Oh my goodness! That was quite the hiatus! Johnny and I just got back from an amazing trip to St. John in the Virgin Islands. It was a delayed honeymoon - we've been married for about 1 1/2 years, but never got to take an official honeymoon. It was so worth the wait! Now we're both recharged and ready to take on the giant heap of things that life is about to throw at us. Bring it on!
The only negative about St. John is that their produce was not so good. I'm not sure if the climate or terrain makes it tough to grow produce there, but a lot of fruits and veggies are imported making them expensive and not so fresh. When we got home, the first thing I did was run to the grocery store and buy out the produce department. I've been like a little fruit bat the past few days chowing down nectarines, cherries, bananas, strawberries and loving the fact that summer brings so much yuminess.
I picked up a pineapple at the store which I would normally just cut into chunks and devour with Johnny in one sitting. But I had the urge to incorporate pineapple into a meal somehow. I'm still trying to steer clear of turning on the oven if possible, so another salad seemed like the way to go. Homemade pineapple salsa was born!
I also wanted to dress the greens a bit since I wanted to leave the salsa chunky like a pico de gallo. I made a simple Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. It was such a pretty green color that I had to capture it!
I kept my salad simple with some pinto beans and crunchy tortilla chips, but this is endlessly flexible. Try it with black olives, Spanish rice, Tofutti sour cream, or even some marinated and crispy Tempeh. Whatever you do, MAKE THIS PINEAPPLE SALSA! It's so good and definitely the star of the show!
Johnny was feeling a big too hungry to just eat a salad for dinner, so he melted some cheese on tortilla chips in the oven and ate his salsa with those. He was a huge fan of it - much better than the stuff you get out of a jar! Enjoy!
Tasty Taco Salad with Pineapple Salsa
1 large bag of organic greens (I used romaine)
1 can pinto beans, rinsed well
2 cups crushed tortilla chips/strips, divided
One recipe for Pineapple Salsa (follows)
One recipe for Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (follows)
1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 handful cilantro, rinsed well and chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1 large handful cilantro, rinsed well (about 1 cup loosely packed)
3 green onions, ends removed and cut into large chunks
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Make your pineapple salsa first so it can chill and the flavors can meld. Once all your ingredients are chopped, combine them in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. (Gee, that was hard!)
To make the vinaigrette you will need a food processor or blender. Pulse the cilantro, green onion, cumin, salt and lime together until well combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while blending and then add the red wine vinegar. Continue to blend until a uniform consistency is achieved.
Divide lettuce between four bowls and toss with the vinaigrette. Top with the pinto beans, some pineapple salsa, and some crushed tortilla chips. Serve chilled.