Tag Archives: mango

Banana Mango Smoothie

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Whenever I am in a crazy mad dash to get to work in the morning and I have no time to spare, one of my favorite breakfasts to make is a simple smoothie. What I love about a smoothie is that it is quick to assemble, I can take it to work with me, and it’s delicious!  My Banana Mango Smoothie is a fresh tropical tasting mixture of banana, mango chunks, ice, and apple juice. Sometimes I like to add a scoop of vanilla flavored protein powder to fill me up and to help keep me from snacking at my desk.  Simply toss all ingredients into a blender and within a few minutes, breakfast is served. Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1 cup mango chunks (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 – 3 ice cubes
  • approximately 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 scoop vanilla flavored protein powder (optional)
  • 1 – 2 drops liquid stevia (optional)

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Add additional apple juice if desired.  Pour in a glass, add straw and serve.  Makes 1 serving.

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Straw-Ber-Ita Fruit Pops

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Sometimes the most interesting recipes come from trying to figure out what to do with leftovers from the day before…  Two weeks ago, Bruce and I had a backyard barbecue at our home with family and friends.  I love to entertaining guests but I don’t care for dealing with any kind of leftover fruit trays, appetizer platters or main dishes.  After the last barbecue we had at our home, we had more than a boat load of fresh strawberries, melons and assorted fruit.  After our guests left for the evening, I begrudgingly peeled the rinds off the melons, hulled the strawberries and tossed all the remaining bits of fruit in the freezer.

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When freezing fresh fruit for use at a later date, be sure to place them single layer on a cookie sheet. Once the fruit is frozen, remove the fruit from the cookie sheet and toss in a releasable plastic bag.  Curious as to why?  The deal is, when you throw all the fruit in the plastic bag first, you end up with a big ball of frozen fruit that is all stuck together like a brick.  It’s a pain to break apart and to deal with.  Trust me.  I learned that lesson the hard way. This cookie sheet technique makes the fruit not stick to each other in the freezer and makes it easy to grab a handful of fruit whenever you need it.  Leftover frozen fruit chunks from fruit trays is great for smoothies, sorbets, and boozy little fruity concoctions such as my Straw-Ber-Ita Fruit Pops.

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In addition to leftover fruit, I found myself with several cans of Straw-Ber-Ita’s floating around in the ice bucket the next day.  Straw-Ber-Ita is a margarita-like alcoholic beverage made by Anheuser Busch.  It has a refreshing strawberry lime flavor and is “supposed to” mimic the flavor of a strawberry margarita.  Frankly, they remind me of those fruity little wine coolers that were so popular in the 1980’s.  As an alcoholic beverage, they are a bit too sweet for my taste but they do work amazingly well in my Straw-Ber-Ita Fruit Pops.

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My Straw-Ber-Ita Fruit Pops are super easy to make and taste great on a hot summer day.  Enjoy!  Tessa

*****Note:  These fruit pops contain alcohol.  Please enjoy these fruit pops responsibly.  Do not serve Straw-Ber-Ita Fruit Pops to people under the legal drinking age and/or to children.*****

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound frozen fruit chunks (I used strawberries, watermelon and mango)
  • 2 8 ounce cans Straw-Ber-Ita’s
  • Stevia to taste (optional)

Toss all ingredients in a blender.  Pulse until the fruit is broken down to fine bits.  Pour mixture into frozen Popsicle molds.  Add Popsicle sticks.  Freeze until firm and serve.  Makes about 10-12 frozen fruit pops.

Banana Avocado Mango Smoothie

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My “go to” breakfast or morning snack during the hot summer months is an ice cold Banana Avocado Mango Smoothie (aka BAM Smoothie).  I love preparing smoothies because they are good for you, quick and easy to make and most importantly, they’re portable.  After blending, just pour it in a spill proof container or glass, add a fat straw, and breakfast is served!  My Banana Avocado Mango Smoothie is made with a fresh banana, avocado, frozen mango chunks, and chilled unfiltered apple juice.  My BAM Smoothie is a simple combination of ingredients that is simply satisfying and tastes delicious.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized banana
  • 1/2 medium sized avocado (skin and pit removed)
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • stevia (optional, for additional sweetness)

Add all ingredients to a blender or a single serving blender cup.  Blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Serve immediately.  Pour into a glass, add a straw and enjoy!  Makes 1 serving.

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Godzilla Smoothie

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Godzilla Smoothie

For the past year, my life has been extremely hectic.  Long hours at work with very little time off.  In order to get things done in an efficient and effective manner, I have had to step up my game in the multitasking department.  It’s not that I wanted to do it but, had to.  Picture this…  Imagine a woman sitting at her kitchen table every morning before the sun is up and the neighborhood is awake.  She has a hot cup of coffee in the left hand, a newspaper in the right, her laptop is open to the day’s emails, a tube of black mascara is on one side and shiny lip gloss on the other.  Oh, and there’s a bright orange cat in her lap demanding attention and a lively white terrier with his paws on the side of her chair wanting to play ball.  That woman you just imagined is me.  I do that nearly every day in a span of about thirty minutes.  After the half hour is over, there’s nothing but a vapor trail between my home and the office.

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I have to admit that I never had an energy drink until about a month ago.  One day, on my way to work, I stopped at my favorite coffee stand.  I was not in the mood for my usual triple shot nonfat vanilla latte over ice.  I wanted something different.  It had to be ice cold, slightly sweet but with a “generous” dose of caffeine.  As the barista suggested, I purchased a smoothie blended with a Red Bull.  Pros: It tasted really good.  It filled me up and gave me that big energy boost that I was looking for.  Con:  It was five bucks including the tip.  After that, I knew that I could make my own smoothie with an energy drink.  The very next day the Godzilla Smoothie was born.

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My Godzilla Smoothie is all that I wanted my new smoothie to be.  Ice cold, slightly sweet, and highly caffeinated.  It’s made with spinach, mango, a splash of mango juice and a can of Red Bull…  It does have healthy elements such as nutrient rich spinach and mangoes.  Yet, it has the lively pick me up of an energy drink.  It tastes great and certainly does the trick when time is at a premium.  I must say, drinking my Godzilla Smoothie is multitasking at its finest.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup frozen spinach
  • splash of mango juice (to taste)
  • 1 8.4 ounce can of Red Bull

Add all ingredients to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.  Makes one Godzilla Smoothie.

***Note:  This beverage should be consumed in moderation.  It’s not for everyone.  Be sure to read the label.  Energy drinks are not for children, pregnant women or people who are sensitive to caffeine.

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Mango Barbecue Sauce

Mango Barbecue Sauce

I love it when the weather here in Southern Oregon starts to warm up.  Warm weather is perfect barbecuing weather.  Don’t get me wrong, I barbecue at all times of the year and I even have been known to barbecue in the middle of a snowstorm…  It’s just that it so much more pleasant and enjoyable when the weather is nice.  Standing next to the BBQ, chatting with friends or family, grilling dinner with long stainless steel tongs in one hand and an ice cold beverage in the other hand.  You get the picture…

The other day at the local Food Coop, I found this gorgeous organic mango for a dollar and a half.  It was twice the size as my fist and was perfectly ripe.  I could not pass it up…  At first, I was going to make a dessert, I then quickly changed my mind after thinking about making a sweet and tangy Mango Barbecue Sauce.  I wanted a sauce that I can easily brush on grilled chicken or pork tenderloin during my busy work week for a fast and flavorful dinner.

While my Mango Barbecue Sauce was simmering away on the stove, I snagged my camera and headed out the back door.  The photo above is the backside of a perennial herb called “bloody dock” or “bloody sorrel”.  Yeah, I know, it’s a gory name for a lovely little plant. But when I bought them I was told that you could eat the leaves in a manner similar to spinach.  We’ll see.  The plants are not quite big enough for me to harvest a bunch of leaves yet.  Maybe in a few weeks I might be able to do that…

Up in the corner of the backyard, I heard all of this squawking…  It was a young blue jay that fell out of the nest a few days ago.  The parents were taking turns flying back and forth to feed their little down covered youngster.  The baby jay would hide in the bushes and only come out when its parents were around with their beaks full of food.  I’m hoping that within a week or so it will be able to take care of itself and be able to fly around on its own.  In the meantime, my Jack Russell Terrier is not allowed out in the back yard without a leash…  Poor dog!

My Mango Barbecue Sauce is easy to make and takes about an hour to prepare. I like to brush it on grilled chicken or if I have a more time on my hands, brushed on  succulent barbecued pork ribs.  Makes about 3 cups and it will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mango (peeled and diced)
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1 can Pepsi (you can use Coke if you want)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp Szechuan pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper (or to taste)

Grab a saucepan and add all the ingredients.  Cook on low, stirring occasionally for about an hour or until the mango is cooked down and the sauce has thickened.  If it is too thin, cook a bit longer.  Too thick, then add water.  Be sure to taste and correct your seasonings.  Remove from heat, blend with a hand or stick blender until smooth.  Brush on grilled chicken or pork.  Makes about 3 cups.  Keep in the refrigerator covered for about a week.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Champagne Mango Vinaigrette

Champagne Mango Vinaigrette

It’s mid spring in Southern Oregon and my little garden is producing lettuce like crazy.  A few weeks ago I planted a bunch of different varieties of lettuce, spinach and chard and with the cool wet weather we have had lately, they really have taken off.  With the abundance of lettuce available, it’s time for me to start preparing fresh and healthy spring salads for my family.

I have to tell you that it’s rare that I purchase store bought salad dressings anymore.  I prefer to make homemade vinaigrettes and dressings as opposed to using store bought ones.  In my opinion, homemade dressings are easy to make and taste incredibly fresh and delicious.  Trust me, once you get the hang of how to make your own salad dressings and vinaigrettes, I seriously doubt that you will ever go back to using the store bought stuff ever again…

My little garden.  I planted several types of lettuce.  There’s broccoli and snow peas in the back…

A close up of an onion blossom…

A pail full of fresh picked lettuce and spinach from my garden ready to be drizzled with Champagne Mango Vinaigrette.

If you never heard of or even seen Champagne Mangoes before, listen up…  Champagne Mangoes are an exotic fruit that are a gorgeous shade of golden yellow when perfectly ripe and are smaller in comparison to the other green and red colored mangoes you see in the store. Champagne Mangoes are sweet, juicy and delicious.  Whenever I am fortunate to find them at my local grocery store, I hoard them like nobody’s business. They are hands down one of my favorite type of fruit.

The original Champagne Mango Vinaigrette recipe that I found came from here.  The original recipe was created by Chef Wayne Elias of Mark’s Restaurant in West Hollywood, California for Ciruli Brothers’ champagnemangoes.com. Chef Wayne Elias’ Champagne Mango Vinaigrette is a brilliant combination of fresh champagne mangoes, champagne vinegar, pepper and a hint of sage.  I slightly adapted Chef Wayne Elias’ recipe with the addition of 1 Tbs fresh orange juice.  Champagne Mango Vinaigrette is wonderful drizzled over fresh picked lettuce or grilled fish.  The best way to describe Champagne Mango Vinaigrette is like having liquid sunshine on your salad.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 Champagne mango peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbs champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tbs orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground sage
  • salt to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Makes about 4 servings.

Asparagus and Champagne Mango Salad

Asparagus and Champagne Mango Salad

If you have not noticed already, I really like asparagus.  Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and when it is fresh and in season I can’t seem to get enough of it.  Early this morning before anyone in my family decided to crawl out of their beds, I was already out of the house driving my little car along the back roads of Southern Oregon looking for wild asparagus.  Asparagus can be found in mid spring along roadsides and in orchards under the blooming pear trees.  I was hoping to find some this morning but, it appears to be a bit early in the season.  Maybe I’ll find some next week….

Pear orchards and vineyards near my home

If you ever have the opportunity to hunt for wild asparagus, there are two very important rules to remember.  First of all, find a place where the asparagus is not sprayed with herbicides.  If you see asparagus poking through the ground and there are no weeds or grasses around it, don’t pick it.  Ever.  Don’t even think about it.  It’s not safe to eat.  Second, always ask the property owner before taking off into an orchard looking for asparagus.  You really don’t want to be dealing with the owner’s big mean watch dog or the owner himself.  It’s always best to ask first.

Before I go on about the Asparagus and Champagne Mango Salad, I want to thank Weng at ApronandSneakers.com for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award.  If you get a chance, stop by her site and check out her work.  Weng’s photography is amazing and her recipes are outstanding.

The Liebster Blog Award is sort of a chain letter among bloggers meant to showcase exceptional up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  It is a recognition that a fellow blogger has noticed and appreciated your work.  Liebster is German for dearest, favorite, or beloved.

Here are my five nominations for the Liebster Blog Award:

A Taste for Change

Beti at Beti Vanilla

Purabi at Cosmopolitan Currymania

Tia at IamSimplyTia

Tobias at TandTeacake

Rules for the Liebster Blog Award:

Thank the Liebster Blog Award Presenter on your blog
Link back to the blogger who nominated you
Copy and paste the award on your blog
Reveal 5 blogs of your choice
Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog

Now back to asparagus… My Asparagus and Champagne Mango Salad is made with fresh picked asparagus, sweet champagne mangoes, crunchy red peppers, purple onions and a wonderful maple red wine vinaigrette.  It’s easy to make and is perfect to serve on a warm spring day.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups asparagus
  • 1 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 2 champagne (yellow) mangoes peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • ¼ tsp black pepper or to taste
  • ¼ tsp salt or to taste

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Add 1 tsp. salt to the water (salt helps keep the bright green color in the asparagus).  Wash, trim and cut the woody tips off the asparagus.  Toss the woody tips in your compost bin.  Cut your asparagus into 1″ pieces on the diagonal.  Put asparagus in boiling water.  Cook asparagus for about 3 minutes.  Quickly remove asparagus and immediately put into cold ice water.  Wait a few minutes until the asparagus has cooled and then drain.  Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and mango and set aside.  Grab a large mixing bowl and whisk together the red wine vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, black pepper and salt.  Add asparagus, mango, onion, red bell pepper and parsley.  Toss to coat.  Serve cold.  Makes about 4 servings.

Honey Ginger Salmon with a Spicy Raspberry Mango Salsa

There are so many wonderful things about living here in the Pacific Northwest.  Some of the things that we enjoy are the abundance of wild caught salmon and fresh picked red raspberries .  When in season we can easily find salmon at our local stores for a reasonable price or if you are the adventurous type, you could go down to the river and catch your own.

Our family likes to eat healthy meals so I am constantly looking for tasty “good for you” dishes that I can cook easily after a long day at the office.  Salmon is easy to make and is perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to prepare meals for yourself or your family.  My Asian inspired Honey Ginger Salmon with a Spicy Raspberry Mango Salsa is perfect for those situations.  Just imagine a sweet and spicy glazed salmon fillet nestled on the top of some gorgeous black rice topped with a zesty fresh raspberry mango salsa.  This exotic dish tastes great and looks so beautiful that you just might forget that it was healthy for you too.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Honey Ginger Salmon Ingredients:

  • 3 – 6 oz. salmon fillets (use wild not farmed)
  • 2 Tbls. honey
  • 1 Tbls. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • a big pinch of salt

Before preparing the salmon, cook 3 servings black rice according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Black rice takes a bit more time to cook than white rice so be sure to start early and figure how much time you need before preparing the Honey Ginger Salmon.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Grab a medium sized baking dish and line with foil.  Spray with non stick spray.  Place salmon fillets in the baking dish.  Whisk together the remaining ingredients and brush the glaze on the salmon.  Bake for about 15 minutes uncovered or until salmon flakes with a fork.  While baking the salmon prepare the Spicy Raspberry Mango Salsa.  See below.

Spicy Raspberry Mango Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 mangoes (cut into cubes)
  • 1/3 c. chopped red onion
  • 1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 – 2/3  c. fresh red raspberries
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 red jalapeno pepper minced
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Grab a small bowl and lightly mix together the above ingredients.  Taste it.  Correct the salt or heat if necessary.

To serve the Honey Ginger Salmon with Spicy Raspberry Mango Salsa, place a scoop of cooked black rice on plate.  Stack your salmon fillet on the rice, and top with a about a 1/2 cup of raspberry mango salsa.  Serve with lime wedges and a cucumber salad.  Makes 3 servings.