Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cantaloupe and Apple Salad with Mint and Honey

I first made this salad a few months ago, when all I wanted to eat was fruit and salad. In pregnancy, all I wanted for a long time was anything cold and crisp. Which is actually not all that unusual for me to begin with. It's the brownies and chocolate that are the surprise.

Still, in month 7, I go for clean fresh flavors and rich desserts. I guess my body is striking some kind of balance between the two... and I've only gained about 12 pounds despite keeping entirely full to the brim at all times. But I keep hearing that you should trust your body to do what it needs to do, and baby boy is measuring normal. So there's nothing wrong with my eating I guess!

It may have been a pregnancy craving, but this salad makes real sense whether you are pregnant, nauseous, prone to acid indigestion or just plain too hot on those 100 degree summer days. Cantaloupe and apple are both energizing, refreshing and natural antacids. Mint helps with nausea. Local honey naturally helps build immunity to allergens. Lemon juice is anti-bacterial and also good for digestion. You might even find all of these ingredients locally at your farmer's market in the summer (although lemons are a stretch for us Northerners).

This simple fruit salad makes a great between-meals snack or a cooling dessert. It's sweet, refreshing and serves the very important purpose of aiding in digestion.

Cantaloupe and Apple Salad with Mint and Honey

3 C Cantaloupe or other peach-fleshed melon, cubed
2-3 Apples (I used Fuji), cored and diced (not peeled)
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T local honey (I used apple blossom honey from Tremblay Apiaries)
1/4 C mint leaves, roughly chopped (I used spearmint that I grow in a window box)

Toss all ingredients together. Serve right away, or chilled.

Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, but note that the longer it sets together the lemon juice will break down the melon and become more watery.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Orzo Salad

We returned from our 2 week Scandinavia trip on Saturday. It is so hot in NYC!

I only have a few groceries around that we collected in a jet-lagged stupor this weekend. Today I found myself without much to choose from at lunch time. That's how I came up with this delicious orzo salad - from the few fresh things I had around (cut pineapple, baby cucumbers, campari tomatoes) I was able to concoct something cool and refreshing.

After waiting a couple hours, I just finished a bowl right now. This salad is pretty tasty. The pineapple really makes it feel like summer!

Summer Orzo Salad
4-6 servings

2 C cooked orzo pasta, (cooled and mixed with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it slippery)
1/2 C black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 C tomato, diced
1/2 C cucumber, sliced
1/2 C pineapple, diced
1/4 tsp dried cilantro (2 T fresh)
1 T fresh mint, chopped

1/4 C olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
salt & pepper

Combine pasta, beans, and vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Adjust to taste if needed. Stir the dressing into the pasta and add the cilantro and mint. Add salt and pepper if needed, to taste. Chill 1 hour or overnight.

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