Dried Kiwis like really good gummy bears

Dried Kiwis like really good gummy bears

Nicole at work pointed me to a Groupon for Water Fresh Farm in Hopkinton, MA. (BTW Hopkinton hosts the starting line for the Boston Marathon) that had fresh hydroponically grown vegetables.  Lyn and I are always looking for new shopping experience and in my younger years while living in the mud flat desert in Temecula CA. I worked on a construction site that was building hydroponic greenhouses and then moved right into the growing end after they were completed. Back then Temecula boasted 101 residents, a one salon, one gas station town.  I hear it has grown quite a bit since my days there a Willy jeep, two horses and miles and miles of open land. We were there during the big gas shortage but never realized because our gas station was only open 2 days a week. Anyway that is a story for another day, but I should tell you this one story which probably dates me but do you remember the commercials we took the Clorox away from XYZ town? Well Temecula was one of those towns and from what I understand only about 20 people used it so it was not such a hard task.

Back to Water Fresh Farms, a nice little grocery store hidden away on route 85 is actually a small group of vendors nestle together in a little cul-de-sac anything from ice cream, gift , crafts  to  gifts. One of the many items we picked up on our first visit was dried kiwi. The only way I can describe them is like a really good gummy bear. So we decided to give it a shot.

Ingredients

  • 9-10 Kiwis

How

Peel Kiwis
Slice in ¼” slices – don’t go thinner gets to dry. Lay them out on dehydrator trays. Turn on and wait. The length is tricky it depends on the dehydrator and the Kiwis but maybe around 3 hours Doneness is up to you. Let cool and store in airtight container or bag.

The picture of finished product is not ours, do not do what we did, we forgot and went to see Batman and some food shopping at Whole Food, they are very good but were dried a little too long. Next time we stay around and I will post the pictures and time.

 1/4" thick

 

 

 

Kiwi and its Many Health Benefits

By: Alexandria Hardy, RD

What’s in a Name?

For this fruit, quite a lot! The kiwi, originally called the Chinese gooseberry and later the “sunny peach”, was renamed the kiwi by New Zealand natives after their national bird. There are over 400 varieties of this fuzzy fruit, which grows off of vines on a trellis, much like grapes are cultivated.

Quintessential Kiwi Research

Researchers exploring the potential positive features of the kiwi fruit have conducted several studies involving children and adults. A study in Italy indicated that children had less trouble with wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing in the night when they consumed 5-7 servings of kiwi or citrus fruit a week. Asthma sufferers were found to derive the most benefit from the kiwi, even when eaten as few as 1-2 times a week. Adults can also benefit from eating the jewel-toned fruit! Another study demonstrated that eating 2-3 kiwi fruits a day can reduce the potential for blood clots and decrease triglycerides. Yet another study cited the kiwi’s ability to protect and repair the body from DNA damage, which could protect against cancer.

Nutritional Nods

From disease prevention to an abundance of vitamins and minerals, the kiwi provides a wide array of nutrition benefits. According to a study at Rutgers University, the kiwi is the most nutrient dense fruit, ounce for ounce. Below is a list of the different ways that the naturally fat-free kiwi can help our health:

•Disease Prevention

Fiber: Kiwi provides 16% of the RDA for fiber and has a role in the prevention of constipation and some cancers.

Phytonutrients: Kiwis have phytonutrients, which repair DNA, act as the body’s protection against some cancers, and function as antioxidants. Learn more about phytonutrients plant powers.

•Vitamins

Folic Acid: Kiwi provides 10% of the RDA for folic acid, which is important for expectant mothers and works to produce red blood cells.

Vitamin C: One serving of kiwi gives the body 230% of the RDA for Vitamin C, which helps heal wounds, increase iron absorption, and boost the immune system.

Vitamin E: Kiwi provides 10% RDA for Vitamin E and decreases the risk of heart disease.

•Minerals

Calcium: Kiwi provides 5.5% of the RDA for Calcium.

Chromium: Kiwi aids in regulating heartbeats.

Copper: Kiwi provides 8% of the RDA for Copper.

Iron: Kiwi provides 4% of the RDA for Iron.

Magnesium: Kiwi provides 6% of the RDA for Magnesium, which  can enhance your energy level.

Potassium: Kiwi aids in fluid maintenance.

Zinc: Kiwi helps keep hair, skin, teeth, and nails healthy.

Selecting, Storing, and Eating a Kiwi

How do I choose a kiwi?

•Look for a fruit that is plump and fragrant with no visible bruising or wrinkles and a slightly firm feel

What if I chose a fruit that isn’t yet ripe?

•Kiwis ripen quickly when placed in either a paper or plastic bag with a banana. However, once they are ripened, store them away from other fruit or they will decompose more quickly!

How long are kiwis good for once I buy them?

•Ripe kiwi fruit can last in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Can I eat the skin?

•You can, but wash carefully to remove unwanted pesticides! Rub it a bit to minimize the fuzz. The skin actually provides more fiber to your sweet snack. If you’re not fond of the fuzzy exterior, simply “sloop” it out by slicing the kiwi in half horizontally and spooning out each end to enjoy.

What is a serving size?

•A serving of kiwi fruit is ½ cup, or 1 medium-sized kiwi.

 

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Almond-Oat Strawberry Shortcakes

Almond-Oat Strawberry Shortcakes

I love cooking but I love it even more when Lyn and I are both cooking together doesn’t matter the same dish or different, cooking in the kitchen with my honey is one of my favorite things to do.

Lyn and I are big on good quality meats and organic fruits and vegetables, usually it pays off with taste but the other day we got some organic strawberries that just were not that sweet. Not sure if it was a bad batch or just the end of the season but there we were with a huge pile of strawberries. Normally we grab a bowl full and munch on for a satisfying desert or snack, Lyn makes smoothies too much air in that for my liking you know what air in the belly gives you. Anyway what to do?

We divided in half and I was given the task of maceration, as Lyn called it. She had bought a new fancy dancy potato masher Fancy Dancy Potato Masher(I can hear Laurel in my mind oooohhhhhh, she just loves cooking stuff) but it was not working on the strawberries. I grabbed the old faithful and squashed, as I call it, away. Meanwhile Lyn went to work on the shortcakes. Soon the smell filled the house and the tummies were grumbling.

Influenced by Bon Appétit

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • Substitute with gluten-free flour and it’s a gluten-free desert, just a little more crumbly!
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple sugar, divided.
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 cup chilled butter milk, divided, plus more for brushing
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (optional)

How

Shortcakes

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, oats, almonds, 1/3 cup maple sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter; pulse until only pea-size pieces remain. Add 1/2 cup butter milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla; pulse until large moist clumps form. Transfer to a work surface.

Knead until dough comes together, about 4 turns. Pat into a 4×6″ rectangle. Halve lengthwise, then crosswise into thirds. Round each biscuit if you want and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Brush with butter milk; sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon maple sugar.

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through cooking, until golden brown around edges and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Set biscuits on a wire rack; let cool.

Strawberries

Meanwhile, combine strawberries (my job), 1 tablespoon maple sugar, and Grand Marnier, if using, in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Let strawberries sit, tossing often, until juices release.

Whipped Cream

Whisk 1/2 cup Cool Whip or Cool Whip lite, 1/2 tablespoon maple sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl until peaks form.

Place shortcake on plates. Divide Cool Whip mixture and strawberries over. You could probably cut the shortcake in half, build as above and then top with top of shortcake and a dollop of strawberry and cream.

Bahn Mi-Style Turkey Burger

Bahn Mi-Style Turkey Burger

This is a two heads bobbing approval from Lyn and Steve

Lyn says it’s like a Big Mac but good for you. Now remember we have not had a Big Mac in years so can only go by what our memory says they taste like but she was very close in her description. You just have to try this even if you hate the thought of a turkey burger.

Weight Watchers Recipe

Prep time:  15 min

Cook time:  10 min

Serves: 4

A taste of Vietnam in an American favorite. Serve with grilled corn and peppers for a marvelous meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray

Slaw

  • 1 cup(s) packaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)    I used broccoli and carrots coleslaw mix.
  • 1/4 cup(s) English cucumber(s), julienned or sliced super thin
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • Added some seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

 Burger

  • 1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger root, grated or finely chopped
  • 1-2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), finely chopped
  • 4 tsp. reduced-calorie mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. chili sauce, sweet variety
  • 4 muffin(s) light English muffin, toasted I used a whole wheat organic hamburger bun for mine Lyn likes the English muffins.

How

Coat a large griddle, outdoor grill rack or stove top grill pan with cooking spray; preheat to medium-high.

I used a Panini grill it cut the cooking time in half

In a medium bowl, combine slaw mix, cucumber, lime juice and salt; toss to coat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger and garlic; divide mixture into four balls and then gently press each one into a 4-inch patty.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and chili sauce.

Grill or broil patties until internal temperature of burgers reaches 165°F, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Spread half of each English muffin with 1 1/4 teaspoon chili-mayonnaise; top with a burger, a scant 1/3 cup slaw mixture and a muffin top.

Yields 1 burger per serving.

Notes

The slaw that tops these burgers is quite basic. For added flavor, add some seasoned rice wine vinegar, minced cilantro, hot chili oil or hot sauce

Ingredients  Turkey Burger ready to grill  Turkey Burger slaw and sauce

Cooked Turkey Burgers  Turkey Burger on Whole Wheat bun  Turkey burger plated bun Turkey Burger on English Muffin weight watchers picture

Other recipes from stevesacooking

Turkey burger

Grilled Turkey Salisbury Steaks with Tomatoes and Cheddar Sauce

Pan Seared Oven Roasted Tenderloin

Pan Seared Oven Roasted Tenderloin

I know you have gone out to dinner and had that wonderful melt in your mouth steak Filet Mignon. Being that it is an expensive cut of meat at the restaurant it is much more economical to cook at home especially when you do not eat as much, heck Lyn and I can share one and are completely satisfied. I used to laugh to myself watching my parent split such a small piece of meat. At home some like to broil or grill but I prefer to pan sear and finish off roasting it in the oven. Do yourself a favor don’t buy grocery store cuts unless it is something that equals the quality of Wholefoods or a local butcher the $4 to $6 a pound you save is not worth it

FYI from about.com

Question: What is filet mignon?

Filet mignon is an expensive tender cut of beef

Answer: Filet mignon is considered the king of steaks because of its tender, melt in the mouth texture. A prime filet mignon can literally be cut with a fork. This beef cut can be quite expensive when dining out, but much more reasonable to make at home, especially if you purchase a whole tenderloin.

Filet mignon is French, of course, with filet meaning “thick slice” and mignon meaning “dainty.” It first appears in American print in 1899. Filet mignon comes from the small end of the tenderloin (called the short loin) which is found on the back rib cage of the animal. This area of the animal is not weight-bearing, thus the connective tissue is not toughened by exercise resulting in extremely tender meat.

The tenderloin term (also erroneously called chateaubriand) applies to the entire strip of tenderloin meat, whereas slices of the tenderloin are termed filet mignon. Filet mignon slices found in the market are generally 1 to 2 inches thick and 2 to 3 inches in diameter, but true mignons are no more than 1 inch in diameter and are taken from the tail end. Although this cut is very tender, the beef flavor is proportionately lessened. As such, it is often served with an accompanying sauce incorporating the pan juices.

Ingredients

  • 1 or 4 Filets depending on how many you are serving about 1 ½ to 2” thick
  • 1 small or medium sweet onion sliced very thin
  • Button mushrooms
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Butter
  • Vegetable oil

How

Season the steaks with salt and pepper and bring to room temperature.

Slice the onion very thin.

Preheat oven to 4250 rack in center.

Heat the oil over medium heat in an oven proof pan.

Sear the steaks for about 5 minutes.

Turn and place the pan in oven for about 7 minutes.

Remove cover very loosely with tin foil and let set for 5 minutes before serving.

Either the mushrooms or onions are optional but we like them.

Meanwhile sauté in butter, half the onion, garlic and mushrooms to be used as side.

In another pan heat the vegetable oil until simmering and add a little at a time some of the remaining onions, the goal is to crisp. I will be honest here I have only been successful in crisping the onions to my liking once or twice but they always are a good topper for the steak. If anyone can share how to do it let me know. Thanks

     

This is always a 2 head bobbing up and down from Lyn and Steve.

 

Some other recipes from Stevesacooking.com

Flank Steak Stir-Fry with Asparagus, Red Bell Peppers and Caramelized Onions

Herb Rubbed Flank Steak

 

BBQ Masala Yogurt Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb

BBQ Masala Yogurt Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb

I forget where we were but Lyn picked up the butterflied leg of lamb and said this would be just right. So in the carriage it went and a hunting through the cook books when we return I went. Something different was on my mind. I found this in the Food Network cookbook but they called for 5-6 lbs. and I had a 3 pounder so I cut the recipe below in half. I had no idea what Masala was but the ingredients look good to me.

They called for broiling but I used the grill.

BTW – Masala means “blend”. There are many different kinds of masala but the term refers is some combination of black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chilies, fennel, mace and nutmeg.

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 – 3” piece of peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tsps. ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 – 3” cinnamon1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander plus 2 tsps.
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin, plus 1 tsp.
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk yogurt (We used lactose free “Green Valley” check it out)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 butterflied leg of lamb 5-6 lbs.
  • 3 tsps. kosher salt
  • Grilled Naan flat bread

How

Process garlic, turmeric, ginger and water to a paste in small food processor. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Ass the cinnamon and bay leaf and stir fry until the cinnamon unfurls, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic paste, coriander, cumin, curry powder and cayenne and stir-fry until browned and almost dry, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a large shallow baking dish and cool slightly. Using the large holes in a box grater, grate the onion into the paste. Whisk in yogurt and orange zest.

Pierce the lamb all over with a fork. Cut the lamb in half following the natural seam that runs across the center of the meat. Put the lamb in the marinade and coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, tuning occasionally if possible.

About 45 minutes before cooking, take the lamb from the frig. Depending on your grill and prep to get ready work preheat the grill to high. I like to place a sheet of tin foil over the grill while heating up, this burns off anything that was left on leaving ashes, then I scrap let it heat back up to desired temp and then wipe with oil on a paper towel or cloth, using tongs, just before placing anything on the grill.

When ready place the lamb on the grill turn the heat to medium, season with 1\2 the salt and grill until just charred, about 15 minutes. Turn the lamb season with a rest of salt and grill until meat reaches 1300 for medium rare. Transfer to platter cover loosely with tin foil and let sit rest for about 10 minutes.

Slice the lamb across the grain salt and pepper to taste server with flat bread.

My first bite I thought was too much curry but the second bite gave me the real flavor and it was not only moist, tasty and tender but a very good choice for something different.

Another 2 heads bobbing approval from Lyn and Steve.

Other lamb recipes from Steve

Leftover Lamb Flatbread Pizza drizzled with Pomegranate Molasses

Roast Leg of Lamb with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies