A couple weeks ago, Jules and I were in Idaho visiting family. I made dinner one night – roasted potatoes and crispy pork belly- and I knew it was gonna sit pretty heavy. See, the difference between a “meh” meal and a great meal, is the way each course builds on each other, and how it leaves you feeling afterward. Unfortunately, most meals we consume are just… well… meh.
Let’s examine Pizza Hut for a moment. Now, I like Pizza Hut. If someone offers me pizza from the Hut, I don’t turn it down. But they just came out with this box meal thing that is ludicrous. They give you breadsticks as an appetizer, a pepperoni pizza as your entree, then breadsticks coated with cinnamon and sugar for dessert. That is literally 3 back to back courses consisting of bread, with the only vegetable being tomatoes which were processed and made into tomato paste, then used to create pizza sauce. By that point they’re no longer recognizable as tomatoes anyway, so I’m a really being generous in calling the sauce a vegetable (and please, let’s not get into a discussion about whether tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable – nobody cares). What’s my point? Balance! If you want to feel good after eating a meal, offset heavy courses with something light.
Of course, there are times where you don’t care about how you feel after the meal. Thanksgiving, for example. In my family, if you get up from the table on Thanksgiving and are able to walk at normal speed, you need to go back and eat another helping of potatoes or stuffing or a half-dozen rolls or some other carb, until your pace slows a knot or two. But most of the time, you shouldn’t feel engorged every night. I mean, that can’t be good for your love life.
So, back to the meal I made for my family. Roasted potatoes tossed in kale pesto, with crispy pork belly and a balsamic black currant syrup (I’ll share the recipe for that sometime too, because it was awesome). I wanted the heaviness of the pork belly and potatoes to be offset by some “lightness,” so I started with a simple apple jicama and lime salad (I’ll also share the recipe for that), and ended with this:
Fresh mango and grapefruit topped with sweet avocado cream and mint. Super simple, sits light in the belly, and is amazingly delicious. Here’s how it went down.
So, mango and grapefruit. Not rocket science. Peel, cut into pieces however big you want. I did supremes for the grapefruit, but if you don’t want to take that time, just cut the ends off, cut the peel off, slice in quarters, cut out the white middle part, and cut into pieces. Mangos can be tricky, because the pit is shaped like an oval. Just take your time, and when you feel resistance to the knife, you know you’re cutting too much off.
Mint – chiffonade. That means cut into long, thin strips. Or you can leave them as full leaves. I cut them up because I wanted it to be obvious that the mint was meant to be eaten, and I wanted it to be eaten in small amounts throughout the dessert.
So those are the easy parts. Ready for the almost as easy part? Boom, check it.
1 avocado, pitted and scooped out
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp honey
Toss those in a blender, whirl it up until silky smooth, and plate. You want mostly mango, and a little grapefruit. I think for each person I did 1/2 of 1 mango and 1/4 of 1 grapefruit. Easy fo’ sheezy. Adjust the ingredients as you see fit.
Seriously, try this dessert. Even if it’s in the middle of the day and your kids are at school. A, you deserve it. B, you’ll go through the steps and realize just how easy it is. C, you’ll taste it and realize just how good it is. D, you’ll realize that you can make this for everyone you know and they’ll think you’re a rockstar. There’s something so enjoyable about fresh food prepared simply, and this is a great example of that.
So that’s what I have today. I promise I’ll share the other pieces of this meal, but I wanted to get this dessert out there. I think Spring is finally here, and you can be sure this little dish will be a regular in our home this year.