Carrot Raisin Salad with Ginger and Pineapple
A tropical healthy twist on a popular salad to accompany many different dishes, lending a slightly pungent yet sweet flavor and brilliant color. I prefer organic or homegrown carrots like many other foods. If you like a sweeter version add honey, from a reliable source like a local beekeeper.
1 pound organic carrots, grated
1 cup finely chopped pineapple
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
optional: 2 tablespoons raw, unfiltered honey
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Yield: 4 cups
Lima or Butter Bean - Phaseolus lunatus - Fabaceae or Pea family
I planted jumbo lima beans, this past November, I bought at a Middle East grocery store. I’m now harvesting them, April into May, once the pod dries on the plant. They grow well here in south Florida. I made a delicious hummus with plenty of fresh lemon juice and zest, using lima beans instead of chickpeas. Wow, almost a dessert taking dip, mild bean flavor with lemony taste. Give it a try for a new twist on a traditional recipe.
Visited ECHO, in Fort Myers, Florida with the Palm Beach Rare Fruit Council yesterday. Moringa, also called Horseradish Tree, Moringa oleifera, in the Moringaceae family, zone 10 to 11, got rave reviews there and people bought seeds, plants, and powder. The leaves are nutritious with medicinal properties. You can make a live fence with it. It grows easily here in South Florida. We grow it in our garden and I harvest the leaves to eat either raw or cooked. I also dried leaves and made a powder of it using a coffee grinder. I keep it pruned to keep the height manageable to harvest the leaves, otherwise it will grow rather tall and difficult to harvest. Pods grow on the tree which are edible and seeds inside can be used to grow new plants.
Harvesting Tapioca From Our Garden
Tapioca, also known as cassava or Yuca, Manihot esculenta, in the Euphorbaiceae or Spurge family, grows in zone 9a to 11, like here in South Florida. A friend from India helped show me how to harvest it and told me how to cook it, first peeling skin off and then cook like a potato in simmering water until soft. It took about an hour to cook, since the plant was older and more woody, better to have harvested in November, earlier. The less woody, less time to cook. The taste is rather bland, in India they eat it with a spicy chutney. The type of chutney varies either with yogurt, tamarind paste or water and olive oil plus, salt, green pepper, and shallots or red onion; or unsweetened coconut, salt, red chili pepper powder, and red onion or shallots. It’s toxic if eaten raw. New plants can be grown from stem cutting.
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Rice and Lentils
A flavorful version of meatless grape leaves, rice complements the lentils, seasoned with herbs and spices. This goes well with hummus and cucumber yogurt salad
3/4 cup brown rice
3/4 cup lentils
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
1 cup finely minced herbs such as mint, basil, culantro
1 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 pound canned or bottled grape leaves, rinsed
Mix all the ingredients, including 1/4 of the oil, together in a bowl, except grape leaves. Place about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of stuffing on each grape leaf and roll, tucking in the ends while rolling. Line the bottom of a pot with grape leaves, then arrange rolled grape leaves in layers. Pour remaining oil over the rolls. Place an inverted plate over the top of the grape leaves. Pour enough water to cover the plate. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, about 45 minutes, until rice and lentils cooked.
Fruit Melody with Wood Ear
A hydrating and yin nourishing dessert or snack. You can find wood ear, known as Tremella, at Asian markets. It blends well with desserts and soups. Vary the type and amount of fruit, as you like.
1 1/4 ounces dried, white wood ear, Tremella
2 cups water
2 apples, cored and chopped
3 plums, without pit, chopped
1 cup diced watermelon
1/2 cup each red, black, green grapes
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
6 ounces fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons honey
Rinse wood ear, then soak for 30 minutes. Chop wood ear, removing fibrous base if present. Place water and wood ear in large pot, bring to boil, simmer 20 minutes. Add fruit bring to boil, simmer until fruit soft, about 20 minutes. Let cool. Mix in honey.
Apple & Plum Cobbler
Easier to make than apple pie, yet just as good. It’s cooling to your system and nourishes your yin. You can use just apples or plums.
3 pounds apples, with skin, chopped
1 1/2 pounds plums, with skin, chopped
4 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil or butter, melted
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup flax seeds, ground (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup raw honey
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
Place apples and plums into a 12x9 baking pan. Pour melted butter over fruit and mix well. Evenly spread fruit. Mix rest of ingredients with hands, until a crumb like texture. Spread evenly over fruit. Bake at 350F, for about 45 minutes, until top browned and fruit soft.
Sweet Potato Lentil Soup
Variations for this flavorful soup include using brown lentils instead of the toor dal and masoor dal, lentils. Those who crave spicy dishes, add grated fresh ginger root and ground coriander seeds, to taste. Substitute powdered tumeric, 1 teaspoon, for the fresh tumeric root and cumin for black cumin. You’ll find many types of dal or lentils and sometimes fresh tumeric root at ethnic grocery stores. If you live in a warm climate, like Florida, you can grow ginger and tumeric, a cousin of ginger, in your garden.
1/4 cup unrefined coconut or olive oil
4 sweet potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked dried toor dal, lentils
1 cup uncooked dried masoor dal, lentils
1 tablespoon black cumin seeds
1 tablespoon grated fresh tumeric root
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
6 cups water
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add all the ingredients except water, stir and let cook for a few minutes. Stir in water. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot. Simmer for 35 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve hot. Refrigerate or freeze.
Use this easy to make salsa as an appetizer with chips or as a condiment with your meal. Wonderful flavors when blended with a mixture of herbs. Adjust the chiles based on your preference for hotness.
1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, about 5 to 6, husked, stems
removed, rinsed, halved
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, stems removed, halved
1/2 cup packed cilantro, culantro, or mixed herbs
such as culantro, scallions, kaffir lime leaves, lemon
balm, gota kola leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small lime, juice and zest
Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor or
container of electric blender. Cover and process or
blend about 20 seconds. Stop processor or blender
occasionally to scrape sides. Cover and refrigerate
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
Whole Wheat Dessert - Slee’a
A festive nutritious dessert with pomegranate seeds, my mother loves and I’ve grown to love after eating it a few times. Raisins provide ample sweetness, hence no need to add sugar.
1 cup whole wheat kernels or berries
15 ounces golden raisins
1/2 pound shelled walnuts
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pomegranate, seeds
Boil 2 cups of water in a pot, add whole wheat. Cook until, wheat is full and tender, add more water if needed. Toast walnuts and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring and shaking frequently. Remove from skillet. Mix wheat and all other ingredients in a bowl. Serve warm or room temperature. Store in refrigerator in covered container.
Yield: about 5 cups