Tag Archives: fruit

A Restful Weekend with Bonus Fruit Salad

I know it’s been awhile, y’all, but don’t worry:

From tumblr.com

Life has felt busy lately and not the exaggerated “I’m soooo busy (marathoning television shows)” kind of busy but the kind that involves having a ton to do at work, traveling a lot for work, and having a lot of family and friend stuff going on. It’s the “I haven’t done laundry in like three weeks” kind of busy. Gross.

Anyway, this weekend is finally a quiet one where I have zero plans other than catching up on my life, vegging out, and doing laundry. I can’t complain too much: I did go on one non-obligatory, 100% for myself vacation last month and visited Jen, my sister from another mister.

smarterrestSide story: I had to sneak into Jen’s place in the middle of the night and scared the crap out of her since she was asleep on the couch. (Don’t worry about why I had to sneak in. I just did. MYOB!) Along with screaming very loudly, Jen threw her eye mask at me. I’m so grateful it was just that and not a lethal weapon. Maybe things would have gone better if she had the Sleep Mask Eye Mask By Smarter Rest, which I had the opportunity to try out. This mask blocks out the light better than any other eye mask I’ve used AND it comes with ear plugs AND comes with its own storage bag. It’s also adjustable so it’ll fit no matter how giant or tiny your head is.

One of the highlights of the weekend was making a Filipino dinner for my friends and that included this easy throwback for dessert:


Yum… lychees! Again, this super simple fruit salad consists of canned lychees, a can of fruit cocktail and almond jello. You can add a can of lychee juice if you want it to be more soupy, or ice cubes to keep it cold. Such good stuff! You should be able to find all the ingredients at any Asian grocery store. If you’re in the Charleston area, we picked up our stuff at the H&L Asian Supermarket. BTW–Jen froze, blended and used it to make a refreshing cocktail after I had already gone home. Sounds freaking delicious!

That’s all for now. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!


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The Lazy Vegan: Sweet Sunday Breakfast

When I think about family meals, I find myself being truly grateful that my parents and siblings and I always ate at the table, together. My parents would cook, we would set the table, get our drinks, and then it would just be us and our meal. There was never any radio or TV or smart phone to distract us. Sunday mornings were especially nice: my parents would sometimes cook what I would now consider to be an extravagant breakfast consisting of eggs and sausages and pancakes, etc. Or, we would stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home from church and have a junky breakfast together.

Fast forward to today. I woke up alone and wanting something comforting but healthy and easy for breakfast. This meal using items I always have in my kitchen met my criteria and was perfectly satisfying! It’s also a great meal for kids.


Lazy Sunday Morning Waffles w/ Peanut Butter and a ‘Nana

1 frozen Van’s waffle (I love these. There a several varieties, many are gluten-free, and I can find them in any of my usual grocery stores)
1 banana
1-2 tbsp of Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams (again… awesome product from a vegan company that I can find in any of my usual grocery stores)


Toast or bake the waffle according to the directions on the box.

Spread the peanut butter on the waffle.

Slice up a banana.

Put it all on a plate.



As easy as it was to make this, I found it to be so comforting. Today is one of those days when a meal can make or break my day. This definitely makes me feel more ready to face my day! –Melissa

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Adventures in Fruit: FUYU!

This sounds like an insult but it’s actually a delicious fruit. Sometimes called ‘persimmon’ this particular variety should be available in most specialty markets when in season.

Fuyu (when still yellow) has the texture of a not-quite-ripe nectarine with the flavor of honeyed pear with a dash of vanilla; I prefer it at this stage because it’s sweet but not overwhelming. When completely ripe it tastes like a mouthful of clover honey. If you see it, don’t hesitate… try it!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Adventures in Fruit: Rose Apples!

Winter feels like fall in Florida… well, kind of like fall. We’re getting some lovely apples from the North and I’m about to share a special one with you: mountain rose apples. These apples don’t seem like much special until you cut them open: PINK!


These apples are crisp and sweet in flavor like a Fuji apple but with the skin texture of a golden delicious apple. Personally I’m a fan of royal gala apples but these are great for making pink apple cobbler or applesauce. They’re really spectacular. I hope you find some at your market!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Put the Lime in the Coconut Rum and Mashed Papaya

Is it just me, or do cocktails taste better in the summertime? Don’t get me wrong: nothing beats a spiced up cocktail on a cold winter night. But yummy cool refreshing fruity cocktails when it’s hot out? Perfection. (An ice cold beer on a hot summer day is also perfection.)

This concoction requires three ingredients:

1-1 1/2 c papaya
1-2 shots Malibu
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix it all together. Yes… that’s a lot of Malibu in there. Don’t judge me; I was home for the night. Pour it into a glass over ice and garnish with a lime wedge. If you’re able, take it outside and enjoy it in the nice summer breeze.

Mmmmm…. rum… –Melissa

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Easy Breezy Refreshing Dessert

This is one of my favorite things. It brings back memories of summer picnics in the park. I remember helping my mom cut the almond jello into squares. We would add ice cubes to the bowl to keep it cool.

All you need is a packet of almond jello, a can of fruit cocktail, and a can of lychees. You make the jello first. Once it’s formed, cut it into cubes and throw it into a large bowl with the other items. The jello will glide right out of the pan you put it in.

You should be able to easily find almond jello in any Asian supermarket. The brand we use is agar-based. I found a recipe for making almond jello on HapaMama if you can’t find the mix.

Yum! Let me know if you try this refreshing summer treat! –Melissa

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Thank Goodness for Mangoes and Blueberries… and RUM

I needed a cocktail today. Badly.

Disclaimer: I didn’t intend for this post to glorify the consumption of liquor. Please drink responsibly and remember that alcohol is not the answer to life’s problems!

I shall call this cocktail “My Heart May Hurt but At Least I’m Getting My Antioxidants”

1/2 a mango
1/4 cup blueberries
fresh mint (optional)
shot of rum

First, try the rum. Make sure it tastes good. Then, prep the fruit.

Stick the mango and blueberries in a blender or, if you’re lazy like me, in a mini food processor.

Take another sip of rum. It’s vegan. Stick the fruit mixture in a glass.

Add ice.

Add the rum, top with some mint leaves, stir and enjoy responsibly!

Goodness, I need a girl’s night out!! –Melissa

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Candied Kumquats

I’ve had two experiences with kumquats. The first was in a French restaurant. The kumquats were on a stick and coated in syrup. They were a sweet delight and totally different from anything I had tasted before. Until I was told they were kumquats, I thought they were some sort of mini orange-cherry hybrid. My second experience was with a raw kumquat. Ew. I was disturbed. Let’s leave it at that.

I saw some kumquats at the store so I thought I would try them again. I didn’t try eating them raw. I decided to candy some of them.

Candied Kumquats
15 or so kumquats, quartered and pitted — I saw some recipes where the pits were left in, but the seeds are bitter so I would take them out
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (I used turbinado)
vanilla bean or a splash of vanilla extract (optional)


In a small pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring so that the sugar melts. Add the kumquats and vanilla. Bring back to a boil and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Let it cool. Here’s the finished product:

I’m still not entirely sure what to do with this. I put some in chia seed pudding. It’s an acquired taste, but it was good. There are savory uses for candied kumquats as well. All I know is that I can’t eat them raw.

I don’t know why I’m so desperate to love kumquats, but I am. I need ideas! Share, share!! –Melissa

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Mango Madness and a Milestone!

Guess what?! Today is the six month anniversary of Turning Veganese! Wooot!!!! It’s been six months since I decided to go vegan. I can’t believe it. I never dreamed that the blog would become what it is. I had no idea how much I would learn about cooking, food and myself. I can’t believe that it’s only been six months! I’m so thrilled and… goodness, I wish I had planned better for this day because I have so much to say but no idea how to say it.

So, I’ll say this: I am so grateful. Grateful that I can share this with Christie and Brent. Grateful for how rewarding going vegan has been for me personally. And I am especially grateful for you. Yes, YOU! Our lovely and loyal readers. All of your support, comments, knowledge sharing and humor has meant a lot to me. I think I speak for Christie and Brent when I say that we are happy to have met you and to have joined your community.

Lest I embarrass myself, let me get back to business. It is our anniversary week, but I feel like we should declare this week MANGO WEEK on Turning Veganese.

Noooo, not THAT Mango. The fruit!

Oh hello, delicious goodness! This concoction was fresh and easy. I took a manila mango and made three big slices, cutting as close to the pit as I could. I took the two “ends” and used a melon baller to scoop out the meat. Why? Because balls are pretty. Heh. Balls. Ahem. Next, I cut up some strawberries and threw it in the mix. I still had some mint, so I topped it with some mint. Finally, I spotted some crystallized ginger, so I finished it off with some ginger bits.

It’s funny… I used to hate mangoes as a kid. I think it’s because my first memory of mango was in dried form. We use both ripe and unripe mangoes in my household. The unripe ones are eaten in a savory style and can be quite tart — another turnoff for a little kid.

It’s a small victory for me whenever I have fruit because I used to be very fruit deficient. I kept a food diary a few years ago and went over a month without eating fruit. Unbelievable!

Okay, I’m back to being really excited about this being our six month anniversary. Yay! I hope you will all do a celebratory dance for us!! –Melissa

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Let Them Eat Cake! I’ll Have Fruit Instead.

It’s really starting to feel like summer here in Chicago! We had some crazy 80 degree weather at the end of March, but that was a complete freak show, weather-wise. It’s mid-May now, so the warmer weather is a lot more appropriate, and much more springy and refreshing: it’s warm but breezy, and cool in the AM and PM. Perfection. Outdoor Farmers Markets are starting up again in full force, I got to indulge in mangoes during peak mango season, and street festivals will be starting soon. I’m pretty freaking excited!

It was a bit of a letdown this past weekend when the Mother’s Day desserts were brought out and none of them were vegan. I passed on having a slice of marzipan cake, which is my absolute favorite, you guys. However, I made up for it by making myself a fresh treat for dessert this evening:

I started with a handful of pretty strawberries. Hey, they match my nail color!

Then I took a sprig of mint…

I cut up the strawberries and shredded a bit of the mint and mixed it together. But, wait! There’s more! I kept thinking that it was missing something, and the missing ingredient I couldn’t stop thinking about was Cool Whip. I blame Mad Men, which had a Cool Whip bit on last week’s episode. Cool Whip is not cool for strict vegans. So I sprinkled some fresh lemon juice and coconut onto the fruit (I stole the lemon juice idea from Jamie Oliver’s recipe; the coconut was all me).

DELISH! Let them eat cake. I’ll have fruit instead! –Melissa

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