Cara Cara Orange and Blueberry Salad with Crystallized Ginger

I am in luck, with Cara Cara oranges being available freely at Costco (8 pound bag for under $6, is that a bargain or what?). They are going in everything these days, side salads, fruit salads, smoothies, muesli, cakes, muffins, and next week, I’m scooping the flesh out of halves of Cara Cara and setting jelly in them (aka Jell-O) for my younger son’s birthday.

We have fruit salads for dessert on week nights and it’s often challenging coming up with something new and interesting. For this one, which serves two, combine slices of banana, two large handfuls of blueberries, one Cara Cara orange and small chunks of crystallized ginger. Here’s another salad I made a few weeks ago with these lovely oranges, which are less acidic than regular oranges, and have a reddish flesh.

Have you been buyings lots of oranges this winter? Where are they ending up? Do tell!


January 27, 2010. Tags: . Desserts, Fruit, Nutrition, Salads, Superfood. 4 comments.

Beet and Rocket Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

A week into the New Year and I’m keeping to the salad theme, woo hoo! This doesn’t mean I’m only eating salads or shunning the odd square (or nine) of chocolate as I try to shed a few holiday-feasting pounds. The key components of my fitness and food regimen for 2010 are regular exercise and moderate avoidance of naughty things (hence the lack of baked goods so far). Oh, and not forgetting eating for my size, rather than for a 6-foot tall woman pregnant with triplets.

Having forced gently persuaded one of my sons to resolve to widen his repertoire of fruit and vegetables, while narrowing the one for candy and cookies, I decided it’s only fair I should conquer some food fears myself. There are very few things I don’t eat, apart from pork and shellfish (for nominal kosher reasons. It helps that I was deathly allergic to shellfish as a child).

Top of that No list is beetroot.

A bit of a surprise considering the strong beet presence in both my husband’s Jewish background (borscht) and my Indian one (it’s turned into a curry with coconut, mmm. Gotta try that, maybe it would be pink?). (more…)

January 8, 2010. Tags: . Salads, Superfood, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian. 3 comments.

Yummy Yoghurt

As a child growing up with my Indian grandparents, I was fortunate to have been introduced to live, homemade yoghurt and had lots of it, sometimes as a drink – lassi – thinned with milk, sweetened with a touch of sugar, and sometimes as an accompaniment to food, the thick white creamy yoghurt flecked with bits of red chilli, onion and ginger. Which, incidentally, I didn’t find spicy at all 🙂

When I was pregnant with my first son, I was delighted to come across a medical study which encouraged mothers-to-be to consume the stuff, based on indications that babies born to yoghurt-eating mums had healthier intestinal and digestive tracts and a stronger immune system. The argument was that the good bacteria in yoghurt and its acidity created an unconducive environment for bad bacteria.

Add to that the fact that yoghurt can minimise bad breath, mitigate the side effects of antibiotics, treat diarrhoea in babies and prevent yeast infections.

They had me at Yo….

My boys have had plain, live yoghurt almost every day with lunch and dinner since they were about seven months old and love it. I sometimes dress up their yoghurts as dessert, topped with chocolate rice or marshmallows or drizzled with maple syrup.

June 18, 2008. Tags: . Kids Cuisine, Nutrition, Superfood. Leave a comment.

Quinoa and Lime Salad

The first time I encountered the word ‘quinoa’ was in a book about weaning babies. The quinoa seeds, which were the staple of South America’s *Incas for millenia, are now treated like a grain or cereal and are sought for their high nutritional content – clearly why it was included in that babyfood book.

Many a time have I walked into a healthfood store with the specific aim of enquiring about quinoa, the processed version of which looks like irregular white sesame seeds or grains of broken rice, but have chickened out for not knowing how to pronounce the thing!

That was some years ago, but now I can say proudly it is the keen-WAH seed which is chockful of proteins (about 17-20 percent) and 4 percent fibre, not forgetting 50 percent iron and magnesium, 40 percent potassium and 6 percent calcium.

During Passover, quinoa is an excellent substitute for the five grains that one avoids during the week – wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt – and rice or couscous recipes are easily transposed to quinoa, which is what I’ve done with this salad. Cooked, the seeds look like the prettiest bits of tiny pasta with a light, curly edge 😀

*the Incas, who once had the largest empire in pre-Columbian America, likely had quinoa to thank for their mightiness. Eventually, their numbers shrank not due to malnutrition, but invading Spanish conquistadors and smallpox.

Quinoa and Lime Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, boil in 3 cups of water for 15-20 minutes and drain
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (spring onion is good)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (lemon will do too)
  • coriander or cilantro leaves, handful of, chopped
  • handful of baby tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • salt and pepper as required

  1. Saute chilli, garlic and onions in some canola oil till translucent and fragrant
  2. Add red pepper, cook for 2-3 minutes
  3. Take off the heat and dump onto quinoa
  4. Add the tomatoes, red pepper, mango, lime juice
  5. Grind pepper on top, add 1/2 tsp salt
  6. Fork the mixture through gently till flavours are incorporated
  7. Chill till ready to use

April 23, 2008. Tags: , . Asian, Dinners, Jewish, Nutrition, Passover, Salads, Sides, Superfood, Vegetarian. 1 comment.

Blueberries – The Super Fruit

These dark, sweet, velvety berries are the most delicious little things, what luck that they are categorized as a ‘superfood’ — doctors and nutritionists recommend that you chomp on half a cup of these each day.

The indigo superheroes, which hail from a shrub that produces bell-shaped flowers, pack a profound nutritious punch, frozen or fresh. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium (needed for the nervous system and muscle function), antioxidants (which may protect cells from free-radical damage) and phytoflavinoids (cancer fighters). They are also said to damp inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Blueberry season peaks in July and the berries, which are native to North America, are also grown in Australia, New Zealand and South America. They’re a little pricey, but why not steal a little from the cookie and cake fund to get a wallop of the good stuff?
One cup, eaten by the handfuls, scattered on salads or in muffins, simmered into jams or jellies or whizzed into smoothies, will give you a third of your vitamin C requirements for the day and 15 percent of your fiber needs.

Try this:

Blueberry Smoothie
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup yoghurt, low fat is fine
1/2 tsp sugar or sweetener
1/2 a sliced banana
1 cup pineapple chunks
Water or orange juice for thinning

Adjust the liquid levels to achieve maximum yumminess.
Whiz in blender till silky. Voila, a royal smoothie!

April 1, 2008. Tags: , . Fruit, Nutrition, Superfood. 4 comments.