styling, not to mention great ideas for recipes!

    Also love the way you write. You are very genuine. I love it! The award is well earned!!


    PS. Let me know when you move out west! I'll be right behind you!

    1. Hi Lyndsay! Thank you so much for your wonderful compliments, you totally made my day :)

      I'll tell you what, you move out west with me in trade for PT to get those abs of your - you must have super focus, dedication and mad workout skillz...yes I just used mad *& skillz in the same sentence :)

  5. Oops!
    That above comment should have gone here! Sorry! Not very familiar with blogspot.:/

  6. what an awesome version of rice pudding! i was never a fan of it back in the day, but i'm sure i'd LOVE your quinoa and coconut version now ;)

    1. It was so good - I keep sneaking spoonfuls just before I leave for work; it is so good morning or night!

  7. I love these pictures - so pretty! I keep seeing various recipes for forms of rice pudding, but I've never actually made it either. I think coconut and quinoa is the way to go though, sounds yummy! Also, I love the sounds of your dream home - I can just picture you blogging from your loft!

    1. With all the goodness jammed into this I certainly never felt guilty about eating it - just the right amount of sweetness - ...someday I will have that Barn and loft , along with my Dream Kitchen :0

  8. Awe, thank you so very much Heather!!! xoxox :) You made my week! *HUGS* You are so sweet! The award means a lot to me, especially since I find your blog to be incredibly inspiring! Case-in-point, this quinoa coconut pudding is so creative and looks fantastic. I love the photos - they embody spring. I want to eat the blueberries right off the screen. *HAH* Nom, nom, nom....

    1. I loved everything about this recipe, it was so much fun (and easy) to make!

      And YOU Miss Coourt are totally inspiring :)

  9. Congrats on the award and for creating a wonderful pudding recipe - simply divine :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. Congratulations on the award.. you totally deserve it!
    Love this springy pudding! With all those blueberries and good cinnamon. love that subtle white background.. it makes the pudding look so pretty.:)
    i think it is time to consider a move to the west coast.. and that big barn is much cheaper and easily available on a gorgeous mountainside in the northwest;)

    1. I love when you see and love the SAME elements in a photo as I do Richa - it makes me smile knowing that it doesn't go unnoticed - hmmmm I just have to convince Justin an start looking at realestate!

    2. I notice the texture and color play these days to learn from them. coz i can never figure out what to do for certain foods:)! the textured white compliments the pictures perfectly.

    3. I love learning from others too and playing around with textures and colors to see what works with a certain set!

  11. I haven't eaten pudding in about a gazillion years, and I've never made it from scratch! I should though... thanks for inspiring me!

    1. It was so east Barb and totally made all my thoughts that "rice pudding's" were for old people :0...maybe thats just grapenut pudding :)

  12. Lovely recipe and I must say your 5 things are kinda like me - the barn studio sounds like perfection from my dream too ;) Are you a virgo?

    1. The Barn Studio is my biggest wish - I am always reminding Justin of my, I mean our dream home. I get the Barn Studio and he gets the 3 car garage/workshop :)

      I am actually a Cancer!

  13. ps. hope you get lots of sister togetherness as often as possible!

    1. We do try - I fly down about 2-3 times a year and she comes home ofter. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she is moving back home for good in July :)

  14. This sounds delicious -- and your photos are gorgeous!

  15. Yay :)

    Yummy looking pudding! looove quinoa and coconut!

    1. I love unsweetened coconut in just about anything - and quinoa has been making multiple weekly appearances over at our house lately!


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