What's new in the Produce Parade
Monday, January 21, 2013
I have tried all kinds of new produce (and other foods) lately!
1. Guava - this did not go so well. We tried to eat them when they weren't quite ripe, so then we gave them a few days...and they still weren't great. So many little seeds, so hard to eat around, and they weren't really edible seeds. Maybe we ate this one wrong.
2. Sapote - DELICIOUS. Like dessert wrapped in a fruit peel. I have no idea what sapote actually is, still, but I'll tell you how it tasted - yummy!
3. Raw okra - I've gotten frozen okra before to use in gumbo or other creole dishes, but never saw it raw anywhere until recently. So I got some, intending to make myself some gumbo...and ended up eating all of it raw, dipped in salsa or hummus or relish. :)
4. Tamarind - I never knew what this was, but apparently it's a bean pod! Comes in a big long hard pod, and there's a fleshy coating around the hard beans inside that tastes kind of like raisins or dates. It was good! Though a lot of work for not much food.
5. Fresh bamboo - got a hunk of bamboo from an Asian market, and used it in a stir-fry tonight. It was REALLY good. I mean, it wasn't a whole lot different than canned bamboo, really, but it cooked up more tender-crisp than canned bamboo, which I liked.
6. Lotus roots - also from the Asian market, and they were YUMMY! Kind of starchy, they looked really cool, and they added a very satisfying element to the stir-fry.
7. Potato Glass Noodles - these were also from the Asian market. They were...interesting. Apparently they are made of just sweet potato starch and water. There's a very good chance I didn't cook them quite right, though I tried to follow the directions on the bag. So maybe they're not actually supposed to be quite gummy and sticky and weirdly textured...but that's how they turned out for me. It was definitely odd. But they were still good! Just different.
8. Date bread - got this from a Spanish market nearby. Never had date bread before, but I guess it's just blended dates and walnuts. Pretty good!
9. Taro - I always like the taro chips that come in those veggie chip blends you can get at Fresh Market or places like that, so I wanted to try some of the actual fresh veggie itself. I had some raw (didn't expect to be able to eat it raw because I thought it would be like a potato...but it was totally edible!) and I made some microwave chips - both pretty good! Next up, I plan to roast some with a bit of sweet potato and purple potato.
Food is so much fun. Particularly fresh, healthy food!
Speaking of which, I made that low-sodium soy sauce alternative that someone left in a comment on a previous blog of mine (whining about high sodium in soy sauce). It's 3/4 cup garlic vinegar + 3T molasses + 1T onion powder. Super easy. And while it didn't really taste like soy sauce, it DID taste quite good and worked really well in tonight's stir-fry! I think I will generally use it in combination with soy sauce, not to replace it entirely, but I will definitely keep some on hand at all times. I think mixing it with soy sauce in a 1:1 ratio and using the combo in recipes will work just as well as plain soy sauce, and will allow me to decrease the sodium a bit. So thanks for the suggestion! :)