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winter fruit salad
WINTER FRUIT SALAD

Total Time:  30 min | Prep: 30 min | Yield: 6 servings | Level: Easy

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1 1 -inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1 lemon
5 large navel or blood oranges
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 firm bananas, peeled and diced
5 kiwis, peeled and diced
12 kumquats, very thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed
1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

Directions

Combine the sugar, 2 cups water, the ginger and vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan. Use a vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of zest from the lemon and 1 orange, add to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Refrigerate until cold.

Meanwhile, peel the remaining oranges with a paring knife, cutting along the natural curve of the fruit. Hold an orange over a large bowl and cut along both sides of each membrane to free the segments, letting them fall into the bowl. Squeeze each empty membrane to release the juices. Repeat with the remaining oranges. Add the mangoes, bananas, kiwis, kumquats and pomegranate seeds and gently toss. Pour the syrup over the fruit and chill overnight.

Before serving, remove the citrus zest, ginger and vanilla pod. Spoon the fruit and syrup into bowls.

To remove pomegranate seeds, cut the fruit into quarters, then break apart in a bowl of water. Skim off the pith that floats to the top and drain the seeds.

Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

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roasted greek veggies
greek roasted veggies

Total Time: 1 hr 30 min | Prep: 10-15 min | Bake: 1 hr 30 min | Level: Easy 

Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise, then sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, then sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled then sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 4 medium tomatoes, 2 cut into quarters and the other 2 finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
  • 2 artichokes, quartered, trimmed and parboiled (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ground pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (reserve 1/4 cups for garnish)
Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, onion, artichokes, garlic, water or stock, olive oil, cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and fresh parsley in a heavy, shallow baking pan, toss together and bake (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours total, covered for the first half hour) until tender, stirring occasionally.

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autumn baked apples

autumn baked apples

Total Time: 1 hr 21 min | Prep: 6 min | Cook: 15 min | Bake: 45-60 min |Yield: 6 | Level: Easy 

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 same-size Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 teaspoon-size pieces
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint
Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Core apples, making sure not to puncture the bottom of the apples so that the juices will remain. Remove skin from 1/2-inch around top of apples at the opening. Fill each cavity with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter. Place apples in casserole dish and pour apple juice around them. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.

Recipe courtesy Food Network

  ♦♦♦♦♦
Sweet Potato Fries
sweet potato fries

Total Time:  1.5 hours | Prep: 30 min | Cook: 35 min | Yield: 4 to 6 servings | Level: Easy 

Ingredients
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • cornstarch for batter
  • oil for frying (Catana Ultima® Canola)
  • seasonings (paprika, pepper, salt)
Directions
Prep & Par-cooking
  1. Wash, peel (optional), and cut into ½” or ¼” matchstick shape fries. ½” (preferred) will require par-cooking.
  2. Rinse under running water, drain and repeat once more. Dry in salad spinner or with towels.
  3. To par-cook: boil in water until tender, and just cooked all the way through, not mushy and breaking in our hands. About 8-15 minutes.
Cooking
  1. Make some batter. About 4 parts cornstarch to 3 or 4 parts water until milky, but not too watery.
  2. Dip fries (I do about 5 so they don’t sit there as the cornstarch gunks up). Shake off excess.
  3. Quickly drop into the fryer 1 at a time so they don’t stick. About 1-2 minutes at 325°F-350°F. We don’t want it to brown too much yet.
  4. Remove from oil, rest on paper towels to remove oil and cool off.
  5. Repeat to finish all the fries, making sure you mix up the batter before each small batch (For me, each set of 5 fries). You might have to add some water if the batter is sludgy.
  6. So after the first batch, they’re pretty good now, but you have to eat them quickly or they lose the crunch. I have discovered that a 2nd dip & fry makes the crunch better and last much longer.
  7. Dip + fry a 2nd time, following the same steps. Except this time you can leave them in the oil until the fries brown enough to your liking. It still should be around 1-2 minutes. Season each batch while hot. I like salt, paprika, and finely (freshly) ground pepper.

Recipe courtesy Hungry Huy

 ♦♦♦♦♦

strawberry asparagus salad

Strawberry and Asparagus Salad

Total Time: 18 min | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 3 min | Yield: 4 to 6 servings | Level: Easy 

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1-inch pieces) fresh asparagus
  • 8 cups arugula
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Directions

In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice, oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Put 2 cups of arugula on each serving plate, top with strawberries and asparagus and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Recipe courtesy Food Network/Stuart O’Keeffe

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