I started college in the Summer, and for that term I was in a dorm with 5 other girls. There were 3 bedrooms, a big bathroom with multiple showers, and a little kitchen. We all got along really well, stayed up super late every night playing beach volleyball, and ate a lot of food. In fact, I’m pretty sure I gained the dreaded freshman 15 in that short Summer. And I’d like to give full credit/blame to my super cute roomate from Mexico.
She was kind of the mommy of our little household. She was the one we all went to with our boy problems, the one who scolded us when we didn’t get enough to eat or to drink or exercise or sleep, and she always cooked for a crowd with no expectation of return or reward. Food was her love language, and she has been a huge inspiration for me ever since. Looking back, I’m kind of embarrassed how much she cooked for me and how little I cooked for her. But her food was SO GOOD. I always sat at the kitchen table doing my homework while amazing smells would waft out of the multiple pans she had going on the stove. All of it tasted even better than it smelled. The dish that stands out to me the most, though, was her salsa.
It actually changed my life. In fact, I was determined to learn to make it, and she and I had multiple lessons (which wasn’t hard because she made it so often) so I could get the feel of it right. Because of course, she had no recipe for me to write down. Now, there’s no way mine is nearly as good as hers, but I caught on adequately for a half-Japanese half-white girl, and it kind of became my go-to party food. The coolest thing about it was that every time she made it, it was a little bit different. It’s so versatile, and as long as the flavor profile works, you can pretty much add what you want. And I make it differently every time. But since we’re talking about what to do with those beans you soaked, cooked, and froze, I think this is a good time to show you a meal I make quite often.
Grab a bag of organic blue corn chips, and you have yourself dinner. Not your typical dinner, no, but it’s actually quite nutritious and hello! What kid doesn’t want chips and salsa for dinner? You can by all means omit the beans, corn, and avocado for a bare-bones salsa. But the beans and avocado add protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, iron, a whole bunch of vitamins, and are just … yummy. The sweet corn is a nice addition for flavor and contrast in texture. Make sure with any corn product, that you buy non-GMO verified and USDA certified organic. Corn is one of the top genetically modified products in the U.S., and I’m not putting that into my body or any member of my family’s. I won’t go into detail about it now, but if you don’t know what I’m talking about or are on the fence about GMO’s then I highly recommend you want this Tedx Talk by Robyn O’Brien. She can explain it way better than I could anyway.
I’m about to lick my computer screen and I’m not even hungry. But I can promise this salsa will cure the case of the after-school hangries for even the most bottomless-pit teen that you encounter. As long as you make enough. I have a pretty large portion here, so you can use it as a full meal for a pretty big family or take it to a party and have everyone asking you for the recipe. (Aaaaand you can direct them to me, thank you) Or, it is easily halved for a smaller portion. Keep in mind it does not store well (avocados get weirdly carbonated when stored in the fridge with an acid), so you’ll have to eat it pretty much immediately, though I doubt that’ll be too much of an issue. Enjoy!
- 2 lbs good tomatoes*, diced small
- 2 avocado, diced medium
- 1~2 cups frozen organic corn, thawed
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 1 large bunch of cilantro, minced fine
- 2-3 scallions**, minced fine
- juice of 1-2 limes, to taste
- salt to taste
- In a large bowl, gently combine ingredients. Season with salt to taste, keeping in mind that chips are salty, so be conservative with the salt.
- Serve with organic tortilla chips. (blue corn are my favorite)
- *during the Summer months, I use as many varieties of heirloom tomatoes I can get my hands on, which results in a more complex, flavorful, and colorful salsa. But in the off-season months, I buy campari tomatoes, which are the only grocery store tomatoes I buy. Most grocery stores carry conventional and organic options of them.
- **I use scallions because they are milder than most onions and the most common green onion in a typical American grocery store. But if you can get your hands on cebollitas, you could definitely use those. If neither are an option, your standard yellow, white, or red onion work great. Just make sure and mince them fine and soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes before you need them. This gets rid of a lot of that harsh onion bite. Drain, rinse, pat dry if necessary, and add them to the bowl.