Caribbean Salsa – Eat better, eat healthier, Eat fresher, Eat tastier

Everybody paying attention?  In the spirit of my chosen OKK assignment, I CAN COOK THAT, last week I gave you a cooking… truth.  Menu planning is much more than a long shopping list for a week.  In fact, menu planning should be more about using what you buy for the best tasting, freshest tasting, healthiest for you and your family; food on your table week after week, without wasting a gram of food.  Nothing goes into the trash till you have extracted everything possible from what you buy.  Like last week…and the week before… When I bought a rotisserie chicken, ddn’t throw the bones away, but made a fresh Chicken Stock that I used to make an incredibly rich and flavorful Spanish Rice.  In order to make Spanish Rice, I needed to buy onions and red peppers.  I could buy onions and red peppers cheaper if I buy 2 or 3 of each prepackaged by the store.  Sure, these are usually on the far side of still fresh, but close to borderline; and sure, these usually have a bad spot or two hidden by the packaging you don’t see till you get home; BUT, these are to be diced up and cooked same day you buy them.  Cut around the bad spot and dice away… and use up everything you buy.

And SALSA!  what a great way to use up veggies.  Make your own, it is very fast, and much healthier than the stuff you buy in the jars.  Read the ingredient list… why is there sugar in a salsa???  and what are those preservatives for… why artificial coloring???  Why all those words with more syllables than there are letters in O-N-I-O-N???  And salt… don’t get me started on salt…  More often than not, salsa is offered to be scooped up by SALTED chips.  You don’t need all that salt.  I know I don’t.
But if not with chips, how about a nice side of fresh salsa (without chips, it can be called a diced tomato side dish if you like), served with Spanish rice and a seafood enchilada…

And while we are using up the red pepper and onion that you bought to flavor the Spanish Rice you were making because you had extra fresh made chicken stock, let’s make this a Caribbean Salsa by using up that pineapple that you bought in order to garnish your wife’s rum drink.
Here’s what I did…

My salsa recipe is a matter of proportions.  You don’t have to measure accurately to the smallest gram weight.  If you have a little more onion, fine, if you have a little less pineapple, fine, but here’s how to make it in what ever quantities you need…
1 part (either 1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 TBS) of diced Onion
1 part (either 1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 TBS) of diced Red Bell Pepper
1 part (either 1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 TBS) of diced Pineapple
2 part (either 2 cup, 4 cups, or 2 TBS) of diced Roma Tomatoes
A NOTE ABOUT DICING – try to dice everything the same size
1/2 part (either 1/2 cup, 1 cups, or 1/2 TBS) of minced Parsley
1/2 part (either 1/2 cup, 1 cups, or 1/2 TBS) of not your Grandmother’s HERBES de PROVENCE
Juice of 1 lime

And if you like a runny salsa, more dip-able, take 1/4 part of additional tomatoes and run them through a mini chopper till they are liquefied.

Mix it all together, and you have fresh made salsa!

Use what you buy, eat better tasting food, eat healthier food, think about what is in your fridge and what you can do with it.

By the way, I LOVE making up a batch of not your Grandmother’s HERBES de PROVENCE.  It is a GREAT way to always have an herb mixture on hand.  I make up about 2 months worth at a time, and my not your Grandmother’s HERBES de PROVENCE is far fresher than what you find in those little packages you buy in the store pre-assembled.  Here’s my formula…

I use this almost anytime a recipe calls for a mixture of two or three herb spices.  It tastes great on a focaccia bread, add to oil and balsamic for a great bread dipping oil.  I add to fish and chicken for a light taste accent. It is just great to have sitting around… ready

5 TBS dried Tarragon
5 TBS dried Oregano
5 TBS dried Dill
5 TBS dried Thyme
5 TBS dried Rosemary
5 TBS dried Garlic Flakes
2 TBS Sea Salt
2 TBS Fresh ground Pepper
1 TBS dried Lemon Zest

Store in a sealed plastic ziplock bag, airtight in a dark drawer, and stays fresh for 6 months or more.  

Better tasting and it will save you money in the long run!

Come back next week when I finally get around to the main course… A wonderful seafood enchilada!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  


And so can you!


Nothing like fresh salsa! Love the Caribbean touch! I mix my own Herbs de Provence too, yours sounds really good, I going to give it a try. I also have a Bonne Herbs mix that is great for veggies.