Category Archives: Holiday

Agave-Sweetened Raspberry Tart with Greek Yogurt

I came up with this over the last holiday season while I was looking for something to take to parties that wasn’t too far off the diet plan.

The inspiring recipe was from Food and Wine and sported a remarkable 134 calories per serving.  The original called for blueberries.  It was, however, the holidays so I started by swapping out the blueberries for something festive.  Luckily, I found raspberries that fit the bill.  I’m sure other berries would adapt quite well too.

Instead of honey, I opted for the lower glycemic Agave nectar.  I left the crust pretty much as original, using gram crackers and candied ginger.  The ginger adds a bit of something special to the crust, though if you are without, I don’t believe skipping that ingredient would be the end of the world.  The creamy texture of the greek yogurt paired with the subtle sweetness of the agave and the bright tartness of the raspberries was a wonderful combination that received rave reviews.

Ingredients

10 whole graham crackers

1/4 cup Crystalized ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg white

2 cups nonfat greek style yogurt, drained overnight

2 tbsp amber agave nectar plus 2 tbsp light agave nectar (or 4 tbsp of either type, divided)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 pints fresh raspberries

Directions

Drain the greek yogurt in the refrigerator overnight in cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly spray 11″ nonstick tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray.  In a food processor, pulse together graham crackers, crystalized ginger, sugar and salt until finely ground.  Add butter and egg white and process until crumbs are evenly coated.  With a sprayed rubber spatula or your fingers, press crumbs into bottom and up sides of prepared tart pan, as evenly and thinly as possible.  Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until crust is golden.  Cool completely.

Prepare glaze by mixing 2 tbsp light agave nectar and 1 tbsp water in small pan, bring just to boil.  Allow to boil gently for about 2 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Mix drained yogurt and 2 tbsp of amber agave nectar and vanilla.  Once crust has completely cooled, spread yogurt mixture in crust.  Starting in center, arrange fruit from center to edge of tart.  Brush fruit with agave glaze.

Allow to set completely in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.  Cut into 12 pieces.  Enjoy!

Choose fresh berries for both color and flavor

Spread filling evenly over cooled crust

Arrange fruit evenly over filled crust

applying agave glaze to tart

Finished product


New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas

I’m from the South, so it’s just not New Year’s Day if there isn’t a big pot of Black-Eyed Peas on the stove.  Traditionally, Black-Eyed Peas are both a bringer of good luck for the year as well as a great hangover food.  The hardest part of the process is remembering to soak them then night before.  So after you pop that last bottle of bubbly, grab a bag of dried peas and throw them in a bowl to soak.  You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Since I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, I tried to lighten the whole thing up a bit this year, opting for smoked turkey for flavoring instead of my beloved pork fat.  Feel free to use Ham Hocks or my usual favorite, the left-over Christmas Ham bone.  Bon Appetite!

Ingredients

1 Bag dried black eyed peas.  Rinsed, sorted and soaked overnight.  Drained

2 tbsp Canola Oil

1 Small Onion diced

3 pieces (approx. size of a fist) Smoked Turkey Tails, Necks or Legs

1 tsp kosher salt

Black Pepper to taste

3 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme plus additional sprigs for garnish

Drain peas from soaking liquid and sort to make sure any foreign materials are removed.

Directions

In Large Cast Iron dutch heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion.  Saute until soft.

add drained peas, turkey, black pepper and.  Add water to the pot until peas are covered by at least an inch.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.  When pot reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until peas are soft– two to three hours.  Skim surface of any accumulated fat and discard.

Remove turkey about 30 minutes before serving.  Remove meat from bone and add meat back to peas, discarding bones.

Add a Dash of Hot Sauce if you like it spicy and garnish with thyme sprig. Serve with freshly made cornbread and a salad for the perfect New Year’s Day lunch.

If you are so inclined, tradition says to throw a dime in the pot while cooking.  The person that finds the dime in their bowl is said to have the bet luck for the year.  Personally, I prefer to cook without pocket change and take my chances.

Happy New Year!