Fresh Cherry Salsa

Cherry Salsa on Bagel

I mixed the following ingredients together and put them in an airtight storage container. I let the salsa rest for a few hours, allowing the lime juice, onions and chile flavors to soak into the cherries. This made a quart of fresh salsa. Since it is fresh, not cooked, it will need to be consumed relatively quickly, though all the acid will slow spoilage.

1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of chopped red onion
3 limes, juiced
1 serrano chile, minced
1 quart of fresh cherries, pitteed and cut in half
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt
pepper

I served it with a turkey burger for supper and with a bagel for breakfast. I think it would be delicious on grilled chicken breast or pork chops, added to a burrito or on top of a salad.

Cherry Salsa on Turkey Burger

Chicken Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Chicken Soup

First off, this is not a Cream of Broccoli Soup. As a diabetic, I am not going to make cream soups when there are such delicious options without cream. I will make chowders using mashed cauliflower or potatoes to give the thickness and creaminess of a chowder without the cream. This soup, however, doesn’t mimic cream soups at all, but is a simple, yet delicious broth-based soup.

The first thing I did was stew a whole chicken last night. I sauteed one chopped onion, three cloves of garlic and a tablespoon of oregano with some olive oil. While they sauteed, I washed the chicken and removed the giblets etc that were stuffed inside. When the onions were transparent, I added the chicken and the giblets and covered with water. I tossed 2 bay leaves on top and let simmer for about two hours until the broth had a rich, chicken flavor and the meat fell off the bones. I removed the meat and set it in a colander on top of the stock pot so the broth drained back into the pot. Refrigerating overnight, the meat was cold and easy to work with as I removed all the skin, cartilage and bones. This left me with about 4 quarts of broth and 12 cups of chicken meat that I stored in airtight refrigerator containers.

I put 1 quart of broth and 2 cups of chicken in a medium sized sauce pan. The broth was not as deep in flavor as I like so I added 1 tsp of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base. While the broth and chicken heated, I chopped up 2 broccoli spears and 1 tomato. I added them to the broth when it began to simmer and let them simmer for about 15 minutes – until tender and then added 2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard.

The soup has a rich chicken flavor with a great foundation from the onion, garlic, oregano and bay leaf. The broccoli is perfectly tender without being the least bit mushy and the tomato adds some nice color. The Dijon Mustard top note, though, really makes this a fabulously, flavorful soup and unlike a cream soup, this is nice, light summer fare.

This makes about 6 servings – and of course, there is chicken and broth enough for another soup and several salads or sandwiches.

Carrot and Red Onion Salad

Carrot Salad

I chopped up 1 pound of raw carrots and put in a pan with water and brought to a boil. I let cook just a few minutes, until they lost the snap-crunch of raw carrots but retained a softer, toothsome firmness with just a bit of crunch. I drained, ran cold water over them to stop them cooking and put them in the fridge to cool off.

In a bowl, I put 2 tbsp of olive oil, juice from two lemons, 2 tsp of ginger root and 1 tsp of honey (I used buckwheat honey for its hearty flavor.) and added a bit of salt and pepper to taste and stirred until the honey was completely blended in. I added 1 cup of finely sliced red onions, the cooled carrots, 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro and 1/4 cup of toasted almonds. I chopped them up before toasting them in a dry fry pan.

The sweet and sour blend of flavors and the firm textures of this salad are delightful. It’s a simple, easy summer salad that adds a lot of color and flavor. This makes 4 generous servings.

Wilted Lettuce

Wilted Lettuce

I chopped up two slices of bacon and put them on medium heat to fry. I sliced 1/2 of a medium yellow onion and added to the bacon. I then added 2 minced garlic cloves and continued cooking until the onions were transparent. Meanwhile I chopped up 2 cups of romaine lettuce and tossed them into the pan and stirred. I let cook just until slightly wilted, but not limp – about a minute. I squeezed the juice of one lemon on top added salt and fresh ground pepper and served.