I think I have always loved bitter foods. I eat grapefruit and dark chocolate at least weekly (more so the dark chocolate than grapefruit), and I like the bite of bitterness.
Bitter melon is just that, very bitter. It is definitely an acquired taste, and is not something that everyone will enjoy. But if you are interested in trying new things, I would give bitter melon a chance! I bought four smallish melons at the farmer’s market for one dollar, so it’s not much of an investment if you don’t end up liking it. According to the vendor at the farmer’s market, the white variety is much less bitter than the green. I also read that parboiling the vegetable before using in a recipe can cut down on the bitterness.
I used the Chinese variety in this recipe, because that is what I ate growing up. My grandma would most often saute the melon slices in eggs and soy sauce, like in this recipe. We would either eat it over rice, or just plain. I took some pictures of the final dish, but they really don’t look too appetizing. So instead of posting them, I am sharing photos of the cutting and pith removal process which will hopefully be helpful for people who are new to the vegetable.
Chinese Bitter Melon with Eggs
serves 4 (side dish)
2 medium bitter melon
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp and 1 tsp of soy sauce
Cut the melon in half lengthwise. Remove the pith and seeds. Slice the melon into crescents about 1/8 in thick.
Saute the melon on medium heat with the oil for 5 minutes.
Scramble the eggs with soy sauce. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Stir and flip the mixture until the eggs are cooked (3-5 minutes). Serve over rice or on it’s own!
First of all, did you enter the slow cooker giveaway?
If not, then you better submit your comment before reading this post!
Today’s recipe is from Eating Bird Food, one of my go-to recipe blogs. Brittany always posts such interesting healthy recipes. I am an oatmeal/breakfast bowl lover, and am always on the hunt for new grain-based breakfasts. While the idea of rice in the morning did not appeal to me at first, the result was a creamy porridge with more of a chewy texture than oatmeal. I highly recommend it!
I love that this recipe still has the flexibility of oatmeal, in that you can add pretty much any flavor or fruit to keep breakfast interesting. For this batch I added a dollop of almond butter and some sliced strawberries. I bet it would also be delicious with fresh blueberries and sliced almonds, or pumpkin and cinnamon in the fall.
The recipe can be found here.
Also, Minnie was correct in her guess about the mystery vegetable from yesterday! I will post that recipe tomorrow.
After going to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, I ended up with quite a few peaches. Unfortunately, they started to get a little mushy throughout the next couple days so I decided to use them up in a peach salsa. Other than eat this with chips, I have not decided what I will use it on…although I do have some frozen tilapia that might be great with this fresh, fruity salsa.
makes about 3 cups
3 peaches, peeled and diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cumin
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
Also can we talk about how weird this week has been?
It’s like yesterday was Monday, but now it’s Friday-but Tuesday was also Friday…
I don’t know what to think, but I’m happy second Friday is here!
I am really enjoying my work, however it is exhausting to be in the office all day. This week I have started working out in the mornings, which is great because I get my run/body rock in when I am the most fresh and energized. It also helps me not be as antsy during the day; sitting at a desk can drive me crazy if I have lots of energy. But my morning workouts help to curb my need to move a lot.
In honor of National Bean Day (also called Eat Beans Day), I am guest posting over at Food Stories Blog!
Remember when C.J. posted that awesome low-carb three course meal?
Check out the recipe I made for today!
As you can probably tell, I am on a serious tomato kick this summer. There is just something about fresh, juicy tomatoes that I love, especially in salads. In North Carolina, the tomatoes you can buy in the winter are shipped from way far away and tend not to have the flavor and texture of the homegrown version. Since we are currently enjoying a great tomato season, I just can’t help but eat my fill, and hope that it keeps me satisfied until next summer.
The recipe I am going to share today is my version of the Middle Eastern dish tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a bulghar wheat salad that traditionally is packed with parsley, mint, and tomatoes. However, since I am not the biggest fan of parsley, my version is full of tomatoes and cucumbers with some lime juice and jalapenos. If you are looking for a traditional tabbouleh recipe, you will be misled by this dish. But if you want a hearty, fresh, and tart salad, and it definitely screams summer!
1 cup bulghar wheat
2 tomatoes, unpeeled and diced (seeding is optional)
2 cucumbers, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried crushed mint
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the bulghar wheat and let sit for thirty minutes. Drain the excess water and let it cool. After the wheat has cooled, combine all the ingredients. Let it sit for about thirty minutes for the flavors to combine.
In honor of the upcoming holiday, I rounded up some of my favorite summer potluck recipes that have been featured on the blog. If you have other favorite summertime recipes, feel free to add a link in the comments.
Fresh Spinach and Barley Salad
Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
Lemon Edemame Pasta
Summer Berry Terrine
Greek Yogurt Blueberry Muffins
Kath’s Iced Coffee
Carrot Ginger Smoothie
I am also a Featured Blogger on Fitblogger today! You can read the feature piece here
I have another great summer salad today!
I made kale chips earlier in the week, but I had over half the bag of kale left. I decided to give raw kale salads a second chance, and pulled together this apple raisin salad. A couple months ago I stopped forcing myself to eat raw kale because I just hated it. But every so often I think about giving it another chance, and I just happened to be in the mood for a heartier salad.
I actually don’t mind eating this kale salad, and tastes much better the second day-not a usual occurrence for salads! But the tough kale absorbs some of the oil and vinegar, and become a lot more palatable (this is coming from someone who does not prefer raw kale, can you tell? ;)).
Apple Raisin Kale Salad
Makes 4 side dish servings
2 cups raw kale, chopped
1/2 apple (use a sweeter variety like Fuji, Gala, or Honey Crisp), thinly sliced
3 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Look over the kale and remove any thick stems. Wisk together oil, vinegar and salt. Pour dressing over salad, and massage it into the kale. Add apple slices and raisins; toss to combine. For best flavor and texture let sit overnight.
Are you a kale enthusiast? What’s the best way to prepare it?
So apparently today is National Strawberry Parfait Day!
I decided to participate by making this beauty
Strawberries, Greek yogurt, oats, honey, repeat. I topped it with chia seeds for some Omega 3s.
Also today is my first day of work, so I am heading out early to make sure I don’t get lost (even though I practiced my route a couple times over the weekend-I just can’t trust my shaky sense of direction).
Ready to go!
Wish me luck
Moving and settling into my new apartment in the Charlotte area is going well. Most of my ikea furniture has been assembled, and all of my clothes are out of the boxes. I’ll be back with a settling in post on Sunday, because today I want to share a recipe for one of the summer staples at my home growing up. My mom would make this simple Greek salad almost weekly in the summer when we had access to delicious home grown tomatoes. Although we do have a chicken coop, unfortunately we don’t have anything but a herb garden in the yard. So we have to rely on neighbors and the farmers market for fresh, local produce. Since this recipe comes from my mom, I have to share her advice that this salad is exclusively for tomatoes in season. Don’t even think of making this recipe with store-bought vegetables shipped from miles away! It just won’t be the same.
The juice of the tomatoes combines perfectly with the drizzle of olive oil and feta crumbles for a flavorful, light dressing. The cucumbers add a nice crunch to the cool summer salad. Double the recipe and bring it for cookouts and barbecues.
Simple Greek Salad
serves 4 (side dish portions)
2 large tomatoes
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1/8 onion (about 1/4 of a cup), thinly sliced
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Cut the tomatoes into bite size chunks. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a large bowl. Mix in the olive oil and feta. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving.
I have one last summer dessert recipe to share with you all before I return from my cruise
Remember those Peanut Granola Bites I blogged about a couple weeks ago? I decided to try another version of these crispy bites with almond butter instead peanut for a lighter taste. I also added some more mix-ins, and rolled them into balls for a great crispy cookie.
White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Peanut Butter Granola Bites
makes 10 cookies
1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp toasted walnuts
2 Tbsp dried cherries chopped
2 Tbsp white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325. Mix the maple syrup and almond butter together (you may need to microwave it for 30 seconds in order to stir). Add the vanilla and applesauce. Combine the oats and flax seeds, add in the liquids. Mix in the walnuts, cherries, and chocolate chips. Roll the dough with your hands to form 1 inch balls. Place dough balls onto a oiled pan. Bake for 12 minutes.