Posted Sept. 28, 2007- All dressed up, a sumptuous dinner in a romantic restaurant with the music low and the lights soft is all well and good. But nothing beats dining-in with the person you’re wild about over a dinner you kicked up yourself.
Quick and healthy is the way to go. And to impress your boo, a nice blend of sweet and savory flavors (without the fat) will ramp the mood of your evening right up to the level it needs to be.
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This fall, honey is in. Its’ an excellent base and glaze and, used right, it can turn a dull, everyday meal into gourmet heaven. Here are two easy honey-based recipes that will tease your taste buds, not take up all your time and let your date know that you can find your way around the kitchen when you really want to.
Caribbean Honey-Spiced Chicken with Mango
¼ cup honey
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1- ½ teaspoons garlic salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
In a small bowl, combine honey, lemon juice and lemon peel; whisk until well blended. Remove ¼ cup of mixture to food processor container; set aside. Add mango to honey-lemon mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Store in refrigerator. Add onion, jalapenos, paprika, oil, garlic salt, cinnamon, pepper and allspice to honey-lemon mixture a food processor container. Process until very finely chopped, scrape down sides when necessary. Spread mixture evenly over both sides of chicken breasts. Spread oil in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Arrange chicken breasts in pas. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken to serving platter; top with reserved mango.
Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
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Stuffed Sweet Peppers
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
¾ cup uncooked long-grain rice
4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) vegetable broth
4 medium green bell peppers, cut lengthwise in half, seeded
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes in puree`
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (8-3/4 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot; cook and stir rice, onion and parsley 3 to 5 minutes, or until rice begins to brown. Stir in cinnamon, pepper and salt. Gradually add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook green pepper halves in boiling water 5 to 7 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender; drain. Combine tomatoes, honey, and crushed red pepper in 13 x 9-inch baking pan; mix well. Remove ¼ cup sauce; set aside. Arrange pepper halves on sauce in baking pan.
When rice is cooked, remove from heat; stir in garbanzo beans, dried currants and reserved ¼ cup sauce. Divide rice evenly among pepper halves in baking pan. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
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For more recipes, healthy hints and useful information go to www.honey.com.