Healthy and Happy New Beginnings

Over half of the United States population makes resolutions for the New Year but only 8% are successful in keeping them. Losing weight is the most common resolution but is also the least likely to be accomplished. For the New Year, in hopes of helping you stay healthy, happy and fit, here are some fresh recipe ideas to keep you on the right path to achieving your goals.

Sweet and Tangy Salad
Yield: 8 servings

1 Large Pineapple, cored
and chopped

2 Ripe Mangoes, chopped

2 Large Cara Cara Oranges, segmented

3 Bananas, sliced

½ Cup Pomegranate seeds

½ Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted

3 Tbsp shredded sweetened dried coconut, lightly toasted

Prepare fruit and keep refrigerated. After toasting the almonds and the coconuts until golden, remove from heat and chill. Toss fruit together and top with almonds and coconuts. Serve.

Butternut Squash and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Yield: 8 servings

2 Pounds Butternut Squash,
cleaned and chopped

4 Carrots, cleaned and diced

4 Celery Stalks, cleaned and
diced

16 ounce jar Fire Roasted Red Peppers

3 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup cream

1 Tbsp butter

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Peel the squash and remove all of the seeds before chopping. Place carrots, celery, peppers, squash and broth in a large pot and simmer until the squash is tender. Puree in a food processor or a blender until smooth, add the butter. (If you have an immersion blender, use that after pureeing to ensure a smoother consistency.) Take one to two cups of the soup and place in a separate bowl, return the remaining soup to the pot. Add the cream to the smaller bowl of soup, blend together and then add that to the larger pot. This is to keep the cream from curdling. Bring the heat back to a desired temperature and season to taste.

Lemon and Oregano Chicken Breasts
Yield: 4 servings

1 Lemon

4 Large Chicken Breasts Salt and Pepper

3 tsp Olive Oil

3 Sprigs Oregano

1 Tbsp Minced Shallot

½ Garlic Clove, minced

1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar

½ Cup Chicken Broth

Preheat oven to 425F. Very thinly slice half of the lemon and cut the remaining into two pieces; discard all seeds. Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Coat a large skillet with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and sauté the chicken until the skin browns. Discard all rendered fat. Using 1 teaspoon of oil, coat a large oven safe dish. Place half of the lemon slices on the bottom, the chicken breasts on top of those and the remaining lemon slices on top of the chicken. Roast chicken for 6-8 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts and the lemon slices that were on the bottom to a platter. Add the oregano, shallot, garlic, red peppers and lemon slices that were on the top of the chicken to the large skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vinegar and broth. Return to medium heat and reduce the liquid until it thickens. Squeeze one of the reserved lemon pieces into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the skillet to warm them up in the sauce. Serve topped with lemon slices.

Glazed Carrots
Yield: 8-10 servings

2 Pounds of Carrots, halved, cut crosswise into 2” pieces

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Honey

1 Tbsp Molasses

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven to 425F. Combine carrots, oil and salt and pepper then place over a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 14-16 minutes until the carrots are tender. Whisk together the honey and molasses in a large bowl. Place the roasted carrots in the honey mixture; toss to coat well and spread over the baking sheet pouring the remaining honey mixture on top of the carrots. Roast again until the glaze is thick and sticky. The carrots will begin to brown in spots (do not let it burn). This should take 5-7 minutes. Serve warm as a side or appetizer.

Berry Trifle
Yield: 4 servings

3 eggs

2/3 Cup Orange Juice

1 Orange zest

¼ Cup and 3Tbsp sugar

½ Envelope Unflavored Gelatin

12 ounces Frozen Berry Mixture

2 ½ tsp Cornstarch

2 ½ Tbsp Fresh Mint, finely chopped

Whisk together eggs, juice, zest and ¼ cup of sugar. In a double boiler, cook egg mixture until it thickens. Add gelatin and stir together until it fully dissolves. Remove from heat and pour into four 5-ounce serving glasses. Refrigerate approximately 2 hours until solid. In a medium saucepan over medium heat cook berries and remaining 3 Tbsp of sugar until the berries break down and liquefy. In a bowl, strain one third of berry mixture; add cornstarch and whisk until dissolved. Return juice/cornstarch mixture to the berries and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in chopped mint. Let cool completely. Spoon the sauce evenly over the curd and refrigerate again for at least one hour but no exceeding 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Crystal Durham :