Food, Home & Garden
Pg 9 - The Sunshine Express
Summer Cooking Solutions
5 cooking tricks that add bold flavor
to healthy foods
(BPT) - Warm weather and fresh fare go hand in
hand. While healthy foods dominate the summer
months, too often people fall into meal ruts where
all they eat are simple salads and grilled chicken.
Nutritious foods doní»t have to be boring foods,
though, because ití»s easy to add pizzazz with a
few clever twists.
Fish and poultry are quality low-fat sources of pro-
tein but can come up short in flavor. Fortunately,
ití»s simple to enhance lackluster chicken breasts or
bland salmon with citrus. Think beyond lemon and
lime and try more exotic citrus varieties like blood
orange, kumquat, Satsuma and tangerine. Mari-
nate and brush on the juices before cooking, or
grill your grub with a few citrus slices directly on
top. The eye-widening fresh citrus flavors will take
your fish and poultry to new heights.
Think you need to give up cheese to be healthy?
Think again. Feta is a lower-calorie option that
packs incredible flavor into any dish. Nikos Feta,
made by Certified Master Cheesemakers, has a
classic taste and texture that makes it the perfect
addition to boring salads. But doní»t stop there -
drape a slice of feta across bite-size snacks or add
crumbles to favorite side dishes for Mediterranean
flavor that leaves you satisfied. Visit www.nikos-
feta.com/Recipes for more ideas.
Fresh fruit is abundant during the warmer months
and provides plenty of healthy vitamins and nutri-
ents. Instead of always eating it fresh, sink your
teeth into new fruit flavor when you try grilling
your favorite varieties. Lightly grilling fruit triggers
the sugars to start caramelizing, which brings out
rich, sweet flavors. Bananas, pineapple, peaches
and even cantaloupe are great options. Cut them
in half or chop into bite-size pieces and skewer
Nutritionists agree that good old H2O is the best
thing to drink to stay hydrated, but after a while
plain water gets boring. Add a splash of healthy
flavor to water by infusing it yourself. Lemon
and lime add zest, but you can experiment
with all sorts of flavor enhancements, such
as cucumber, apple, grapefruit, berries and
mint. Keep a pitcher in the fridge with water
and your favorite sliced fruits and youí»ll always
have a healthy drink on hand.
Nothing adds kick to a bland dish like a touch
of spice. If you prefer a little heat and a whole
lot of flavor, ití»s time to add harissa to your
regular cooking routine. This Tunisian hot chili
pepper paste has a bold flavor profile thatí»s
delicious with chicken, eggs and even when
used as a sandwich spread. Some food insiders
claim harissa will be the next Sriracha, so you
can be ahead of the curve by stocking a few
cans in your pantry.
Want to try a few recipes that include several
of these flavor-boosting ideas? The follow-
ing is sure to inspire. Learn more about feta
and other wholesome recipes by visiting www.
facebook.com/NikosFeta, where you can enter
a contest to win a trip to Hawaii to attend the
Hawaii Food and Wine Festival.
Greek Zucchini Bruschetta
Makes 6-8 servings.
1/2 cup Nikos Tomato Basil Feta cheese,
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into strips
2 tomatoes, diced
2 zucchini, sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Slice zucchini into 1/3- or 1/2-inch thick pieces. Lay
flat on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cook-
ing spray or lined with foil. Drizzle zucchini with 1
tablespoon olive oil and bake in oven at 350 degrees
F until almost soft. Dice tomatoes and mix with 1
tablespoon olive oil, seasonings, feta cheese and
basil. Top zucchini with tomato and feta mixture.
Recipe courtesy of TheLawfulKitchen.com
Summer Heats Up With Apricots
Each month, the Colorado Department of Agricul-
ture features a different commodity to highlight the
variety and quality of products grown, raised or pro-
cessed in the state. This month showcases apricots
in the Thai Apricot BBQ Sauce recipe.
Apricots originated in China 4,000 years ago, and
the fruit is a member of the rose family. Choose
apricots that are plump, firm and uniformly colored.
Apricots are low in fat, sodium free and an excel-
lent source of vitamins A and C. Look for Colorado
apricots at your local grocery store, farmersí» market
or at restaurants across the state.
Thai Apricot BBQ Sauce
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Fresh Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Fresh Ginger, minced
2 Jalapenos, minced
2 Red Jalapenos, minced
4 Apricots, pitted and diced
1 Quart Cane Syrup
1/2 Cup Tomato Paste
3/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, minced
Kosher Salt to Taste
Black Ground Pepper to Taste
Directions: Heat a large sauce pot and add the oil,
garlic, ginger and jalapenos and sautĘŽ for 5 minutes
or until tender. Add the remaining ingredients to the
pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to
cool. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator, and
use within two weeks. Serve over grilled chicken or
with grilled vegetables.
Visit www.coloradoagriculture.com for list of recipes.