Monday, May 23, 2011

Fruit Salad Dessert

1/2 pineapple, cut in chunks
1 gala apple (or any other sweet apple)
2-3 oranges, peeled and cut from sections & membranes
1 banana cut in half lengthwise and then sliced at an angle
2 T cream sherry
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Combine all fruit together in a medium sized bowl, drizzle with sherry.

Comments: You can toast the almonds and coconut flakes (on a cookie sheet for ten minutes) for added flavor, but it is very good without that step. It saves well in the refrigerator for about 1 day max. This is really delicious, light and refreshing and tastes a little like a pina colada. Really perfect for the summer.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grilled Pineapple

1/2 pineapple, cut in wedges
1 T rum

2 T honey
1 T olive oil
1 T lime juice
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground cloves (or about 20 whole cloves)

Prepare pineapple by cutting off the crown, base and skin. Remove eyes and core and cut pineapple into four wedges. Cut each wedge in half. Thread onto wood or metal skewers.

For marinade, combine all marinade ingredients above. Brush onto the pineapple pieces and grill for about five minutes on each side, basting with any remaining marinade. Remove from grill and brush with rum. Serve hot or warm (you can wrap them in foil until ready to serve). Slice to serve.

Comments: This is a very delicious summer side dish, super easy too. You could easily double the recipe to use the entire pineapple, or snack on the other half. Ground cloves are easier, but whole cloves work ok too.

Tomato Salad

About 4 tomatoes, cut in large chunks
1/2 large red onion, sliced/chopped
About 1/2 english cucumber, sliced and cut in half
Salt, pepper
Olive oil
Water (small amount)

Combine all in a bowl, mix, serve.

Comments: This is one of my favorite things to eat in the summer. Traditionally, there should be enough "juice" to dip with Italian bread. To stay with a healthier version, keep the amount of juice minimal. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and then add a splash of water at the end. Tomato salad always makes me think of my great grandma and grandma, who both made this for me in the summers when tomatoes were ready in their gardens.

Be careful with the cucumbers - many of the store bought have a wax coating, which is why I recommend the English cucumbers (they are longer and thinner and usually do not have a wax coating). If I can only find the wax coated cucumbers, I will peel all the skin off, but otherwise I will not.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cornbread Souffle

1 cup whole milk
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup stone-ground cornmeal
3/4 cup frozen corn (or fresh corn cut from the ears)
1 tbsp onion, chopped finely
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 or 3 egg whites (2 if eggs are med to large, 3 if eggs are small)
1 tbsp grated parmesan and/or romano cheeses

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 2 quart souffle dish (or 8x8 square pan) with olive oil cooking spray. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, broth, oil, and honey or agave syrup. Heat until almost boiling. Reduce to low, simmer. Whisk in the cornmeal and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Transfer to a bowl and add corn, onion, baking powder, thyme, and salt.

In a large very clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whisk about a third of the egg whites into the cornmeal mixture (this will lighten it). Then fold the remainder into the cornmeal batter, mixing until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the souffle dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until puffed and lightly golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let stand in dish for 5 minutes, then serve.

Comments: This is actually pretty easy to make with prep time being 10 to 15 minutes. It is a very nice side dish and if the souffle does not "fluff" don't worry about it, it will still taste good. To ensure proper fluffing, be sure to use a very clean bowl and not to get any egg yolk in the egg whites (no goldfish in the pond). This is not a solid bread, but more of a spoon bread and you will eat it with a fork or spoon. Leftovers will re-heat nicely in the microwave.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Black Bean & Corn Festive Salad

1 15-ounce can of beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer black beans, but have used kidney and any type would probably be fine)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, rinsed and drained
8 - 10 grape tomatoes cut in halves or thirds
1/4 cup onions or scallions
1/2 bell pepper any color, diced
2 T olive oil
Juice from 1/2 to 1 whole lime or lemon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning or cumin and garlic powder to taste

Mix together and let marinate, covered, for a couple of hours in the refrigerator before serving.

This takes about 10 minutes to prepare.

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