So I haven’t been writing much as I am on a quest to get healthy and make healthy food choices. How can I make bodacious food and still eat healthy? I’m used to cooking with lots of flavors and yes lots of fat. But if want to get healthy I need to make healthier food.
So this blog may shift for a while to be Bodacious Grub that is Bodaciously Healthy with Big Bold Bodacious Flavors.
Yesterday I went to my local Vietnamese market to buy a few things and came home with a bag of this strange looking fruit, rambutan.
I was looking at a hairy red fruit that looks more like a work of art that was created by an artist rather than being grown. They are native to Malaysia and Indonesia and are a common snack throughout Asia,
They have an odd hairy exterior that hides the smooth, sweet white fruit within. It can be easily peeled open by splitting the skin apart with your nails and spreading it back, much as one would peel an orange.
The spines look sharp but are actually quite soft and bend back easily.
I found the flavor of the rambutan to be similar to the lychee fruit, perhaps a tad more tart. They are eaten as a snack and can also be muddled into cocktails or put into a tropical fruit salad.
The woman at the shop said they were very fresh. So I wanted to take advantage of their freshness. While I could have eaten them all I wanted to also cook with them so I opted to add them to baby bok choy and braise them at least that was my intent. The finished product was more like a soup with bok choy, caramelized red onions, green peppers, hot red pepper, garlic and rambutan. I topped it with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds and fresh rambutan. It was fabulous, bodaciously bold and really healthy.
Braised Bok Choy with Rambutan
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 3 baby bok choy – split in half
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 10 fresh rambutan – reserve 1 for garnish
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 green pepper – diced
- 1 hot red pepper – diced
- 1 tbl sesame seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- cilantro – chopped for garnish
- Heat oil in soup pan
- Add diced onion to pan. Saute until softened
- Add diced green pepper and garlic and continue sauteing.
- Add bok choy to pan cut side down.
- Add chicken stock, rambutan and hot red pepper to the pan and cover. Simmer until bok choy is tender.
- Serve and garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro and fresh rambutan.
I’m on a quest to eat healthy and that often (at least for me) means that I may lose flavor or richness in my meals and dishes. So I’m looking for ways to maximize flavor while minimizing calories. I was watching Dr. Oz and he had a wonderful guest, Dr. Fuhrman on the show. While I don’t have Dr. Fuhrman’s recipe for Almond Balsamic recipe I decided to try to make one of my own based on his creation. Not sure how it compares, but I do know it is super yummy and only 18 calories a tablespoon. Rich and creamy and fabulous on fresh salad greens. I used my Vitamix as I wanted it super creamy. Thanks Dr. Furhman for the inspiration.
- 84 g almonds
- 3/4 cup orange balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 green garlic
- Pulverize almonds in dry container of Vitamix blender.
- Pour the almonds into wet container of Vitamix.
- Add vinegars, water and green garlic, salt to taste.
- Process on high speed until creamy texture achieved.
Yield: 2 3/4 cups 44 tablespoons
790 calories for the recipe
per tablespoon 18
I love shopping at farmers’ markets as one always finds unusual fresh produce. Today proved to be one of those days. I scored lots of great produce. The big find was fresh young ginger complete with tender shoots and leaves. Given I hate wasting I thought it might be kind of cool to cook the shoots and leaves, well at least add them as a seasoning to soup.
It was cloudy outside so a perfect time to have a body warming soup. I love red lentils so it seemed like a perfect thing to eat on a fall evening. This recipe was put together on the fly. Given I had no yellow onions, I used leeks and red onions. I thought some orange bell peppers would be nice and sweet so I put some of those into the soup. I did have some hot Ethiopian Berbere peppers so I added one small green one to the soup. But the star of the soup were the ginger leaves and shoot. They proved to be delicate and sweet. The soup itself was very delicate and yet flavorful. A perfect dish for a cool evening.
The soup was garnished with some Indian Micro Greens from Baia Nicchia Farm and Nursery.
Luscious Lentil Soup with Fresh Ginger Leaves and Shoots
1 cup red lentils
2 cups chopped leeks
3/4 cup diced red onion
1 large clove garlic – finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 cup vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 ginger root leaves
1 tender young ginger root shoot
1/4 tsp ginger root – grated on microplane
1 cup diced orange bell pepper
1 small berbere pepper – finely diced
2 tsp canola oil
garnish: Indian Micro Greens
1. Heat canola oil in heavy bottom pan.
2. Add the leek to pan along with salt and saute for 5 minutes until softened.
3. Add the red onion to pan and continue sauteing until softened – another 8 minutes.
4. Add the bell pepper to pan, saute 5 minutes.
5. Add the berbere pepper to pan along with grated ginger root and saute 5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic to pan and saute 2 minutes.
7. Add the red lentils to pan and briefly saute.
8. Add the vegetable stock, water, ginger leaves, ginger shoot and cardamom.
9. Simmer for about 40 minutes until lentils are cooked.
Serve piping hot garnished with Indian Micro Greens… Delicious.