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Savour sweet and healthy strawberries

Simple recipes that are easy to prepare and make ahead of time allow us to enjoy our food when it is convenient during the summer.

At our house, we wait eagerly for the strawberry season and a bite of sweetness, vitamin C and fibre.

Strawberry Ice

Enjoy this fruit drink with or without alcohol as an afternoon refreshment or a meal appetizer.

  • 3 tbsp. white rum, gin or vodka or just water 45 mL
  • 4 tbsp. lime juice 60 mL
  • 1 tbsp. sugar 15 mL
  • 2 c. fresh strawberries 500 mL
  • 6 to 8 ice cubes

In a blender, combine the alcohol or water, lemon juice and sugar. Blend to mix. Add berries and ice cubes and blend until well combined, serve immediately. Serves two.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This salad uses greens and berries to colour your plate and boost nutrition. Serve with a side of grilled meat and baked potato if desired. Store bought rotisserie chicken or any leftover meat are also easy options.

  • 8 c. spinach, torn 2 L
  • 2 c. fresh sliced strawberries 500 mL
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved 284 mL

Dressing:

  • 1/2 c. oil 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. vinegar 60 mL
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds 30 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika 1 mL
  • 1/4 c. sugar 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. Canadian honey 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. juice from canned mandarin oranges 60 mL
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds 15 mL

Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. In a small food processor or blender, combine dressing ingredients, except for the poppy seeds. Blend until smooth and then add poppy seeds.
Pour over the greens just before serving and toss. Serves eight.

Maple Syrup Dressing

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil 45 mL
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 5 mL
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Place the ingredients in a large salad bowl. Whisk, then add four cups (1 L) of greens of your choice just before serving.
Toss and top with berries, apples and crushed walnuts or pecans, if desired.

Grilled Balsamic Steak or Chicken

Use the Maple Syrup dressing as your meat marinade.

  • 4 boneless beef sirloin
  • steaks or steak cut of your choice (or 4 grilled chicken breasts)
  • 2-3 peppers (variety of colour), cut into quarters
  • Montreal Steak Spice

Place steaks in a sealable pan or bag and pour the maple dressing over top, reserving two tablespoons for the peppers. Turn meat to evenly coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate.

Heat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade and discard marinade.
Place the steaks and the peppers on the grill and brush peppers with the remaining dressing. Cook for five minutes on each side or until done to your liking.
Medium rare is approximately 145 F (63 C) and medium is 160 F (71 C) if using a meat thermometer. Sprinkle steak spice to taste and place on a serving plate. Let stand for eight to 10 minutes and enjoy. Serves four.

Strawberry Fruit Tart

Crust:

  • 1/2 c. butter 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. icing sugar 60 mL
  • 1 c. flour 250 mL

Filling:

  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese 250 g
  • 1/4 c. white sugar 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL

Topping:

  • 4 c. sliced fresh strawberries 1 L

Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch 30 mL
  • 1 c. orange or pineapple juice 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. sugar 125 mL
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice 5 mL

Crust: Mix the butter, icing sugar and flour together and press onto an ungreased pizza pan. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for eight to 10 minutes.
Filling: Mix together the cheese, sugar and vanilla and spread onto the cooled crust. Spread the prepared sliced fruit on the filling.
Glaze: In small saucepan combine the cornstarch, juices and sugar, heat on medium until thick and pour over fruit. Chill.

Strawberry Lemon Angel Sauce

Angel food cake is light, makes a fat free base for fruit and sauces, is easily made ahead of time, transports well and goes with a variety of toppings. Lemon sauce gives it a kick of flavour, colour and texture. You can make a sauce from a store bought cooked lemon pie filling or from scratch from fresh lemon juice.

Variation 1

  • 1 pkg. lemon pie filling
  • 1 c. whipped cream 250 mL
  • or whipped topping
  • (or real whipped cream)
  • 2 c. strawberries, 500 mL
  • tipped and sliced

Prepare the pie filling according to directions on the box. Once cooked, thickened and cooled, mix gently with the whipped cream. (You can also leave the cream and lemon separate if desired.) Drop in dollops on cake and top with seasonal berries. Serves four but can be doubled.

Variation 2

  • 2/3 c. sugar 150 mL
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch 15 mL
  • 1/8 tsp. salt .5 mL
  • 1 c. water 250 mL
  • 1 tbsp. butter 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest 5 mL
  • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice 30 mL

In a saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add water until well combined. Over medium heat and stirring often, bring to a boil, let bubble for three minutes, then remove from the heat.
Add butter, lemon zest and juice, stir until butter is melted and well combined. Serve warm or chilled. Serves four. Source: adapted from Kraft Kitchens.

Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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