Spicy Tomatillo & Mango Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Not much to say about this stuff except that it is easy & delicious.  It is the result of my local produce delivery sending me tomatillos & an impulse purchase of a random mango.  I brought this to a BBQ & it went over pretty well.  It would also be good on fish or meat – like a chimichurri.  It would be great anywhere you use salsa – on tacos or burritos, etc.

If you own a blender or food processor – you are good to go, otherwise, there will be lots & lots of chopping.

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Spicy Tomatillo & Mango Salsa

Makes 2-3 cups

INGREDIENTS

12 tomatillos – quartered

1 mango – peeled & cubed (see ways to make that easy HERE)

1 small red onion – peeled & quartered

1 large handful of cilantro

1-4 jalapenos – seeded & chopped

juice of one lime

2 garlic cloves

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Pulse all ingredients (except the chopped mango) in a blender or food processor until it is to your desired consistency.  Season with S&P – adding more lime or cilantro if you want.  Add the mango and maybe pulse once or twice but let the bulk of the mango stay in small chunks.

Serve!

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Fresh & Easy Cantaloupe and Mango Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I recently stepped up to a cooking challenge that called for a dish using the following ingredients:

Any Beyond Meat product

Kim chee

Cantaloupe

Radishes

Lettuce

Tomato

So – I made kim chee & chicken wraps with this cantaloupe-mango salsa.   This salsa is fresh & clean & light.  I used jarred mango because it was on sale but fresh mango would be nicer.  Either way – this stuff is a crowd pleaser.

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Fresh & Easy Cantaloupe and Mango Salsa

This makes a as much as you want it to make based on how much you use of each ingredient.  You can use more or less of all or some ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

1 cantaloupe – diced (about 2 cups)

6 radishes – diced

1 red bell pepper – diced

1-2 cups chopped mango

1-4 jalapenos (I used 4 & left the seeds in 2 for extra heat) – diced

Cilantro – optional

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Mix it up.

Eat.

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Vegan Ground Beef Taco Bowl with Cilantro Scallion Lime Cauliflower Rice and Easy Fresh Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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More summer ease here!    I used this awesome Beyond Meat beefy crumble.  You could use any brand you prefer or even real, greasy & disgusting ground cow.  🙂

I served this in a bowl with my Easy Cilantro Scallion Lime Cauliflower Rice and Super Ultra Easy Any Season Spicy Salsa.   Each item is very easy individually & made for a hearty bowl of spicy, vegan healthiness!!  You can add or lose any ingredients – according to your own tastes.   Add cold beer & you are good to go!

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Vegan Ground Beef Taco Bowl

Serves two very well – with rice

INGREDIENTS

11 oz vegan ground beef

Olive oil

1/2 red bell pepper – chopped

1 jalapeno – diced (seeds in for more heat)

1/4 onion – diced

1 cup ORGANIC corn (as regular corn is very likely a GMO)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper (less if you are heat intolerant)

1 tsp chili powder or cayenne (less if you are heat intolerant)

(***OR – you can replace the dry spices with 1/2 packet or so of taco seasoning but that might not be vegan & will have loads of salt***)

GARNISH SUGGESTIONS

Sliced black olives

Avocado

Purple cabbage – chopped

Grated carrots

Sliced radishes

Black Beans

Cilantro

Lime Wedges

Vegan Cheese and/or sour cream

Chopped lettuce

Diced tomatoes

Pico de gallo

Chopped fresh or jarred jalapeno

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DIRECTIONS

Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add all the other ingredients (but not your various garnish selections) and saute until the onion & red pepper are softened & the beef is heated through.

Serve over my Easy Cilantro Scallion Lime Cauliflower Rice and Super Ultra Easy Any Season Spicy Salsa.   Garnish as you like & devour!!!

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Super Ultra Easy Any Season Spicy Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Listen, people.  Not everything has to be labored over or locally sourced or a pain in the ass to be totally legit & delicious.  This salsa is spicy & yummy & you make it in your fucking blender.    Winter in the northeast?  No worries.  This salsa is spicy & kick ass & you won’t, I promise, you WON’T miss chopping sloppy, ripe tomatoes & other shit to make some pico de gallo.  Pico de gallo that NOBODY will presume cost you hours of chopping & three Bandaid wrapped finger cuts from chopping with a dull knife.  Don’t be a bitter, wounded – literally & otherwise – douche that has to tell everyone “I made that myself!” – because, frankly, they all really should kiss your ass for making them homemade pico de gallo when you know they probably open a jar of Pace Picante sauce when home alone.

But I digress.

Just buy these ingredients & stick’m in a blender or food processor & be done with it.

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Super Ultra Easy Any Season Spicy Salsa

This make a LOT – like PARTY quantity

INGREDIENTS

1 15 oz can FIRE-ROASTED tomatoes

3 tomatoes (ripest you can find but don’t sweat it if they ain’t really ripe)

1 4 oz can fire-roasted green chiles

1/2 sweet or red onion

1/2 red bell pepper

4 garlic cloves

juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno (I didn’t seed mine for extra heat)

1/2 cup cilantro

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne or chili pepper

Puree that shit.   Season a bit more with lime or salt or whateverthefuck you like.  Done.

See?

Maybe serve this over my Vegan Ground Beef Taco Bowl with Cilantro Scallion Lime Cauliflower Rice?

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Vegan Spicy Thai Mint & Basil Beef Tacos (for the Crock-Pot) with Cantaloupe Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – so – sometimes you need to clean out the cabinets & the fridge & even the freezer.  Inspired by a recent food drive run by the post office, I filled a bag they provided with my non-perishables.  Largely – these were the canned meat items I had around for a certain badass – like a few cans of Spaghettios – and dry pasta & some other items I am unlikely to need – like all THREE of the huge ketchup bottles I got bundled together at Costco.   That done – I remembered I had three huge chicken breasts in the freezer – also purchased for visits from the badass.  I decided to cook these bad boys up all fancy-like, post them on my blog & then feed them to the dogs (as I am a vegetarian).

Here is what it was supposed to look like when done.  I used this recipe from THE COMFORT OF COOKING.  That is their image below.

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Here is how far I got – with a good 12 hours marinating in the fridge.

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Then, because my oven is fucked & the dials are stripped & the heat is uneven – I proceeded to burn the skin of this chicken BLACK.  I pulled the burned skin off & the chicken below was still moist & juicy & my dogs made very happy & very short work of it – as I made short work of a bottle of champagne, an entire bag of reduced fat chips & a boatload of chemical-burn-inducing onion dip.

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All-in-all, it was a pretty depressing mother’s day at the McCarthy house.  Unless you were a chicken breast stuffed canine.

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Earlier today – I posted a recipe for Spicy Cantaloupe Melon Salsa – seen above.   Made of chopped cantaloupe, jalapeno, onion, cilantro & lime juice – it is easy & refreshing & a great topper for these tacos.  It would also be good with chips or on fish or chicken or on my Vegan Crock-Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich.

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I made this Thai Mint & Basil Beef in a crock-pot but it could easily be done stove-top.  If you made it in a saute pan – it would not require as much (if any) water.

I found this just a tad on the salty side so really make an effort to use low sodium soy sauce.  I used Red Boat fish sauce (as I am not yet vegan) – but that can be subbed out with the low sodium soy sauce.  I also used Thai basil but any basil will do.  But definitely do not skip the basil – as that is the signature flavor here.

I get my shallots at Bangluck Market and they tend to be huge – like – apple-sized.  Here is the size of the one I used.  If shallots are not handy – a small onion is fine.

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Vegan Spicy Thai Mint & Basil Beef Tacos (for the Crock-Pot)

Feeds 4 easily

INGREDIENTS

8-12 tortillas

1 lb vegan beef

4 garlic cloves – minced

3 Thai chilies (or serrano) OR TO TASTE – split lengthwise – seeded to reduce heat

1 large shallot or small onion – diced

1 TBS rice vinegar

1/4 LOW SODIUM soy sauce (or fish sauce – if you are not vegan)

2 TBS dark soy sauce

1 TBS sugar

1 TBS sambal oelek (chili paste)

1 1/2 cups chopped Thai (or other) basil

1 cup mint – chopped

1-2 cups water

Lime wedges for garnish

IF STOVE-TOP – cornstarch (or flour) and olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

Three chilies make this dish VERY hot – so beware!  When using the Thai chilies – I cut the top off one but then realized, I could leave the top on, split them lengthwise & all the flavor would get out but they would be far easier to remove from the finished dish.  So I gave the other two that treatment.

Then – I just threw everything into my crock-pot & went on a two-hour hike.

If you want to try this stove-top, I would cover the faux beef in a light dusting of cornstarch (or flour) and fry over med-high heat until it begins to brown a bit.  Remove the beef from the heat & add the shallots to the pan.  After a minute or two, add everything else, including the beef (but no water) & saute until the herbs wilt.  If you feel it needs water – add a bit.  Remove the Thai chilies before serving.

Then just go ahead & build your tacos & be sure to add LOADS of spicy cantaloupe salsa as it will help sweeten the salt of the dish.  Squeeze a bunch of fresh lime juice on there, too!

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Spicy Cantaloupe Melon Salsa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is as easy as chopping the 5 ingredients & mixing them in a bowl.  It is sweet from the melon & spicy from the jalapenos & goes well on lots of things – chicken, seafood, on a salad or on tacos.  I will present a taco recipe using this very soon.  It would also go well on my vegan BBQ pulled chicken!

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Spicy Cantaloupe Melon Salsa

INGREDIENTS

About 1/2 a small cantaloupe – peeled, seeded & cubed

1 shallot or 1/2 small sweet onion – diced

1-2 jalapenos – red and/or green – seeded & diced

Juice of one large lime

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Mix it all up & season with S&P & maybe more lime juice.

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Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos with Corn & Black Bean Salsa & Avocado Cream

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – so – I bought these cactus paddle things because I see them everywhere & I decided I needed to get to the bottom of it.  If you do not live in a part of the country with a large Hispanic population and you cannot find fresh cactus, you can used jarred cactus – or nopales/nopalitos. The ones I bought were already prepared – meaning – the thorns had been trimmed as had the rim.  If you find fresh ones & need to prepare them – there are lots of tutorials HERE.  It is not difficult so do not be intimidated.

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I wasn’t sure what the heck to do with these guys so I both grilled AND breaded & baked them.  You might want to use them having only been grilled or only breaded and baked.  Your call.  There is so much going on in these tacos – I don’t think it matters much. I used crushed corn flakes & taco seasoning to bread them simply because that was what I had around.  Panko or other bread crumbs would work, too, and if you don’t have a packet of taco seasoning (I have NO IDEA where the one in my pantry came from) – spice up your crumb mix with a little onion & garlic powders & maybe some chipotle or other chili powder. I made a little avocado cream sauce for these, primarily because my avocados were not as ripe as is ideal.  You can just cut up fresh avocado on yours or make a traditional guacamole.

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Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos with Corn & Black Bean Salsa & Avocado Cream

This makes a lotta tacos.  🙂

The Spicy Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salsa is HERE.

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For the Avocado Cream

1 avocado

4 TBS Mexican crema (or sour cream)

1 TBS mayonnaise

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp fresh dill (optional) – or cilantro

1/4 tsp each: onion & garlic powders

S&P to taste

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For the Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos

Several cactus paddles or some jarred cactus strips

2 (or more) eggs

1/8 – 1/4 cup hot sauce

2 TBS taco seasoning (or a blend of onion powder, garlic powder & chili powder)

1 cup (or more) bread crumbs or panko (I used crushed corn flakes)

Cooking spray

Queso fresco

Corn tortillas

Extra cilantro & limes for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the avocado cream

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor.

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Crispy Grilled & Baked Cactus (Nopalitos) Tacos

Prepare the cactus paddles if they are not already cleaned.  There are lots of tutorials HERE.

Spray them with cooking spray & grill on both sides until they begin to char a bit & soften up.  Cut into strips. Image

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the eggs & hot sauce together in a bowl.  Blend the taco seasoning & the bread crumbs you are using in another bowl. Image

Drag the cactus through the eggs & then the breadcrumb mix & place on a cooking sheet treated with cooking spray. Cook at 375 for about ten minutes, flip them & bake another ten minutes.  It might take a little more or a little less time for you to get them crispy – depending on the size of the strips & how densely they are breaded.  Watch them carefully. Image

Now you just assemble your tacos.  Warm your tortillas (I do this directly on the stove burners – being careful not to burn them).  Top them with cactus, salsa, avocado cream, queso & cilantro.  Squeeze a little lime on there & shove’m down your gullet washed down with a cold cerveza.

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