The past few weeks have given me the opportunity to try new foods and I’m slowly getting closer to halfway of my 30 new foods challenge for 2014. I’ve noticed that throughout this adventure, it’s not very difficult to seek out something new as there are new foods all around me!
Food #12: Mustard Greens
And That Is: The leaves of the mustard plant.
Found Where: Downtown Farmers’ Market vendor
Cost: $1 for a bunch of greens
Health Benefits: High in antioxidants! Note: most dark green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants and like other greens, mustard greens are high in fiber, which aids digestive health. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and some sources suggest anti-cancer properties!
Prepared How: I made a chickpea salad with the mustard greens and balsamic glaze dressing, which I forgot to take a photo of. Recipe courtesy of Fat Free Vegan Kitchen!
Yea or Nay: Meh. I need to try them again with a different recipe. They are very affordable and very healthy so that motivates me to give them another try! Send any healthy mustard green recipes my way!Speaking of the Farmers’ Market, one of my favorite vendors when I’m in the mood for breakfast or lunch is Pupusas El Salvador. If you ever visit the Downtown Market in Des Moines, they are located on 3rd Street just south of Court Avenue. Basically look for the long line and that’s where you need to be. Trust me when I say this, it’s worth the wait.
Food #13: Loroco
And That Is: Fernaldia pandurata, an edible flower native to El Salvador and Guatemala.
Found Where: Downtown Farmers’ Market at Pupusas El Salvador!
Cost: $7 for a Loroco Pupusa (the loroco are the small greens seen in the photo below).
Health Benefits: Some cite loroco flower buds contain aphrodisiacs!
Prepared How: I had some lovely ladies from Pupusas El Salvador prepare a pupusa with loroco.
Yea or Nay: Yea! I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a pupusa from this vendor at the farmers’ market. I normally get the spinach pupusa so this was a nice change and kept it vegetarian (pork varieties of pupusas are available as well).
This was an occasion where instead of going with something I knew I would love (the spinach pupusa), I went with something entirely new and it was worth it!
This next food is something I’ve eaten before but I’ve never purchased or prepared it. If you enjoy Indian food or curry you’ve definitely had turmeric. I actually had no idea what it looked like in fresh form and found a pile of turmeric bulbs next to the ginger bulbs at a local health mart. At first the price per pound shocked me but then I realized the knobs barely weighed anything so the price wasn’t anything to fret over.
Food #14: Turmeric
And That Is: An herbaceous plant of the ginger family.
Found Where: Campbell’s Nutrition
Cost: Forty-five cents ($14.99 per pound)
Health Benefits: According to WebMD, turmeric has a variety of healing properties. Many believe turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore helps it reduce pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Prepared How: I peeled the skin, diced, and added to scrambled eggs. It was delicious!
Yea or Nay: Yea! I really enjoy experimenting with new flavors and I love curry so this will return to my kitchen soon! I also read that you can freeze fresh diced or minced turmeric so that’s probably what I’ll do in the future.
In case you’re wondering how to cut turmeric, I took the cute knob that I thought slightly resembled a wiener dog and peeled the skin away. Next I cut it into very small pieces. The recipe I followed for the scrambled eggs shows that the woman put her turmeric in a food processor. I would definitely do that in the future but I didn’t have enough this time around. Ideally I think you’d want your turmeric a little finer than what I chopped up but I was a bit impatient this morning.
My favorite aspect of this new food is that it took a breakfast staple, scrambled eggs, and made it feel like I’d made something entirely different! The flavor was great so if you enjoy curry or are up for a new way to make eggs, I highly recommend adding a little turmeric. On a side note, turmeric is very colorful and turned my cutting board, ceramic peeler, and ceramic knife all a dark orange-yellow. Thankfully that’s one of my favorite colors because I think it’s there to stay. Not sure what’s next for my food adventures but I’ll be sure to keep you posted. I’m thinking of going to an oyster bar as that’s one food I’ve never had! Stay tuned.