Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gingery Pears for ARF, and a Musical Interlude

Ahh, yes. I do apologize for the lack of a post yesterday, but I was a little preoccupied. You see, I was busy gearing up for what was quite possibly THE BEST concert ever in downtown Toronto, performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Now if you don't know who these musical performance geniouses are, they are the creators and performers of most incredible Christmas shows I have ever seen. Their music is a blend of heavy rock and beautiful classical music, and the performances are filled with light and laser shows, pyrotechnics and flying fake snow, amongst gospel-esque song performances and the help from local orchestras in addition to the band's drummer, guitarists, bassist (Teaghan's favourite!) and the string conductor (who plays an electric, glowing violin!). I highly suggest you check them out if you haven't already, they truly do make you want to crank up the music, dance and sing along, even if you (like me) are not a fan of Christmas carols!

But onto food matters. Today's the round-up day for Sweetnick's ARF - 5 - A - Day healthy eating event, and I have such a yummy sweet treat for it this go-around! These stuffed pears are a brilliant, colourful mix of an rich orange-ginger cheesecake and warm red pears baked into a small bite of decadence.

Of course, being a fruit dessert, these warm little bites are packed with nutrients - the pear portion alone packs in 11.1% of the daily value for vitamin C along with 9.5% of the daily value for copper, two major antioxidants. They are also the fruits least likely to cause an allergic reaction, hence why they have a presence in the vast majority of baby foods. I've waxed poetic about the health benefits of ginger, but today I discovered that the low-fat cheese portion of these treats is a cancer-fighter too!

Ginger-Orange Stuffed Pears
Makes 4
4 oz. light block cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla
½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp finely grated orange peel
4 large, barely ripe red pears (Bartlett or Starkrimson)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Beat until cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Gradually beat in sugar until well mixed, then egg yolks and vanilla. Beat well for about a minute.
  4. Sprinkle in orange peel and stir until evenly mixed.
  5. Slice about a 1” cap from top of each pear and discard.
  6. Trim bottoms of pears so they'll sit flat.
  7. Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard cores, along with enough pear flesh to create hollows.
  8. Spoon in cheese mixture.
  9. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in centre of preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 220.3
Total Fat: 4.6 g
Cholesterol: 59.6 mg
Sodium: 46.5 mg
Total Carbs: 45.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
Protein: 3.1 g

  1. Pears must be eaten the day they're made, if not fresh from the oven.

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