Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FRUIT FAST Giveaway Winner and consolation prizes

Here it is ...drum roll please...: Juliana is winner of the FruitFast Giveaway!!!! CONGRATULATIONS -you get all three products!
BONUS: Consolation prize will be given to all those that joined the giveaway by visiting the FruitFast website and commenting on which three products you'd like to try, FruitFast is giving away a sample of their newest product: CherryFlex ProSport Shots
SO: Juliana, Shirley, Fresh Local and Best, Sharlene T., Mimi, Cinnamon-Girl, Simply Life, juliecache, Andrea@WellnessNotes, Lynn, Sped, Tien, Paula T. and Carole----congratulationsPlease email at momgateway@gmail.com with your postal address asap.  

A big hug and thanks to all my readers who participated and commented.

Very special thanks to FruitFast for their generosity in this great GIVEAWAY.  In the summer, we will have another FruitFast Giveaway so be sure to drop by and join.

Photo credits go to: http://www.brownwoodacres.com/cranberry_juice_concentrate.php

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Roasted Lamb with Mixed Berry Sauce and Extension of Fruit Fast Giveaway Deadline

I wanted to prepare roasted leg of lamb or roasted lamb shanks for dinner but Food Pyramid and Walmart were already sold out.  My eye was drawn to a package of Cedars Spring Split Lamb Breast on the shelf.  It was not very fatty and the ribs were visible so it looked like I could cut the meat into convenient "riblets" and it would cost me a only a couple of dollars.  When I arrived home I decided to go ahead and roast the split lamb breast but make a savory mixed berry sauce instead of the traditional Greek roasted lamb recipe I use. 

*****Just a reminder:  I am extending the deadline for the Fruit Fast Giveaway (see the announcement at the bottom of the post).******

Here's my roasted lamb split breast recipe:

1 package Split Lamb Breast
1 tsp canola oil
 kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp Fruit Fast Mixed Berry Liquid (adding more than this is overpowering)
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush the lamb split breast with oil and season liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Place it in a roasting pan with the ribs facing down. Roast the lamb for about 1-1/2 hours.  Remove the lamb from the pan and let it rest for about10 minutes. While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce.

Pour out some of the excess fat and juices from the pan and put it over medium-high heat. Deglaze the pan with Cabernet Sauvignon and beef broth.  Add the mixed berry liquid, rice vinegar and brown sugar and let it come to a boil while stirring. Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve warm roast with the mixed berry sauce. Yum!

Extension of Giveaway Deadline
If you still have not joined this Fruit Fast Giveaway, there is still time.  I'm extending the deadline to March 28, 2010.  To get a chance to win this great giveaway, see details in the post hereIf you don't have a blog, you can still win --you don't have to place your email address in the comments--send it to momgateway@gmail.com to keep your privacy.  Good luck to everyone!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Super Fruits and Fruit Sushi: Cherry Coconut Cream Gelee and a GIVEAWAY

Certain red and purple colored fruits like cherries, blueberries, black plums, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranate are called super fruits as they are rich in substances known as antioxidants.  Antioxidants protect our cells from damaging effects of free radicals. Flavonoids, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamins A, C and E are examples of antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, meats and fish. WebMd talks about antioxidants, their sources and how to get more of these in a healthy diet. You might want to check it out. 

Another health food is agar (agar-agar/ kanten).  It is a vegetarian gelatin substitute from seaweed extract and it contains about 84% fiber.  In Japan where nearly everyone thinks "thin is beautiful", the kanten diet is getting a lot of attention as a potential weight loss agent. When eaten as part of a meal, agar triples in size and readily absorbs water so a person feels full quickly and becomes less prone to overeat!
I've been trying to be creative in getting more super fruits in our meals. So today I'm sharing a recipe using 
FruitFast---a liquid fruit supplement. Each teaspoon of FruitFast contains 100-200 mg of anthocyanins (a flavonoid antioxidant).  FruitFast products are made from Michigan red tart cherries, pomegranates, wild blueberries and the fruit pastes are placed into yummy snack bars, fruit goos and liquid fruit supplements.  The process maintains the fruits' original composition so it is not a fruit extract or a powder. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to enter the FruitFast giveaway.
To create this fruit sushi, I used FruitFast Cherry Flex derived from 100% Montmorency Tart Cherries.  I made two kinds of gelee -- cherry and coconut cream---and let them set in separate containers.  The base of my fruit sushi was a layer of cherry gelee.  Over this, I placed coconut cream gelee and another layer of cherry gelee.  On top this stack I had a slice of fresh, ripe mango and kiwi. The tartness and intensity of cherry is beautifully balanced by the delicate flavor of the creamy coconut gelee and the sweetness of ripe mangoes and kiwi. If you like to try a new dessert, here's the recipe:

Cherry Gelee
1 cup water
2 Tbsp Fruit Fast Cherry Flex
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp agar
Mix everything in a saucepan.  Make sure the agar is completely dissolved then turn on the heat. Let simmer for a couple of minutes till all the sugar and agar granules are in solution. Pour into a rectangular mold and place in the refrigerator to set for about 2 hours.

Coconut Cream Gelee
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp agar
Mix everything in a saucepan.  Make sure the agar is completely dissolved then turn on the heat. Let simmer for a couple of minutes till all the sugar and agar granules are in solution. Pour into a rectangular mold and place in the refrigerator to set for about 2 hours.

Assemble the fruit sushi and cut to serving sizes. Enjoy!


You have a chance to try FruitFast products!  FruitFast is giving away fruit bars and liquid supplements to one of my readers.  Their Montmorency Dried Tart Cherries and fruit supplement bars are amazing but they have a variety of products you can choose from so if you want to enter the giveaway, visit their website and tell me (in the comments section) which three products you'd like to try by March 21.  They will ship it to the winner directly.  If you don't have a blog, you can still win --you don't have to place your email address in the comments--send it to momgateway@gmail.com to keep your privacy.  Good luck to everyone!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shawarma: Lebanese Treat

Shawarma is a Lebanese-style sandwich, an Arabic version of the Turkish döner kebap. It's very similar to the Greek gyros in the way a stack of marinated slices of beef, lamb or chicken is cooked on a rotating vertical spit.  The tower of meat is topped with fat, a whole tomato and onion that drip oil and juices over the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful. 
Gyros and shawarma differ in sauce, ingredients and garnishes. Gyros sandwich has tzatziki sauce, tomato, onion and fried potatoes added to the meat.  Tahini sauce (sometimes hummus or a garlic aoli) is used in shawarma then tomato, onion, lettuce, parsley, pickled turnips and in some countries, french fries and cheese are added. 
I've been looking for a perfect Shawarma recipe but  none of the  recipes I've tried in the past from cookbooks and blogs have been very successful.  That is until I found one from Monique Zaarour's The Lebanese Kitchen (available at the momgateway store).  It is the best so far, not yet perfect but pretty good.  Monique tailors it for the Western kitchen by pre-cutting the meat and using a regular oven as it's almost impossible to have a counter top shawarma oven in North America. 

2 lbs beef sirloin, cut into strips (or beef+lamb or chicken)
3 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp allspice (I added a more of this)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp mastic, crushed
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Tahini sauce
5 Tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 garlic cloves crushed
5 Tbsp lemon juice

thinly sliced onions
thinly sliced tomatoes
finely chopped parsley
  • Mix the seasonings and rub into the steak strips. Marinade the beef for six hours, stirring every hour.
  • Place the seasoned meat in a rimmed baking dish then cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven (475 F) for about 40 minutes.
  • Combine tahini sauce ingredients in a food processor and set aside. Pour tahini sauce over the meat and serve on a plate or as a sandwich with shredded letttuce, onions, tomato and parsley. Enjoy! This was part of my guest post last week for OuR KrAzY kitChEn. 
  • NOTE: My son prefers cheese with his shawarma so I add it even if it is not authentic Lebanese.