Monday, February 15, 2010

Homefront: Soul Salsa

We used to make our own salsa and guacamole all the time, and we eventually just stopped as life got busier. I had a really good food chopper, but gave it to Goodwill (brand new) b/c we never used it. As we've begun cooking more, we have re-realized how fun it is to prepare dinners (and snacks) together.

We love standing at our tiny kitchen counter together, chopping our own herbs and veggies. That 15 minutes or so that would other wise be "saved" by using a food chopper, is one of our favorite parts of these moments. We get busy in our own worlds, with the kids, work... but making a little snack and spending that time talking, laughing, chopping... it's good for us. Almost therapeutic. Of course, snacking on the delicious treat is most excellent as well! Do you have something like that for you or your relationship? It may even be something you do not even realize. Once you figure out what that activity might be, try and cultivate it and make it part of your weekly routine.

Salsa Recipe:

1/2 can well rinsed black beans
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped (or jalepeno if you like spicy)
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
2 T vinegar (though we usually skip this)
salt to taste

Sliced avacodo, shredded cheese and chips for serving. Or serve over rice and cooked cubed seasoned chicken with corn for a "Chipotle" like meal.

Combine all, seal in airtight container and let stand for approx 30 mins for the flavors to blend together. I like to put a slice of avocado on my chip, dip in the salsa and then sprinkle on a little cheese. Delicious.

*tips... I freeze onion and herbs, and some other veggies I chop!! I only use a handful in my meals, but I put it in almost everything I make.  So, when I chop a fresh onion (or bell pepper or whatever), I use what I need, then cut up the rest and put it in an airtight freezer bag and freeze. (Some veggies need to be blanched first for the best freezing, and some veggies don't freeze well at all, this link has good advice).  Of course, they are best when going to be cooked in the next meal, as they lose their crispness when they thaw, but still excellent if you are going to be using them soon. Cilantro is easy to grow and freeze too,  read about it here, including the comments.

Freezing makes it easy when cooking, just throw in a little frozen onion and it cooks just fine. For herbs, chop them up, and fill an ice cube tray with them. Cover with a bit of water and freeze. When cooking, just plop in your herbed ice cube, here's an easy tutorial with pictures at bananablender. You can do the same thing with pesto herb mixes (directions here) as well .

Happy chopping!


rae said...

1) This looks delicious.
2) Thanks for visiting!
3) Your Etsy shop is AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of freezing herbs like ice cubes.
I always buy more then I really need so this saves time and money :)

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