Tag Archives: pineapple

Creamy, Dreamy Tropical Smoothie

I got back from a work trip on Saturday morning and after flying all night and enduring a three hour layover in Atlanta on no sleep, I finally made it home only to be sick the entire weekend with food poisoning. For someone who likes to cook and eat, food poisoning is brutal. I already had no food in my fridge because I was gone all week which is just as well because the only thing I’ve been willing to get down is water. I still haven’t been able to get to the store or think about food yet and am going on my third day of little to no food. But as I’m starting to feel a little bit better, I’m considering (maybe) a smoothie. This is reminding me of this Creamy, Dreamy Tropical Smoothie I made before I left on my work trip. When I was feeling 100%, this was a perfectly cool summertime treat for these dog days of summer.

Frozen pineapple, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and honey are blended together until smooth and creamy. A little topping of toasted unsweetened coconut finishes off this smoothie which really is like a drinking a sip of the tropics. Since I used frozen pineapple, I didn’t use ice but if using fresh pineapple, you’ll need the ice to thicken it up. Thinking about this smoothie, I’m dreaming of the days when I will be lakeside next week listening to the waves instead of home laying in my bed under the weather.

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Place pineapple, yogurt, coconut milk, ice, and honey in a blender. Process on high speed for 60 seconds or until smooth or desired consistency.

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Pour into tall glasses. Garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon toasted shredded coconut, if desired. Serve smoothies immediately.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Seaside Sunrise

I spent all of last week in Chicago and, despite battling an allergic eye infection that forced me to wear my glasses all week, I used the opportunity to rest, relax, and read. I took long walks along the water and spent the warm (and warm-ish) days at the beach on the lake. I slept in a lot which was different from my last trip to Chicago in May where I was awoken every morning at 6am by a happy dog named Abigail eager to go outside. Watching the sun come up over Lake Michigan is enchanting and I was able to get up early enough once last week to catch it. The way the sun glistens over the water, making the lake look silver and glossy, is a sight that I never tire of. This Seaside Sunrise seems appropriate.

Pineapple, orange-mango, and cranberry juices are mixed with passion fruit rum, a little grenadine (which I left out) and topped with sparkling wine and fruit slices. Any of your favorite rum could be added here but the flavor of the passion fruit combined with the different fruit juices really makes this a perfect little summer cocktail. Whether you are seaside or landlocked, make a batch of this and enjoy our last days of summer.

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Combine pineapple juice, mango-orange juice, passion fruit rum, cranberry juice, and grenadine in a large pitcher.

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Pour into ice-filled glasses, and top with sparkling wine, if desired.

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Garnish, if desired.

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Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Grenadine

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Coastal Living magazine

Slow-Cooker Chicken with Cashews

I had a long and amazing weekend in Mississippi for a wedding and my diet was out the window.  I’m not easily tempted by southern food because most of it can be fried and I really try not to eat fried food (with the exception of French fries of course, which would be one food I would want on a deserted island).  So considering nearly every meal outside of the wedding was eaten in a restaurant or delivered from a pizza place, I have to get back on track.  And that means chicken and vegetables like usual.  This Slow-Cooker Chicken with Cashews is an easy way to get both while I rest and recover from a crazy weekend.

Chunks of boneless, skinless chicken breast and baby carrots cook for a little over three hours on high in a slow-cooker with soy sauce and chicken broth until soft and tender.  Red pepper and pineapple tidbits are added with a little more soy sauce, pineapple juice and cornstarch and cook another twenty minutes until warm.  Cashews are added for the last ten minutes of cooking while the sauce thickens.  My chicken was fork tender and fell apart (in a good way) while cooking and the veggies were all fresh and crisp.  I’m not the biggest lover (at all) of cooked carrots but I really loved the color they added to this dish.  I didn’t eat this with rice and just enjoyed the chicken and veggies by themselves which was a fantastic, hearty dish.  Thank goodness for the slow-cooker because I still need more horizontal time while I recover from Mississippi.

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Stir together chicken, carrots, broth and 2 tablespoons soy sauce in slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook for 3 hours on HIGH or 5 hours on LOW.

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Remove cover and stir in snow peas, pineapple and red pepper and cook an additional 20 minutes.

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In small bowl, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons pineapple juice and cornstarch. Stir into liquid in slow cooker bowl. Stir in cashews and cook an additional 10 minutes or until liquid has thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Family Circle magazine

Chicken Stir-Fry with Corn, Pineapple and Red Pepper

If you’ve read my blog for a little while, you might have noticed that I have thing for stir-fries. When I’m trying to eat healthy, my brain goes right to chicken and vegetables.  And since sitting down with a plain plate of baked chicken and steamed veggies doesn’t really get my blood pumpin’, I’m more likely to chop everything up and turn it into some kind of stir-fry.  The thing is: I’m pretty boring when it comes to stir-fries. If it were left to my creativity, I’d make chicken and broccoli stir-fry every time. But that is exactly why I have this blog and why I have so many recipes tucked away waiting to be made.  This Chicken Stir-Fry with Corn, Pineapple and Red Pepper is exactly the type of stir-fry that never would have occurred to me to make on my own.

Chunks of boneless chicken breast are stir-fried with sweet corn, crispy red pepper and tangy pineapple in a flavorful sauce of ginger, cumin and chicken stock. A dash of Sriracha added at the end adds a kick to the whole dish which helps to balance out the natural sweetness of the produce. This stir-fry slightly reminds me of a healthy sweet-and-sour chicken mostly because of the juxtaposition of the sweet and spicy. It never would have occurred to me to mix these vegetable together, let alone paired with pineapple. I’ve never considered throwing together a stir-fry without any green veggies or soy sauce but now I realize that nearly any combination of fruits and vegetables could work together.  Nectarine, asparagus and pea?  Why not? Plum, cauliflower and spinach? Sure!  My mind is officially blown.

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The ingredients:

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In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry over moderately high heat for 3 minutes; transfer to a plate.

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Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Add the red pepper, cumin and stock, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, for  4 minutes.

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Add the corn, pineapple and Sriracha and stir-fry over moderately high heat until hot.

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Add the chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute.

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Season with salt and pepper; serve.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Red onion

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Food & Wine magazine

Rum-Marinated Chicken Breasts with Pineapple Relish

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I spent the weekend laying low, only going to dinner and a movie on Friday night with friends and spending the rest of my time engrossed in a new novel while watching either Food Network or reruns of various Bourne movies.  That’s pretty much how I roll.  Oh, and I made food.  Like usual.  Again, that’s how I roll.  I usually scan the grocery store circulars to see what’s on sale before I decide what to make but this week, I decided to make what I was in the mood for.  I sucked up the fact that chicken is ridiculously expensive in order to make Rum-Marinated Chicken Breasts with Pineapple Relish, a light chicken dish filled with vibrant tropical flavors.

Chicken breasts are marinated in a mixture of dark rum, barbecue sauce, Caribbean hot sauce and lime juice before being grilled to perfection and topped off with a golden relish of fresh pineapple and red pepper.  Never had Caribbean hot sauce?  I’m no stranger to Pickapeppa Sauce (a condiment made of tomatoes, mangoes, raisins and peppers, among other things) which was introduced to me by my old roommate who would pour half a bottle over cream cheese and smear it over Triscuits.  True story.  There was never a shortage of Pickapeppa in my apartment.  But I digress.  The rum marinade perfectly tenderizes the chicken and is then boiled to create a rich, silky sauce.  The golden relish is tangy, slightly sweet, tart and a tasty complement to the chicken.  Not a fan of pineapple’s acidity?  Consider substituting any summer fruit, like mango, peach or nectarine.  This is a chicken dish that I could eat, in any variation, nearly every day.  

The ingredients (disregard the honey, my bad):

Combine dark rum, barbecue sauce, Pickapeppa sauce, lime juice, salt and vegetable oil in large zip-top plastic bag.  Add chicken to the bag and seal, allowing chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

To prepare relish, place pineapple on grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill 3 minutes on each side or until soft and browned around the edge.  Allow to cool slightly and chop. 

Combine pineapple, bell pepper, lime rind, lime juice, dark rum, Pickapeppa sauce and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Remove the chicken from the bag and set aside.  Reserve marinade, discarding any chicken bits remaining and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Set aside.  Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill until chicken is cooked to 165ºF.  (Remove and discard skin if using bone-in chicken.)

Bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and cook 1 minute.  Drizzle cooked marinade over chicken.

Serve chicken with relish and lime wedges.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Boneless chicken breasts

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Pineapple-Mango Yogurt Smoothie

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you just had too much?  Too much food?  Too much drink?  Too much fun?  That was the weekend I had last weekend.  When my friend in Florida came home to spend Father’s Day with her pop, we decided to take the opportunity to get the girls together and have some fun.  From Friday afternoon until the wee hours of Sunday, we partied.  And hard.  I decided it was probably necessary to get something healthy in my body and pronto!  

The Pineapple-Mango Yogurt Smoothie I made was both tasty and filling.  Frozen pineapple and mango chunks are blended with non-fat vanilla yogurt, non-fat milk, and a little sugar.  As I spent Sunday resting and relaxing, I sipped on this and felt refreshed.  I liked it so much, I made another one for breakfast on Monday.  What is it about smoothies that somehow just make you feel better?       

Pineapple-Mango Yogurt Smoothie (makes 1 smoothie)

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 6-ounces non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.  Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.  If you prefer to use fresh fruit, simply add 1 cup of crushed ice. 

The ingredients:

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.

Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken

I’ve experimented with different kinds of rubs to put on chicken over the years and have managed to accumulate a pretty big pile of rub recipes.  I’ve decided that any kind of spice-rubbed chicken is probably my favorite way of eating chicken any given time – more so than chicken parmesan or fried chicken.  I have a healthy collection of spices in my cabinet so I’m always prepared for anything.  So, what’s better than spice-rubbed chicken?  Glazed spice-rubbed chicken! 

This Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken not only has a rub of cumin, chili powder, and chipotle chili powder (one of my favorites!) but it’s also glazed with a sauce reduction of tequila, pineapple juice, honey, lime, and red pepper flake.  The rub provides a ton of flavor and a little bit of heat which pairs wonderfully with the slight sweetness of the glaze.  I used regular chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs but use whatever you like and cook accordingly.  And don’t worry if you don’t like tequila – it provides a subtle background flavor without making this taste like a drunken chicken dish.  I’m going out on a limb here and calling this one of my favorite chicken dishes so far so please, give it a try!

The ingredients:

Combine the cumin, chili powder, salt, and chipotle chili powder and rub evenly over the chicken.

In a small pan, bring the pineapple juice, tequila, and honey to a boil and cook until reduced (about 10 minutes).  Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, and stir in lime rind, lime juice, and crushed red pepper.

Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill, basting each side occasionally with juice mixture, until chicken is cooked thoroughly (approximately 8-10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF internally.)

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Chicken breasts

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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