Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

meal ideas ~not your traditional cranberry treats

there are a couple of traditional Thanksgiving holiday recipes that I post every year. oops, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but you can still make these, which I highly recommend you give it a try....or you can save them for the upcoming joyous days of celebration. I love cranberry for its phenomenal health properties, and for it one of the best fruits you can add to your meal plans.
Cranberry-Orange Relish
      For all those Holiday Cranberry fans--This is my favorite cranberry (anytime) recipe.  It is super easy, tastes terrific, and looks pretty on the table or your plate.

12 oz cranberries – fresh
1 medium orange, navel is best, unpeeled and cut into chunks
1 c. sugar (more or less to your taste)
1 piece, about 1 inch, fresh ginger peeled roughly chopped.
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

      Put cranberries, orange, ginger, & cinnamon in a food processor, pulse until finely chopped. Scrape into a serving bowl or plastic container. Cover and refrigerate. Letting it stand all day or a couple of days makes it even better by allowing sugars to incorporate. Can be made up to 5 days ahead, it freezes very nicely.
      note: if the flavor from using the entire orange seems too strong for you, add some orange zest instead and then cut the meat into chucks.
      for a different spin: add chopped cilantro or mint and minced jalapeno pepper.  You can use a sugar substitute. 
      and it freezes perfectly~

Hot Cranberry Toddy 
As the weather gets colder, warm up with this low-carb spiced cranberry drink. A little bourbon or rum adds extra zip, or make the drink nonalcoholic by substituting orange juice. Garnish with a stick of cinnamon or lemon slices.

 1 48oz unsweetened cranberry juice (6 cups)
 2 cups water
 3 1 - inch long strips lemon peel (set aside)
 1/4 cup lemon juice
 3 inches stick cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
 1/3 cup bourbon, rum, or orange juice
 Fresh lemon slices (optional)
 Stick cinnamon (optional)

 In a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven combine cranberry juice, the water, and lemon juice.

 For spice bag, place lemon peel, the 3 inches stick cinnamon, and the cloves in the center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100 percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring the corners together; tie with clean kitchen string. Add to juice mixture.

 Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard spice bag. Stir bourbon into juice mixture. If desired, garnish individual servings with lemon slices and additional stick cinnamon. Makes 12 (scant 6-ounce) servings

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 38 cal., 5 mg sodium, 6 g carb Diabetic Exchanges Fruit (d.e): 0.5

Cranberry Phyllo Cheesecake 
Cranberries add a bold contrast to rich cheesecake, and their deep burgundy color pops out on the plate—perfect for a holiday gathering. The phyllo crust keeps this cheesecake low in carbs.

1 cup fresh cranberries
 1/3 cup dried pitted plums
 1/4 cup sugar
 2 tablespoons orange juice
 1 8 - ounce package cream cheese (Neufchatel)
 1/4 cup sugar
 1 egg
 1 egg white
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
 8 sheets frozen phyllo dough (14x9-inch rectangles), thawed
 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For topping, in a small saucepan, combine cranberries, dried plums, 1/4 cup sugar, and the orange juice. Cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Set aside.

 For filling, in a food processor, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, the egg, egg white, and vanilla. Cover and process until smooth, scraping the side of the bowl as necessary. Set aside.

 For crust, coat a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Unfold phyllo dough; remove 1 sheet of the phyllo dough. (As you work, cover the remaining phyllo dough with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.) Coat the phyllo sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Top with a second sheet of phyllo dough; trim to form a 13 x 9 inch rectangle. Gently press trimmed phyllo rectangle into the tart pan or pie plate, allowing ends to extend over edge of pan. Coat with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with some of the wheat germ. Coat and layer 2 more sheets of phyllo; place across phyllo in pan in a crisscross fashion. Coat with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with more of the wheat germ. Repeat twice with remaining phyllo and wheat germ. (If desired, turn under edges of phyllo to form an edge.) Bake for 5 minutes.

 Spoon filling into phyllo crust, spreading evenly. Spoon cranberry mixture onto filling. Using a knife, carefully cut through cranberry mixture and filling to marble slightly

 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until phyllo is light brown and filling is set. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover edge of tart with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Makes 10 slices.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 156 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 37 mg chol., 153 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (1 g fiber), 5 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 1.5; Fat (d.e): 1

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