It’s Tasty Tuesday time again at District 220 schools, and the ingredient of the month for February is grapefruit. Tasty Tuesday is a new healthy eating initiative in our elementary schools where students are served a sample of a fruit or vegetable on the first Tuesday of each month. Then, the same food item will be offered intermittently on the school lunch menu for remainder of the month.
Since the district also recommends we try to serve our kids the food of the month in our own homes, we have a family-friendly recipe for you try, starring the ingredient of the month. I couldn’t be more excited to share a few tips about serving grapefruit, which is my favorite fruit and affectionately known as “The Forbidden Fruit” by those, like me, who love it.
Others may just remember the grapefruit diet fad and perhaps only think of grapefruit as a cleanser for the fruit’s low glycemic index, which helps the body’s metabolism burn fat when digesting. It’s also a great provider of Vitamin C, fiber and lycopene and can help lower cholesterol. These are all good reasons to incorporate grapefruit into your diet. But how about because it tastes great? And I find it truly reliable in texture and flavor in all seasons.
I agree with District 220’s Tasty Tuesday program that we should all try to get our families to eat more grapefruit. Grapefruit has a reputation for being bitter, which happens if you get a bite with too much of the abundant pith, the part that surrounds and separates the segments. Here is a way to cut the fruit that eliminates the majority of the pith, and allows you to easily eat or carve out just the juicy pulp…
Start by slicing off the two blossom ends of the fruit.
Stand the fruit on one of the flat sides you have created, and slice it down the middle.
Next, slice out the pith in the center by cutting diagonally toward the center from each side of the pith.
Then remove the center.
Slice into 5 wedges. Either eat as-is off the rind, or remove pulp
If this seems like a bit of a chore to you, I encourage you to look at it as I encourage people to look at most cooking activities… on the offensive. You have to engage in the sport if you want to do it well. And a perfect sports reference about this topic is the quote from Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come.” If you cut it like this, they’ll eat it. Or, in the cooler section of most grocery produce aisles, you can find cut-up grapefruit in juices packaged for individual snacks. In addition to buying whole grapefruits, I buy these for my kids by the dozen, and I have to beg them not to eat them all that night so we have enough to send in lunches at least the following day.
My other favorite way to enjoy grapefruit is in salads. I pair it with Salmon in the Teriyaki Salmon Citrus Salad in my 30 Spectacular Salads cookbook, and use it in my latest favorite side dish, a superfood Quinoa, Spinach, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad.
As with all of my favorite salads, the ingredients, not the dressing do the talking for this dish. In fact, you don’t even need to top these ingredients as they taste great and fresh as is. But if you are, and want to get some of the Grapefruit vinegar mentioned in the recipe, Pasquesi’s carries the Olive Tap vinegars, or you can visit their stores in Crystal Lake and Long Grove, or buy online at theolivetap.com.
Quinoa, Spinach, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 grapefruit, meat only, diced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 avocado diced
½ teaspoon garlic salt
few shakes black pepper
One splash, or 1 tablespoon Ruby Red Grapefruit vinegar (or other sweet balsamic, champagne or citrus vinegar)
One splash or one tablespoon olive oil
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool completely. Combine all ingredients and serve or chill.
Last month’s District 220 Tasty Tuesday ingredient was Black Beans. Some of my black bean recipes were featured in the Barrington Courier. If you missed it, you can CLICK HERE to read the article. I have been getting great feedback on the black bean brownies.
We hope you take a taste of some grapefruit or black beans this month, and help your family take one step at a time toward eating more pure, healthy and unprocessed foods. We’d love to hear from you about the results.
Kelly Donlea is a Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author the owner of Organizing Dinner, a company that brings sensible cooking solutions to busy people. She has published several cookbooks and one of her specialties is helping parents plan family meals with fewer trips to the grocery store. Kelly also offers cooking classes and demonstrations in your home or public facility. To learn more about Kelly, her recipes and her services, you’ll find her Facebook page by clicking HERE and her website at OrganizingDinner.com. Kelly is going to be sharing recipes, cooking tips and special features about chefs and popular menu items at area restaurants right here at 365Barrington.com.
Please join us as we discover local culinary treasures and new kitchen classics in our regular Friday food feature here at 365Barrington.com called “Barrington Eats” with Kelly Donlea!
If you’d like to us to feature you favorite chef, restaurant or food store or if you have a food related question that you’d like Kelly to answer, make a quick stop at the 365 Barrington Suggestion Box and leave us a note in the form which you’ll find by clicking HERE or simply leave your comment in the box below.