Back to the Kitchen: For the Love of Summer and Mango Madness

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I am looking forward to some sunny dry summer days, but thoughts of swimsuits dance in my head. I love to cook and I love to eat. Thanks to Yoga Booty Ballet, Core Power Yoga and hiking Fryman Canyon with my puppy I remain somewhat fit, however the thought of prancing around the beach makes me never want to consume a carb again. I can go crazy while food shopping and looking at the 50 most perfect people on magazine stands. Then I remember that I am a women and I need to embrace my curves!

I was at a party the other night and an old friend who has put on a bit of weight asked me to come up with some healthy recipes for her because she hated her body! I said the first step is to love your body! While I am not a diet expert I do know that cutting down on fat, sugar and carbs are effective, but you also need to create a lifestyle of activity and lighter eating. So go ahead…move around with your kids and eat a little lighter and enjoy all the fruits and vegetables of the season!

As I go through the produce section of the market I am amazed at how many different varieties of mangos there are. The Kent Mango, Tommy Adkins Mango, Haden Mango and the Keitt Mango to name a few of the most popular! Not only are they fairly inexpensive, but so abundantly available. The Mango tree plays a sacred role in India; it is a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree can grant wishes. My daughter lights up like a Christmas tree when she sees mangos. “Please mommy.” She will devour a whole one before we even leave the store. In a fruit salad seems like the most likely place. Dipped in chocolate, over ice cream. The sweet possibilities. I also have been playing and exploring the tastes with hot chilies, corn, black beans and sauces. Mangos are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of potassium and contain beta-carotene. Mangos are high in fiber, but low in calories. Play with these recipes to incorporate a happy, healthy, active, delicious lifestyle!

Blueberry and Mango Salad

4 limes

1-cup water

1/3-cup sugar

2 large mangos, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 cups blueberries

1/4 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger

Remove zest from 1 lime in strips with a vegetable peeler and cut any white pith from strips with a sharp knife. Squeeze juice from limes. Bring zest, water, and sugar to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil, uncovered, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in limejuice. Let syrup stand 20 minutes, then remove zest with a slotted spoon and discard. Toss together mangoes, blueberries, and syrup in a large bowl and sprinkle with ginger.

Corn, Mango and Jicama Salad

6 ears fresh corn

6 small mangoes, peeled, pitted, coarsely chopped

2 pounds jicama, peeled, chopped

1 cup chopped red onion

1/2-cup fresh chopped cilantro

1/2-cup fresh limejuice

Cook corn in pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain and cool corn. Cut off kernels. (You can also grill the corn) Place corn in medium bowl. Add mangoes, jicama, red onion, cilantro and limejuice. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Black Bean & Mango Salad

3 tablespoons fresh limejuice

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1-teaspoon honey

4 tablespoons olive oil

1-teaspoon salt

1/4-teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed

2 mangos, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch cubes

1 small red onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped

Combine limejuice, ginger, and honey in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set vinaigrette aside. Combine black beans, mango, red pepper and red onion in a large bowl and toss together. Pour vinaigrette over and toss again. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Add mint, toss again, and serve.

Shrimp and Mango Salad

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

10 Persian cucumbers, peeled, diced (or 3 regular)

1 large mango, peeled, pitted, diced

1 pound cooked medium shrimp

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Hot pepper sauce

Mix vinegar and sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in mustard and mayonnaise. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled).Combine cucumbers, mango, shrimp, and dill in large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Season with salt and hot pepper sauce.

Spicy Tropical Gazpacho

2 cups tomato juice

1-cup pineapple juice

1 cup chopped peeled mango

1 cup chopped peeled papaya

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

6 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1/4-teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon green Tabasco

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse 4 times or until combined. Cover and chill.

Grilled Salmon and Mango with a Cilantro Lime Sauce

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

5 tablespoons fresh limejuice

2 grated lime peels

4 6-ounce salmon steaks

1 large mango, peeled, cut into thick wedges

3/4-teaspoon cumin seeds

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Whisk oil, cilantro, limejuice, and lime peel in small bowl. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Brush all sides of fish and mango with some of vinaigrette. Reserve remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle fish and mango with salt, pepper, and cumin seeds. Grill until fish is just opaque in the center and flip. Remain Grilling until fish is done to your likeness and the mango is soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Grilled Tuna with Mango Salsa

! /4 cup of olive oil

Juice of one lime

Juice of one lemon

4 tuna Steaks, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

Prepare the grill. Mix the oil and lemons and lime in a small bowl and brush over the tuna generously. Grill the tuna steaks 5 inches over the heat for about 6 minutes per side until they are firm to the touch. (Many people like there tuna rare…that would be about 3 minutes per side. I personally, like all of my fish cook through. Not over cooked, but cooked through. Believe me I have taken much flack about this from chefs over the years, just another lesson for being true to your own tastes no matter what the “experts” say.) Remove from grill and serve immediately with a generous amount of salsa.

Mango Salsa

2 mangos

Juice of 2-3 limes

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup very finely slivered fresh ginger

1 red onion, cut into thin slivers

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 to 2 small jalapeno, minced

1/2 cup coarsely cut cilantro

Pinch salt, to pop the flavors

Mix lime and lemon juices, salt, ginger and onion. Add jalapeno. (Caution: The heat will intensify as the salsa stands.) Toss together mangos, onions and red pepper. Mix with lime mixture. Just before serving, stir in cilantro. Best served within an hour or two of mixing.

Fish Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa and Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Mango Avocado Salsa

1 ripe yet firm mango, peeled, diced

1/2-cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2-cup cucumbers, diced

1/4 cup red onions, minced

1-tablespoon jalapenos, seeded, minced

1/4-teaspoon cumin

Juice and zest of 1 lime

1 firm yet ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Combine mango, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, seasonings, and limejuice in a large bowl for Salsa; let stand 10 minutes to blend flavors. Before serving, stir in avocado and cilantro.

Creamy Chipotle Sauce

1- cup plain low-fat yogurt (preferably  Greek)

2 teaspoons sugar

1 -2 chipotle chilies in adobo, minced

Juice and zest from 1 lime

Stir all ingredients for the creamy chipotle sauce together in a bowl and adjust seasonings to taste; let stand at least 10 minute to allow flavors to blend.

4 (4 ounce) fresh tilapia fillets, halved, marinated in limejuice

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1-teaspoon chili powder

1-teaspoon kosher salt

1/4-teaspoon cayenne

6- six inches corn tortillas

3 cups Napa cabbage, shredded

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with racks on the top and bottom.

Marinate tilapia fillets in limejuice for 10 minutes, turning to coat. Place a baking sheet on each oven rack and preheat 5 minutes. Blend flour, cornmeal, and seasonings in a shallow dish. Coat marinated fish on both sides with flour mixture. Remove a hot pan from oven and spray with nonstick spray. Place fillets on hot pan and roast on top rack 5 minutes. Spray both sides of tortillas with nonstick spray. (Meanwhile, carefully turn fish over and return to oven 3–4 minutes.)Oven-toast tortillas on the second heated baking sheet after turning the fillets over. Toast tortillas just until they’re lightly crisp around the edges, 2–3 minutes. Serve fish and tortillas with shredded cabbage, mango salsa, and chipotle sauce.

Grilled Lamb Chops with a Spicy Mango Sauce

2 mangoes

2 shallots

1/2-cup limejuice

1/8-teaspoon cayenne (to taste)

4 1/2-inch-thick center-cut shoulder lamb chops (about 3/4 pound each)

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Lime wedges

Prepare grill. Peel, pit, and coarsely chop mango. Finely chop shallot. In a blender purée mango and shallot with limejuice, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth. Transfer sauce to a bowl and if too thick whisk in some water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Pat lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. Grill lamb on a lightly oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Mango Cheesecake

I know we are eating a little lighter, but we have to treat ourselves sometimes!


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2-cup sugar

3/4-stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter 9-inch-diameter spring form pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Stir cracker crumbs and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake until crust is set, about 12 minutes. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.


3 large very ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, coarsely chopped

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 large eggs

Sliced peeled pitted mangoes

Puree mangoes in processor until smooth. Set aside 2 cups mango puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use). Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 2 cups mango puree and beat until well blended. Pour filling over crust in pan.

Bake cake until set and puffed and golden around edges (center may move very slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 25 minutes. Cool cake 1 hour. Refrigerate uncovered overnight. Run small knife between cake and sides of pan to loosen. Remove pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Cut into wedges and serve with sliced mangoes.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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