Alanna (A Veggie Venture) posted a list of “Ten Best Foods You’re Not Eating“. She wrote the following:
[T]ell me, where do you stand?
> A+ to anyone who’s tried all 10.
> Kudos to anyone who’s heard of all 10.
> Cheers to anyone who commits to find all 10!
Here is the list and my initial reactions to it (I’m afraid we don’t quite make the grade).
- Guava (ish)
- Swiss chard
- Cinnamon (maybe)
- Purslane well, I’ve heard of it….
- Pomegranate juice well, I’ve heard of it….
- Goji berries huh??
- Dried plums (as in: prunes)
- Pumpkin seeds
Hmmm… only 7/10 (or possibly it’s 6/10) I’m guessing we might get as much as a B+ on our report card. You be the judge.
Beets I adore beets. My favourite is beet tops sauteed with caramelized garlic and dill seed. And I love the beets themselves too. Borscht!! I LOVE borscht.
And inexplicably, we really don’t eat beets often enough. I have no good recipe for borscht and haven’t really tried to make one. Why not?
And pickled beets… my father-in-law makes excellent pickled beets. This summer, we tried to coerce him into giving us all his jars to take home with us, but he refused. Clearly, we must pickle some beets ourselves! There is really nothing so delicious as a pickled beet cheddar cheese sandwich….
Remind me to get some beets! Does anyone have a great borscht recipe?
- beet salad
- penne with beets, pecans & apricots
- beet chips and spiced dip
- cheese tortellini with beet stems, onions and cream (15 minutes from fridge to dinner table)
Read more about beets:
Cabbage This is another vegetable we love. And we don’t get it often enough at all! Red cabbage is my favourite. But other ones are fine. I adore coleslaw – creamy or not – and I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never made it.
Chinese cabbage (aka Napa cabbage) is an absolute essential in Fondue Chinoise.
And Kimchi!! I love Kimchi!! There is a wonderful Korean restaurant not far from us that serves the best Pork Bone Soup. And of course, a dish of kimchi comes automatically. The first time I tried kimchi, I thought it was just a little too funky. I tried another bite and still thought it was a little funky. But I couldn’t stop tasting it. And suddenly, even though I still think it’s a bit funky, I absolutely adore it.
Remind me to get some cabbage! I believe I need it for the borscht.
Read more about cabbage:
Guava(ish) I love guava but have not seen guavas for sale here, except in canned juice, which is invariably needlessly laced with sugar. I’ve only ever had fresh guava in India.
One day when we were travelling in India, we passed by a table covered in guavas with a couple of sample fruits cut in half. There was a pink fleshed guava! I had hoped to try pink fleshed guavas and we asked if he could tell which were pink inside. He happily nodded. And we said we’d like a half dozen pink fleshed guavas. The simple fellow picked up a fruit and cut it in half to reveal its white flesh. He said, “Not pink”, and picked up another fruit. Eeek!!! Luckily, we were able to stop him and bought half a dozen uncut guavas. And they were delicious. And they were all white fleshed. (I still wonder how many guavas the man would have ruined just to find us a half dozen pink fleshed ones….)
Read more about guava:
Swiss chard One of our favourite Indian-style vegetables is stir-fried greens. We use spinach, kale, dandelion greens or Swiss chard. Delicious! (I cannot believe how much I disliked Swiss chard when I was a child.) Sadly, swiss chard tends to lose its beautiful red colour when it is stir-fried this way. It turns almost black. But it still tastes fantastic. (I wonder if adding a tiny bit of vinegar would preserve the red colour.)
Read more about Swiss Chard:
Cinnamon(maybe) What don’t we use cinnamon in? Forgive me if I do not make a list. Although… I’m pretty sure that we are using cassia. Does cassia have the same health-giving properties as cinnamon?
Read more about Cinnamon and Cassia:
- Cook’s Thesaurus – cinnamon
Cook’s Thesaurus – cassia
- Wikipedia – cinnamon
Wikipedia – cassia
- Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages – cinnamon
Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages – cassia
Purslane Purslane? Ummm… well, I’ve heard of it… But I don’t think I’d recognize it if I saw it or tasted it.
I googled “purslane” and see that “summer purslane” is the same as “portulaca”. Portulaca is edible?!! I’ve grown it many times as an ornamental but had no idea it was edible!
And looking at the photo in the Cook’s Thesaurus, I’m guessing that we may have bought purslane thinking it was watercress. I bet that we’ve had it in restaurant salads.
Read more about purslane:
- Cook’s Thesaurus – purslane
- Wikipedia – Portulaca oleracea (summer purslane)
Wikipedia – Claytonia perfoliata (winter purslane)
Pomegranate juice Pomegranate juice? I love pomegranates. I’m not wild about pomegranate syrup though. But again, we can’t really get great pomegranates here unless we’re willing to pay a fortune. (I don’t think I’ve even seen pomegranate juice!)
Well, I’ll be! It turns out that grenadines are made with sweetened pomegranate syrup. And the pomegranate molasses that we have in the fridge is concentrated pomegranate juice (zero sugar)! I must say that I’m not wild about the flavour of it. Perhaps it’s the brand of pomegranate molasses that we bought?
Change that to Pomegranate juice!
It’s an essential ingredient in muhammara (Middle Eastern condiment made with walnuts, red pepper, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses) that is a favourite condiment of several bloggers. I made some last week but haven’t yet posted about it. (I put in too much pomegranate juice so ours only tastes okay if it’s heavily disguised in rice or couscous.)
Remind me to post about mhammara!
Read more about pomegranate juice:
- Cook’s Thesaurus – Fruit Syrups (scroll down to “pomegranate molasses”
- Wikipedia – Pomegranate juice
Goji berries Say what?
I googled “goji berries” and see they are also called “wolf berries Lycium barbarum” from the matrimonial vine (aka barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll’s tea tree) of the nightshade family. I’m guessing that I’ve seen the berries dried in Chinatown. I’m guessing we may even have tasted them.
We thought they were giuggioles Ziziphus zizyphus (aka jujubes, Chinese dates) but no. Wrong again.
Read more about goji berries and giuggioles:
- Cook’s Thesaurus – Chinese Dates
- Plants for a Future – Lycium barbarum
- Wikipedia – Wolfberry
Wikipedia – jujube
Dried plums I had no idea that it is now de rigeur to call prunes “dried plums”! I adore prunes (ooops!!! I mean “dried plums”) and we had them a couple of nights ago in chicken with dried fruits served over couscous.
- prune blue cheese tart
- Vínarterta – layer cake made with prune filling
- Chicken CousCous with dried fruits
- Roast Chicken stuffed with prunes, apricots and raisins
Read more about prunes:
Pumpkin seeds I always think that whole pumpkin seeds are too much work to eat (but T loves them). I gather from reading that the shell is edible but I’m not that wild about the shell – I think I’m eating enough fiber and ruffage…. But pepitas, on the other hand, are great! Pepitas have the shell taken off. We buy them in Kensington Market. They are an essential ingredient in enchiladas and Faux Stowe crackers. We also like to scatter a few pepitas, along with dried cranberries and raisins, on top of our morning ancient grains cereal served with plain yoghurt.
- pumpkin cake roll
- Faux Stowe crackers
- Chicken Enchiladas With Red Mole
- Cornmeal Chilli Cheese Muffins
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Read more about pumpkin seeds: