I was standing in Whole Foods the other day in awe of how many options there are for vegetarians these days besides good old TMP (textured vegetable protein). Veggie Dogs, Veggie Burgers, Veggie Deli Meats, Veggie Nuggets, the list goes on and on. I have to add that the flavor or most of these items are pretty good as well. Yes, they are all processed and some are full of sodium, but a veggie dog will always be a healthier option than the real dog.
As I was looking at all of the various knock off meats my eyes stopped by a product located next to the Kim Chi. It was a large flat square wrapped in packaging stating that it was called Mochi. The description on the packaging stated the following: “Mochi is a traditional Japanese food made from short-grain sweet rice. We steam then pound the rice to accentuate its chewy texture and nutty flavor. Bake Mochi-amazing!-it puffs up, creating a chewy moist muffin with a crispy crust. Mochi is satisfying whole grain treat known for promoting stamina. 100% NON-DAIRY and WHEAT-FREE.”
I was hooked. It had me at “puffs up.” I can’t seem to resist anything that puffs up. Between 2 options of plain flavored and cinnamon and raisin, I took the latter. I brought it home and immediately put it to work. Following the directions I cut the block into one inch squares and placed it on a baking sheet, placed it in a 450 oven and watched in amazement. It was like watching Shrinky Dinks do their magic. The food transforms from a hard, flat, dense block into a nicely browned puff ball in about 10-12 minutes.
The best part about these fun little healthy puffs is that they are hollow in the center so they can be filled. The package gave directions for a filling that when stuffed in the Mochi would resemble a raisin-cinnamon danish. It was pretty dreamy, I have to admit. And knowing that there are a lot less calories and way more nutrients in this dessert compared to an actual danish, I felt a lot better about serving it.
Raisin-Cinnamon Mochi Danish
printed on the Grainaissance Mochi packaging
4 2-inch squares of Raisin-Cinnamon Mochi
4 tsp. cream cheese
1/2 walnuts, chopped
4 tsp honey
Mix ingredients together.
Bake Mochi squares as stated on package.
Remove Mochi From oven and let cool.
With a sharp knife, cut a slit in one side of each Mochi pocket and stuff with mixture.