This fragrant soup will warm your soul on a cold winter day. Spices and ginger create an exotic perfume and are the perfect counterbalance to roasted blueberries, with just a hint of sweetness. Coconut milk (or coconut milk drink) is a relative newcomer to the beverage market. It adds some nice richness to the soup, but only has 45 calories per cup – infinitely better than the fat-laden canned coconut milk from the tropics.
1 cup Black Japonica Rice
8 cups chicken broth, divided per below
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, ribs removed and minced
4 pods cardamom, slightly crushed
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 cup yellow split peas, cleaned and rinsed
1 cup fresh blueberries 2 teaspoons plus 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, divided per below
In a large saucepan with tight-fitting lid, bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Add black Japonica rice, stir once, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 50 – 55 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand covered for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large stockpot over medium-low heat; cook onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and spices, stirring, until onion is softened and mixture is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add remaining 6 cups of chicken broth to pot, along with carrots, potatoes, and split peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard cardamom pods (they float!).
Meanwhile, place blueberries in a shallow baking dish. Combine 2 teaspoons lemon juice with honey, and drizzle over blueberries. Roast for about 7 minutes, or until blueberries are about to pop.
Blend or process soup mixture, in batches, until pureed; return to pot. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, coconut milk, and tamarind paste; stir until heated through.
Divide black Japonica rice and roasted blueberries among 6 shallow soup bowls and ladle soup in. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
A-comfy-cozy-warm-and-toasty-sit-by-the fire-and-sip-port-dessert. Cutting the butter that normally makes a command performance in the topping, this dessert weighs in at only 117 calories and 2 grams of fat. Ah, but it feels like so much more.
6 Amaretti Italian cookies, coarsely crumbled
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 fresh Chilean Nectarines, halved, pits removed
1/2 cup fresh Chilean Blueberries
2 fresh Chilean Plums, halved, pits removed
2 Tablespoons port
1 Tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Prepare 4 – 4” (1 1/2 cup) ramekins by coating the sides with a thin layer of butter.
Mix the crushed cookies, brown sugar and salt together in small mixing bowl.
Arrange 1/2 nectarines, cut side up in each of the four prepared ramekins. Divide the blueberries among the dishes. Place the 1/2 plums, cut side down, pushing the nectarines at an angle, so they overlap slightly. Drizzle each with the port. Sprinkle crumble on top and divide nuts among the ramekins.
Place ramekins on a sheet pan, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, checking the topping after about 15 minutes. Place a small square of foil over the ramekin, if the topping is starting to darken. Fruit should be tender and juicy when pierced.
Many sweet potato recipes use a lot of butter to carry the flavor, but this recipe amplifies the sweetness of the roasted fruit and their juices and a sparing dash of toasted nuts and prosciutto. The latter two give the dish a rich and nutty /salty surprise that plays off what can sometimes be a cloyingly sweet one note samba. Not here! Tango for two.
2 large sweet potatoes (approximately 2 pounds)
1 cup grapes
2 plums, chopped
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted
1 ounce of prosciutto, finely chopped
Preheat to 425°F.
Wash sweet potatoes and prick gently with fork. Place potatoes on an aluminum foil‐lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour to 1 ¼ hour or until tender, or alternatively microwave per the direction of microwave’s manufacturer. When potatoes are tender, remove and cool.
Meanwhile, place grapes on a rimmed non-stick baking sheet, lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the grapes. Add plums to baking sheet; bake 8 minutes longer or until grapes start to shrivel and are lightly browned. Remove from oven, and transfer grapes and plums to a small mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, honey and cinnamon to fruit and stir until brown sugar has dissolved.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop pulp into a large bowl, and mash by hand or with hand mixer. Fold fruit mixture into potatoes, adding the juices as needed; gently stir until blended. Transfer mixture to a one-quart soufflé dish (or four individual 8-ounce ramekins), lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Top with almonds and chopped prosciutto.
Return to oven and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Not just good on the inside, the powerful anti-oxidants of blueberries can also be absorbed through the body’s skin to provide fresh nutrition for our outer layers. Combined with the lactic acid of yogurt and some soothing restorative honey, this mask will leave your face hydrated and renewed.
1/4 cup fresh Chilean Blueberries
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
Garnish 2 cucumber slices
Puree blueberries in food processor, along with the hot water. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the gelatin, until dissolved. Whisk in yogurt and honey.
Transfer to an airtight glass container and press plastic wrap against the top surface of the mixture. Cover tightly with the lid and place in an ice water bath until set, about 15 minutes.
To use, apply liberally to clean face, avoiding eyes (that is where the cuke slices go). Lie down and relax for 15 minutes!! To remove, wash face with first warm, then cool water.