05 August 2010

A taste of the tropics

I loved  reading all about your honey ideas!   It seems it is a popular ingredient to use in stir-fries, marinades and, of course, baking. Such a versatile ingredient indeed!

Training

Tonight I had my running buddy back, so Mr BBB and I headed out for a dark / cold run after work. Our "usual" 5km out and back track has a few hills in the middle section and is a decent little run. I must admit that having some company when puffing up the hills is actually quite nice. Or a distraction at the very least.

Dinner

I was super excited about tonight's Mystery Box ingredient, and I had been thinking about it all day.

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Pineapple

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Oh hi there!

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Did you know?  When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them "pineapples" because of their resemblance to the pine cone. Pineapples are low in fat and cholesterol and are rich in manganese, vitamin C and vitamin B1. They also contain bromelain, an enzyme found to help suppress coughs and loosen mucus, and aid digestion and inflammation.

Pineapple would have to be one of my all time favourite fruits. Not only does it taste great on its own, but it is a wonderful pizza topper, a great addition to the bbq or delicious baked into muffins or cakes. Talk about versatile.

When I picked up the pineapple from the greengrocer today, I knew that I could not just stop at one dish to showcase this delightful ingredient. The sheer volume of the pineapple itself meant that it would be best suited to two dishes also. And besides, who say's you cant have pineapple for dinner and for dessert?

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Let's start with dinner shall we?

Hawaiian Stir-fry …..

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Made with soy chicken…

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And pineapple, capsicum, mushrooms and zucchini, and a ‘sweet and sour’ sauce .

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Served on a bed of baby spinach…

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and alongside a pile of brown rice.

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The pineapple gave a real ‘tropical’ feel to this stir-fry. It also worked wonderfully with the spice and sourness of the sauce.

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A light and healthy dinner.

I was tempted to go back for seconds of the stir-fry, but resisted because I knew there was 1/2 a pineapple left over that also needed to be used.

But not for long! Presenting  ….

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 Pine-coco parfait.

Chunks of pineapple, sprinkled with cinnamon and honey, and grilled until golden.

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Layered with vanilla coconut maple yoghurt.

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And topped with a sprinkle of flaked almonds.

Oh my - so tasty and delicious - without the sugar and low in fat! I don’t think that I will EVER get sick of the ‘tried and true’ pineapple and coconut flavour combination.

Expect to see a few more of these in the warmer months!

Hawaiian Stir-Fry (GF) – serves 4

  • 2tbs tamari
  • 1 tsp chilli sauce
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 t cornflour
  • Packet GF “soy” chicken
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced
  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 small pineapple, sliced into chunks.
  1. Cook ‘chicken’ according to packet directions.
  2. Combine ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a wok or fry pan and stir-fry veggies.
  4. Add ‘chicken’ and cook, stirring until heated.
  5. Add sauce and stir. Cook until heated and well combined.
  6. Serve with rice.

Pine-coco Parfait

  • 2 cups pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • drizzle honey
  • 1 cup low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1T maple syrup
  • Flaked almonds to serve
  1. Place pineapple on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and drizzle with honey.
  2. Grill for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the yoghurt, coconut, vanilla and maple syrup.
  4. Divide the pineapple between 4 glasses.
  5. Top with yoghurt and a sprinkle of flaked almonds.

What about you? How do you like to cook with pineapple?

Happy (Tropical) Baking :)

28 comments :

  1. Mmm... all my ideas of good ways to cook pineapple flew out of my head when I saw your yummy stir-fry and parfait! I like pairing it with roasted veggies too - it's a nice compliment to them when everything gets roasted and caramelized :).

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  2. OMG I LOVE pineapple! It makes the best pizza ;)

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  3. ooo we have half a pineapple to use up...

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  4. wow!! love that dessert. We used to live n hawaii and we always ate pineapple in yogurt or grilled them. Mouth watering good!

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  5. Oooh, I like the idea of mixing coconut into natural yogurt - I hate fake coconut flavouring in things (and am a bit ambivalent about coconut too, to be honest...) so this is a far "truer" way of going about the tropical theme! Yay you!

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  6. I love pineapple! I like to freeze chunks of it, then whir it up in the blender for some pineapple sorbet. Kind of like the banana softserve, only with pineapple.

    Truth be told, I just love fresh pineapple straight up sprinkled with a little toasted coconut.

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  7. I always want to like pineapple. I just haven't found a way that I enjoy it. Maybe I'll have to try this.

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  8. Seriously! You are a genius in the kitchen. Those both look sooooo ggod!

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  9. My husband would be horrified-he hates sweet & savory together. Its sad for him really!

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  10. I LOOOVE pineapple in stir-fry - YUM!!!

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  11. I love how grilling pineapple just brings out the flavor even more! Although I usually shy away from pineapple because of how much it costs, in reality you get so much bang for your buck!

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  12. i love pineapple! hehe i would have also made a pina colada :D

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  13. I don't usually cook with pineapple but I do really like it. I grew up with Pina Coladas (well, virgins until I was of age) being a staple in our house (we're Puerto Rican) so natrually I love the pineapple/coconut combination. Yummy looking dinner!

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  14. Funny coincidence, my sister just brought us home a pineapple from her honeymoon in hawaii!

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  15. The parfait looks delicious! I would have never thought to grill it before adding it as a topping! Brilliant!

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  16. The parfait looks amazing, I cut pineapple into cubes and freeze them, then suck on them in summer.

    ohh summer please come soon...!

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  17. I've found that pineapple works soo well in stir fries! Also, have you ever tried grilling it? I realy like grilled pineapple/chicken with teriyaki sauce. Soo good!

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  18. I love the presentation on that parfait! I hardly ever cook with fresh pineapple because I love it so much just straight up. The last time I got a fresh pineapple I ate so much that my tongue turned raw. Although grilled pineapple is definitely a winner, especially on turkey burgers with avocado!

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  19. I've heard 100 conflicting reports, so I'll ask you the question in the hopes of finding something definitive: what do you think is the best indication of a pineapple's ripeness?

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  20. @ S - My mum always told me to smell the base of the pineapple to check its sweetness / ripeness! What other methods have you heard?

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  21. That looks SO delicious! My boyfriend hates pineapple so I don't eat it as much as I used to. But I think you inspired me to buy some despite what he thinks. ;)

    I like to add it to teriyaki stirfries, alongside ice cream or with baked apples, muffins, pizza, or just on a plate for noshin'!

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  22. I could eat pineapples foreverrrr! Except they cut my mouth for some reason- those little boogers!!

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  23. OH my that stirfry looks so delicious! I am definitely trying that soon! I love pineapples!

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  24. Did you know if you sprinkle a small amount of salt on your pineapple it will bring out the natural sweetness and help it release it's juice?

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  25. I love it in fried rice or pizza when we have pineapple but it is so good fresh that I don't always get the chance. I once had one of those pineapple rice dishes in half a pineapple and still dream of the day a pineapple comes sliding down the bannister (that photo makes me laugh) on the day I am inspired to make this dish. Ooh and that parfait looks perfext

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  26. wow! Both the stir fry and parfait look fabulous! I am pineapple obsessed so I am definitely bookmarking these recipes!

    xo

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  27. Hi Lisa,

    I made the stir-fry last night and just had to let you know both DH and I thought it was fantastic. So good in fact I've now chucked the sweet and sour sauce I had in the fridge - your recipe was so much better. Will definitely be having this again.

    Libby

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  28. Lisa: sorry for the delay--no internet again... I've heard "try to pull out one of the, um, leaves from on top. If it releases easily, it's ripe." I've also heard "you want there to be colour in the joints of the pattern" (which is hard to explain, but you know how they're like little pentagons with spines on them? the lines of the pentagon need to be very green for a ripe fruit). And then "if you can smell it from half a foot away, it's ripe". I now go to the grocery, close my eyes, and just grab--I'm overwhelmed by my "ripeness checks"! :)

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