Archive for the 'Fruit' Category

An Angry Bird Apple A Day

An Angry Bird Apple A Day

I’m sure you’ve seen Angry Birds by now. Some of them are red with a very angry expression on their face. They’re slingshotted at green pigs, who apparently, stole the Birds’ eggs.

One of them showed up in my kitchen. I told the little bird, “I ain’t got your eggs. I never had your eggs; I’m no green pig.” I offered a snack of fruits and nuts but the bird disappeared without a word.

The next day, there was another red Angry Bird. “Look, it’s like I told the other one, there’s no eggs here.” And the bird was gone, just like that. I’m unsure how long this is going to go on but I wouldn’t be surprised if a green pig showed up at some point.

An Angry Bird Apple A Day
More of a method than a recipe

For the body, pick out a small to medium size apple that has a nice, deep red color. I used an organic Jonathan apple from the local farmers market. With a very sharp knife, score an arc across the lower half to create the white belly. Use the knife to peel off the skin.

Make a small cut where the outside corner of the eye would go, to break the skin. Using a stainless steel 1/4 measuring teaspoon, scoop out what would be the eye. Make the other eye the same way.

Make a few cuts at the top of the apple being careful not to actually cut the pieces off. Lift up the pieces for the feathers on top of the head.

The eyebrows are strips cut from a piece of nori. The pupils for the eyes are hole punched from the same sheet of nori. The juice from the cut apple will hold the pieces of nori in place.

The beak is a slice of carrot, cut a “V” in the side and attach with one end of a toothpick. If serving to small kids, remember to take out the toothpick for them.

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What’s A Pomelo?

What's A Pomelo?

When I was little, I remember these humgunous grapefruit-looking things just sitting around the house at this time of year. I’m not fond of grapefruits. Their sour taste lands them one step below the much dreaded bell pepper which I dislike even more.

I don’t recall how or why, but I must have given pomelos a try at some point, because I sure like them now. They don’t have the bitterness of a grapefruit, they’re way sweeter. I can totally eat them – it’s like a sweet, very mild version of grapefruit.

What's A Pomelo?

Largest of the citrus fruits, pomelos are about the size of a small watermelon. Called boo look in Cantonese, they’re also known as Chinese grapefruit and are popular for Chinese New Year as it symbolizes abundance.

In season from mid-January to mid-February, I’ve spotted pomelos at farmer markets, Costco, Whole Foods and Asian supermarkets, about two fifty to three bucks for one. The color is a light green and turns yellow as it ripens. You know it’s ready to eat when you can smell its floral scent from a mile away.

What's A Pomelo?

To eat, cut off a bit of the top and then make vertical cuts going into the extra thick skin with a sharp knife (be careful not to actually cut into the flesh). I find it easier turning the pomelo upside-down and going from the bottom to the top. Pull the sliced peel away from the flesh.

Pull the fruit in half to make it easier to handle. The membrane and pith is very thick and very bitter. Do not eat any of that, just pull it all off to reveal the coral pink fruit segment. I like to eat mine cold so after peeling off the outer skin, I stick it in the fridge to chill for a refreshing, sweet treat. Just in time for the Lunar New Year, which is tomorrow, February 3rd.

Best wishes for health, wealth and happiness in the Year of the Rabbit.
Happy Chinese New Year!

Related Links
Chinese New Year Feast
Buddhists Delight

VeganMoFo: Piel De Sapo Melon

VeganMoFo: Piel De Sapo Melon

At the farmers market a couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a Piel de Sapo melon. I’ve neither heard of nor seen this football-shaped melon before. Originating in Spain, Piel de Sapo literally translates as “Skin of Toad” probably because of its mottled green and yellow skin.

Inside, it has white flesh with just a bit of orange in the middle. The flavor is sweet, crisp and refreshing similar to watermelon but the texture is more like honeydew or cantaloupe.

As it ripens, it’ll start to have tinges of yellow to the green skin. The melon also has a long shelf life, it sat around the kitchen counter this whole time. I’m thinking of getting a few more and see how long I can keep them into the winter.

vegan mofo logo

Pink Pomegranate

Pink Pomegranate

Cruising the farmer’s market this week, I spied a cluster of brilliant, light pink jewels glistening in the sunlight. They were pink pomegranate seeds!

Not only pink but they’re also sweet with a bit of a fruit punch flavor. And nowhere nearly as tart as the familiar deep red pomegranates. I had no idea there was even different varieties of pomegranates available.

Once home, I pulled on gloves and my oldest, grubbiest t-shirt to peel the pomegranates only to find I didn’t need to – it’s non-staining! As an added bonus, they’re also easier to peel.

So good and refreshing, I just ate the seeds as is and didn’t have any leftover for a salad. Now I have to wait until the end of the week to get more. If you see it, give it a try. Pomegranates are pretty tasty in pink.

The FruitGuys Review

The FruitGuys Review

Recently, a large crate of fruit arrived at my doorstep, courtesy of The FruitGuys, a company that delivers mostly locally grown, organic and conventional fruit to offices and homes nationwide.

From across the room, I can smell the fresh fruit and it was still in its box. Opening it up, I’m hit with a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors. It’s like a farmer’s market in a box.

The FruitGuys Review

It doesn’t come in just any ol’ box, it looks like a custom-made box with very convenient handles on the sides (totally recyclable of course). And the fruit was well-protected for their trip in their own little compartments.

As for taste, each piece of fruit was sweet and full of flavor. From delicious strawberries to crisp apples to juicy citrus, it was all fresh and tasty. I don’t think there was a bad one in the bunch.

The FruitGuys Review

You’re probably thinking, why not just go to the farmer’s market for fruit? You could but sometimes there isn’t one nearby or it’s not open year-around or you’re just too busy to make it to the market.

In fact, I’m signing up my mom for the service. I think it would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift. Mom doesn’t like to drive all that much nowadays so it’s a challenge for her to get good fruit. A fruit delivery is nice and healthy and something besides the usual flowers or candy.

Chilled White Peach Soup

Chilled White Peach Soup

It’s hard to believe that on Monday, summer would be over and fall begins. It seems like just yesterday I was enjoying a nice white peach. Oh wait, it was yesterday. There’s still time to get in on some late season summer produce. Hurry!

Chilled White Peach Soup
Serves 2

1 large white peach, plus an additional peach for garnish (if you want to be all fancy)
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons apple juice
Agave nectar to taste
Mint to garnish

Peel, pit and chop the peach. In a blender, combine the peach, orange juice, apple juice and agave nectar if necessary to sweeten to taste and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill for about an hour.

Serve with a mint garnish and a few peach slices on top.

no croutons required

No Croutons Required is a monthly food blogging event hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa’s Kitchen. This is my entry for September’s theme of a soup or salad with fruit, just in time to enjoy a last bite of summer fruit.

Red and Yellow Watermelon Soup

Red and Yellow Watermelon Soup

I finally managed to tear myself away from the wonderful strawberries and peaches that I’ve been eating lately to focus on some of the other summer fruits that abound. Next up, is watermelon. Instead of the usual wedges, I made a refreshing, two-toned chilled watermelon soup.

I got the red watermelon at the local farmer’s market. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the yellow ones and had to get that at the grocery store. It wasn’t quite as sweet as I expected, but I’m hoping to find it at the farmer’s market to try as it’s supposed to be sweeter than the red.

Red and Yellow Watermelon Soup
Serves 2

4 cups ripe red watermelon, seeded and cut into pieces
4 cups ripe yellow watermelon, seeded and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Agave nectar to taste
Salt to taste
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

In a bowl, combine the red watermelon, half of the lime juice and the agave nectar and salt to taste. Blend until smooth, place in a covered container to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Keeping it totally separate, do the same for the yellow watermelon.

To serve, hold one container in each hand and pour at the same time so that there’s one color on each side. To make a fancy decoration, use a toothpick to swirl a bit of one color into the other. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

Lucky 8/8/08 Giveaway!
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway here, only a few more days until it closes on August 6, 2008.

Minty Summer Fruit Salad

Minty Summer Fruit Salad

While I’m not a big fan of heat waves, I do enjoy what else summertime brings – a bounty of fresh, delicious, sweet fruit.

Since I got all of the fruit (except the lychees) from the local farmer’s market, it doesn’t really need much more to make it any better – just a bit of lime juice and mint.

Minty Summer Fruit Salad
Serves 2

1 white peach
1 pint strawberries
6 lychees, fresh or canned
1 lime
1 tablespoon mint, minced
Agave nectar

Chill the fruit before using, wash and slice the peach and strawberries. Slice the lychees. In a mixing bowl, juice the lime. Add the mint and a drizzle of agave nectar to taste, mix well. Add the fruit to the bowl and make sure everything is well coated.

To plate, fan out the peaches. Pile the strawberries on one side, top with the lychees. Garnish with additional mint.

no croutons required

No Croutons Required is a monthly food blogging event hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa’s Kitchen. This month’s theme is a vegetarian soup or salad showcasing your favorite herb or one you haven’t experimented with yet.

Minty Summer Fruit Salad is my entry for the event. Mint is one of my favorite herbs, but I usually add it to savory dishes (I don’t know why, it’s just how I am). The minty fruit salad is a refreshing change from my normal usage of the herb, so it’s an favorite and kinda an experiment. And now it’s my favorite experiment.

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