Spicy Mango Ginger Popsicle

As I write this blog post (another in the series of “Drought Friendly Recipes“), a light rain is falling in Los Angeles – music to everyone’s ears.

Some good news on the drought front – Starbucks has said that it is phasing out its use of California water for its Ethos brand bottled water. Ethos brand water gives a percentage of it’s sales to ” help support water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in water-stressed countries” so it makes sense that pulling water from drought stricken California makes no sense at all.

Meanwhile, Nestle is still sucking up California water at the rate of some 240 million gallons a year. Aquafina and Dasani are also using California water for their bottled water, among others.

In an effort to conserve California water, let’s fill our own water bottles before we head out of the house and avoid buying bottled water as much as we can since it’s most likely coming from California.

And now for something sweet, refreshing and delicious – perfect for your upcoming summer potluck and barbecue parties.

spicy mango popsicle

Spicy Mango Ginger Popsicle

Yields: 6 popsicles

 

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice

1/16 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1½ cups sweetened mango puree or pulp

 

Combine lime juice, sugar, ginger juice and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add mango puree and stir to combine. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

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Pickled Radish and Radish Top Red Pepper Salsa – Drought Friendly Recipe

On March 18, Super Sous and I wrote a blog introducing our “Drought Friendly Recipe” project. Recipes that are delicious and have low water footprints. Good to make no matter where you are in the USA – since 50% of all California produce is shipped to feed the country.

In that blog, we mentioned the idea of food waste, writing that 40% of all food that is grown in the US is wasted. This happens on all levels of the food chain. From the farms to transportation to grocery stores to restaurants to our own homes. Inherent in that 40% is approximately 11 trillion gallons of lost water. California is relying heavily on groundwater (think using your savings account instead of living off of your checking account – where your checking account would be California’s reservoirs). As the groundwater has been depleting, we are drilling wells reaching water that fell to the earth 20,000 years ago. As Mother Jones writes, “Such water is not just old. It’s prehistoric. It is older than the earliest pyramids on the Nile, older than the world’s oldest tree, the bristlecone pine. It was swirling down rivers and streams 15,000 to 20,000 years ago when humans were crossing the Bering Strait from Asia.”

We need to conserve all the water we can!

On April 22 (Earth Day and Super Sous’ birthday!), MSNBC will be broadcasting a documentary on food waste called “Just Eat It.” You can watch the trailer and/or check out this fascinating view of food waste at its origins on the farm:

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.42.22 AM

Although we may not have control over how something is farmed, we can certainly control things once we purchase them.

Let’s take the simple radish. Somewhat underestimated, the radish is a delicious addition to your regular repertoire. Radishes are a crunchy, spicy root vegetable that are delicious whether raw or roasted.

Not only is the radish delicious, but radish tops are a tasty green. Mild with a slight hint of pepper; delicate, but not too delicate; they have integrity. Radish tops often get discarded, but they are so worth preparing – raw, sauteed or in this radish top red pepper salsa recipe which is perfect for a taco, chips/crackers, potatoes…

Since it’s edible, delicious and took water to grow, let’s enjoy the whole thing. Here’s one idea to utilize the whole radish – from root to top.

pickeld radish

Pickled Radish

½ pound radish, rinsed and cut into 1/8-inch slices

1 cup distilled white vinegar

¾ cup water

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine.

Let sit for at least 1 hour before using.

Radish Top and Red Pepper Salsa

Radish Top and Red Pepper Salsa

Yield: 1 cup

5 large fire-roasted red bell peppers, drained and rough chopped (1 cup)

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped

¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves

1 cup roughly chopped (rinsed) radish greens

1½ tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Zest of ½ small lemon (1/4 teaspoon)

Juice of ½ small lemon (1 Tablespoon)

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt, lemon and/or sugar. Let sit for 1 hour for flavors to meld before serving.

Very Green Juice

It’s national kale day, so this recipe seems like a great way to celebrate! Enjoy!

Very Green Juice

Very Green Juice

Yield: 2 cups

 

8 curly kale leaves, stems included

½ hothouse cucumber, peeled

1/3 cup packed cilantro, leaves and stems

4 celery stalks

2 Fuji apples

1 lime, peeled

 

Process all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy your green juice.

Sweet Pickled Cucumber and Fennel Salad

The perfect make ahead salad. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Sweet Pickled Cucumber and Fennel Salad

Sweet Pickled Cucumber and Fennel Salad

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

 

3 persian or Japanese cucumbers, cut into 1/8-inch rounds

½ fennel bulb, cut into 1/8-inch slices

2 medium shallots, cut into 1/8-inch slices

¼ teaspoon crushed red (chili) pepper flakes

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

7 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)

½ cup distilled white vinegar

¼ cup toasted white sesame seeds

 

Mix all ingredients, except toasted sesame seeds, together in a medium bowl.

Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To serve, strain and discard the liquid and divide the salad onto plates. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Watermelon Ginger Juice

There are still delicious ripe watermelons on offer, so let’s juice them up with some mint and ginger. Mmmmm. A perfect end of summer refreshing drink.

 

Watermelon Ginger Juice

Watermelon Ginger Juice

Yield: 2 cups

 

2 ½ cups watermelon flesh

20 mint leaves (stems on)

½-inch by ½-inch knob of fresh ginger

2 drops vanilla extract

 

Place mint leaves followed by the ginger and watermelon in a juicer and process. Stir in the two drops of vanilla extract. Drink up!

Tuna and White Bean Salad

This is the perfect salad to make when you don’t have much time and just want to grab a few things from the pantry to make a delicious dish. Good for lunch or dinner and perfect for a hot day, like the one we are having here in Southern California! (Bonus: this is a sustainable seafood dish!)

Tuna and White bean Salad

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Yield: 4 servings

 

Vinaigrette:

1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced (1 teaspoon)

1 medium shallot, peeled and diced finely (3 tablespoons)

¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of half a lemon)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Salad:

2 (5-ounce) cans of sustainable skipjack or albacore tuna in extra-virgin olive oil, undrained (I like Ocean Naturals, American Tuna & Wild Planet brands)

1 (15-ounce) can of white beans (Great Northern beans), rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

1 (12-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, plus some whole leaves for garnish

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups arugula, rinsed and dried

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, not pre-grated, for serving

 

In a medium container with a tight fitting lid, combine the garlic, shallot, oregano, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Open the cans of tuna and put them into a small bowl. Use a fork to break up the tuna, then season to taste with salt and pepper. It will need some seasoning—trust me.

Mix the white beans, capers, artichoke hearts, and chopped parsley with half the vinaigrette; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve one cup of arugula on a plate with a scoop of the bean salad and one quarter of the tuna. Use a vegetable peeler to top the with some shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, then sprinkle with the whole parsley leaves. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the salad, if desired.

 

 

PB&C (Peanut Butter and Chocolate) Smoothie

Really can’t go wrong here. Cocoa powder, peanut butter, sweet, salty, spicy, protein, fiber, sweet-tooth killer. Blend on!

PBCSmoothie

PB&C (peanut butter and chocolate) Smoothie

Yields: 2 cups

 

1 large banana, peeled

1 cup almond milk

½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder

7 small fresh deglet noor or medjool dates, pitted

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until thoroughly combined.