It’s Saturday night, I hear music blaring in the distance and I’m up, trying my best to post this recipe before Sunday hits. I’m trying to do this so that it can become a part of your Sunday lunch/bunch/dinner. It should be. It’s as delicious as it is vibrant- what its colors will do to your eyes its flavors will do to your taste buds. You simply MUST try this one.
Pineapples are a part of my life. They are staples here in our house. I picked up two along the roadside (translation: I purchased them from a roadside vendor-many of whom are scattered along the way to Mayaro) when driving down to Mayaro a few days ago and decided to incorporate it into this lovely salad that I learned to make while I was away at school.
Down here in Trinidad we have something called ‘chow‘. Traditionally made using mangoes- the best are greener or at least half-ripe (I actually love sweet, ripe mango chow the best, but most will disagree). Chow is made using the ubiquitous chadon beni (bandania) herb, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar/lime and a tip of sugar. It’s sort of a pickled fruit salad? I’m not sure of what’s the best way to describe it, but I’m going to venture out on a limb here and say that Trinidad owns chow! Ask any Trini about chow and they will begin their description with a nostalgic glean and a mouth ‘full of water’. It’s ours.
Pineapple chow has grown in popularity since some genius on the heights of the North coast road en route to Maracas decided to make it. Since then many have perfected the art of making pineapple chow. I was lucky enough to have a bit left over and decided to incorporate it in my black bean salad. I would have to say the decision was a good one! I will definitely be doing a post on pineapple chow in the very near future.
This served as dinner for me last night and part of lunch today. I threw in some raw beets because I just love beets. This salad is filling as a main but works really well as a side too. Of course, since I’m doing the 4 week salad challenge I can’t say I’ve used it as a side…it’s my only focus. I ate this with grilled chicken breast for dinner and for lunch the next day I had it with a piece of steak. I’d say the 4 week challenge is in full swing and it’s really causing me to come up with great new salads 🙂
Today marks day 1 of my four week salad challenge! I must say it started off really well, since today’s lunch was wonderfully refreshing, clean, simple and oh so delicious! The meal is very simple and like I said, clean but the preparation is the hard part (at least for me since I don’t get a huge amount of time to devote to cutting up things since my baby usually comes into the kitchen after 5 minutes of being away and cries out for me to be close) 🙂 sweetness! Today was different though, I got some extra time to look after our meal since my little one was visiting grans and aunties. So, I basically reverted to the days when I could leisurely prep for the meal and take photos for the blog. Was nice!
This meal sticks very nicely to the rules I made for myself (and I hope you too) in the previous post. The citrus guava cake is gone(I must say I think I’ll have to make this one during guava season since it was a huge hit with the family and friends) and vegetables and fruits have taken it’s place instead. I got inspiration for this meal from my girl Ina (yep, we are good partners taking in the occasional drink and pork sandwich by Kep’s…hmmm, I wish!). Wanted to find another way to make string beans-got an intimidatingly large bag from Pricesmart recently. I love string beans, but sometimes I get a bit tired of the same old ‘steam me and put some garlic on me’ routine. So today I mixed it up a bit.
What is great about this string bean salad is that the string beans really take center stage. I loved the crispness of the beans set against the tart spiciness of the brown spice mustard I used. I also love the sweet warmth of the roasted garlic in there and the crunchy red onions really added that extra punch. Additionally, this string bean salad can be served at room temperature or cold! How wonderfully great is that?
The other dish I prepared to go along with this was a Greek salad- wow 2 salads in one meal? Good stuff. Anyway, I love Greek salads, the salty creaminess of feta cheese set against the sweet mellowness of tomatoes and crunchy morsels of cucumber? Come on, it’s so good. What makes it even better is that it’s so easy! I mean, you can throw it together in five minutes-I know its my go to salad when I’m not in the mood to make an elaborate dressing. Speaking of dressings, that’s the other thing I like about Greek salads, the dressing is ridiculously simple. Now, I don’t know the exact definition of a Greek salad, but I know how I make mine. The only really essential elements for any salad I want to convert to being Greek are cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and feta cheese. Everything else is fair game.
I ain’t gonna talk too much about the perfectly cooked, delicately seasoned pork chops that went with these salads because, hey, this is about salads, isn’t it? It was good though, real good.
Will definitely be making these again during this 4 week salad challenge 🙂