Zesty Lime Chili Chayote Squash

Chayote squash are apple green in colour and about the size and shape of a pear. They’re from the gourd family, along with melons & squash. Native to South America, they are popular around the world.  I discovered them in Vietnam where they’re called Su Su. The mild flavoured flesh is similar in texture to a raw apple, with a slightly starchier bite. They hold their shape well when sautéed, are good raw and are a nice addition to a stew, soup or salad. I like them raw, with a squeeze of lime and sprinkle of chili. Try this  recipe… I would recommend a half chayote per person for a good sized side dish. It’s nutritious and healthy; 1 good sized chayote has only 39 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrates, has 3.5 grams of fibre and a quarter of your day’s recommended Vitamin C intake. Yum!

Ingredients:

1 large chayote squash

1 small onion

1 small clove garlic

1 tsp Twisted Gourmet Zesty Lime & Chili Salt

1Tbsp neutral flavoured oil (safflower is my preference)

 

Method:

Slice onion thinly. Mince small garlic clove. Wash & halve chayote. Remove heart, half again lengthwise then cut into 1/2 inch slices.

In a wok, heat oil over medium heat and add onions. Let soften, then add garlic. Saute for a few minutes or until onions are becoming translucent. Add Zesty Lime & Chili salt, then chayote squash. Stir to coat squash in oil & salt.

Cook over medium heat for 15-25 minutes or until onions have begun to carmelize, squash is nicely browned at the edges & tender. Do not cook over higher heat or onions will fry and garlic will burn. This is a nice slow sauté, to get the lovely sweetness out of the onion & the squash.

Delicious as a side dish.

 

 

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Lemon Dill Brussels Sprouts

Lemon Dill Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

1 lb Brussels sprouts

3/4 tsp The Twisted Gourmet Lemon Dill Salt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small garlic clove, sliced thinly

Freshly ground black pepper

1-2 Tbsp water

 

Method

Wash, dry and slice sprouts

Toss with salt, add freshly squeezed lemon juice & zest. Allow to rest for 1-2 hours.

Peel and slice garlic clove. Heat oil in wok over medium high heat, add garlic. Do not brown garlic, but allow the flavour to infuse the oil. Add sprouts and any liquid in bowl. Stir-fry at medium high heat until sprouts are nicely browned & slightly softened. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over top as you cook. Add 1 Tbsp water to pan and steam fry for another minute or so. If sprouts still very undercooked, repeat water/steam fry once more.

Top with fresh black pepper & serve.

 

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Spicy Shrimp Cheechako Tacos

Use a little, use a lot… up to you! The Cheechako Taco blend has some serious heat… chipotles & jalapeños along with some crushed red chilis (just to round things out).

Ingredients: (Makes 4 tacos)

12 shelled uncooked shrimp, thawed, rinsed & drained.

Twisted Gourmet Cheechako Taco* blend: about 2 tsp (adjust to taste)

1 lime (cut in half)

Safflower oil (or other neutral oil): 1 Tbsp

4 Soft small tortillas, flour or corn as you prefer.

Crema:

1/2 cup sour cream (plain yogurt also works well)

1 ripe avocado, halved & pitted

Pinch of salt

 

Method:

Shrimp: In a bowl, sprinkle thawed, rinsed & drained shrimp with Cheechako Taco seasoning blend. Add juice of 1/2 lime and vegetable oil. Stir and allow to sit for about 15 minutes (If marinating longer, store in the fridge).

Either turn oven broiler on high or turn on outdoor grill. If using broiler, line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Place shrimp on pan and place about 6″ beneath broiler burner. Cook 6 minutes, turning after 3 (keep an eye on them; they should be cooked through but not overcooked).  If using outdoor grill, thread shrimp onto two skewers and baste with oil before placing on the grill. Cook a few minutes on each side, taking care not to overcook.

Crema: Scoop flesh from avocado and put in a food processor. Add the sour cream and juice of the remaining lime half. Add a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. If it’s not thin enough, add a bit of sour cream.

Tortillas:Brush tortillas lightly with oil and place on oven rack beneath broiler, turning after a few minutes. Remove from oven when heated through and bubbled slightly.

Serve shrimp in warm tortillas with chopped cabbage slaw, chopped tomatoes and the avocado crema.  Serve with a nice salsa and an ice cold beer… perfect!

*Try with Southern Gentlemen if you don’t like heat! My daughter doesn’t eat seafood, so I made this recipe using thinly sliced pork, pan fried after marinating… also delicious!

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Vanilla Cranberry Scones

Oh my GOODNESS! These light and lovely scones are quick to make… even quicker to eat! I’ve taken a few of my favourite scone recipes from over the years and blended & tweaked them using my own favourite tricks and Twisted Gourmet sugars. You’re going to like these….

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3 Tbsp Twisted Gourmet Vanilla Sugar plus 1 teaspoon

1 Tbsp Twisted Gourmet Yukon Wild Cranberry Sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter (chilled or frozen)

3/4 cups wild yukon low-bush cranberries (other berries can be used, of course)

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste (I use President’s Choice Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste)

4-6 Tablespoons half-and-half cream plus 1 tsp

METHOD:

COMBINE flour,  Twisted Gourmet Vanilla Sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

ADD butter, either frozen & grated (my preference) or chilled & cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

IN ANOTHER BOWL  toss wild cranberries with 1 tsp Twisted Gourmet Vanilla Sugar. Add berries to flour/butter mixture.

IN SMALL BOWL beat 1 egg. Add vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste

ADD egg mixture and 4-6 tablespoons (as needed) of half & half cream to the flour/butter/berry mixture until the mixture is moist enough to pull away from the edges of the bowl.

TURN DOUGH ONTO LIGHTLY FLOURED SURFACE.  Knead gently 8-10 times. The berries will explode in a very dramatic fashion, staining the dough, your hands and work surface…. be ready (this is exactly when the doorbell will ring… happens every time)

Press or roll dough to about 1/2 inch thick. I prefer to make a long rectangle of dough, cutting it into small triangles. You can cut circles with a biscuit cutter, create one large circular scone which you slice into wedges before baking, whichever you prefer.

Lightly brush tops of scones with 1 tsp half-and-half. Sprinkle with Twisted Gourmet Wild Yukon Cranberry Sugar.

Bake 11-14 minutes until golden brown. Baking time will depend on size of scones.  Serve warm with butter for maximum yum.

 

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Twisted Chickpea Curry

 

Delicious, quick & easy, this nutritious vegetarian dish will make a welcome addition to your meatless Monday rotation. You might even be tempted to cook it again on Thursday… and maybe Sunday. A wonderful thing about this richly flavourful dish is that it somehow tastes even BETTER on the 2nd day. So make sure you make enough for leftovers!

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp neutral oil (I use sunflower or safflower oil)

2 Tbsp Twisted Curry Blend  (I use up to 3 Tbsp, depending on how spicy I’m feeling)

1 large onion cut in wedges

1 796 ml (28oz) can whole tomatoes with liquid

1 large or 2 medium carrots, diced

1 540 ml (19 oz) can chick peas, well rinsed & drained

1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

 

Method: 

Heat a large pan or wok to medium high heat. Add oil and heat a few moments.

Add the Twisted Curry powder; fry the spice in the oil for about 2-3 minutes or until it becomes quite aromatic.

Add onion to pan and sauté until the onion just begins to soften and release moisture.

Gradually add the tomatoes, mashing somewhat with the back of a spoon. Keep some large chunks of tomato but allow some to be quite pulverized to thicken the sauce.

Add diced carrots & chick peas.

Cover, reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until carrots are soft. Add spinach & coconut milk (more or less to taste; if you find the curry too spicy or too strong, a bit more coconut milk will smooth it).

Serve with rice, chapatis or warm naan bread if you wish, but it makes a wonderful hearty meal on its own and trust me when I say you’re going to like the leftovers even better tomorrow!

 

 

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Southern Gentleman Lime Butter

This. Is. AMAZING. Try it on corn on the cob or use it as a steak butter (I love steak butter… it’s not bad for me, right?).

Ingredients:

1/4 cup room temperature butter (salted would be healthiest of course, but I love salted butter best…surprised?)

Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lime

1 Tbsp Twisted Gourmet Southern Gentleman spice blend (less, more, depending on your preference)

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Method:

Soften butter with a fork, add Southern Gentleman Spice Blend and continue to blend with the fork until seasoning is fully incorporated. Add the lemon juice a tsp or so at a time until you have achieved a lovely soft and blended consistency.

Slather on fresh summer corn, steamed green beans, a gorgeous grilled steak…. anywhere you really want a luscious burst of buttery goodness. I promise I won’t tell your doctor!

Looking for variety? Try this recipe using Twisted Gourmet Kickass Cowboy blend! Want some serious heat? Kick it up a notch with Cheechako Taco blend instead. So GOOD!!!

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Twisted 7 Sticky Drumsticks

 

Ingredients

1/s cup honey, warmed

1 teaspoon Twisted 7 Asian Spice Blend

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce (I used sodium reduced)

16 chicken drumsticks (skin on or removed as you prefer)

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Green onions, for garnish

Method: Preheat oven to 400

Combine all ingredients except drumsticks & sesame seeds.

Marinate chicken for 2 hours. Remove chicken from marinade and reserve the marinade for basting. Place chicken in a single layer in a casserole dish lined with parchment paper; baste with reserved marinade and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 40 minutes, basting again after 20 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Twisted 7 sticky drumsticks ingredients    twisted 7 sticky drumsticks pic

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Twisted 7 Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

7 spice maple roasted squash

7 spice roasted maple butternut squash

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Non-Alcoholic Gin & Tonic Sugar Greyhound

G&T Non-alcoholic greyhound recipe

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Twisted Gourmet Italian Blend (healthy) Turkey Meatballs

Shhhh… you don’t have to tell anybody they’re healthy!

These delicious meatballs can stand up to their beefier cousins any day. Low in fat, high in protein (EXTRA high in protein), they’re a delicious staple you’ll make often. Try them in a meatball sub or in the perennial favourite, Spaghetti and Meatballs.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey (could substitute ground chicken)

1/4 cup quinoa (substitute with breadcrumbs, panko, crushed crackers… your choice)

1.5 Tablespoons The Twisted Gourmet Italian Blend seasoning.

2 tsp dried chives

2 Tablespoon liquid egg white or fresh egg white (can be omitted if desired)

1-2 Tablespoon safflower or other neutral oil.

 

Method:Italian quinoa

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Toast quinoa in a dry pan over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently.  Grind in a coffee grinder, food processor or with a mortar & pestle. If you don’t have either, crush with the bottom of  a heavy flat bottomed drinking glass.

Stir The Twisted Gourmet Italian blend seasoning and dried chives into crushed quinoa in medium sized bowl.

Add ground turkey and egg white. Using hands, combine all ingredients until well blended.

Form into 1 inch balls.

Heat oven proof pan over medium high heat, add oil. When oil is sizzle hot, add meatballs. Allow to cook a few minutes, turn once a good sear has been formed. Brown on all sides.

Place pan (uncovered) in the oven for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (no more pink).

Remove pan, allow to rest for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Italian blend meatballs
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