Monday, April 14, 2008


I have a confession to make. I'm a very bad vegetarian.

You see, I love to say I eat a balanced diet. I eat tons of produce and dairy from my CSA and other local farms. But, the produce I choose is decidedly one sided, because...

I don't like fruit.

Oh, I'll eat apples, grapes and Craisins, have a piece of watermelon on the 4th of July, maybe even try a slice or two of fruit pies. I was even trying to adapt to citrus; oranges and grapefruits are pretty universally liked after all, but it turns out I have a food sensitivity. Other than that, it's a no go. Bananas, peaches, kiwis, even strawberries all make me go eww. And shockingly enough, despite my willingness to eat both grapes and dried cranberries, I can't stand raisins.

Why? I'm not entirely sure. I am big on texture, and I don't care for anything smooshy, grainy or with little seeds. Also, I have a terrific sweet tooth, I much prefer richness to just plain sugar. Offer me sugary candy like Starbursts, Sweet Tarts, etc, and I will turn you down every time.

Now I'm making a concerted effort to try fruit. Right now it's the beginning of strawberry season, and they look so pretty. So far I've blended them in smoothies (takes care of texture issues, yogurt adds a little fat, sugar takes the tart edge off) and made a cobbler of sorts. But I'd like to eventually enjoy fruit without masking it. Any advice?

Strawberry Breakfast Bake

4 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, halved
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 1/4 cups biscuit mix (I like Bisquick, trans fats and all)
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 F.
Mix strawberries, sugar and flour in the bottom of a pie pan.
Mix biscuit mix and milk in separate bowl.
Spoon dough on top of strawberry mix, and spread relatively evenly.
Bake for 20 min, until golden brown on top.

Serves 8. The Cajun likes this warm with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. I have it in the morning with a glass of cold milk for a semi-nutritionally balanced start to my day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Artichokes discovered!

Thank goodness for friends. After playing around with a couple of them last night with some really patient fellow foodies, we found a method that worked.

Cut off stem except for 1 inch, and any pointy tips of leaves.
Trim approximately 1 inch off the top.
Place in pot with water, lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, 2 bay leaves, and some salt.
Weigh down the artichokes by placing a steamer basket (those flying saucer things) upside down over the veggies.
Boil for 25-45 min.
Dip leaves in melted butter and scrape clean with your teeth.
The inner most leaves can be discarded, and all thistle-y parts should be as well.
The heart can be dipped in sauce, or saved to throw in a later salad.

What sauce? Well, that's up to you. Some swore by ranch, others mayo with lemon juice. I personally like a mild vinagrette.