This is going to be a jambalaya of a post, so bear with me. In cookbooks, “Real Cajun”, by Donald Link, is out. This was a book inspired by Donald’s upbringing in southern Louisiana, and his interest in Cajun (as opposed to Creole) dishes.  And on both the cover and inside, it is one pretty cookbook:


The recipes inside are just delicious looking. It makes me want to go out and buy a few pounds of crawfish right away. In the boonie pepper department, the seeds from Reimer have arrived, in nice neat packages.  So in the end, all three sources of boonie pepper seeds delivered a product. My boonies are growing slowly on the windowsill, perhaps because this has been a cool wet April. I suspect I need some kind of greenhouse factor to improve the odds (one technique, called pop cloches, has been posted on the site You Grow Girl. Another resource for pop bottle greenhouses is the blog  Mr Brown Thumb. Finally the Instructables site has some blow by blow instructions for pop bottle greenhouses). In the meantime, I’m planning to plant some of the seeds from floralys.

As part of Earth Day, Jo and Sara of Innocent Primate have posted a link where if you click and look at some ads, you help feed a dog.

A lot of good food is simply a riff off the salsa base of diced tomatoes, diced onions, and citrus juice, such as most common black bean and corn salsas. One critical advantage this blend has is that it’s low calorie. In one case I believe I estimated a pint of one black bean and corn salsa to have less than 400 calories. In this recipe from Men’s Health, it’s about 180 calories a serving and they’re using olive oil to boot. We reviewed a bunch of black bean and corn salsa recipes here.

It’s encouraging enough that I think salsas deserve a higher place on the menu than simply a condiment. They should be treated as a side or perhaps the main component of a meal, perhaps lunch. One place that is thinking along those terms, but hasn’t quite got there yet, is the restaurant Fresh Mexi-Cali. They offer good, inexpensive border cuisine, but they also have a salsa bar that is pretty much all-you-can-eat. They serve at least 5 salsas by my count, a mango salsa, pico de gallo, a salsa verde, a moderately hot chipotle salsa and a very hot salsa. The restaurant I’ve been to is a little out of my blog’s normal range, in Sandy Springs, but they offer other interesting dishes, such as their bowl (black beans, rice, pico) that could be turned, with a little work, into something more calorie free, lightweight, salsa-centric, vegan and fresh. They could have people gushing about Mexi-Cali Grill the way this place gets the love.

Fresh Mexi-Cali Grill
6631 Roswell Road, Suite J
Publix Shopping Center
Sandy Springs, GA
(404) 256-6394

Fresh Mexi-Cali Grill on Urbanspoon

For a good introduction to salsas, this article by Mexican Food World is useful. For those who have never made their own salsa, a good salsa recipe is on the blog Wicked Good Dinner. Another easy salsa is the one posted by My Vegan Planet, called an Argentinian BBQ salsa.

A nice use of salsa is by Just a Taste, who mixes a pureed salsa with fresh pita chips. On the blog Blue Kitchen, there is a nice tomato-basil salsa over pasta recipe that looks wonderfully delicious. The blogger The Friendly Kitchen has a salsa recipe that also looks top notch. Hers is blended, so it isn’t quite as easy as a salsa cruda.

Finally, the blogger Cat Scratch Fever was looking for good salsa suggestions in her article, “In search of the perfect salsa” Too bad the comments are closed, else I’d have answered.