Tag Archives: food

Tasty Tuesday: Mango Salad with Sophia’s Pomegranate Dressing

26 Jul

I’m not a salad person.  Like a good Greek, my dad ate a huuuuuuge bowl of salad every night at dinner.  Salad seemed like a whole lot of chewing for not a lot of flavor payoff to me, though.  I’ve taste-tasted plenty of dressings at all-you-can-eat buffets, and while blue cheese or Italian might make lettuce a little more palatable it usually ends up making my salad taste rather generic.  “Hi, I’m American, and I like ranch dressing!”  That’s why I was surprised when I found myself tempted by the salad dressings at the grocery store.

Shelved between plastic bottles of gooey dressings was Sophia’s Gourmet Foods Greek Island Dressing.  The tall glass bottle looked sophisticated and down-to-earth at the same time, as if Sophia’s is the shabby chic of salad dressings.  The labels are white with beautiful line illustrations that call to mind late afternoons on the Greek islands.  The contents of the bottles looked thick, textured, and vibrant.  The dressing looked natural and homemade.

I picked up a bottle and read the label.  I’m really into reading labels these days.  It’s crazy the amount of junk (read: preservatives, sugar, coloring) that goes into packaged foods.  Here’s what’s in the Tahini: “Lemon Juice, Tahini, Water, Garlic, Salt, Sesame Seeds, Citric Acid.”  That’s it.  All of the other flavors do contain xantham gum, which helps the dressing achieve the thickness I’d noticed.  Some have various types of sugars added, but a serving size (2 tablespoons) only has 2 grams of sugar.  I wish the natural ingredients themselves did all the thickening and sweetening, but still Sophia’s seems more natural than a lot of other brands on the market.

I selected the “with Pomegranate” dressing.  The ingredients are:

Water, Pomegranate Juice (from Concentrate) Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Soybean Oil, Honey, Vinegar, Garlic, Spices, Cultured Dextrose, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Natural Color, Natural Flavor.

Pomegranates, which originated in Iran, are central to the Greek myth of Persephone.  In Greek Orthodox Christianity it is the pomegranate, not the apple, that was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  At very traditional Greek weddings, pomegranates are broken on the ground.

Pomegrantes are believed to reduce risk of heart disease.  They’re a good source of vitamin B5 and C.

Sophia’s Greek Island dressing just has pomegranate juice from concentrate so it’s not quite as beneficial as eating a fresh pomegranate on its own, but all the Sophia’s dressings are all natural, gluten free, cholesterol free, and low in sodium.  They also made from extra-virgin olive oil, which is also good for preventing heart disease, according to the research I’ve done previously.

Okay, so it’s pretty healthy but how does it taste??

I loved it!  It tastes fresh and tangy.  The texture isn’t syrupy, goopey, or runny.  It pours out nicely and has a bit of a pomegranate-seed texture which I liked.

I poured it over fresh romaine lettuce and fresh slices of mango.  The tang of the pomegranate and the sweetness of the mango paired really well together.  Delicious!

Advertisements

Gelato in Central Park

12 Apr

I passed this gelato stand in Central Park the other day.  Dear spring, I hope you settle in and stay awhile.  I’m looking forward to sundresses, reading by the fountain, and picnics with friends.

φάε: Spinach & Kimchee Pies — My Childhood in Savory Pastry Form

14 Mar

I grew up in a town in New Jersey that was heavily populated by Korean Americans.  You can imagine my delight then when I stumbled upon a kimchee variation of spanikopita.  It was like my childhood in savory pastry form!

On her ever-popular blog, Not Eating Out in New York, Cathy Erway tells how her friend inspired her to make spanikopita.  When she didn’t have any feta cheese in her fridge to make the spinach pie, she decided on a unique alternative: kimchee.  “I’ll take spicy, briny, tart pickled cabbage over feta this time,” she wrote.

 

Spinach & Kimchee Pie. Photo via Not Eating Out in New York. Used with permission.

For anyone who doesn’t know, spanikopita is the name of a Greek spinach pie that is made out of delicious layers of phyllo dough, spinach, feta cheese, egg, and onion.  This being the season of Great Lent, I should point out that there is also a vegan version that does not contain cheese.

Kimchee, meanwhile, is a popular Korean dish of fermented vegetables.  The main vegetable is cabbage but it could also have onions and cucumbers in it.  Kimchee is having its moment right now.  It’s being packaged up and branded to the foodie hipster crowd.  The brand Cathy uses in her recipe is her friend Kheedim Oh’s Mama O’s Kimchee, but I also discovered via Joy Deangdeelert Cho’s blog, oh joy!, the brand Mother In Law’s Kimchi, which I then stumbled upon at Whole Foods.

Cathy’s spinach & kimchee pies are not your yiayia’s spanikopita.  She combined the spinach and kimchee and folded it into pastry dough.  Get the full recipe and its health benefits on the Not Eating Out in New York blog.