Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad

Citrus Fennel and Avocado SaladAccording to Vegetarian Times,  avocado and grapefruit are a common salad combination in Spain and France. Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad is like capturing sunshine in a dish!

Our featured recipe couples the citrus fruits of navel oranges, and ruby-red grapefruit with zesty arugula, the unique flavor of fennel, and creamy avocado. It also has a homemade vinaigrette that includes extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Italian parsley, and the unique flavor of fresh thyme leaves.

dill and fennel flowersAre you wondering about fennel? Well, fennel is a bulb shaped vegetable with tall, thin, wispy, fronds that have the appearance of dill.

Though the two are from different plant spices. Dill is from the celery family, and fennel is from the carrot family.

Apart from the crunchy rather spicy vegetable, the fronds can be used in salads as well.

Fennel is a firm and crunchy vegetable, and has a flavor much like licorice and anise. Sometimes in the market, the produce worker will refer to fennel as anise, though it is not. Just like comparing yams and sweet potatoes, also very different from one another.

Now for our featured recipe: – Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad – and here is what you will need.

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, remove leaves from stems

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and pith removed, cut segments into 3’s

1 large navel orange, peeled and pith removed, cut segments into 3’s

1 fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced, reserve fronds (optional)

4 cups arugula

1 ripe avocado peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

lemon and olive oil dressingMix first six ingredients in a large bowl, and set aside.

grape fruit with peel removed grapefruit segmentsPrepare fruit, fennel, leaving avocado last so flesh doesn’t brown.

Using a knife remove peel from both the orange and grape fruit. Be careful while cutting away at the peel, so as to remove as little of the fruit as be possible.

Next slice away any white pith, again removing as little fruit as possible.

Arugala and Fennel in a salad bowl with dressingAdd the arugula and fennel to the vinaigrette and mix until well coated.

Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad - image2On individual plate’s spoon salad mix and top with 1/3 cup grapefruit segments and 1/3 cup orange segments. Next add 4 to 6 chunks of avocado. Before serving add a few cut fronds to the plated salad. Prepares about 4 salad plates.

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Ginger-Orange Chipotle Chicken

Ginger Orange Chipotle Chicken

What do you know about the “Blood Orange”? The blood orange is a type of orange with a flesh that is almost-blood-colored. The fruit is about the same size as an average regular orange, though it can be smaller or larger.

Fresh Blood OrangesWhat gives the blood orange its distinctive dark flesh color is due to the a compund called anthocyanin, an antioxidant pigment common to many flowers and fruit, but uncommon in citrus fruits, making the blood orange a unique piece of fruit.

Due to the blood oranges pigments of red, it contains greater amounts of antioxidants, more than a regular orange.

The three common types of blood oranges, which are the Tarocco, native to Italy, the Sanguinello, native to Spain, and the Moro, which is a newer variety sold at the market. There are 12 lesser common blood orange varieties as well.

The blood oranges can and have been used to make marmalade, and the zest can also be used for baking. A very popular Sicilian salad that is prepared in the winter months, is made with sliced blood oranges, sliced fennel, and olive oil. The oranges have also been used to create Italian sodas among other things.

Now for our featured recipe: Ginger-Orange Chipotle Chicken, and here is what you will need.

3/4 cup ginger-orange marmalade

1 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce (canned chipotles)

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 large sweet potato, cut into wedges

2 small blood oranges, quartered

2 tablespoons avocado oil

4 large chicken drumsticks

1/3 cup mixed almond and coconut flour

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

Ginger Orange Chipotle SauceIn a medium mixing bowl, mix first 4 ingredients together, and reserve 1/3 cup of the sauce.

Ginger Orange Chipotle Chicken - Ready to RoastIn a large bowl, add the avocado oil, prepared sweet potato and blood oranges, and toss to coat with oil.

On a foil-lined baking sheet, arrange orange and sweet potato wedges.

Almond Coconut Flour Breaded Chicken LegsToss chicken in flour mixture, then coat with sauce. Because the flour mixture does not contain wheat flour, this dish can be considered a gluten free recipe.

Now add the bread chicken legs to the baking sheet with blood orange quarters and sweet potato wedges. Roast in heated oven for 15 minutes. Turn chicken and brush with sauce. Continue to roast until juices run clear when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes.

Ginger Orange Chipotle ChickenPlate and serve with reserved sauce. Enjoy!!

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Add a Little Zest

lemon zet

When a recipe calls for “zest” of a citrus fruit, it’s referring to the colorful outer part of the skin, not the inner white part, which is known as the pith. The zest contains all of the aromatic citrus oils and provides a hint of citrus tang to the recipe. A simple method of obtaining a fine zest is by rubbing the fruit against the smallest holes of a cheese grater.

Usually a recipe will call for 1 to 3 teaspoons of citrus zest. If you happen to not have an orange or lemon in the kitchen, then you have to run to the store to get yourself one. This can be time consuming and not to mention the gas you have to use.

grating lemon zestHere is our solution:  After squeezing or juicing lemons or oranges do not toss the peels. Freeze the peels or rinds in a freezer bag and whenever you need zest of a lemon or orange, you can grate it from the frozen peels.

The flavor is just the same as if the peel were fresh.

It will save a trip to the store just to buy a citrus fruit for a small amount of zest. This tip works well if you make cheesecake often in your kitchen.

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