Recipe Review: Spicy Cantaloupe Salad

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen Oklahoma so lush and green from all the rain we’ve been getting throughout the summer. The grass (and weeds) are growing like crazy and the mowing has to be done almost once a week.

Mom’s garden is producing some fabulous produce as well, which has been SO nice! We’re finally getting sun ripened tomatoes and they are mouthwatering delicious. One day, she arranged Anaheim peppers, tomatoes of different varieties, eggplant,  cucumbers and chili peppers on the counter and it looked so pretty I didn’t even want to move them. That feeling didn’t last long as the Anaheims got roasted, the tomatoes and a hot pepper found it’s way into fresh salsa (We could eat this by the gallon!), the eggplant to baba ganoush, and I made Roasted Pineapple, Basil and Cucumber Salad , refrigerator pickles, and tried a Cucumber, Mint and Lime Chiller with the cukes. The salad was amazing, the chiller, not so much.

My favorite recipe of the week, however, involved a very HOT black chili pepper Mom brought in from the garden. It’s purple-black on the outside and green within and it smells hot when you cut it open. I found Lan’s recipe for Spicy Cantaloupe Salad while browsing through Tastespotting and had to try this pepper out in it.

Spicy Cantaloupe Salad

photo from morestomach.com

Review Spotlight: Lan’s Spicy Cantaloupe Salad over at morestomach.com

My first thought: Fish sauce on cantaloupe? No way!

I bought my first bottle of fish sauce just to try this recipe and I’m so glad I did! The salty fish sauce with the tangy lime and the sweet cantaloupe were stupendously matched in this lovely summer salad. The chili and the ribbons of basil added color and topped off the flavors nicely.

Changes I made or will make later: I thinly sliced one whole (small) black chili pepper, instead of a diced red chili pepper the recipe calls for, and the heat intensified to almost too hot by the end of the meal (we weren’t even eating the slices of chili!), so if I was making the salad in advance, I’d wait to add the chili and, depending on the crowd, maybe not so much chili. I’m pretty sure if there were any leftovers for the next day it would have been way too hot! Alternatively, a milder chili pepper or jalapeno would probably work fine.

Health rating: 5 stars

Taste rating: 5 stars

Make it again? Oh yeah! Like, today and tomorrow and the next day!

If this recipe suites your fancy head on over to morestomach for the ingredients and instructions.

If it doesn’t suite your fancy…well, you’re missing out, but you should still head over to morestomach for other delicious looking recipes. I know I’ll be heading back for more!

Recipe Review: No-Bake Vegan Key Lime Pie

It’s very quiet here at home. Almost everyone has gone off for the weekend – for work or play – leaving three of us to fill the big house. This is what I call vacation! :D

(Don’t get me wrong, dear family, I love you all so much, but…) Sometimes quiet is bliss – and cooking for three is SO much fun!

Most of the time, I post recipes I’ve created – either from scratch or from a recipe I got out of a cookbook, online, or elsewhere, and made completely unidentifiable by total revamping, but today I’m doing something different. Because today I tried this delicious Key Lime Pie that is so yummy (and healthy) you won’t believe it. I didn’t change it much, so I didn’t want to do a full post about it, but I wanted to share it with you, my readers, because I know ALL of you appreciate great food and most of you are all about healthy eating.

So read my take on this fascinating recipe and tell me if you don’t want to try it out right this very minute!

POP Key Lime Pie

Photo from Blogilates.com

Review Spotlight: No-Bake Vegan Key Lime Pie – Cheap Clean Eats by Cassey Ho over at Blogilates

My first thought: Hmmm…I don’t know about this. Avocado in Lime Pie??? Is it worth trying if I waste two whole avocados? (Avocados are a precious commodity around here!)

I decided it was.

The crust, made of walnuts and dates alone,  is so easy and delicious I had a hard time not eating it with a spoon.  The filling was easy as well and boasts only four ingredients – avocado, lime, stevia and tapioca flour (optional). Just put everything in the food processor and blend. I found it a bit difficult to get all the avocado lumps out, but persistence paid off with a delightfully smooth, lime green texture. The taste test revealed a rather chalky feeling from the tapioca flour, but after chilling, there were no chalky traces left.

I made it about 4 hours ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator. I was rather afraid that the avocado would brown, but the perky green color stayed true.

Changes I made or will make later: I used 2 Tablespoons of raw, local honey instead of stevia. I just don’t like the artificial aftertaste it leaves in my mouth, but using stevia cuts both calories and sugar grams. Honey, on the other hand, supplies added nutritive value and energy for active lifestyles.

I didn’t soak the dates because I’m lazy like that. The crust blended fine for me without soaking.

I did the chilling in the refrigerator instead of the freezer since I wanted more of a pudding texture.

I think I would add 1/2 to 1 more lime next time, just to get more of that wonderful limey “pizZang”. PizZang NEEDS to be a word, don’t you think? A mixture of pizzazz and zang (which should be a word, too, because I use it all the time)  needs to be in the next dictionary, pronto! )

Health rating: 5 stars

Taste rating: 4.8 stars

Taste tester’s ratings (on a scale from 1 [not good]-10[awesome]): As a healthy dessert: 7-8 and 10. As an over all dessert: 7-8 and 7

Make it again? Yes! Definitely. This recipe is not only fast and easy to whip up, but it’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, grain free and processed sugars free. I think it will make everyone happy…unless someone doesn’t like lime.

Who doesn’t like lime???

So, is this a dessert you want to try? If you need more convincing, head on over to Blogilates and Cassey will show you how to make it. She even tells you how much it will cost and the calorie count! You’ll find complete instructions and the ingredient list over there.