Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dragon Fruit aka Pitaya

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp

If you are having a Hobbit party, you should try to add Dragon Fruit to the menu.  I bought this at Grand Mart, and although I had heard of them, I had never eaten one before.  It has the prettiest color, and it looks like it could really be a dragon's egg.  

This fruit, reminds you in flavor a little of the kiwi, but without so much acidity.  If you are allergic to kiwis, don't worry, because this fruit is part of the cactus family.

Here is a picture of me...with a Hobbit shirt, being VERY excited to eat this fruit with my husband and friends. 

Basically, the outside is not very hard, so get a sharp knife and just slice it down the middle.

So cool!!!  This is probably not what you were expecting, but yes, it looks like cookies and cream.  After you have opened it up, you can easily scoop it out with a spoon and start eating it.  The seeds are soft and not a problem or annoying to eat.

This fruit is very good and it is more of a mild sweetness, so you can eat a lot of it.  We mixed some into a smoothy and really liked it that way.  Since the skin is so pretty, you could also mix it with other fruit, and then use the skin as a bowl for fruit salad.  I am sure there are plenty of fun recipes online as well.


Rambutan aka "Dragon's Eyes"

Submitted by Marcia Van Camp

For my birthday this year, I decided to buy some unique fruit for our Hobbit themed party.  I bought Dragon fruit and also "Dragon's Eyes" which are officially known as Rambutan.  They are sweet, very good for you, and are similar to a lychee.  I bought these at Grand Mart in Falls Church, VA, but other international stores might carry them as well.  The clerk who helped me said they had a lot of these in Honduras where he grew up.  There are also several different types, so what you see might be a little more colorful, or might be smooth as well.

Below is how to eat them, so if you find these, grab some and try them out!

When rambutans are on the tree, they are very brightly colored.  The ones in the store I bought were darker, but they tasted great.

To open them, take a sharp knife and cute a circle around the outside of the rambutan.  Keep in mind that the outer layer is very thin, so you don't want to cut very deep, or you will cut into the fruit.

After you are done cutting, you can take the fruit completely out.

There is a seed in the middle, so you can bite around the seed, or put the whole thing in your mouth and spit the seed out.  You could also try cutting around the seed if you prefer.  Regardless of the method, some bits of the seed will come off with the fruit, but that is ok.  You can eat them, or spit them out.

Another note about ripeness.  When you open the rambutan, the fruit should be clear and firm without a lot of excess liquid.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Golden “chicken” Patties

From Vegetarian Times
Submitted by Mom

(2) 15 oz. cans chickpeas
1 ½ c. quick oats
1 clove of garlic minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
Salt to taste (1/2 tsp season-all works well)
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 tbls. olive oil (optional)
2 to 3 tbls. vegetable oil

1. Drain the chickpeas and keep the liquid
2. In a food processor or blender process the chickpeas with ½ c. of the liquid.  If your puree is dry, add more liquid a tablespoon at a time to achieve a smooth, thick paste
3. Place the chickpea puree in a mixing bowl
4. Add the remaining ingredients expect the vegetable oil
5. Mix well, adding additional water or oats as necessary to make a mixture that keeps its shape.
6. Shape into 8 patties (put a small amount of butter in your hands to form the mixture so that it doesn’t stick)
7. In a heavy skillet, heat the oil (about medium) and fry the patties until golden brown on each side.  About 5 minutes on each side

Serving Suggestion: serve like burgers, with tomatoes, lettuce/spinach, etc.