The best things in life are often the simplest ones. This is of course, also true for food. At friends’ Eliot and Rebecca’s last night, we had a great dessert composed of a winning combo: watermelon and fresh lime juice. Who Knew?
Turns out, watermelon has been around a long time. Packed with Vitamin C and A, and some good B vitamins, evidence of this fruit and plant has turned up in the Nile Valley as long ago as the Second Millenium BCE.
Mark Twain once said that watermelon was “chief of the world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.”
Science Daily reports that watermelon may have a viagra effect, which the Jerusalem Report covered last week (reportedly setting off an unprecedented surge in watermelon sales in a country that already appreciates the fruit for its other delights).
Did you know that we are in the midst of “National Watermelon Month”? (Neither did I). Made up of 90% water, it’s no surprise that it’s a summer favorite and a favorite for those of us trying to shed a bit of our winter insulation. But have you tried it with lime???
According to the very trusted (!) Wikipedia entry on limes, the name for these little citrus fruits is derived from the Perian, “limu”, and was introduced to Europe during the Crusades. There are of course, many kinds of limes, but they are also a great source of Vitamin C, and have an “antibiotic” effect.
In several villages in West Africa where cholera epidemics had occurred, the inclusion of lime juice during the main meal of the day was determined to have been protective against the contraction of cholera. (Cholera is a disease triggered by activity of the bacteria called Vibrio cholera). Researchers quickly began to experiment with the addition of lime juice to the sauce eaten with rice, and in this role, lime juice was also found to have a strong protective effect against cholera.
So now, to the point:
Cut up some juicy watermelon into little chunks and squeeze fresh limes all over them. For a stronger flavor, you can zest the limes as well. It’s a refreshing, delicious and surprisingly nutritious way to end a meal (or begin one).
For specifics, see this recipe in the San Francisco Gate.
In an email sent last night at 12:59 AM, Liat Papular (above, center) reported on deliciousness on the web. The recipe below is from a great blog called “eat me, delicious” (now featuring chocolate souffle bars), a “vegetarian based exploration of food including lots of baked treats.”
These do indeed look delicious – check ’em out below.
From eat me, delicious:
Earl Grey White Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground Earl Grey tea (or more if you dare)
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup white chocolate chunks
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground Earl Grey tea.
- In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter together until well blended.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter.
- Stir in the white chocolate chunks. Divide the batter evenly among the muffins cups.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.
As part of our award-winning breakfast- I’m convinced the closer was Shira’s homemade pita.
Whole-wheat, warm and delicious, this pita was made from scratch (!) and was ready in under an hour. During the competition, we were given active yeast – the real deal (not the stuff in a paper packet)- and we’re convinced it made the difference.
The pitas puffed up right at the end – and clarified, there is no need for store-bought pita anymore. Try it. (Would be especially good with Eli Shem-Tov’s Chummus).
1 package yeast or 2-ish teaspoons active yeast
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 whole wheat flour
1 1/2 white flour
- Set oven to 500 degrees
- Proof yeast with lukewarm water and sugar
- Once yeast begins to bubble (15-20 min), add oil and honey; mix well
- Add both flours, fold and incorporate
- Knead dough for about 5-8 minutes
- Place in a warm place to rise for 25 minutes
- After dough has risen, break off handfulls of dough and form into pita circle/shapes
- Put each onto an oiled cookie sheet and let sit for 5 minutes on top of oven
- Bake pita for 4 minutes on each side; should puff up while in oven
Yes…it has been a while. But what a way to make a comeback…
Last Friday morning, my friend Shira and I competed in our first round of NYU’s Master Chef competition. We had to submit an original, creative and healthy recipe for a great breakfast, and voila….this is what we came up with.
Team Ta’im, as we are called, won over the judges (to our surprise!) with a simple but healthful breakfast – inspired by our taste for Martha Shem-Tov’s Quinoa recipe (listed elsewhere on this site).
Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner!
Breakfast Tabouli with homemade whole wheat pita bread
With a slight reinterpretation of tabouli, we decided to use this protein rich seed as the base of our breakfast dish, chocked up with some freshly ground golden flaxseed (for the omegas) and full of fruit, dressed with chopped mint, toasted almonds and some freshly squeezed lemon, and a tiny hint of honey.
We served this alongside FRESHLY made whole-wheat pita bread (all in under one hour!) made by our new bread chef, Shira (recipe forthcoming), and two side options: yogurt with berries and honey, or yogurt with zaatar (made from scratch!) and touch of olive oil. This makes for a great breakfast, snack or even dessert!! You could also crumble some feta on top – the sharpness of the feta would cut nicely into the sweet taste of the fruit.
And stay tuned for our lunch recipe – we compete this Friday!
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups liquid – we squeezed the juices of fresh oranges
- tiny bit of orange zest
- salt to taste
- 1 pint blueberries -diced
- 1 pint strawberries – diced
- 1 mango – finely diced
- 1 avocado – finely diced
- handful of fresh mint – rinsed and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup of golden flaxseed – freshly ground
- 1/2 cup (or more!) of toasted almonds
- juice of freshly squeezed lemon
- dash of honey (or to taste)
Bring the quinoa and liquid to a boil; reduce and let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; grate in zest of an orange and a bit of salt
While it’s cooking, chop up all the other ingredients
Remove quinoa from the stove, cool;
Add all the ingredients; dress with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon and honey to taste.
Serve and enjoy!!
As I sip my Saturday morning coffee and ponder the healthy food options for breakfast, I can’t help but crave a small slice of a velvety smooth robust banana bread. Just a tiny taste to compliment my coffee… Here’s a simple easy recipe from Leites Culinaria Website (which is, by the way, amazing) – a recipe from the editors of Cooks Illustrated. Banana bread is a nice treat for a morning coffee, or at a brunch, or even a nice dessert. Enjoy.
For the recipe: click here.
Filed under Breakfast, Links
If you have ever had the privilege of having fresh labane topped with rich za’atar, drizzled with that perfectly green olive oil – the best really being from the Druze – you know what heaven tastes like. What follows is an adaptation, from my friend Ruth Genn, who got it from Rajey at the neighbourhood Lebanese grocery here in Park Slope – “D’vine Taste.” It is a slightly less fattening version, and still delicious! Makes for a great snack, or breakfast.
- Fage brand yoghurt (Greek strained yoghurt; I like the 2% kind)
- Wasa brand crackers (or Kavli or Ryvita)
- Sesame seeds
- Optional: olive oil
- lightly toast sesame seeds in a pan – add the za’atar; mix it up
- spread some greek yoghurt (makeshift labane) on the cracker
- dress liberally with the za’atar & sesame seed mixture. Yum.