Wild Blueberry, Avocado and Sweet Corn Salsa {Recipe ReDux Sponsored Contest}

“Wild blueberries, you make my heart sing…”

When I found out that the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA) was sponsoring this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge, I could not have been more thrilled. I have long been a lover and proponent of wild blueberries.

I buy organic wild blueberries on the regular at Trader Joe's.

I buy organic wild blueberries on the regular at Trader Joe’s.

Not only do wild blueberries have double the antioxidants of regular, cultivated blueberries, they also have a deeper, richer blue/purple color and contain less water, making them ideal in both sweet and savory recipes.

I’ve been reading Jo Robinson’s “Eating on the Wild Side,” which has taught me that over time, we’ve altered many of our fruits and vegetables to make them larger, change their color or make them easier to store or transport. Sadly, that often comes at the expense of nutrition. But not wild blueberries — they are the same berry that existed 10,000 years ago!

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I like to throw frozen wild blueberries into everything from oatmeal to salads to smoothies and Greek yogurt. They also make for great sauces that are perfect for topping seafood, poultry and red meat (veggies and beans too!).

Oh, and the anthocyanins (antioxidant that contributes the deep purple color) found in wild blueberries, along with other nutrients, have potential benefits including brain and heart health, anti-aging and cancer and diabetes prevention, among others.

Here’s a savory take on wild blueberries: in a salsa!

Recipe: Cumin-Dusted Salmon with Wild Blueberry, Avocado and Corn Salsa

The salsa is also fantastic over chicken, beans and lentils, or over greens for a quick and flavorful salad. The jalapeno is optional, depending on how hot you like it. You can also add 1/2 of a red onion to punch it up a bit.

Makes: 4 servings

Salmon_with_Wild_Blueberry_Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wild salmon filets (cut into four, 4 ounce pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries, thawed
  • 3/4 cup organic frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 fresh avocado (preferably California avocado, if available), cubed
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place salmon, skin side down, on baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until salmon is opaque.

Mix remaining ingredients (wild blueberries through jalapeno, if using) to make the salsa. Top salmon filets evenly with salsa.

Nutrition information: 330 calories; 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat); 80 mg cholesterol; 365 mg sodium; 18 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 31 g protein; 10% daily value for vitamin A; 39% daily value for vitamin C (excellent source!); 20% daily value for iron (excellent source!)

*By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

*I work on behalf of the California Avocado Commission. I was not compensated or asked to include California Avocados — I just really love them. 🙂

Stay tuned for two more delicious wild blueberry recipes to come this week (hint: one includes chocolate and the other, cheese).

Click the icon below for more Recipe ReDux-er Wild Blueberry Recipes.  I want to try them all!!

Pork and Pomegranate: Lucky Foods for the New Year {Recipe ReDux}

Christmas is only 4 days away!! Which means I’ve been holiday shopping like a mad woman and dreaming up what I’ll make this year for the festivities — LOTS of cookies, a roasted butternut squash and kale salad and some tasty cocktails, for starters.

But what to make next week for New Years? This month, Recipe ReDux tasked us with creating a recipe that includes “lucky foods” to get 2014 started right.

I won’t lie, I really wasn’t sure what foods were considered lucky. I asked my grandparents since I figured between the German, Czech and Armenian cultures, there had to be some kind of food that was considered lucky.

Nope — no ideas from the grandparents. I even asked my friends and the rest of my family, and nothing.

So I started searching for “good luck New Year foods” on the Internet (when all else fails, it’s nice to know you can google it) and found that many of my favorite foods — pomegranate, lentils, pork and greens — are considered lucky and enjoyed by various cultures to bring in a good New Year.

I figured, why not create a dish with a few of these ingredients? The more luck, the better! I think 2014 is going to be a good year!

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The Lucky Ingredients:

Pork. Pigs are thought to symbolize progress, either because they only move forward (not backward) or because when searching for food, they push their snouts forward. You say potato, I say patato…point is we all want to make progress in the coming year.

Pomegranate. In Turkey, pomegranates are considered good luck with their red color (often symbolizes life) and their many round seeds. And you guessed it, round foods are thought to bring prosperity (think coins).

The Recipe:

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate-Balsamic Sauce

Ingredients:

For the pork:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 cloves black garlic*, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika would also work)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 medium-size pomegranate)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine mashed black garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, rosemary, smoked paprika and salt. Apply the rub over the entire pork tenderloin. Bake on a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 45-60 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees.

While the pork is cooking, heat small pan over medium heat. Add balsamic vinegar and pomegranate seeds and let simmer until the mixture is reduced by half.

Slice pork tenderloin and pour pomegranate-balsamic reduction over the pork. Enjoy for a prosperous — and healthy — 2014!

*Black garlic can be found at Asian grocery stores or a specialty store. I found mine at Trader Joe’s. Black garlic is actually fermented and has a milder, sweeter flavor compared with regular garlic. If you can’t find it, substitute with finely minced regular garlic.

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Want more good luck food inspiration? Check out these other yummy ideas from Recipe ReDux members. And have a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!