woman with cucumbers

Cucumber Citrus Chutney

I started writing this drinking my beloved coffee.

Enduring the soreness that came lifting the cup to my lips.

September 1 was a new start. A drastic change. A shake-up of the status quo.

soreI don’t think my body is too happy about it.

“What on earth is she talking about?”

Oops! Sorry. Got ahead of myself.

I’m talking about . . .

Exercise.

For too long, I’ve done the same old, same old. Using the same old pair of dumbbells—hand-me-downs from the ‘80s that aren’t even five pounds each and are embalmed in clear duct tape to keep in the powdery stuff that pours from cracks resulting from too many intense sessions careless drops.

(I know, I know: my equipment needs major updating as well.)

I’ve interspersed new moves now and then—to give my muscles a wake-up call—but after a few weeks, they burrow back into dreamland.

That’s why I’m getting serious: incorporating  HIIT into my strength training routine; attempting a brisker pace on my walks—an easier task with the “brisker” weather ahead (ha-ha!); and not straying (too often) from clean, healthy eating.

Speaking of eating segues us into the recipe.

Did you say, “Finally!” my sassy reader?

Humph. Fine. I’ll crawl into my corner now.

If my sore legs and arms will let me.

 

cucumbers

Cucumber Citrus Chutney
Recipe by C. Marie

Good grief! My summer has been filled with cucumber salads and cucumber salsas and cucumber smoothies. Has yours? Well, summer is winding down. Time to break away from the monotony.

What I gathered together:

The limes are courtesy of an image in the State Library of Queensland collection
The limes are courtesy of an image in the State Library of Queensland collection.

2-3 tablespoons peeled, de-seeded (tried both ways and prefer the “no seeds” texture), and diced cucumber
around ½ orange (mine was smaller than I would have wished), peeled, and sectioned from membrane
around ¼ grapefruit (also smaller than yours probably is), peeled, and sectioned from membrane
Several coriander seeds, lightly crushed
6 peppercorns, lightly crushed
½ a clove (I cracked off the fat tip, but if you don’t want to go through the trouble, use a teeny pinch of ground cloves)
¼ of a cinnamon stick—or whatever size breaks off! (I’m sure a few dashes of ground cinnamon will work fine)
around ½ teaspoon sugar (I used a stevia blend)
couple dashes of paprika
couple sprinkles of salt
little less than ½ tablespoon lime zest
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
½ tablespoon white vinegar (the only vinegar I had—time for a trip to the grocery store)
few dashes of red pepper flakes
drizzle of honey, if necessary (I added it, but next time I’ll probably skip it . . . hey, I’m the girl who drinks her coffee black!)

How I threw it together:

making chutney

Grab a small saucepan and set it on the stove. Dump in all your ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Continue to cook on medium-low heat for around 10 minutes, or until sauce reduces to about 1 tablespoon. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings: I added extra paprika, pepper flakes, and honey. Let cool. Eat immediately, or pop in the fridge, where the flavors will only get better.

Made it the night before my grueling (ow!) morning and ate it as an accompaniment to my breakfast:

And, no, I didn't eat this many eggs, famished and all
And, no, I didn’t eat this many eggs, famished and all!

Warm undertones of cinnamon and clove, a floral hint of coriander, pops of tangy vinegar and lime zest—cool cucumber and tart grapefruit merge in a pineapple glaze of spicy-sour sweetness. Mmmm . . . a perfect marriage of flavors.

And a “drastic change” that didn’t hurt a bit.

 

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