Sunday, April 14, 2013

Studio 5: Miracle Berry Recipes


*Studio 5 Video to be posted Monday Afternoon.
*See my Miracle Tasting Berry video (just below this one).
The Miracle Berry Tasting Party was a lot of fun, but after I saw this book by noted chef Homaro Cantu, I wondered if the berry had some other applications.

Despite the title of the book and how you approach weight loss, you may not think this will work for you, as some of the recipes have butter and white flour in them.

From a low-carb point of view however, there are several recipes that will work quite successfully.

Having been on a low-carb diet and avoiding all sugar for over 3 months now I thought this might be my solution to having my cake and eating it too.

I don't crave sugar like I used to, but it is nice to have something sweet once in awhile and I could see myself making a special dessert (especially for celebrations and holidays).  Keep in mind, every time I would indulge, I would need to eat a half-tablet of the Miracle Berry.

My first two attempts were not that successful.  Trying to make a dessert without any carbs, I made his Chocolate Walnut Torte with Coconut Crust (Page 125) for my tasting party.  My husband and I tasted this ahead of time and it was not pleasant at all!

My group of six tried this and really didn't like it.  We ate it after having tried a lot of the sweeter fruit, and we wonder if it might have tasted better had we eaten it first.  My husband and I, however, kept picking away at it, and it tasted better and better and we ate the whole thing.  The rest of the group thought we were crazy!  I also tried this torte because it saved a whopping 250 calories per serving!

My second dish, a savory dish, was coconut Shrimp with a Sweet Thai Dipping sauce (pages 68).  This definitely tasted good and sweet.

Later I tried two more recipes I thought might work better.  I made the Orange chicken (page 88) and it was delicious!  I figured that since the citrus fruit worked so well with the berry, that recipes using citrus would also work well.  These saves 125 calories per serving. 

For desert I tried the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (page 110) and I did not like the texture, nor did I think it had much taste.

Much better was the Lemon cream cheese Eclairs.  I added Strawberries to these because they are in season and it was a lovely, sweet dessert that saved me almost 200 calories per serving (2 eclairs per serving).  I made a slight adjustment to this recipe as I felt the filling was too soft.
Eclair Shells

1 stick butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Use Silpat sheet or grease baking sheet.
In a med. saucepan combine the butter and water and bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely.  Turn the heat down to low and add the flour and salt, stirring until the batter leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball.  Remove from heat.
Add 1 egg at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated into the dough.  It's much easier to place the dough into your mixer and beat the eggs in that way.  Beat until the dough loses its shine and looks dull.
Place dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip.  You can also use a gallon size freezer ziplock bag and snip off one corner.
Pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 4" x 1 1/2" strips.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Turn temp down to 325 F. and bake for 20 minutes more until golden brown.  Cool completely.

Lemon Cream Cheese filling
16 oz. Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
1 Cup Cold heavy cream
1 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp pure vanilla
1/3 cup honey
Beat Heavy Cream in mixer until soft peaks form.  Set aside.
Beat softened cream cheese in mixer.  Add honey.  Beat until incorporated.  Add lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.  Remove from mixed and fold in whipped cream.
Cut open each eclair and spoon filling inside (you can also pipe filling through a small hole at end of eclair, but then you would need to omit the strawberries.
Place cut strawberries inside and cover with top.
Option:  To make this without using the Miracle Berry, add 3 cups Powdered sugar to filling.  I haven't done this yet, but I would try 2 cups first and go from there.  You could also use a sugar substitute like Splenda to sweeten.

Orange Chicken
Who would think that there is that much sugar in Orange chicken or for that matter many of the yummy Asian dishes that are sweet and sour.  Using the miracle berry and eliminating the sugar saves you 125 calories per serving.  And it was yum!
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2" pieces
OR
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Combine first 11 ingredients in a saucepan over med-high heat, bring to boil, take off heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
Place chicken in ziplock bag and add 1 cup marinade into the bag.  Reserve the rest of the marinade for the sauce.  Place chicken in bag in refrigerator (in a container so it won't leak) for at least 2 hours, or up to 6 hours.
To cook, place flour, salt & pepper in shallow bowl.  Heat oil in shallow pan.  Toss chicken pieces in flour mixture and fry on med-high heat until golden brown and cooked through.  Drain pieces on a cooling rack over paper towel. 
After all the chicken is cooked, wipe out the oil and add the marinade and heat up.  Add cornstarch to a small cup with 2 Tbsp of water to make a slurry.  Add to the marinade, bring to a boil to create the sauce.    Add chicken pieces and toss carefully to coat.  Serve immediately.  Sprinkle with some fresh green onions cut on the diagonal. 
Option:  To make this without using the Miracle Berry, add 1 cup packed brown sugar to recipe.  I haven't done this yet, but I would try 1/2 cup first and go from there.  You could also use a sugar substitute like Splenda to sweeten.

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