Tags: China, Fruit, India, La Huasteca, Lychee, Southeast Asia, United States, Vietnam
The lychee (Litchi chinensis, and commonly called leechi, litchi, laichi, lichu, lizhi) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to Southern China and Southeast Asia, and now
cultivated in many parts of the world. The fresh fruit has a “delicate, whitish pulp” with a “perfume” flavor that is lost in canning, so the fruit is mostly eaten fresh.
An evergreen tree reaching 10–20 m tall, the lychee bears fleshy fruits that are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) wide. The outside of the fruit is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed to expose a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh. Lychees are eaten in many different dessert dishes, and are especially popular in China, throughout South-East Asia, along with South Asia and India.
The lychee is cultivated in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and northern India (in particular Bihar, which accounts for 75% of total Indian production.) South Africa and the United States (Hawaii and Florida) also have commercial lychee production.
The lychee has a history of cultivation going back as far as 2000 BC according to records in China. Cultivation began in the area of southern China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Wild trees still grow in parts of southern China and on Hainan Island. There are many stories of the fruit’s use as a delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court. It was first described and introduced to the west in 1782.
Litchi chinensis is an evergreen tree that is frequently less than 10 m (33 ft) tall, sometimes reaching more than 15 m (49 ft). The bark is grey-black, the branches a brownish-red. Leaves are 10 to 25 cm (3.9 to 9.8 in) or longer, with leaflets in 2-4 pairs. Litchee have a similar foliage to the Lauraceae family likely due to convergent evolution. They are adapted by developing leaves that repel water, similar to laurophyll or lauroide leaves which are adapted to high rainfall and humidity in laurel forest habitats. Flowers grow on a terminal inflorescence with many panicles on the current season’s growth. The panicles grow in clusters of ten or more, reaching 10 to 40 cm (3.9 to 16 in) or longer, holding hundreds of small white, yellow, or green flowers that are distinctively fragrant.
Fruits mature in 80–112 days, depending on climate, location, and cultivar. Fruits reach up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) wide, varying in shape from round, to ovoid, to heart-shaped. The thin, tough inedible skin is green when immature, ripening to red or pink-red, and is smooth or covered with small sharp protuberances. The skin turns brown and dry when left out after harvesting. The fleshy, edible portion of the fruit is an aril, surrounding one dark brown inedible seed that is 1 to 3.3 cm (0.39 to 1.3 in) long and .6 to 1.2 cm (0.24 to 0.47 in) wide. Some cultivars produce a high percentage of fruits with shriveled aborted seeds known as ‘chicken
tongues’. These fruit typically have a higher price, due to having more edible flesh.
Lychees are extensively grown in China, and also elsewhere in Brazil, South-East Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, southern Japan, and more recently in California, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, the wetter areas of eastern Australia and sub-tropical regions of South Africa, Israel and also in the states of Sinaloa and San Luis Potosí (specifically, in La Huasteca) in Mexico. They require a warm subtropical to tropical climate that is cool but also frost-free or with only very slight winter frosts not below -4°C, and with high summer heat, rainfall, and humidity. Growth is best on well-drained, slightly acidic soils rich in organic matter. A wide range of cultivars is available, with early and late maturing forms suited to warmer and cooler climates respectively. They are also grown as an ornamental tree as well as for their fruit.
Lychees are commonly sold fresh in Asian markets, and in recent years, also widely in supermarkets worldwide. The red rind turns
dark brown when the fruit is refrigerated, but the taste is not affected. It is also sold canned year-round. The fruit can be dried with the rind intact, at which point the flesh shrinks and darkens. Dried lychee are often called lychee nuts, though, of course, they are not a real nut.
According to folklore, a lychee tree that is not producing much fruit can be girdled, leading to more fruit production.
The lychee contains on average a total 72 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. On average nine lychee fruits would meet an adult’s daily recommended Vitamin C requirement.
A cup of lychee fruit provides, among other minerals, for a 2000-calorie diet, mainly from sugar, 14%DV of copper, 9%DV of phosphorus, and 6%DV of potassium.
Like most plant-based foods, lychees are low in saturated fat and sodium and are cholesterol free. Lychees have moderate amounts of polyphenols, shown in one French study to be higher than several other fruits analyzed. On the phenolic composition, flavan-3-ol monomers and dimers were the major found compounds representing about 87.0% of the phenolic compounds that declined with storage or browning. Cyanidin-3-glucoside was a major anthocyanin and represented 91.9% of anthocyanins. It also declined with storage or browning. Small amounts of malvidin-3-glucoside were also found.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Lychee is known for being a fruit with “hot” properties (see the six excesses for more details on the definition of heat), and excessive consumption of Lychee can, in certain extreme cases, lead to fainting spells or skin rashes.
Tags: Carbohydrate, Cheese, Dietary fiber, Monounsaturated fat, Polyunsaturated fat, Saturated fat, Tortilla chip, Turkey
Today’s Menu: Jennie-O Turkey Nachos Extreme!
Ran across this while at Walmart earlier and I knew I had my dinner for later! I was wanting something light and easy to fix while getting my Sunday dose of Football. Easy to fix, yes! The Kit comes with the Cooked Taco Flavored Turkey (8oz.), Corn Tortilla Chips (4oz.), and Shredded Cheese (3oz.).
Step 1 – Open the end of the Taco Meat Package
Step 2 – Layer Chips in tray, top with contents of Meat pouch. Use fork to break up Meat and distribute evenly over Chips. Top with Cheese.
Step 3 – Microwave uncovered on High for approximately 2 minutes. Serve.
Can’t get much easier! They turned out great! I also added a small can of Sliced Black Olives before heating and was going to add some sliced Peppers but was out of them. I’ll be buying more of these a good tasting and quick and easy way to fix Nachos! Plus only 290 calories and 22 carbs per serving, there are 4 servings per kit.
Jennie-O Turkey Store – Nachos Extreme!
Tags: Bulgur, Dietary Reference Intake, Hungry Girl Foldit Flatbread, Oat, Oatmeal, STEEL CUT OATS, Wheat, WHEAT GLUTEN
I am hopelessly addicted to pasta, bread, and rice. So I’m always looking for new and healthier products.
I found a new product, well new to me, called Hungry Girl Foldit Flatbread. There are different types and I tried the 100% Whole Wheat w/Flax Foldit Flatbread. You can put anything you want inside and then fold one end over, kind of like a taco shell but bread. I made mine for lunch and put some Jennie – O Turkey Tenders I had left over from the other night and a half piece of Kraft 2% Deli Style Sliced Sharp Cheddar. I then warmed it up in my Panini Maker. Tasted fantastic and browned up beautifully! Another new product to keep on hand. One serving is one piece – 100 calories, 0 fat, 290 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, and 6 g protein.
Hungry Girl 100% Whole Wheat with Flax
Excellent Source of ALA Omega 3
Excellent Source of Fiber
43% Less Net Carbs than sliced bread
INGREDIENTS: WATER, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN, OAT FIBER, GRAIN BLEND (CUT WHEAT, WHEAT BRAN, CUT RYE, CORN MEAL, BARLEY GRITS, BULGAR WHEAT, STEEL CUT OATS, OAT FLAKES, YELLOW CORN GRITS, BARLEY FLAKES, RYE CHOPS, HULLED MILLET, WHEAT FLAKES), FLAX SEED MEAL, SOYBEAN OIL, YEAST, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: MALTITOL, SUGAR, MOLASSES, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, BAKING SODA, WHEAT PROTEIN ISOLATE, FUMARIC ACID, PRESERVATIVES (POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM PROPIONATE), CELLULOSE GUM, GUAR GUM, CALCIUM SULFATE, XANTHAN GUM, SALT, L-CYSTEINE, CALCIUM PEROXIDE, ENZYMES. CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOYBEANS. MANUFACTURED IN A FACILITY THAT ALSO PROCESSES PRODUCTS CONTAINING MILK AND CHEESE.
Serving Size 1 flatbread (43g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Values*
Total Fat 2.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 360mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Vitamin A – Vitamin C –
Calcium – Iron –
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Tags: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Green Bean, Lemon, McCormick Grinder Sea Salt, Olive oil, Parsley, Salmon, Sockeye Salmon
I had a Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon and Basil Pesto with a Lemon Wedge. I seasoned the Salmon with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt, McCormick Grinder Black Peppercorn, and Parsley. I then pan seared with Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 3 1/2 minutes per side. When done I topped it with Basil Pesto and a Lemon Wedge. The Salmon contains those healthy omega-3′s that we need to be incorporating into our diet!
For sides I had Green Beans and Sweet Corn along with Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. I tried a can of Del Monte Summer Crisp Whole Kernal Golden Sweet Corn and loved it! Great flavor and only 80 calories and 16 carbs. The Del Monte Cut Green beans are 20 calories and 5 carbs and the Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread 80 calories and 16 carbs. So for 3 sides it’s only a total of 180 calories and 37 carbs! Not bad at all. For dessert later a Mini Banana Split. Using a Mini Banana, Breyer’s Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream, Smucker’s Sugar Free Hot Fudge Chocolate Topping, and a Tablespoon of Cool Whip Free. If you crave one at least make it as low calorie and low carb as you can.
Tags: Asparagus, Barbecue, Black pepper, Jennie-O, Kroger, Pineapple, Sea salt, Turkey
Today’s Menu: Marinated Baked Turkey Tenderloin and Crushed Pineapple w/ Grilled Asparagus, Grilled Potatoes, and Whole Grain Bread
I had Jennie – O Baked Turkey Tenderloin that I had marinated for three hours in JB’s Fat Boy Sticy Stuff BBQ. After seasoning it with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, and Smoked Cumin I then baked it for 30 minutes covered and thirty minutes uncovered at 350 degrees. After uncovering it I added the Crushed Pineapple and 2 tablespoons of the Pineapple Juice from the can for the final 30 minutes of baking. The Turkey turned out moist and delicious. The JB’s Fat Boy Sticy Stuff BBQ. Sauce along with the Crushed Pioneapple make for a perfect combo that gives the Turkey a fantastic taste! I’ve yet to have anything bad from Jennie -O products. Meijer is the only one in my area that sells all of the Jenni – O products but I hear Kroger is now considering switching to them.
As sides I had Grilled Asparagus Spears, Grilled Sliced Potatoes with Cheese &Herb Seasoning, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Asparagus and Potatoes are Meijer Brands, which may I add has in my opinion some of the best selection and tasting frozen Veggies. For dessert a Jello Sugar free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.
The new season of The Next Iron Chef premieres October 30. This should be good!
Contestants are: Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chuck Hughes, Robert Irvine, Beau MacMillan, Geoffrey Zakarian, Spike Mendelsohn, and Marcus Samuelsson.
Tags: Apple Juice, Black pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kraft Mayo, Olive oil, Ore-Ida, Sea salt, Teaspoon, Turkey
Today’s Menu: Ground Pork Pesto Burger and Apple Mayo w/ Baked Steak Fries
My favorite Burger is the Bison Burger and I love the Turkey and Chicken Burgers too but there is a new Burger in town and this one is too good! I used Ground Pork, a 93/7 blend, and added Italian Style Bread Crumbs, Basil Pesto Sauce to make the patties. I seasoned them with Sea salt and Ground Black Pepper. Fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, about a half a tablespoon. Served on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun I also made a Apple Mayo for the topping and added a slice of Smoked Gouda. They are delicious, my parents loved them! The Mayo is very easy I used Kraft Mayo w/ Olive Oil and added a 2 teaspoons of Apple Juice and sliced and diced 1 small Gala Apple. Mixed all together in a small bowl and served. Top with Mayo Mix, Teaspoon of Pesto, and Smoked Gouda Cheese. I’ll leave the recipe below for the Burgers and Mayo. I also had a side of Ore Ida Baked Steak Fries.
Ground Pork Burgers
(Makes 4 Burgers)
1 LB. Ground Pork (I used a 93/7 Blend)
1/4 Cup Basil Pesto (You can add more to taste)
1/2 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 Slices of Smoked Gouda Cheese, Optional
* In a mixing bowl add your pesto and ground pork. Mix together and form into 4 Burgers
* Spray a large skillet and heat on medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Fry the Burgers to your liking, I fried these for about 4 minutes per side.
* Serve on a Bun of your choice (Iused Heathy Life Whole Grain Buns). Add Apple Mayo and Slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese.
1Small Gala Apple or Honey Crisp
1 Cup Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Apple Juice
* Core Apple and quarter it. Then slice each quarter into thin slices and dice all slices up.
* In a small bowl add Mayo, Diced Apple, and Apple Juice and mix well.
* You can also add a little Papparika to give it a bit of heat *
Tags: British Empire, England, English cuisine, Natural History of Selborne, Sunday, Sunday roast, United States, World War II, Yorkshire pudding
English cuisine encompasses the cooking styles, traditions and recipes associated with England. It has distinctive attributes of its own, but also shares much with wider British cuisine, largely due to the importation of ingredients and ideas from places such as North America, China, and India during the time of the British Empire and as a result of post-war immigration.
In the Early Modern Period the food of England was historically characterized by its simplicity of approach and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce. This, was in no small part influenced by England’s Puritan flavor at the time, and resulted in a traditional cuisine which tended to veer from strong flavors, such as garlic, and an avoidance of complex sauces which were commonly associated with Catholic Continental political affiliations. It is possible the effects of this can still be seen in traditional cuisine.
Traditional meals have ancient origins, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, boiled vegetables and broths, and freshwater and saltwater fish. The 14th century English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, contains recipes for these, and dates from the royal court of Richard II. In the second half of the 18th century Rev. Gilbert White, in The Natural History of Selborne made note of the increased consumption of vegetables by ordinary country people in the south of England, to which, he noted, potatoes had only been added during the reign of George III: “Green-stalls in cities now support multitudes in comfortable state, while gardeners get fortunes. Every decent laborer also has his garden, which is half his support; and common farmers provide plenty of beans, peas, and greens, for their hinds to eat with their bacon.”
Other meals, such as fish and chips, which were once urban street food eaten from newspaper with salt and malt vinegar, and pies and sausages with mashed potatoes, onions, and gravy, are now matched in popularity by curries from the Bangladesh and Pakistan, and stir-fries based on Chinese and Thai cooking. Italian cuisine and French cuisine are also now widely adapted. Britain was also quick to adopt the innovation of fast food from the United States, and continues to absorb culinary ideas from all over the world while at the same time rediscovering its roots in sustainable rural agriculture.
The Sunday roast was once the most common feature of English cooking. The Sunday dinner traditionally includes roast potatoes (or boiled or mashed potatoes) accompanying a roasted joint of meat such as roast beef, lamb, pork, or a roast chicken and assorted
other vegetables, themselves generally boiled and served with a gravy. Sauces are chosen depending on the type of meat: horseradish for beef, mint sauce for lamb, apple sauce for pork, and bread sauce for chicken. Yorkshire pudding normally accompanies beef (although it was originally served first as a “filler”), sage and onion stuffing pork, and usually parsley stuffing chicken; gravy is now often served as an accompaniment to the main course. The practice of serving a roast dinner on a Sunday is related to the elaborate preparation required, and to the housewife’s practice of performing the weekly wash on a Monday, when the cold remains of the roast made an easily-assembled meal. Sunday was once the only rest day after a six-day working week; it was also a demonstration that the household was prosperous enough to afford the cost of a better than normal meal. An elaborate version of roast dinner is traditionally eaten at Christmas, with almost every detail rigidly specified by tradition. Since its widespread availability after World War II the most popular Christmas roast is turkey, superseding the goose of Dickens’s time. Before the period of cheap turkeys, roast chicken would be more common than goose although Chicken was still a once a year treat until the 1950’s; goose being unsuitable for small groups of diners. Game meats such as venison which were traditionally the domain of higher classes are occasionally also eaten by those wishing to experiment with a wider choice of foods, due to their promotion by celebrity chefs, although they are not usually eaten frequently in the average household.
It is a widespread stereotype that the English “drop everything” for a tea time meal in the mid-afternoon. This is no longer the case in the workplace, and is rarer in the home than it once was. A formal tea time meal is now often an accompaniment to tourism, particularly in Devon and neighboring counties, where comestibles may include scones with jam and clotted cream (together known as a cream tea). There are also fairy cakes, simple small sponge cakes which can be iced or eaten plain. Nationwide, assorted biscuits and sandwiches are eaten. Generally, however, the tea time meal has been replaced by snacking, or simply dispensed with.
Although a wide variety of fish are caught in British waters, the English tend to mainly eat only a few species. Cod, haddock, plaice, huss, and skate are the fish-and-chip shop favorites. (The unadventurous approach and the tendency to eat fish battered were mocked by Keith Floyd with the phrase “unidentified frying objects”. A few other species, such as coley and pollack are found in the anonymous form of breadcrumbed fish cakes and fish fingers.
English sausages are colloquially known as “bangers”. They are distinctive in that they are usually made from fresh meats and rarely smoked, dried, or strongly flavored. Following the post World War II period, sausages tended to contain low-quality meat, fat, and rusk. However, there has been a backlash in recent years, with most butchers and supermarkets now selling premium varieties.
Pork and beef are by far the most common bases, although gourmet varieties may contain venison, wild boar, etc. There are particularly famous regional varieties, such as the herbal Lincolnshire, and the long, curled Cumberland with many butchers offering their own individual recipes and variations often handed down through generations, but are generally not made from cured meats such as Italian selections or available in such a variety as found in Germany.
Most larger supermarkets in England will stock at least a dozen types of English sausage: not only Cumberland and Lincolnshire but often varieties such as pork and apple, pork and herb; beef and stilton; pork and mozzarella, and others. There are estimated to be around 400 sausage varieties in the United Kingdom.
Sausages form the basis of toad in the hole, where they are combined with a batter similar to a Yorkshire pudding and baked in the oven, this can be served with an onion gravy made by frying sliced onions for anywhere over an hour on a low heat then mixed with a stock, wine or ale then reduced to form a sauce or gravy used in bangers and mash.
Northern European countries generally have a tradition of salting, smoking, pickling and otherwise preserving foods. Kippers, bloaters, ham, and bacon are some of the varieties of preserved meat and fish known in England. Onions, cabbage and some other vegetables may be pickled. Smoked cheese is not common or traditional, although apple-wood smoked cheddar has become available in many supermarkets. Meats other than pork are generally not cured. The “three breakfasts a day” principle can be implemented by eating bacon sandwiches at any time. (These have many colloquial names such as “bacon sarnies” or “bacon butties”).
Traditionally pubs in England were drinking establishments and little emphasis was placed on the serving of food, other than “bar snacks”, such as pork scratchings, and pickled eggs, along with salted crisps and peanuts which helped to increase beer sales. If a pub served meals they were usually basic cold dishes such as a ploughman’s lunch. In South East England (especially London) it was
common until recent times for vendors selling cockles, whelks, mussels and other shellfish, to sell to customers during the evening and at closing time. Many mobile shellfish stalls would set up near pubs, a practice that continues in London’s East End.
In the 1950s some British pubs would offer “a pie and a pint”, with hot individual steak and ale pies made easily on the premises by the landlord’s wife. In the 1960s and 1970s this developed into the then-fashionable “chicken in a basket”, a portion of roast chicken with chips, served on a napkin, in a wicker basket. Quality dropped but variety increased with the introduction of microwave ovens and freezer food. “Pub grub” expanded to include British food items such as steak and ale pie, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Sunday roast, ploughman’s lunch, and pasties. In addition, dishes such as burgers, lasagna and chilli con carne are often served.
Since the 1990s food has become more important as part of a pub’s trade, and today most pubs serve lunches and dinners at the table in addition to (or instead of) snacks consumed at the bar. They may have a separate dining room. Some pubs serve meals to a higher standard, to match good restaurant standards; these are sometimes termed gastropubs.
Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, took the tea habit to Great Britain around 1660, subsequently to the introduction of coffee. Initially, its expense restricted it to wealthy consumers, but the price gradually dropped, until the 19th century, when tea became as widely consumed as it is today.
In Britain, tea is usually black tea served with milk (never cream; the cream of a “cream tea” is clotted cream served on top of scones than normally strawberry jam on top, a tradition originating from Devon and Cornwall). Strong tea served with lots of milk and often two teaspoons of sugar, usually in a mug, is commonly referred to as builder’s tea. Much of the time in the United Kingdom, tea drinking is not the delicate, refined cultural expression that the rest of the world imagines—a cup (or commonly a mug) of tea is something drunk often, with some people drinking six or more cups of tea a day. Employers generally allow breaks for tea and sometimes biscuits to be served. A mug of tea is the standard accompaniment to a meal in an inexpensive unlicensed eatery, such as a café or”caff”.
Earl Grey tea is a distinctive variation flavored with Bergamot. In recent years, herbal teas and speciality teas have also become popular.
Beer was the first alcoholic drink to be produced in England, and has been brewed continuously since prehistoric times. England is one of the few countries where ale (cask conditioned beer) is still a major part of the market. Lager or Pilsener style beer has
increased considerably in popularity since the mid 20th century, and is often used as an accompaniment to spicy ethnic food. Any kind of beer may accompany a meal in a pub. English beer cookery includes steak and ale pie and beer-battered fish and chips.
Stout is a globally known style of beer which originated in England, although it came to be associated with Ireland. It has a culinary association with oysters; they can be used to flavor stout, or it can be drunk with them.
In Britain, “cider” always means an alcoholic drink of fermented apple juice. Technically, it is a member of the wine family, but it is always served by the pint or half pint like beer. It is traditionally associated with certain regions, such as the South West, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, but commercial brands are available nationwide. The cloudy, unfiltered version is called scrumpy, and the related beverage made from pears, is called perry. In England it is sometimes distilled into apple brandy, but this is not as widespread as with Calvados in France. culinary, cider is sometimes used in pork or rabbit dishes.