Friday, May 25, 2012
When Melissa's sent me a basket of products 2 weeks ago, most were foreign to me. Intrigued, I set out to sample and create recipes for each fruit and grain I tested. Of all, the Cherimoya and Feijoas were the most challenging.
I'd never heard of a Feijoas before but they looked quite similar to limes, except when cut open. The insides were firm like a cantaloupe with tiny brown, edible seeds. To taste, they resembled a variety of delicious fruits but none that I could pinpoint.
My first instinct was to make a Feijoas Curd. After 2 weeks of debating with myself that was my final choice.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I have always loved oranges. In fact, if you've been following my posts for a while you'll remember how I ate them daily when coming home from school as a child. I shared this in my post The Art of Eating an Orange. So when Melissa's Produce sent me a bag of these adorable tiny seedless Ojai Pixie Tangerines I was so excited. Their skins, are easy to peel like a tangerine, with each segment of these tiny morsels so sweet and juicy with a hint of mandarin in every bite. YUM! Fortunately there was more than enough to enjoy eating them in the raw, while still having plenty to play with in recipes.
My first thought was to make Dreamsicles, a childhood favorite of mine, a blend of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet. I loved those little push-ups? Do you remember them?
Since I had a large batch of plastic push-up containers this would be the perfect recipe to create, except for one thing. I knew if I made them full fat, like I had as a child, they would sit in my freezer. Since we try desperately to watch our calories and fat intake these would have to be modified and waistline friendly.
My low-cal Dreamsicle version recipe is posted below, an adaptation of Orange Popsicle Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. If you are looking for the real deal I have David's version in blue print.
Don't forget to also check out the second recipe I posted, Sea Bass with Strawberry Tangerine Salsa, following the Orange Popsicle ice Cream Push-Ups below.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Back in March I posted a Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash Salad. I mentioned then that I stopped eating beets for quite sometime but then recently rediscovered them roasted and fell in love. In that post I roasted the beets myself which is fun but takes time and can be messy.
Do you prefer to whip your meals up quickly without lacking that sensational taste? You can create that same salad or the beautiful tower above using Melissa's Beets.
I love making things from scratch and often do because I think it just tastes best that way. However, I have to say Melissa's Beets tasted exactly like mine did. No funny taste from packaging or coating, but like they just came from the oven with time to chill - all natural, with no additives or preservatives too.
Beets have a host of health benefits that you can review on my recent post, making them an ideal choice to add to your daily menu.
The recipe above was so simple, all the better for those days on the run or if company's coming unexpectedly for dinner.
1 package of Fresh Mozzarella ball
1 package Melissa's Red Beets
1 large Heirloom Yellow Tomato
Slice each - Mozzarella, Beet and Tomato in 1/2 inch slices
Layer, starting with the tomato on the bottom, then beet slice, mozzarella and continue for a second layer.
Surround with Baby Arugula
Top with Champagne Vinaigrette or dressing of choice. I like this dressing because it compliments the flavors of the salad without overpowering it.
6 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp. Champagne Vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Grey Poupon
salt & pepper to taste
Blend and serve over salad.
Simple, quick and elegant! What more could you ask for.
~ ENJOY ~
Don't forget to check out my previous posts using Melissa's fabulous Produce.
Cherimoya - Orgasmic and Addicting
Cherimoya - Orgasmic and Addicting
Monday, May 7, 2012
My husband bikes A LOT even during the winter, so when summer comes and we head to the mountains he's ready to hit the hills and the biking events. This Saturday he decided to enter a biking event about an hour from here that would take him into the hills of the wine country of Missouri. With temperatures forecast to hit the 90s I decided to make a PowerBowl for dinner on Friday, so he'd have lots of good energy come early Saturday morning.
Thanks to Melissa's Produce for sending me the 100% Certified Organic Red Quinoa packed with 6 grams of protein, 28 grams of Carbohydrates and 2.5 grams of fat to make our meal complete. In fact did you know:
Quinoa has been called the Complete Protein Nutrient Powerhouse because it's packed with all 8 essential amino acids, plus vitamins and minerals. In addition its:
- high in potassium which helps control blood pressure
- wheat and gluten free which is great for those suffering with celiac disease or wheat allergies
- low on the glycemic index, which means it won't spike blood sugar levels because it enters our bodies at an even rate keeping us full longer
- high in fiber
- has a light fluffy texture and nutty flavor which makes this incredible grain delicious as well.
Before a race or strenuous activity it's important to have CARBOHYDRATES - which is the bodies main source of fuel, PROTEIN - that helps rebuild muscle tissue that's been broken down or damaged during exercise, FAT - that allows your body to sustain it's basic functions, WATER - to stay hydrated during exercise since the body loses water through sweat. Among other reasons.
- For greater detail on this topic visit Livestrong, a great site for healthy living.
In addition to the quinoa, that I cooked according to the package directions, our dinner plates consisted of:
Bed of Raw Spinach, rinsed and spun dry
Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - lightly seasoned with canola oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper - sliced after grilling ( 4oz. piece = 26.7 grams of protein, 3.1 grams of fat and No Carbs.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa - click here for the recipe
1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
You don't have to be running a marathon or biking an event to have my PowerBowl. This dish regardless, will provide you with energy to sustain you through the day and evening leaving you feeling full and nourished.
In fact, what's great about my PowerBowl is all the ingredients can be prepared in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to assemble - making it perfect to bring to work for lunch, if you've been running all day only to come home with little or no time to cook or for your family to gather quickly on their own. Just open the refrigerator and toss together this light, healthy nutritious meal.
Use a simple dressing, your own favorite or no dressing at all. It's that good.
Other dishes I've made using quinoa that you might enjoy are:
Black Quinoa Asian Slaw
Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables
Grilled Swordfish Kebobs with Black Bean, Corn and Quinoa Salad
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Never in my life have I experienced such ecstasy as when I scooped out the creamy white flesh of a Cherimoya (pronounced chair-uh-MOY-yuh) and tasted it. I know you're thinking "is she for real?" I can't begin to describe the incredible flavor of this fruit. My first spoonful, had me wondering if this tasted like a coconut, pineapple, banana, apple, or mango - YES, all of the above and then some. TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE!!! It's not too acidic or too sweet but just right. Goldilocks and the Three Bears would be in 7th-heaven.
The Cherimoya is the king of fruit with flavors more luscious than you could ever imagine plus contains a host of health benefits. In fact, this ancient Incan fruit was once reserved for royalty. So scrumptious that Mark Twain called it "deliciousness itself" or in other words, "the most delicious fruit known to man."
The Cherimoya resembles an artichoke in color and shape, with a leathery skin (not to be eaten) that has a scaly pattern. Slice it open though and you will discover an ivory, firm custard-like flesh, also called "custard apple," with large black seeds that are not edible.
Choose Cherimoya that are firm and allow to ripen at room temperature. As the Cherimoya begins to ripen, the skin will begin to turn a darker green and will yield to gentle pressure, just like that of an avocado. Refrigerate softened Cherimoya and use within 2-4 days for best flavor.
I've been raving about this phenomenal piece of fruit but haven't mentioned how I discovered it!
Two weeks ago I received an email from Melissa's Produce asking me if I would like to try some of their products to test and share on my blog. I was excited about this opportunity to test my culinary skills in creating dishes for fruits I wasn't familiar with, and two high protein grains as you know, I love to cook with.
The list of unique products were:
Ojai Pixie Tangerines
You can find Melissa's Products in St. Louis at Dierbergs grocery stores or click here for a location in your state. If you can't find it at your grocery store request it from the produce manager.
Now that I've received these special culinary delights, "my mission" has been to sample and compose dishes both my family and readers will enjoy.
During the course of the next 2 weeks I plan to share my creations and discoveries using these ingredients. I hope you will try and enjoy them as much as my family has.
For my first recipe (below) I decided to pair the Cherimoya and Farro.