You are in for a real treat today – a recipe for one of the most creative uses of fall apples I’ve seen and that I cannot wait to try! My friend Rose, of Half Her Size is sharing her delightful recipe for Apple Pico de Gallo. It is a little spicy, a little sweet, and a ton of delicious – the perfect accompaniment to many foods as well as a bright and refreshing appetizer dip with chips! She serves this with sauteed pork chops for a healthy, never boring dinner. Her recipe for those chops are on her website today so you can get the whole meal with just a click. Make sure you tell her Hi from me when you pop over!
Rose and I met a few years ago at BlogHer Food in Austin. It was blazing hot outside and poor Rose was very pregnant with the heat sapping her strength. We started chatting and struck up a friendship. The next time I saw her she had had the baby and was back to her fighting weight. I didn’t know her backstory yet and was even more impressed once I did. She decided to change her life, cutting her weight in half, and is raising her boys to love all kinds of different foods. I was such a picky eater that I don’t know how she manages it. Here’s to Rose for helping change the world and giving support and strength to anyone wanting to lose weight in a very support environment!
Take it away Rose!
My grandma habitually clips recipes the way many people clip coupons. It is funny because when I think about the things she loves doing, cooking is not one of them. Although, maybe that is what draws her to recipes. With a recipe to follow her job was to assemble and serve, freeing her to use creative energy in activities that gave her a greater sense of fulfillment.
One warm afternoon while my son played at our feet my grandma brought out a pile of manila envelopes. Rectangles of yellowed newsprint spilled out of the envelopes covering the breakfast table. Each carefully clipped scrap framed a single recipe. The casually elegant script I instantly recognized as my grandmother’s filled the blank spaces noting ingredient additions and substitutions.
The voluminous collection was a time capsule of people and parties gone by as well as ingredient trends that did not stand the test of time. When I remarked on the number of recipes layout before us, she raised a hand in casual dismissal and told me there were more in storage. Never one to waste a perfectly useful item, she sent me home with nearly all of the clippings.
At home, I tucked the envelopes on a shelf with my cookbooks where they were promptly forgotten – call it busy mom syndrome, if it isn’t boiling or yelling it doesn’t exist.
Not long ago I found myself in an idea rut. I needed some new recipes for my readers but nothing was humming in my brain and my usual sources of inspiration, magazines and cookbooks weren’t delivering. I noticed a fat envelope nestled between the books, it was grandma’s recipe clippings. I dumped them across my kitchen table and looked at them closely for the first time.
Scanning the clippings felt as personal as reading her journal. I found many recipes intended for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, potluck ideas featuring gelatin based salads, cheese topped casseroles, and chocolate desserts, quite a few recipes for St. Patrick’s Day, a day of utmost importance for our family of Irish heritage and countless celebrating Washington’s most abundant produce like peaches, salmon, and of course, apples.
My eye fell on a recipe for salmon with apple salsa. It stood out as a light and fresh option in a sea of heavy comfort food. something that could fit my calorie conscious way of eating. It also sounded a little weird.
With the title for inspiration I made my way from apples with salmon to one of my favorite pairings, apples and pork. A few weeks later I enjoyed a chuckle when I realized the apple pico de gallo I served had little more in common with the inspiration than the star ingredient. Not that my family cared, apple pico de gallo was a hands down hit. We heaped it over pork chops, scooped it up with tortilla chips, and added it to our meals as a stand alone side dish.
I often say I did not learn my approach to cooking from my mother or grandmother. However, in this case, it was my grandma’s lack of interest in cooking that renewed my own creative work in the kitchen. And, you better believe I am keeping those recipe clippings in a safe place.
- 2 cups, diced granny smith apple, 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 small jalapeño, minced, approximately 3 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Stir together all the ingredients and let the pico de gallo sit for 15 minutes and up to overnight before serving. Pico de gallo will keep refrigerated for several days.
- Yield: about 2-1/2 cups salsa
- Approximate nutrition per 1/2 cup serving: 49 calories, 0g fat, 59mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 6g sugar, 0g protein
To learn more about Rose, follow her food adventures and discover her delicious recipes, make sure you visit Half Her Size and subscribe so you don’t miss any posting!
While I am taking care of my husband after his stroke, some of my friends have generously offered to help me out with the blog. Thanks for understanding and have fun discovering these incredibly talented food writers and recipe developers. Enjoy!
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