Parve (and Vegan) Almond Couscous Pudding

While trying to come up wih a very simple parve dessert to follow a meat dinner, I vaguely recalled making a vegan rice pudding awhile back..  But since I was already serving rice along with the brisket, I didn't want to serve another rice dish, even if it's dessert.  Then I remembered how I recently stocked up on couscous (sale + double coupons = woo-hoo!).  

Couscous according to wikipedia, is made from semolina.  Semolina,  according to wikipedia, is made from wheat middlings.  Wheat middlings, according to wikipedia, is made from stuff you don't really want to know about. In any event, couscous pretty much cooks itself-- the only thing you have to watch is the water boil.  So I tweaked the rice pudding  recipe ever-so slightly to come up with this slightly sweet version.

Some ingredients for certain recipes I measure, such a cake, where the wrong proportion of ingredients is the difference between cake and a doorstop.  Here it's not quite as critical.  Also,  I sorta ran out of clean measuring cups.  So I eyeballed the couscous and guestimated the raisins.  After tasting the finished product, it was determined that while the couscous quantity was correct, more raisins were needed.  The quantity below has been corrected.   

I made this version with whole wheat couscous because it was on sale to be healthy, but plain works just as well.

Although this is almond pudding, I didn't feel it necessary to use almond extract, rather than the vanilla.  But since it's a free country, use almond extract if you prefer. 

Tip Alert!  Rub a little bit of the margarine on the spoon before you measure the honey and it will easily slide into the saucepan.

Oh, and in answer to a previous question, you can substitute rice milk for the almond milk, and use pistachio nuts for the almonds (or omit them).

Parve/Vegan Almond Couscous Pudding
serves 4-6

2 cups almond milk (plain or vanilla)
1 Tbl. margarine
3 Tbl. honey
3/4 cup plain or whole-wheat couscous
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (1/ 4 tsp. if vanilla almond milk used)
Ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds (optional)

Heat almond milk, margarine and honey in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering.

Stir in couscous and raisins.  Cover and turn off heat but leave pot on burner (for the residual heat). Let stand until almond milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Divide into dessert bowls.  Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and almonds, if desired. Serve immediately, or chill before serving.  I myself prefer couscous pudding of the warm persuasion.


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