Red Bell Peppers:
Red Peppers are a great way to add a bit of color to your food which is not only appealing to the eye but good for your eyes! Literally, they are packed with vitamin A, which is essential for good vision. These bright red veggies pair well with most savory dishes and can be added to soups, stir fries, salad, shish kabobs, or as a part of a veggie tray. They are also commonly used for stuffing because of their perfect cup shape. It’s best to eat your peppers right away, while still fresh. Don’t let them sit around too long as they lose their crunch and can become rubbery….bleh.
Unlike other mangos, Ataulfos should be soft and slightly wrinkled when ripe. They change color from green to a beautiful rich yellow when they are at their sweetest. They also have a creamier texture and don’t get those annoying stringy fibers like other mangos do. Eat them raw or try adding them to one of your favorite cooked savory dishes. Fried rice with mango is simply amazing! Mangos also are great on salads, stir-fries, or added to sauces or in salsa. If you have a dehydrator they are so good dehydrated, or made into fruit leather. You can order a whole case and dehydrate them or freeze to use in smoothies.
Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. The recipe below gives instructions on boiling but they are also great when baked. To prepare, cut about an inch off the top and stem of the artichoke. Then cut it in half and remove the fuzzy part in the center with a spoon. Rub the cut side with a half a lemon, squeezing some juice into the fold and the middle. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and freshly minced garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes at 425°. Melted butter or mayonnaise mixed with a little balsamic vinegar is commonly used for a dip but you can be creative and use whatever your taste buds desire!
Recipe: Steamed Artichoke with Lemony Aioli
-2 artichokes, stems, and tips of leaves trimmed to remove any prickly edges
-1/2 cup light mayonnaise (preferably made with sunflower or avocado oil)
-1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-pinch of whole cloves (2-4)
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-Water, for cooking
1. In a large sauce pan (large enough to fit the artichokes side by side upright), bring about two-three inches of water to an aggressive simmer.
2. Cut the stem off each artichoke so it can sit upright on its own, and place the artichokes upright in the pan. Sprinkle the whole cloves over the top so that they settle among the artichoke leaves. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes until the leaves are tender. (Test by poking with a fork) Add more water as needed so that it doesn’t run dry and the artichoke doesn’t burn.
3. While the artichoke is cooking, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
4. Once cooked, remove the artichoke carefully with tongs into a platter (cover if not serving immediately), and serve with the aioli.
Recipe adapted from honeyandspiceblog.com