Being a foodie queen you would think I would be totally open to all foods. I have to admit that I have a few things I refuse to eat. Most of these foods I have at least tried but some I cannot get beyond the mere appearance of the food. For example, raw oysters look like snot to me and I cannot bring myself to try it; despite all the encouragement in the world from friends and family. As the wonderfully precocious and adorable child I was growing up I was a pretty finicky eater. I had rules about my foods. The first was that anything red in color must be hot and therefore not something I wanted to eat. (This included tomatoes and strawberries.) Anyone who attempted to tell me otherwise was immediately written off as completely moronic in my mind. Until I reached kindergarten I had no idea that cookies were anything other than Saltines. (Somehow my mother maintains to this day that this was a good thing she did for me… I blame her for my sweet tooth.) The second rule I established very early was that if my father said something was not hot (spice wise) you by no means are to believe him. Jalapeños are not pickles and you should never take a “pickle” from any of the pepper bellies in my family. Just saying. Eventually I tried red foods, and realized I was just being silly. Mentally I apologized to all the morons. I still have a list of things I cannot eat. Mushrooms… I think it is a texture thing for me; I dislike rubber. I do not like sweet potatoes… ever. There is no reason in my mind to eat raisins which I inherited from my mother who called them “flies” as she was growing up. Until a couple years ago I had never tried blueberries. I can think of no reason for this except they looked odd to me. There was no pre-existing rule stating I could not eat blue foods. (Blue is my favorite color)
Blueberries are fascinating little bundles of health. They are one of the few fruits native to the Americas and have been used for thousands of years by Native Americans for everything from food to dyes to medicines. The Calyx of the berry, the little burst open portions at the bottom of the berry forms a perfect five pointed star. The American Indians called them star berries; and told stories that the Great Spirit sent them to feed the children in times of famine. Blueberries play a fascinating role in the Native American’s lives and were often central to their diets. When the colonists came they too were taught the virtues of the berries by the Indians that helped them. To this day America is the top blueberry producer in the world. Blueberries are available year round due to crops grown in the Southern Hemisphere; however they are freshest and best during our summer months.
Just one cup of blueberries contains 80 calories and is a great source of dietary fiber. These little wonders contain about 25 percent of your daily dose of Vitamin C in one serving! They are simply chock full of antioxidants which as you may know fight free radicals in your body. Those free radicals cause all kinds of issues not to mention early signs of aging. Interestingly enough blueberries are one of the few naturally blue fruits in the world.
I love blueberries now! They are just amazing. I put them on everything and eat them raw like Skittles. When I came across this recipe though, I was concerned… Heated blueberry sauce? The idea made me think of that horrible glop you find at the IHOP. I just did not believe this would work out. My family was skeptical and sort of wary looking as I presented the beautifully plated food in front of them. That being said, I surprised myself and renewed my faith in blueberries! I can take no credit for this recipe as I pulled it directly from a Weight Watchers magazine. I only made a couple of tweaks here and there, but not enough to call it my own. This recipe was too good to not share though and because I love y’all I will pass it along. It is a bit fancy for every day, but sure to impress when you are having guests over or just want to do something totally different. I realize chicken can get boring!
Chicken with Blueberry Sauce
· 1 tablespoon butter, divided
· ¾ lb. chicken cutlets (about four cutlets) I used the extra thin sliced cutlets because I like at least feeling like I am getting more even if I am not.
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ¼ teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
· ½ cup (2 oz.) shredded Fontina cheese. I used Mozzarella, as I had no Fontina on hand.
· 3 tablespoons apple juice
· 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
· ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
· 1 cup fresh blueberries, I tossed in a little extra.
· 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme
1. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. (Never forget to pat your meat with paper towels, it helps the cooking process) Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Sprinkle with cheese. Keep warm.
2. Combine apple juice, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl (I just did this in my sauce pan, why dirty up more dishes); stir well with a whisk. Add apple juice mixture to sauce pan (or in my case leave in sauce pan). Simmer one minute. Add blueberries and thyme; simmer two minutes. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons of butter. Spoon blueberry sauce over chicken.
Yield: 4 servings (about one chicken cutlet, or in my extra thin cutlets case two, and 2 tablespoons sauce.
**Weight Watchers points value of 5**
Ginger Green Beans
· 1 12 oz. package of pre-trimmed green beans (I used French style beans)
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 teaspoons grated, peeled, fresh ginger. (I could not find any at the store, odd I know, so I used my powdered ginger and added 2 extra teaspoons and got a good flavor.)
· Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat oven to 450˚.
2. Combine green beans, olive oil, ginger, salt, and pepper on a foil lined roasting pan or baking sheet. Toss well to coat.
3. Spread beans into single layer. Bake about 10 minutes or until crisp but tender.
Yield: 4 servings
**Weight Watchers points value of 1**
As always enjoy! Let me know how yours turns out! Be creative and trust your instincts!
"Five Ingredient 15 minute Recipes" from Weight Watchers