Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grilled Fruit with Maple Lemon Reduction.

Sunday morning is my Weight Watcher weigh in day....and yes, LIKE ALWAYS, I stayed the same.  BUT, on Saturday I went with Steph to pick up her Wedding dress...SO MUCH FUN and it's SOOOO GORGEOUS and she looked AMAZING!  Surprisingly I found a stunning dress (navy chiffon) and ordered it.  OH...and did I mention ITS 3 SIZES SMALLER than what I was wearing in January?  WOOO HOOO!  I am finally seeing my hard work and efforts finally paying off .  TAKE THAT YOU STINKIN PLATEAU!!   

At the meeting they were talking about this SUPER healthy breakfast "Pancake".  The accolades for this "pancake" were pretty high.  The words "GOOD and possibly DELICIOUS" were used.  The recipe is 1/2 cup quick oats, 3 egg whites, 1/2 mashed banana, and cinnamon.  Now I thought...hmmm, how could this be good, let alone delicious?? I thought, I gotta try this.  OMG!  It was SOOOO FRIGGEN BAD (should have stuck to my initial instincts because I am  literally damaged for LIFE now!)  The texture was very off putting, it tasted like soggy oatmeal (only EGG flavored) and even though I used a literally BLACK banana, the flavor didn't come through because the egg flavor overpowered it.  It was probably the single most disgusting thing I have ever made!  Two bites and it went in the trash (I know...what an idiot! Why two bites - Why didn't I stop at ONE??) I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth for what seemed like hours.   I don't care how "filling" it is or how low in points.....its just HIDEOUS!
This blog is about healthy eating, but without giving up taste and texture.  WHY do people feel that eating healthy means leaving out all of the emotional pleasantness that is the very essence of how we enjoy food?  I wish there wasn't an emotional connection but there is.  Denying the connection exists, is just a recipe for disaster. Our brains decide when and what we want to eat and how satisfied we will be when we eat it.  Therefore it's imperative we eat good, emotional pleasing food that makes us feel satisfied and happy with our healthy choices.

Enough said.

The recipe I am offering today was a hit at our Fathers day BBQ.  I wanted to serve fruit...but I am just a bit bored with sliced melons all the time.  I have two peach trees that are perfectly ripe right now and I had an idea from the WW weekly regarding grilling them.

I was however, slightly disappointed I couldn't make the Johnson family baked beans this year.  Just too many calories. We love them, they are tradition and BBQ's just don't feel the same without them.  Sweet and thick with Molasses and bacon....but I abstained and my back side is better off for it, I am sure!!   But I still wanted a light, sweet component to dinner that was emotionally satisfying.  So I picked some peaches and grabbed the two mango's I had on the counter and thought Hmmm...the maple reduction with Lemon (from a Thanksgiving sweet potato recipe) would be the PERFECT drizzle sauce for the fruit.....and I am pleased to say, IT WAS!

You can leave the peels on and grill the peach halves and mango halves cut side down and then drizzle. But I decided to peel and slice the fruit, grill it and then drizzle.  Either way this was a good AND delicious AND emotionally satisfying dish you are sure to enjoy!

Grilled Fruit with Maple Lemon Reduction Sauce
1 tablespoons of sauce is 2 points - the recipe should make 12 servings or so depending on the amount of reducing you do - Fruit is free

1 cup 100 percent REAL maple syrup
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon

Peaches, Nectarines, Mangoes, Pineapple, apples, etc.....
(I used about 6 small peaches and two mangoes peeled and sliced thick - served 4-6)

For the maple reduction:
( Sorry, I didnt get a lot of pics of making the sauce )

In a heavy pan (minimum size - 2 quart pan required) over medium to low heat add the maple syrup.  You will want to bring the syrup to a boil.  WATCH IT CLOSE.  If the fire is too hot, the syrup will bubble up and over the pan, best to keep the heat on the lower side.  Boil until syrup is reduced by 1/3 or 1/2.  Remove from heat.

Using a wire whisk, stir in the lemon juice and Zest and whisk until combined and most bubbles are removed. ** Be careful.  It might bubble up when you add the lemon juice, just keep whisking.

Taste (carefully, it's HOT) and see if it's sweet yet very tangy.  Set aside to cool in a dish you will serve in.  Its yummy - be careful you don't DRINK it all!  I always want to. You can make this a day or two before and store in the fridge for ease of entertaining...just microwave to take the chill out when ready to use.

Preheat the grill and get it hot.  Prepare the fruit for grilling, either by halving it, or peel it and slice it thickly.

Preheat a grilling pan on your BBQ.  Add fruit and grill until there is some char marks.

Remove to serving plate and top with sauce and serve OR divide into serving dishes and top each one with a measured amount of sauce.

The result?  An easy,  delicious, and elegant side dish that meets all of our criteria; healthy, emotionally satisfying, visually attractive.  The taste is a bit "sweet with a tang" but wonderful and refreshing! In the end, I didnt miss the baked beans.  I felt great knowing I didnt "cave" and make them after all!!
BTW- You WILL have left over sauce.  Use it to top baked sweet potatoes, use over grapefruit, or saute with bananas or pineapples for a quick "dessert".

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

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