I think the first time I heard anyone mention cassoulet, it was Martha Stewart years ago in the first version of her television show. Outside of remembering that the main ingredients were white beans and a huge amount of meat for what could be classified […]
I love beans. I always have. Although you might catch me sampling the piquant flavors of a great baked beans recipe at a barbeque, I’m more of a straight bean sampler. Someone who enjoys the texture and taste of a big pot of beans without […]
When the weather is warmer or more humid than I like, or when I don’t want something packed with calories disguised as butter, or cream, or bacon, I crave food that has a bite, some salt, and involves work.
No, the work isn’t about the preparation — it’s about chewing. Chewing, crunching, and savoring the most amazing combination of flavors, that is.
Oh, and little or no heat. That would be heat from a stove or a grill, because I can’t imagine life without the heat that comes from a nice jalapeno. And since Grace of A Southern Grace is having a little “Beat the Heat” shindig over at her place, I thought this just might be perfect.
The first time I made this salsa it was the early ’90s and I was desperate for food packed with nutrients, and absolutely no fat. I’d had my youngest son a year earlier, thought I was looking just fine, and then saw a photo of myself at a wedding that rudely informed me otherwise. Where, oh where did that second chin come from? So, I was hell bent for leather to lose weight and get fit. No-fat diets were all the rage back then, and I went a bit crazy eating things like fresh strawberries dipped in Cool Whip, and smearing apple butter on my dry toast. Eating lots and lots of pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil. And, wonder of all wondrous things, learning how to stomach non-fat milk. Unbelievable. For exercise, I took a swimming test, then promptly learned how to row. You know. Those long skinny boats that lots of people sit in with the slidey seats? They all stroke at the same time when that person at the end yells at them? Yes, those. I know. I was 36 years old. What in hell was I doing? Well, the other women were my age and older, so that made it easy (such a liar…) But they were buff, and I was, um…pudgy.
Where was I?
Salsa. About that time, I started making this salsa. Wait. Salad. So, maybe it’s a salsa salad. I think that’s the closest name for it, although in years since, I have seen it called Cowboy Caviar, which some people think morphed from Texas Caviar. Now, I learned what I know about cowboys from old movies, and I’m not, nor ever will be from Texas. And most importantly, I have lived in San Diego for most of my life, so there’s no way I’d call my chunky bowl of low carb, low fat flavor either of those names.
From time to time when reading what others write about food — whether printed on paper or published on the web — I’ve come across a person here and there who comments about what they describe as pretentious food. It always causes me to stop […]