Earlier this week, we shared three unusual food ingredients to add some variety and intrigue to your cooking in the new year. Today, we’ll put that into practice. Below, you’ll find three delicious meals. Each of these unusual food recipes are not only easy to make, but they feature interesting, new ingredients that are tasty, easy to cook with, and incredibly healthy for you and your entire family.
BREAKFAST: Blue Sunrise Breakfast Shake
The surprising green-blue shade of this morning smoothie will catch your eye, and the delicious, creamy flavors will catch the attention of even the pickiest of palates. And that vibrant color comes from the chlorophyll in spirulina.
Don’t let the idea of adding algae to your breakfast turn you off. Not only is spirulina one of the best foods if you want to increase your chlorophyll intake, but it’s also very high in immunity-enhancing antioxidants and may even reduce your risks of heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
1 c ice cubes
1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled
1 frozen banana
1 c frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp organic spirulina powder
1 Medjool date, pit removed
1 c frozen spinach
Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Star Fruit Chips
This recipe lets the star fruit truly shine, preserving the beautiful star shapes of this tropical delicacy. Each crispy, slightly chewy chip is sweet, tangy and spicy (thanks to the added ginger). This unusual food is perfect as a stand-alone snack that even picky kids will enjoy. Or, pair it with hummus, tapenade, a bean dip, or other condiments for a filling and healthy lunch.
2 star fruit
1 cup water
1 cup organic honey
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
Pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating up, prep the star fruit. Slice each fruit width-wise (so each slice preserves the fruit’s natural star shape). Make the slices thin, approximately ¼-inch in thickness.
In a frying pan, add the water, honey and ginger. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Add the star fruit slices and let them cook for five minutes, then remove the frying pan from the heat and set aside. Allow the fruit slices to marinate for 15 minutes.
Remove the fruit from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Then, place on a baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes or until each fruit slice is a crisp chip. Season with a pinch or two of salt, and enjoy!
DINNER: Taro Fritters
Taro isn’t an unusual food for Native Hawaiians, where it often is a stand-in for rice, potatoes or similar side dishes in Hawaii. And you don’t need to be in Hawaii to buy it: this superfood can be found in a lot of Asian grocery stores and specialty shops across North America.
In these crispy fritters, the taro adds a gentle hint of sweetness, plus lots of antioxidants, probiotics and fiber. They’re delicious on their own, or you can pair them with a sweet or savory sauce or condiment (they’re especially good with sweet chili sauce).
WARNING: Raw taro contains calcium oxalate, a natural compound that irritates the skin and eyes. Cooking the taro eliminates this worry. However, when peeling and cutting your taro root, make sure you’re wearing gloves and never attempt to eat taro that isn’t cooked.
4 whole taro root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp mirin
Pinch of salt and pepper
5 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Boil the taro for 20 minutes or until you can easily poke the taro with a fork. Drain the taro, then in the same pot, add the tamari, mirin and salt and pepper. Use a potato masher or a couple of forks and mash the taro root.
Sprinkle the cornstarch on a clean counter or a big platter. Form small palm-sized patties of the taro mash, then roll the patties in the cornstarch. Once all the patties have been formed and coated in cornstarch, heat the oil in a big frying pan and fry the patties for five minutes on each side or until golden-brown and crisp. Enjoy hot!
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