Friday, July 30, 2010

Granola Makeover

I have been making my own granola for years. I have even posted a recipe before. But over the years, the recipe has continued to change. The first time I made granola, I used corn syrup and brown sugar. When I think about that now, it makes me cringe. I started making it a little healthier by using honey. Then I switched to agave nectar, which doesn't spike your blood sugar. And now, I use gluten free oats.

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4 c. old-fashioned oats (mine were gluten free)
1/2 c. sunflower seeds, or nut of choice
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots, or fruit(s) of choice
1/2 c. almond butter
1/2 c. agave nectar
1 t. cinnamon

Put oats, nuts of choice and dried fruit of choice in a large bowl. Mix together almond butter, agave nectar and cinnamon. Warm mixture in microwave for 10-15 seconds if needed to break down the almond butter. Pour almond butter mixture over oats. Mix together until oats, nuts and fruit are well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely before breaking up granola.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Caribbean Country Style Ribs

When my parents were in town, my mom, Stephen and I were talking about foot massages. Stephen then proceeded to say that he loves ribs so much that he would give me a foot rub every time I made them for him. So what do you think I did as soon as I got home from my visit to Illinois? You got it, I made him some ribs. I couldn't eat the ribs, but that's perfectly OK with me because I got a good foot rub!

Jerk Marinade
from Island Barbecue
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1 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
3 scallions, finely chopped
4 habanero peppers, halved and seeds removed
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. salt
1/8 t. garlic powder

Place all ingredients in the food processor. Process for 1 minute. Store marinade in the refrigerator. Marinate meat for 3 hours to overnight.

Caribbean BBQ Sauce
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8 oz. tomato sauce
2 habaneros, seeded and minced
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. agave nectar
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. garlic powder
2 T. white vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1 t. allspice
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients into a small pot. Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Balsamic Fig Sauce

I made a version of this meal a year ago. Almost exactly a year ago. But I wanted to post this version because it is sugar free, but just as good. I put it on top of chicken breast seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary, caramelized onions. But it would be great on any type of meat and fish. Oh, and it's so easy to make, it's ridiculous.

Balsamic Fig Sauce
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10-12 dried black mission figs, diced
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

In small skillet, mix together diced figs, balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to help break down the figs. Season with salt, to taste.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coconut Mango Chicken

I made this meal for the fam when my parents when they were in Dallas. My boyfriend, Stephen, joined us for dinner also. Everybody loved this meal, especially Stephen and my nephew, Luke. I think left alone, the two of them could have eaten all of it. But they were nice enough to leave some for the rest of us.

Coconut Mango Chicken
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4 chicken breasts, cubed
Salt and pepper
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 onion, diced
2 ripe mangos, cubed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can coconut milk
2 c. instant brown rice

In medium pot, bring 1 cup of coconut milk plus 1 cup of water to a boil. Stir in brown rice and season with salt. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn off heat and let stand for another 5 minutes. In large skillet, saute onions for 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Season chicken with salt, pepper and coriander. Add chicken to skillet and cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the rest of the coconut milk to the skillet and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in mango and black beans. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until mango and black beans are heated through. Serve of brown rice.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Baked Plantains

My boyfriend, Stephen, loves plantains. He could probably eat them everyday if I made them for him. And I have to admit, I too love plantains and find myself buying them more and more lately. Typically they are fried, and are absolutely wonderful that way. But I wanted to find a way to make them with less fat. So I decided to bake them, and I am so glad that I did. Now I don't feel as guilty eating so many of them.

Baked Plantains
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1 ripe plantain
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. paprika, optional

Peel plantain and slice it in large pieces, on an angle. Toss plantain with oil, salt and paprika. Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Turn plantains over then cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until tender and browned on both sides. Note: plantains may take longer to cook if they are not very ripe.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mango Peach Sorbet

It is way too hot outside. I know it can get much more hot in Texas, but with the humidity that we have had this summer, it just makes you want something cool and refreshing to eat. This mango peach sorbet was perfect. The mango I used in this sorbet was so fresh, it needed no extra sweetener. But if you want your sorbet to be sweeter, I recommend adding some agave nectar.

Mango Peach Sorbet

2 c. mango, fresh or frozen
1 c. peaches, fresh or frozen
Juice of 1 lime

If fruit is frozen, let it thaw completely. Place fruit and lime juice in food processor or blender. Process fruit it is pureed. Using a small mesh strainer, strain fruit puree to remove pulp. Chill fruit puree in refrigerator for at least one hour. Pour puree into ice cream maker, following manufacture directions.