A Cool Summer Salad of Rice, Fresh Corn, Cherry Tomatoes and Red Onion

Rice has so much potential.  It's not just a side, but available for pudding, main dish, or even sushi.  Usually I cook a blend of white Bismati, brown long grain and wild, just for interest's sake, but often have a bunch left over.  That can become fried rice, or just be re-heated as an accompaniment, however my salad was a delightful development, especially in this weather, when I don't want to turn my oven on at all.

 We've been getting some wonderful fresh corn in our market, so when I thought of a rice salad, the combinations of mesoamerica came to mind.  Corn, yes!  Lovely little tomatoes, olives and yellow bell pepper all started flying out of my fridge.


Avocado Pineapple Salad with Mint and Hawaiian Chili Pepper

This was the best curry accompaniment.  There were extra avocados from my sister's tree, and of course our fabulous white pineapples are happening at the moment, so with Eggplant Curry on the menu for dinner, I got inspired by what was on hand for side dishes.  Okra from my garden, and this chutney thing.  Mint goes so well with pineapple, and a bit of chili gave it the right amount of zip.  I'm thinking this salad would also be perfect with Mexican food, say a big dish of enchiladas or carnitas.  Oh yes.

A very small pineapple was used.  Some of mine are very large, and some are like this.  I've heard that a plant will produce smaller fruit in years following the first.  Don't know for sure, but it seems that way.  I let the chopped pineapple macerate overnight with a minced Hawaiian chili pepper.  Also very small.

I'm combating some strange virus at the moment, so will keep this short.  Just whip yourself up some

Avocado Pineapple Salad or Salsa

1 large or 2 small avocados, roughly mashed
1 small red chili pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups pineapple, cored and chopped into fairly small pieces
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

You can let the pineapple sit in a glass jar with the chili pepper overnight if you like, but it's not absolutely necessary.  Just mix everything together and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.  This goes over to Week-end Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Chris from Mele Cotte.  Check out the round-up next Monday for some very interesting and delicious posts.


Making Kefir, for Salad Dressing, Lassi, Cheese, Curried Pumpkin Soup

The latest exciting discovery around here is the awesome benefit of keeping a kefir culture going, drinking and doing stuff with it.  On the benefit subject, Bob has had stomach problems for over 20 years, taking Zantac, Prilosec, Tums, antacids, baking soda, etc. etc., daily, and still waking up at night with indigestion.  He has no more of that!  As a side note, he also says it has eliminated his sugar craving. Of course, this solution is of no monetary value to the drug industry.  Sorry you doctors out there, but I do think you should take your heads out of the drug basket, and have a look at other solutions. 

A client of his had mentioned making kefir in front of our grandson, who declared an interest in doing it himself, and was given some of the starter culture (pictured above).  Then, when the boy went off to camp last month, I agreed to babysit his new pet, and Bob started drinking kefir (the client had told him it was good for indigestion/acid reflux).  So, now we have our own culture going and his stomach thing is over.  Sleeping through the night and able to eat without constant indigestion.  An answer to prayer.