Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seasonal Produce Bliss

Arabian Nights finally opened and closed!  Guess what that means?  Extra sleep and family visits!  My mother came up to see the show, and she stared at my sadly depleted refrigerator, which was totally devoid of fruit by that point (thanks, new oatmeal addiction!), and by the time I came back from our last performance on Sunday night, there were a few Publix paper bags in front of my door:  a gorgeous yellow-and-orange potted mum (yes, the one in the picture) and two bags of produce--mmm!  Ripe plums, three Bosc pears, a whole bag of grapefruit, limes, asparagus,  a mango, two tomatoes, a few little cucumbers, and a pineapple!  And she'd sneaked about five avocados into my dining room, too.  Isn't that simply amazing?  I thought so.  =)  

She's left me with a challenge:  to help her recreate the Kashi Black Bean Mango frozen entree and to revel in guacamole.  I absolutely cannot wait!

And in other seasonal news...check out the photo to the right:  see that crazy pink liquid in the wine glass?  It's red grapefruit time!  

I love that time of year when grapefruit actually turns bright, beautiful reddish pink.  It tastes seventy thousand times better, and it's so gorgeous that I want to do everything from juice all the ones I can find to displaying slices of grapefruit gorgeously on top of salads or making a grapefruit tart.  Something.  It's so inspiring!  The picture to the right doesn't do it enough justice.  

So, for the past few days, I've been luxuriating in actual, fresh produce, actual sleep, and actual free time!  My favorite salad, which I threw together last night, is as follows:

A few handfuls of Spring Mix
1 diced tomato
1/2 minced sweet onion
1/4 cup each chopped red, yellow, and green bell peppers
1 cob of raw corn, cut off the cob
1/4 cup cooked, chilled beets
A few sliced portobello mushrooms
Julienned basil, to taste, plus sprigs for garnish

1 tbsp walnut oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp Dijon Country Mustard
Pinch herbes de Provence
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

I mix the dressing in a small bowl, add in the minced onions, whisk together, and pour on top of the mound of chopped produce--mmm!  There's something about raw corn with the mustard and walnut oil dressing that just makes me smile--sweet, tangy, and flavorful!

I leave you with a picture of that glorious red liquid grapefruit elixir.  I'm choosing it hands down over wine right now, guys.  That's some seriously good stuff!

Guacamole and cream of asparagus soup (well, with almond milk) are on the recipe for tonight, so hold onto your hats!  I have never, ever, heard anything but awe and praise for this guacamole recipe...