Spicy Mango Chutney

This is a tasty and healthy condiment that will add that “je ne sais quoi to your dinner or appetizer.  It is the best version of mango chutney that I have ever had. Everyone likes it.  Even the cilantro haters do not notice the cilantro in it. Your crab cakes will never be the same.  You can serve it along side of your chicken schnitzel, veal, seafood. It is best made the same day and worth it.
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large mango cubed
  • 1 small sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 T. coriander* leaves minced
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg to the ingredients
  • 1 T. dried black currants
  • Olive oil

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DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss.
Serve with crab cakes, chicken, veal or scallops.
To plate an appetizer, place chutney on plate and food on top.


DID YOU KNOW?
*CORIANDER
A vegetarian, gluten-free herb!  Like a rose by any name will smell just as sweet, call it what you may, hara dhania, coriander or cilantro, they are, one and the same ingredient.
*Coriander: Coriander is also known as Chinese parsley. The stems and leaves of which are usually called cilantro in North America.
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YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR  WEALTH
One cup of dice mango is 100 calories. YUM! The 20% folate (a form of vitamin E) in a mango is metabolized in the liver. Any drinkers with fatty livers will appreciate this fact. All peppers are loaded with antioxidants, but none as much as the brightly colored reds, yellows, and orange. Mango and peppers are a dynamic duo! Right Batman!

Forbidden Black Rice Salad

Black Rice was once “only” enjoyed by the Emperor and his royal court. It was forbidden for the commoners to eat this exquisite black rice. The tender, nutty flavoured rice is presumed to enrich one’s life and promote longevity.rice3 After I brought my chilled rice salad to the office,  I noticed that all the staff made it the following week!  It travels well and is a great picnic salad.  A refreshing change from your typical summer salads.
I researched and tried out several versions but this recipe from the Bon Appétit June 2012 needs no improvement. black rice salad photo provided by Jason Lowe, Bon Appétit

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BLACK RICE SALAD – WITH MANGO AND NUTS
INGREDIENTS
2 oranges
1/4 cup or more fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
2 cups black rice
Kosher salt
2 just-ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2″dice
1 cup finely fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/2 large onion)
1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or unsalted cashews or other nuts
6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, minced
black-rice-ingredients
INSTRUCTIONS
1 ) Remove peel and white pith from oranges.
2 ) Working over a medium bowl to catch juices and using a small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release orange segments into bowl. Squeeze membranes over bow to release any juices. Strain juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; reserve orange segments.
3 ) Add 1/4 cup lime juice, oil, and fish sauce (if using) to bowl with orange juice; whisk to blend.
4 ) Set dressing aside.
5 ) Bring rice and 2 and 3/4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Season lightly with salt. Cover, Reduce heat to low and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered for 15 minutes.
6 ) Spread out rice on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with dressing and season lightly with salt; let cool.
7 ) Place mangoes and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add rice and toss gently to combine.
8 ) Season lightly with salt and more lime juice if desired.
Serves: 6–8

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW?
While whole grain brown rice and red rice also contain beneficial antioxidants; only black rice contains special variety of antioxidants known as anthocyanin antioxidants. (Thus the dark purple colour -like blueberries)  Additionally, black rice also contains an important antioxidant – Vitamin E, which is useful in maintaining eye, skin, and immune health in addition to other important functions. Forbidden Black Rice contains 18 amino acids (same as Aloe Vera), iron, zinc, copper, carotene, and fiber. Mangos are #1 ~ the most popular fruit in the world.

black-rice

Emperor’s Dining Room

In ancient times, Emperors reserved this wonderful black rice for their own consumption because it was thought that it would extend their lives. Black rice does provide many health benefits that the western world is now embracing with gusto.  It helps fight against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes with high amount of flavanoid phytonutrients and protects heart health (plaque formation). Herbalists use black rice as a prevention and treatment for ailments and as a blood tonifier. 

Black Rice was also considered to be somewhat of an aphrodisiac at one time.  I suspect the Emperors down throughout the ages shared their black rice stock with their consorts or concubines.

Heirloom Forbidden Black rice is a strain from Indonesian Rice.

Heirloom Forbidden Black rice is a strain from Indonesian Black Rice. photo provided by Spikenard and Myrrh

Black Rice is surely ‘one of the’… if not ‘the most’ special variety of rice that is cultivated today. Its special, near medicinal values is truly stunning, even today with all of our medical knowledge and tools. Every time you sit down to enjoy a few servings of this awesome super food, you can remind yourself that you are eating something that was once reserved for royalty. If a commoner was caught eating this rice it was “off with their heads”.

VARIATIONS
If you are trying to find something else to do with your avocados, my friend Monique from Ambitious Kitchen added avocado to her black rice salad. It is a nice touch and goes well. Instead of unsalted peanuts (Bon Appétit version), I used cashews while Monique added almonds to her salad. If you have the time and patience, roasted pecans would be wonderful too.
avocado-mango-blackrice-salad

Another gluten-free recipe that is filled with flavour , colour and the YUM-Factor!

kids32BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH!
A light touch: For milder flavour, use leeks instead of red onion and yellow or red bell peppers instead of jalapeno peppers. Forget the nuts (allergies)  if you like.  Substitute other herbs for the cilantro. e.g. parsley, basil, fresh mint, fresh-soft rosemary (my favorite) or even peppery rocket lettuce. Know what your kids like to eat. I would even test out fresh oregano in this ‘forbidden’ black rice salad.  COLLEGE KIDS: Add a smidgen of fresh pressed garlic ~ to boost the immune system.  If it is not fresh I would not use the herbs. The dried herbs taste different. They have flavour, but are better suited in baking and cooking.

Y-U-M-M      Y-U-M-M-M!

Chocolate Craving? Energy Truffles

My Favorite Raspberry Truffles

TASTY TRUFFLES
My neighbour loves chocolate and loves sweets but she gets headaches for days afterwards. I started thinking about this and kept my mind and my eyes open for a solution. I did some testing with organic dates and almonds and came up with these treats.
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CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY TRUFFLES
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 cup soft pitted date
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp natural raspberry flavour*
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional)

Directions
Add dates and almonds to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until they come together into a ball. Break up ball and add cocoa powder, natural raspberry flavour vanilla extract and salt. Process until all ingredients have been combined and form into a large sticky ball again. Roll into 20 small balls and dust with cocoa powder. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They will store longer in the freezer. My neighbour  tried them and did she get a headache?  You guessed it!  NO!
Added pizazz – Sprinkled edible gold leaf on your truffles. Or – add organic lime zest on top of the truffles -right before serving for that extra tang.
*Note:  Natural raspberry flavour is made by companies such as Boyajian and is available through http://www.goldaskitchen.com and other sources.

truffles33

Curb your Sugar Cravings
A few weeks later, I was chatting with my hairdresser about food. She was concerned about the sugar that her adult sons were ingesting and she asked me if I had any recipes for dates and nuts. She had tried to make some sweet treats on her own with limited success. She was chopping the ingredients with a knife. You really will not get that smooth consistency with a knife. A food processor is really ideal for this process. You can change the consistency by adding more lime juice or almond milk.
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CHOCOLATE MATCHA TRUFFLES
truffles_macha-tea
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 cup soft pitted date
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1T organic matcha green tea powder
1 T unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional)

Directions
Add dates and almonds to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until they come together into a ball. Break up ball and add cocoa powder, matcha powder, almond milk, vanilla extract and pinch salt. Process until all ingredients have been combined and form into a large sticky ball again. Roll into 20 small balls and dust with more matcha powder.
Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or longer in freezer.

didyouknow2FOOD FACTS: You do not become hypoglycemic with these treats. They do not elevate your blood sugar. Remember with sugary treats, you are full of energy or have the sugar rush. Inevitably, after the peak then comes the crash. These truffle treats have very healthy ingredients;  full of nutrition and will also give you a boost if you are working in the office or you are at the gym.  You can keep on going like the “Ever Ready Bunny” .
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LIME PISTACHIO TRUFFLES
truffles-pastachioRECIPE
Ingredients
2 cups pistachios
I cup pitted dates
4 organic limes, zest and juice of each.

Directions
Mix only 1 1/2 cups of the pistachios and all the dates in food processor until it comes to a ball.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the pistachios for the coating. Process the pistachios and dates until it comes together in a ball (about 3 minutes). While this is mixing, zest the limes and then juice them. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup pistachios into tiny bits to be used for coating. Break up the pistachio-date ball and add zest and juice of all key limes. Process until well combined. Toss pistachio-date mixture into 18 balls and then roll in chopped pistachios. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month or longer in freezer.
HAT2FOOD TIP : You can change the consistency of these sweet treats by adding more lime juice or almond milk as needed. Also if you are using the zest of any citrus fruit, you must buy organic to avoid the pesticides. If you are just eating or juicing the lime,  you don’t need to pay extra for the organic.

Snowballs: Chocolate, Almond and Date Energy Bites Rolled in Coconut