Sunday, July 17, 2016

Know Your Mango: How to Cut, Eat, and Ripen

Did you know, Mangoes are the most popular fruit in the world

So, what's wrong with Americans?  
Answer: We don't know which variety to eat or how to tell when they are perfectly ripe.  Here's your go-to guide for Choosing, Ripening, Cutting, and Eating Mango

Ripening Mango process:

- Ripen the mango in a paper bag or newspaper. Leave the bag of mangoes on the kitchen counter overnight and check for ripeness in the morning. Mangoes wrapped in a paper bag will release ethylene, which is an odourless gas that speeds up the ripening process.

- Remove and use the mango when it gives off a fruity scent and yields to soft pressure, usually about a day (or less).

- When wrapping mangoes in a paper bag or newspaper, be sure not to close the bag completely. Some air and gas needs to escape or mold and mildew might start to form.

Pro Tip: Add an apple or banana to the bag to speed up the ripening even more. Adding more ethylene-emitting fruits will increase the ethylene in the bag, giving you an even juicier mango all the quicker.
Photo: Wiki How

Handling & Cutting Mangos

- Always use a clean knife and cutting board to cut a mango.
- If you have handled or cut any type of meat or seafood, ALWAYS sanitize your hands, work area, utensils and cutting board before handling or cutting any fruits or vegetables, including mangos.
- Always wash mangos before cutting.

So, what’s the best way to cut mangoes, you ask?!

Here is how we cut Mangoes…  

If you cut mangoes differently, please share your secrets!
Step 1. Hold the Mango straight up and down
Step 2. Take your knife and cut, about 1/2″, to the right and left of center.  This will remove the main flesh of the Mango, sometimes known as the “cheeks”
Step 3. Gently cut “Cross” marks in the Mango, being careful not to cut all the way through.
Step 4. Push the center of the Mango outward, raising the cut sections of the flesh, and remove them with your knife

Or, try this Mango Cutting Hack:

Know Your Mangoes

Here are the Top 5 Mango Varieties Available in the US:

Valencia Pride Mango

Keitt Mango

Kent Mango

Ataulfo Mango

Special Feature Australian Mangoes:

Available in the U.S. for the first time, three unique mango varieties from Australia’s summer harvest! KINGSTON PRIDE is the most commercially prevalent crop in the country. This mango has orange skin tinged with red blush when ripe; its fruit is golden, moderately fibrous with a sweet, tangy flavor. The R2E2 is almost perfectly round with an orange-red blush over a deep orange skin; this variety’s firm lemon-yellow fruit is mildly sweet compared to the Kingston Pride. The golden apricot-yellow colored HONEY GOLD is firm and juicy with a rich, sweet taste. The variety is fibreless, which makes it the perfect choice for salads and smoothies.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Time is Money in the Kitchen : Cook with Smaller Vegetables

Making Cooking Easy with Ready- To-Cook Veggies 

Have you ever come home from a long day at work hoping for fresh veggies in your meal but you are too exhausted to prepare them? If you are anything like us, you answered yes to that question and may even think about resorting to fast food. There is no need to sacrifice fresh, healthy options with our prepackaged veggies.

Meet the new kids in the produce aisle! Our Ready-To-Cook Fresh Veggies come in convenient packaging that keep the veggies fresh and ready to enjoy at a moment’s notice.

Choose from a variety of fresh veggies, including Mixed Baby Squash, Green Summer Squash, Yellow Summer Squash, Baby Zucchini, Brussels Sprouts, Cubed Butternut Squash, Butternut Squash Noodles, French Beans, and Mixed Baby Carrots. We are all about healthy, convenient products for our consumers and we think these are the new addition your kitchen is waiting for.

This summer, we’re #MakingCookingEasy with Ready-To-Cook Fresh Veggies. So, what delicious meals are you going to create first? Take a look at some of our favorite recipes for inspiration below.

 Baby Summer Squash and Snow Pea Stir Fry:

Calabacitas (Baby Summer Squash):
Bruleed Cheddar Bacon Baby Zucchini:

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Thyme:

Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprouts Saute:

Glazed Chile- Spiced Baby Carrots: 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What is Jackfruit and How Do You Eat It

Jackfruit is the world's largest tree fruit, and is often described as "jurassic" for its huge size (ranging from 10-100 lbs!) and intimidating looks. What's inside, however, is sweet and delicious. In fact, jackfruit's flavor served as the inspiration for Juicy Fruit gum!

Enormous and prickly on the outside, jackfruit contains sweet pods of snackable, craveable fruit. The tutti-frutti, tropical flavor is sometimes described as a mix of mango, melon, apple and banana, but as with any food, you have to try it for yourself to truly understand. 

Fun Fact: Jackfruit belongs to the mulberry family and is native to Southern and Southeast Asia. 

As the fruit ripens, the skin turns to a yellow color and is very fragrant. The ripe yellow to orange fruit inside tastes fabulous as a snack or cooked, but this versatile fruit can also be used green in various recipes

Common uses for Jackfruit include:
  • Dessert
  • Vegan Meat Alternative (used as a stand-in for carnitas, pulled pork and other shredded meats)
  • Roasted Jackfruit Seeds (rich in protein, potassium, calcium and iron)
Aside from its delightful taste, jackfruit is also rich in important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin, magnesium and many other nutrients. 

According to an article from Tech Insider, besides fruit, a jackfruit tree provides some of the following to its native growing region:
  • The leaves provide food for goats and other farm animals
  • The orange-hued bark was traditionally used as a dye for monk's robes
  • The trees produce a sticky latex-like substance that can be used as glue

Watch how to cut open and segment a jackfruit:

Take a look inside!

So, how do you eat this crazy thing?

Before we talk about that, here are some things you will need to extract the edible portion of this fruit:
  1. Cutting board
  2. Plastic Wrap (to keep your board from getting sticky)
  3. Gloves (to keep your hands from getting sticky) 
  4. Oil (to oil your knife so it cuts through the fruit more easily)
  5. Sharp serrated knife

Monday, May 9, 2016

10 Turmeric Recipes For Better Health

Turmeric - One of the World's Healthiest Foods

Turmeric is widely used as a spice in Indian and other South Asian cooking. Related to ginger, turmeric root gives food a golden color and has a distinct peppery flavor that creates a pleasantly warm sensation in the mouth.

Order Turmeric Online

In a recent Medium article, Turmeric is touted as a "wonder herb" with claims such as; "Turmeric has been proven to fight free radicals, rejuvenate the cells, cleanse the liver, protect the heart, boosts moods and support the brain."

Turmeric Fact:

Now that you know how incredible this root is, what can you make with it?

Here are 10 Simple Turmeric Recipes you can make to improve your health.  

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on our blog. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you. 

 Turmeric Infused Confetti Quinoa Salad Recipe

Meyer Lemon Turmeric Lemonade

Turmeric Carrot Potato Soup
via The Devil wears Parsley

Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound Cake Recipe
via Cooking on the Weekends

Veggie Noodle Curry Bowl
via KitchenAid

Detox Smoothie Recipes
via KitchenAid

Spicy Moroccan Fresh Salmon Patties
via Ally's Kitchen

Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric, and Cumin
via The Kitchn

via Skinnytaste

via Vintage Kitty

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meal Planning Resource + Downloadable Shopping List

Meal Planning + Downloadable Shopping List

The simplest way to make cooking easy is to have the right items on hand. Knowing your base items and making recipes off of there, is a simple way to make your meal planning more efficient.

Every family has different needs, so feel free to download this shopping list and make it your own:

So, now all you need is some recipe inspiration!  Check out these awesome Pinterest boards for 6 ingredient or less recipes:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Variety Onions | Melissa's Produce

Can you imagine a world without onions? 

There is no doubt that you are familiar with the everyday cooking onions like, Red, White, Yellow, and Vidalia onions.  But the onions you will read about today are not your traditional onion.  The shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures all create a unique eating experience.

These alliums—members of a family that also includes garlic and chives—are indispensable, adding a baseline of sweet and earthy flavor to many cooked dishes and contributing a spicy accent when served raw. With about a dozen varieties readily available in most grocery stores, as well as several less common types, it can be hard to know which kind of onion to choose for your marinara sauce and which to select for your pico de gallo.  Read on to learn more about the onions you may have been curious about.

Cipolline Onions

The many varieties of onions from Melissa’s can be divided into two main classifications: Green Onions or scallions (onions harvested when green) and Dry Onions (mature onions) harvested when their flesh is juicy and covered with a dry skin. Melissa’s Cipolline Onions, originally grown in Verona, Italy (and now in the U.S. too) fall into the dry onion category.

Baked, broiled or stuffed, premium growing conditions ensure that these onions will have a sweet, delicate flavor! Melissa’s Cipolline Onions are delicious in any dish where extra flavor is needed. Sure to be one of the sweetest onions you will taste, try this onion variety barbecued on skewers with chicken, beef, or lamb, or use in soups, stews, and casseroles. Cipolline Onions are also a favorite when added to roasts or when baked "Verona Style" (see package for recipe).

Melissa’s Cipolline Onions are hand selected for excellent quality and should be firm and heavy for their size, with dry, papery skins. When selecting dry onions, avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind humidity can breed spoilage in dry onions. Store Melissa’s Cipolline Onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.

Pearl Onions

These tiny onions are smaller than boiler onions and contain a sweet, mild flavor. They are available in white, red and gold varieties. Although often used in a variety of dishes, Melissa’s Pearl Onions are a favorite when creamed or pickled.

Melissa’s Pearl Onions are hand selected for excellent quality. Look for Pearl Onions that are firm, heavy for their size and have dry, papery skins. When selecting Pearl Onions avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind that humidity breeds spoilage in dry onions. Store whole Pearl Onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months, (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.

French Echalion Onions

French Echalion (Banana) Shallots are covered with a thin, paper-like skin that can range from pale brown or light gray to a soft rose. Once exposed, the ivory shallot is usually marked by a pale green or purple color. Since each head is made up of several cloves, shallots actually resemble a clove of garlic rather than an onion. 

As members of the onion family, Melissa’s French Echalion Shallots are tender in texture with a milder flavor than other onion varieties. The delicate flavor of these shallots complements sauces and salad dressings, and they may be substituted for onions in all your favorite recipes.

Boiler Onions

Melissa’s Boiler Onions are available in white, red, and gold and fall into the dry onion category and are almost two inches in diameter. They impart a sweet, pungent flavor.

Boiler onions can be used in casseroles, stews, or as a side dish. They are superb grilled with assorted meats and vegetables on shish-kabobs. They are also favored for use in pickling.

Melissa’s Boiler Onions should be firm, heavy for their size, with dry, papery skins. When selecting dry onions, avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind that humidity breeds spoilage in dry onions.

Store whole dry onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.


As members of the onion family, Melissa’s Organic Shallots are tender in texture, mild in flavor (less pungent than the onion), and quick cooking. Since each head is made up of several cloves, Shallots often resemble garlic rather than onions. Covered with a thin, paper-like skin, 

Melissa’s Organic Shallots are hand selected to insure excellent quality and organically grown in accordance with the 1990 California Organic Foods Act. Melissa's Organic label reads: "Melissa's Certified Organic Produce is free of artificial or synthetic fertilizers and full of unforgettable, great tasting flavor. Our farmers use traditional earth-friendly farming methods inspected by a nationally recognized agency to verify organic authenticity. Melissa's Organic Produce, a choice made closer to nature." 

Organic Shallots are preferred for reasons of taste, health and the environment. Melissa’s Organic Shallots make excellent additions to sauces and salads.

Use the same method to select Organic Shallots as you would in selecting onions. Melissa’s Organic Shallots should be firm, heavy for size, with dry, papery skins. When selecting Shallots, avoid any signs of moisture, green shoots or dark spots. Keep in mind humidity breeds spoilage in Shallots. Store whole Shallots in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to one month (depending on condition when purchased). Once cut, tightly wrap any unused Shallot in plastic, refrigerate and use within four days.
Which onion variety is your favorite?  
Tell us in the comments below

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Where to Eat Healthy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 2016 Edition

Race fans have a lot to be excited about this year!  Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) hosts nearly 1400 events year round.  Annually, they host events such as NASCAR's Sprint Cup event weekend, two National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) National event weekends, one NASCAR Truck Series event, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.  With over 1 million fans traveling to the speedway each year, you know they're serving up lots of food!

A recent post on Racing Forums titled "Las Vegas Motor Speedway Welcomes Fans Suffering From Celiac Disease" talks about some of the struggles of visiting sporting venues with limited food choices. The writer praises the Speedway for its many options:

"The superspeedway, through its partnership with Levy Restaurants, is providing a number of unique food items and menus designed for those looking for healthier options or avoiding gluten to thrill the most sophisticated of palates. In addition, Levy and Melissa's Produce will continue to serve fresh and healthy selections in the Neon Garage, including fruit, blended fruit smoothies, salads and more. The partnership between Levy and Melissa's Produce began in 2012 and gives fans fresh options to enjoy during their time at LVMS."

Here is a list of concessions serving healthy options at LVMS:

Levy’s Speedway Alley Concessions: More than a concession stand, this 120-foot-long "alley" offers everything from rice bowls to tacos to barbecue. 

Farm to Fan Concession: Look out for the fresh display of apples and oranges as you make your way through the concourse. This healthy stand serves up fresh-cut fruits and vegetables in convenient grab-and-go cups.

Speedway Farmers Market: Located in the Neon Garage, the Speedway Farmers Market offers fresh salads, club sandwiches, whole fruit and fruit and vegetable cups.

Clubs and Suites: From mac-and-cheese, potato salad, tri-tip and charcuterie to healthy salads and sandwiches, the Speedway's clubs and suites serve up options for every taste. 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Food Facts:

Ketchup at 250 gallons ordered

Hot dogs at 18,000 ordered

A whopping 10,000 lbs. of fresh produce will be washed, cut, shredded and peeled for the NASCAR Race!

Three Square Food Bank: LVMS donates to the Three Square Food Bank following each major event held at the Speedway. LVMS staff also volunteer at the food bank.

Republic Services Waste Management: LVMS and Levy Restaurants have placed recycling bins throughout the property so that they can capture most recyclables after each event.