Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Salad

Arizona summers are HOT, this year has been no exception. The past couple of weeks we have been in the 112 to 115 range. Yes, most of the time it is a dry heat, but during our "monsoon" season the humidity increases too!
The very thought of preparing a hot meal makes me perspire!

A few days ago my "fruit lady" received our shipment of Apricots from Utah. I came home with 27 pounds of the large, juicy, deep orange orbs. After making several batches of sugar free apricot jam (see sugar free strawberry jam recipe below and follow same directions), I found I still had many of the beauties left. From these spheres in waiting, came my idea for this deliciously satisfying cool dinner. I might add, it is a rapid fix as well after a busy day at the office!

1/2 bag of baby spinach (approx. 80g)
2 fresh apricots washed and sliced
1/8 cup sliced almonds
drizzle of Mexican Lime Olive Oil, about 1 teaspoon ** you may substitute 2 Tablespoons of EVOO with one packet of TrueLime added. Drizzle 1 teaspoon over salad.
1 oz soft Goat Cheese

Layer above ingredients and serve.

Use the NutritionData widget at the bottom of my blog for further details, but this is an abridgment of the food values in this salad.
2 Apricots = 8 carbs and 34 Calories and a bonus of 1 g fiber very high in potassium and other nutrients.
80 g of Spinach = 4 carbs and 5 g fiber and mega nutrients
1 oz Goat Cheese = O carbs (but caution it has 4 g saturated fat. little crumbles go a long way!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

This is not a new recipe, nor is it my own creation, but worthy of bringing to your attention. It is simple to make and so versatile in use as well.

To begin, you will need 2 quarts of nicely ripe strawberries, washed and hulled. I then used my food processor to smooch them into a slightly chunky pulp. You can also use a potato masher to do this job.
In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups zero calorie Splenda (granulated) with 1 package of Fruit Pectin. Mix these dry ingredients together well.

Add 4 cups of of the smashed strawberries to the Splenda mixture and stir well. It is important that you then stir this mixture for an additional 3 minutes.
Ladle into freezer containers and let stand for 30 minutes while the jam thickens. This may be stored in the freezer for up to 1 year or in the refrigerator for a month.

The jam is delicious on toast, whole wheat pancakes, sugar free pudding. The taste is that of fresh strawberries, not like jar jams. You may want to try blueberries, raspberries, blackberries of a mixture of several types of berry.