So, I’ve been on this kick lately of creating entire menus each week either for gatherings or for when you’re feeling a little fancy. I don’t make it a habit to cook up an appetizer or side, a main entree, AND a dessert every night. Dear God, just the thought makes me tired.
I secretly (or not so secretly) hope to make enough for leftovers to avoid cooking every day. Truth be told, I’m usually in the kitchen 4-6 hours on fresh meal days, not accounting for recipe sourcing and grocery shopping. I shoot to complete my most labor and time-intensive meal on Sunday, then plan two quick weeknight meals that I can whip up in an hour or so. Leftovers are key.
I didn’t plan adequately this week and have already made all three of the recipes I had mapped out. Not entirely sure what I’m going to pull out of my you-know-what for dinner until we grocery shop again on Saturday. I’m sure there will be a roasted or steamed vegetable night for me, which means a sandwich or egg night for Chris. I feel a lot more satiated when I take the time to make a ‘real’ meal, but sometimes I’m too exhausted to bother. That’s when I throw together a pasta sauce and noodles for Chris and load up on vegetables with a simple dressing for myself.
Getting back on topic here, I was thinking I would share two asian inspired recipes this week, but I didn’t have a dessert to go with them. When I’ve dined at asian establishments in the past, I’ve never so much as glanced at the dessert menu. I guess I’ve been conditioned to think that asian cuisine doesn’t include sweets. For my sake, I wanted the dessert to be quick, healthy, bright, and no-cook.
Would you have guessed that I’ve never made chia pudding before? I know, crazy talk. I used to DEVOUR tapioca pudding when I was younger, slaving over the stove constantly stirring to avoid clumping. I always took my tapioca hot, scalding even, with a big scoop of ice cream on top. I’d dip my spoon down into the hot portion of the pudding, then the cold ice cream, and hope I got the ratio right. I burned myself 9 times out of 10.
I randomly picked up a peach and a nectarine at the grocery. There was the PRETTIEST assortment of orangey pink, deep purple, and greenish yellow plums that I pined over. I already had a couple of desserts scheduled for the week, none of which called for plums, and we’re leaving town again this weekend so I couldn’t buy extra food. I’m sorry, plums. Please be around next weekend.
Okay, okay, okay, I’m getting back to this dessert. I was doing what I usually do when I can’t decide what to make, standing in front of the fridge with the doors wide open while the minutes passed and staring blankly at the glass shelves. Citrus… okay… coconut milk is mildly sweet… what else? My fingers tapped on the fridge handles. I opened the freezer. I’ve had chia hanging out in there for… too long, let’s say, lest I embarrass myself and gross you, dear reader, out… Chia pudding incorporating coconut milk and lime.
Okay, we might be getting somewhere, but that sounds STUPID lame. I needed a natural sweetener and something to add depth of flavor. I’ll toss in a pinch of cardamom and cloves… apple, no… grapefruit, definitely not… berries, nah… peach? I think peach could work. Lime and peach… yeah, that sounds good… lime, peach, and a little bit of spice… let’s do that.
Oh, and I have the most perfect cups to plate them in! And we can garnish with some of this new paleo granola I have that is super delicious. And a teensy bit of lime juice and zest for brightness of flavor and color.
Aren’t they so cute? And super easy. Only real negative is that you have to soak the chia overnight. Other than that, this couldn’t be more of a wham-bam-thank-you-mam dessert. Healthy, guiltless, pretty, and SO easy to assemble for guests. I like you, chia pudding.
Spiced Peach-Lime Chia Pudding
Ingredients – serves 4-6
- 1 can light or full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 c chia seed
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 T honey (optional)
- 1 peach, roughly chopped
- yogurt, mint, granola (as optional garnishes)
- Place coconut milk, chia seed, vanilla extract, ground cloves, ground cardamom, and lime zest and juice in an airtight container. Mix until combined and chill 8hrs or overnight.
- Roughly chop peach. Toss with a bit of lime juice and zest if desired.
- Divide chia pudding into serving bowls and top with peach mix and whatever other garnishes you’d like!