Whole30 Day 9: How to Make Pineapple Salsa

As part of my job, I recently attended Triscuit’s #MakersOfMore event. During the event, I had the pleasure of seeing Martha Stewart personally introduce her new Triscuit flavor (coconut oil and sea salt) while also teaching the crowd what pairs best with this new cracker. And boy did we learn!

One of the best things I took away from the event (while, sadly, not being able to taste the actual cracker until I’m done with Whole30) is how to make a delicious pineapple salsa.

Here’s what I learned from Martha herself.

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Mexican Bean, Corn & Kale Salsa with Chorizo

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A few weeks ago, one of my very best friends moved in with a wonderful man–and I couldn’t be happier for them. In fact, when it came time for their housewarming, I wanted to make something really special to bring to the party.

Now, I’m Cuban but Jesse and  I (the friend in question) have an ongoing joke about me being Mexican thanks to a drunken comment made by him years ago. It’s too hard to explain, but suffice it to say that I knew making a Mexican-inspired dish was the way to go. And with it being a party, I wanted something that would be easy for people to munch on–and somehow came up with this Mexican Bean, Corn & Kale Salsa with ChorizoContinue reading

Roasted Heirloom Tomato & Cachucha Peppers Salsa

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I’ve always been one of those people who loves her birthday, and celebrating turning 28 years old this past Saturday with some of my best friends was absolutely wonderful. But of course, it wouldn’t be my birthday if I didn’t have a special little treat for everyone.

This year I made a variation on my Spicy Cuban Cheese Ball, some pomegranate margaritas and a roasted heirloom tomato and cachucha peppers salsa. Well, to be honest, I’ve actually been making this one since my Christmas party–and it’s been a huge hit! Typically, I serve it with whole wheat tortilla chips but I’ve also tried it with celery and baby carrots and that’s been great, too.  Continue reading

Easiest Ever Avocado Vinaigrette

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Do you know how easy it is to make your own vinaigrette? Up until a year ago, I didn’t. The truth is I had never really tried. I was always happy just buying whatever I fancied from the store without thinking about it much. Man, was it boring!

Then my friend Alejandra of AlwaysOrderDessert.com told me the basic ratio for a simple vinaigrette, and I took off running. For me, part of eating healthy is eating unprocessed. In fact, I did my best to eat unprocessed in October as part of Eating Rules’ October Unprocessed 2013. That’s when I first came up with the idea of making an avocado vinaigrette for the salads I was frequently having that month.

The best part of this vinaigrette is that it instantly makes your salad much healthier than a Caesar dressing, since avocados have tons of potassium (more than a banana!), are one of the only high-protein fruits (4 grams per avocado) and also contain vitamins C, K, folate and B6, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, and amino acids. Seriously, is there any better reason to make this avocado vinaigrette ASAP? Try it.

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How To Make a Big Batch of Traditional Cuban Sofrito

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The first thing my mami taught me how to cook is a traditional Cuban sofrito. I remember my mom, who worked during the week and would typically cook on weekends, leaning over the pressure cooker pot and following the very specific steps to making the base that is at the start of many Cuban dishes.

I didn’t take into account just how important this all was back then. It really wasn’t until college, when I started to cook on my own, that I realized I needed to learn more. Finally, one day I asked my mom to teach me to make Cuban black beans. On her next visit, she did, but first she explained that I needed to start at the beginning.

A sofrito is a sauce that is used as a base in many Cuban dishes. In fact, it is the base of many Latin dishes–but we all do it a little differently. A traditional Cuban sofrito is made with onions, bell peppers and garlic all being cooked in a particular order.

When I started cooking healthier, I realized that having sofrito always on hand was a good way to start almost any dish. The flavors from the fragrant onions, peppers and garlic combination is now something I keep in my refrigerator at all times. It started slowly but these days I’m in the habit of making a big batch of traditional Cuban sofrito, then storing it in my fridge for the next few months. I think mami would be proud. Continue reading

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