Tag Archives: Fennel

Who the Fanuk are you?

21 Jul

FANUK – short for finocchio, an Italian word for fennel and vernacular for homosexual man (probably because the bulb fennel plant looks like the male genitals).

Ever bite into a piece of fennel expecting the crisp nothing-ness of celery and get a mouth full of black jelly beans?

Ever meet a man you want to introduce to your hot gay cousin when you uncover he has a wife and children he is actually  in love and happy with?

Come on you probably know two or three of these special breed of men. It could be your uncle, your friend’s husband, a university professor or a colleague. They are stereotypically gay – they prance about, sip tea with their pinky up, cross their legs, peel fruit before eating it, gel their hair, have a keen fashion sense and have that special sorta sing-y inflection to their voice. These men are up on the latest gossip and could give two shits about the Yankees stats, but damn Jeter looked good on that interview about his batting thing.

You never dare to ask them the things you yearn to know – Do you an your wife have sex the way God intended you to?  Do you like a-licky-dicky? Have you tried knocking at the backdoor?  Or aren’t you the least bit bi-curious – cause, we all think you are.

If you have not guessed it yet I am talking about the NON-homosexual, gay man. Hetero-gays are a rare and interesting breed.  It is beyond metro-sexual and not quite a plug and play homosexual but a weird mystical mix of man.  This is how I see it: Gay men are celery, crisp, clean with little flowery leaves on top – what you see is what you get. While hetero-gays are more the Fanuk or fennel you think you are getting celery but whoops its Jägermeister, still good but unexpectedly so.

In the spirit of being unexpected I decided to grill up some fennel with watermelon to make a nice summer grilled salad. If you happen to be brave give this a try it is quite good – like when my hetero-gay friend buys his wife clothes.

Fanuk You and Fanuk Her, Too – Watermelon & Fennel Salad

You Need:

1 Fennel bulb

1 Cup of watermelon

2 oz of olive oil

1.5 oz of lemon juice

Few dashes of:

Lemon pepper



Garlic Salt

Dill (Dash this two or three times)

What to Do:

-Separate fennel bulb, wash and slice into pieces (cutting off ends and rough bits)

-Chop watermelon into cubes

-Mix remaining ingredients and coat fennel and watermelon

-Grill fennel first, about 20 minutes until tender

-Add watermelon for 5 minutes to give a slight char


And at the next BBQ ask your uncle or neighbor  – ever want to put it in the pooper?

Vegging Out,



Konnichiwa Kabocha– What a Surprise!

27 Jan

Post Disclaimer: It is not the size of the hot dog that matters but how it is placed it in the bun.

You know the old adages  – “ things are not always as they seem” or how about  “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Well, that about sums up my experience with a fine Japanese Veggie-Man named Kabocha. Kabocha, as you can see in the pic above has a dark green squashy like exterior. When I bought him home I fully expected to crack him open and find a honeydew like color on the inside. However, to my surprise this little guy was no regular squash, he was a Japanese Pumpkin! I found it interesting that  Japanese Americans often make pumpkin pie with this veg if they are away from pumpkin producing parts of the world during Thanksgiving time(You can thank me later when you get that Kabocha Jeopardy questions right).

Anyway, take a minute and say Konnichiwa to my little orange pumpkin-ly friend. (DO IT!!! I can’t hear you!!)

Cutting open Kabocha was like marrying  a fascinating Japanese gentlemen fully expecting to unwrap a cocktail weenie on your wedding night and instead being greeted with a huge ballpark frank (Yes, my mother reads this blog so there will be no talk of pre-marital sex, even with Mr. Ballpark Yamamoto.  Although, I have to mention cocktail weenies are typically appetizers).

Once I cracked the Kabocha open I was left with the quandary of what to do with it.  My non-Japanese husband, who reminds me more of a spicy Italian sausage then a hot dog, mentioned he was jones-ing for some soup. Since I like sausage, I figured I’d grant his wish.

For awhile I have been meaning to make the Kabocha French Lentil Soup out of Rebecca Steven’s cookbook SoupLove. However, her recipe needed a little –“I’m too busy for ovens, pots and pans” makeover. So, here is my version inspired by Chef Stevens.

Kabocha Lentil Soup

You Need:

6 cups of water.

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup of lentils

1 head of fennel/star anise

2 leeks (white section only)

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large Kabocha

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

¼ cup of julienned ginger

Red pepper flakes

Sea Salt to taste


Get out a large crock pot.

Fill with:

6 cups of water, olive oil,

Lentils (rinsed first),Fennel/star anise chopped into small pieces

Leeks (white section only) chopped into half moons,

Yellow onion, chopped, Kabocha (as prepped below)

Fennel seeds, Ginger

A few shakes of red pepper flakes & Sea Salt

Kabocha Prep

Cleaver the Kabocha in half.

Spoon out seeds into trash

Place Kabocha flesh side down in a bowl or Pyrex of warm water.

Place in microwave for 15 minutes or until soft enough to squeeze.

Let cool to touch.

Scoop flesh out.

Chop up and add to Crockpot.

Cook on low for 7hours. Veggies should be tender.

Serve with crusty bread! Enjoy this soups spicy gingery goodness!

Until next post, Sayonara Veggie Lovers & Friends.