Buckwheat Groats

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a grain, often mistaken for containing gluten due to its name, buckwheat. In fact, buckwheat is not a wheat at all, which come from grass plants like other cereal grains. Buckwheat is a flowering, broadleaf annual related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. The buckwheat we consume are seeds from that plant. It’s packed with a variety of nutrients necessary if you’re on a vegan/vegetarian diet. Medical News Today states one cup of cooked buckwheat groats contains:

  • 5.68 g protein
  • 1.04 g  fat
  • 33.5 g carbohydrate
  • 4.5 g fiber
  • 148 milligrams (mg) potassium
  • 118 mg phosphorous
  • 86 mg magnesium
  • 12 mg calcium
  • 1.34 mg iron

If you’d like to learn more about buckwheat or how to grow your own crop, check out Grow Journey.

HOW TO COOK BUCKWHEAT GROATS

  • 1 cup organic raw buckwheat
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 TSP sea salt
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley (Curley or flat leaf)

Orange Creamsicle New York Style Cheesecake

One of my absolute favorite desserts ever since I discovered its existence in college (YES, can you believe my mom never baked this for us kids?!) is NEW YORK STYLE CHEESECAKE. Yum, yum, and YUM.  I remember my first few cheesecake flops years ago. The process seemed to daunting and foreign to me. Fast forward many moons and seasons…I now know why my cheesecake endeavors all tasted like “quichecakes” rather than cheesecake. Meh, live and learn. 🙂

I found a recipe on the side of a bulk cheesecake box purchased from Costco and thought I’d give it a try. I thought it was perfectly creamy and easy. The following recipe is the one I modified ~ making a crustless cheesecake, with a hint of lemon. If you’d like to try the original recipe found on the box, scroll all the way to the bottom. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages full fat cream cheese ~ room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 TSP salt
  • 2 TBSP orange zest
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil to make it waterproof.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese. Add sugar and mix.
  3. Scrape down the bowl; add Greek yogurt, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Add eggs to mixer one at a time, mixing thoroughly on low speed.
  5. Scrape down the bowl add salt and lemon zest.
  6. Mix on low until well combined.
  7. Pour cheesecake batter into pan.
  8. Bake in a water bath at 325°F for 60-90 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Original “New York Style Cheesecake” Recipe

CRUST

  • 1 cup graham crackers crumbs
  • 2 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter. ~ melted
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sugar

FILLING

  • 6 (8 ounces) packages full fat cream cheese ~ room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 2 TBSP lemon zest

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil to make it waterproof.
  2. Butter the bottom of pan.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar and mix well. Press into bottom of pan.
  4. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese. Add sugar and mix.
  5. Scrape down the bowl; add sour cream, mixing thoroughly.
  6. Add eggs to mixer one at a time, mixing thoroughly on low speed.
  7. Scrape down the bowl add rest of ingredients.
  8. Mix on low until well combined.
  9. Pour cheesecake batter into pan.
  10. Bake in a water bath at 325°F for 60-90 minutes until the cake sets.
  11. Remove from oven and chill completely before serving.

Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Veggie Stew

I grew up eating lots of eggplant, thanks to my parents’ prolific organic home “Garden of Eatin’!” A dear friend of mine, a sweet Greek lady by the name of Vicki, introduced me to eggplant tomato stew years ago and I loved it from the start! She passed away at a very young age late November 2019, just days shy of her December birthday. I cannot find the recipe Vicki gave me, but I was able to modify this recipe from memory, and the help of similar recipes I found online. I hope you enjoy it!
NOTE: The stew tastes much better the following day, if you can refrigerate it overnight. Otherwise, allow a few hours before serving warm, and garnished with fresh chopped parsley. I serve this with toasted or pan-friend polenta cakes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggplants ~ peeled alternately lengthways (leave skin on every other section), sliced in halves or quarters, tops removed
  • 2 large red bell peppers ~ sliced in halves, tops and seeds removed
  • 2 large zucchinis ~ slided in halves, tops removed
  • 1 large yellow onion ~ peeled, diced
  • 3-4 organic roma tomatoes ~ cut into chunks
  • 1 can (16 ounce) garbanzo beans ~ rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounce) stewed organic tomatoes
  • 1 container (32 ounce) broth ~ I use vegetable
  • olive oil
  • sea salt ~ to taste
    fresh ground black pepper ~ to taste
    pinch cane sugar
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh curly parsley ~ I like a giant handful of parsley (even before chopping)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Roast the eggplant, bells, and zucchini on the top rack at 450°F for 10 minutes each side. When they are done, set aside for a few minutes to cool down.
  2. While the veggies roast, heat some oil in a large stainless steel pot and sauté the onions until golden and aromatic. Cut the roasted veggies into chunks. If still warm, hold them with tongs in one hand, and cut with the other.
  3. Add the broth, garbanzo, roasted veggies, fresh and stewed tomatoes, and 3/4 of the chopped parsley, into the pot. Bring it to a boil for about 2 minutes.
  4. Lower heat, season to taste, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes with lid slightly askew.
  5. Remove from burner. Serve warm, garnished with freshly chopped parsley, with a side of polenta cakes.

Butter to Oil Conversion Chart

Recently when I was formulating my own recipe for cornbread, it dawned on me that all these years, I have heard that you can simply replace oil for butter, on an equal 1:1 ratio. I did some more digging and was convinced by Bob Mills that is not actually the case at all! In fact, a 1:1 ratio in some case may end up with greasy and oil results. Of course, you are the Chef in your own kitchen, so you be the judge of what works best for your recipe!

Source 1

Source 2

BUTTER OIL
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2 1/4 teaspoons
2 tablespoons 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2cup 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3cup 1/2 cup
3/4cup 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup 3/4 cup

Sour Cream Cornbread

F81279CE-19D1-444A-8378-2978015C55AF

I am extremely excited to share a NEW PROJECT I’ve been working on: Luluesque Recipe DigiCards!  You can save them right to your phone; no need to bookmark my recipe blog page or wait for glitchy internet to pull up this recipe post. One of the finished products is on this post — scroll all the way to the bottom for the recipe digicard. Simply save the recipe to your device in the “Luluesque” Folder…wait, what do you mean you don’t have a folder saved just for me??? 😉

PREP

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Lightly grease 9×13 baking dish with avocado oil

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups organic cornmeal (HEART HEALTH: supplement some with ground flaxseed)
  • 1 cup organic all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup organic rolled oats
  • 3/4 cups organic fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon seasalt
  • 2 cups organic sour cream (HEART HEALTH: replace with non-fat plain Greek yogurt)
  • 3/4 cup avocado oil
  • 3 large organic eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold in sour cream, oil, and eggs with a spatula until the batter is evenly mixed (do not overmix). Our goal is to get out the clumps of ingredients.
  2. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Gently slide the dish from side to side on the counter, to even out the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted fork comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

Luluesque Recipe DigiCards_Sour Cream Cornbread-01

 

Homemade Fig Jam

HOMEMADE FIG JAM

It’s summertime, which means all the fig trees in my area are full of ripening fruit! Figs are flowering shrubs that belong in the mulberry family. They do not bear flowers on branches; the fruit we see are actually inverted flowers! If you slice a fig open, you’ll see all the little “petals” on the inside. The flower matures and eventually forms little edible seeds, which gives figs its crunch when you bite into one.

According to Brittanica, there are approximaltey 900 species of figs and the “fig wasp” is responsible for pollinating most of the world’s figs! And often the female wasps don’t make it to the correct flower (male) to lay her eggs, thus dies inside the female fig. SO, yes, there is a possibility we are getting some insect protein as we consume figs. Want to learn more? Here’s an educational article and video about the relationship of figs and their pollinators: LINK.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds figs (purple or green) ~ stems removed and figs coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  In a large saucepan, toss the figs together with the sugar and allow to sit for about 15 minutes, until the figs become juicy and the sugar has mostly dissolved.
  2. Add the water and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes. The fruit should be soft and the jam should slide down the spoon in heavy drops.
  3. Allow the jam to cool to room temperature, then spoon them to mason jars and store in the refrigerator. These should last up to 3 months. They can also be frozen and thawed overnight in the refrigerator for later use.

Edible Flowering Beauties

Edible Flowering Beauties

I love gardening and using what I grow in the dishes I make. It’s so much fun! It’s even more exciting to learn that more or all parts of a flowers/plant are edible and can be incorporated into the dishes to add color and/or flavor.

I’ve compiled this non-comprehensive list by scouring my gardening books, magazines, and some websites. I may or may not be updating this list as I find more information. I will update the post and send out a new notification if a lot gets added.

Next time you are creating a culinary work of art, try to add another dimension to your dish! 🙂


DISCLAIMER:
These are guidelines acquired from many different reputable sources, but should NOT be considered professional advice. A good general rule of thumb, if you are NOT 100% certain about a flower, do NOT eat it. If you have hayfever or pollen allergies, do NOT eat flowers.


TIPS

  • Best Time to Harvest/Gather: early mornings
  • Most Common and Safest Edible Flowers: nasturtium, pansy, violet, Johnny-jump-up, calendula, chive, sage
  • Do NOT Eat Flowers if You Have Allergies: If you have asthma, hayfever, or other allergies, do NOT eat flowers.
  • When in Doubt, Do NOT Eat IT: A good rule of thumb to live by: if you cannot positively identify a flower as edible, do NOT eat it.
  • ALWAYS Avoid Nightshade Flowers: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and asparagus.
  • Beware of Pesticides: Never eat flowers from the side of a road, a lawn, or field known to have been treated, a nursery, garden center, or florist (they may have chemical residues that concentrate in the flowers).
  • Flower Prepping Tips: Gently wash them gently in a large bowl of cold water and let them air dry on a towel.
  • Storage: Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container lined with a damp paper towel.

NONCOMPREHENSITVE LIST OF EDIBLES

  1. Alliums – Known as the “flowering onions.” All members of this genus are edible. All parts of the plants are edible. There are approximately four hundred species that includes the familiar onion, garlic, chives, ramps, shallots and leeks. Their flavors range from mild onions and leeks right through to strong onion and garlic. The flowers tend to have a stronger flavor than the leaves and the young developing seed-heads are even stronger.  We eat the leaves and flowers mainly in salads. The leaves can also be cooked as a flavoring with other vegetables in soups, etc.
  2. Arugula (Eruca vesicaria) – Also called garden rocket, roquette, rocket-salad, Oruga, rocketsalad, rocket-gentle; raukenkohl (German); rouquelle (French); rucola (Italian). The flowers are small, white with dark centers, and can be used in the salad for a light piquant flavor. The flowers taste very similar to the leaves and range in color from white to yellowish with dark purple veins. Arugula resembles radish leaves in both appearance and taste. Leaves are compound and have a spicy, peppery flavor that starts mild in young leaves and intensifies as they mature.
  3. Banana Blossoms (Musa paradisiaca) – Also know as banana hearts. The flowers are a purple-maroon torpedo shaped. Banana blossoms are used in Southeast Asian cuisines. The blossoms can be cooked or eaten raw.  The tough covering is usually removed until you get to the almost white tender parts of the blossom.  It should be sliced and let it sit in water until most of the sap are gone.  If you eat it raw, make sure the blossom comes from a variety that isn’t bitter.  Most of the Southeast Asian varieties are not bitter.
  4. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Depending on the type, the flowers are either bright white, pale pink, or a delicate lavender. The flavor of the flower is milder, but similar to the leaves of the same plant. Basil also has different varieties that have different milder flavors like lemon and mint.
  5. Borage – Blue star-shaped blossoms practically fall off the plant when they are ready to eat. They have a mild cucumber flavor that is delicious in lemonade
  6. Broccoli Florets (Brassica oleracea) – The top portion of broccoli is actually a cluster of flower buds. As the flower buds mature, each will open into a bright yellow flower, which is why they are called florets. Small yellow flowers have a mild spiciness (mild broccoli flavor), and are delicious in salads or in a stir-fry or steamer.
  7. Calendula – Petals known as the “poor man’s saffron,” the sunset-hued marigold flower really does taste like saffron when it’s sautéedin olive oil to release its flavor.
  8. Caper Buds
  9. Chamomile
  10. Chive Blossoms (Allium schoenoprasum) – Delicate, oniony flavor. Use whole flowers or separate the individual petals. Use whenever a light onion flavor and aroma is desired.  Separate the florets and enjoy the mild, onion flavor in a variety of dishes. Also see #1.
  11. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum coronarium) – Tangy, slightly bitter, ranging in colors from red, white, yellow and orange. They range in taste from faint peppery to mild cauliflower. They should be blanched first and then scatter the petals on a salad. The leaves can also be used to flavor vinegar.  Always remove the bitter flower base and use petals only. Young leaves and stems of the  crown daisy, also known as chop suey greens or shingiku in Japan, are widely used in oriental stir-fries and as salad seasoning.
  12. Cilantro/Coriander (Coriander sativum) – Like the leaves and seeds, the flowers have a strong herbal flavor. Use leaves and flowers raw as the flavor fades quickly when cooked.
  13. Dandelions (Taraxacum officinalis) – Member of the daisy family.  Flowers are sweetest, with a honey-like flavor, when picked young.  Mature flowers are bitter.  Dandelion buds are tastier than the flowers: best to pick these when they are very close to the ground, tightly bunched in the center, and about the size of a small gumball.
  14. Day Lilies (Hemerocallis species) – Slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavor, like sweet lettuce or melon. Their flavor is a combination of asparagus and zucchini. Chewable consistency. Some people think that different colored blossoms have different flavors. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Also great to stuff like squash blossoms. Flowers look beautiful on composed salad platters or crowning a frosted cake. Sprinkle the large petals in a spring salad.  In the spring, gather shoots two or three inches tall and use as a substitute for asparagus.
    NOTE: Many Lilies contain alkaloids and are NOT edible. Day lilies may act as a diuretic or laxative; eat in moderation.
  15. Dill
  16. Echinacea
  17. Florence Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – It has a star-burst yellow flowers that have a mild anise flavor. Use with desserts or cold soups, or as a garnish with your entrees.
  18. Garlic Blossoms (Allium sativum) – The flowers can be white or pink, and the stems are flat instead of round. The flavor has a garlicky zing that brings out the flavor of your favorite food. Milder than the garlic bulb. Wonderful in salads. Also see #1.
  19. Henbit
  20. Hibiscus – Tart and sweet with a cranberry-like flavor. Often used in teas, cocktails, and salads.
  21. Hollyhock
  22. Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) – Sweet honey flavor. Only the flowers are edible.
    NOTE: Berries are highly poisonous – Do not eat them!
  23. Jasmine (NOT Jessamine) – Very sweet, floral fragrance and flavor. Use in teas or desserts.Jasmine (jasmine officinale) – The flowers are intensely fragrant and are traditionally used for scenting tea.  True Jasmine has oval, shiny leaves and tubular, waxy-white flowers.  NOTE: The false Jasmine is in a completely different genus, “Gelsemium”, and family, “Loganiaceae”, is considered too poisonous for human consumption. This flower has a number of common names including yellow jessamine or jasmine, Carolina jasmine or jessamine, evening trumpet flower, gelsemium, and woodbine.
  24. Johnny-Jump-Ups – Minty, almost bubblegum-y flavor. Serve on cakes or with soft mild cheese, like goat cheese.
  25. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – Sweet, slightly perfume-tasting, with lemon and citrus notes. Lavender lends itself to savory dishes also, from hearty stews to wine-reduced sauces. Diminutive blooms add a mysterious scent to custards, flans or sorbets.
    NOTE: Do not consume lavender oil unless you absolutely know that it has not be sprayed and is culinary safe.
  26. Lemon Verbena – Light lemon flavor that’s well-suited for sweet or savory cooking.
  27. Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia) – The marigold can be used as a substitute for saffron. Also great in salads as they have a citrus flavor.
  28. Mallow
  29. Mint (Mentha spp) – The flavor of the flowers are minty, but with different overtones depending on the variety.  Mint flowers and leaves are great in Middle Eastern dishes.
  30. Nasturtiums – One of the most commonly eaten flowers. The flower may be vivid yellow, orange, or red as well as muted tones and bicolors. Both the leaves and the flowers have a peppery flavor, almost like watercress, and are best eaten uncooked. Toss petals into salads, top a sandwich, or make a spicy appetizer.
  31. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) – Also known as ochro, okoro, quimgombo, quingumbo, ladies fingers and gumbo. It has hibiscus-like flowers and seed pods that, when picked tender, produce a delicious vegetable dish when stewed or fried. When cooked it resembles asparagus yet it may be left raw and served in a cold salad. The ripe seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee; the seed can be dried and powdered for storage and future use.
  32. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) – Milder version of plant’s leaf. Use as you would the herb.
  33. Pansy/Viola (Viola X wittrockiana) – Slightly sweet green and faint grassy flavor. If you eat only the petals, the flavor is extremely mild, but if you eat the whole flower, there is a winter, green overtone.  Use them as garnishes, in fruit salads, green salad, desserts or in soups.
  34. Radish (Raphanus sativus) – Depending on the variety, flowers may be pink, white or yellow, and will have a distinctive, spicy bite (has a radish flavor). Best used in salads. The Radish shoots with their bright red or white tender stalks are very tasty and are great sauteed or in salads. Piquant pods can be eaten raw or cooked.
  35. Red Clover (Trifolium species) – Sweet, anise-like, licorice.  White and red clover blossoms were used in folk medicine against gout, rheumatism, and leucorrhea.  It was also believed that the texture of fingernails and toenails would improve after drinking clover blossom tea.  Native Americans used whole clover plants in salads, and made a white clover leaf tea for coughs and colds.  Avoid bitter flowers that are turning brown, and choose those with the brightest color, which are tastiest.  Raw flower heads can be difficult to digest.
  36. Rose –  While roses have a strong floral scent, their flavor is quite subtle and fruity. Roses lend themselves well to everything from soups and salads to teas, jams and desserts like this delicious strawberry, pomegranate, and rose petal treat. Roses only look beautiful in a bouquet, but pair well in some delicious dishes. Roses may be tasteless, sweet, perfumed, or slightly spicy. Chop the petals and mix with sugar. Let them infuse for a week and use for baking and desserts.
  37. Rosemary – Milder version of leaf. Fresh or dried herb and blossoms enhance flavor of Mediterranean dishes.  Use with meats, seafoods, sorbets or dressings.  Lemon Rosemary Chicken
  38. Sage – With their soft, yet sweet-savory flavor and beautiful color, sage flowers add dimension to a variety of dishes.
  39. Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium species) – The flower flavor generally corresponds to the variety.  For example, a lemon-scented geranium would have lemon-scented flowers.  They come in fragrances from citrus and spice to fruits and flowers, and usually in colors of pinks and pastels.  Sprinkle them over desserts and in refreshing drinks or freeze in ice cubes.  NOTE: Citronelle variety may not be edible.
  40. Snap Dragon (Antirrhinum majus) – Delicate garden variety can be bland to bitter.  Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions.  Probably not the best flower to eat.
  41. Snow Pea Blossoms (Pisum species) – Edible garden peas bloom mostly in white, but may have other pale coloring. The blossoms are slightly sweet and crunchy and they taste like peas. The shoots and vine tendrils are edible, with a delicate, pea-like flavor. Here again, remember that harvesting blooms will diminish your pea harvest, so you may want to plant extra. NOTE: Flowering ornamental sweet peas are poisonous – do not eat.
  42. Squash Blossoms – Mild raw squash taste. Usually cooked before eaten. Lightly dust with cornstarch and deep fry.
  43. Sunflower (Helianthus annus) – The flower is best eaten in the bud stage when it tastes similar to artichokes.  Once the flower opens, the petals may be used like chrysanthemums, the flavor is distinctly bittersweet.  The unopened flower buds can also be steamed like artichokes.
  44. Thyme
  45. Violets – Sweet and floral. Use in dessert or freeze into ice cubes for decorative drinking. Violets, which come in a range of pastel and vibrant colors,have a sweet and floral taste, making them a perfect companion for everything from salads to iced drinks. They are particularly beautiful when crystallized and used to top frosted cakes and other desserts.
  46. Zucchini Flowers – The bright yellow flowers of the courgette or zucchini plant have a delicate and slightly sweet taste

Resources

 

 

Croatian Style Radishes

I was recently on an adventure in Croatia and visited a park that had been on my must-see list for about 20 years. Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world that i have ever seen! It is Croatia’s first and largest national park of the country’s seven parks. The park was instated into the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List in 1979.

We booked AirBnB accommodations in a village about five minutes away and was famished by the time we had arrived after a day of sightseeing along the way. We asked around about dining options and the restaurant at Plitvice National Park was decidedly a fantastic choice! My dinner consisted of fine local Croatian offerings: white wine, grilled trout, salad topped with finely shaved pickled red cabbage, and stewed carrots and green beans, served with a basket of a dense but amazingly moist bread with sir (pronounced seer) cheese.  The stewed carrots were soft and buttery, seasoned to perfection. I have no earthly idea how the chef cooked that dish, but this is my take on it—with a Lulu twist of course! Enjoy! 🙂

On another note, like the unknown wine region of Switzerland (YES, there is one, and it’s gorgeous!), Croatia does not export their wines! You must enjoy their creations there and buy some to bring home.

Croatian Words

While you’re reading this post and possibly going to attempt this recipe, you should try to learn some basic Croatian food words. It’s one of the most difficult languages I’ve ever had to learn for my travels, but it’s quite challenging but fun! I learned that the language uses few  vowels in their words. Instead, the uses of accent marks over some letters create some of the sounds that would otherwise have been created with vowels. Quite minimalist! 🙂

  • molim = please/you’re welcome
  • Dubro Jutro = good morning!
  • hvala = thank you
  • kruh = bread
  • sir = cheese
  • butter = maslac
  • radish = rotkvica
  • mrvka = carrot
  • salata = salad
  • grilled fish = riba na zaru
  • trout = pastrva
  • wine = vino
  • coffee = kava; coffee with milk = kava s mlijekom
  • water = voda

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 bunches organic red radishes ~ ends and tops (leave 1/4 of the green stems) removed, radishes cut into halves or quarters
  • 1 cup organic baby carrots ~ cut into sections of two or three
  • 1 pint sunflower sprouts
  • Splash of white wine ~ I used chardonnay
  • Sea salt ~ to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper ~ to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a stainless steel pot, heat the butter on medium heat until melted. Add the carrots, sauté for a few minutes then allow to cook for about 3 minutes, covered.
  2. Turn up the heat slightly and add a splash of white wine. Immediately add radishes and cook for about 5 minutes, covered. Be sure to stir occasionally so that nothing burns. Add more butter and/or wine if needed. Your root veggies should be soft and tender.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve over a bed of sunflower sprouts. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and a sprout.

Jicama Mango Salsa Fresca

Jicama Mango Salsa Fresca

My mama used to give me chilled slices of jicama when I was a kid. Back then, I used to pronounce it “jee-ka-muh”—only as an adult did I learn that I had been butchering this sweet juicy tuber’s name. I had no idea it was a latin name, thus should be pronounced “hick-uh-muh.”

If you follow my blog, then you may already know that I don’t like to drone on and on about my boring life. Instead, I like to share the interesting facts about ingredients for each recipe, be it nutritional value, how the produce got its name, etc. 

Jicama (Pachyrhizus Erosus), also called Mexican turnip, Chinese turnip, is a native Mexican vine that belongs to the legume family! Each vine can climb as high as 14-20 feet tall with gorgeous flowers of white or blue, and the edible tuberous tap roots are what we eat. However, everything else on the plant above ground is toxic, so take precaution if you decide to grow this in your garden. The leaves, stems, flowers, and seed pods all contain rotenone, a colorless, odorless broad spectrum insecticide/pesticide that naturally occurs in some plants, such as the jicama. It takes roughly 9 months from seed to harvest.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium jicama (about 1 pound) ~ diced
  • 2 small Ataúlfo mangos ~ diced
  • 1 medium shallot ~ finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano ~ finely diced
  • 1 cup organic cilantro leaves ~ chopped
  • juice of 3 medium limes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly ground sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare all your ingredients. Combine all the ingredient in a large mixing bowl and gently mix with a spatula.
  2. Serve chilled with fish tacos, topped on salads, or with chips. Enjoy! 🙂