One of the things that absolutely stirs my soul is cooking…especially when I get to create something… and all the more so when I have someone to cook for who appreciates it. Since I live by myself, that last part, cooking for someone can often feel like it’s missing in my life. (I know, all you wonderful moms out there who have to cook, every day, every meal, for a variety of unappreciative and over-discerning bellies are not only NOT feeling my pain, but volunteering right now to let me come cook for you and your family…I know.) So, next best thing, since I cannot come and cook for you, I’m going to share with you my latest creation/obsession.
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Diced Jalapeno (fresh, or canned works too if you are in a pinch – but I always prefer fresh!)
- Diced Cilantro
- Onion (red or white) diced
- Lime Juice (fresh, of course!)
- Touch of honey or sugar to taste, if needed (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, depends on the produce that batch.)
That’s it! Mix it all up… keeps for a good while in the fridge.
Sorry – I never have any measurements to give anyone for anything. I just wing it… all the time. It’s salsa, for crying out loud, you can’t really go wrong!
It’s beautiful and very holiday-ish with the red and green motif.
- With chips, of course, it’s salsa!
- Mike Tuttle (my Dad) thinks EVERYthing is improved with cream cheese. So, on a recent trip with a bunch of friends, and days of wishing he had cream cheese to try it with, he finally raided a friend’s fridge, found some cream cheese and dumped the salsa on top and dug in with some chips. Then he mixed it all together to increase the perfection of the flavor blend… and it was great. No doubt about it. Personally though, I was happy with it as it was…with chips, or with a spoon. I didn’t need to add the calories when what I love most is how fresh and healthy it is in the first place. BUT – it was great, and would be a great appetizer dish – a new twist on the whole pepper jelly and cream cheese motif.
- On fish! This is my new favorite dish. I put a piece of fish (whatever I have from Costco – Salmon or cod or mahi mahi or…?) on a piece of tin foil (best if you spray the bottom so it doesn’t stick). I usually add a touch of butter to the top of the fish and a little seasoning salt (which I forgot today, and I noticed it was missing – ugh. Still good, just not quite as perfect.). Then I cover it with the salsa and throw it on the grill. It’s AMAZING!!! I may even add more salsa after it’s cooked. Really good served with black rice, which I also just discovered at Sprouts. It’s fantastic! You should try that too.
Now I know Pomegranates are difficult to shell… but if you youtube it, you will discover there are some ways to make the process much faster – the basic principle is that you beat it with a spoon and then the seedlings fall out. Ish. I won’t lie though, it’s still time consuming on the front end. BUT – I put on the latest “The Voice” episode on my ipad and just work away shelling pomegranates all night, quite contentedly. Then, the good news is, if you shell a whole bunch at once, they keep really well in the fridge. So, once you do the hard work on the front end, you get to enjoy them for ages on the back end, hassle free.
The other big advantage to doing several at once is that, inevitably not all will be equally ripe. Mixed together, however, the really ripe ones will help cover for the not so ripe ones.
I’m pretty sure pomegranates are my favorite food. At least, they are every year when they’re in season. 🙂 (I also have a strange love affair with Belgian Endive, and silver aka Spanish squash. I cannot get enough of either of those foods. If you’ve never tried a silver squash – I warn you now, you’ll never want a regular squash again. I eat them raw, like I do an apple, they are THAT good. You can thank me later, after you’ve tried them.)
So, as I was saying…pomegranates. Once shelled, I add them to breakfast items, like yogurt, oatmeal and other various hot cereals. Or I skip the breakfast item and just eat the pomegranates. I also LOVE them in my salads!!! And… this may sound weird, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it…I love them on mashed potatoes!!! It’s such a surprising and refreshing burst of sweet flavor in those creamy potatoes… Hooked, I tell you.
AND, they are crazy good for you. (One pomegranate has about 50% recommended daily vitamin C, and B5 which may help with muscle cramping and prevent insulin resistance. They also lower cholesterol damage and fight cell damage (according to this article). Actually though, this article had a lot more information about the health benefits, if you want to read more. Here are a few highlights:
Features of the Pomegranate
- Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
- Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
- Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
- Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
- Lowers blood pressure
- Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies
- May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis
But whatever…they’re yummy! And they make a KILLER salsa that’s coincidentally a fantastic and unique dish to bring to a holiday party! My gift to you this Holiday Season… You’re welcome.