by Christine Vega
I get it. I’ve been guilty of buying jarred, canned, or pre-packaged food. It’s easier, faster, and when you have kids or are short on time, it just makes more sense, right? Sure, you get your meals faster, but you also get a ton of added sodium and ingredients you can’t even pronounce. When you have a chance to buy fresh, please do so!! Food is fuel, and you are what you eat; so why not eat some good stuff to balance out that chocolate cake (and wine)?
There are a ton of farmers markets that are popping up all over the area and they have a broad variety of veggies and fruits available! Trust me, when you buy local, you’re reinvesting in your community by supporting our farmers. They put so much love and care into their farming, and you CAN NOT BEAT FRESH!
Some of my favorite farmer’s markets are in the Cleveland Area. Of course Basketeria at the Westside Market (they are available all year) offers some gorgeous organic produce and you can order online by visiting their website: www.thebasketeria.com. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be highlighting some of these farms/farmers about what they’re growing, how long they’re been around, and where we can find them around town. Then, I’ll feature a recipe with their culinary offerings – which I’m very excited about!
With that said, I’ve taken some fresh produce from The Basketeria and created a quick, delicious dinner that tastes great, was made fresh, and is SO EASY. No added fillers, no preservatives, just light, refreshing flavors that will make you look like you know what you’re doing!
½ Red Onion, medium
Small bunch of cilantro
1 Mango (can substitute fresh pineapple, papaya, or whatever your taste is that day)
1-3 Jalapeños, small, diced (I substituted a can of green chilies because I didn’t have jalapeños and it wouldn’t be too spicy for the kids)
2 small avocados
Salt to taste
Corn or Flour tortillas
Rough chop the onion, cilantro, mango, jalapeños (or open the can of chilies if you don’t want it too spicy, great for kids), avocado and combine in a bowl and lightly toss. Make sure your mango is ripe!
Get your chicken on the grill (I marinated mine in a simple balsamic/oilive oil/honey glaze: I put the chicken in a gallon zip-lock bag, drizzled in about 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1-2 teaspoons of Balsamic Vinegar, salt, pepper to taste, and a healthy drizzle of honey and let it marinade for about 30 minutes before I grilled it.)
Grab a tortilla and construct your tacos! Don’t like tacos? Melt some cheese on tortilla chips and top with the Mango concoction and dice up that grilled chicken and top the nachos with that. In my taco, I added some quinoa that I had made earlier as a little extra something, but it turned out I didn’t even need that.
Serve with a side of rice and a margarita and you’re all set!
It’s so versatile, quick, light, and easy! It took virtually no time to prepare and everyone really liked it. It’s a great salsa to whip up for a party, it’s different, and you can always change it up with seasonal produce. What would I add in if I had it? I probably would add a little jicama for more crunch or black beans and corn. That’s what I love about cooking/baking – you can absolutely improv with ingredients on hand and vary it based on your own tastes. When I see recipes, it’s more that I’m looking at it as a base to build on. Most times, it works out, sometimes, it’s a dud. In this case, I think it proved successful and delicious.
Give it a try!