MELON BALLS TO TEMPER SUMMER’S THIRST

I could never grow tired of one of summer’s wholesome foods (watermelon). It’s quite the thirst reliever to have around. Cheers!

Advertisements

WENT WITH THE FLOW #BERRIES/MELON

When the temperatures sizzle on the outskirts, I’ve to find ways to quench the thirst within. Didn’t have to look far for some of my faves. Reached for the low-calorie watermelon which is loaded with great amounts of vitamin C, and other beneficial nutrients.

It’s a ‘no-brainer’ for me. Love to stock up on the antioxidant foods, blueberries. These  are said to promote brain health. During this time, the marketplaces are packed with these berries which make the prices relatively inexpensive. As a result, I try to freeze a portion and snack on the fiber goodness.

Went with the flow and was super-happy.

 

FIBER HAPPY

My digestive system is skipping with glee. I can’t wait to indulge in a few of these wholesome and nutritious treats. Once again, Mother Nature has bestowed some of her finest foods for my palate.

I know that I’ll gain loads of fibers, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients. I’m ecstatic!

I’M A HAPPY NIBBLER

I hate to be hungry for a long period. Who does? If you know me well, you can attest that I’m a nibbler. I’m like a traveling pantry. I’m not leaving home without some form of filling bites to munch on. This move enables me from indulging in the wrong type of foods.

Sometimes, I do feel like a squirrel. They are always seeking out and nibbling on bits. Come to think of it, eh, they often try to be in my proximity. They and those birds are quite smart. They see me reach for those nuts and I’m happy to share a few with them.

But anyway guys, I stave off those hungry pangs by packing in small zip lock bags:

  • dried fruits and nuts (unsalted)
  • ripe banana or any fruit
  • apple along with a dollop of peanut butter
  • water

These types of healthy and filling foods aid me to keep my blood sugar in check because they keep me satiated for hours until to get to a substantial meal.  Moreover, they save me a few dollars because I try to prep them in advance. I do this  by purchasing bigger quantities like nuts and pack same in baggies.

I never leave home without ‘good old’ water. A few sips, provides me with the hydration I need throughout the day while I’m away from home. The potassium-rich banana is also very filling. I can never give up my fiber-rich apple bites. Sometimes, I pair same with a dollop of peanut butter.

No one should go hungry. A few of these food moves keep me in check and make me a happy camper.

 

 

GAME DAY BITES #JERK CHICKEN WINGS #I’M GAMED!!

On this day (Super Bowl 50), while the Panthers play the Broncos, kitchens around Unites States of America will be feasting on a number of bites. One of the favorites is chicken wings. It is said that approximately 1.3 billion or 162.5 million pounds will be consumed. Now, that’s a whole ‘lotta’ wings.

I’ve decided to join in and add my few to the total. Buffalo wings are very popular; however, I’ve gone with my favorite style, Jamaican jerk wings. Yeah mon! By the way, Super Bowl is also huge on the island.

Served my spicy ‘bad boys’ with refreshing sticks of celery. I even got a bit messy and further temper my wings with the tart/sweet ketchup.

JERK CHICKEN WINGS WITH STICKS OF CELERY
JERK CHICKEN WINGS WITH STICKS OF CELERY

A serving  of roasted sweet potatoes brought a delicious contrast. These sweet delights were first cut in halves and drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with powered cinnamon and ginger. Then they were  roasted on a high of 420 degrees fahrenheit for approximately 45 minutes. They were then topped with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with cinnamon.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES TOPPED WITH SOUR CREAM AND A SPRINKLE OF CINNAMON
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES TOPPED WITH SOUR CREAM AND A SPRINKLE OF CINNAMON

Frankly, I’m looking forward to the Half-time show and of the ads while I nibble on my ‘bites’. But, may the better team win. Go Broncos!! Go Panthers!!

 

 

 

EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Thunderstorms couldn’t keep me away from my kitchenette. In fact, it was the opposite. You see, rainy weather lures me to my cooking range. And, that’s what it did this evening. Originally, I was planning on Chinese delivery; however, my culinary mind sent me searching for supplies (well, food).

The first thing that caught my eyes were my vine-ripe tomatoes. Those super-red and over-ripened fruits/veggies were begging to be rescued. So, I did. I rinsed same and retrieved for my other ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Eggplant parmesan was on my mind. However, I didn’t have the cheese of the hour. Moreover, there was no fresh basil. I did not allow that to damper my dish at hand. Decided to improvise and made my style, Eggplant with Feta cheese. Bought the cheese on sale for sometime; maybe a couple of months and stored the reserve in the freezer.

First, I made a home-made tomato sauce with my vine-ripe tomatoes. I softened finely chopped onions in olive oil. Then, chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, thyme, dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, squeeze of honey and a splash of red-wine vinegar were added. I allowed these ingredients to simmer on low heat while I attended to my purple boy.

HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT
HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT

Grabbed my chopping board and went to ‘town’ with my big purple boy (eggplant).

SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING
SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING

Slices were seasoned with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I fleetingly thought about placing them in an egg wash, sprinkle bread crumbs and pan-frying. But, decided to employ the use of my grill pan. This move (grilling) saved me quite a few calories from pan-frying.

GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE
GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE

I was ready for action. Grilled eggplant slices were plated and fresh home-made tomato sauce was spooned on each slice with a sprinkle of the briny feta cheese. Didn’t have fresh basil in-house. I didn’t allow that to rain on my ‘parade’. Instead, I used thinly sliced kale I had on had.

FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH
FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH

I was super-happy. I served a few slices with a few roasted spicy jerk wings and sweet potatoes.

EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES
EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES

 

ONE OF THE JOY’S OF SUMMER #CANTALOUPE AND MINT SALAD

As summer makes its merry and torrid way out, I thought I would pay homage in my way. And, what better way to do so than with one of summer’s favorite melons, cantaloupe. This musky-flavored fruit generally ripens close to the beginning of April and peaks in August. I was happy to secure one that was on sale for $2.50. Frankly, I knew the price could have been better; but, I went with it.

Based on studies, cantaloupes are rich in vitamins (A, K, B-6), calcium, magnesium,  potassium, beta-carotene, a great abundance of antioxidants and other nutrients that are excellent for the body.

Most times, I make smoothies with my cantaloupe; however, I decided to make my melon baller do the ‘talking’.

Melon baller used to scoop cantaloupe
Melon baller used to scoop cantaloupe

I decided to make a cantaloupe and mint salad along with thinly sliced ginger root. Melon was scooped in bowl. Then, thinly sliced ginger root pieces were added. A simple syrup was created consisting of a piece of crushed ginger root and a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of honey. After cooling, a squeeze of lime juice was added; then drizzled over scooped cantaloupe and ginger root.

Finely chopped fresh mint was then added and gently folded in. Fruit salad was then chilled in refrigerator and served.

LIGHT BITES #CANNED WHITE TUNA/GRAPES

I confess; I’m not a huge lover of tuna fish. However, because of  to the hurricane season, I stored a few in my pantry. I’m so glad I did. Decided to pair same with some refreshing chopped green grapes. I also added diced onions, a splash of vinegar, a fresh squeeze of  lime, and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.

I couldn’t pass up on nature’s butter (avocado). With a few  pieces of cheddar cheese and some crispy whole-wheat crackers my light lunch was complete.

TRYING TO KEEP THE DOCS AWAY!! ##CRISPY APPLE FRITTERS

You know what they say, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Well, generally, I try my utmost best to incorporate a few of them in my weekly dietary intake. I store the fiber-filled fruits on my counter top or in eye-sight so that I can grab and go. I can’t say that I’m always overjoyed with all the buys that I garner.

I generally go for Gala types because of their heartiness. However, lately, I’ve been testing other types. For instance, at my last shopping trip I purchased some green delicious. They too are crispy and tartier than their Gala counterparts.

GREEN DELICIOUS APPLES
GREEN DELICIOUS APPLES

I guess that was why I decided to shred a couple and make apple fritters for breakfast. The other ingredients were:

  • Cinnamon (generous sprinkle)
  • Flour (1/2 cup) {whole-wheat/all-purpose]
  • Vanilla (splash)
  • Sour cream (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt (pinch)
  • Dark sugar (2 table-spoon)
  • Beaten egg
  • Squeeze of lime/lemon (to prevent browning) and for added flavor
  • Water (1/3 cup)
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Apples were thoroughly rinsed and then shredded on box grater.
  2. Wet and dry ingredients were combined and made into a batter.Then, shredded apples were added and folded in batter.
  3. In hot skillet, a drizzle of canola oil was added.
  4. Fritters were fried until they were cooked on the internal and brown/crispy on the exterior.

Crispy apple fritters were served warm with a garnish of thinly sliced apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sprig of fresh mint.