Recipes with (v) are vegetarian.
Archive for the ‘Dips/Dressings’ Category
One of the exciting things about Bountiful Baskets is the occasional opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables. Once in a while, something really unique and unavailable in my Northern neck of the middle-of-nowhere
woods Great Plains shows up in the basket. Today’s basket was one of those baskets! Papaya. PAPAYA! The only papaya I have ever tried before today is in Dole Tropical Canned Fruit—obviously not the same at all as eating the real, uncanned, fresh fruit. I am SO EXCITED! And my kids are too! Baloo the bear from Disney’s Jungle Book even sang a song mentioning the Papaya (in the Bare Necessities—you don’t need a claw to pick the big pawpaw!)
It is rumored that Christopher Columbus, upon trying a Papaya, called it the “Fruit of the Angels”. And, an amazing fruit it truly is! Aside from tasting heavenly and sweet, this fruit is PACKED with some power-house nutrients—provitamin A carotenoids, B vitamins, Vitamin C, lycopene, dietary minerals, and fiber, as well as many phytochemicals, including phynols (antioxidants). Papayas have a lot of natural pectin, which is useful for making jellies and jams. It is also the only plant that produces papain, an enzyme which helps break down proteins, and is often used as a meat tenderizer. Papayas are low calorie, and high fiber. The papaya seeds are edible and are sometimes used as a substitute for pepper, as they have a bitter but somewhat peppery flavor. The leaves have been made into teas in some parts of the world to help combat malaria and other ailments. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Truly, a rather spectacular plant, and a spectacular fruit!
For more information about some of the health benefits of the papaya, here are a few links:
WARNING: If you have a latex allergy and are unable to eat avocados and bananas, you should also avoid eating the papaya, as there could be possible allergic reactions.
Here is how you eat it!
- Wash it
- Cut it in half
- Gently scoop the seeds out. Save the seeds to use in a salad dressing, or discard them.
- Either peel it gently with a knife or a vegetable peeler, or scoop out the soft meat with a spoon or melon baller
- Savor something tropical!
Here are some recipes to try, if you want to venture into cooking with the papaya instead of just chowing down on it!
p.s. If you would like a couple more Papaya recipes, Check out today’s (12-1-12) recipe round-ups!
In the 1930′s, cattle ranchers on the vast ranch lands of South and West Texas inadvertently began one of the most popular traditions in Western cuisine. The ranchers would often allow beef to be butchered for the workers during round-ups and drives. Unwanted parts such as the head, hide, and trimmings (including pieces known now as “skirt steak”) were given to the Mexican cowboys. The vacqueros would use these pieces to create many different meals including menudo, barbacoa de cabeza, and what we now know as fajitas. They would slice and marinate the unwanted skirt steak, grill it over an open fire, and fold it up into a tortilla with beans and whatever vegetables they had. Over time, adventurous American cowboys sampled the meal and soon the tradition of using up the skirt steak for fajitas took off. (Only the most adventurous cowboys sampled the menudo and barbequed head and those two meals were left in the dust of comparative obscurity.)
Last Monday I contributed for the Guacamole add on, and started to dream about rich, creamy guacamole. On Saturday I picked up my Guacamole pack and looked through the bag; avocados, green onion, jalapenos, cilantro, limes and another bag. Inside that bag was a treasure that I was not expecting; dried Chipotle peppers. By the time I got home I had lost interest in the avocados and my sights were firmly set on those wonderful aromatic chipotles. In my conventional basket were 4 big ripe tomatoes, BINGO…Fire Roasted Salsa! It took a couple days before I had time to make the salsa, by then I had remembered the avocados and guacamole.
by Lisa Y
Occasionally we are fortunate to have the option of adding an herb pack to our Bountiful Baskets. One thing I noticed the last time we had this offering was the hesitation of so many who have never used fresh herbs, either because of fear of the unknown, or because they’ve never had fresh herbs available to them.
In this “mini tutorial I’m going to try to “unlock the mystery” of fresh herbs, give suggestions on using them, and give a couple of tips for drying fresh herbs to use later.
People say “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. In my experience the way to my man’s heart was through his mother’s stomach. My Mother-In-Law is one of my favorite people. An Idaho farm girl, she is a whiz at making the homey comfort foods of her childhood. Biscuits, pies, fried chickens, and of course anything with potatoes, fill her kitchen with delicious smells and tastes. So- when I came into her life (and her kitchen) sporting the fresh, Southwest flavors I love, she was pulled way out of her comfort zone.
It’s alluring… It could be savory, or sweet, but seems somewhat risky in comparison to whipping together a regular pico de gallo. It sounds very sophisticated, but you may be still intimidated. We are here to help you untangle the anatomy of a mango salsa!
One of the blessings I’ve gotten from participating with Bountiful Baskets is the ability to change my family’s opinion about food. In the three years that I’ve been participating and volunteering (and running my own site, and facilitating many other sites in my state), my family has stopped eating at McDonald’s, started eating many more homemade meals, and finally – they’ve started requesting that I make staples for them.