I have always thought of October as nature’s last extravagant party before the mighty Michigan cool down. Upper Peninsula summer nights often grow cold by August. While each year I woefully morn having to shut down our pool, there are many gifts that come with autumn.
No matter how old I get, my heart beats a little faster when I see and smell a bouquet of freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencils and remember how agonizing it was to wait to wear my new school clothes (especially the year my mom bought me Jordache jeans). This year back to school felt different due to the fact that we have many precautions in place to keep our buildings safe from Covid-19, yet, I am thankful that we have been able to come back face to face.
This fall our freezer is full of the bounty of our backyard: kale, spinach, beets, and chicken. Our pork is late this year since we had a difficult time finding a processor since our regular go-to place is backed up with so many orders. Since our area is rural, many people raise their own food and with the 2020 shutdown it appears that more people are realizing how important of a life skill it is to take responsibility for where your food comes from. I filled our pantry with canned green beans, spaghetti sauce, salsa, tomatoes, tomato juice, and pickles. Since childhood, one of my favorite kitchen fragrances is my grandmother’s recipe for dill pickle brine.
To celebrate and say goodbye to another gorgeous UP of Michigan summer, I am sharing a party worthy recipe. However, it’s equally superb (maybe even more so) when enjoyed solo on your favorite lawn chair as you study the activity in your neighborhood. Whether that means a crowd of noisy and giggly pre-teens showing off for each other, or as in my case, a strutting rooster keeping watch over his brood of warbling hens.
Instead of a standard tomato salsa, this salsa imparts a flavor burst with marinated beans. Therefore, it is hearty and the protein rich beans make it a satisfying snack or even lunch. It is a great wrap or sandwich filler and makes a tasty layer in a Mason jar salad. While it is especially fantastic with tortilla chips (my weakness). I try to incorporate healthier low-carb dippers mini-bell peppers, cucumber wedges, celery or carrot sticks, or even a slice of salami or pepperoni.
CONFETTI SALSA (this recipe will make a party sized bowl – so you may want to reduce it in ½ for a smaller portion)
- 1 chopped red bell pepper
- 1 chopped green bell pepper
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can white beans
- 1 frozen package edamame
- 1 can corn
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 limes (juice and zest)
- 2 jalapeno (finely chopped)
- 2 large cloves of minced garlic
- ½ cup of chopped onions
- 1/4 cup of vinegar (I used raw apple cider vinegar)
- 1/8-1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Homemade Taco Seasoning ( recipe to follow)
- Salt and pepper to taste
HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
I use the entire batch for the salsa (2 ¾ Tablespoons), however, you may want to make extra for tacos. It keeps well in an airtight container or jar.
Make sure you check my other healthy recipes in the tabs at the top of the page. As fall translates to winter, make sure you stay on top of your immune system and fill your plate with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables. Your skin, waistline, and energy levels will also thank you!