Gender Divide

Tonight we bring you another easy and healthy Nicaraguan recipe. We’ve been exploring Nicaraguan recipes for the past week or so and it’s fairly varied with heavy indigenous, Creole and Spanish influences. According to Wikipedia, the Pacific Coast cuisine makes use of local produce with the most common being corn. The Caribbean Coast tends to use more seafood and coconut. Our first Nicaraguan recipe, Curry Seafood Stew, clearly comes from the Caribbean side of Nicaragua. So tonight, we head to the opposite coast and have a recipe with a bit of Spanish influence.

I’m really diggin’ how simple and fast these meals have been so far, especially after our cooking marathon the past few weeks. I’m also lovin’ that Miss A and I have gotten to spend some quality time in the kitchen together. Cooking earlier in the day for that much-needed natural light has its benefits. And so, Miss A and I bring you the Ensalada de Jicama y Naranja (or Jicama and Orange Salad).

We started by first cranking up the tunes of course. Miss A and I don’t cook without our music. We then grabbed a jicama and two oranges. 

We peeled and cubed the jicama. 

Then we peeled and chopped up the oranges and tossed them in with the jicama. 

Next we gathered the rest of the ingredients including salt, crushed red pepper, oregano and a lime. 

First we zested the lime and then Miss A took care of juicing it into the mixing bowl. 

Next she tossed in our spices, 

and we mixed it all up. 

We let the salad sit for a few hours to marinate in the lime juice, and later that evening we served it alongside a mango glazed salmon we found at Whole Foods. 

The salad was fresh, crisp, delightfully full of lime flavor and it married perfectly with the mango salmon – well, at least Miss A and I thought so. We both really enjoyed the whole meal and that’s saying something. The last time we put a plate of fish in front of Miss A it didn’t quite go that well. Tonight, however, three spoons from both of us. 

As for the boys…it didn’t go over quite as well. Mr. N enjoyed the salmon and ate all of his oranges, but he was not happy with the jicama at all. As a result he only gave the salad 2 spoons, which was better than Mike’s ranking of a lowly 1 spoon. I’m not even sure Mike’s ever ranked anything that low. He too was not a fan of the jicama. 

So I guess, what we’d say about this dish is that if you like jicama give it a shot. If you don’t, it’s probably not for you. Miss A and I both like jicama. It’s not something we crave, but when we eat it, we enjoy it. I would also recommend slicing the jicama julienne style and tossing in some cilantro (just for you Courtney!). I think it will be even better that way. And if Miss A and I ever get the hankering for some more ensalada de jicama y naranja, we’re serving it with citrus covered seafood. It’s a perfect match.

Print this recipe: Orange Jicama Salad

44 comments on “Gender Divide

  1. vlule says:

    Hello! Nice post! I have been researching about jicama in Nicaragua, as is native from Nicaragua and Mexico but I had never tried jicama and I am nicaraguan. Can you tell me where did you find it in Nicaragua? And what else do you know about it? Where is it cultivated in the country? I think they grow enough to export it. It’s sad most nicaraguan people in the present years doesn’t even know what it is when it used to be common as a indigenous food before the spanish came. I would love to try this nicaraguan nahualt named veggie… thanks.

  2. Deborah says:

    I’m actually a huge fan of jicama, so I think I’d love this one!

  3. I love jicama but never actually bought it myself and made something with it. This will be a inspiration to me:)

  4. Last night I was out for dinner with a friend and I had a jicama salad. I was trying to explain what it was but I did a very poor job.Now I can point her to your recipe. I love the fact that this is Nicaraguan with a Spanish influence! Talk about unique!

  5. ceciliag says:

    Gorgeous and sounds like a lovely salad. Your little girl is growing too. I love seeing kids in the kitchen- you are an inspiration! And making colourful food!! .. c

  6. Dawn says:

    Cooking in the daylight, what a novel idea!! I hope to do that real soon – it gets dark here around 4pm, so it is kind of tough! Salad looks wonderful!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Dawn! It has to be a fast recipe for us to catch daylight. We’re starting to stay lighter out longer now though. There’s usually a hint of light until 5 now!

  7. spicegirlfla says:

    I’ve not used or tasted jicama…and now I’m feeling like I really need to!! I can’t tell if I’d like it or not!! It looks good, I’m loving all these citrus dishes!! Healthy, beautiful and special because this was made my mother and daughter!!

    • Kristy says:

      Jicama is really light tasting. It’s kind of watery and it’s sweet. It tastes like a vegetable, but it has more of the texture of an apple. Miss A and I enjoy them. :) And yes – it was an extra special mother-daughter kind of meal. :)

  8. Courtney says:

    Thanks, Kristy – cilantro is ALWAYS a great addition. Sorry the boys weren’t too into it – but that’s more normal than not around here (two like, two don’t). And Miss A is too cute for words – is it bad that I notice the blue on her chin and wonder what she got into?? My kids faces are always messy – and I have no idea why.

  9. What a great, fresh salad and I could totally see where it would pair perfectly with the mango salad. I personally LOVE Jicama.I recently discovered that it was part of the bean family which I found rather interesting. I usually julienne it into fine match-stick slivers for a tasty slaw (check out my interpretation of Susur Lee’s 19 Ingredient Slaw: http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/lee-inspired-asian-slaw/), but the little cubes would be great texture against the soft sweet oranges.
    I totally agree about cranking up the tunes while we cook; it was a MUST HAVE when we did our reno almost 5 years ago, we built in sound on the main floor (and back deck) connected to the system in the living room. We used to be able to control it from the iTouch, but then airport express died and we haven’t updated yet. The tiny-little powder room we added on the main floor also has sound wired to it, and it has been coined as the “sound pod” but many a friends! Boogie-on!

    • Kristy says:

      Part of the bean family?! Wow! I had no idea. I didn’t mind the cubes in this recipe, but I think Mike and Mr. N might have tolerated it better if it was sliced in a julienne fashion. I love sound systems! I would have so much fun with one of those! I should put one of those on our home project wish list. ;) And I’ll make sure it pipes outside too – great idea Eva!

  10. Mary says:

    It sounds like a great idea – I think I’ll give jicama a shot!
    mary x

  11. I have never tried jicama at all. i was sitting here reading thinking.. why have I not tried this lol. I have to go find some and maybe try it out to see if I will like it or not. I love the citrus salad you got going on. And that glazed salmon… DELISH! I just love Salmon.. can’t wait to make mine on Friday. Looks like you and Miss A had a beautiful mother/daughter time. Me and my mom still have those times.. so look forward to them for a long time :)

    • Kristy says:

      The salmon was delicious! I need to figure out how to replicate it – it was a Whole Foods buy. :) And I hope Miss A and I continue to have mother/daughter time for a long, long time to come. You and your mom are inspirations.

  12. Caroline says:

    Don’t know why, but I was surprised when you said this cuisine is simple and fast to prepare/cook. This looks fantastic, and I’m sure I’d side with the girls! ;)

  13. Cute blog title! This would be perfect in the kids school lunches. It’s like a burst of sunshine with mango, oranges, lime!
    You should link this post up to the #citruslove bloghop, it would make a great addition to the other citrus recipes. :)

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Lisa – it took me forever to come up with this title. My creative juices weren’t particularly flowing. ;) I do need to figure out how to link up to the bloghop. I’ll give it a shot this weekend. :)

  14. Amy says:

    OK. So, I need to know what your secrets are for getting help in the kitchen from a 3.5 year old. I want to let my 3.5 year old help, but it is hard sometimes. Do you have everything ready and measured for Miss A to just swoop in and drop it in the bowl? What would entertain Miss A while you were chopping up those beautifully uniform jicama chunks? Do I just have to be prepared for a lot of spilling? I try, but I would like to do a better job of having Miss K help.

    • Kristy says:

      Miss A is usually just hanging with me in the kitchen. Sometimes she’s paying attention (often more than I think) and other times she brings in some toys. It really all depends on her mood. Sometimes she measures, other times I do. But she is usually always the dumper. And yeah – it’s always a mess. But that’s true even if the kids aren’t helping. ;)

  15. I’m siding with the women on this one, which if one is ever in doubt is always the better side to pick.

  16. Look at those gorgeous spice jars! Where did you find those beauties… love. I have never tasted jicama and am very intrigued… based on the suggestions, I might start with your idea of slicing them julienne style and tossing in some cilantro (always a hit over here!) – I’m a huge fan of Thai inspired food – the lime, fresh fruit and chili peppers remind me so much of that style of cooking (as did the last coconut recipe). This salad looks like a fresh and juicy burst of sunshine – and I agree, the flavours marry beautifully with fish and seafood… great recipe girls!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Kelly! The spice jars were a gift from my aunt. :) I think you’d like jicama. I’ve used it in slaw before as well as salsa. It’s pretty diverse and tends to pick up the flavors that are used with it – but yes, start off with a julienne cut.

  17. sallybr says:

    Too bad the jicama did not make many friends… I’ve got an idea, though. When I tried jicama for the first time, I had it julienned (a pain to cut that way by hand, but such is life) – I loved it! Second time I had it cubed as in your preparation, and the difference was amazing, I did not care for it that much.

    so maybe if you want to revisit jicama, you could try it in a julienned format? I think that way it gets a bit more mellow, and absorbs the marinades or juices better. Just an idea

    now, of course, the photos of Miss A steal the show… ;-)

    • ChefDad says:

      I actually agree with this…jicama shredded in salad is good sometimes. Not so much for the chunks.

    • Kristy says:

      Miss A always has a knack of stealing the show! ;) And I couldn’t agree more. I think the boys might have been more receptive had we julienned the jicama. They’ve eaten in salsa before and never complained.

  18. I remember searching for Jicama a number of years back and being mystified by its’ appearance! I did enjoy it in the salad I made, I think the orange in your recipe would be fantastic. I love Miss A’s expressions in your photos!!

  19. Charles says:

    Heh, I’ve never even heard of jicama, let alone tried it. I just had to read up about it on Wiki. Some yam thing apparently… sounds intriguing. The salad sounds fun…. I have no idea what jicama tastes like, so I don’t know if I’d like it, but I’m always down to try new things, and besides – there’s very little I don’t like, except tripe maybe… and liquorice :x

    • Kristy says:

      I don’t like licorice either. Ick! I would describe jicama as sweet and watery. It tastes like a vegetable, but has the texture of an apple. I had it served with veggie dip at a cocktail party once, but I prefer it in recipes with other flavors. It tends to take on the flavors around it, but offers up a nice crisp crunch. :)

  20. ChgoJohn says:

    Such an attractive presentation and the citrus makes it look so light and refreshing. I think you’ve also proved how beneficial it is to have the Li’l Ones help in the kitchen. I’d be willing to bet at least one of Miss A’s spoons was because she helped and could claim “ownership” of the final dish. Pretty crafty, Mom! ;)

    • Kristy says:

      You’ve got that right John! I know if I had made this on my own she would have been less inclined to eat it. Mr. N on the other hand, he’ll try anything. He’s always been great about that. ;)

  21. I have never tried jicama before but I like the contrast it provides to the color of the oranges..
    hats off to you for exploring all these new ingredients and teaching us about them

  22. A_Boleyn says:

    I’ve never tasted jicama. Perhaps it should be on the menu for 2012. :) The salad looks very colourful. Hope to learn more about the mango salmon…

    • Kristy says:

      Jicama is kind of sweet and watery, or as Mike would describe it waxy and flavorless. ;) The salmon came from our grocery store (pre-made). It was a wild sockeye salmon in a mango glaze. Delicious! I may try and replicate it on our own one of these days.

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