Hey hey!

Good morning friends! Happy Wednesday to you! How are you doing today? I’m fresh off the bike from my early morning spin class and feeling ready to get this day started. Luckily, the physio that I saw for my foot on Monday said that cycling is just fine as it keeps the joints moving, which was a huuuuuuuge relief. I’ll give you a better injury update tomorrow because right now I’ve got some new things to share!

1. Recipe of the Week: I made up this recipe back on the Mother’s Day weekend when I was cooking dinner for my mum at her house, and although it was really, really good, I wanted to play with the marinade a little bit before posting it. Over the weekend I made it again, and this time,  I think I’ve got things just right. If your idea of a delicious lunch on a hot day involves cool, crispy salad greens, topped with juicy, citrus-infused chicken, I think you’re going to love my Orange and Ginger Chicken Salad!

The chicken here could easily be done on the barbeque, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry – baking works just fine. Oh, and don’t forget the dried cranberries!

That’s better. A great way to get your 5 a day if you ask me. 🙂

2. A sugar apple. Also known as a custard pineapple, you may have seen these specimens laying around in small quantities at your local grocery store recently. They look like this:

Not the prettiest of fruits, especially in comparison to other summery produce like bright berries and juicy watermelon, but because I have a strange attraction to unconventional fruits and veggies, I decided to give one a chance. Wikipedia figures that these probably come from the Caribbean, but they also grow in Colombia, El Salvador, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines.

My sugar apple was found at the Asian supermarket. The cashier, who was incredibly helpful, told me that the fruit wasn’t ripe yet but to leave it on the counter. Within about 2 days, the flesh would soften on the inside and it could be easily sliced open. So I followed her instructions…

Sure enough, two days later, the fruit began to smell a little stronger. The cashier told me that there would be large seeds inside that should be removed.

These were very dark and came out really easily. Left behind was the creamy, opaque flesh, which was soft enough to be soft enough to scoop out with a spoon. I think mine was just right, because this is exactly what I did!

Unlike any conventional apple, the taste of this one was far from tart or crunchy. It was actually more like custard (hence the name custard pineapple I suppose) and very sweet. I’m not sure I’d ever eat one on its own again, but mashed in with something more neutral – maybe Greek yogurt? – it could add a nice hit of natural sweetness.

3. Purple Asparagus. This was a Whole Foods find on Saturday and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I eat a boatload of veggies on a daily basis, but in terms of colour, I’m a little lacking in purple produce. Enter these svelte looking spears…

Purple asparagus has slightly higher sugar content and less fiber than regular green asparagus. According to the Australian Asparagus Council (yes, there does indeed exist such an organization),

Purple asparagus is a different variety to green and white asparagus. Its purple colour comes from the high levels of anthocyanins (potent antioxidants) in the spears. It has a lower fibre content than white or green asparagus, making it more tender and the whole spear can be eaten from tip to butt. Purple asparagus produces sweeter, thicker spears than green or white asparagus. Fresh purple asparagus is deeply fruit flavoured and tender crisp.

Nifty hey? Who needs expensive face products when you’ve got lovely purple, antioxidant-rich asparagus instead?! Don’t worry though, I didn’t go and squish asparagus into my pores. I had a far tastier creation up my sleeve.

I chopped a tiny bit off the ends because they looked shrively, but since the whole spears can be eaten (unlike green asparagus, which gets tougher near the base), I sliced most of them up into 1-inch bits. While they steamed for a couple of minutes, I prepared the rest of my ingredients. In the mix was…

  • baby spinach
  • red onion
  • chickpeas
  • strawberries

Delicious lunchtime salad goodness! I dressed it up with white strawberry balsamic vinaigrette and devoured it in about 5 minutes flat. Just as I’d read, the spears were a little sweeter than the green ones, but not much. They were indeed a lot tastier than green asparagus near the bottom of the spear. I appreciated this, since I always feel bad throwing away the ends. I’ve still got quite a bit left, so perhaps another Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Frittata will be on the menu this week!

Alright, that’s enough for today! Before you go….

  • Did you try anything new yesterday?
  • Have you had a sugar apple or purple asparagus before? What did you think?
  • If you’ve seen any strange produce items popping up in markets and grocery stores near you, let me know! I’ll try anything once if I can find it!

See ya tomorrow!