I have a thing for salsa. I love the way it plays with my tastebuds, and has a variety of textures and flavours. I love how simple and versatile salsa can be. But I have a confession to make, I’m not a fan of saucy salsas.
In my early days, salsa was basically onions, peppers, tomatoes. That was basically it. Enter mature tastebuds and exposure to new cultures. Enter my friend’s mango salsa.
Now you know me Kountry, I can me, shall see say picky and judgmental about food? 😉 My initial thought when my friend told me she was serving me mango salsa to go with her jerked pork burgers I wasn’t sure what to think.
Imean I knew I liked mango, but mango is a fruit. Salsa, up to then, had been all about veggies. Well because we have this silly thing of mistaking a tomato as a veggie when it’s really a fruit. Once I turned my kind that way, mango made sense. And the salsa was delicious!
Her recipe was straightforward and simple.
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 c of finely diced onion
1 tbsp of lime juice
1 tbsp mint, finely sliced
Combine ingredients and serve.
See I told you that it was simple and easy to follow. But you know me Kountry, I have a need to alter things and so I’ve altered this as well, mostly out of necessity when Himself decided to focus on eating chicken breasts to be more healthy.
The problem with this is that it soon gets routine and boring. I had sent him outside to grill some chicken breasts, much to his horror. You see we had come home a bit later than normal and so grilling was the fast way to cook said chicken. The problem, for Himself was that it had started to rain.
Now a small aside must be done here. I grew up with a father who would fire up the bbq aka grill and cook in the rain, heavy winds, snow, cold and a whole bunch else. I remember one year my father decided to grill even with the threat of a potential tornado in the area. My father believed that a tornado wouldn’t dare interrupt grilling, besides the smell would surely be pleasing to the tornado. He grilled happily in the bluster and the tornado never came to be.
Now Himself won’t go outside and grill unless there isn’t even the slightest hint of rain in the sky. He also won’t grill if the wind is above a certain speed or the temperature is too low. In other words he rarely grills. But now I wasn’t giving him a choice. He was sent out in the rain with the plain chicken breasts and an umbrella.
I knew I’d have to come up with a little something to go with the chicken that would a) make up for him to having to grill against his will and b) give the chicken the flavour boost it needs. A quick glance around the kitchen and pantry reminded me we really needed to go shopping for groceries.
As it was I found a few mangos, limes, onion, sugar, flour, spicy peppers, one can of pineapple rings, oatmeal, butter, flaked coconut, mint, cilantro, parsley and a sad looking carrot. That was it unless you also count the milk and chocolate bar. So salsa it would be!
Mango salsa, which Himself had never tired before. Here’s what I used: 3 ripe mangos, peeled and seeded
2 jalapeños peppers , seeded and finely diced
1/4-1/3 c finely diced onion
Zest from two limes
2 Tbsp of lime juice (fresh is best, I used two limes for this)
1 can of pineapple rings, chopped, save the juice for something else
2 handfuls of torn mint
2 handfuls of flaked coconut, unsweetened
1 handful each of torn parsley and cilantro
I put the diced mango, onion, jalapeños, pineapple, mint, coconut, parsley, and cilantro in a bowl mixed together. Then I added the lime juice, a dash of salt and pepper and lastly the lime zest. Himself came in with the grilled chicken and voila a simple, healthy and flavourful meal with some sass to it!
You can add just about anything you think goes in terms of flavours to mix it up, change it around and so on. Have left overs? No worries, it can be turned into a salad of sorts. I like to take chicken and dice it up, add it to the salsa and serve as a chicken salad of sorts. You can mix it with mayonnaise if you wish. Or serve it with cooked couscous, quinoa or rice. The ideas are endless as are the flavour combinations and best of all, you can a nice sense of sweetness without using any sugar at all!