Beet the Morning Blues Smoothie

For those of us who are blessed to be able to work from home during COVID-19, life during a pandemic can feel a little like you are stuck in the movie Groundhog Day. We repeat our new at-home routine every day, while the reality of this crisis can feel overwhelming. Giving my worries to God, spending time in prayer and reading the Bible has been the only thing to truly give me peace through this challenging time.

I also feel better when I eat a healthy diet, so continuing to add fruits and vegetables in my meals has been a priority. I was able to purchase some beautiful beets from a local farm and roasted a batch for my new Beet the Morning Blues Smoothie. I mean, how can you not have an extra pep in your step and a smile on your face after drinking something so colorful and delicious. If you don’t have fresh beets don’t worry, canned beets are a great substitute.

I hope you are all staying healthy and enjoying new recipes and cooking at home.

Ingredients:
⅓ cooked beets, peeled and sliced
⅓ banana slices, frozen
⅓ pineapple chunks, frozen
milk of choice
honey

Directions:

  1. Combine desired amount of beets, banana and pineapple in the blender. Cover with milk and add a drizzle of honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Halibut with Tropical Salsa and Coconut Rice

I created this recipe while on vacation earlier this summer using fresh seafood from a coastal fish market. I have enjoyed this dish back at home with local bell peppers from my CSA share and the taste brings back wonderful memories from vacation. The seafood may not be local, but I believe in cooking with whatever regional ingredients you can access. I love how cooking one recipe in different parts of the country or world can result in the use of different locally-sourced ingredients.

The tropical salsa and coconut rice also make a great pair for grilled pork chops and filet mignon if you want to serve a variety of options for your guests. Cheers to firing up the grill this weekend with your protein of choice as we say farewell to the summer season.

Ingredients:
2 cups white rice
2 (13.5 ounce) cans unsweetened, light coconut milk
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes
1 lime
8 (4 to 6 ounce) halibut steaks or cod filets
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
3 small or 2 medium bell peppers, any color
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Directions:

  1. Bring coconut milk to a boil, add rice and reduce to low heat. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until milk is absorbed and rice is tender. Add sugar and coconut flakes and stir to combine, allowing sugar to melt into the steamy rice.
  2. Meanwhile, zest lime with a citrus zester or microplane grater. Brush halibut or cod with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and zest from lime. Set aside while preparing the tropical salsa.
  3. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Remove seeds from bell pepper and slice in half. Brush pineapple and bell pepper with remaining olive oil. Grill produce until light grill marks appear on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside until cool enough to touch.
  4. Grill fish for about 4 minutes per side until the center is firm and opaque. Remove from the grill and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  5. Dice pineapple and bell pepper and place in a medium bowl. Juice lime over salsa and add cilantro and salt, stirring to combine. Serve fish over coconut rice and top with tropical salsa.

Servings: 8

Grilled Pineapple, Ham and Arugula Pizza

This pizza is the perfect use for leftover ham, and if you smoke your ham it is even better. The combination of salty ham with caramelized pineapple from the grill and spicy arugula is a new take on this Hawaiian classic. Grilling the thin pizza dough creates a crispy crust that is similar to a flatbread.

This is a great pizza to serve family or friends on a spring or summer patio night. For a real island experience while entertaining, welcome guests with an Aloha and a Mai Tai.

Ingredients:
½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 2 large pieces
1 homemade or store-bought pizza dough ball, about the size of a grapefruit
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup leftover ham, diced
¼ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups arugula

Directions:

  1. Prepare the grill for medium-high, indirect heat. For a gas grill, leave one or two burners off and for a charcoal grill, place coals on one side and use the coal free side.
  2. Brush pineapple with 1 teaspoon olive oil on all sides. Grill directly over burner or charcoal until light brown grill marks appear, about 4 or 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and dice after pineapple is cool enough to handle.
  3. Roll or stretch (I do a combination) the pizza dough to a thin layer, about ⅛ inch thick and 12 to 14 inches in diameter.
  4. Place crust on the grill over indirect heat (a pizza peel comes handy here) and cook for about five minutes, until top of crust starts to bubble and light brown grill marks appear on the bottom of the crust.
  5. Remove crust from grill. Top cooked side of crust with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, spreading evenly. Add ham and pineapple in an even layer. Add dollops of ricotta and sprinkle shredded mozzarella.
  6. Return pizza to the grill and cook for about five minutes, until mozzarella cheese has melted and bottom of crust has light brown grill marks. Remove from grill, top with arugula, slice into 8 wedges and serve.

Servings: 4 ~ Serving size: 2 slices

 

Grilled Hawaiian Bites

Grilling intensifies the delicious flavor of pineapple, adding an extra burst of caramelized sweetness. The deli ham and grilled bell pepper complement the sweet fruit, turning this appetizer into a sweet and salty snack on a stick. This is a great appetizer to bring to a potluck or make for game day. Especially if you’re a Green Bay Packer fan and want to add a little green and gold to your plate. It may be freezing at the football stadium, but after one bite of this dish you will feel like you are in tropical Hawaii.

Ingredients:
1 medium pineapple
4 medium or 3 large bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound deli maple or honey ham, thinly sliced
Toothpicks

Directions:
1. Trim and core pineapple, and slice into four large sections. Remove stem and seeds from the bell peppers and cut each into two halves. On a large platter, brush both sides of pineapple and bell pepper with olive oil.
2. Heat a gas grill (or prepare a charcoal grill) to medium heat. Place pineapple and pepper on the grill and cook for four to five minutes per side, until produce is tender with lightly browned grill marks. Remove from grill and set aside until cool enough to touch.
3. Meanwhile, lay ham flat on a cutting board and cut into 1 inch strips. Starting at one end, roll each piece into a tight roll. Cut pineapple and pepper into 1 inch pieces.
4. Thread a toothpick with bell a pepper segment, piece of rolled ham and a chunk of pineapple. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

Note: Turn leftovers into a Hawaiian salad by removing the toothpick and tossing with your favorite leafy greens and salad dressing.