Tag Archives: vegetarian
When you drive across many parts of China you’ll see fields covered with little yellow flowers. Super pretty… you see them in almost every little patch of empty land available. Also, in India you see very similar landscapes… amongst the dry patches of lands there’s also fields covered with these pretty yellow flowers.
Most people believe they’re wildflowers… but in reality, they’re cultivated, not wild at all. It’s the rapeseed plant. Not a very pretty name, but it’s the same plant where they get canola oil from.
The seeds look like very large mustard seeds… maybe because they’re related. But canola got its name because Canadians bred a new type of rapeseed plant that would yield oil lower in a component that was deemed toxic for humans.
So if you travel and see fields of pretty yellow flowers like these… be the smart one and tell everyone these are the plants where canola oil comes from.
Growing up I did not like any of the tropical fruit flavors… tamarind, mango, papaya or soursop. I would only like cherry, grape or orange. You know… the artificially-flavored stuff. Buying piraguas in Old San Juan, I remember they had syrups made from our Puerto Rican fruits flavors, but I always chose the deep dark red one; the one I would stay farthest away from nowadays.
Then your tastes change… and they evolve and those flavors that you once thought were not that appealing are the ones you crave and appreciate the most.
Soursop is one of those flavors to me… I remember my grandma offering us guanábana at our casa de campo and we refusing profusely. Now, it’s one of my favorite flavors. But soursops are very hard to come by sometimes. Soursops have a newfound rep of having cancer-fighting properties and when those types of reports start crawling around the internet, things get scarce. Whenever you see soursops at the grocery store, they’re expensive. So if you have a fruit-bearing tree… take very good care of it.
I found some soursops at the grocery store the other day and I decided to treat myself to some juice… it’s so easy to make yourself.
Look for soursops that are starting to give a little bit. If they’re hard, they’re not fully ripe yet. Allow them to fully ripen on your kitchen counter. And if they are beginning to soften and you can’t get to it, place it in the fridge to stop the ripening process.
SOURSOP JUICE for one…
1/3 cup of soursop pulp About 1 cup of filtered water 2 tbs brown sugar
I like to remove the seeds from the pulp. I read from someone on Facebook that you could leave the seeds in… I guess you could, but it will become a mess when you strain it. I prefer to remove the seeds and try to grow some new soursop trees from them.
- In a blender or your Magic Bullet, add the fruit pulp, water and sugar. Add an ice cube if the water is not cold. Blend well together. The mixture will become white and creamy.
- I like to strain it… It’s not necessary, but I think the texture is better if you strain the juice before drinking it. Besides, if you miss a seed, you’ll be sure to take it out before drinking.
This is the measurement I use to make juice just for me in my Magic Bullet. I prefer to keep the pulp in the fridge and make the juice fresh right before I am about to drink it. All you need to do to make a larger batch for your family is to increase the quantities. Basically you’ll need 1 part pulp to 3 parts water and sweeten to taste.
Add sugar as you see fit. I like my soursop juice sweet. Sometimes the pulp is not as sweet as you would like. So feel free to adjust the sugar amount to your taste.
Ever since I lived in Chicago a few years ago, where there is a huge Mexican population, I learned that Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated in September. I remember people riding outside their car windows carrying huge Mexican flags, parading themselves with pride.
So, if this is celebrated every year in September… why does every gringo I know believes Mexican Independence day falls on Cinco de Mayo? My belief on the popularity of Cinco de Mayo is for several reasons (and I am just speculating here):
- It’s simple to pronounce even if your main language is English. Try saying “dieciséis de septiembre”!!!! Rolling those “r’s” can be a challenge to many.
- May more or less signifies the beginning of warmer weather so gives people an excuse to party in shorts
- I truly believe a beer company started this as a promotional scheme to start selling beer in May rather than waiting until June/July when it’s actually hot.
Cinco de Mayo is not really an important holiday or celebration in Mexico. I am “friends” on Facebook with Chef Marcela Valladolid. And this is her perspective, as a Mexican, on Cinco de Mayo:
In reality, Cinco de Mayo is the date when the Mexican army drove away the French army at a great battle in Puebla. The Mexicans were never ever expected to win and they did. And for that… we celebrate!!!!
Nonetheless, for whatever reason Cinco de Mayo got popularized in the US, we use it as an excuse to celebrate everything Mexican. I wish I had a recipe for Mole Poblano in my blog to share with you all, but in the meantime, here are a few recipes that celebrate Mexico, France and combine a little bit of both…
(In México, these are called sincronizadas because they’re made on Wheat Tortilla. True Quesadillas are made on corn tortillas)