Strawberry season is here, and that makes me happy.
My family, even our toddler, loves strawberries any way I can prepare them.
Fruit salads, breakfast or desserts is usually what we think of when we purchase strawberries, but the berries can be used with chicken in a salad or in a cold soup that can be served as a first course or a dessert course.
The supermarkets have flats and half flats of the berries. While the berries are in season, here are some recipes that spotlight strawberries, but if you are like our granddaughter, you eat them best out of hand. These are recipes that I have had and made for more than 25 years.
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Bottled chutney and curry add exotic flavor to this main-dish salad.
1/2 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped chutney
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup sliced celery (I omit the celery and use chopped water chestnuts for crunch)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1- 1/2 pints hulled fresh strawberries, divided
In large bowl, combine mayonnaise, chutney, lime zest, salt, curry powder and lime juice. Add chicken, celery (water chestnuts) and onion; toss, cover and chill.
Just before serving, slice enough strawberries to make 2 cups; gently toss with chicken mixture.
Line platter or individual serving plates with lettuce. Mound chicken salad in center. Garnish with remaining 1cup whole strawberries. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional data: Calories, 271; protein, 20 grams; fat, 13
grams; cholesterol, 68 milligrams; carbohydrate, 18 grams; sodium, 813 milligrams.
Exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 1 fruit, 2- 1/2 meat, 1- 1/2 fat.
SPINACH SALADWITH BEEF AND FRUIT
1 pound round steak
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seed
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound spinach
2 oranges, sliced
2 cups strawberries, sliced
Trim round steak and broil 3 inches from the heat, for 6-7 minutes per side, or until done. Slice the steak across the grain into thin slices; place in a glass baking dish.
In a blender combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chopped onion, sesame seed, sugar, crushed garlic clove, chili powder, and white pepper. Cover and mix until blended. Gradually add oil, blending until smooth.
Pour over the steak slices; cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Place trimmed spinach on serving plates. Arrange the beef slices, sliced oranges and sliced strawberries on top. Drizzle with the remaining marinade.
Makes 4 servings.
Here are two different strawberry soup recipes. Both are good; it just depends on the flavors you prefer. The first soup is from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It was an award-winning soup served at the Morning Glory Inn, South Side. Like I said, I have had these recipes for years.
1- 1/2 pounds frozen strawberries (almost thawed)
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Place strawberries in blender and puree until smooth. Add yogurt and blend. Pour strawberry mixture into large bowl. Add cream and vanilla and stir until blended. Chill.
To serve: Place 1/3 cup soup into a rimmed soup bowl. Garnish with a thin slice of fresh strawberry and a mint sprig.
COLD STRAWBERRY SOUP
2 pints strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup half and half
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a blender or food processor puree strawberries. Pour into a large bowl and add half and half, sour cream, sugar and lemon juice. Stir until well combined. Chill.
Serve with garnish of mint leaves.
-- Recipe from Food Network
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Mix and spread into 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; while it is baking, every now and then, stir. You want it to look like crumbs. When done and still warm, press down into the baking pan to form a crust. Reserve some of the crumbs for topping.
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
Beat egg whites, 1 cup sugar, lemon juice and strawberries for 10 minutes at high speed. Whip the cream and fold into the strawberry mixture. Pour over crust and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup sugar. Let sit for 6 hours. Cut into squares and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh strawberry.
Another meatless meal
Reader Mitch Burnett asked for recipes for easy meatless meals. A low-fat but tasty one is fettucine Alfredo to which he could add a side salad.
1 (12-ounce) package uncooked fettuccine
3 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine or butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup skim milk or regular milk, if you prefer
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain fettuccine well; place in a large bowl and keep warm.
Melt margarine or butter in a medium saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Gradually add skim milk, and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Reduce heat to low, and stir in Parmesan cheese. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. Pour sauce over fettuccine and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
-- From "All New Cookbook for Diabetics and Their Families"
Vegetable soup, please
Readers, please send in your favorite vegetable soup recipes for Barbara Anderson, who requested the recipes. She wants a recipe for her daughter-in-law.
Also, don't forget to send more meatless meal ideas for Burnett, who wanted those.
Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.