Growing up in Belize means the foods I ate were both varied and flavorful. After all, we had all these influences from the region that surrounded us. We are the only Central American and Caribbean Country. The foods we made and ate were influenced by the Aztec and Inca Mayas, the Caribbean fusions and the Mexicans.
When I had to change my diet for health reasons, I was at a loss. At first I stuck to salads. Just ate a lot of veggies, and with the restriction on oils, sugars, salt, and diary, most of what I ate was pretty bland. You can imagine how hard that was for a person who was used to foods that were as colorful and boisterous as a carnival party in the mouth!
I had no idea how to make tasty vegan or even vegetarian meals. So I just ate whichever salad was easiest to put together, even if they weren’t very satisfying to the palate. I did this for ten months. More and more people around me would say: “why would a person want to spend their life not enjoying their meals.” But it was more important to me, that my food sustain me, not just provide enjoyment.
The further away I got from that scary diagnosis however, the more I questioned the validity of that thinking. Why couldn’t my food be both? So I started looking up recipes that would have some of the flavors of my childhood. I looked for substitutes for the oils, and sugars and even flours. Some of my concoctions worked out, others did not. Some recipes were shared by friends and others were found online. I always adjusted them to my taste and also to what I had on hand at the time. I’ll share weekly the ones that worked out, starting with the quick and easy makes.
With that in mind, today I’m sharing a recipe for a sweet and spicy salsa, that’s also quick and easy to make. You can use this to spice up your meal, or as an appetizer with some chips.
Spicy Pineapple Salsa
1 Pineapple cut into chunks
Juice of ½ Lime
Cilantro (fresh or dried)
½ red onion diced
1 tsp. mustard
1 diced chili pepper
Pinch of salt (optional)
Cut and dice the pineapple, red onions, chili pepper, and lime. Combine. Add the cilantro and salt (optional) Chill and serve.