Tag Archives: tomatoes

Black Bean Salsa – Violet-style

20 Apr

Coming from a family of foodies, the vast majority of my recipes have been passed down to me from my parents. Anything I cook, my parents prepare better. It’s hard carving out one’s own culinary identity when every recipe in one’s repertoire came from Mom or Dad. I never had my own contribution to the table until I stumbled upon this black bean salsa recipe, which I modified and made my own. It was a huge hit with my family; it’s fresh, it’s low-fat, and it is absolutely delicious.


  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Tobasco sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients except lime juice and seasonings in a bowl. Stir. Squeeze the lime into the mixture, stir. Add salt, pepper, and Tobasco, stir. If you want to make this into black bean guacamole, add the avocado in the beginning.

Serve with tortilla chips and a smile.


A Home-Grown Gazpacho Lover

12 Apr

A native Floridian, I naturally gravitate toward any meal that is a) healthy, b) fresh, and c) summer approved. Know how you cold-climate people love your heavy soups and stews in the dead of winter? That’s how we feel about cold dishes during the summer. It’s almost therapeutic.

My father has been making this amazing Gazpacho forever. It’s amazing. It’s healthy as shit. It’s inexpensive to make. It can be a side dish or its own vegetarian dinner. It’s fun to make this for picnics, BBQs, potlucks, etc, and convince people that I’m this incredible gourmet. If they only knew how easy it was to make, they’d stop peppering me with compliments, so let’s just keep this secret to ourselves, k?


  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped.

(Quick, here’s how to effectively peel a tomato: boil some water. Drop the tomato in for 10 – 15 seconds. Pull it out and drop it in an ice bath. Skin comes right off!)

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, skinned and chopped
  • ½  green pepper, seeded and chopped.
  • 24 oz. tomato juice (V8 will work just fine.)
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • ¾ cup red wine vinegar
  • Tobasco, Salt/Pepper, to taste


  1. Place the veggies in a blender with 2 cups of tomato juice. Puree.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the puree, EVOO, vinegar, Tobasco, and remainder of tomato juice. Stir well.
  3. Chill and serve.
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