In my travels around the world, nothing has been more consistently amazing than passionfruit. I am so adamant that anything passionfruit-related will be delicious that my Hawaiian friends, who call passionfruit Lilikoi, coined the phrase, “when in doubt, Lili out!” Indeed, the tropics offer an array of passionfruit-flavored food and drink. Mousse, yogurt, sauce for fish and meats, smoothies, juice, and margaritas. Well, this weekend we brought a bit of the tropical flavor to Vermont with passionfruit margaritas. Of course, we added our special VT twist by serving them over snow instead of blending or serving over ice. And we drank them while ice fishing (I only lasted about 10 minutes out on the ice but it was fun while it lasted).
Passionfruit margaritas (scale as needed!)
1 part gluten-free margarita mix
1 part concentrated passionfruit juice (unsweetened)
1 part white/silver tequila
1/4 part grand marnier (or triple sec)
Li hing mui powder (an odd Asian plum powder— give it a try, it grows on you)
Mix together in a pitcher. Sweeten to taste with maple syrup, agave, or liquid sugar. Rim the glasses with li hing mui powder. Pour over ice or snow. Enjoy!
What to do with a roll of left-over polenta? Try mini polenta toasts! Great as a side to any dish, we paired it with venison and a small salad.
Toasted cheesy polenta (aka Polenta Pizza!)
Shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
Slice rounds of polenta and place on a baking sheet (lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper). Top with sliced tomato and shredded cheese. Toast for 5 minutes at 425F or until the cheese is golden brown. Serve while hot! Add your own flare with pizza sauce, olives or other creative toppings!
Whether your venison is wild and locally caught or farmed, cooking is the key to getting excellent flavor and avoiding that “gamey” flavor people are leery of. The gamey flavor sets in when wild meats are over-cooked, which is easy to do since they are so lean! For a venison steak of a pound or less, grill in a skillet on both sides for 4-5 minutes over medium heat with a bit of olive oil and butter (less than 1 Tb of each). Slice the venison and serve with your favorite sauce– such as a chutney. Here, we served it with our own maple cranberry sauce. Delish!
Why not drink your greens? This little juice is light, refreshing and so great for hot summer days, while it packs in the vitamins and soluble fiber!
* I don’t have a juicer so I use my mixer or immersion blender and then pour the mix through a strainer to get the tougher parts out. Of course, if you have a juicer everything will get blended!
1 cup iced green or white tea
1-2 spinach spinach
Lots of fresh mint leaves
Dash of honey or maple syrup if you need– but the cucumber and mint adds a light, sweet flavor to sweeten to taste
Garnish with lemon and enjoy!
Gluten Free Vermont
Finally, a dessert for everyone!!! My friend Nada swears this recipe is the best— no diary, gluten or sugar added! She suggests going lean on banana if you don’t like that flavor. So what the heck is in there? Bananas, avocado, dates, almond butter and cacao powder. The author suggests adding a squeeze of agave– but why not Vermontify it and use a smidge of maple syrup? That’s never a bad idea. [Ok, it is not a good idea if you want to claim no sugar added and be kind to our diabetic friends! But it sure sounds tasty!]
Gluten Free Vermont
In addition to this lovely pineapple growing in the conservancy, there are lots of flowers and vegetable starts for sale. Six packs of peppers (all types!), basil, tomatoes (including my fav, sungolds), cucumbers and much more. Can’t find better prices on veggie starts!