Tasting Friday, 4/21, 5:00 -6:30pm
As the temperature creeps up and the days grow longer, you may be finding yourself hosting or enjoying outdoor dinner parties and barbeques! This wonderful time of year may be accompanied with the stress of deciding what appetizer to bring. Well look no further, we have an idea for you that will shake up the appetizer doldrums! Try this spicy, sweet and refreshing pineapple salsa!
The mixture of pineapple and lime can also be eaten as a side along with your main course but it’s just perfect with chips. This delicious dish is not only versatile but it is also an immune boosting, digestion encouraging addition to your diet. Pineapples contain a mineral called Manganese, not to be confused with Magnesium, that plays an important role in antioxidant defenses. That fact alone is enough to offset the guilt that is often accompanied by eating chips.
But wait! There’s more! Pineapple is an ever giving fruit packed with nutrients, a unique benefit of pineapples is an enzyme called Bromelain, that aids in digestion—specifically in protein digestion. This can be especially helpful after a lovely evening of barbeque food. So sit back, relax and enjoy your chips and salsa!
Pineapple Lime Salsa
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 large lime
Salt, to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, red pepper, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Zucchini is a crop that dates all the way back to 5500 BC. Although it is now known widely to be used in Italian cooking, it was originally a staple of the diets of peoples in Central and South America and imparted good health due to its nutrient density. Nutrient density means that there are a lot of nutrients for low number of calories. Some of the nutrients that contribute to zucchini’s nutrient density score are potassium (even more than a banana!), vitamins C and A, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. Zucchini has a high water and fiber content, which helps you to feel fuller with fewer calories, making it a great food for managing weight.
Like a tomato, zucchini is the ovary of the flower that blooms on the plant, making it a fruit in the world of botany. In the culinary world, however, it is used as a vegetable—and quite the versatile veggie it is! Zucchini is great raw, lightly grilled, as chips, in pasta sauce, as a spaghetti or lasagna replacement, in stir fries and salads, really anything you can think of! Here we have used it as a wrap in these Zucchini Carrot Roll Ups and paired it with a Sesame Ginger Sauce. This is a great addition to your appetizer or snack repertoire right now, when our bodies are transitioning out of the warming, heartier dishes of winter and into a lighter feeling of Spring.
This recipe is adaptable to what you have available in your pantry. For example, you can use cream cheese or hummus instead of making cashew cheese. For a simplified sauce, try soy sauce, honey, garlic and water or olive oil.
Healthy Zucchini Carrot Roll Ups
This recipe was inspired by veganmenu.blogspot.com and Mother Earth News Magazine.
Prep time: 15 mins
1 medium zucchini
1 large carrot
Salt, pepper to taste
2 cups soaked and drained raw cashews
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup water, more as needed
Salt, pepper to taste
Sesame Ginger Sauce:
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. honey
Lemon juice to taste
- Using a peeler or mandolin, slice zucchini lengthwise to make strips. Pat down with paper towel to dry out.
- Matchstick cut carrots to about the width of the zucchini strips.
- Add all Cashew Cheese ingredients to food processor, process to spreadable consistency. (can replace this with cream cheese or hummus)
- Whisk all Sesame Ginger Sauce ingredients together.
- Lay zucchini strips down and spread cashew cheese on. Place carrots, salt and pepper on top and roll. Top with sauce.