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Berries Savory and Sweet

By Michele


In most of the US, the weather is cold these days. Fortunately for me, I’m spending some time in Florida where it’s sunny and warm! That said, my cooking strays from stews and soups and leans towards bright and light meals. I’m helped out with that endeavor, as the supermarkets in Florida have berries front and center on display.   


Notwithstanding the weather where you live, berries are one of those powerful antioxidants that our bodies so surely deserve. Below are ways I incorporated them into my cooking this past week.


I made salmon with a blackberry sauce, coconut rice with raspberries, and mixed greens with strawberries and blueberries.


So, close your eyes for a moment, imagine you are dining al fresco in the warmth and indulge in these recipes.


Salmon with Blackberry Sauce

(serves 4)



Ingredients

2 tablespoons evoo

4 6-oz salmon fillets (skin on preferred)

1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

¼ cup blackberry preserve or jam

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons red wine

Parsley for garnish, optional


Preparation

  1. Season salmon with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. In a small saucepan, combine blackberries, jam, wine, vinegar, and honey. Heat over medium low and simmer until reduced to a thick sauce. Using the back of a fork, mash some of the blackberries to help with thickening of sauce.

  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add salmon fillets, flesh side down, and press lightly with a spatula. Cook until crispy, then flip and repeat with skin side down, cooking for a total of 8-10 minutes until cooked medium on the inside but crispy on the outside. Place salmon onto plates.

  4. Spoon blackberry sauce over cooked salmon and top with chopped parsley (if using).

  5. Serve immediately.

Coconut Rice with Raspberries

(serves 4)



Here I cheated using two packs of microwaveable 90-second coconut "ready rice" pack. Follow cooking instructions. Remove cooked rice to a plate and separate with a fork. Add a dab of butter, quarter cup of fresh raspberries and one tablespoon of toasted pine nuts. Mix and serve.


Mixed Greens with Strawberries & Blueberries



Preparation

Add to a salad bowl a bunch of your favorite greens (enough for four servings), a quarter cup of blueberries and several sliced strawberries. Prepare a light dressing of your choice, drizzle over and serve.


All in all, these dishes were light and tasty. I came away from the table satisfied that I ate a nutritious and healthy meal.

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