Food Challenge: Apricots

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Food Challenge: ApricotsRight now, I’m visiting my parents in California on a pre-PCS vacation before we move to the other side of the country.  It’s a nice time to be here because it’s easy to find beautiful, local fruit at the farmer’s market.  Apricots are abundant right now so we loaded up.  Really, I just like to eat them by themselves as a snack or dessert, but there are some great recipes to enjoy as well.  Here are three to try:

Grilled Apricot Salad with Mozzarella
Grilled Apricot Salad with Mozzarella
 

via Camille Styles

This dish made a fast and delicious lunch.  My family is vegetarian so we passed on the prosciutto but added some Tofurky deli slices for extra protein.  We didn’t have a grill fired up, so I browned the apricot halves in some coconut oil, but this salad would be faster and just as delicious with raw fruit.

Baked Vegetable Dumplings with Apricot Dipping - an InDependent Original recipe
Baked Vegetable Dumplings with Apricot Dipping Sauce

InDependent Original

This recipe makes a great appetizer or light main dish, though with the crunchy wrapper and sweet dipping sauce, it kind of resembled dessert.  Vegetables are hidden inside, making this a good choice for sneaking veggies to picky eaters.   These are a little fussy, so if you have a lot going on during the week, save them for the weekend.  I was lucky to have my mom share the job of filling the won ton wrappers.  Prepare the chili sauce first to use in the dumplings, then prepare the dipping sauce while the dumplings are baking.

Chili Sauce

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Whisk ingredients together.  When determining how much of the red pepper flakes to use, keep in mind this will be mixed in with apricots later so the heat will get diluted.

Dumplings

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces tempeh, finely diced (or protein of choice)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • small wedge green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • Refrigerated won ton wrappers

In a nonstick skillet, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sauté several minutes until softened.  Add tempeh or other protein and cook until browned.  Add zucchini, carrot, and cabbage, and cook until crisp-tender, stirring frequently.  Add garlic, chili sauce, and ginger.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Add salt to taste.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place one scant tablespoon of filling onto the centers of the won ton wrappers.  Brush the edges with a little bit of water, then fold in half diagonally to form a triangle.  Press edges to seal.  Brush both sides with a little bit of coconut oil.  Arrange dumplings on baking sheets and bake until golden, checking after five minutes.

Apricot Dipping Sauce

  • 6 apricots, halved with pits removed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • optional: red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently at first until juice releases from the fruit.  Then cover, and reduce heat, simmering for about 10 minutes, or until fruit has broken down.  Let cool for several minutes, then carefully transfer to a food processor along with the chili sauce and apple cider vinegar.  Process until smooth.  If your sauce needs more kick, add some red pepper flakes to a little more of the chili sauce and process again.

To Serve

Place the chili sauce and apricot dipping sauce in two different bowls and serve alongside the hot dumplings.  Then watch it all disappear.

Apricot Grunt
Apricot Grunt
 

via Eating Well

A grunt is like a cobbler but made on the stovetop so you don’t have to heat up your house with the oven.  This recipe is made with white whole wheat flour, and mostly sweetened with honey to make it a healthier dessert option.  I substituted coconut sugar for the white sugar, and added a splash of lemon juice to some almond milk rather than buying a container of buttermilk and only using a small amount.

How to prepare Apricots