Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Salsa and Introduction

My name is Roseanna. 

I grew up eating fresh vegetables out of our Iowa gardens and though my green thumb hasn't come in yet, I do love to make magic in the kitchen. My favorite recipes run the gamut from my great grandmother's sugar cookies to fresh tomato sauce. 

There's something pretty amazing about making your own food: not just to know what's in it, but to experience the joy in doing it yourself. I don't get this feeling from home improvement projects, but that's not quite as fun a tale and one for another day.

There are a thousand websites, blogs and message boards devoted to recipes and cooking. I started this blog today, on a whim, because my fiancee and I are experimenting vegetarians. Almost three weeks ago, we started a month-long challenge to avoid meat. We're not quite vegan like Josh's friend Joe, or as healthy as HeandSheEatClean like my friends Scott & Whitney, but we're on the right track. 

Josh is usually a guy who eats an entire rotisserie chicken in one, maybe two meals. He's also that guy who needs meat with every meal, and at breakfast, six chicken eggs. 

This blog gets its name from Doug, Josh's boss. After about a week of the vegetarian diet during which double tomato-and-cheese sandwiches had become a staple, a guy came into his office selling BBQ raffle fundraiser tickets. When he asked if Josh wanted one, Doug said ... "The big guy eats plants." He's also not a fan of pork, but that's another story. 

We originally started the Plant Challenge to save some cash. I think we'll make it more of a lifestyle - with some fish and chicken sprinkled in along the way after the month is up. But, the great part so far about eating mainly vegetables and fruits is that eating is, by design, more creative. 

I didn't want to be that person who posted her food photos on Facebook, so I started this blog, which is equally lame. I can live with that.

I figured somewhere along the way, someone would probably want some of the recipes, and if nothing else, I can share more easily. 

Plus, even someone like me who doesn't much measure, freely substitutes ingredients and generally strays off the beaten path (sometimes a little too much) likes to see photos with recipes. It's just easier to imagine. 

Tonight we had Mary Ann's Mango Salsa (a recent recipe from my coworker): 

- 7 oz can whole corn, drained and rinsed (next time, I'll cut corn off the cob and boil to save sodium)
- 1 mango - peeled and cubed (I used part of a mango and fresh pineapple, both leftovers, which I would highly recommend)
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion (I used half a medium red onion)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (eyeball it)
- Juice of half a lime
- 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed well (you could easily cook the beans to also save sodium) 
Pepper to taste 

Other items listed in the recipe that I didn't use (1 t garlic salt, 1/4 t cumin, 1/3 c fresh red pepper). More often than not, I change things on the fly, so I'll try to include the original recipe. 

The blog's web address comes from my grandmother Emogene, who makes the best cloverleaf and cinnamon rolls without frosting in the free world, and mother Merry, who provided a made-from-scratch-with-no-recipe meal every night growing up. They both smartly advised this benefit about cooking: you still get to eat your mistakes.

I think that's mostly true, except for the one time I tried to make eggplant. We threw that away.

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