Monday, June 29, 2015

Grilling Pineapple - Is it as simple as it sounds? #GardenCuizine @Fruits_Veggies #healthycooking

Grilled Pineapple
high in Vitamin C
Grilled pineapple adds sweet flavor to just about anything from entrees to desserts. Yes, grilling pineapple is as simple as it sounds. Simply rinse whole fruit, cut off ends and skin, rub with olive oil and grill. Pineapple is naturally sweet; so no added sugar is necessary. Savor the natural flavor of pineapple.

First select a pineapple from your local market. Very few of us are lucky enough to grow our own, but if you do - all the better! I'm envious. Pineapple plants are interesting and beautiful too. I've seen them growing when on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

To prepare pineapple for the grill first rinse the whole pineapple to remove any contaminants before you cut into it. A knife could press bacteria into the fruit.
Cut and remove both ends. Save the green part if using for decorating food displays. Slice the outer peel off then slice the pineapple into rings. I usually leave in the core during cooking to give the rings more stability when flipping them on the grill.
Lightly rub olive oil on the rings. Set aside on a plate until ready to grill.
Grill, then using a pineapple core gadget remove the circular hard core centers.

GardenCuizine Nutrition data Pineapple

Excellent Source Vitamin C and Manganese
Good Source Dietary Fiber, Thiamin and Vitamin B6
1 cup: 165g pineapple chunks: 82 calories; total fat: zero 0g; total Carbohydrate 22g; Dietary Fiber 2g (9% DV); Vitamin C: 79mg (131% DV Wow!!); Thiamin 0.1mg (9% DV); Vitamin B6: 0.2mg (9% DV); Folate: 29.7 mcg (7% DV); Manganese 1.5mg (76% DV); plus other nutrients

Related Links
How to Select a Fresh Pineapple
More about Manganese

Blog post and photos Copyright (C)2015 Wind. All rights reserved. Pineapple shown was Dole Ananas Tropical Gold® Pineapple.

Light Summer Dessert: Lemon Rice Chiffon Cake #glutenfree #jbfrecipes by @AliceMedrich

Lemon Rice Chiffon Cake
~gluten free~

recipe by Alice Medrich 
James Beard Foundation 
baking contest entry

Have you noticed that gluten free foods have been trending more and more popular even among those who do not have a medical need to avoid gluten? Last night our family enjoyed a light and flavorful gluten free Lemon Rice Chiffon Cake made with rice flour rather than wheat flour. The recipe is by Alice Medrich from her book Flavor Flours, which won James Beard's best book of the year in desserts. Visit James Beards' website for the recipe and information about the baking contest

I first heard of award-winning author Alice Medrich when my pastry chef friend Laura gave me one of her books - BitterSweet. Laura worked for Alice many years ago when she lived in Berkeley California. I worked with Laura long ago at Tavistock Country club here in Jersey. My how fast the years fly by! 

Below, you'll find my series of photos taken during preparation for the contest. The recipe by Alice is very straight forward and easy-to-follow.
Step 1 gather your ingredients
Step 2 Separate room temperature eggs
 Step 3 Combine the sugar, egg yolks, water, oil (I used canola), rice flour (I used Bob's Red Mill), baking powder and salt. Whisk together. It will make a light batter. Grate lemon zest on top of the batter. Follow the recipe.
Step 4 Beat egg whites and cream of tarter to soft peaks. Add remaining sugar and beat a little more to stiff but not dry peaks
Step 5 Fold whites into yolk batter and pour into 10-inch tube pan
Step 5 Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until golden and tests done with a cake tester. 
Follow Alice's directions to carefully slide a thin knife around the edge to free the sides. Cake will settle at least 1-inch just like she says. Let cake cool in the pan.
Step 6 remove cake from pan and transfer to serving plate. 

Decorate as desired. I sliced and grilled fresh pineapple to use as a garnish alongside whipped cream rosettes. The top of the pineapple was reserved. I cut the base to fit into the center hole of the cake.

Herbs shown: parsley flowers, thyme, red shiso perilla
Step 7 Stroll through your garden and select a few sprigs of fresh herbs and edible blooms. Rinse, air dry and position into the pineapple top to decorate.

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Lemon Rice Chiffon Cake:  
consider this a dessert treat and enjoy 
1/12 of recipe: each slice approximately: 242 calories, 11g total fat: 1g saturated fat (compared to 6-12g saturated fat in a donut!), 31g carbohydrates (2 carb servings), 5g protein, Vitamin E 1.8mg (9% DV), Riboflavin 0.1mg (8% DV), 

Related Links
Recipe Lemon Rice Chiffon Cake
Flavor Flours 
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Today's Gorgeous Garden Photo: Blue Phlox. Mother Nature's Artwork. #gardenchat

Gorgeous Garden Photo:
Blue Phlox

Leave it to mother nature to paint us the most beautiful pictures and landscapes with eye-pleasing colors and textures. The lavender swirling buds of Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' present soft serve cones for the butterflies! Drought tolerant once established. Definately a unique color among garden phlox. USDA Hardiness: zones 4 to 8.
click on photo to enlarge
Blog post and photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

General Tsao Tofu Stir-fry with Broccoli Rabe and brown rice #GardenCuizine

General Tsao Tofu Stir-fry
with Broccoli Rabe 
served over Brown Rice

1 bunch Broccoli Rabe

1 pkg Nasoya extra firm tofu (tofuplus has added vitamins)
Garlic - generous portion minced
Vegetable oil (we use sesame oil or peanut oil)
General Tsao's bottled Stir-fry Sauce (a blend of soy sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, onion, garlic, spices; select whatever brand you prefer; available in most supermarkets; we select bottled sauces with natural ingredients) 

Prepare Broccoli Rabe
Rinse broccoli rabe; cut off thick ends; chop bunch into thirds; set aside in colander. Bring pot of water to boil. Add broccoli rabe and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and save the cooking liquid for other recipes (can use greens liquid when making quinoa, rice or soup). Set aside greens.
Stir Fry Tofu
Open package extra firm tofu, drain liquid. Line a pie plate with a clean dish towel and place the tofu in the center. Cover with the towel and place a few small cast iron skillets or other heavy weights on top as a press. Let excess water drain into towel for at least 30-minutes. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

In a large wok, on high heat, add a few tablespoons sesame oil. When hot, add tofu. Stir-fry until slightly brown. Remove and set aside cooked tofu.

Stir Fry Broccoli Rabe
Add a little more oil to wok if needed. On high heat, stir-fry prepared broccoli rabe. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until broccoli rabe is tender. Push greens up the side of wok, away from direct heat. Add chopped garlic to the center for 1 minute and then stir together with the greens.

Add the cooked tofu back in and add a small amount of General Tsao's stir-fry sauce. (Read the label; bottled sauces are usually high in sodium, so use sparingly.) Serve over brown rice. Enjoy!

Brown Rice:
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water

2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon minced hot pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch salt and black pepper

Cook rice in a rice cooker or on stovetop in a pot with a lid (we use 4-inch deep Corning-ware) saute onion in olive oil. Add 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, stir. Stir in brown rice. Add water and pinch salt and pepper - bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer until all water is evaporated. 

Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Today in Our South Jersey Garden #GardenCuizine

Today in Our Garden
South Jersey 
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
Hot and muggy weather in South Jersey today. It's still worth a stroll outside to get some exercise and enjoy nature. Of course, I took a camera as I walked through the garden with my coffee this morning. 

At the top of a trellis, Clematis Wildfire showed off a few deep purple blooms with white, daisy-like, penny-sized blooms of Feverfew growing below. Feverfew naturalizes beautifully in Cottage Gardens. 

Hydrangeas macrophylla ‘blue billow’ are in full bloom along with Oakleaf Hydrangea quecifolia Snowflake ‘Brido’. Our cobalt blue pom pom hydrangeas didn't bloom last year after the brutal winter, but regrowth has buds just starting to open!

In a raised bed with marigolds and rosemary, recently planted Dolico Cow Pea sprouts look promising as they poke through the dirt. Italian black-eyed peas hold skinny 5 1/2 inch long asparagus-colored pods atop uniform 12-inch plants according to Territorial Seed Company.

Sweet pepper plants have peppers showing already and our heirloom tomato plants are producing yellow flowers! Hummingbird favorites: Trumpet vine, Coronado hyssop, Lady in Red salvia, Coral Nymph and other pink salvias are starting to bloom too.

Red cannas and dinner plate dahlias are on the move and growing well. Harry planted them around the border of our veggie garden like usual. I relocated a few hollyhock seedlings to the garden fence border too; they came from another spot where they self sowed. 

Our special dahlias include red and yellow Show and Tell - a favorite from my cousin Bob who was an avid dahlia grower. It's hard to believe August 8th will be 5 years since he passed away from cancer.

Feeling Blue
Our Blue Garden patch of blue salvias seems to have disappeared, which is disappointing this year. Salvia Black and Blue and Salvia Guaranitica have returned for us the past 10 years, but this season I've only spotted a few Salvia Guaranitica's. Our Salvia uliginosa – Bog Sage didn't come back either. I wonder what was different this past winter... too much moisture or maybe too dry a spring?

Happy Gardening!

Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.