March 16, 2018 at 10:57 a.m.

Taking you to the tropics

Taking you to the tropics
Taking you to the tropics

It’s about pineapples today. We all know what pineapples are and when this fruit catches your eye in the produce department which one would you buy?  Look for the ones that are plump; the larger the fruit the greater amount of edible meat. Gently squeeze the fruit; it should be slightly soft to the touch, yet firm. Sniff the bottom and it should have a sweet smell.

The peel color doesn’t tell you if it’s ripe or mature, but of what variety it is. Spring, which is coming up soon, according to the calendar, is when pineapple it is at its peak. But as we know, it is available almost any time of the year. Some people wonder why you are not supposed to use fresh pineapple in a recipe that has gelatin in the recipe. It has a natural enzyme which prevents gelatin from setting. Of course canned pineapple can be used in all recipes that call for pineapple. Often times a recipe may call for a medium pineapple, which weighs about 3 lbs. This would be about 3 cups of cut-up fruit.

I think of zucchini as a summer veggie but it is available year round in the  veggie department.

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PINEAPPLE & 
ZUCCHINI BREAD
1 c. canola or vegetable oil
2 c. packed brown sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained well
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder salt and cinnamon, add to egg mixture, mix well. Stir in pineapple, zucchini and nuts. Turn into two greased or sprayed  9x5-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/4 hours. Test with toothpick for doneness.  Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before cutting.  Makes 2 – 16 slices. each.

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PINEAPPLE
WALDORF SALAD
1 – 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits in its own juice, well drained
1 red, sweet apple (Delicious), cored and cut in small chunks
1 tart apple (Granny Smith) cored and cut in small chunks
1 c. sliced celery
3/4 c. plain yogurt (can substitute sour cream)

3 T. brown sugar
1 t. grated lemon peel or 1 t. lemon juice
1/2 t. sugar
1/4 t. vanilla

In a medium bowl combine first 5 ingredients. Combine remaining ingredients; add to pineapple mixture, stirring gently. Serve in a bowl or individual bowls lined with a lettuce leaves.   Makes  4-5 servings.

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SHRIMP N’ 
PINEAPPLE STIR FRY
1 – 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained, saving 1/2 c. juice (drink the rest!)
2 t. cornstarch
1-1/2 t. canola or vegetable oil
1-1/2 t. sesame oil
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini
1/2 c. diced, red sweet pepper

4 green onions, sliced diagonally in 1/2-inch pieces                                                                                                                                       
1 lb. medium size cooked shrimp, tails removed
Cooked white long grain or brown rice for four

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c. juice with cornstarch; set aside. In a large skillet or wok, heat oils; stir-fry garlic, zucchini and pepper for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add pineapple and onions. In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 c. pineapple juice and cornstarch, mixing well, and add to veggies, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Lower heat and cook 2 minutes. Add shrimp; heat over medium heat until shrimp is hot, about 2-3 minutes.. Serve with hot rice. Makes 4 servings.

Thought for the Day: An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.

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