Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Citrus Tea Infused Millet Cheese Tarts

Tea-Infused Millet Cheese Tarts

I’m a HUGE tea drinker. Have been for decades. It’s my preferred breakfast beverage and during the winter I drink it all day long.  I like green, black, white, herbal, all flavors. I haven’t, however, used tea in cooking applications except one time many years ago when I made brownies that used blackberry tea. They were amazing. So I was very excited when I found out that the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux is cooking with tea. Our task is to create a healthy recipe that is inspired by tea.

I decided to use one of my favorite teas, Good Earth Citrus Kiss. I made millet the usual way, except that I used a strong citrus-flavored tea in place of water or broth. It came out delicious. These cheese cups are easy to do and are great for summer party appetizers. Don’t have millet on hand? Just substitute brown rice or quinoa.

Here’s the recipe:

Tea-Infused Millet Cheese Cups

1 cup dry millet (uncooked)
2 cups strong tea made from 3 citrus or lemon flavored tea bags
1 lean Italian turkey sausage link (about 3.4 ounces), uncooked and casing removed
1/2 medium fennel bulb, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

Cheese Tarts:
Non-stick cooking spray
8 ounces 50% or 75% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

Equipment Needed:
baking sheets
parchment paper
mini muffin pan

Make Filling:
Toast dry millet in a non-stick 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until millet just begins to turn brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add  2 cups of strong tea to toasted millet, reduce heat to medium and cover. Gradually reduce heat to simmer and let cook covered for about 20 minutes. One cup of dry millet yields about 4 cups of cooked millet. Only 1 cup of cooked millet is needed for this recipe. The rest can be used for another recipe or use.

Brown Italian sausage in large, 10-inch non-stick frying skillet over medium-high heat until completely browned on all sides, breaking it apart as it cooks. Reduce heat to medium. Add fennel and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in cooked millet. Cook over medium heat for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat. Set aside.

Make Cheese Tarts: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray. The cheese cups will likely need to be baked in batches. The parchment paper can be reused until all the cheese cups have been baked.  With large holes on a box grater, shred cheese. Place cheese in 1 tablespoon piles on parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving about inch between piles to allow for spreading. Flatten piles slightly with back of spoon. Bake 8 to 10 minutes on middle rack of oven until bubbly and slightly brown around edges. Don't over bake to prevent toughness. Remove baking sheet  from oven and let set for 1 minute. Then carefully lift each cheese circle and press in bottom of mini muffin pan. Let cool about 5 minutes before removing from muffin pan. Note: cheese cups can be made up to several days in advance, if desired. Keep at room temperature in airtight plastic container lined with paper towels to absorb moisture.

Using a tablespoon, scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling into each cheese tart. Garnish with feathery fennel fronds, if desired. Serve.

Makes 16 appetizers or 8 servings (2 appetizers each).

Nutrition Information per Serving using 75% reduced fat Cheddar cheese):  (Note: one serving is two cheese cups.)
111 calories, 3.8 g total fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 16.3 mg cholesterol, 0.8 g dietary fiber, 11.8 g protein, and 281 mg sodium.
Nutrition Information per Serving using 50% reduced fat Cheddar cheese):  (Note: one serving is two cheese cups.)
121 calories, 5.8 g total fat, 3.3 g saturated fat, 21.3 mg cholesterol, 0.8 g dietary fiber, 10.8 g protein, and 251 mg sodium.

Cost per Serving (2 Cheese Cups per Serving): $0.88
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.

Millet browning in pan before tea is added

 Be sure to check out these other tea-inspired creations.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Gluten Free Chipotle Turkey Sliders are a Winner for Everyone at the Party

Gluten Free Chipotle Turkey Sliders

I received free samples of Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic Crackers from Dare Foods Incorporated mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Dare foods Inc. and am eligible to win prizes associated with this contest. I was not compensated for my time.

In celebration of Celiac Awareness Month, Dare Foods offered a challenge to Recipe Reduxers. Create a tasty recipe using their new gluten free crackers. Breton has recently introduced two new gluten free crackers with the same great Breton quality, taste and texture: Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax Seeds and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic. I found Breton’s gluten free crackers at my local Shop Rite supermarket. Regular price is $2.49 per box.  I used the Herb and Garlic for my recipe below although either variety would have been fine.

These crackers taste delicious. They have great tender-crisp texture and don’t have a “diet” taste or feel to them. They worked perfect as the “bun” for my sliders. I also used 12 of these crackers, crushed, to the turkey mixture. I served the sliders open-faced on crackers on a bed of shredded kale and topped with chipotle-flavored mayonnaise and a slice of cherry tomato.

Sliders are always popular. These bite-size burgers are perfect for entertaining. Typical sliders of course are served on a wheat bun, which may be whole grain if you’re lucky. But a person avoiding gluten would normally have to eat the slider without the bun. Not with the sliders below. They are completely gluten free.

Here is the complete recipe.
Gluten-Free Chipotle Turkey Sliders

1 4.76-ounce box of Breton Gluten Free Herb & Garlic Crackers (approximately 32 crackers), divided
1 pound lean ground turkey (93% lean)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 medium green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste
2 medium kale leaves, shredded
10 tablespoons chipotle-flavored reduced-fat mayonnaise
7 cherry tomatoes, sliced crosswise
Place 12 Breton Gluten Free Crackers in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Combine crushed crackers with turkey, egg, green onion, tomato sauce, and chipotle pepper in bowl. Form 20 one-inch balls. Place patties in single layer in large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, flattening them as you place them in pan. Cover and cook, turning 2 or 3 times, for about 10 to 12 total minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on meat thermometer. Repeat pan frying process until all patties have been cooked.
To assemble, place 20 Breton Gluten Free Crackers on serving tray. Top each cracker with shredded kale, then cooked turkey patty. Top each patty with about 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle-flavored mayonnaise and one cherry tomato slice.

Makes 20 appetizer servings.
Nutrition Information per Appetizer Serving:
82 calories, 4.2 g total fat, 1.3 g saturated fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 0 g dietary fiber, 4.8 g protein, and 71 mg sodium.
Cost per Serving: $0.39
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except ground turkey was on sale for $3.99 a pound.

Here are some prep photos.

Crush 12 crackers to add to turkey mixture

Turkey sliders cooking on stovetop

Be sure to check out these other gluten free favorites using Breton crackers.