Last week I posted a recipe for radler, a refreshing lemonade-beer concoction perfect for enjoying on a beautiful sunny barbecuey day. I was about to make more ginger lemonade and decided to zest them before I cut them in half. Normally I would use the juiced lemon halves when washing dishes (it helps cut grease, I “wipe” my soapy pans with them) but today, in addition to saving the halves for dishwashing duty, I zested six lemons and added a cup of sugar to make a wonderfully fragrant lemon sugar:

The oils from the lemon distribute throughout the sugar, so to help reduce any excess moisture I put it in a large frying pan and heated it on low for about 5 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. It will stay a bit clumpy because of the oils, so just let it cool down before storing it in an airtight jar and use within a few days.

You can use this sugar in any of your baked goods, tea, or wherever you want a bit of lemony sweetness. Here’s an easy recipe where lemon and coconut are combined to make a light, lemony macaroon. I adapted the recipe from one my sister gave me by replacing wheat flour with coconut flour and adding lemon juice. The macaroons came out nice and chewy with a light lemon flavor and lots of coconut throughout.

Gluten free, dairy free Coconut Lemon Macaroons

Coconut Lemon Macaroons (gluten-free)
Adapted from http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/First-Place-Coconut-Macaroons

Ingredients

1-1/3 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup lemon sugar
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla; mix well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.

 

Thanks for checking out my first “Flavor of the Week” post! Come back every Monday to see a new featured flavor at: https://thefoodery.wordpress.com/flavor-of-the-week/.

My cats have never expressed this much interest in my salads, and sometimes it’s hard to really get excited about them. But I learned to be a little more colorful, if not creative, when it comes to presentation. Fortunately I’ve never made a salad that resembled the ones you would assemble at fast food restaurants:

Not very appetizing, it’s kind of healthy, but I won’t enjoy eating it as much as I would want to. I’ve never really liked iceberg lettuce in salads unless it was covered in blue cheese dressing, and tomatoes are not meant to be crunchy!

Shopping for salad ingredients was always kind of a chore and I could never get excited about it. Thankfully there are so many great raw food/vegetarian/vegan blogs that can give you some great ideas to make your veggies more enticing. Instead of thinking only green when shopping for your salad ingredients, how about shopping for other colors, instead? Visit the produce department and just look at all the fabulous colors the veggie world has to offer, like golden beets, purple carrots, and fancy heirloom tomatoes from pink to purple! Buy in small amounts to last you a few days so you won’t feel obligated to eat veggies just because you bought them on sale. Try a new item like flowering kale or even those hairy looking sprouts. Also think of texture, and of course, flavor! All those things will come together in one deliciously satisfying bite…that’s how a salad should be!

I like to keep a good variety of fruits and veggies, and am starting to sprout my own grains, too. Here’s what I made for lunch:

Taste the power of the rainbow salad!

And here’s what’s in it: lettuce, grated carrots, chopped celery, chopped cucumber, purple cauliflower pieces, shredded zucchini, chopped apples, diced dried apricots, strawberries, sprouted quinoa, and a sunflower seed sprout (just ’cause it’s good!) It’s a lot more fun when you have so many colorful ingredients…it’s like making art, so why not enjoy making your food as well as eating it?

Speaking of art, if you’re planning a dinner party and want to impress your guests, check out these creative ways to display your fruits and veggies posted by Design Indulgences. Below is my favorite, veggies and dip in one!

Crudites display

Display your veggies in glass vases found at craft stores.

And check out this wonderful salad presentation idea using cucumbers as the bowl! I hope these ideas will help you get a little more creative with your healthy eating, and come back and share some ideas with me, I’d love to hear what you’ve created!