Tomato Free Black Bean and Green Pepper Salsa Recipe

This is a take on a tomato free salsa my mother in law created for me because I can’t eat tomatoes while I am still nursing R due to his tomato allergy.  I have been having people find my fresh tomato salsa recipe while searching for a “tomato free” version probably because I wrote in that post that I had recently discovered R’s allergy.

Feel free to adjust to your personal taste but remember that this is one of those recipes that really gets better once the flavors have a chance to meld for a few hours.  Do I wait that long to dig in?  No, but that is what doubling recipes is for, isn’t it?

Supplies

Cutting board, knife

Bowl/sealable container (I love lock & locks (amazon affiliate link))

Ingredients

1 cup of diced green pepper (I think red pepper and yellow pepper would look really pretty here, and taste good, but my husband has had reactions to fresh red pepper)

1/2 cup of diced onion

1 cup of rinsed canned black beans (I used the Eden Organic variety that I buy via Amazon (amazon affiliate link) but the cans do arrive dented most of the time so take that into consideration)

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a fresh large lemon, limes would be tasty here as well)

1-2 teaspoons of fresh minced cilantro

1 teaspoon of agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt (start with 1/2 a teaspoon) and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions

Rinse your black beans, you won’t use the full can but I am sure there are other uses you can find for some black beans!  Prepare your other ingredients and combine in a bowl, mix and adjust the flavors to taste.  It is a very mild recipe because I serve it to the kids but some chopped up jalepeños would perk this up, or maybe some chipotle peppers?   As I wrote above, you can experiment with other kinds of bell pepper and the like but this is a tasty base.  It is crunchy with a hint of both sweet and sour.  I especially like to eat this with corn free Beanfields Rice and Bean Chips, another reason not to make the salsa too salty is if you plan on eating it with some sort of chip.  The juice at the end of the bowl when the salsa has been consumed is great with those end-of-the-bag chip crumbles mixed in, by the way.  Just eat it with a spoon, which I may or may not be doing as I type this.

In the picture above I served the salsa with Mediterranean Brown Rice Couscous from Lundberg Farms as well as some fried mushrooms, garbanzo beans, onions, garlic, spinach, and spices for a nice spring lunch.  If you try this out, I’d love to hear your thoughts or adjustments!   Also, if you like the flavor and texture mix, try Gena Hamshaw’s Cucumber Guacamole – I have made it without the tomatoes in her recipe and the crunch from the cucumbers is particularly awesome.  Is it time for a picnic yet?

Ketchup Recipe

This recipe is adapted from a great one you can find on Instructables, we can’t find a safe brand in stores because we need it not just wheat free but corn and grape free as well.  This is also the easiest we’ve found and is great on bean burgers.  My mother in law (mixing in the photo above) always makes it right before she leaves town so I’ll have a bunch ready for easy meals like skillet potatoes and sunshine burgers (I’ll have to write about these later, they use sunflower seeds and E loves them though my husband isn’t a fan).

Supplies

Large Saucepan

Whisk

Containers for storing finished ketchup.

Ingredients

5 cups of water

24 ounces (4 six ounce cans) of tomato paste

1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

8 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 teaspoons molasses

2 teaspoons agave nectar

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in your large saucepan and bring to a simmer, then you want to simmer on low for about an hour and a half and then continue afterwards until you reach the desired thickness.  The one pictured was a batch that yielded about 6 cups.

The theme at Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Friendly Friday for 4/29/11 is celebration!  I think homemade ketchup fits in with parties and picnics, right?  Click through for some great recipes!

Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe

I adapted this recipe from one I found online here because of our particular restrictions both with allergies and with toddler tastes. Do check out the original if the idea of some ginger and jalapeño are appealing to you! We use this in a salad with a base of brown rice couscous or quinoa (amazon affiliate link), include various veggies and lettuce, and top with roasted curry chickpeas (recipe to follow). Here is a link to additional photos.

Supplies

Food Processor (or Blender)

Bowl, Funnel

Knife, Cutting Board

Citrus Juicer/Reamer

Ingredients

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup lime juice

1/3 cup agave nectar

2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Put a peeled garlic clove and cilantro into your food processor run until chopped well, maybe 20 seconds. Add the lime juice, vinegar, salt, and agave nectar and turn on the food processor. Place the funnel over the food processor and slowly add the olive oil.

I leave it in the food processor if I’ve made it a little early so I can give it a final spin before putting out to be added to the salad but it does keep pretty well sealed for one day. You’ll want to bring it to room temperature potentially if the oil has made the dressing a little goopy in the fridge.

E likes to dip her veggies or quinoa/brown rice couscous in the dressing. She also loves to help add the ingredients to the food processor and press the buttons!