Diet Diversity: Rapini & Chayote

A couple of weeks ago I lamented that we didn’t have enough variety in our diet. I talked to Joanie and she agreed, so we did something about it.

Chayote: Looks like a Pear with a Bum

A photo of the chayote we bought

Our Little Chayote

We bought a chayote to try. We saw it in IGA and thought “how bad can it be?” Not too bad. It looks like a pear with a bum, but according to Wikipedia it’s actually a sort of squash. It’s not very big, maybe the size of a large pear. When you cut it open there’s a seed which is apparently eatable, (I’m actually not sure if we ate ours, I think so). The skin is also eatable.

A photo of the inside of a chayote

Inside the chayote. You can sort of see the seed.

We started by trying ours raw, and that didn’t taste like much. I can imagine that it might soak up flavours from salad dressing and make for some very tasty and crunchy nuggets in a green salad. But, since there wasn’t a lot of flavour raw we put most of our chayote into a vegetable lasagna that included some components of the vegetable lasagna from a few weeks ago, but was more free-form. That tasted quite good.

Rapini: Looks like Sweet Little Baby Broccoli, Tastes like Bitter Old Man Broccoli

A photo of fresh rapini

Rapini (photo by Bridget Wang)

Joanie had the idea that we should try eating Rapini. I’m why she decided that, probably because it was on sale and since it’s super green and leafy, looks healthy. What’s rapini? It looks like baby broccoli – the stems and florets, (those are the top parts that look like miniature trees), are much, much, smaller than in broccoli.

The task of preparing the rapini fell to me, so I Googled it. I read that it tastes really quite bitter, so I figured we would need to add some flavour, and maybe sweetness, to it and fell upon this page of recipes. I chose the first one, “raised Rapini and Garlic with Balsamic,” and omitted the olives & pine nuts, (we don’t have any). I actually really liked it, I would recommend it to anyone.

Even though I liked the rapini, Joanie thought that it was really bitter and didn’t like it that much. I don’t know if it’s because I had been reading about how very bitter it can be and was mentally prepared, or if we just taste things differently. I’m hoping that it’s just the mental preparation, so if you want to try rapini, prepare yourself, it can be very bitter.

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  • What is Choices That Matter?

    I'm a guy named John, and I do most of the writing around here. I went from a really active lifestyle to a really inactive lifestyle very quickly and my body is noticing. On top of that I'm worried about what's happening to our planet, so, I'm trying to do something about it.

    For Christmas I received the book Food Matters, which I found very interesting and inspired me to start changing. Check out my first post for the beginning of the story.