Salsa salsa salsa

My husband B can live off salsa and chips. Seriously. He would eat it every day for every meal if he could.  He loves Mexican food purely for the chips and salsa. And yet I’ve never made salsa until just recently. Sorry B!!

A very sweet family member gave me this salsa recipe when B and I got married (8 years ago) and I just pulled it out the other day to give it a whirl. Tomatoes are in season here right now and I had a bunch that I didn’t know what to do with. Salsa seemed like the perfect choice. This recipe is quick, easy and stores perfectly! It also seems to get tastier the longer the flavors have to meld together. I made up one batch and put in in 3 small (1 cup size) jars. All three went in the fridge and we finished off the salsa about a month  later.

Yum! Perfect snack for these warmer days

Yum! Perfect snack for these warmer days

Simple Salsa Salsa Salsa Recipe
B gives it a 5 out of 5 carrots!

10 roma tomatoes, quartered
1/3 to ½ bunch cilantro leaves
Juice of 2 limes
15 oz stewed tomatoes (try my fast and easy recipe..or if from a can, then drain)
½ t crushed red pepper flakes or 1 diced japeleno (seeds removed)

Combine these in food processor and pulse until you like the consistency

Then add in:
½ med white onion, finely diced
½ t salt
1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced


Stir and serve!

Stewed Tomatoes

While we were in the States last year, I saw an idea on Pinterest for making your own cookbook using those old spiral bound cookbooks. You know the ones: the church fundraiser, women’s group, or garden society cookbooks filled with everything from beef gelatin to ambrosia salad. Remember those? Anyway, every time I was in an old bookstore or antique shop I looked around for one of these cookbooks with some nice drawings and headings. I found several and brought them back to West Africa with me for a rainy day when I needed a project.

So the other day when I was wanting to make my salsa and chips obsessed husband some salsa (recipe coming!) I found myself in a pinch. I needed stewed tomatoes. You can’t just run out and buy those where I am. For some reason instead of consulting my best friend Google, I pulled out one of these old cookbooks I bought. And voila! Stewed tomatoes that turned out to be delicious, quick and easy! Maybe I won’t be remaking this book after all!

The first time I made these, I left the skins on the tomatoes, but I didn’t like the pieces of skin that ended up mixed in the sauce. So the second time, I peeled the tomatoes and it was much better. These stewed tomatoes freeze beautifully, make a great pizza sauce or pasta sauce, and can well. No more searching for the perfect pizza sauce or pasta sauce for me! This is my go to recipe!!

Stewed Tomatoes
B gives these 5 out of 5 carrots!

stewed tomatoes

Every good recipe should start with onion and garlic!

2 T butter or margarine
1 medium chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
8 medium size tomatoes (not Roma), with skins removed**
2 t sugar
1 t oregano
1 t basil
1 t thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Add butter to large skillet and melt over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic in butter 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer about 20 minutes, until tomatoes have cooked down and most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Enjoy your stewed tomatoes!

** The easiest way to remove the skins from the tomatoes is to basically blanch them. Boil some water on the stove. In a bowl add water and ice. Once the water is boiling, drop in the tomatoes and boil for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, transfer the tomatoes to ice water and begin gently removing the skins. The skins should sort of slid/peel off without removing much tomato flesh. If it seems stubborn, add to boiling water again for 10 more seconds and back to ice water. This works best in small batches. I did two tomatoes at a time 🙂

Vegetable pancakes


Chickpea flour, veggies and a few minutes in the kitchen make for a light and yummy lunch!

Chickpea flour, veggies and a few minutes in the kitchen make for a light and yummy lunch!

A few months ago I was in the grocery store in our capital and found a sack of Gram flour. Of course I had no idea what that was, but thought “Why not?!” and bought the half pound bag.

Imagine my delight when I got home and discovered that it was chickpea flour! I love chickpeas. Hummus, chickpea salad, falafel. You can rarely go wrong with chickpeas!

After some more investigating on how to actually use the flour and I landed on this recipe. A vegetable pancake made with chickpea flour. It’s perfect paired with some yogurt/sour cream, tahini, or even ranch (because who are we kidding? Ranch goes great with everything!).  Meat eaters could throw some bacon or smoked sausage in the batter and some Worcestershire  for a rich smoky flavor! And it’s another gluten free recipe!

The pancakes make a great light lunch or afternoon snack and store well in the freezer too. I usually serve mine with a simple salad topped with two pancakes and some yogurt. Yum!!


Vegetable Pancakes
adapted from Calm Mind Busy Body



B gives it 4 out of 5 carrots

2 cups chickpea flour
¾ cup water
½ cup frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed and chopped
3 small tomatoes, diced
½ cup frozen broccoli, thawed and diced
¼ cup corn, drained and rinsed
¼ cup lima beans, peas or fava beans, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cardamon
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp ground ginger
½  tsp chili powder
¾  tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp Moroccan Spice Seasoning (here) ** optional
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for cooking


  1. Add all ingredients (minus the EVOO) to a medium bowl and stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Prepare your griddle pan or non-stick skillet with some EVOO and place over medium-low heat.
  3. Using a ¼ cup, scoop out batter onto griddle spreading the mixture out to ensure even cooking.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping when the first side is a golden brown.* Place on cooling rack when done to prevent sogginess.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*The longer you wait to flip, the less even the other side of the pancake will be because the batter cooks down leaving the vegetables higher. This means that parts of your pancake will remain more doughy than others. I found that on low-medium heat, a good 2 minutes was plenty of time.

** A note about the Moroccan Spice Seasoning: I accidentally dumped some of this in the batter thinking it was red pepper flakes 🙂 I ended up liking the slightly sweet hint from the cinnamon, so I was glad I had included it. I’ve made these so many times before without it and they are just as good without!