Spice Up Your Life (Foods 10 & 11)

Spice Girls

I’ve just reached a third of the way through my 30 new foods for 2014 and let me tell you, I’m sure glad I didn’t set this goal to be 50 as I had initially wanted. I’m not at all worried about reaching 30, especially with a new season of abundance at the local farmers’ markets, but 50 would have been stressful!

My new foods just happen to be items I ate at two local restaurants in Des Moines over the past month. The first, lotus root, was just a little side to some edamame I ate at Americana. After a little research I found that lotus root is just that, the root of the lotus plant. I never would have thought that the beautiful “floating” flowers had edible roots but they do! It looks really weird when you Google it so go ahead, Google it to satisfy your curiosity.

Food #10: Lotus Root
And that is: The root of the lotus flower, eaten commonly in Asian cultures
Found where: Americana
Cost: This was just a garnish to the edamame which cost $8
Health Benefits: high in fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium
Prepared How: My best guess is that what I had was pickled
Yea or Nay: Yea; it was good; I’d eat it again but assume that without extensive preparation it doesn’t have much flavor. In the photo below it’s the round, cream-colored food. Lotus

My next food coincided with my last Girls Night Out. Each year I come up with a fun theme for my Drake girlfriends and we hit the town. This year’s theme was “Spice up Your Life: Channel Your Inner Spice Girl.” Wow, we had so much fun and I must say, we definitely rocked Sporty, Ginger, Posh, Scary, and Baby. I mean we did as best as we could without platform heels, right? Spice Girls

Our GNO hit up Dos Rios, a Mexican restaurant downtown. The thing that caught my eye on the menu was the Stacked Nopales Enchiladas. Nopales is the term for the leaves of the prickly pear cactus. I figured if it sounded good and included a never before eaten food, it was destined to be my meal.

Food #11: Roasted Cactus
And that is: Roasted prickly pear leaves.
Found Where: Dos Rios as part of their Stacked Nopales Enchiladas
Cost: The entree cost $10.50
Health Benefits: Vitamin C, magnesium
Prepared How: Roasted as part of the enchiladas
Yea or Nay: Yea but I probably won’t go so far as to prepare this at home due to my proximity to cacti. Although I guess if I had a prickly pear in the house it might be fun to roast it from time to time. In case you’re wondering, it tasted kind of like a green pepper, only the inside was a little slimier for lack of a better word. In the photo below it’s the little green thing that looks like a green pepper. CactusSo I’m on to new food adventures and trying to think about what I can do to top this year’s Girls Night Out. Have you tried any new foods recently? Do you ever dress up with your friends and do themed nights out? I definitely recommend both from time to time!