Archive | December, 2012

New Food Friday – Ugli Fruit

28 Dec Ugli Fruit in Bowl

The song goes like this: “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife. So, from my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you!” That was just a little musical intro to today’s New Food Friday which is: Ugli Fruit.

Ugli Fruit

Ugli Fruit

Ugli Fruit comes in a few colors: green, greenish-yellow, yellow, and orange. They range in size from 4 inches in diameter to 6 inches. This fruit is a tangelo that is a variety of citrus fruit grown exclusively in Jamaica where it was discovered over 80 years ago growing wild. Ugli is believed to be a hybrid of the Seville orange, the grapefruit and the tangerine. To me it tastes like a cross between a grapefruit and a pineapple.

I had a heck of a time peeling this thing. I began using a knife to get it started but the skin is very thick and rather tough. At least this one was.

Ugli Fruit Top Cut

Ugli Fruit Top Cut

It reminds me of alligator skin! Here’s what it looks like partially peeled.

Ugli Fruit Partially Peeled

Ugli Fruit Partially Peeled

You can see that the bowl is filled with all the thick skin peelings once it is completely peeled!

Ugli Fruit Peelings

Ugli Fruit Peelings

Once I removed all the skin, I separated the slices of half the Ugli Fruit and had them for breakfast.

Ugli Fruit Slices

Ugli Fruit Slices

The membrane of the segments was tough too but it was fairly easy to remove the pulp from the membrane. It was juicy and I barely lost a drop!

I bought my Ugli Fruit at Meijer for $1.69. 

Ugli Fruit is harvested and sent to market after they have ripened on the tree so when you purchase it at the store, it is already ripe even if it is green.

Nutritional Facts

Serving size: 1/2 Ugli Fruit

Calories: 45

Fiber: 2g

Total Carb: 11g

Protein: 1g

Sugars: 8g

Calcium: 2%

Vitamin C: 70%

Ugli Fruit is ugly, but it will not interact with medicines the way grapefruits do!

Some people make ice cream out of the juice or put the segments into a salad (like a Sicilian salad which is very good). You can squeeze the juice of the Ugli Fruit and combine it with rum to make an Ugli Hot Toddy. What a way to welcome in the New Year!

Or, you can mix the juice of the Ugli with Cointreau and pour it over roasted duckling.

Duck-roasted

Duck-roasted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At which time you will have: Ugli Duckling! Get it? 

Happy New Year Everyone! (I haven’t even started drinking yet.)

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Winter Scenes Can Make You Relax

24 Dec Fireplace

There is nothing more beautiful than snowy, winter scenes. Oh yes, the ice and slick streets can be treacherous when you have to drive on them, but let me take you instead on a relaxing tour of gorgeous scenes of snow and ice.  Winter Scene

All you have to do is scroll; driving is not necessary. Grab a sweater because the scenes may make you chilly.Winter Scene

It is cold enough and therefore safe to go ice skating,  Have you ever been ice skating outdoors?Snow on the Lake

The sun has warmed up this lake. Can you feel the winter sun’s warmth? There is something about snow scenes on a lake that is so peaceful.

At a time when the holidays bring stress to so many, it’s good to take time out and appreciate mother nature’s beauty.Winter Willow Trees

Click this photo  with the Weeping Willow trees to see all the birds on the lake. They liked the scenery so much that they forgot to fly south for the winter. Winter in Hamburg

Nighttime brings out a different feeling in winter scenes.

Winter NightThe snow has muffled all sounds except for our breathing. I can almost see my breath in the air! Can you smell the pine trees?

Hot DrinkWe have arrived at our destination. Time to warm up with a hot drink.

Fireplace & TreeAnd maybe a nap in front of the fireplace.

Stay safe and warm this holiday season.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

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New Food Friday – Escarole

21 Dec Escarole Head

Escarole is a vegetable that many Italians are familiar with but because I am so fond of it, I wanted to feature it on this New Food Friday for the folks who haven’t tried it. I’m always having to explain what it is to the supermarket cashiers when I buy it! 

Escarole Head

Beautiful Escarole Head

In fact, the cashiers think it’s lettuce. I tell them it’s escarole and they can never find it in their computer.  I go through the same conversation with them every time! But I don’t care as long as they keep stocking escarole.

One of the first things I’d like to mention about this vegetable is that it’s beautiful to look at! I’m not kidding. A head of escarole is a thing of beauty like a bouquet of flowers. Some say to stop and smell the roses. I say, stop and admire the escarole.

It is beautiful enough to be thrown by a bride at a wedding except that you can eat the escarole bouquet!

Bouquet

                             Bride throwing inedible bouquet                                    sxc.hu kathalpha

The second thing I like about escarole is that you can eat it uncooked in a salad, or if you prefer, you can cook it and serve it hot. How many vegetables can you say that about? Ok, carrots.  Sure, celery. Yes, bell peppers. OK, never mind. Forget I asked. Here I’ve torn it into pieces.

Escarole

Escarole torn pieces in skillet

 

I like to put it raw in a sandwich and use it just like lettuce.

I never see anyone else buying escarole. I think they must order it just for me. Sometimes they get heads that are so big I can hardly fit them in the plastic bag! (The escarole, not the supermarket people.) These are grown locally and boy, they must have a good strain of them because they are delicious besides being beautiful. Escarole is also reasonably priced: $1.99 a pound. Wow! I just realized it’s gone up in price. But then, what hasn’t!

The only down side is that sometimes it is sandy. I usually leave it in the plastic bag that I stuffed it in at the store and run the kitchen cold tap water in it a few times and rinse the worst of it out.  Then I put it in my Tupperware-like large green plastic bowl (see photo below) and fill that with water a few times and drain it. That usually takes care of all the sand and dirt.

Escarole

Escarole soaking in water

Escarole is a slightly bitter green but when you cook it or braise it, it loses it’s bitterness and develops a sweetness. Lately, I’ve been steaming it in a large frying pan with a few tablespoons of water. (Of course I chop up a garlic clove, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and a few flakes of red pepper to the pan.) This cooks covered for about 20 minutes or until the leaves are tender. Then I remove the cover, continue cooking it, and let most of the water evaporate.

Escarole

Escarole braised with garlic

If some of the leaves get slightly browned, that A-OK to me! Don’t forget to add salt to taste. I serve it with chicken, or a pasta dish. It goes well with most meat dishes.

Italian Wedding soup

                  Italian Wedding Soup                     flickr: devlyn 

However, I love escarole so much that I have been known to stuff it inside a piece of Italian or French bread and enjoy a nice cooked “green” sandwich for lunch! A seeded roll will work equally as well. In a pinch I will also put it on rye bread.

Another thing about escarole is that many people chop it and add it to soups, like the well-known Italian Wedding Soup.

Escarole is closely related to chicory, radicchio and Belgian endive.  It is very low in Cholesterol and a good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a great source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.

I can’t promise that someone will propose to you and you will get married if you eat escarole, but who knows?

Beautiful Bride

Beautiful Bride sxc.hu papaleguas http://www.fernandoweberich.com

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New Food Friday – Tomatillo

14 Dec Teboulah with Tomatillo

You’ve heard of them, you may have even eaten them in a salsa and didn’t know it. But have you cooked with one? Well, you know the drill. Say it with me: Tomatillo is the fruit being discussed for New Food Friday.

Tomatillo with paper skin removed

Tomatillo with paper skin removed

Tomatillo is a “papery” covered fruit that looks just like a green tomato. In fact, it is called tomate verde (green tomato) in Spanish. This papery husk is a good indication of its freshness. The husk should be light brown and not shriveled.

The tomatillo is of Mexican origin.  It is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, niacin, potassium and manganese. It is in the nightshade family. 

I couldn’t find a recipe online that stoked my fire. So, I decided to taste this pretty green globe to see if I could get some ideas as to which way I should go.  It wasn’t what I expected. I thought it would be spicy. You know how in previous  New Food Friday posts I’ve said, “It looks like a potato, but it doesn’t taste like a potato.” Or, “It’s crunchy and juicy like an apple, but it doesn’t taste like an apple.” 

Tomatillo halved

Tomatillo halved

Well, a tomatillo looks like a green tomato from the outside, minus the papery skin, slices like a tomato, looks like a tomato on the inside with seeds and pulpy parts, and guess what? It tastes like a tomato!  It’s a bit more citrus flavored than a tomato and the skin has more crunch than a tomato. That helped me decide what to do with it.

Since I didn’t have any tomatoes in the house, I decided to make Tabbouleh using tomatillo instead of tomatoes. If you recall, the Tabbouleh recipe is here. I planned to have lamb chops for dinner and the Tabbouleh was a good side dish for it because it contains mint. Mint jelly is often paired with lamb so I knew this menu had potential.  While I was letting the Bulgar soak, I remembered that I had sun dried tomatoes in olive oil in the fridge. They went into the dish. I also thought that some lemon rind would look pretty in this dish. Is this a festive party in a bowl or what? The ingredients scream Mexico to me!

Teboulah with Tomatillo

Teboulah with Tomatillo

The end result was as delicious as it was pretty. The lemon rind was a great, tasty addition. If you decide you like tomatillo, look for dry, hard tomatillos with tightly fitting husks that are free of mold. Keep them in your crisper drawer of your refrigerator (unlike tomatoes).You can also grow them in your garden in the spring. Burpee sells the seeds and they mature in about 100 days.

I also decided to try tomatillo cooked. It looked pretty sliced on top of a personal sized pan pizza.

Tomatillo

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza with Tomatillo

It had all the colors of the Mexican flag! Green, white, and red! (The same colors of the Italian flag.) This was the first time I tried making pizza in a cast iron skillet and I liked it! Less mess to clean up. There are many recipes online for cast iron skillet pizza, just be sure your pan is well seasoned. It’s easy to remove the pizza from the pan with a spatula.

Tomatillo

Skillet Pizza with Tomatillo, plated

Tomatillo; it’s not just for salsa anymore! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New Food Friday – Daikon Radish

7 Dec Roasted Daikon and Vegetables

When I think of radishes, I think of small, round, red radishes.

Radieschen - Raphanus sativus - Marktware

Red Radishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s why I was surprised to find this long, white, Daikon radish in my supermarket. It is exactly why it’s on the menu for today’s New Food Friday.

English: Picture of a pile of Daikon (giant wh...
Daikon (giant white radish)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daikon radish is very low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol free, and a good source of vitamin C. It’s milder than regular radishes and a little sweeter.

According to fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org there are many ways to prepare this radish. Already that is a big difference from the small red radishes that we know which typically get sliced into a salad!

They list 10 ways to enjoy it, but I decided to try it two ways:

Raw with peanut butter. I used Smuckers Natural peanut butter. Daikon Radishes are another option for people who like to nibble on raw veggies with a dip.

Daikon Peanut Butter Sticks

Daikon Peanut Butter Sticks

  Or,

Roasted and slow cooked with carrots, onions, garlic, celery, olive oil, salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you like. I omitted the seasonings except for the salt and pepper. You can do a lot of variations on this roasted dish. Add sweet potatoes or squash or whatever vegetable you have in the fridge.

This turned out great! It was delicious. The Daikon Radish became more peppery. I took some photos and then tasted it. I decided I wanted it browned a bit and put it under the broiler. I had roasted it for 45 minutes in an aluminum foil packet. I really liked this dish and will be making it again.

Roasted Daikon and Vegetables

Roasted Daikon and Vegetables

I think it would also be great raw in a cole slaw dish or salad.

Daikon Salad with Sashimi - Horoki

Daikon Salad with Sashimi – Horoki (Photo credit: flickr – avlxyz)

It’s good in an antipasto dish too.

If you are the adventurous type, you can even make a cake out of it!

Daikon Cake - pre made

Daikon Cake  (Photo credit: Mr & Mrs Stickyfingers)

I paid $.79 per pound and my Daikon Radish was under two pounds. Daikon RadishLet me know if you try this.  I was pleasantly surprised at the results when it was cooked.

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My Radio Debut!

4 Dec Old Radio

I have an exciting announcement to make! I will be a featured guest on blogtalkradio. 

Microphone

Photo Credit:sxc.hu katagaci Moi Cody

We began discussing this in September and just last night confirmed the date: April 7, 2013. It sounds like it’s a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. Think Spring!

I will be interviewed about my blog but mostly about the topic of humor and how it relates to your health.

You won’t have to leave my blog to hear the show. It will be set up for all my followers. For people who prefer to read the text of the show, that will be available on my blog post too.

Stay tuned for more details and thank you for following For Your Good Health.

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