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Fresh Sensations Healthy Meals

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Grapefruit and Black Bean Salad
Winter Fruits With Balsamic Vinaigrette
Citrus Platter With Raspberry Sauce
Broiled Fish With Citrus-Grape Sauce

(Family Features) - Looking to freshen up winter meals? Think Florida citrus. There's no better way to add a healthy zip to family dinners than with the sweet, juicy taste of citrus.

Fresh Florida citrus delivers a powerful nutritional punch in a delicious package. Not only are oranges and grapefruit a fat-free treat, but studies show the concentration of nutrients in citrus may help reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. Oranges and grapefruit also provide more than a full day's supply of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps boost the immune system.

Oranges and grapefruit have versatile culinary uses, and their juicy goodness enlivens many a sweet or savory recipe. Try dressing up broiled or poached fish with a delightfully delicate fruit sauce made of fresh Florida orange sections, grapes and lemon-pepper seasoning. You also can create a festive side dish by drizzling a platter of ruby red grapefruit and orange sections with a luscious (and fat-free!) raspberry sauce.

Fresh-squeezed citrus juice can replace the oils in salad dressings, making them lighter and zestier. Update your balsamic vinaigrette with a blend of tangy orange juice, mixed with grapefruit, oranges and other winter fruits, and toss with fresh greens for intense flavor. Use fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice as a full-bodied base for a zesty, fat-free dressing that pairs well with grapefruit slices and black beans for a refreshing replacement to the standard salad.

Chase away the winter blahs ... take advantage of fresh Florida citrus season and freshen up old recipes. Who knew good health could be so scrumptious?

Sectioning Sweetness

Orange and grapefruit sections add an easy elegance to any recipe. Here's how to make them: First, remove peel and hold fruit over a bowl to catch the juice. Next, cut between one fruit section and the membrane, cutting to the center of the fruit. Turn the knife and slide it up the other side of the section next to the membrane. Repeat with remaining sections.

For more Florida citrus recipes and information, visit www.floridajuice.com.

Grapefruit and Black Bean Salad

  • Lettuce leaves
  • 2 Florida grapefruit, peeled, thinly sliced and seeded
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup canned papaya, drained and cubed
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup 100% Florida grapefruit juice
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

    1. Line 4 salad plates with lettuce. Arrange grapefruit slices on plates. Arrange beans, cucumber and papaya in mounds on lettuce. Sprinkle with cheese.
    2. For dressing, in screw-top jar combine grapefruit juice, cilantro, honey and cumin. Cover and shake well. Before serving, drizzle dressing over salads.

Makes 4 servings

Winter Fruits With Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 2 Florida red grapefruit
  • 1 Florida orange
  • 2 medium pears
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 head red or green leaf lettuce
  • 1 cup seedless red and/or green grapes

    1. For dressing, pour orange juice, salad oil, vinegar, honey and pepper into blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until combined. Cover and chill until serving time.
    2. Peel grapefruit and orange. Section grapefruit and cut orange crosswise into 8 slices; remove seeds. Core pears and cut into wedges. Brush pears with lemon juice.
    3. Line platter with lettuce leaves. Arrange grapefruit sections, orange slices, pear wedges and grapes atop lettuce. Cover platter with plastic wrap and chill up to 4 hours. Before serving, drizzle with dressing.

Makes 8 side-dish servings

Citrus Platter With Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen lightly sweetened red raspberries, thawed
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 Florida red and/or white grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and seeded
  • 7 Florida oranges, peeled, sectioned and seeded
  • Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

    1. For sauce, sieve thawed raspberries and discard seeds. Add enough water to raspberry puree to make 1 1/4 cups. In small saucepan combine raspberry puree, sugar, cornstarch and mace. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover and chill about 2 hours.
    2. Arrange grapefruit and orange sections on platter. Cover and chill until serving time. To serve, drizzle chilled raspberry sauce over fruit. If desired, garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Makes 8 side-dish servings

Broiled Fish With Citrus-Grape Sauce

  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh or frozen grouper, halibut or shark steak, about 3/4 inch thick
  • Nonstick spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded Florida orange peel
  • 1 1/4 cups 100% orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Florida oranges, peeled, sectioned and seeded
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)

    1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Spray unheated rack of broiler pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle both sides of fish with lemon-pepper seasoning. Place fish on rack of broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat 4 minutes; turn fish. Broil 3 to 5 minutes more, or until fish flakes when tested with fork.
    2. Meanwhile, spray unheated medium saucepan with nonstick spray. Add onions; cook and stir over medium heat until tender. In bowl, combine orange peel, orange juice, cornstarch and salt. Add to onions in saucepan. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Add orange sections, grapes and, if desired, sherry. Heat through. Spoon sauce over fish.

Makes 4 servings

SOURCE: Florida Department of Citrus

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