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For the love of Produce...

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  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,264 Member Member Posts: 5,264 Member
    icemom011 wrote: »
    I had two green papayas, and made one of them into a Tom Sum, hopefully I'm correct about name? which is the Spicy Thai green papaya salad. I love spicy food, so i really liked the results. I omitted the dry shrimp because i don't have that. Another sub was to use pbfit instead of peanuts, that saves calories but peanuts probably much better for the taste. Could have tried peanut butter, i guess, since I'm out of peanuts. Overall, i liked it though. So i have one more. Any one has interesting recipies, preferably low calorie?

    You will have more luck if you google for Som Tam recipes.

    All reasonaby authentic recipes will be low calorie because the dressing contains no oil. Main ingredients for dressing should be fish sauce, lime, sugar, fresh chilli, garlic. You could eventually replace sugar in the dressing with Splenda. Optional higher calorie garnishes are toasted chopped peanuts, toasted shredded coconut, deep fried shallot. If using the deep fried shallot, buy it ready made from the asian supermarket or substitute with the deep fried onion that Americans use in green bean Thanksgiving casserole.

    If you don't have the dried shrimp you could add a tiny smidge of Thai fermented shrimp paste to the dressing. Dried shrimp is less challenging to western palates when you grind it into a rough powder in the food processor. It becomes a funky background flavour instead a weird tasting thing you might bite into. Ground dried shrimp keeps indefinitely in the fridge in a sealed container. Keep in mind that a teaspoon of ground shrimp powder is 3 or 4 times more shrimp than a teaspoon of whole dried shrimp.

    I struggle to find green papaya or green mango in London so normally substitute a half and half mixture of spiralized, finely julienned or grated carrot and Granny Smith apple. The sweet/sour balance as well as texture comes pretty close to green papaya or green mango.
  • icemom011icemom011 Member Posts: 937 Member Member Posts: 937 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    icemom011 wrote: »
    I had two green papayas, and made one of them into a Tom Sum, hopefully I'm correct about name? which is the Spicy Thai green papaya salad. I love spicy food, so i really liked the results. I omitted the dry shrimp because i don't have that. Another sub was to use pbfit instead of peanuts, that saves calories but peanuts probably much better for the taste. Could have tried peanut butter, i guess, since I'm out of peanuts. Overall, i liked it though. So i have one more. Any one has interesting recipies, preferably low calorie?

    You will have more luck if you google for Som Tam recipes.

    All reasonaby authentic recipes will be low calorie because the dressing contains no oil. Main ingredients for dressing should be fish sauce, lime, sugar, fresh chilli, garlic. You could eventually replace sugar in the dressing with Splenda. Optional higher calorie garnishes are toasted chopped peanuts, toasted shredded coconut, deep fried shallot. If using the deep fried shallot, buy it ready made from the asian supermarket or substitute with the deep fried onion that Americans use in green bean Thanksgiving casserole.

    If you don't have the dried shrimp you could add a tiny smidge of Thai fermented shrimp paste to the dressing. Dried shrimp is less challenging to western palates when you grind it into a rough powder in the food processor. It becomes a funky background flavour instead a weird tasting thing you might bite into. Ground dried shrimp keeps indefinitely in the fridge in a sealed container. Keep in mind that a teaspoon of ground shrimp powder is 3 or 4 times more shrimp than a teaspoon of whole dried shrimp.

    I struggle to find green papaya or green mango in London so normally substitute a half and half mixture of spiralized, finely julienned or grated carrot and Granny Smith apple. The sweet/sour balance as well as texture comes pretty close to green papaya or green mango.

    Thank you, @acpgee , that's very helpful. I did search on Google and that's where my recipe came from, and those were ingredients i used for dressing. I saw a few different ones with very slight variations, mainly in the amount of sugar and added peanuts, some use cilantro, but i forgot to add it to my salad. I was actually wondering if someone new of other interesting uses of green papaya, I've heard you can make a soup with it, for instance. I find it interesting that you can only get ripe fruit in London, because here in States they sell mostly green papayas and not all the way ripe mango. My freezer is loaded with mango from our own tree, and papayas we picked off of the branch that got broken by a storm in the neighborhood park. My backyard neighbor has papaya tree and they share fruit sometimes. They like our mango, so win-win.
  • silverpl2525silverpl2525 Member Posts: 53 Member Member Posts: 53 Member
    I really like cooked mushrooms. Used to hate them, but now I love them!
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,264 Member Member Posts: 5,264 Member
    icemom011 wrote: »
    acpgee wrote: »
    icemom011 wrote: »
    I had two green papayas, and made one of them into a Tom Sum, hopefully I'm correct about name? which is the Spicy Thai green papaya salad. I love spicy food, so i really liked the results. I omitted the dry shrimp because i don't have that. Another sub was to use pbfit instead of peanuts, that saves calories but peanuts probably much better for the taste. Could have tried peanut butter, i guess, since I'm out of peanuts. Overall, i liked it though. So i have one more. Any one has interesting recipies, preferably low calorie?

    You will have more luck if you google for Som Tam recipes.

    All reasonaby authentic recipes will be low calorie because the dressing contains no oil. Main ingredients for dressing should be fish sauce, lime, sugar, fresh chilli, garlic. You could eventually replace sugar in the dressing with Splenda. Optional higher calorie garnishes are toasted chopped peanuts, toasted shredded coconut, deep fried shallot. If using the deep fried shallot, buy it ready made from the asian supermarket or substitute with the deep fried onion that Americans use in green bean Thanksgiving casserole.

    If you don't have the dried shrimp you could add a tiny smidge of Thai fermented shrimp paste to the dressing. Dried shrimp is less challenging to western palates when you grind it into a rough powder in the food processor. It becomes a funky background flavour instead a weird tasting thing you might bite into. Ground dried shrimp keeps indefinitely in the fridge in a sealed container. Keep in mind that a teaspoon of ground shrimp powder is 3 or 4 times more shrimp than a teaspoon of whole dried shrimp.

    I struggle to find green papaya or green mango in London so normally substitute a half and half mixture of spiralized, finely julienned or grated carrot and Granny Smith apple. The sweet/sour balance as well as texture comes pretty close to green papaya or green mango.

    Thank you, @acpgee , that's very helpful. I did search on Google and that's where my recipe came from, and those were ingredients i used for dressing. I saw a few different ones with very slight variations, mainly in the amount of sugar and added peanuts, some use cilantro, but i forgot to add it to my salad. I was actually wondering if someone new of other interesting uses of green papaya, I've heard you can make a soup with it, for instance. I find it interesting that you can only get ripe fruit in London, because here in States they sell mostly green papayas and not all the way ripe mango. My freezer is loaded with mango from our own tree, and papayas we picked off of the branch that got broken by a storm in the neighborhood park. My backyard neighbor has papaya tree and they share fruit sometimes. They like our mango, so win-win.

    I got hits when I googled "green papaya soup", "green papaya stir fry", "green papaya fajitas", "green papaya curry". "pickled green papaya". Green mango salad is a real favourite of mine. Wish I stumbled on unripe mangoes more often.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,588 Member Member Posts: 3,588 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    A little off the normal track, but I made myself an experimental Saturday night cocktail with produce 😆: The heirloom Winter squash I roasted yesterday released a good bit of juice, so I poured it off the pan into a tempered glass dish and let it reduce in the oven to a thin syrup while other veggies were still roasting. It's like a light simple syrup, but with more flavor depth to it. Tonight, after chilling it overnight, I mixed it with some rye whiskey and sparkling water. A tiny, tiny touch of clove or allspice wouldn't hurt anything, but it's quite nice as is.

    3r69ob8j5hxw.jpg

    This sounds like an anti-shrub. Rye instead of gin. Unfermented "fruit juice" (fermented from sugar to ethanol by yeast then to acetic acid by bacteria). I bet it was tasty. How much juice came off? We're finally having cool enough weather I can consider running the oven again.


  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    A little off the normal track, but I made myself an experimental Saturday night cocktail with produce 😆: The heirloom Winter squash I roasted yesterday released a good bit of juice, so I poured it off the pan into a tempered glass dish and let it reduce in the oven to a thin syrup while other veggies were still roasting. It's like a light simple syrup, but with more flavor depth to it. Tonight, after chilling it overnight, I mixed it with some rye whiskey and sparkling water. A tiny, tiny touch of clove or allspice wouldn't hurt anything, but it's quite nice as is.

    3r69ob8j5hxw.jpg

    This sounds like an anti-shrub. Rye instead of gin. Unfermented "fruit juice" (fermented from sugar to ethanol by yeast then to acetic acid by bacteria). I bet it was tasty. How much juice came off? We're finally having cool enough weather I can consider running the oven again.


    Boy, I didn't think about how much juice came off at the time. It's usual to get this much thin juice, espeically from these heirlooms. (Usually any squash juice just puddles up around the squash, thickens to a sort of caramel (tasty at that stage) ) then carbonizes if I let it keep going. This was not (when finished) an especially watery squash, but it shed more juice, and the juice was almost entirely thin liquid when the squash was already fully roasted. Hard to get pan out of oven without slosh.

    I put it in a 2C tempered glass bowl to reduce a bit. I'm thinking it must've been 1-1.5C in the bowl (and I admittedly slopped some as sheet pans aren't designed for pouring). Cooked down, I'm thinking half a cup or so? I wasn't going for any particular thickness, just took it out when the other veg were done. Thin syrup or thick simple syrup consistency, once cooled, deep orange-brown color.

    I put a couple tablespoons in the drink, IIRC. Rye was a good choice for flavor complementarity, I think. I'm usually more of a gin than whiskey person, for the rare mixed drink, maybe rum. Earlier this year, I got a bottle of rye on speculation from my favorite local brewery/distillery, and find I like it much better than bourbon, scotch, etc. (Yeah, weird.)

    I do like shrubs in mixed drinks, so that's a familar concept, too. Also tasty in sparkling water as a refreshing summer beverage, more like how our forebears drank it (if nonalcoholic! 😉), but presumably still water in most cases back then. Have some shrub on hand even now.

    Good to hear from you, @mtaratoot - had been wondering how things were going on your part of the coastal zone.
  • purplefizzypurplefizzy Member Posts: 543 Member Member Posts: 543 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    Way back, there was a discussion about how to best keep fragile herbs like parsley, coriander and mint. I posted that I wrapped in a small tea towel before depositing in the vegetable drawer. Have since discovered that leaving them to sit like cut flowers in a glass of water they keep longer. Stem ends in contact with water need to be cut back a little with a sharp knife every few days, as in the case of cut flowers.

    I’m still working on the herb game. Finally happy with mint: I wrap them in a JUST barely damp length of paper towel, inside a zip.

    Stay forever and both the towels and the zips make it thru several rounds of use. Towels eventually get used for cleanup, but the ziplocks will likely outlive me :) After they eventually do something vile like marinade meat, they later become dog bags. That’s the last stand :)
  • purplefizzypurplefizzy Member Posts: 543 Member Member Posts: 543 Member
    Might be a weird question, but...
    If you had to pick only 5 vegetables/fruits, which would you pick for best and balanced nutrition? I've been stuck on roasting cauliflower lately!

    I love cauli but if I was picking for nutrition:

    -something dark green (for me spinach. Better nutritional-diverse and available choices but not ones I’ll eat.)
    -something purple (red cabbage prolly, doubles as a cruciferous and the purple stuff we need)
    -something orange (squash!)
    -something red (tomato likely, or goji)
    -something blue/black (berries)

    I’m an ‘easy way to remember’ person. Eat the rainbow is the easiest way for me to nail the nutrition based.
  • purplefizzypurplefizzy Member Posts: 543 Member Member Posts: 543 Member
    In my family text thread...
    I immediately had to stalk this thread and find the name of @AnnPT77 fave squash... candy roaster... apparently these are a can’t roaster variety but not the Georgia:( I was super sad, I’ve been trying to find that exact one...

    fshpjuuirxgw.jpeg
    cs5l00dt0lp7.jpeg

    I placed a plea (and a Venmo bribe) for some of the biguns. Dislike delicata so I’m only angling for the big beauties. Sister says they need to sit for 2 weeks? Huh. We’ll see if I get any love. I’m the sell out that moved to the burbs, so I tend to get the last pick UNLESS I cut side deals :)
  • purplefizzypurplefizzy Member Posts: 543 Member Member Posts: 543 Member
    @mtaratoot - same. The orange sky, the thin covering of ash, the wild fatigue that seems to be from reduced O2.. yeah. Ugh. This will pass. It WILL.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member
    In my family text thread...
    I immediately had to stalk this thread and find the name of @AnnPT77 fave squash... candy roaster... apparently these are a can’t roaster variety but not the Georgia:( I was super sad, I’ve been trying to find that exact one...

    fshpjuuirxgw.jpeg
    cs5l00dt0lp7.jpeg

    I placed a plea (and a Venmo bribe) for some of the biguns. Dislike delicata so I’m only angling for the big beauties. Sister says they need to sit for 2 weeks? Huh. We’ll see if I get any love. I’m the sell out that moved to the burbs, so I tend to get the last pick UNLESS I cut side deals :)

    Swoon: Those look great! Who knows, with the non-standardization of cultivar names, but pretty much any of the large heirloom Winter squash I've tried of that general color have been really good. (Some of them have a bit of peanut-shell-like tan roughness on the skin, too.) The ones I just roasted were the ball type, of similar coloration (the ones that fueled my cocktail experiment 😉) and flavor. I don't think I posted my recent roast-fest photo in this thread, but will do now, to show you the ball squash.

    o0npohd70bf1.jpg
    d4uw9q8y8cif.jpg

    And the seeds, roasted dark with Frontier chili powder and extra-fine pink salt (the plump, numerous seeds are from the ball squash, which has much nicer ones than the similar-sized spaghetti squash in the photo).
    7tsrr9d4toq4.jpg

    I hope you enjoy the new squash. Everyone's tastes are a bit different. IIRC, you're a kabocha fan, which are not my favorite, and these are very different from that IMO. I hope I haven't mislead you into a purchase you won't enjoy.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member
    Afterthought for @purplefizzy:

    I've never heard the 2-week thing. They will keep that long, if unblemished. But the ones I've had that are simila are *not* long-keepers - not a variety I'd try to store whole for Winter. I roast & freeze, enough to eat until the following season, if I can. (I have a chest freezer in the basement.)
    edited September 13
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member
    Might be a weird question, but...
    If you had to pick only 5 vegetables/fruits, which would you pick for best and balanced nutrition? I've been stuck on roasting cauliflower lately!

    Purplefizzy - who gave an excellent answer - reminded me that I meant to be mulling over your question, and answering.

    My mental problem (one of many!😉) is that my brain kind of rejects the premise of your question.

    Here's why: What inspires me is variety, and the stimulation of trying new things in new ways. It's great to incorporate more veggies/fruits, and not be a mono-veg eater, of course, by any means necessary. (And I'm with you on the yum factor of roasted cauliflower).

    For me, it works best to do two general things:

    1. Find a good farmers market, and follow the seasons, which inherently creates variety; and

    2. Keep my eyes open for veggies and fruit I've never had before, do a quick internet search on my phone before buying to make sure I can manage a trial in a practical way, then buy'n'try. The same farmers markets, plus ethnic groceries and big produce markets, are good sources for this.

    Beyond that, to limit/focus my list, I'm blatantly stealing purplefizzy's typology, with some twists:

    - green: Beet greens, red amaranth (it's sorta green 😉), lightly stir-steamed or sauteed. Sugar snap peas (raw).
    - purple: Cheat and say eggplant! (I do eat the skin). Roast and puree as sauce/dip ingredient, slice and roast for sandwiches, slice to layer in casseroles, large cubes in soups/stews. Or fresh brown figs, kinda purple.
    - orange: Second vote for Winter squash, but in the interests of variety, sweet potatoes. Particularly love in sweet potato/black bean tacos on soft corn tortilla, maybe some cotija cheese, certainly spices. Muskmelon/canteloupe.
    - yellow: Fresh sweet corn, not too mature. A little caloric, but so good.
    - white instead of black: Most of these raw: Jicama, Hakurei turnips, cucumbers, kohlrabi (OK, light green), fresh lychee/rambutan/logan, cousa squash (raw or lightly cooked) . . .

    From a nutrition standpoint, I have a strong bias toward variety, for varied micronutrient profiles - not just vitamins/minerals, but antioxidants and other beneficials.

    Sorry. Can't handle "just 5". I'll go away now. 😉
  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,264 Member Member Posts: 5,264 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    Way back, there was a discussion about how to best keep fragile herbs like parsley, coriander and mint. I posted that I wrapped in a small tea towel before depositing in the vegetable drawer. Have since discovered that leaving them to sit like cut flowers in a glass of water they keep longer. Stem ends in contact with water need to be cut back a little with a sharp knife every few days, as in the case of cut flowers.

    I’m still working on the herb game. Finally happy with mint: I wrap them in a JUST barely damp length of paper towel, inside a zip.

    Stay forever and both the towels and the zips make it thru several rounds of use. Towels eventually get used for cleanup, but the ziplocks will likely outlive me :) After they eventually do something vile like marinade meat, they later become dog bags. That’s the last stand :)

    I re-use ziplocks even after marinating raw chicken. I turn them inside out and pop them into the dishwasher over a coffee mug that doesn't need to get washed on the outside. After they have been in the dishwasher I pop them inside out over some wooden spoons and spatulas that I store upright in a vase to dry.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,588 Member Member Posts: 3,588 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Afterthought for @purplefizzy:

    I've never heard the 2-week thing. They will keep that long, if unblemished. But the ones I've had that are simila are *not* long-keepers - not a variety I'd try to store whole for Winter. I roast & freeze, enough to eat until the following season, if I can. (I have a chest freezer in the basement.)

    I think for ~most~ winter squash, they benefit (or even require) curing for a couple weeks before you store them if you want them to last all winter. Delicata always seems to me to be an intermediate between summer and winter squash; I don't think it needs to be cured. I don't know if it would hurt it, though.

    Edit to add: you only need to cure them if you grow them yourself. Any respectable grower will have already cured them before offering them for sale.
    edited September 13
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,588 Member Member Posts: 3,588 Member
    Might be a weird question, but...
    If you had to pick only 5 vegetables/fruits, which would you pick for best and balanced nutrition? I've been stuck on roasting cauliflower lately!

    I will just pick ONE. Potato.

    That's kind of cheating because it might encompass more than just one kind of potato. I'd like to have more than one causative, well, you know, they can get a crop destroying disease and wreck an entire culture. But potatoes are powerhouses of wonder. Even white potatoes have all essential amino acids. Some kinds (like purple potatoes) have some other nutrients. Sweet potatoes aren't really potatoes, but that might actually be a better choice....

    And maybe something robust and green. Like kale.

    If I get two more, I'll splurge and go with avocado and.... Oh, I am going to wait to decide on the last one. I think if I had a variety of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and kale, I could survive. Do I also get grains? Nuts? Seeds? the avocado is just because they are so tasty.

  • acpgeeacpgee Member Posts: 5,264 Member Member Posts: 5,264 Member
    After corresponding about SE asian fruit based salads got the craving when I saw pomelos yesterday at an upscale fruitmonger. Alas, we were not close to home and didn't feel like lugging a pomelo around all day. Tried to find one at the green grocer near home today but they said the wouldn't be getting them for another week or two. We are in a less upscale neighbourhood and suspect our neighbourhood green grocer uses a supplier that gets imported fruits shipped instead of air lifted. Followed a Thai pomelo salad recipe tonight but substituted a grapefruit stretched with some grated carrot.

    5o3unq62kwcz.jpeg

  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Member Posts: 5,734 Member Member Posts: 5,734 Member
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Might be a weird question, but...
    If you had to pick only 5 vegetables/fruits, which would you pick for best and balanced nutrition? I've been stuck on roasting cauliflower lately!

    I will just pick ONE. Potato.

    That's kind of cheating because it might encompass more than just one kind of potato. I'd like to have more than one causative, well, you know, they can get a crop destroying disease and wreck an entire culture. But potatoes are powerhouses of wonder. Even white potatoes have all essential amino acids. Some kinds (like purple potatoes) have some other nutrients. Sweet potatoes aren't really potatoes, but that might actually be a better choice....

    And maybe something robust and green. Like kale.

    If I get two more, I'll splurge and go with avocado and.... Oh, I am going to wait to decide on the last one. I think if I had a variety of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and kale, I could survive. Do I also get grains? Nuts? Seeds? the avocado is just because they are so tasty.

    I do usually have avocado too! I used to get kale almost every day, buy I've been on a cauliflower kick. I figured brassica was all similar. I had sweet potato last week.
    This week I already made a stir fry of broccoli, green cabbage, carrot, mushroom, and sugar snaps.
    I think apple season is coming. Jazz apples are on sale now and they're so good!
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