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Simply Sweet Meal Solutions

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Grilled Flank Steak With Red Onion-Raisin Relish
Sweet Potato, Raisin and Apple Bake
Caribbean-Style Grilled Sweet Potatoes With Spicy Dark Rum and Raisin Glaze
New Orleans Sweet Potato Raisin Pie

(Family Features) - If the inevitable query "What's to eat?" sends chills down your spine perhaps it's time to turn things up a notch and add some zing to your kitchen repertoire. (Psssst! It doesn't hurt to sneak in some good nutrition while you're at it.)

It's astounding how a few key ingredients can completely alter the flavor of any dish. Take naturally sweet California raisins, for example. Portable and available year- round, this little ingredient adds big-time flavor. Not just for snacking anymore, raisins are a delicious and nutritious way to enhance any recipe - providing sweet balance and texture, from savory entrees to decadent desserts. Another bonus; raisins are fat and cholesterol free, high in antioxidants and an excellent source of energy.

Louisiana sweet potatoes offer another simple way to quickly jazz up otherwise standard fare, while also getting your vegetables. Available year-round, fresh or canned, sweet potatoes are extremely versatile and deliver a wallop of beta carotene, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and fiber. Sweet potatoes also sport the lowest glycemic index rating among root vegetables, as they digest slowly. (Which means you'll feel satisfied longer, too!)

So next time the family starts bugging you about their next meal, don't cringe and sigh. Instead, just smile and say, "You're in for a sweet surprise!"

For more information and great recipes, check out www.calraisins.org, www.sweetpotato.org and www.culinary.net.

Grilled Flank Steak With Red Onion-Raisin Relish

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cups prepared balsamic vinaigrette
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 pounds beef flank steak
Relish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, julienned
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup California raisins

Preparation
    1. In 2-quart mixing bowl, combine balsamic vinaigrette, sea salt and ground pepper. Place flank steak in bowl and turn to coat both sides with seasoned dressing. Cover and let marinate 2 hours in refrigerator.
    2. To prepare relish, heat 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and onions, and sauté until lightly browned. Add balsamic vinegar and cook 1 minute. Add brown sugar and raisins. Continue cooking until liquid is nearly evaporated; remove from heat and set aside.
    3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
    4. Grill flank steak 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium rare (add another 2 minutes per side for medium). Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes. Slice across grain and dish onto plates. Top with generous spoonfuls of relish.

Serves
Serves 6

Sweet Potato, Raisin and Apple Bake

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup California raisins
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 3 cans (15 ounces each) cut Louisiana sweet potatoes, drained (or 3 cups fresh Louisiana sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Heat nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and apples. sauté several minutes until lightly browned, and then add brown sugar, salt and raisins. Mix well. Add apple juice, continue to cook 2 minutes and then transfer to 2-quart mixing bowl. Add sweet potatoes to bowl and mix gently.
    3. Coat 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons butter. Transfer mixture to baking dish, top with graham cracker crumbs and ground pepper.
    4. Bake 20 minutes. Serve with ham, beef, turkey or roast pork.

Serves
Serves 6

Caribbean-Style Grilled Sweet Potatoes With Spicy Dark Rum and Raisin Glaze

Description
Treat your family to a unique and delicious culinary experience that will awaken their taste buds. Try these additional recipes with California raisins and Louisiana sweet potatoes for dinner tonight!

Ingredients
  • 4 Louisiana sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
Glaze
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 3/4 cup California raisins
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

Preparation
    1. Preheat grill to medium-low heat.
    2. Spray medium mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place sliced sweet potatoes in bowl and add jerk seasoning; toss well to coat.
    3. Place on grill and let cook over low heat, turning after potatoes start to brown (about 4 minutes). Turn heat down to lowest setting and cover grill.
    4. To prepare glaze, combine molasses, rum, brown sugar and jerk seasoning in small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Add raisins, lower heat and simmer on lowest setting 5 minutes more. Remove saucepan from heat, add butter and mix well.
    5. Place grilled sweet potatoes in medium mixing bowl, add raisin glaze and toss to coat. Serve with grilled steaks, pork chops, chicken or fish.

Serves
Serves 6

New Orleans Sweet Potato Raisin Pie

Ingredients
  • 6 medium Louisiana sweet potatoes, peeled (or 6 [15-ounce] cans cut Louisiana sweet potatoes)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup California raisins
  • 1 prepared 10-inch pie shell, baked 15 minutes at 350°F

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes, place in 4-quart saucepan and add water. Cover and cook over medium heat approximately 20 minutes (until very soft), then drain. (If using canned sweet potatoes, simply drain and proceed to next step. Do not add water or cook.)
    3. Puree sweet potatoes in blender or food processor until smooth, then transfer to large bowl. Blend all remaining ingredients well, except raisins, in food processor, and add to bowl. Fold in raisins.
    4. Pour mixture into par-baked pie shell, bake 30 minutes more at 350°F, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and continue baking another 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with whipped cream or butter pecan ice cream.

Serves
Serves 6

SOURCE: California Raisin Marketing Board
Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission



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