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'Little Foodie' recipes

LAST UPDATED: 2:22 a.m. HST, Feb 2, 2011


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
5 dates, chopped
1/2 cup dried coconut, unsweetened (optional)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roasted but unsalted, divided
Pinch salt

Place chocolate chips, dates and dried coconut in a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Process about 20 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts and salt and process about 1 minute more, or until mixture comes together like a sticky dough.

Mince remaining 1/4 cup macadamia nuts with sharp knife into a crumblike consistency. Place in shallow dish.

Roll chocolate "dough" into balls about 2 teaspoons in size. Roll in macadamia nuts to cover the outside.

Eat immediately or place in an airtight container and store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 20 truffles.

Options: Try milk chocolate chips or roll in cocoa powder instead of nuts. Cacao nibs add a different texture and make a slightly less sweet truffle — add 2 tablespoons to the ingredients when processing.

Approximate nutritional information, per truffle (not including optional coconut): 90 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 8 g sugar, 1 g protein


» Lilikoi topping:
1 teaspoon gelatin powder
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup lilikoi puree (from the fruit, not canned juice)
2 tablespoons sugar
» Panna cotta:
2 packets gelatin powder (4-1/2 teaspoons)
6 tablespoons cold water
1 cup milk
3 cups cream
1/4 cup sugar
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped

To make topping: Lightly oil 8 4-ounce ramekins with vegetable oil and wipe out with paper towel.

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let sit a few minutes.

In microwave, heat lilikoi puree and sugar until hot, about 1 minute. Combine with gelatin. Put 2 tablespoons into each ramekin. Refrigerate while making panna cotta.

To make panna cotta: Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in large bowl. Whisk. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat milk, cream and sugar in microwave, about 3 minutes. Pour over chocolate and let sit 30 seconds. Whisk together until sugar dissolves. Pour over gelatin and stir until dissolved.

Divide panna cotta between ramekins. Refrigerate 3 hours to set. Serves 8.

Note: Eat right out of the ramekins or run a thin knife around outside edge and turn over quickly onto a plate. If it sticks, let ramekin sit in a warm water bath for about 30 seconds and invert onto a plate again.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 550 calories, 44 g fat, 27 g saturated fat, 130 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 27 g sugar, 7 g protein


1 pound chicken thigh meat, cut into 13 pieces
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 cup cornstarch
Vegetable oil
4 cups hot cooked rice
13 pieces of seasoned nori (seaweed)

Place chicken in resealable bag with soy sauce, mirin and ginger. Marinate about 20 minutes.

Place chicken on paper towel-lined plate and dry pieces with paper towel.

Put cornstarch in bowl. In pan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium until very hot.

Dredge chicken in cornstarch and place in pan. Flip after about 1 minute of frying, cook another minute, then remove from pan. Crust should be golden.

Wet hands lightly with water and clap to remove excess. Put about 1/3 cup of rice in hands and place a piece of chicken in middle of rice. Gather up rice around chicken and begin to rotate rice ball in hands, packing it together and working quickly. Press firmly so rice sticks together (too much pressure will turn rice mushy). Don't overwork or rice will stick to hands. Form a circular or triangular rice ball.

Wrap a piece of nori around the rice ball. Makes 13 onigiri.

Approximate nutritional information, per onigiri: 270 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 2 g sugar, 9 g protein
Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.

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