Here is a salad that can be served warm or cold. Beginning with Israeli couscous, it’s savory and sweet at the same time, matching green onions and fresh basil with cinnamon, allspice and sweet figs. Add some crunchy pistachios and you have a tasty salad. California Fig and Pistachio Couscous is the perfect side dish for a late summer supper or potluck. Continue reading
For the past several weeks I have been on a mission to find yellow mangoes. Ever since the National Mango Board sent us a box of fresh mangoes and other assorted goodies after Camp Blogaway, I’ve been trying to recreate the magical experience of my first taste of the creamy sweetness. The official name is Ataulfo mango, but sometimes they’re called champagne or honey mangoes. The ones we find in our stores right now are grown in Mexico, and are available from March to July. Not only are these champagne mangoes sweet, but the flesh is not stringy like the mangoes I’ve had before.
Yesterday I made Mango Salsa with peaches, nectarines and AVOCADOS!
Hey, don’t forget the avocados!
We started cutting up the fruit into small chunks….and then added the lime juice on top!
I conveniently happened to have the fresh herbs and spices from Gourmet Garden in my freezer too! I just love having all the herbs and spices on hand so that I can make whatever I want without running to the store. I was showing them to my niece, and as we opened each one we would take a whiff…it’s just like having a fresh herb garden in your kitchen!
Everyone loved the combination of sweet fruit with the heavenly avocado. We added garlic, basil, ginger and a little red chili pepper too. For 2 mangos, 2 small peaches, 2 large avocados, 2 medium nectarines, and one lime, we used 3 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. chili pepper and 3 tsp. garlic. We mixed a little and tasted it first, then mixed up some more and tasted again until we liked it! No chopping, no grating…just squeeze those lovely organic herbs….grown in Australia, washed, cut, blended and packed into these ingenious tubes! I keep mine in the freezer so they’ll last for 6 months.
This time we enjoyed the salsa with crackers, but I will be making this again to serve with fish, chicken or pork tenderloin. I was hoping that we had made enough to use later, but it all got eaten for lunch! I’m glad I still have plenty of mangoes left!
Thanks to our niece Mary Oldham for being the “hand model” for this post. She’s here for a visit, on vacation from her job in Kenya as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, where she leads an education project for children orphaned by Aids. Her blog is Growing on the Journey.
I have always been interested in herbs. I remember when my high school English class in Vermont visited a woman with a huge herb garden next to her old farmhouse. She showed us all the beautiful plants, told us how to use them, and let us pick sprigs so we could appreciate their delicious and unique aromas. I was fascinated by the different textures, sizes and shapes of the leaves, and the potential of the knowledge for my cooking. My ambition was to have a kitchen herb garden some day. And I have tried, I really have. I have planted herbs. I have brought home tiny pots of fresh herbs as well as larger collections. The trouble is, I don’t water them. I get distracted, or go out of town and they die. No lovely kitchen herb garden for me.
When a recipe calls for ingredients like fresh basil or cilantro, I think about how nice it would be to have that little garden just outside my kitchen. Sometimes I just skip over recipes because it’s too much trouble to drive the 10 miles to the grocery store from our home for one or two ingredients. I’m not good at planning ahead either. When it’s time to cook, I look for what’s in the pantry, in the freezer or on the kitchen counter. (We usually have plenty of avocados!)
This week my dream of having a kitchen herb garden came true! At last I have fresh garlic, cilantro, basil, lemon grass, cilantro, Italian herbs, oregano, parsley, dill…and even fresh ginger and chili pepper! I received the most beautiful selection of fresh herbs and spices from Gourmet Garden after meeting them at Camp Blogaway. It’s like having a palette of colors to brighten up our meals! The fresh herbs for Gourmet Garden products are organically grown, harvested, washed, chopped, blended and packed fresh into tubes that can be kept for three months in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer.
Now I can have all of the fresh herbs I want, exactly when I need them! Thank you so much to Gourmet Garden for sending me this generous gift to try. They arrived in a cute little cooler, nestled in with ice packs to keep them fresh. I’m so glad that I’ll be able to replace them all … they’re sold in the refrigerated section at the grocery store! (Yes, they’re also Gluten Free!) I even signed up for their Herb eCooking School on the Gourmet Garden website to receive recipes and tips on how to use them to enhance everyday meals.
I happen to have a few mangoes left from the box that was sent to us by the National Mango Board after Camp Blogaway last week. Our family has discovered a whole new perspective on life now that we’ve tasted those fresh mangoes. It’s hard to want to cook with them, as the fruit is so deliciously sweet and juicy that we gobble each one up as soon as it’s ripe. Today I decided to make Mango Chicken on top of the stove. I have to admit that I ate about a third of the mango instead of adding it all to the marinade. Sigh.
Easy Stovetop Mango Chicken
- To make the Marinade/Simmer Sauce:
- 1 fresh mango sliced or chopped
- 1/2 small brown onion chopped
- 1 tsp. Gourmet Garden fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp. Gourmet Garden fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp. Groumet Garden fresh garlic
- 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
- about 1/2 cup of water use it to get the last of the mango-y goodness from the Vitamix or blender
- Frozen or fresh skinless and boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- Puree the above ingredients and pour it over frozen or fresh chicken.
- Cook on medium heat, covered, until the chicken is tender.
- Serve over rice or quinoa.
Since my husband is a farmer, he comes in for lunch every day. He was happy to find Mango Chicken on quinoa with avocados and broccolini all ready to eat. Now that we’re eating healthier, it’s a pleasure and a treat to include mangoes in our meals and to have fresh herbs and spices at our fingertips for our everyday needs.