As a child, I was fortunate to sample multi-cultural cuisine. How does that happen for a kid growing up in Maryland in the 70’s? Well, my dad was “full blooded” Italian, so there was always an abundance of Italian dishes on our table. Both of my mother’s parents were from Germany, so she grew up cooking lots of hearty, German inspired meat and potato dishes. Then, when we lived in Japan for four years, my amazing mom learned how to cook everything from fried rice, to sweet sour pork to katsu don and then some. So, that covered quite a few cuisines, except one of the yummiest of all, Mexican food. Unfortunately, the extent of our Mexican cooking experience involved fried ground beef, sprinkled with a packet of taco seasoning and stuffed into a pre-made hard taco shell. But, we did not complain. It is what we knew.
So, fast forward to my adult life, when I married my hubby. It was then that I was able to make up for lost Mexican food time. From the very being of our marriage we were stationed in Texas and had the opportunity to come back four more times to various locations. Now, in Texas, besides having great barbecue restaurants, you can not drive one block without running into an incredible Taqueria or “Mom and Pop run” Mexican restaurant. And boy have there been opportunities, more than I can count, to eat, learn to cook and share many amazing recipes that have become some of my Mexican food favorites. I have also been lucky to have friends whose parents and grandparents were born in Mexico and have taught me how to make all kinds of Mexican food.
So, now, what is a girl to do who loves to cook Mexican food but needs to watch her calories and not have everything covered in wonderful, gooey cheese and sour cream? Well, you start with creating recipes that are loaded with lots of vegetables and fruits, wonderful lean protein like chicken and fish, and marry that all with lots of herbs and spices for an explosion of flavor. After all that, who needs cheese and added fat? So, this recipe for Pineapple Mango Salsa is going to be the start of our journey into Healthy Mexican cooking. I promise I will continue to share the ooey-gooey ones too. But, at least there are options! It may not be an authentic Mexican recipe, but it gives you lots of flavor with its rainbow of ingredients and just the right touch of seasoning. So, enjoy it as a snack with tortilla chips or vegetable dippers. Then venture out and use it as a beautiful condiment for grilled, chicken, fish, pork or seafood.
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, coarsely chopped
- 1 mango, peeled and coursely chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- ½ large red pepper, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- juice of one lime
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all fruits and vegetables in a bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice and chili powder. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Add more to taste. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to use. Before serving, you can drain off excess liquid, if desired.
- Serve with tortilla chips, grilled chicken, fish or seafood.