Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Apple-Pepper Salsa & Black Bean Soup

I tend to enjoy cooking Mexican/Southwestern food and realized that the past few meals I’ve prepared have been more Italian in variety. So I decided to sort through my cookbooks and find some Southwestern-inspired dishes. I really enjoy meat – I mean REALLY enjoy -- but I don’t tend to enjoy cooking it (unless it’s on a grill, for some reason I like slapping a burger or steak on the grill but hate cooking meat in my kitchen – especially chicken). So my home cooked meals tend to lean towards the vegetarian side, stuff my newly vegetarian little sister would actually eat! Cheers to her on this weeks creations!

Apple-Pepper Salsa: This salsa was supposed to be Apple-Chipotle, but alas, Whole Foods did not have fresh chipotle peppers. So I settled for some jalapenos as a substitute. I was also a little worried that the recipe called for three apples, so I swapped for a tomato (maybe I’m too traditional, but I was a little saddened that this recipe didn’t call for any tomatoes – salsa without tomatoes? Come on, I just had to add one!) I was surprised by how little this salsa actually tasted like apples. It certainly had a sweet fruity taste, but there was a very nice balance between onions/peppers/spicy and sweet. I would definitely make this again, though I will consider cutting the recipe in half since I had enough salsa to feed a small country. Definitely got to put my food processor to use on this one! Score 8 out of 10.

Black Bean Soup: As the “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s” cookbook informed me, black beans are very high in antioxidants – comparable to grapes and cranberries. They also contain the trace mineral molybdenum (a chemical that counteracts sulfites, which I’m very sensitive to. While I love a good bottle of white wine, red wine will give me the worst migraine on the planet. However, I still didn’t want to chance it, even with these magical molybdenum particles working their magic, so I stuck to a bottle of white.) There wasn’t a whole lot to this recipe, I did choose it for its simplicity, after all. But for what little went into the pot (and how little I had to prepare) it was a great payoff. 

I’m not sure I’ve ever cooked with cumin before (this recipe called for 1 tsp. of it). The jar I bought claims that it’s primarily used for chili, and in Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and Mexican cuisine. I was pleasantly surprised; the cumin added some extra “tang” to the soup. 

I threw some sour cream and shredded “fancy Mexican” cheese on top, and my bowls of soup were looking quite professional! The soup was also pretty delicious heated up the next day and mixed together with extra cheese to make sort of a bean/cheese dip to eat with taco chips. Score 8 out of 10.

Overall meal score: 8 out of 10.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...