A Feast for the Eyes

It’s not that I’m enjoying aging macular degeneration (AMD) by any means, but it has made me reach out to try new foods and new recipes, all with the hope of preventing further eye damage. And since trying these new items and eating differently has shown me so many other healthy benefits, it’s gotten to be great fun in the kitchen once again.


For all those folks who are convinced they don’t like sardines, I’ve got another way to try them Just once. In the summer. How about getting them at the fish market and grilling them outside? Add a Grapefruit and Avocado Salad, and top it off with a Mango Sorbet and more than your eyes will say thank you!


Make the Mango Sorbet first, because it takes few hours in the freezer to get firm. It’s really easy with a food processor, particularly if you have some simple syrup in the refrig. If not, make the syrup: Combine equal parts water and sugar in a pan, stir to dissolve sugar and stir over heat bringing it to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Keep it in the refrigerator, it’ll keep for months.





OK, with syrup made, peel and chop 3 ripe mangoes and puree until smooth.

Add juice of a lime and 1 cup of simple syrup, pulse it a bit more. Put it all in a freezer container and freeze about six hours, until it sets and is firm. After dinner, scoop it into bowls, add a few blueberries for garnish, maybe a sprig of fresh mint, and voila! A feast truly for the eyes.


For the Grilled Sardines, figure two medium size fish, gutted from the market, for each person. To serve four, combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 T. chopped parsley and about the same of chopped thyme, some sea salt if you think sardines need any more, and some black pepper. Let the sardines rest in that in a covered dish in the refrigerator for about an hour to marinade well. When you’re ready to eat, put the grill about medium high, and grill each of the little treats 3 to 4 minutes on each side, brushing a little bit with the marinade and making the flesh flaky and the skin crispy.


For the Avocado and Grapefruit Salad, peel 4 grapefruit (pink are best if you can get them, full of lycopene which is good in preventing cell damage and reducing inflammation) and cut each of the segments into pieces over a bowl, saving the juice. Slice about a dozen celery stalks into strips, then cut two avocados in half, remove the pit, scoop out the meat in a single piece from each half, and slice.





Heat ¼ teaspoon cumin in a dry skillet until fragrant (shaking the pan so it doesn’t burn), then add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of honey. Take it off the heat, toss in some of that grapefruit juice you saved, mix and pour on the celery, fruit and avocado slices. Add a garnish if you think it needs something, I don’t. If you want to make this a couple of hours before serving, be sure to brush the avocado slices with some of the juice to prevent browning, cover with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator.


Add juice of a lime and 1 cup of simple syrup, pulse it a bit more. Put it all in a freezer container and freeze about six hours, until it sets and is firm. After dinner, scoop it into bowls, add a few blueberries for garnish, maybe a sprig of fresh mint, and voila! A feast truly for the eyes.

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