Red Hot Relish

Hot Relish
Serves: makes about 12 portions, 1/4 cup each

A good relish takes a meal and can make it memorable. This is the perfect combination of heat, sweet and sour. Perfect on burgers, hot dog/brats, tacos or as a side dish to pork, or chicken.

2 tablespoon olive oil
15 red jalapeno peppers, partially seeded and sliced (Green will also work.)
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thinly and then quartered
2 cups diced fresh pineapple or a 15 ounce can of diced pineapple
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 cup Splenda (or table sugar)

  1. Preheat large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add oil.
  2. Add onions and peppers, sautee, tossing occasionally, until the onions start to turn brown (10-15 minutes.)
  3. Stir in pineapple, vinegar and sugar. 
  4. Increase heat to medium-high.
  5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Salt and pepper as needed (optional)
  7. Cool to room temp, cover and refrigerate.
Nutritional data:
Calories:        60
Fat:              2.5g
Sat fat:         0.4g
Chol:            0mg
Sodium:     1.3mg
Carbs:          9.6g
Fiber:           1.3g
Protein:        0.9g

My podcast, Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly show, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be. I hope you give it a listen!

Walnut-Pear Bleu Cheese Salad

Walnut-Pear Bleu Cheese Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2

A double-handful of mixed greens
1/2 of a ripe pear, thinly sliced
1/2 of a cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon walnut pieces
1 tablespoon bleu cheese crumbles

  1. Place greens in a bowl.
  2. Add dressing, toss to coat.
  3. Divide lettuce and place on two plates
  4. Add equal amounts of pears, cucumbers, walnuts and bleu cheese to each.
  5. Note: You can make this vegan by either removing the bleu cheese completely, or replace it with something else savory. (Maybe wasabi-coated tofu crumbles? I haven’t tried it, but I think it would work.)

Nutritional data:
Calories:        131
Fat:                 9g
Sat fat:         1.9g
Chol:       12.5mg
Sodium: 154.1mg
Carbs:          8.4g
Fiber:           2.4g
Protein:        5.8g

Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2

2 tablespoons white balsamic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Nutritional data:
Calories:        104
Fat:                 7g
Sat fat:            1g
Chol:            0mg
Sodium:   62.5mg
Carbs:        10.1g
Fiber:              0g
Protein:           0g

Grilled Peach with Balsamic Reduction

Grilled Peach with Balsamic Reduction
Serves 2

1 peach
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup crushed pecans
Whipped topping or ice cream

  1. Preheat your grill on high for 5 minutes.
  2. In a small non-stick skillet over med-high heat, toast the pecans until they become fragrant (2-3 minutes.) Remove from heat.
  3. In the same skillet, add vinegar and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Let is reduce in volume by half. This will go quickly (1-3 minutes), stay by the stove. Turn the heat off.
  4. Cut your peach in half and remove the stone.
  5. Lay the peach, cut side down on the grill. Leave in place until grill marks form, about 2 minutes. (The sugars in the peach will start to get caramelize and you will smell the wonderful aroma.)
  6. Turn the heat down, and leave the peach in place another 2-3 minutes, until it gets warm.
  7. Serve the peach half on whipped topping or ice cream, topped with half the pecans and balsamic syrup.
  8. Omit whipped cream to make this vegan.
Note: The next time I make this, I will cut the peach into four or six wedges, and grill both cut sides.
Normally, I don’t like peaches (I usually find them to be cloyingly sweet), but this peach had such a different flavor from the grilling process and then topping it with the sweet-tart balsamic syrup made this a wonderful dessert.
For nutritional data, the only data of concern is the peach. The vinegar adds very little. If you eat it without whipped topping or ice cream, you only need to add the calories present in the peach.


Serves 2

Such simple ingredients. Stale bread, ripe tomatoes, onion, basil, olive oil and vinegar. It’s amazing how basic items can be used to create delicious food and good lives. We talk about make simple changes on MakeYourSomedayToday, my twice a week motivational podcast.

2 tablespoon olive oil (use the best you can afford, because you will tastes the difference in low quality oil)
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pieces of bread, dried completely and broken into bite sized chunks
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/8ths or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
3-6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade cut (Roll the leaves into a tight tube, and then cut across the tube into thin strips.)
1/4 cup diced red onion

  1. Combine first three ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the last five ingredient in a bowl. Toss to mix.
  3. Pour the dressing on top, toss and let the bread soak up the dressing for 3-5 minutes.
Nutritional data:
Calories:       178
Fat:            14.4g
Sat fat:         2.0g
Chol:            0mg
Sodium:    110mg
Carbs:        12.6g
Fiber:           3.7g
Protein:        2.8g
Note: you can use any bread that you prefer. I use Healthy Life’s High Fiber because of the good fiber content along with the low calories and sodium. It also tastes good, dries well, and is easy to find in stores.

I used a very high quality olive oil from Olivada Oils in Sheboygan, WI which was a Chipotle Infused Olive oil. It gave this salad a delicious heat and a nice kick to balance the sweet tomatoes and tart vinegar.

I think another variation would be to replace the red wine vinegar with a white balsamic (I think a traditional balsamic may overpower the other flavors, but that is a theory that is untested as of right now.) Olivada carries excellent balsamic vinegars, too. (I receive no compensation from Olivada, I just like promoting local businesses with great products. They will sell online and ship to you.)

Question of the day:
You are abandoned on a deserted island. Which THREE vegetables would you bring (and only three veggies, no fruits)? After I get responses from at least 10 people, I will tell you my three choices.

Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be.

Farmer’s Market Grill

Farmer’s Market Grill
Serves ?

We went to our local farmer’s market to see what fresh veggies were available. I bought some baby beets (about 1 inch in diameter) and small carrots (1/2inch in diameter, 4 inches long).

I washed the veggies, peeled the beets and cut off all the greens, reserving the beet greens. (The carrots had such a soft skin that I didn’t feel they needed to be peeled.) I steamed the carrots in the microwave for 1 minute, and the beets for 4 minutes. Then I place them in separate Ziploc bags. To each bag I added 1 tablespoon olive oil and some spices and herbs. (The carrots got dehydrated onion and garlic flakes, the beets just some fresh cracked black pepper.)

I let them rest for about a half hour and then I got my grill hot. I laid everything on the grill and turned them every few minutes. They took about 15 minutes to cook. I brought them off the grill and let them rest, covered.

I put a non-stick grill on medium high heat and added 1 tablespoon olive oil. When it was hot, I put the washed beet greens in the pan with a little pepper. I sauteed them until the greens began to wilt and removed them to the plate. (The meat was some pulled pork from last Friday.)

I added a few splashes of flavored vinegar. I made blueberry-lemon on a white wine vinegar base, and  blackberry-basil on a red wine vinegar base. The blueberry-lemon was excellent on the beets, and the blackberry-basil really complemented the pork.

I’m not going to give any nutritional data for this meal, because whatever you make will depend on what you can find.

The recipe for the vinegars are simple:

1 cup vinegar (your choice of types, just not white distilled)
1 pint berries, mashed
The zest of a lemon–OR–four fresh basil leaves, torn.

Mix the vinegar, berries and other flavor together in a lidded jar. Shake well and place in the refrigerator for 4-7 days. (Shake once a day.)

When you are ready to use it, strain the juice through a double layer of cheesecloth. Store in the fridge. I’m not sure how long it will last, but in the fridge, I’m guessing it will last quite a while. (Also, I specified a “double layer” of cheesecloth. For the first recipe, I accidentally used four layers, and it took forever to strain.)

These vinegars will have a few more calories than pure vinegar, but I can’t calculate how much. I honestly don’t think it will be enough to worry about.

Other flavor combinations that would taste good:
Sweet cherry-lime

Chicken in Garlic-Vinegar Sauce

Chicken and Garlic-Vinegar Sauce
Makes 6 servings  (Served as above with steamed broccoli and 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous.  The nutritional values below are for the chicken only, not the side dishes.)
Note:  I used 8 garlic cloves in this recipe.  The next time I will double it.  The garlic was very subdued by the vinegar and sour cream.  I wanted it to be more assertive.  I might also try malt vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, and use 8 ounces of beer instead of chicken broth, to reduce the sodium load, and bring out a different flavor.  As always, recipes are meant to be creative.
6 chicken breast 5 ounces each (approximately)
3 teaspoon Olive oil, divided
1 cup onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tsp dried thyme
¼ cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chives
1.      Dry chicken.  Season with pepper (and salt, if desired)
2.      Heat heavy Dutch oven (or similar pan) over medium heat, spray with cooking spray and add 1 tsp olive oil.  Add the chicken, turning as needed until browned.  5-7 minutes.  If needed, cook chicken in multiple batches, if all will not fit at the same time.
3.      Remove chicken, add 1 tsp olive oil.  Add onions and garlic, stir over medium-high heat until the onion is lightly brown.
4.      Add vinegar, bring to a boil
5.      Return chicken to pot, add broth and thyme.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook until chicken is very tender, about 50 minutes.
6.      While cooking, mix sour cream, tomato paste and flour until smooth.
7.      Seed and dice tomatoes, add chives and the remaining olive in a bowl and reserve for garnish.
8.      When the chicken is finished, remove from the stock and place on a plate.  Stir in sour cream mixture until smooth, bring to a simmer and let cook for 1 minute.
9.      Return chicken to sauce, and gently stir to coat.
10.  Serve garnished with diced tomatoes.
Cal:           272
Fat:           3.5g 
Sat Fat:     1.0g 
Chol:       110mg
Sodium:  228mg 
Carb:         7.5g 
Fiber         1.4g 
Protein:   41.9g