Summer Fruit Salsa Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 16 oz. Summer Fruit Salsa*
  • 2 diced chicken breasts
  • 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • Lime juice
*1 cup diced frozen/fresh mixed fruit to one 16 oz. jar of regular salsa – melons, mango and similar fruits are perfect for this recipe.
Directions:
  1. Add everything to your slow cooker.
  2. Set temperature to low.
  3. Set timer for three hours.
  4. Go about your daily routine.
  5. Return when the timer goes off and open your can of black beans.
  6. Drain them into a strainer and rinse thoroughly.
  7. Stir into slow cooker.
  8. Set temperature to low.
  9. Set timer for 1 hour.
  10. Make the rice according to instructions and set aside (or wait to make it towards the end of the hour).
  11. Once everything is done, lay a bed of rice and top with beans and chicken mixture.
  12. Drizzle lime juice over entire dish before serving OR serve with lime tortilla chips!  OR BOTH!!
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Mango and Honey Sorbet

I can’t say I have much of a sweet tooth… unless it comes to ice cream or sorbets.  BUT before the Dictionary Thumpers start correcting me about the difference, Sorbets and sherbets are very similar dishes using fruits, a sweetener and either dairy (sherbet) or alcohol (sorbet).  Sherbets were originally termed “dairy sorbets” and I use the term interchangeably for this specific reason.  Most Americans do the same because appearance wise, there is very little difference.  Besides, I have this whole “it’s MY blog” attitude that will render any arguments futile.
Back to the discussion at hand… as I was saying, I LOVE ice cream or sorbets (dairy and otherwise) and was thinking yesterday how it’s been ages since I’ve had sorbet.  I asked Bre if she liked sorbet or sherbet and she stated that she LOVED sherbet!  GREAT!  Off to the freezer I went to grab her favorite flavor… mango.  I also grabbed some frozen black cherries.  I pulled out the almond milk (which is a wonderful flavor alternative for vegans or those lactose intolerant) and honey (you can use a sugar/water solution which is common for sorbets but as you all know, we don’t use sugar in our home).
And then… the food processor did a death rattle… or should I say… attempted to die a silent death because when I pressed the button, nothing happened.  My handy, dandy, fix-it-girl, loves-to-take-things-apart, wife came to the rescue.  She operated on said processor, discovered the issue, corrected it and put her back together, good as almost-new (let’s face it, I use the food processor a LOT).  The patient made a full recovery and we enjoyed the “fruits” of Bre’s labor (yes, she actually made that joke as we were eating the sorbet).  She also stated emphatically that she liked it far more than ice cream!  I have to agree with her, it was scrumptious!   So here’s how I do it (get ready for no measurements because this is a purely taste specific thing for most people).
Ingredients:
  • Your favorite frozen fruit (single flavors work better than multiple flavors unless both are distinctly sharp/strong)
  • Almond milk (I suggest coconut only it if compliments the flavor of fruit you are using.  Soy works well too.)
  • Honey, agave or sugar-water solution (sugar-water is a 1:1 cup ratio of sugar dissolved into boiling water and let cool, you can make this sweeter if so desired)
Directions:
  1. Add frozen fruit to your food processor and puree it on high until a either it’s a shaved ice looking consistency (the more frozen the better for this).
  2. Continue to puree the fruit while slowly adding almond milk to the mixture until it becomes a creamy consistency (this generally depends on the amount and type of fruit you use, I used four cups of cubed mangos and used about 1/2 a cup of almond milk but the cherries were a little over a cup).
  3. Taste test the mixture.  Slowly add a tablespoon of your sweetener at a time, fully incorporating it before tasting again, until it’s the desired sweetness.  Again, different fruits use less/more sweetener so it really is a personal preference.
  4. When finished, pour into individual serving size, freezable cups and put in freezer for four hours or until thoroughly set.
Other Options
  • Green tea sorbet: When making the sugar (or honey) water solution, use water infused with green tea leaves!
  • Chai sorbet: Same as above only with a chai tea bag.
  • Google it!  There are so many tasty and amazing suggestions out there that make this one of the easiest and most versatile desserts you will ever make.
Notes:
  • Alcohol instead of milk: I love to use wine coolers, fruity wines, and champagnes for sorbets.  But they will not cream the fruit so you will have to add according to taste and I strongly suggest doing so BEFORE adding the sweetener as that drastically changes the taste as well.  As for using heavier wines such as merlots or cabernets, this as wonderful to try but can sometimes wash out the taste of the fruit and very little is used.
  • What fruits to pick: Though this depends primarily on taste, the type of fruit you use will change the consistency of your sorbet.  Creamier fruits such as those in the melon family, mangos, cantaloupes, strawberries, etc. will have a more creamy appearance.  More watery fruits such as watermelon, lemons, oranges, etc. will have a more shaved ice appearance.  Don’t fret, they will still taste amazing.

Apple Cream Leather

Ingredients:
  • 6 apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt (plain)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Directions:
  1. Puree ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.
  2. Place fruit leather sheets in dehydrator trays.
  3. Spread puree over fruit leather sheets, 1/4″ thick.
  4. Dry until leathery (pliable but not sticky).

Fruit Sushi Roll

This is a great summer treat and perfect with in season fruit!

Ingredients List:

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked sushi rice or short-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 orange slices
  • 20 fresh strawberries
  • Fruit juice of your choice (mango is a great one for this particular recipe)
  • Options: Any fruit really works with this recipe but it’s better to have something that is relatively firm and won’t fall apart while eating.

Directions:

  1. Place rice in a medium saucepan and add fruit juice instead of water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Place rice, coconut milk, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined, cover, and let cool.
  3. Dampen hands with cold water and divide rice into 20 equal portions, shaping each into a rounded ball. Press each ball into an oblong oval and place on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Top with orange slices and berries and chill until served.

Dehydrating apple slices

I got several crisp Fuji apples the other day and really wanted to try dehydrating them.  I love them in oatmeal during the winter months and add them to my “fruit leaves” snack mix.  Having done a bit of research I thought I’d give it a go.  First, I decided not to prep the apples for two very good reasons 1. why if I don’t have to and 2. I like to live on the wild side.  So I sliced my apples super thin, laid them out on the dehydrator racks, and sprinkled them with cinnamon.  Several hours later, I had super tasty apple leaves with a hint of cinnamon!

Tip:
I’m asked a lot how to tell if something is done in the dehydrator.  It depends on what it is but generally it’s when the food is no longer sticky, you pinch it and cannot draw any juice, and or you cannot feel any portion of it has moisture.  Some pieces dry quicker than others and thickness plays a big part of it.  So check your dehydrator every few hours for pieces that are done.