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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Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

When we were living down in Mexico, I learned to love chorizo. That was a time before we all knew what processed foods were really doing to us. But since a few years ago, we have learned to eat healthy, and we really try to walk that road. Though you can splurge a little now and again. That piece of so wanted “Double Fudge Cake” is okay to eat.

The point I guess I am trying to make, is chorizo isn’t really good for you. It’s really overly greasy, and a heart attack waiting to happen. But today we splurged, we had been saving up, and the chorizo was our piece of “Double Fudge Cake.”

There can be some good to say about that chorizo though, and here it is.

The Mexican style chorizo in this soup provides 24.1 grams of protein per 3.5 ounce serving, and because chorizo is made from animal sources — beef and pork — it contributes essential amino acids required for tissue repair and food breakdown. One serving of chorizo sausage (3.5 oz.) contains 0.6 mg of thiamine, or vitamin B-1. The thiamine in this food allows your body to more effectively use certain amino acids, and it helps convert food to energy.

To boost your intake of this vitamin even more, serve chorizo with a side of lentils, pinto beans or black beans. The 3.5 oz. serving of chorizo also has 2 mcg of vitamin B-12, a nutrient that plays an important role in nerve function.  A serving of chorizo contains 21.1 mcg of selenium, a significant portion of the suggested intake of 55 mcg per day. The selenium available in the sausage creates antioxidants, which ward off damage often triggered by free radicals.

Here is what you will need to prepare the soup that is very nutritious and sure to warm your insides:

ingredients for Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

1 large white onion, finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. of smoked paprika

2 celery stalks, cut into fine slices

2 roman tomatoes, quartered and cut into chunks

1-16 oz. can pinto beans, drained

Black pepper

4 cups chicken stock

½ lb. beef chorizo, torn into small chunks

2 tbsp. of olive oil

chopped tomatoes, onion, celery and garlic

First dice the onions and celery. Then quarter and chop the tomatoes, and mince garlic. Set all of that aside.

pulling apart beef chorizo with hands

Remove the casing from the chorizo and pull it apart into small pieces.

frying beef chorizo

In a medium stock pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. When heated, add chorizo and fry until crisp about 2 to 4 minutes.

soaking up fat from chorizo

Using a slotted spoon, spoon out chorizo onto a paper towel lined plate, and set aside.

adding tomatoes

Lower the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat. Now add the chopped onion, and celery. Fry while stirring until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Next add chopped garlic and smoked paprika and mix in well, frying another 1 to 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and mix in well.Fry for another minute.

adding beef broth

Next add the beef stock and chorizo. Bring to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer for 10 minutes.

adding pinto beans

Next add drained pinto beans, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Serve warm in soup bowls and spoon sour cream on top and sprinkled with chopped cilantro.

What’s your favorite not so healthy food to splurge with now and again?

 

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