Feb. 4: What I Ate. So Many Good, New, Exotic Things!

Outrageous experiments in sensible eating.
Feb. 4 2011 9:15 PM

Feb. 4: What I Ate. So Many Good, New, Exotic Things!

We begin with a breakfast battle of the berries (wheat) and the barley, in lowfat milk. Who will come out a winner? The berries are buttery but the barley is nutty. No winner declared. Both delicious.

Ellen Tarlin Ellen Tarlin

Ellen Tarlin is a former Slate copy chief and writer of the "Clean Plate" blog. Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston PhoenixBrooklyn Bridge, Bark, and  the RISK storytelling podcast. Follow her on Twitter.

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One thing was sure: It wasn't enough food. Time to hit the fruit. This is a pomelo, a grapefruit native to Southeast Asia. Huge.

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This is the inside. Look how thick that peel is and how the edge of the fruit curves in and out.

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I haven't eaten grapefruit halved for a long time, but I was pretty sure I couldn't eat it without sugar, so I threw some turbinado on it. I also had some gluten-free toast with apple butter. The toast tasted fine. The pomelo was much milder and less bitter than our grapefruits. Very juicy.

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Then work got busy for several hours. I held off eating because I wanted to make something new, but there was just too much to do and I got too hungry, so Round 2 of the battle of the berries vs. barley, with dried cranberries, because I'm out of raisins, and almond milk, because I'm out of regular milk. The almond milk added something to it. And I declared a winner in this battle: me, because I don't have to choose one over the other and together they are kind of nice.

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Exotic fruits were rotting in my fridge and I felt guilty about it--so it was time to try to eat some. These were the wiltiest: dragonfruit on the left and I don't know what the one on the right is. Maybe you can help me out. The cashier where I bought it didn't know either, so he gave it to me for free. I thought it was either some kind of pear or melon. My co-worker said it looks like a little owl, so I'm calling it owl fruit.

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This is what they look like on the inside: The owl fruit looks even more like an owl!

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I think they were both past their prime, though. I took one bite of each--the owl fruit smelled delicious, like a cross between an apple and a pear. It tasted appley and pearish and melony, so I still couldn't determine what it might be. The dragonfruit had no flavor--maybe because I tasted the other one first. After one bite I threw them out. There goes 10 bucks.

But, not to worry, Siggi's yogurt and apple butter will revive me. This is happymaking:

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I think Siggi's might be--dare I say it?--better than Fage? Go ahead, fight it out in the Comments section.

What could be better for a scratchy throat and congested nose than a little spicy Indian-ish food? This is a recipe recommendation from commenter Liz Derosier: Curried Black-Eyed Peas With Tomatoes and Mushrooms . It's extremely fragrant, so I took a shower between cooking and eating so I could fully taste it. It's like healthy, tasty comfort food. The recipe included a spice blend called garam masala. Super yum. What else can I do with garam masala? The recipe also suggested serving this with rice, but I already had cooked barley waiting in the fridge. Hearty and delicious and plenty of leftovers for lunches next week. This dish also helped alleviate the cold symptoms. Thank you, curry, and Liz. Now I need to find a good raita recipe.

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And then I realized I'd eaten nothing green today, so I snacked on some sugar snap peas. Everyone said the best way to eat them is raw. Now I understand why they are called "sugar" and "snap." Nice crunchy snack.

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Tomorrow night friends are coming to dinner and we are making pizzas (their idea). I'm gonna go for this recipe suggested by commenter Jill Brickey: Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza . And I've got some white asparagus to use. Can't wait!

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