Chicory Mango Salad

Mango Salad

Easy to make, Healthy, Ingredients
Spanish Version
It’s Mango season, which means well have mangoes for a few weeks now, one of the most wonderful things of living in caracas its the quantity of fruit trees all over the city, which makes it great to walk around and pick up mangoes or rose apples or spanish limes.

Even when mangoes are a delicious fruit, high on fiber and extremely sweet, theres things that can be done with the unripe green fruit, sweets and savory.

This salad its done using ripe but from mangos, according to the variety of the fruit it can have green-reddish skin or yellow-orangy skin, the important part for this recipe is to be really firm on touch because when softer it has more sugar and it became harder to handle.

INGREDIENTS

Dressing
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp White wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Flower Water

Salad
1 Ripe mango
3 Cups packed chicory or escarole, washed well, spun dry, and chopped
1 Large vine-ripened tomato, cut into small pieces
1 Small avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into small pieces
1/2 Small red onion, sliced thin

PREPARATION

On a glass bowl mix the dressing ingredients until completely blended.
With a sharp knife separate each side of the mango, cut vertical and horizontal lines into each side and then flip over the skin to show the diced mango. then carefully separate the skin from the pulp.
On a bowl toss all the salad ingredients with the dressing until evenly cover them.
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Green Mango Ceviche

Green Mango Ceviche

Easy to make, Healthy, Ingredients

Spanish Version

It’s Mango season, which means well have mangoes for a few weeks now, one of the most wonderful things of living in caracas its the quantity of fruit trees all over the city, which makes it great to walk around this time of the year and pick up mangoes, rose apples or spanish limes. This it’s going to be Mango Season with recipes to portrait mango in a different way.

Even when mangoes are a delicious fruit, high on fiber and extremely sweet, theres things that can be done with the unripe green fruit, sweets and savory.

Now, this is a recipe turning to the savory dishes, acidity, hot and sweet mix to create this vegan version of ceviche.

You can make this as an appetizer or as a side dish for some grilled meat, pork or chicken.

this is a recipe to make 4 bowls

INGREDIENTS

5 Unriped Green Mangoes
3 Medium Red Onions
2 scallions
1 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Chilli peppers
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup Chopped Cilantro
Some Cilantro leaves to garnish

PREPARATION

With a vegetable peeler remove the skin from mangoes until removing all the green peel.

Slice every side of the mangoes to 1/4 of an inch and then in stripes.

Finely slice the onion and the white parts of the scallions.

Remove the seeds from the hot peppers and finely slice them.

Put everything in a non reactive bowl (glass or inox steel) and add the lemon juice and salt, and let it rest for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve toss the chopped cilantro and serve with the least amount of liquid possible.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Serves: 4

Calories 118
Cabs 34 g
Fat 0 g
Protein 3 g
Sodium 479 mg
Sugar 21 g

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk

Ingredients

Spanish Version

One of the myths that most people dieting has is that “you should always consume egg whites” though this is part right because the whites are, as I wrote before, an excellent source of proteins, however the yolks have an excellent nutritional value.
The yolk is the centra and orange part of the egg. It’s surrounded by the Vitellius ,which gives the yolk shape and allow it to keep separated from the white. In the yolk there’s the main vitamins, lipids and minerals from egg, what makes them really valuable.

Occasionally you may find two yolk eggs. This is because the hen produces on the same ovulation 2 eggs instead of just one, which is the regular deal. This physiologic accident is mostly comun on birds at their first posture period.

As a food. The yolks are the biggest source of vitamins and minerals on the egg, it contents also all the fat and cholesterol, approximately 50% of the yolk is water, and the solids are equally splinted into proteins and lipids, and a small fraction for vitamins! minerals and carotenoids, this is an antioxidant and the responsable for the color in the yolk.
The yolk color has a comercial interest, and it can be measured with color meters, however, it can be influenced by the colorant used on the food, so using the color to determine the nutritional facts of the egg is not quite right nowadays, the yolk can go from almos white, passing thru yellow, orange, red and even olive green, depending on the pigments used on the animal feed, for example if you feed them with large quantities of pepper capsaicin, the color of the yolks will turn reddish or dark orange, and that has nothing to do with coloring during the cooking process.

The red or brown spots that sometimes may be found inside of the eggs shouldn’t be confused with embryo development, those are just epithelial cells from the oviduct that felt when forming the egg, and don’t present any problem for consumption. Can easily be removed with the tip of a clean knife.

One of the most important nutrients that you may find on the egg yolk is the choline. The choline was found to be the necessary nutrient in preventing fatty liver. In 1975, scientists discovered that the administration of choline increased the synthesis and release of acetylcholine by neurons. These discoveries lead to the increased interest in dietary choline and brain function. Today it’s well known that choline it’s important for the correct function of the cells. Humans need choline on their everyday diet to be able to have a normal living, because it’s indispensable to synthesize essential components of membranes and it’s an important source of methyls.

A recent study (November 2010h proved that when the diet lacks choline, almos 80% of the post menopausic women (the subject of this study) had liver and muscle damage. The study also discovered that young women can consume more choline because during pregnancy the female body has higher demands. Choline it’s used to keep the fetus nervous system.

Ají dulce venezolano

Ají dulce

Ingredients, Venezuelan Food

Spanish Version

The “ají dulce” represents one of the main flavors in the Venezuelan cuisine, it’s a pepper variety that is mostly found in the Caribbean and part of South America. In Venezuela it’s cultivated in different regions obtaining different varieties.

This aji dulce belong to the Capsicum family, and existing different species on this genre, C. annuum, C. frutescens and C. chinense, which have adapted to the regional conditions; originally cultivated at the east of the country and traveling from there to the mid west.

So the varieties are mostly known from their regional origins:

Eastern Aji dulce (aji dulce oriental) a variety of the Capsicum chinense

From the east you can find the “Aji pepón”, which is a variety with close to none heat, balloon shaped with green colors at early stages and red, purple or yellow when ripe.

You may also find the “ají Rosa”, belonging from the surroundings of Maturín city, it’s the most popular one, with longer shape thicker, rugged skin and red when ripe, from the apex grow the edges resembling a rose flower.

From Cumaná city you may find the “Jobito”, named for its resemble to the “yellow mombin” fruit which is named in Spanish jobo. It’s smaller, rounded and with thicker and smooth skin that turns yellow when ripe.

From the Mid west flat lands you will find the “Ají dulce llanero” or “llanerón”, a variety of the Capsicum annuum. Which is grown at the Venezuelan Flat lands, presenting longer fruits with orange or red colors when ripe, it’s taste is intense and fragrant and it may contain some heat, however when the plant has too much heat must be discarded.
 

The heat on the sweet peppers.

The sweet peppers, aswell most of the capsicum family, has a substance that produces heat called Capsaicin which is the defense mechanism that the plant uses agains the plages, on all the peppers there is always some level of this component, but as it content increase will present fruits with more heat, turning the sweet peppers into chili peppers.

Normally the capsaicin it’s presented at the placenta, which is the place that contains the seeds and removing that part of the fruit you can extract most of the capsaicin, I normally cut the top, the seeds and the endocarp (the opaque internal membrane) leavin the pulp exposed and ready to use.

Health benefits.

The aji ducles contain many bio active substances, the most known is the capsaicin, that stimulates the blood circulation, helps to regulate temperature and has anestesic properties. The aji dulce has an significant caloric content (for each 100 grams, calories 46, fat: 6 g, Protein: 19g), it contains water, fiber and vitamins C, E, A, B1, B2, B3, B6, it also possess minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium, and also folic acid, carotene and beta-carotene.

The Venezuelan chef Helena Ibarra, confesses to writer Mayte Navarro that one of the secrets to the preparation of the (Venezuelan) “sofrito criollo” is to have in mind that the ingredients at different, so the cooking time can’t be the same between the garlic and the aji dulce, so they must be cooked separately. “The are sautéed by separate and then bridged together, this way the aji dulce keeps it’s perfume and it’s not contaminated by the garlic”.

 

Sources (all in Spanish)

Agrotecnologia Tropical Cultivo del Ají Dulce – Ing. Fernando Hernández – 

Mayte Navarro, El Ají, Article for diario el universal May 5th 2012 

Juan C. Ohep G. La producción de ají dulce en el Oriente del país, Fonaiap divulga No.18 mayo 1985