Autumn Salad with Pomegranate, Fuji Persimmon, Strawberries and Nuts

early autumn salad

I make this salad in early Autumn, when Pomegranates and Fuji Persimmons are appearing and there are a few decent strawberries left. As the season progresses, you may not find the strawberries, but the sweetness and fall colors of the persimmons and Pomegranate seeds still brighten this salad. I added a handful of raw shelled pistachios and sliced raw almonds for delicious flavor, texture and protein. Throw them together with mesclun (mixed lettuce greens) or baby spinach. It’s fine undressed or with a bit of blue cheese dressing.

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Gluten-free Cornbread

???????????????????????????????To make gluten-free cornbread, I substituted masa harina, the corn flour used to make tortillas or tamales, for wheat flour in my cornbread recipe. The result was a fluffy textured cornbread which had a taste of tortillas. I added a bit more salt. You can put rosemary in it if you like.

Ingredients:

masa harinamasa harina

1 cup 1% milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup masa harina

¼ cup ground flax-seed

1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (about a one-inch sprig) optional

3/4  tsp salt

1 Tb sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup olive oil

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425’

Add vinegar to milk and let it curdle while you mix the other ingredients.

Sift baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients and rosemary if using, and mix well.

Mix eggs with milk in a separate bowl, then stir in applesauce and oil until well mixed. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix with a large spoon only until ingredients are combined.

Spray an 8 inch square pan with olive oil spray. Pour in batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Delicious out of the pan, or use for making Low-fat cornbread sage stuffing with chestnuts and apples.

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Peach Smoothie

???????????????????????????????Summertime means peaches, juicy and sweet. I bought a couple that were not as perfect. I popped them in the blender along with a speckled banana,  a scoop of plain non-fat yogurt and a glass of orange juice. Gave it a whirl and poured out this delicious smoothie!

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Fruit juice sweetened, no sugar Jellied Cranberry Sauce

My family loves that jellied cranberry sauce that has the can marks on it. It’s mostly high-fructose corn syrup of course. I figured out a recipe that is healthier than the canned stuff. It gets its sweetness from frozen concentrated apple juice  If you’re counting calories, this makes about 200 calories per cup, (about 25 calories for 2 tablespoons) instead of the 419 calories per cup in the canned cranberry sauce. Even my husband, who distrusts  that homemade cranberry sauces could ever measure up to the canned stuff, thinks this one tastes good.

When I was a little kid back in the day in the 50s and 60s, jello dishes were all the rage. I wish I had an old-fashioned jello mold to pour this in. I suppose I could pour it into an empty can to get the can marks! But I poured it into small cups and dessert dishes, to place on each corner of the table.

Make this at least the day before Thanksgiving, so the gelatin has time to set.

Makes  2 cups

2 envelopes unsweetened gelatin
¼ cup cold water
6-oz can apple juice concentrate
12-oz package (3 cups) fresh cranberries, rinsed well and picked through
2 navel (seedless) oranges, rinsed

Pour ¼ cup cold water into a small non-reactive pot, such as stainless steel or glass.  Sprinkle the gelatin over it and stir. Add the apple juice concentrate and heat until the gelatin dissolves. Stir in the cranberries.

Using a vegetable peeler, cut a strip of the zest (just the orange part of the peel).

Peel oranges with a knife, so no pith (the bitter white stuff) remains. Pull sections apart, discarding white membranes.  Add orange pieces and zest to the cranberries.

Cook a total of 15 minutes, so that the berries burst and the fruit cooks into a nice mush.

Let cool until you can handle the liquid without burning yourself, about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture into a blender and run it on liquefy for a few minutes.

Strain the fruit through a fine mesh sieve into a non-reactive container. You will be eliminating the cranberry seeds and skins, which are the bitterest part.

You can refrigerate the sauce in the bowl or in a jello mold. You can even pour it into a can to get the can marks.