The Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchilada is pictured here with brown rice, smothered in mango peach salsa, and accompanied by some slices of avocado covered lightly in garlic, salt, and lime juice. Within seconds of me making this plate it was a mess of mixing, and a delicious mess at that.
Some of my favorite aspects of Mexican food (and all the American variants on Mexican food) are also the fattiest ones – avocados mashed together with garlic and pepper, sour cream on top of a taco, and that glorious spicy goo that is hot queso. I generally saw salsa as a garnish on top of other food.
I have had two experiences where salsa became one of my favorite foods, and where I realized that it is pretty much all veggies while not tasting anything like salad. One was when a classmate brought in homemade pico de gallo and we all crunched into tortilla chips covered in the fresh, spicy mix; I noted how refreshing it was, while still feeling substantial – iceberg lettuce, it is not. The other time was at a girl’s night, when I was first getting to know three friends, B, K, and J, who live near where I live now. They made an enormous bowl of corn and black bean salsa, which is pretty substantial and filling without being super calorie dense like guacamole or queso. I could eat it all evening long and still leave a reasonable level of full. Also, it utilized red wine vinegar and had this amazing, addictive combination of sweet and savory. For something similar, check out this recipe from Culinary Hill: http://www.culinaryhill.com/black-bean-salsa/
So when Husband proposed a Taco Tuesday this week, I thought I’d whip out the food processor and make some homemade salsa; we still have mountains of tomatoes coming in and it seemed a great way to liven them up and try using some spices other than my go-to italian-driven palate. I didn’t have any cilantro – our one little cilantro plant had a sad and short life this year – so I employed this recipe – http://www.food.com/recipe/salsa-no-cilantro-370600 – and used lots of onion, garlic, and spices to bring the tomato to life. Instead of layering cheese and avocado on my tacos, I put a large bed of this spicy salsa in and left less room for my fattier favorites. The result was a more fresh-tasting taco that didn’t leave me feeling like a blob afterwards. Delicious.