Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pop a Pomelo!

I can't believe how quickly the summer is flying by. It is already mid-June and I feel like I just came back from winter vacation. One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit, specifically my favorites, cherries and berries. Yet, summer is also a time to relax, and in my case, experiment with new recipes and foods.

This week, it was my husband who was exposed to the new "basketball" found on the kitchen counter. The "basketball", as he called it, is actually a pomelo- a large fruit resembling a grapefruit in both taste and texture. It is extremely large, and in the nutrition world, would be considered a few fruit servings. Typically grown in Eastern Asian countries, the pomelo is now grown in California.

After peeling away the outer layer, there is another thin layer of skin that needs to be taken off, otherwise it will be extremely bitter when eaten. My husband was fascinated with the size of the pomelo, so we decided to compare it to other fruits. The only citrus fruit available in our fridge was a lime. While not the best comparison, it still showed the size of this sweet, juicy, and slighly tangy fruit.

A whole pomelo with a slice of lime

Comparing a slice of lime with a slice of pomelo

As a first-timer, my husband thought it tasted exactly like a grapefruit. I think it is less bitter, and if chosen well, sweet and juicy. Try one for yourself and let me know what you think!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Awesome Artichoke!

Summer officially begins after Memorial Day. With the 90+ temperatures I've been experiencing for the past couple of weeks, you would have thought summer was half over. No such luck. My family and I try to make the best of the heat, by staying indoors and planning activities around the weather. The only bonus is that it doesn't get dark until close to 830 in the evening, which gives me plenty of time to finish my errands.

I spent Friday evening preparing grilled fish with artichokes. My husband and I found a great recipe using both of those ingredients. He had a big exam on Saturday morning, so we wanted to have a healthier meal, with an increase in omega-3 fatty acids. He has been taking an omega-3 supplement daily for almost 2 years, due to its ability to reduce anxiety, in addition to helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Adapted from the Wall Street Journal's  (WSJ) recipe, Grilled Fish with Artichoke Caponata (, we used fewer ingredients and shortened the cooking time:

1 onion, finely chopped
1 bag, frozen artichoke hearts
1/4  cup olive oil
Wild Caught frozen fish filets
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
5-6 celery stalks, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

We microwaved the artichoke hearts and then soaked it in olive oil (the WSJ recipe asks to jar the artichokes- it may taste better, but takes longer). In the meantime, we sauteed the onion and celery. Once softened, we added the artichoke hearts, tomato sauce, and white wine vinegar. We simmered for 5-8 minutes and set aside. Then we grilled the fish filets (we used red snapper) in a little canola oil. Serve the artichoke caponata mixture over the fish. We usually add bread, but you could also use pasta or rice.

Both of us had never prepared artichokes, so we were a little weary of the recipe at first (in addition to being novice cooks). But, it was definitely worth it and we will make this again in the future. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, my husband didn't even need to take his fish oil supplement!

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