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Food a La Carte

"Bountiful Blueberries"

Blueberries

"Blueberries For The Month Of June"

Welcome to June! Hasn't the Spring been wonderful? And now, here we are, heading into summer! I know that we are all enjoying all the wonderful, fresh produce and this month we're bringing you two wonderful, fresh recipes in which to use it. This month, we are featuring recipes that showcase one of this month's newly ripening stars - blueberries!

Blueberries are native to North America and they're in season here from May through October. The United States supplies around half of all blueberries sold world-wide, with North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan, Maine and Oregon being the leading producers. Blueberries are the second most popular berry, behind only the strawberry, are high in antioxidants, have a low glycemic index and studies have tied blueberries to improved cognitive function and memory. So, what's not to love?

This month we're also focusing on recipes that are gluten-free. Food allergies and gluten intolerance specifically have become such widespread issues that we all need some gluten-free recipes in our arsenal of awesome recipes. Our first recipe, Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-Balsamic Salsa is naturally gluten-free. (Just an FYI, all meats are gluten-free, unless they've been battered with an ingredient containing gluten, i.e. wheat.) The chicken is cut up, marinated, skewered and then grilled and served with blueberry-balsamic sauce for a quick and delicious summertime meal.

Our next recipe is for Glazed Blueberry Scones, a yummy, sweet cousin to the coffee-cake. Like most, if not all gluten-free baked goods, this recipe uses a wheat-flour substitute blend containing rice flours, sorghum flour and xanthan gum. This combination of ingredients enhances the taste and texture of gluten-free baked goods; there's no one gluten-free flour that you can simply substitute for the wheat flour in conventional recipes. But don't worry, these fantastic blueberry scones will quickly become a family favorite!

We hope you try these delicious Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-Balsamic Salsa. Tender, juicy and packed with flavor from the marinade and the salsa, this dish is company-ready! And, when was the last time you had a delicious blueberry scone? If you'd like, just scoop the batter into about 1/4 cupfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet instead of making wedges. And, they do freeze well, if there are any left over.

Check back next month for more healthy, nutritious, delicious recipes at Food a la Carte!

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Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-Balsamic Salsa

Lemon Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-Balsamic Salsa

Prep. time: 45 minutes; Cook time: 15 minutes - Serves 4 (serving size: 1 skewer and about 3 tablespoons salsa)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, each cut into 6 pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup blueberries, divided
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • Cooking spray

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Drop garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until chopped. Add parsley and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper); process until finely chopped. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt; pulse to combine. Combine herb mixture and chicken in a medium bowl; toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Wipe out food processor.

  2. Combine 1/2 cup blueberries, vinegar, and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until thickened, pressing with a spoon to break up blueberries. Place blueberry mixture in a medium bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup blueberries to food processor; pulse 5 times. Combine chopped blueberries, 1/8 teaspoon salt, onion, and jalapeño pepper with vinegar mixture.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

  4. Thread 6 chicken pieces evenly onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

  5. Serve with blueberry salsa.

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Glazed Blueberry Scones

Glazed Blueberry Scones

Prep: 15 minutes; Cook time: 18 Minutes - Serves: 10 (serving size - 1 scone)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • White rice flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.

  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, granulated sugar, and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

  3. Combine 1/2 cup buttermilk and egg; stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Fold in blueberries (do not overmix dough).

  4. Turn dough out onto a work surface lightly dusted with white rice flour. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; cut dough into 10 wedges, cutting into but not through dough.

  5. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until edges are golden and center is firm. Remove scones from baking sheet to a wire rack; cool on rack 10 minutes.

  6. Combine powdered sugar, lemon rind, and 1 tablespoon buttermilk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over scones; let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm.

ENJOY!