Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dueling Salsas!

It is a hot, hot, hot day -- all the better for a hot and spicy salsa!

I have two favorite salsas in my collection - one easy and one a bit more challenging.  Friends LOVED the easy one....that is until they tasted what I call the Mega Salsa.  Now they are getting picky.

Anyhoo -- here is the easy peasy, limey squeezy quick salsa.

Into a blender container, or food processor bowl, add the following:

1 container of cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 sweet onion
1 clove of garlic*
1/3 seeded jalapeno pepper (or more depending upon your heat tolerance)
3 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro - or a small handful

Give it a whirl until blended -- and voila!  What did it take: less than five minutes and probably with ingredients you have or should have on hand.

Now, my friends, here is the secret to the Mega Salsa.

Into the blender (preferably a VitaMix) or a food processor, add the following:

1 container of cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup or less of sun dried tomatoes
3 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
1/4 red bell pepper
1 large handful of cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 clove garlic*
1/2 jalapeno seeded or more depending upon your heat tolerance
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup - or just a little less of nama shoyu
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed
and if you have it: 1/4 teaspoon ground sun dried lime

Give it a whirl and within minutes you will be enjoying this Mega Salsa - and probably drinking Jose Cuervo, kissing the cowboys and shooting out the lights -- well, maybe

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The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.