I don’t suffer fools lightly, but when it comes to desserts, I’ve always been one to dash in head long without considering anything beyond how delicious it is going to taste the moment it touches my tongue. I pity the fool that can’t cast caution into the wind every once in a while and enjoy themselves by indulging in a little dessert. This doesn’t mean that you loose total control and eat an entire cake, or a whole carton of ice cream. To me, having dessert means having just a touch of something to satiate that sweet tooth when it gets all excited.
After all, the older I get, the more I find myself adhering to the ancient quote found above the temple in Delphi, “Everything in moderation,” for many reasons. It could be that I’m actually growing up emotionally, or it could be that I’ve become so in tune with my body, that I know what will make me over dose on sugar, fats or salts, so I’ve learned how to pump the breaks, even when the urge is to go past the point of no return is at a fever pitch.
Enter the raspberry fool. With just a hint of cane sugar to bring out the natural, tender sweetness of the raspberries, and a pinch of kosher salt to harmonize this marriage, and you have the perfectly balanced dessert on your hands. If you are avoiding dairy, then by all means, enjoy with just the toasted almonds (I know I do!)
One of my favorite features of spring and summer is getting fresh organic produce delivered to my home in my CSA each week. I love the organic box we receive and the amazing variety available of produce when the weather warms up. I’ve learned about lots of unusual fruits and veggies that way, too, and some (like fennel) are now counted among my favorites.
The one thing you don’t see much in fresh organic boxes, though, is corn on the cob. In fact, organic corn in general is difficult to find, though other corn-based products like frozen or canned kernels, or corn flour and corn meal can all be purchased fairly easily from your local Whole Foods or health food store.
An important reason you might wish to stick with organic corn is that conventional varieties are among the foods most likely to be GMO (genetically modified). In fact, there is lots of recent news about GMO corn and how it contains many fewer nutrients than organic corn—as well as some additional ingredients most of us would rather not consume! For me, it’s best to steer clear.
Just because the fresh grain isn’t available (yes, corn is a grain!) doesn’t mean I forgo corn altogether, though. One of my favorite recipes this time of year uses cornmeal for that perennial favorite—polenta. I combine it with creamy cheese and fresh dill and peppers (also from my CSA) and the final product does look very spring-like! It makes great party food, but if you’re cooking on a weekday, just spread it in the pan and serve in big slabs instead. I make mine with dairy-free feta, but you can use any kind of cheese you prefer.
These polenta appetizers are an easy way to enjoy one of my favorite foods in the form of cornmeal. In the meantime, I’ll wait for that “special delivery” CSA that brings me my annual treat of corn on the cob.
This guest post is from Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mamma:
With the sun peaking out more and local farmer’s markets starting up, we begin to see spring produce flourish here in Ohio. One of my favorite seasonal produce picks of spring is rhubarb. It was not until a friend shared rhubarb out of their garden that I knew how tasteful it was. I wish that I had not waited until I was an adult to discover this!
Rhubarb is typically available starting in April and lasting in some places through July. Thanks to some hot greenhouses, rhubarb is available throughout the year in many areas. Rhubarb can vary in color from a beautiful bright red, to a soft pink or a delicate green.
I spend a lot of my time thinking about food. Cooking food. Writing about food.
Even with all of that, I still sometimes get overwhelmed trying to figure out what food I should buy.
For example, when do I need to buy organic and when can I spare my overburdened food budget and buy conventional produce?
Lucky for me there’s help figuring that out. I check with the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Every year they produce a list of the “Dirty Dozen” — produce that’s the most impacted by pesticides when grown conventionally that you should buy organic. The current list includes these fruits and vegetables: apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, imported nectarines, potatoes, spinach and strawberries. The current list also includes two additions: kale/collard greens and summer squash because when they were tested they carried residues of toxic pesticides that aren’t in use any more.
EWG also produces a list of produce that’s probably okay to buy conventional. These they call “The Clean Fifteen.” These include: asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, mushrooms, onions, papaya, pineapple, frozen sweet peas, and sweet potatoes.