Mango Salsa

Since joining Oasis Garden‘s CSA, I’ve had more and more interesting produce to try and create dishes with. It’s forced me to be more creative with what I have on hand.

The past two weeks there’s been a mango in my box. I still had both of them as of tonight, so I decided I’d better use the oldest one.

A recipe for Avocado-Mango Salsa was included in last week’s box. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I omitted some and substituted others. Here’s what I ended up doing–and it’s amazingly delicious! I’m going to eat some with chips tonight and save the rest to go with fish tomorrow.

Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 tomato, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 c chopped onion
1 T white sugar
1 T olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 tsp salt

Toss first seven ingredients together, then fold in avocado. Season with salt.

Shooting in RAW and color-correcting for the first time

I’m busy getting ready to head to the airport, so I don’t have a lot of time, but I wanted to go ahead and slap up these shots I took at the Canal the other day. Below you’ll find the original, unedited image, and then how I tweaked the image in Photoshop. I mostly used Saturation and Levels. I may have overdone it a little…but it was my first time. I’m allowed.

Savannah River Headgates Savannah River Headgates: color-corrected

Augusta Canal trail Augusta Canal trail: color-corrected

Augusta Canal Augusta Canal: color-corrected

Ant on Leaf Ant on Leaf: color-corrected

The last two pictures came out the best, I think.

There are tons more photos from the Canal, but I won’t have time to go through and edit them until I get back from England. I don’t have time to upload them unedited, either, so you’ll just have to wait ;)

The Best Salad Ever

Today when I got home from a lovely hour-long bike ride at the Greeneway I was in the mood for a serious salad. I immediately started pulling all the fruits and vegetables out of the fridge. A little washing and chopping, and voila:

salad

In this salad:

  • spring mix
  • locally-grown, fresh English peas
  • 1 locally-grown tomato
  • seedless red grapes
  • strawberries
  • baby carrots, sectioned
  • 1/8 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • a handful of celery stalks

I intended to use a packet of Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette from Chick-fil-A, but that turned out to be completely unnecessary. The salad was absolutely amazing just as it was. I enjoyed it at my desk with the blinds open while working on my laptop:

salad at my desk

Chocolate Banana Bread and Muffins

chocolate banana bread and muffins

A couple weeks ago I made chocolate banana bread and muffins. I promised at the time to post the recipe, but then never got around to it. This post is a product of my recent energy and motivation!

I got the original bread recipe from allrecipes.com, here. I made a couple of changes to the already light recipe to cut out more calories and fat. Also, since I didn’t have two loaf pans, I used half the dough on a loaf and the other half on muffins.

They turned out extremely well–moist and delicious! I brought the bread to work and no one could tell it was “light”.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups baking Splenda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg beaters
  • 6 bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9×5 inch loaf pan and one 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together margarine, Splenda, eggs, and egg substitute. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda and cocoa; mix well. Blend in sour cream and chocolate chips. Scoop batter by 1/4 cup into muffin cups; pour rest into loaf pan.
  3. Bake muffins in preheated oven 15-20 minutes. Bake loaf for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

mixing the ingredients baking the muffins the finished product yum!

More pictures of the baking process can be found here.

Pimiento cheese sandwich

Jeff very kindly brought me back an official Masters Tournament pimiento cheese sandwich. This is as close to the Masters experience as I am likely to get. I look forward to seeing how it compares to Grandma's…pretty sure it won't come out on top (because what could?) but here's hoping it makes a good showing ;)

Sweet Lou’s Crab Shack

Today I decided to try a new place for lunch: Sweet Lou’s Crab Shack on Broad Street near 13th.

Sweet Lou's Crab Shack

I noticed the place the other day–there’s a huge blue banner with the restaurant’s name and a neat-looking crab right over the door. Today, upon closer inspection, I see the name “Sweet Lou’s Coffee and Bagel Sandwich Shop” on the windows. I’m not sure I would have been as intrigued by that…so bravo, Lou, on your rebranding!

Close-up of banner

The place is done up like a beach restaurant/coffee shop. You really just have to see it. I would have sat inside to enjoy the decor, but I was the only customer and it’s beautiful outside, so I opted for the sunny Broad Street view.

View of Broad Street from my table

The girl behind the counter has reddish hair and a smile like Christina Applegate’s. She plucked me up a menu off the coffee table in the couch and chair lounge area near the back of the joint. Looking over the selections, I was surprised at the number of items that did not involve crab. I noted that they have breakfast, sandwiches, and entrees, and they’re a little pricey. I settled on a fish sandwich called “Harbor Breeze”, a fruit salad (the sandwiches don’t come with any sides) and a can of Diet Coke.

my meal

I waited about 25 minutes for my food, but it was worth it. The fruit salad consisted of a large, pleasantly smooth green bowl filled with grapes, pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi. “Your fruit salad looks amazing,” the girl said as she placed it in front of me. “I’m jealous.”

fruit salad

The fish, light and crispy on the outside from frying, came on a toasted bagel with lettuce, tomato, and orange (probably American) cheese. It was delicious.

close-up of fish sandwich

The prices are a bit steep, and the location, on a block with a payday lender, a nail salon, a planned parenthood office and an imaging service, is not ideal. But the food is delicious, the ambiance is relaxed and fun, and there are indoor and outdoor seating options. It should do well…as long as enough people discover it!

Lunch

Turkey sandwich with bag salad and local hydroponic tomato on locally-made Bleu cheese bread; Knorr butter noodles; orange slices.

If I'd finished building the bistro set I could be eating outside! Oh well, at least the door's open.