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Small Bites, Big Flavor

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Ginger Mandarin Bites
Mandarin Parfait
Grilled Shrimp and Mandarin Black Bean Salad
Mandarin Chicken Couscous Salad With Curry Vinaigrette

(Family Features) - On-the-go families need easy ways to make healthy eating part of the everyday routine. There's a little fruit that can do just that.

California mandarins are a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin, and are harvested from mid-October through April. Sweet, seedless and easy to peel, mandarins offer a variety of nutrients per serving, including fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, vitamin C and folate. A single serving of mandarins (2 whole) has only 80 calories and provides nearly 300 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.

California mandarins are great for snacking, but the pint-sized fruit can also be a tasty and healthy addition to simple, everyday meals. Incorporating mandarins into beverages, salads or yogurt snacks boosts nutritional value and brings the sweet, citrusy taste of summer during the winter months. Try these quick and easy recipes and make mandarins part of your family's nutrition routine.

For more information, visit www.cutiescitrus.com.

Snacking

     
  • Select a mandarin that is firm and heavy for its size. Make sure that it doesn't have soft spots or wrinkled skin. Check its scent - it should smell good, not rotten or fermented.

  • Mandarins make a great midday snack. The compact, easy-to-peel treats can reinvigorate you during that all day meeting or be the perfect fuel for an after-school soccer practice.

  • Mandarins make a great travel companion. Easy to eat and pack, mandarins will curb hunger during long car rides or unexpected flight delays.

  • Keep a bowl of colorful mandarins and other fruit at eye-level in the kitchen to easily persuade snackers to select a healthier option.

Ginger Mandarin Bites

Description
Sweet, seedless and easy to peel, mandarins offer a variety of nutrients per serving, including fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, vitamin C and folate.

Ingredients
  • 4 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
  • 8 ounces spreadable cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • Fresh mandarin peel, thinly sliced, for garnish

Preparation
    1. In small bowl, stir together cream cheese, ginger and sugar.
    2. Spread about 1 1/2 teaspoons cream cheese mixture on each mandarin segment; arrange on a serving plate.
    3. Garnish with mandarin peel.

Serves
Makes about 44 pieces

Mandarin Parfait

Description
Incorporating mandarins into beverages, salads or yogurt snacks boosts nutritional value and brings the sweet, citrusy taste of summer during the winter months.

Ingredients
  • 3 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 6-ounce container low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam/preserves, stirred to thin consistency

Preparation
    1. In glasses or goblets, layer ingredients in this order: segments of mandarin, almonds, yogurt, granola and jam; repeat twice.

Serves
Makes 2

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Note: To toast almonds, heat in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat, let cool.

Grilled Shrimp and Mandarin Black Bean Salad

Ingredients
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
  • 1/2 each sweet red and yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Spicy Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 4 cups baby greens or butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and grilled or broiled
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Preparation
    1. In large bowl, gently toss beans, mandarins, peppers and onion with Spicy Vinaigrette. Line four dinner plates with greens and portion salad onto each plate. Top each salad with grilled shrimp, garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.
    2. Spicy Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons fresh mandarin juice or cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, sugar and salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

Serves
Serves 4

Mandarin Chicken Couscous Salad With Curry Vinaigrette

Description
California mandarins are great for snacking, but the pint-sized fruit can also be a tasty and healthy addition to simple, everyday meals.

Ingredients
  • 1 10-ounce package plain couscous
  • 3 fresh mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced, including some green top (about 1/2 cup total), divided
  • Curry Vinaigrette, divided (recipe below)
  • 12 ounces frozen grilled chicken strips, heated according to package directions

Preparation
    1. Prepare couscous according to package directions, remove to large bowl. Stir mandarin segments, cranberries, nuts and half green onion into couscous; add half of vinaigrette and toss well. Arrange on large serving platter; top with chicken. Drizzle evenly with remaining vinaigrette and garnish with remaining green onion. Serve immediately.
    2. Curry Vinaigrette: In small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup mandarin juice or white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon honey and 1/3 cup canola or other vegetable oil.

Serves
Serves 4

SOURCE: Cuties


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