Good Food/Good Health
Week of July 17, 2006

Mangoes are Popular, Versatile

Once an exotic tropical fruit, the mango is now almost as common as the apple

Mangoes appear in salsas, chutneys, smoothies and fruit salads as well as puddings, tarts and cakes. They are such a versatile fruit in cooking that their popularity continues to grow. They also are delicious eaten with no embellishment.

Mangoes can be oblong or round and weigh from six ounces to four pounds. Their thin, tough, green skin turns yellow with red mottling as the fruit ripens. The flesh of the mango is bright orange and has a rich, sweet taste with a hint of lime.

When choosing mangoes, look for fruit with unblemished yellow skin with a red blush. Gently squeeze the nose of the fruit and, if there is a slight give, the mango is ripe. Mangoes can be stored in a cool place but not refrigerated for up to two weeks. The green, unripe fruit is used in the cooking of India, Malaysia and Thailand.

Mangoes are in season from May to September, but imported fruit is available sporadically throughout the year.  In addition to their many uses in cooking, mangoes make a fine sandwich ingredient.

And a more versatile version of the sandwich is a wrap. Add some mango to a turkey wrap for a light summer lunch or dinner. It’s cool, refreshing and fast three summer requirements.

Turkey lends itself particularly well to a variety of seasonings and condiments.  It also is a meat that goes well with many fruits.  Wrap thin slices of turkey, along with lots of thinly sliced vegetables, in a whole-wheat tortilla and you’re on your way to a healthful lunch.

The following recipe pairs turkey with mango in a light curried mayonnaise and, for a change, uses a pita pocket rather than a tortilla.

Turkey-Mango Pockets

  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup fat-free or reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. cooked turkey, cut up
  • 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seed and cubed
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 4 whole-wheat pita pockets

Heat curry powder, stirring constantly, in a small skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer curry powder to small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix seasoned mayonnaise with turkey, cucumber, mango, parsley and avocado. Put one-fourth of the mixture into each pita pocket.

Wraps can be made up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerated wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 339 calories, 7 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 49 g. carbohydrate,
25 g. protein, 8 g. dietary fiber, 498 mg. sodium.


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