Good news! I think I’m finally feeling a little better! Which means I can handle some solid food! As you can tell, I was super eager to get back into the kitchen. I even invited a friend over and cooked a ginormous feast for my family. Although I couldn’t participate and eat everything (it’s still not good for me to sink my teeth into a finger-lickin’ roasted chicken), for once my mind was off my pain.
The theme of the night was Latin. After a week of pureed foods with little to no texture, I was ready for a party in my mouth. I wanted something that had crunch and tang and acid and all those other key notes we think of when we eat Latin food. Mind you, I’m no connoisseur of this cuisine. I don’t know how to cook authentic Latin American dishes. But over the years I’ve developed an inclination for the flavors, the spices, the composition of a dish, and the perfect balance of acid and heat. So let me take a minute and issue a disclaimer when I say I made Latin food last night. While I didn’t stick to traditional dishes and techniques, ultimately I made some pretty damn good food that embodied Latin flavors pretty nicely.
A Twist on Your Traditional Mango Salsa
If I hear ‘mango salsa’ I will literally scream ‘2010,’ the year when mango salsa hit its peak. Back in the day every restaurant seemed to grill a piece of meat or fish and automatically top it with mango salsa as if there wasn’t any sort of other condiment. Needless to say, it drove me crazy. If you’re like me, you believe in savoring each ingredient and letting it shine individually.Dousing every entree in the same banal sauce can lead to a forgettable and one-note dish. That’s why today I’ve created a much better version of mango salsa. Why is it better? For starters, it has no mango.
Do not think this is my attempt to hate on the mango. By all means, I love mangoes. I just think there’s a time and a place for everything, and right now is simply not the time for mangoes. Mangos usually reach their peak and season in June or July, meaning even if I desperately wanted something mango flavored, it just wouldn’t taste the same, hence the importance of eating seasonally. Instead, I’ve elected a more seasonal item to be my lead actress. Enter the delicious and tart grapefruit!
Benefits of Eat Grapefruit
Don’t steer away from this tart and often sour fruit. Grapefruit is actually super good for you, especially during the winter months when it’s in season. Benefits of eating grapefruit include:
- Aids in weight loss–I know you’re heard this one before, but there is something to the notion that grapefruit helps you lose weight. I’m not going to say grapefruit burns fat per say, but it’s a low calorie, nutrient dense food that is a great caloric investment. It’s also super high in fiber! That white pith you often peel off of your grapefruit before eating? Leave it on! That’s where most of the fiber is that will keep hunger at bay for hours!
- Lowers cholesterol–Yep, you read that right! Rich in vitamin C, grapefruit is a great option if you’re concerned about cholesterol levels. The vitamin C does a great job of cleaning your artery walls and removing excess plaque, making this a great food for heart health. A cautionary note: if you’re taking medication for heart disease, please consult your doctor prior to taking this advice. Grapefruit is known to interact with a lot of cholesterol, blood pressure, and other heart-related medications.
- Quenches thirst–Every wake up and are super thirsty? I find myself like this many mornings, and instantly feel an urge to end more than I should. I spent years trying to keep myself from overindulging at breakfast before I realized that my craving for food was really a calling for water. I was dehydrated! If you’re pressed on time, eating grapefruit is a great way to quench your thirst and reduce cravings.
Note that grapefruit doesn’t have to be part of a morning meal. Here’s a great salad that makes use of grapefruit. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner!
Grapefruit and Cilantro Deconstructed Guacamole
1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into small segments
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 small red onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
1/4 – 1/2 cup lime juice (add more of less depending on your preference)
1. Mix sliced onion with avocado and grapefruit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Add cilantro and lime juice. Note how I haven’t given exact measurements about the lime juice. I prefer a more acidic salad, so I apply lime juice liberally. If that’s too acidic for you, but all means reduce the lime juice, and even add 1-2 tsp of olive oil.
I love this salad because it screams fresh! The crunch of the onion fuses perfectly with the acid of the grapefruit/lime and the creamy texture of the avocado. Feel free to pair this salad with grilled chicken or fish. It adds a great flavor as well as a boost of vitamins and antioxidants. Happy eats everyone!