Even though I am not currently dating someone special… I still like to cook something nice, even if it’s just for myself.
After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate LOVE and there are many ways to express and celebrate love – love towards your parents, love towards your kids, love towards your siblings, love towards your pets, love towards your partner, love towards your neighbors, your family in general, your co-workers, your friends and most of all, LOVE TOWARDS YOURSELF. Because, if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect others to love you too???
Here are a few ideas I have cooked in the past to impress a few loved ones… hope you choose to make one to impress YOURSELF!!!
Cheese, Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti
Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes over Pasta
Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake
Korean Seasoned Tofu
Chame’s Spinach Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese
Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline
My nephew likes pears… but these pears at my sister’s house were DRY!!!! Dry, dry, dry… and tasteless. So I decided to make a dessert out of it. I can’t stand to waste food… and organic at that.
I forgot to take a picture of the final product… but the results were pretty different from the original raw fruit. The filling for this crumble came out juicy and sweet and a bit tangy with the addition of the lime juice. That tang balances the sweetness in the fruit and the sugar.
If the pears would’ve been juicy to begin with, maybe you can delete the extra juice. But I just wanted to show you how you can transform a not so delicious fruit into a delectable dessert.
PEAR AND BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE
2 pears, peeled and cut into small pieces
The juice of 1 lime, you can add some zest if you want too
2 tbs orange or apple juice, especially if the pears are a bit dry… like mine were
2 tbs of organic or brown sugar for the fruits, plus 3 additional heaping tbs for the topping
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tbs cornstarch
2 heaping tbs of spelt flour
2 heaping tbs of butter ( I used softened butter)
1 packet of organic instant maple oatmeal
A handful of walnuts
Does it show that when I was making the recipe I only had a soup spoon available??? So it’s all measured by the spoonful…
- Pre-heat oven at 350F.
- Just place the fruit in a medium pyrex glass baking dish. Add the apple or orange juice. Sprinkle on top the sugar, cornstarch, lime zest, lime juice and the pinch of salt. Mix well together.
- On a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, walnuts and butter. Using a fork, mash the butter into the flour/oatmeal mixture. It’ll become like the texture of wet sand. When it feels like that, add it on top of the cut fruits.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until you see the juices of the fruit bubbling and the top is golden brown.
I always leave in the oven until we’re about to eat. I like it warm… with a scoop of ice cream on the side.
This is part of a series on how our food can help certain organs that resemble their same shape. I already shared with you how the following foods benefit these organs:
Carrots – Eyes
Tomatoes – Heart
Grapes – Heart
Walnuts – Brain
Celery, Rhubarn, Bok Choy – Bones
Beans – Kidneys
Sweet Potatoes – Pancreas
Now, look at the Eggplant, Avocado and Pear… they’re all shaped like a WOMB. So according to this theory they’re good for feminine health, for the womb and cervix. To be honest, I searched and searched the internet to find data that supported this theory… I couldn’t find anything specific to womb or cervix.
However, I did find some interesting facts important to women’s health and issues over all:
- According to some internet research, avocados are great for our sex drive because they contain high levels of folic acid to help metabolize proteins giving you an energy boost. They are also known to benefit a women’s libido due to the high potassium content. That potassium content also helps with fatigue, depression and poor digestion.
- Avocados are a complete food, providing fat, protein and carbohydrate – every vegetarian’s dream! They contain healthy fats we could all do with in our diets. But the fat is GOOD fat; in the form of monosaturated. They contain good levels of vitamin B6 to help you fight stress and give you the energy to keep going.
- Avocados are excellent for the skin. Research shows that substances in the pulp of avocados appear to trigger DNA to produce more embryonal collagen – the soluble kind we start our lives with, producing smooth and supple skins.
- Pears are a good source of Vitamin C and copper, both are antioxidant nutrients that protect the body against free-radicals and aging. They’re also a good source of fiber to help regularity and lowers cholesterol levels. Fiber also binds to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon, preventing them from damaging colon cells. A study in postmenopausal women showed a 34% reduction in breast cancer risk for those consuming the most fruit fiber compared to those consuming the least.
- Eggplants contain powerful antioxidants too. They help letting nutrients in and wastes out, especially in brain cells. They also help to relax blood vessels, improve blood flow and reduce cholesterol levels, particularly if taken in juice form. Even the National Diabetes Education Program, Mayo Clinic and American Diabetes Association recommend an eggplant based diet as a choice for management of type 2 diabetes.
- Eggplant has been found to be especially useful in the treatment of colon cancer due to the high amount of fiber found within eggplant. But, the fiber found in eggplant has other uses–like helping people lose weight. Eggplant keeps dieters feeling full for a longer period of time and prevents from being as tempted to snack between meals.. Eggplants are filled with water and it’s important in the maintenance of healthy skin and hair.
Here are some recipes to help you increase your eggplant, avocado and pear intake:
Avocado and Tomato Sandwich
Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
Greens and Pear Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
Eggplant and Mushroom Sandwich
Pasta with Eggplant Puree
A great feast for me is never complete without a fresh salad. Maybe I will not feel as guilty to eat all the fried Spanish foods we were having the other night if there is a little greenery on the side.
GREEN SALAD WITH SHERRY VINAIGRETTE
Little less than ¼ cup of sherry vinegar
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
About ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
A bag of salad greens – we used baby romaine lettuce
½ a pear, sliced thin
½ cup of toasted walnuts
- Toast walnuts in a skillet over medium heat or in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes, until the nuts start to smell a bit. Cool off and set aside.
- In a medium container mix together the sherry vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil. Whisk well to combine and emulsify.
- In a large salad bowl place the lettuces and arrange pear slices and walnuts on top. Drizzle with about ½ the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve more dressing on the side for whoever wants some more…
Pears have never been one of my favorite fruits… I have always favored berries to any other fruits. But how I love cooked pears!
Don’t get me wrong… I like pears, particularly, sliced up next to a nice piece of gruyère or comté cheese. But I have grown to love also a nice roasted or poached pear. And in my interest to find new ways and flavors to pair pears with I developed this nice recipe…
POACHED PEARS IN ORANGE JUICE
2 pears – I usually buy Bartlett as they’re widely available here
2/3 cup of orange juice – can be freshly squeezed or from the Tropicana container
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs maple sugar
A pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. I make this in a toaster oven…
- First, peel, halve and core your pears. I use a melon-baller or a round 1tbs measuring spoon.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients in an oven safe dish where you can fit comfortably all 4 halves of pears. Place the pears in the dish and move the around so the liquid coats somewhat the whole pear, even though the pear halves will not be submerged in the liquid.
- Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes until pears are soft when pierced with a fork. Make sure the poaching liquid does not burn or caramelize before the pears are cooked.
The thickened poaching liquid will serve as syrup on top of the pears when serving. Serve with a nice nutty, salty cheese (like gorgonzola dolce or comté) on the side and some almond or walnut praline.