Here is a thread for us to share our food adventures, get ideas of new things to try, and talk about what we learn! I'm going to post a few foods, where to find them, and what's good about them, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. I'm kind of Mistress of Wierd Foods, so I"ll start.
Chickpea flour: Also known as garbanzo bean flour, this is nice for breads, good to add to currys or sauces, or in pancakes. It's also really good as the main ingredient in deep fried chicken or fish. It has a mild flavor, and is high in protein, iron, folate, and certain trace minerals. You can buy it in the Indian section of an international supermarket or buy it from Bob's Red Mill online.
Black Sesame: Much more nutrient dense than regular sesame seeds, these are high in antioxidents and healthy fats. They are good in breads, stir fry, cereal, sauces, salad dressing, and many other ways. They have a very pleasant nutty flavor. You can get them in the Japanese or indian section of international supermarkets, health food stores, and places like that. You can buy it cheapest in the Indian section or online through various retailers.
Blue Potatoes: These have about 90 times the antioxidents of white potatoes and taste really good! Great baked, boiled, microwaved or fried, they tend to be a little smaller and have a deep blue or purple color all the way through. They are a little harder to find. Sometimes they will be at your local grocery store, sometimes you will only find them at the organic foods store or co-ope. You can also grow them, which you should, because they are tasty! The flavor is mild like a normal potato, with maybe a hint of bitterness from all the anthocyanins, but I like it quite a bit.
I think this is a great idea! Thanks for starting this discussion. I will definitely have to try some of the things that you mention -- I've only tried blue potatoes of the things you listed, and I agree that they taste really good
Have you tried Jicama? It's an edible root that kind of looks like a turnip, but it's flesh is kind of a cross between a pear and a water chestnut. I like to use it in stir-fries, on salads, in slaws, or just cut up and sprinkled with some crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper and lemon juice.
Jicama is something I would probably like but my spouse has already tried it, and doesn't. I like water chestnuts so I'd probably like Jicama.
For today's tip, I'm going to give information about Mexican Papaya. These things are big, elongated fruit with a thin, edible skin. You can still peel them if you want though, the skin is rather papery. The flesh is mildly sweet, containing lots of vitamin a as well as enzymes good for digestion. The seeds are small, round, and peppery, and edible.
You can eat papaya raw, put it in smoothies or breads, put it an kebabs too. It has a very mild flavor, not harsh or citrussy. When choosing a mexican papaya, look for a big that is rather dented and battered looking. Also look for one that is slightly soft, with plenty of yellow on it. Those pretty green ones that are well shaped are usually starchy, hard, and need to be cooked like a squash.
You find these in stores that have a lot of food from Mexico, many grocery stores, and they are in season in the summer.
Okay, I love tajin! Definitely keeping it in my cupboard from now on. I think I might try jicama with salt, pepper and garlic on it. Such a good low calorie food. Thanks for the tip about the cucumbers, Michelle! The produce guy suggested sprinkling it on apples.
By the way, always peel your jicama. The peel might give you a belly ache. I didn't get one but I was warned.
Roh try the tajin on mangos! Awesome. A while back I made a big salad with practically the kitchen sink in it - tomatoes, cucumbers, mangos, papaya, cantelope and few finely chopped jalapenos, lemon and tajin. It was the bomb! Jicama would have been good in it too. Throw some fish or chicken on the grill and you're eating like a queen!
Did you know the mango peel is edible too? Have you ever had an Asian mango? They're bright yellow, smaller and more pear shaped than the Mexican ones. I like them better but you can't find them everywhere and I don't like to go out of my way to get something, especially with the price of gas these days.
This is going to sound totally bizarre but it is really good. Section some tangerines (the cuties), put some apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper on them and let them marinate for a while. Enjoy. I've even put tajin on tangerines or oranges.
Hm... that sounds like it could be good. I've had the smaller yellow mangoes too, they are fairly regularly stocked where I am. I hear you about the gas! Sure, our prices aren't as bad as the rest of the country and my car is small but it's still a lot to spend.
Our gas prices finally went back under $4.00. I'm sure it will go back up in time for Labor Day and the start of school. Traffic is always worse when classes start at the local colleges.
I'm going to continue enjoying the cherries while they're in season. They have been exceptionally good this year. Maybe it's because I have to go so long between seasons. Cherries are my favorite then blackberries. Yummy.
Have you ever tried the Asian pears? They're actually a kind of quince. Texture wise kind of between an apple and jicama. How about the Asian persimmon? They're pretty tasty too. There's so many good things around that many of us are afraid to try.
Roh living in a heavily Hispanic area have you had nopals - cactus? You can get them already cleaned in a lot of stores. Put the whole ones on the grill with lemon and garlic salt. Too good. Or get the diced ones, boil or sautee them a little - they can be slimy. When cool add tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos and lemon juice. Oh a little salt too. It's a nice salad and nopals are supposed to be good for blood sugar.
Tried asian pears... didn't know they were a type of quince! Tried pickled nopalitos so far, don't have a grill to do the nopales. I've tried yellow guavas, found them good. Tried prickly pear cactus figs too, they come de-spined at the store, and I've also picked them in the wild. Tried golden barrel cactus fruit from the wild. Tried persimmons once. You are right, there are really a lot of good things around!
Still haven't tried taro root or yucca root, but I don't do much baking.
Burro bananas are also good. They are very thick, somewhat short, a bit triangular in cross section, and very starchy when unripe. You can cook them like a plantain. But if you wait till they are brown and blotchy and rather ugly looking, the tough skin reveals a very nice creamy banana!
Oh, and recently I've been exploring the Indian section of my international supermarket. I'm going to try flour made from chickpea, lentil and rice. I'm also going to try flour made from mung beans.
Roh, you used to be able to get a hibatchi grill for under $20. It would be the perfect size for you and your spouse.
I love Indian food but hardly anyone I know wants to try it. Indian food is way more than curry which is what most people seem to think/assume. I think I'm going to force (gently persuade) my son to go with me this coming payday. I want to get him to try some Vietnamese Pho also. I think everyone should try different things before saying 'I don't like it." I used to be that way about sushi but now I love it. Sushi isn't all raw fish though I've come to love that too.
I've learned that fennel is delicious - raw in salads or roasted. Most vegetables take on such a different flavor when they are roasted.
I've been having fun with this and I hope others have too.
Ah! Love sushi, sashimi, raw, cooked, it's all good, with wasabi and shoyu if you please! Indian food is great too. I know there is so much more to Indian food than curry, but at the same time I haven't met a curry I didn't like. There are several kinds of curry for each cook making it, with infinite variation, and one of these days I'm going to come up with my own curry mix.
For Vietnamese cuisine, try some veggie-filled summer rolls! If you haven't already. They are great!
I wouldn't mind a hibachi but the PITA factor would make it a bit of a waste of space. Instead, we make crazy stir fries.
Okay, my turn for an odd food: white pepper. You can get it really cheap at Hispanic oriented stores, like eighty nine cents a bag, instead of ten dollars a jar! It's best when ground in a mortar and pestle, though you can always reload one of those pepper grinders you get at the dollar store. White pepper has a nice, bright, strong flavor.
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