Be sure to check out my Happy Eats Healthy site to see upcoming classes, seminars, for more information on Health Coaching, nutrition information and more!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Seared Pear with Dried Fruit and Chocolate Drizzle

Stanley's Fruit Market had the cutest little pears last week that just couldn't be passed up.  They were Seckel pairs, like baby little Bartlett's, only sweeter.

After taking down a few with my teeth, I decided to make a little treat out of them.  It's simple and sweet with a hint of savory.  Great for a light dessert or an afternoon treat.  If you use a larger, or normal, size pear, you will probably find 1/2 of a pear per person is enough.  It's a yummy fat and happy treat! 

Seared Pear with Dried Fruit and Chocolate Drizzle
2 baby pears (or 1 large)
4 tbls each of dried blueberries and dried cranberries
2 tbls thinly sliced shallots
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tbls white wine
fresh black pepper

Toast a handful of pumpkin seeds
Warm 4 tbls of dark chocolate

Cut 2 baby pears in half, remove core

Add 1 tbls butter to warmed fry pan, over medium heat, sear pears in the butter, cut side down for about 3 minutes.

Add 4 tbls dried blueberries and 4 tbls dried cranberries.  Continue to sautee for about 2 minutes.

Add 2 tbls thinly sliced shallots and 2 or 3 thyme sprigs, sautee until the shallots are tender, about 2 minutes (careful not to burn them).  The pear should be nicely seared by now, remove pear, add 2 tbls white wine. Add about 10 turns of fresh black pepper, toss the berries a couple of times,  simmer for a minute.

Arrange the pears on a plate, spoon on the berries and sauce.  Drizzle with chocolate,  top with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve immediately while warm. (serves 2)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet potatoes are so good for you, why not find more ways to work them into your diet.  I had made a sweet potato mash to serve with a sauteed tilapia the other day and ended up with about a cup of left over potatoes.  The next night I was making a chorizo soup and wanted to incorporate these left overs somehow.  I've heard about sweet potato biscuits but haven't made them prior to this.  Here's the recipe I came up with- I'm quite happy with it.  The orange and apple are super flavors with the sweet potato without being too sweet and also cuts down on the use of dairy.  Many recipes out there call for cinnamon or nutmeg spices, I wanted to keep the biscuits on the savory side but I do think the spices would be a great addition if you planned to use these in a dessert.  Enjoy them with a soup, a stew or simply with jam or honey- they are filling, nutritious treat that will keep you fat and happy!

Tips and Technique:  The heavy potatoes keep this biscuit from rising to much so keep them a smaller size when you cut them out so they don't end up as a large, heavy hockey puck.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 cups flour, sifted
1 Tbl baking powder
1 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
8 Tbls cold butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/2 cup applesauce
juice of 1 orange
3/4 - 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes

Mix together the dry ingredients, add the butter.  Using either a pastry cutter or your fingers- work the butter into the flour until pea sizes form.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir by hand just until the dough comes together. You may need more or less juice depending on the humidity in your area and the size and juiciness of your orange, add this in slowly a few tablespoons at a time, just until the dough comes together.  You don't want to over mix biscuit dough.

Pat out the dough on the counter, use a round cookie cutter or small juice glass to cut out the biscuits. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet- bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the bottom lightly browns.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spicy Spinach Egg Drop Soup

We've been on vacation for 2 weeks sailing around the BVI's - doesn't it just sound cool? A wonderful trip- but it's taking me another week to get back to reality of work and exercise and blogging!  I've been cooking since we got back, but I can't even remember what...apparently I'm still on Island time.

This soup is a really super, super simple.  It's not completely a true, classic egg drop recipe, but what recipe of mine is?  It's always about making what you have work, or working with what you have.

I had thought about adding some sausage or chorizo to this for a slightly heartier soup, but I'm still on Island time and forgot.  Doesn't mean you can't though- even some left over roasted chicken would work well.  The eggs offer great protein on their own and it's just fun to see the strands firm up. I used chili oil as a final topper- it gives great flavor and the little floating orange pools of oil are so pretty.  Give this a try for a simple asian-esque soup.

Tips and Techniques:  Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork before adding to the soup; slowly pour the eggs through the tines of the fork to help create the thin strands. Whisk the soup in one direction using chopsticks.  If you want your spinach to be more firm, add it in after the eggs.  Do not continue to cook the soup or the eggs strands will become rubbery.

Spicy Spinach Egg Drop Soup

Sautee in olive oil for 3 minutes or until onions begin to soften:
1/4 finely diced red onion
fresh ground pepper

Add, continue to simmer another 3-5 minutes
2-3 thinly sliced, large crimini mushrooms
2 tsp ground ginger (if you have fresh, use about 2 tbls of thin slices)
dash of cayenne pepper

Add, simmer for 10 minutes
4 cups of broth (can use vegetable or chicken broth)
2 tbls soy sauce

In the meantime, scramble 2 eggs in a bowl and have 3 cups of fresh spinach ready
Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the spinach, push down.  Now add the eggs, slowly pour them through the tines of the fork, in about 3 batches.  Stop  to the stir the soup (in one direction, just once or twice around) using chop sticks.  Repeat until eggs are all in the soup.

Taste for salt (or soy sauce) and pepper- add if needed.
To serve - add a small drizzle of chili oil to each bowl.


Related Posts with Thumbnails