My Favorite Mango Salsa Recipe (and a giveaway for a $75 Whole Foods gift card!)

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

mango salsa- a must try recipe. Perfect for chicken or fish tacos, and more!.jpg

This is an absolute favorite salsa of mine. Sweet mangoes are paired with crisp red onions, flavorful cilantro and garlic, spicy jalapeno, and lime. It’s a simple mango salsa, but surprisingly complex and very flavorful. A great mix of sweet, spicy, savory, tart, and salty. Mango salsa goes well with grilled fish or chicken, is divine in tacos, lovely served with corn chips, and I’ll even enjoy it straight!

Whole Foods Gift Card Giveaway!

I’m sharing this today because Whole Foods Market asked if I’d like to do a gift card giveaway and a share a recipe using their mangos. And because I absolutely adore mangos, I said yes! (And I thought you all would love a chance to get a gift card too.). So gifted with my own Whole Foods card, I ran to my local store where they had a large display of mangos front and center. People, now is the time to buy mangos. These were some of the most perfect mangos I’ve gotten in a long time! Mine were perfectly ripe and tender. My particular store also had them at a great price.

Mango Salsa

All good reasons to enjoy mango salsa. We enjoyed our delicious salsa with organic corn tortillas, pan-fried organic chicken, and avocado. Delicious!

Delicious Mango Salsa! Perfect for chicken and fish, and eating with chips!

By the way, if you go to Whole Foods, look for (Amazon affiliate link) Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips. They are incredibly delicious and healthy, as they are fried in coconut oil. As a big fan of coconut oil, these are a favorite, and Whole Foods is the only place in my area that carries them. This potato chip company is a small company, and I love supporting the good food they are selling! (And nope, they didn’t even pay me to say that. ;-) )

Other Mango Recipes:

I love using mango in a variety of ways. It’s a delicious treat plain, but it’s also great in smoothies, popsicles, and more savory-sweet recipes.

Plus, If you haven’t tried a fruit based salsa yet, do it. They are so delicious! This mango salsa is my favorite fruit salsa, but this Black Bean and Pineapple Salsa is another lovely way to enjoy a fruit salsa.

My Favorite Mango Salsa Recipe (and a giveaway for a Whole Foods gift card!)
 
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Makes about 1½ cups. The most important thing to know about making salsa is this: Don’t be afraid of mixing things up, and playing around with ratios of ingredients. Love cilantro? Use a bigger amount. Hate garlic? Leave it out. Taste and as you make it, and adjust until you get it just right.
Ingredients
  • 3 small/medium ripe mangos
  • Half a bunch of cilantro (I love cilantro so I used the big half)
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, peeled and put through a garlic press
  • 1-2 limes
  • ¼-1/2 red onion
  • ½- 1 jalapeno pepper
  • Unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Using a small paring knife or vegetable peeler, peel the mangos, and then cut the mango flesh off the core (eating any of the mango flesh left on the core is cook’s treat). Dice the mango into small, bite-sized pieces, and put in a bowl.
  2. Wash, and shake dry the cilantro, and then cut the leaves from the stems. Roughly chop.
  3. Peel the red onion, and cut in half. Dice finely one half of the red onion. Add half of this amount to the bowl, and keep back the other half.
  4. Stem the pepper (you may want to either coat your hands with oil or use gloves to protect your skin), and cut in half. If you want it less spicy, remove the seeds. Chop really finely. Add to bowl.
  5. Cut the limes in half and sprinkle over this mixture and give a couple sprinkles of salt to the mixture as well. Gently mix. Taste test. Does it need more salt? More onions, more chopped pepper? More lime juice? More cilantro? Adjust flavors, if needed. Serve right away, or allow flavors to meld for at least one hour.
Notes
Possible additions: Black beans, seeded tomatoes, or chopped red bell pepper.

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Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf

Katie Mae

Katie Stanley is a dorm “mama” to 12 amazing girls ages 8 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She and her “hijas” can be frequently found in the kitchen, the garden or making friends with their new chickens. She loves to read, hike the hills near her home and spend time with her girls. In her spare time Katie blogs at Nourishing Simplicity about nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living, the deaf, raising her girls and encouraging other women in their walk with Christ.

Latest posts by Katie Mae (see all)

ToastedRicePilafIMG_7763 By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer This pilaf’s flavor comes from sautéing the onions and garlic in delicious grass fed butter and roasting the almonds and rice with the vegetables until they have a soft golden color. Roasting pulls out the flavors and ensures that the rice won’t clump together as easily because the individual grains are coated in butter. If you are worried about the use of white rice in this recipe consider reading Kimi’s article on why they eat white rice.

Simple and wholesome, rice pilaf makes a wonderful addition to almost any meal. I remember being giddy each time my mom said we could have rice pilaf for dinner. It was my favorite despite the fact that it came from a box. There is no wrong way to make pilaf. All around the world there are different variations of this simple and tasty side. The origin of our word pilaf is derived from the Modern Greek pilafi, which comes from the Turkish pilav, Persian pilāw, Hindi pulāv, Sanskrit pulāka and possibly Dravidian origin. Aren’t languages intriguing? I also love how cuisines borrow from each other and slowly form thier own unique takes on food! That’s why you will see dishes of simlar styles like my Green Pea Pulao from Malaysia or my Arabic Rice from Israel.

I make my rice in a rice cooker to save on space and time but this can easily be made on the stove. My favorite rice cooker is the Vitaclay rice/slow cooker. #affiliatelink It doubles as a rice and slow cooker. It is preprogrammed to keep your food hot for up to 12 hours! Sometimes when I know I am going to be out or busy most of the day I will put my rice in the Vitaclay and a meat in my crock pot so that I have a meal ready to go that evening! (Read Kimi’s review of it here)

Simple and Tasty Crock Pot Meals and Recipes:

Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 6-8

 
This pilaf’s flavor comes from sautéing the onions and garlic in delicious grass fed butter and roasting the the almonds and rice with the vegetables till the have a soft golden color. Roasting pulls out the flavors and insures that the rice won’t clump together as easily because the individual grains are coated in butter.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups white rice
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tsp real sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized pot heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the onions and celery, sprinkle with salt and saute until almost translucent.
  2. Add the rice and almonds, stir until slightly browned. At this point you can transfer the rice mixture to a rice cooker or leave the rice in the pot.
  3. Stir in the broth. If you are are cooking the rice on the stove top bring the rice to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. If you are using a rice cooker follow the directions that came with your model. I have this rice cooker.
  4. Uncover and fluff with a fork or rice paddle before serving.

 

How to Make Homemade Ketchup (with unrefined sweeteners, antioxidant-rich)

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

How to make homemade ketchup
Sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup, this simple homemade ketchup is flavorful, gently sweetened, and a beautiful condiment to be served to kids and adults alike. Unlike most ketchup on the grocery store shelf, healthy, homemade versions of this popular condiment can actually be a beautiful part of your diet!

How much sugar we consume in a year (on average)

As part of our 21 steps to a nourishing diet, I’d love to challenge you to ditch highly sweetened ketchup (and other similar processed foods) and enjoy  healthy versions instead. While sugars in their natural forms can definitely be part of a traditional diet in moderation, many don’t realize how bombarded they are with sugar everyday. We’ve gone from consuming an average of 2 pounds of sugar a year, 200 years ago, to 152 pounds of sugar a year. That’s equal to 3 pounds per person every week!

One highly sweetened and popular condiment in the U.S. is tomato ketchup. It is delicious, but unfortunately is full of excess sugar, and most often, corn syrup as well. Thankfully, it’s very easy to make your own ketchup at home. The grand thing about making your own ketchup is that you can make it as sweet as you like! We feel this recipe is pretty sweet with only 4 tablespoons of unrefined sugar for the whole recipe. It’s also fun to make as you can vary the spices and the amounts of spices to taste with great results. It’s easily adaptable and forgiving to change.

My kids have been asking for ketchup to dip their homemade French fries and hamburgers in, and I was glad to whip this up for them.

Health Benefits of Tomato Paste

I make this using really high quality tomato paste, which actually has many health benefits (sources listed below).

  • It’s a concentrated source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene.
  • Tomato paste has been shown to have cardio health benefits
  • It helps prevent sunburn and is anti-aging. It’s a skin booster! (Antioxidants are amazing for preventing sunburn!).
  • It has multiple anticancer properties- especially against prostate cancer

All in all, I find this simple condiment a beautiful addition to a healthy diet, and just another example of how making your own versions of popular food items can turn unhealthy choices, into healthy ones!

Just a quick note about brands: I use Bionaturae’s organic tomato paste. It’s delicious and I appreciate that it’s in glass jars (no “tinny” taste). If you can’t find it locally, you can find it here at my affiliates Amazon and Vitacost. Truthfully, I’ve found it cheaper to buy online most of the time.

How to Make Homemade Ketchup (unrefined sweeteners, antioxidant-rich)
 
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This is delicious as is, however, if you are missing a spice or two, don’t worry! Just play around with the ones you have on hand until it’s spiced to taste. You can also thin to desire. The ½ cup called for produces thick ketchup, so feel free to thin a little more, if you’d like. Makes 2 cups.
Ingredients
  • 2 tomato paste jars (7 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons each of pure maple syrup and coconut sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch or two of each of ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and put through a garlic press
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2-4 teaspoons yellow mustard (prepared or powder)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Scrap into a jar, and cover tightly, Should keep 10-21 days refrigerated (based on other recipe recommendations). If you’d like to keep it for longer, freeze it!

Sources:

  • http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Antioxidant-rich-tomato-paste-shows-cardio-benefits-Study
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2155595/Tomatoes-help-skin-young-protect-sunburn.html
  • http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323844804578531313972915362

7 Layer Mexican Dip (Healthy, Paleo, and Dairy-free)

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

7 layer mexican dip (grain-free, dairy-free)

“Mmmmmmmmmm”, my three year old, intones while dipping into her 7 layer dip. With flavorful Mexican beef, salsa, olives, homemade guacamole, and a smokey bacon, mushroom, and red pepper layer, our children hardly felt deprived while they enjoyed their meal. In fact, they thanked me many times for making this Mexican layered dip! They could have cared less that it was healthy – they just knew they liked it. (We love Mexican inspired dishes, including Mexican Quinoa Bowls, Mexican Roasted Potatoes, and tacos too!)

This dip is lovely for a casual meal, party food, or for enjoying during the Superbowl.

I wanted to share this recipe as part of the 21 steps to a nourishing diet series as I think it’s an excellent example of how a nourishing diet isn’t at all about what you take out, but instead what you put in. When we make meals such as above, we leave feeling satisfied in every way. We feel well nourished, our delight in food was satisfied, and we feel that proper boost of energy that comes from enjoying good food. This is the goal for our eating habits. Yes, there may be some struggle to retrain our taste-buds in certain recipes (at first, I didn’t always enjoy unrefined sweeteners, for example, now I don’t really like “normal desserts”), but many times, our main dish meals are just so great, that it’s no adjustment at all.

The great thing about a dip like this, is that you can make as many layers as you want, and vary it to desire. For example, while this one is a “paleo” version, you certainly can make homemade refried beans, add some cooked Mexican flavored black beans, use a good quality sour cream, or shredded cheese, or make it simpler with only 3-4 layers of your favorite layers. The point is, it’s as flexible as you need it to be.

There is also a give and take with how much time you are willing to invest into making it. This took me about 45 minutes to make. If I didn’t make the lovely bacon/vegetable layer, it would have been shorter. If I was really wanting to go all out, I could have made dairy-free sour cream, and homemade salsa too.

A word about what to use to dip with: The rest of my family used organic blue chips. I was amused to see my children eat less chips than normal as they were so focused on eating the delicious 7 layer dip.  I used crisp endive leaves (just gently rinse and pat dry before serving), and it was delightful. If you have a little extra time, you can always make some paleo chips (examples: Almond flour chips vegetable chips, or Plantain Chips ).

I chose to put this in a fancy serving bowl, but using a glass casserole dish is also perfect for layering. I personally prefer to buy borosilicate glass pieces, as it generally breaks into large pieces, instead of shattering into millions of pieces, so I think it’s safer. Amazon carries several brands of, including Simax (#affiliate link) which fits the bill.

7 Layer Mexican Dip (Healthy, Paleo, and Dairy-free)
 
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Recipe type: Main Dish or Appetizer
Serves: 8
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Easily adaptable, fun, and loved by all ages, this is a favorite in our household.
Ingredients
  • Layer one: Mexican Ground Beef (see recipe card below)
  • Layer two: 1-2 cups thinly sliced Romaine heart (see video demonstration on easy way to wash)
  • Layer three: 1½ cups of salsa (can be homemade, but I used a sugar-free, organic store-bought brand)
  • Layer four: 6 ounces of olives, sliced or quartered
  • Layer five: Chunky Guacamole (see recipe card below)
  • Layer six: Smokey Bacon and Vegetables (see recipe card below)
  • Layer seven: Chopped Cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, make the Mexican ground beef according to directions below, Set aside beef, and put hot water in the pan to deglaze, Scrap off any browned bits, and rinse off.
  2. Make the Smokey Bacon and Vegetable layer next in the same pan, making the Guacamole while the vegetables are cooking.
  3. In a clean casserole dish, or dish of choice, layer the ingredients. We like this best when the beef and bacon layers are still a little warm. If chilling, make sure you have drained the beef and the vegetable/bacon layer of extra fat well (fat will congeal once chilled). Enjoy!
Chunky Mexican Guacamole
 
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This is my favorite method of making guacamole! Adjust the flavors at the end with salt and lime to make it just perfect.
Ingredients
  • 2 large or 4 small ripe Hass avocados
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion (for an especially mild guacamole, use 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large garlic cloves, finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • ¼ bunch of cilantro, washed, and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of unrefined salt, or to taste
  • 1 lime (I use one half, normally)
Instructions
  1. Cut the avocados in half, take out the pit, and scoop into a medium bowl. Smash with a fork or with a clean meat mallet.
  2. Stir in the onions, garlic, cilantro, salt, and the juice from half of a lime.
  3. Adjust flavors with salt or lime juice, as needed.
  4. Enjoy!
Smokey Bacon Mushrooms and Red Peppers
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 slices of smoked bacon
  • ⅓-1/2 pound white mushrooms
  • 1 large red pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon in a large pan over medium, to medium-high heat. Flip frequently to cook evenly, until crisp and well done. Remove from pan.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the stems of the washed mushrooms, and chopped into small pieces. Seed and chop the red pepper.
  3. Once the bacon is cooked, leave about 2 tablespoons of the hot grease in the pan, and add the peppers and mushrooms. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring here and there, or until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown. Crumble the bacon back in. If there is any extra grease, drain, otherwise taste, and salt, if needed, and sprinkle with lime juice, if desired.
Mexican Ground Beef
 
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This simple recipe is flavorful and delicious without a specialty seasoning packet (which is often filled with unsavory ingredients).
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of ground beef, grassfed beef preferable
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1 lime
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, over medium-high heat, cook the beef, garlic, cumin and oregano, stirring frequently, until cooked (the meat will no longer be pink). If using grassfed beef, it often will not have much fat drippings, but if it does, drain.
  2. Salt, and sprinkle the juice of half the lime. Taste-test, and adjust with more salt and lime juice, as needed.