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Caribbean Cooking: Healthy Indulgences and Guilty Pleasures

Our most valuable asset is our health, so let’s indulge in a little chocolate, wine, and an afternoon nap. Actually, it is nothing to feel guilty about—satisfying those desires can have wonderful health benefits:  Chocolate (cocoa and dark) is good for your heart; it keeps the arteries from clogging.  A little wine at dinner time has a positive effect on cholesterol—
it apparently opens up your arteries and increases blood flow, so your heart stays healthy.
A short nap in the afternoon refreshes you, increases productivity, sharpens the senses and if shared with someone special makes Valentine’s Day even better!

So, indulge yourself with the following menu:

MENU

MOJITO COCKTAIL
ROASTED RED SNAPPER WITH SALSA
HERBED ORANGE RICE
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE

MOJITO COCKTAIL

Preparation time: 5 minutes    
Serves: 4
    

4 tsp sugar
4 Tblsp lime juice
3 sprigs mint
1/2 cup white rum
Club soda

Mix sugar and lime juice together. Add several sprigs of mint and mash all together with wooden spoon. Divide between four tall glasses filled with ice; add rum and top with club soda. Stir. Garnish with fresh mint sprig. Very refreshing!    

ROASTED RED SNAPPER WITH SALSA

Preparation time: 30 minutes        
Cooking time: 20 minutes    
Resting time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4    

2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp lime juice
1 Tblsp chopped cilantro
4 snapper fillets (8 oz/225 g each)    
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch arugula
1 bunch watercress

Salsa:
2 large tomatoes
2 Tblsp scallions, chopped
2 Tblsp cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. In a small bowl combine oil, lime juice, and cilantro. Place fish (skin side down) on a greased baking sheet. Brush with oil mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest 20 minutes. Then bake for 20 minutes. Meantime, combine salsa ingredients in food processor and pulse lightly. Arrange arugula and watercress on plates, lay snapper over greens and top with salsa.         

HERBED ORANGE RICE

Preparation time: 5 minutes             
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

1 Tblsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup basmati rice
1-1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp orange zest
Pinch salt
2 Tblsp scallions, chopped
2 Tblsp Italian parsley, chopped

Melt butter and sauté onion over medium heat until soft. Add rice and cook stirring for 3 minutes. Add the broth, orange juice, ginger, zest and salt, and bring to boil. Cook covered over low heat approximately 20 minutes. Fluff with fork, cover and let rest. Stir in scallions and parsley.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

1 pkg brownie mix
(Add eggs, water & oil – check package for quantities)
6 oz/170 g Chocolate chips
Garnish: bottled raspberry sauce, whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease bundt pan with cooking spray. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies, then add about 2/3 cup of chocolate chips. (Reserve remaining chips for garnish.) Bake in bundt pan until top starts to crack. Cool and invert on plate. Decorate individual serving plates with streaks of raspberry sauce, add slice of cake which should be hot and gooey in center, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

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