I love fresh produce. Love it. So when I have a chance to get some nice fresh cucumbers and peaches and corn, I’m going to take advantage of that. Take corn, for example: we’re a big corn eating house. We’ll buy 5 or 6 ears of corn at a time just for the two of us. I’m always looking to make something good. If you have small amounts of produce in your house, you can do anything with it. You can find all kinds of ways to put it in anything so it doesn’t go to waste. Letting fresh produce go to waste is the worst thing you can do.
Fruits and vegetables actually go really well together so one night I did almost a little mixed basket. Didn’t know what were going to have, looked in the fridge, and just pulled some of that fresh produce out to see what I could do. I made a nice little salsa out of some corn, peach, cucumber and shaved carrot with parmesan cheese, Greek yogurt, and honey. It was real sweet and crispy. Just… fresh.
To prepare the salsa:
1 peach, diced
1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
2 small cucumbers, diced
½ cup shredded carrot
1/8 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut, measure, and mix all ingredients. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.
I also had a nice eggplant but instead of doing traditional parmesan, I decided to do something different. Eggplant is good for you: it’s got lots of natural oils and nutrients and it’s high in fiber. And I do love traditional eggplant parmesan but I wanted to mix it up. I floured and fried it instead of breading it. My flouring agent was regular white flour with a little bit of corn flour. I used that a lot down South and picked up a few tricks. If you cut eggplant thin enough, it gets super crispy. I fried the hell out of it but it was not too dark.
Then I did thin slices of tomato and star fruit on top. I like the star fruit. It’s got a real nice appley taste to me. And it’s so good for you. Star fruit’s not just for country club displays anymore. This little fruit is chock-full of antioxidants and vitamins. To name a few, I believe it’s high in fiber, Vitamin C, copper, and potassium and low in saturated fat, sugar, cholesterol and sodium.
I also did a little smoked gouda on top and made a little stack which was nice. I ate two of these stacks and the salsa and was satisfied. Quite satisfied. You’re eating almost all veg so you can eat a lot more and not feel as bad about it.
To prepare eggplant stacks:
1 eggplant, sliced thin
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda
1 star fruit, sliced thin
1 tomato, sliced thin
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup corn flour
4 cups olive/vegetable oil blend
Heat oil to 350 degrees (you can use a candy thermometer). Dredge eggplant in flour and lightly pat off any excess flour. Fry until golden brown and crisp. Stack eggplant, tomato, star fruit and cheese three times tall on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve with salsa and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Eggplant parmesan is usually this big, heavy dish. You eat three pounds of pasta with it, boatloads of cheese, and the fried eggplant just soaks up oil. Like I said, I enjoy eggplant parmesan but we’re trying not to eat like that. We’re trying to go healthy. You have to work at being healthy; it doesn’t just come easy to you. With all of the crap fast food out there and what they’re doing to our food these days, we have to be even more vigilant with what we eat and how we eat it. That’s why I went with fresh veggies and fruit, that’s why I went raw with the salsa, added some Greek yogurt and only a little bit of cheese.
Yeah the eggplant was fried, but overall it was healthier than usual. I eat unhealthy foods, don’t get me wrong. You’ll see some posts in the future and be like “What is that dude doing? That’s so unhealthy!” but you can’t just go cold turkey. The more that we can eat better, the better off we’re going to be. That means healthier, raw foods like veggies and lower amounts of protein.