Fresh Strawberry Salsa

When looking back at my life, I just have to laugh sometimes.  For example.  Looking back at the day when Mr. Rodgers shared his decision with me to change his eating habits.  Being young in age and in my health knowledge,  I was convinced that I ate great!  You know, the whole…potato is a healthy vegetable, a couple Tbsps of brown sugar in a sauce is fine, “as long as I’m not going through a drive through I’m doing good” mindset.  But when he started talking about all natural, totally organic, super strict stuff…I thought my new found love for experimenting in the kitchen was over.  How would I ever try all those fantastic recipes I had pinned on Pinterest if I had to follow these rules?  I thought my days of fun food were over.  I thought the days of flavor and exploration were done.  “Hello tasteless baked chicken every day” was my fear.

And now I look back and laugh.  It’s like a whole new world  has been opened up to me…flavors I didn’t even realize existed!!  I don’t see rules, I see challenges.  Those pins I thought I lost?  They are just canvases waiting to be adapted into healthy, nourishing, flavor packed meals.  When Mr. Rodgers and I do really good at being consistent (let’s be honest, we are far from perfect, though he has been kicking butt and dropping pounds the past two weeks!!), we realize that those other foods really were devoid of true flavor.  So I smile at the younger me with tears in her eyes over a passion she thought she was losing…and rejoice that I listened to him so I could discover a whole new level of said passion!

ANYWHO!  This recipe brought all that rambling to my brain.  Because I never would have thought that some day I would be making a fresh strawberry salsa!  Delicious!  It was adapted from the WONDERFUL Caveman Feast app by Abel James.  You should all download it.  Its organized.  It’s pretty.  It’s healthy and easy!  For this meal we used the salsa on meat (recipe soon to come.)  But I would love to find a healthy way to make a form of cinnamon chip (Ideas?  Anyone?) and eat it as a snack.  Sweet.  Tart.  A little heat.  Perfection.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Cups Strawberries, Finely Diced
  • 1/2 Sm Red Onion, Finely Diced (I usually do red onion to taste, or till it “looks right.”  You can tell when there is enough by the ration of strawberry to onion!)
  • 1 Jalapeño, or 1/2 Serrano (I tend to enjoy the serrano flavor better, but jalapeños are great too!)
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar (Optional!  We have some from our first anniversary trip to Lake Placid, almost two years ago!  It just seemed fitting to add to a strawberry salsa!)

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Now here is the main difference between my version and our good friend Abel’s.  I like my sauces more chunky and “pico de gallo” style, so I diced everything.  However, the original says to pulse in a food processor till you have a smoother sauce.  I will let you decide your preference.  🙂  If your strawberries aren’t super sweet, then the food processor may be better so you won’t have chunks of tart strawberry.  But I love getting distinct flavors in different pieces, and mixing everything together before hand to get a sort of “marinating” action.  All that said, here is where you prep your veggies and fruits!
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Refrigerate until serving.  OR put it all in a food processor and blend away!!

 

How easy was that?!  And how fancy does it look?!  I love it!  What would you use this for?!

 

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Mixin’ mixin’ mixin’…

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Strawberry Salsa…who woulda thought?!

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Kale Pesto. Say Whaaaaaat?!

Yes, you read that right.  Kale pesto!!!  I LOVE PESTO!  And the fact that when you eat this one….you are unknowingly devouring a SUPER FOOD!  So tasty, and so beyond healthy!  Yeah baby!!  And the color is phenomenal, haha.  Green is my favorite 🙂  You can do so many things with pesto.  Chicken.  Veggie sides.  Pasta.  Pizza.  Why not whip up a batch of this fantastic pesto, and have it ready to substitute into your favorite recipes?  Here’s my thought…if you are a pesto lover, make this one change, have an even better flavor and unbelievable health benefits!  Eliminate the store bought pesto you get from a jar, and you eliminate the mystery…do you know what mystery I am speaking of?  The “what sort of strange chemical poo did they cram into this” mystery?  I have come to the terms that even if the ingredients on a bottle all seem legit…and if it has that “all natural” label on the front…you can’t trust it!  That one thing that I haven’t heard of…that big word I can’t pronounce….it’s probably where they snuck in the bad stuff that will hurt the body!  Oh and don’t even get me started on the whole “natural flavors” thing.  Ha!  Anywho.  This recipe eliminates that mystery!!!  You can KNOW what you are putting in your body, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your body is not being harmed!  And on the other hand, if you already make home made pesto, I altered this recipe to the point that it is crazy delicious without any cheese!  Not that I think a little Parmesan here and there is a bad thing.  But if you can have something that is so yummy without NEEDING cheese, you might as well eliminate it so that you can have some cheese where it IS needed, right?  Makes sense to me 😉

Enough talk!!!  Let’s hop to it!!  I’m excited for you to try this gem…and I’m excited that in a few days, I get to show you how I used it!  FANTASTIC!

Adapted from marycrimmins.com

So here’s what you need:

  • 2 Small Bunches of Kale, Stems Removed
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C Walnuts, Chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (ish, to taste and texture 😉 )
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or something similar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (Careful with the salt if your Cajun style seasoning has salt in it!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place your walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn 🙂  You just want them to get a little browned and bring out that fantastic toasty flavor!!  Yummmm!  Set aside 🙂
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. Add kale leaves to boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Should be nice and tender.
  4. Put your toasted walnuts, cooked kale, and garlic in a food processor.  Or blender, but food processor works better 🙂  Get it nice and blended!
  5. Pour in oil and lemon juice slowly, until you get the consistency you want.  Mine was creamy and spreadable, which was perfect for my use 🙂
  6. Whiz in the Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper…taste and adjust!

WABAM!  AMAZING!  That’s all I can say!  Amazing!!!  I hope you enjoy this…it was a huge discovery for my kitchen 🙂

Oh my gosh.  I just had a thought.  Kale pesto.  Plus spaghetti squash.  Holy inspiration.  Ahhhhh.  That must happen.  Really soon.  Wow.  Maybe I should blog while watching Iron Chef more often.  For real.

Holy boiling kale batman!

Kale Pesto 1

So green!  Yay green!  Tastiest darn green I’ve ever had!!!

Kale Pesto 2

Yum!  I have more pictures for you…but I’m not giving them to you yet…cause I want you to see them all together when I reveal the finished product.  The life-changing, wonderful, beautiful finished product.  Haha.