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17 strange food phobias you won’t believe exist

Halloween is drawing near, and while we’re in the mood to celebrate all things spooky and strange, let’s talk about food phobias. While fears of spiders and heights are quite common, once you get into the fear of foods, things can get pretty weird, pretty quickly. Not to judge anyone’s irrational fears (I myself am cartoonishly afraid of spiders), but it’s hard to imagine anyone being legitimately scared by broccoli. When thinking about food phobias, it’s important to distinguish dislikes from fears. Most people have strong preferences, but phobics experience genuine panic, sweating and nausea when faced with the food of their nightmares. For your Halloween holiday reading pleasure, here are the strangest food fears: cibophobia (see-boh-fo-biah)  The Fear of Food/Eating The most inconvenient food phobia of them all. Cibophobics typically have had a scarring experience with food poisoning or deal with large number of food allergies. This phobia can, of course, be deadly if not treated. MAGEIROCoPHOBIA…

Pineapple Guacamole Recipe

Originally published Mar. 28, 2017 Sometimes all you want for dinner is a big bowl of guacamole — Let’s be honest. We’ve all had meals much worse than that. Avocados and pineapple are two of my favorite ingredients, so it only seemed natural to put them together to create one of my other favorite foods — guacamole. The sweetness of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the not-so-subtle jolt of heat from the jalapeño. Scoop this sweet, spicy, creamy, slightly crunchy (onion) combination onto a blue corn tortilla chip for a picture perfect bite.. I must admit, I came across this idea at a local restaurant that had a variation of a pineapple, bacon guac on the appetizers menu. I’m not much of a bacon fan, but if that’s you, feel free to crumble up some slices and sprinkle on top. Otherwise, this recipe is vegan and will only take you about 10 minutes Pineapple Guacamole Recipe Ingredients:…

Spinach, ricotta stuffed peppers, a satisfying vegetarian alternative

Spinach, ricotta stuffed peppers are just the kind of recipe I like — cheesy, flavorful and easy to make. Best of all, they’re vegetarian, so it’s another satisfying meat-free dish to add to your recipe box (aka Pinterest page) if you’re cutting back. For the filling, cook up some garlic and onions, then add spinach and season. Mix ricotta and parmesan, then add to the spinach and mix more. Stuff this into 5-6 pepper halves and bake. I also like to toss tomatoes into the pan to get them right to the point that the skin slides off and the juicy middle pops in your mouth. Serve with rice or pasta if you’re making going for a dinner, but just a pepper, and some tomatoes — and maybe a small slice of bread — can make a fantastic light lunch. *Note, mushrooms are also a great addition. Chop up some of your favorite fungi and add to…

Caprese garlic bread, a can’t miss

Garlic bread and sauce can be a meal in my house. But what do you do to give an upgrade to this basic bread staple? Add melty mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes and green basil, of course. Serve as a side with pasta, or eat all on its own. Caprese Garlic Bread Serves 6-8  Ingredients 1 loaf Italian bread, halved 1 stick butter, softened 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella 2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 cup balsamic reduction 6-8 fresh basil leaves, sliced Himalayan cooking and table salt Directions  Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, add butter, garlic and salt. Mash together until soft and blended. Spread mixture on both halves of bread. Place bread halves on a baking sheet, and bake about 15 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted and just barely brown. Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella over both halves of the loaf. Top with tomato slices, and bake…

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Tortellini with creamy spinach and cheese sauce

It’s a classic combo that never disappoints: Sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, basil, garlic and fresh mozzarella. This modern variation on those Old-World flavors is easy to make, but tastes like something you would order at your favorite Italian restaurant. Be sure to serve with some slices of crusty bread to soak up the creamy mozzarella sauce. The fresher the ingredients, the better your dish will be. Since it’s summer, definitely go for fresh basil — maybe grown in your own yard. And pro tip: always spring for fresh cheeses, particularly parmesan. Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Tortellini with creamy spinach and cheese sauce Serves 3-4: 30 minutes Ingredients 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes separated from oil (I like to visit my local grocer’s antipasto bar for freshness) 2-3 tbsp oil (drained from sun dried tomatoes, see above) 4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced 2 big handfuls of spinach (about 3-4 ounces) 1 and 1/4 cup half and half…

Citrusy, cilantro pasta salad with peas, green beans and almonds

Pasta salads are one of the most simple and versatile dishes around. There’s a seemingly endless combination of delicious pastas, veggies, herbs and spices out there. With fresh ingredients, they rarely fail. This pasta salad uses whole wheat penne for a hearty base and matches it with the snap of green beans, the pop of peas, and the crunch of almonds. Yet, it’s the citrus and cilantro that take it to the next level. Enjoy this light and summery pasta salad with chicken, fish or even on its own. (Use fresh green beans for best flavor. You may substitute Royal Burgundy (Phaseolus vulgarism) for a purple pop along side the green peas and oatmeal colored pasta. The color combo is a real show stopper!) Citrusy Pasta Salad with Peas, Green Beans Prep time: 30 minutes, Serves 3-4 Ingredients 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (I like the shape of penne to match the beans) 4 cups…

Basil Pesto with Almonds Ready in Minutes

When a recipe calls for an ingredient that requires a special trip to the store, I find it rarely gets made. That’s been the situation with me and pesto. Does anyone really have pine nuts handy? This recipe is great because the almonds easily substitute for pine nuts, and most of us have almonds stocked in the pantry. Just about any nuts will add a nice crunch, really. A medley of almonds, pine nuts, and walnuts would add great texture and flavor. Pesto is easy to jar and save all year, but enjoy it fresh, now that basil is growing abundantly in the garden. To make this recipe, simply add all ingredients to a food processor or high power blender, and pulse until ingredients are chopped finely. Pesto works well with chicken, vegetables, pasta, grilled sandwiches, Caprese salads and more. Pesto with Almonds Ingredients 3 cups packed fresh basil (or about 3 ounces)…

History of Mexican Salsa

Salsa has been around for thousands of years. Its history can be traced to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas who used various combinations of chilies, tomatoes and other spices as a type of condiment atop turkey, venison, lobster and fish to give their food more flavor. Salsa didn’t spread outside of Central American cuisine until the Spaniards arrived and conquered Mexico — between 1519 and 1921. Even then, the tomato-based condiment didn’t have a commonplace name. It wasn’t until 50 years later, in 1571, that a Spanish priest, missionary, and grammarian gave it the simple name salsa. Directly translated from Spanish, “salsa” simply means “sauce.” Today, salsa is a mix of Old World and New World ingredients. The tomatoes, tomatillos, and chillies are native to the Western Hemisphere, while many of the added spices such as onions and garlic have Old World origins. An increase in the popularity of spicy foods…

10 Unusual Food Festivals You Must Try

With spring finally here and weather warming, I’m getting excited for festival season. No, not music. Food. But beer, barbecue and chili can only hold my attention for so long. I like a little more adventure. Although they may not all make your mouth water, many strange festivals put tiny American towns on the map, while others raise awareness of a particular type of delicacy — Testicle Festival, anyone? Here’s a look at 10 of the country’s most unusual food festivals. Frog Leg Festival — Fellsmere, Florida Forget Disney World. If you’re headed to central Florida, the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival has enough fun for the whole family. The 26-year-old, four-day festival serves more than 7,000 pounds of the frog legs to 80,000 visitors and holds 2 Guinness Book World Records for The Most Frog Legs served in one day and the Largest Frog Leg Festival in the world. If you’re not interested in the main course, perhaps…