Tomatillo Black Bean Salsa

I bought some tomatillos for my photo shoot yesterday and in the process, came up with this recipe. Since it turned out really tasty, thought I would post the recipe instead. This is a great vegetarian dish because of the protein in the black beans. Just serve it with some warm tortillas and you have a nutritious, and high protein lunch. It is also a fantastic side dish with grilled salmon or steak. Enjoy!

Tomatillo Black Bean Salsa
Serves 6

2 Cups Diced Tomatillos
1 Cup Diced Fresh Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Diced Red Onions
1/2 Chopped Cilantro
1 Diced Serrano Chili Pepper*
1 15 oz Can Black Beans (drained)
1/4 Cup or about the juice of 1 lime
1 Teaspoon sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Cumin
2 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. In a large ceramic bowl, mix lime juice, sugar, salt, cumin and oil. Add tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and black beans. Gently stir until all the ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Serve with warm tortillas

*Note: If you are not a spicy chicken like me, you can use more peppers for a spicier salsa. Thank you for reading my blog. Make a great weekend! 🙂

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Land, Sea, and Air

Lately, the weather pattern for Seattle seems to be alternating between two days of rain and one day of partly sunny. Yesterday was the sunny day… I took advantage of it and went down to the Mukilteo Farmer’s Market for inspiration and maybe some photos of flowers and veggies. While waiting for the vendors to finish setting up, I heard the loud horn of the ferry. I almost forgot the market is located next to the Mukilteo Ferry. Quickly, I ran towards the terminal… climbed over some big rocks and got there just in time to see the ferry pulling out. I was able to get some good shots… and then through the lens, I saw what looks like an airplane flying towards the ferry and me. Yes! It was a Boeing Dreamlifter. The Dreamlifter is a cargo plane and looks like a beluga whale. I’ve seen it many times in the hanger area of the Boeing facility but never seen one in the air. Just my luck… they were doing a test flight.

I guess yesterday was one of those days where you get more than you bargain for … in this case, I’m glad I got more than flowers and veggies.

The Artichoke

 My first experience with the artichoke was love at first sight.  It was the most oddest and yet beautiful looking vegetable I’ve ever seen… and being the curious kid I was, I insisted on buying one.  Of course my mom tried to talk me out of it because she didn’t know anything about this strange vegetable and didn’t know how to cook it.  It didn’t really matter to me, I was just eager to find out what was under all those leaves.  After much pestering, my mom finally bought it for me.  

First discovery, I didn’t know about the little thorns on the tip of every leaf.  As I proceeded to peel back the leaves,  with every prick by the thorns my excitement for this vegetable diminished.  I kept peeling back the leaves hoping to see something interesting and tasty looking.  In the end, all I got was a big pile of leaves and sore fingers. My discovery of the artichoke was painful and a big disappointment.  Needless to say, my love relationship with the artichoke was short and not so sweet.  I did not touch another artichoke again until my positive rediscovery of it years later. When I finally learned how to eat an artichoke properly and discovered its many health benefits, I fell in love again.

The artichoke is actually not a vegetable but a flower bud.  It is a perennial thistle originating in Southern Europe around the Mediterranean. The edible buds with numerous triangular thorny leaves are formed from a stalk. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the base, known as the “heart”; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the “choke”.  The flower bud becomes inedible as it matures and when it blooms, the individual florets are purple.