Happy hump day to all of you! Are you having a good week so far? Mine seems to be flying by much faster than usual, and I’m certainly not complaining! There is however, a ton on my list of things to do today, so let’s hop straight into my Try Something New Tuesday items, shall we? First up….
1. Recipe of the Week: I’ve been having lots of fun blending up fancy drinks in my Vitamix lately, and one of my favourites this week is a little bevvy featuring oranges, cantaloupe, and mint.
Like the Coco-Kiwi Melon Cooler I posted last week, this little cocktail is super refreshing, light, and full of nutritional goodness. I’m calling it the Citrus Cantaloupe Crush (because I like alliteration) and if a cool, crisp drink is what you’re looking for, look no further!
Oh… and if you just happen to be having one of “those” kinds of weeks, a little orange flavoured Bacardi rum added to the mix might not be so bad either.
2. Green cauliflower. If you thought cauliflower was just the boring, beige veggie with an underwhelming taste that can only be tolerated if doused in a gallon of cheese sauce, I’ve got news for ya! It’s not always beige! It happens to come in green, purple, and orange too!
I remember spotting a purple cauliflower in Zehrs last summer but have yet to actually try one. However, I recently found a green cauliflower and thought it’d make a good Try Something New Tuesday item.
I’m not one to eat cauliflower raw like I do with carrots and peppers, but there is one recipe that I could eat day-in and day-out without getting bored, and it happens to contain cauliflower as a prime ingredient. Remember back here when I made a re-creation of the Whole Foods Detox Salad? (The printable recipe is now posted here.) Well, I haven’t made it myself in quite a while – probably because every time I go to make a salad, I always try to make a new blog-worthy one. Upon purchasing my green cauliflower, I knew exactly how it was going to be used.
On its own and in raw form, it really didn’t have a different texture or taste in comparison to a regular white cauliflower. If anything, it reminded me a little bit of broccoli. As you may have guessed, various cauliflowers reap lovely nutritional benefits depending on their colour. The purple ones contain cancer-fighting phytonutrients, jut like other purple/green produce like blueberries and beets. Yellowy/orange ones contain more vitamin A in the form of beta carotene (key for good eye health) and green ones, which are sometimes called broccoflower, happens to be slightly higher in protein than white cauliflower.
I whipped up a double batch of my version of the Detox Salad, substituting green cauliflower for the usual white, and keeping everything else the same.
Again, no big taste difference detected, but this trial made me re-affirm (for the squillionth time) how much I love this salad! A single batch makes quite a lot, but a double batch made mountains! No complaints over here though. Anyone fancy coming for lunch?
3. Ancient Sweets Long Peppers and Santalina Tomatoes. Anyone else out there a sucker for a sale? BOGO sales in particular? I quite like BOGOs, especially when the one that you get (as opposed to the one that you buy) is actually free, not 50% off. Oh, and also when both the one that you buy and the one that you get are actually useful items. This was the case at Sobeys over the weekend. If you bought a pint of gourmet tomatoes, you could have a packet of Ancient Sweets Long Peppers for free.
The Ancient Sweets Long Peppers come from Sunset Produce, a company that produces all sorts of peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. They’ve also got an organic range, but I’ve yet to see these items appear in Sobeys. The business is family-owned, and Mastronardi family have over 1400 acres of greenhouse production space which makes them the largest greenhouse company in North America.
According to their website,
SUNSET® Ancient Sweets™; the Mysteriously Sweet Long Pepper!
This beautiful European variety pepper is nurtured on the vine to ensure it maintains a super sweet taste like no other. Their exotic, unique appearance, with very few seeds and hollow interior make them a great snack too!
Ancient Sweets ™ can be grilled, stuffed, put in to salads, or added to sweeten any recipe! The Sweetest alternative to traditional bell peppers! (Source)
I’ll get to what I did with my peppers in a second because I need to tell you about the tomatoes too.
As you can see on the packet, Santalinas are known for their sweetness. On a scale of 1 to 10 (being the sweetest variety), Sobeys ranks them an 8 and recommends using them in pastas and omelettes. Of course, they can be eaten raw as well, just like other varieties of grape tomatoes.
Ok, so we’ve got tomatoes and peppers. I’m not going to lie and tell you that both were out-of-this-world, mind-blowingly different to red bell peppers and standard grape tomatoes, because to be honest they tasted very much the same. The real magic happened when I put them together.
Salsa! More like snobby salsa, since it’s made with fancy tomatoes and gourmet peppers, but seriously folks, this really is one of the best salsas I’ve ever tasted. The trick seems to be in the dicing and blending technique. I blended half of the diced ingredients into a smooth paste, then lightly pulsed the remaining ones in so that some of the chunkiness would still remain. Ah-mazing.
Do you want to know something even more amazing? A while ago I went on a rant about how much sodium there is in the salsas at the grocery store – even the organic ones. But this one has NO added salt. NONE! And it’s still superb. That’s why I’ve called it Better-Than-A-Restaurant Salsa, and posted the recipe so you can make some too.
Don’t worry if you can’t find the snobby produce – I’ve noted substitutions which I’m pretty sure would work just as well. If you adore this condiment as much as I do, you might want to make a double batch.
After making this on Monday night and incorporating it in most meals and snacks yesterday, all that remains of the 3-cup yield is about 1 tablespoon. It’s sitting in my fridge, in the corner of that glass bowl you see there, but not because I don’t want to eat it. It’s because I’m one of those annoying people that will leave a tiny dribble of x, y, or z food item in a container simply because I can’t be bothered to put the empty bowl in the dishwasher or throw out the carton. Any future boyfriends or husband best be willing to deal with this little quirk of mine, especially if they expect me to share salsa with them.
So tell me…
- Have you tried purple, green, or orange cauliflower in the past? Any good recipes to share?
- How long does the average jar of salsa last in your fridge?