Tag Archives: mango

Want a Sweet Treat? Man, Go Eat a Mango!

11 Mar

Until recently I would only buy bags of already cut, frozen mango.  Then I saw some whole mangos on sale for a good price and bought three!  I had been too lazy or disinterested to figure out how to pick a good mango and actually cut one.  Eating a ripe, fresh mango is such a tasty experience.  When the juicy sweetness hits my taste-buds it transports me to a tropical fruity heaven of some kind.  Yes, I’m being a little corny.  But honestly, for me , no other fruit can provide such an elated feeling!

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In general, fruit is like natures fast food.  It often comes in its own edible wrapping.  It’s easy to grab and go.  And it’s a scrumptious mid-day snack.  Mangos are a little different in that they need to be peeled and they can be quite messy – not the best fruit-on-the-go option.

1-IMG_2379That’s why I have taken to eating mangos as a dessert, at home.  I like to cut it up all fancy-like, and eat it with a bit of dark chocolate and scoop of coconut ice cream (yes, all vegan!).

Want to make your mango look all fancy too?

What you’ll need: 
– a ripe mango (soft to the squeeze with a sweet smell)
– a paring knife or small-ish utility knife
– a cutting board (to catch all the juice and mess!)

How to slice it:
1) The mango has an oblong shape, a bit like a squishy egg shape.  You’ll want to start by cutting off each of the wider, flatt-ish sides (which will become the attractively diced fruit you see above).  Watch out for the pit!  Mangos have a stone a lot like a peach, but bigger and oblong, just like the fruit it lives in.  You’ll have to cut the flesh off as close to the seed as possible (you’ll hear a kind of crunching sound and the knife won’t glide easily when you hit it).

2) After cutting off each of the fleshier flatter sides, you can slice off the other parts, so as not to waste any of the yummy fruit (I just eat this part right away, ’cause who can wait?).
The "hedgehog" style is a common way...

3) Now you should have two flatter, fruity sides to work with.  Much like cutting an avocado, if you’ve ever done that, you’ll want to hold the oblong half in your palm – flesh up, skin down.  Now run the knife through the flesh vertically, just until you hit the skin (but not through the skin!).  Do the same thing horizontally, making a checkerboard pattern.  Now you’ve got your dice!

4) Gently push the skin side so it’s now concave and the inner flesh is now a convex shape with diced chunks sticking out of it (as pictured above).

That’s it!  It’s so pretty and impressive.  You can do this for your own enjoyment or present your beautiful mango dessert to your dinner guests.  Such a sweet treat to behold!

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Why Vegan (for 30 days)?

28 Feb

A vegan diet consists of no animal products, whether that is meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or anything that comes from a living creature (like honey, for example).  For the last, oh, 6 years or so I have eaten a mostly vegetarian diet (no meat – beef, poultry, or pork, and very little fish).  There are some ethical, environmental, political, and other reasons for why I stopped eating meat, but that’s a dialogue I might open some other time.  Regardless of how I’ve labeled my eating habits, I’ve always found myself wrapped up in culinary adventures of many sorts.

As a kid, there was the chocolate chip cookies experiment (No, adding salt as a substitute for flour is NOT a good idea); the scientific discoveries (KD will be ready sooner if I add a little salt to the water); and the first time successes (Yes, french toast does taste amazing when sandwiched with jam on the inside!).  As I entered my twenties, a vegetarian diet just started making more sense to me for various reasons and I was faced with the challenge of turning my long-time favourites (mmm, chicken strips and cucumber) into vegetarian versions!  Well, sometimes the meat and potatoes meal just isn’t the same with tofu in place of meat and it becomes time to find some creativity.

I have heard many friends and family members declare, “I could never live without meat/cheese/other animal product!”, and while I can see what makes living without these foods seem undesirable and scary, I can also attest to the whole realm of flavour and texture possibilities that comes about with the creativity that vegan cooking requires!  To me, cooking and eating vegan is all about just that – creativity and possibilities.  As a vegetarian, I’ve often preferred a unique vegan meal to one that features a mock-meat substitute in the place of the meaty main dish.

So, why vegan?  The answer is: Why not?  Vegan cooking can be some of the most imaginative, incorporating flavours and ingredients from a diversity of cultures and continents.  It’s time to step outside the box by stepping into the world of a plant-based prerogative.

Join me this month (starting tomorrow!), as I tackle the challenges of giving up some of my most crave-worthy foods (cheese!) and enjoy the ‘fruits’ of my kitchen adventures (mangos!).

Let the good eats ve-gan!

(Is it too soon for a ‘vegan’ pun?)

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