Tag Archives: Coconut recipes

Appetizers III Savory Fruit/ Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan-optional

“Savory” and “Fruit” may not come to mind as being compatible, but when it comes to appetizers,the combination is perfect. Sweet and spicy or tart, plus pairing of textures, give a surprise spark to the taste buds and leave  guests wanting to experience more.

Stuffed dates, figs  and grilled pineapple make wonderfully surprising  appetizers

Stuffed dates, figs and grilled pineapple make wonderfully surprising appetizers

The stuffed dates, figs, apricots and grilled fruits above are quite easy and quite eye-catching.

To start, the easiest:

Grilled fruit:
Heat butter in a frying pan until slightly brown. Add slices of firm fruit, such as pineapple, peach, pear, plum,  apple, apricot.

On high heat, brown quickly on each side.You may sprinkle with spices, such as nutmeg or cloves, or you can go  hot, with a little white pepper, ginger, Indian  hot pepper, (be careful!) or paprika. Sugar is unnecessary as the caramelization of the fruit sugar in the pan-frying makes them particularly sweet.

Skewer with a toothpick.

Stuffed Dried Mission figs: slit, filled with hazelnut-chocolate spread,(Nutella), a smoked or wasabi almond, glazed walnut or any of the suggestions below.

 Stuffed Dates and Apricots
With a short,sharp knife, slit the fruit and open the cavity gently with a dull knife, (or a clean finger!), and insert any of the following:

sweet coconut, with or without nuts, or dried fruit bits,(mango, pineapple, crasins, cherries,(dried or Maraschino),

or with sweet cheese [ricotta, mascarpone or Neufchatel mixed with honey, sugar, stevia or other sweetener, plain or with the options of  nuts and/or spices, such as nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, etc. Silken tofu or “vegan cream cheese” can be used as well.]

Top these with a piece of dried fruit or  nuts.

These will also have to be skewered or placed in candy paper cups, or , easier, mini cupcake papers.


Note: Pre-made sweet coconut can be used or prepared with stevia or other sweetener as I suggested in the NuNaturals promo post of September 11, 2014.  Although I developed those recipes with  the product  in mind, ANY stevia product or sweetener of choice can be used. (I found that wasabi almonds are a fantastic mix with sweet coconut…I can’t get enough of the combination!)

Please see all of the September 11 post for more (sugar free)  sweet appetizer ideas.
Again, please feel free to use
  ANY sweetener of your choice.

It’s crunch-time for the holidays.I will post again in a day or two to get in as many appetizers as I can before most of the holiday season.



Merry Christmas!/ Rice Puddings

Here I thought that I was ahead time-wise this year, but it got down to crunch time! Right now, it’s Christmas Eve about noon and I am scurrying…a second kind of rice pudding is on the stove, spaghetti sauce is cooking, there is a pumpkin pie in the oven and I am waiting for gelatin to cool so I can make chiffon, and the spinach dip will be next in order;(recipes soon).
There are actually some cookies left for tomorrow, but if I don’t get toffee made I will be in the outs with several family members, (including a daughter-in-law…we don’t want that!)

I came here just to wish all a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate it; it you don’t I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends!
We are celebrating the Birth of Christ in every way here.

I hate to post without at least one recipe. It may be too late for your plans this year, but since traditional Rice Pudding is a Christmas favorite in many places, surprise people by serving my alternate versions at other times. It would be wonderful for a New Year’s buffet, or any buffet, anytime, or as a side dish or dessert. The Pina Colada one is grand for warm weather served cold. (Perfect for you people in the Southern Hemisphere or where the weather is warmer).

Wow them any time at a pot-luck!

My version of ‘standard’ Rice Pudding puts a couple of new twists. Whereas traditional Rice Pudding is either loved or ignored, this will have the lovers leaping and may make a few converts for the dish. Both are gluten-free and can be made vegan.
Recipes may be halved for fewer servings, but surprisingly, these do freeze well. It’s nice to find them when you have the Isn’t–Winter-Over?-Blahs and need a little comfort food.

Rice Pudding

My Rice Pudding

3 cups of cooked regular rice [see August Archives]

2 ½-3 cups milk, (whole), almond or soy [for vegan]
(if using whole milk, you may need to add an extra ½ cup milk or opt, cream)

2/3 cup sugar or other sweetener, syrups, honey, mix and match; you can make adjustments by taste later (without honey, vegan)

1 cup currants (traditional: raisins)

2 tsp. ground nutmeg (traditional: cinnamon)

Heat milk, sweetener, currents and nutmeg to just boiling; (do not let it boil over!)

Reduce heat; add the rice. Stir completely. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, until it is thick and creamy. Taste and adjust for spice and sweetness. Serve warm or cold.

P-C Rice Pudding

Pina Colada Rice Pudding

I large can (or 2 small) pineapple tidbits, or other pineapple, chopped and drained,(reserve liquid)

2 cups coconut milk, (alternatives: almond or soy [vegan] or whole milk)

1/2 cup sugar,(preferably raw; options: white, syrup of choice,[vegan] or honey, mix and match; will be adjusted by taste later)

1 cup coconut,(I prefer sweetened)

3 cups cooked rice

[Optional: 1 Tbsp. Cream of Coconut]

Drain the pineapple, set aside.

Place the pineapple juice in a deep, heavy saucepan or medium pot, boil and reduce,(until it evaporates and condenses) to half the amount. Add the milk. It may very well curdle; that is not a problem. Add the sweetener and the coconut and bring just to simmering.

Add the rice, simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until it is thick and creamy. [Add Cram of Coconut, if using].Taste for sweetness and adjust.
I would say serve this one cold, but it was delicious warm last night; my husband ate half of I t,(no kidding, which is why I am also making the other version today!)

I wish you all the happiest of holidays! Peace in your hearts and Peace on Earth.