There is something about a Mango Salsa with spicy foods, like my Jerk Chicken – it lends just the right cooling effect. Add a little spice or hot pepper and it turns fiery, itself. Either way: delicious, easy and cost-effective and a fun way to sneak in a little extra vegetable and fruit or make good use of bits and pieces that might be hanging around the fridge.
There are no hard and fast rules – just put in what you like to eat in combinations that please you and your family. Here’s my favorite version:
Mango Salsa, serves 4, cost $1.22
- 1 ripe Mango
- 1/2 cucumber (peeled)
- 1/4 red pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 2 teaspoons light (white wine or rice wine vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar (if desired)
- Hot Pepper – your choice, your heat level, optional
Dice all vegetables in 1/2″ or so dice – red onion should be a small dice. Mix dressing ingredients: Vinegar, lime, salt, pepper and sugar. Pour over vegetables. Best after sitting for at least an hour.
Add finely chopped hot pepper (jalapeno, Habanero, sereno, etc.) if you’d like.
Money & Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
- Mango: Mango does go on sale, and I watch for a price of about 69 cents per mango, less expensive than a per pound price.. I often find unadvertised specials in my area, so take a peek at them when you’re meandering through the produce aisle. Cost: 69 cents.
- Cucumber: These are on sale about every other week for about 50 cents each. Aldi’s is also a great place to find them for very little. They keep several weeks, so buy them on sale and use them up – the waxy skin on the outside should be scrubbed well if you plan on eating it. I used half, cost 25 cents.
- Red Bell Pepper: Another item that is often on sale, especially in the summer. It’s a good idea to figure out the per pound or per pepper pricing. An average pepper is about five ounces, but if going per pepper, get the largest ones you can find. I paid about 65 cents per pepper last time they were on sale – they will last a week or two, so my strategy is to buy several when they are on sale and find ways to use them. A great price varies from about 50 to 65 cents. $.68 cents is about $2.08 per pound. $.50 cents is $1.60 a pound based on a five ounce weight. I used about 1/4, so the cost was 13 cents.
- Red Onion: A little more expensive than regular onion, I used about 1/4 cup. (I wrap the rest and put in the door of my fridge where I see it each time I open it – that keeps me from forgetting to use the whole thing. Cost for 1/4 cup is about 5 cents.
- Vinegar: Every so often they’ll have coupons for vinegar, making name brand lower than store price. Best time to buy is generally around Easter for the basic White or Apple Cider. Summer is usually when you’ll find the good cooking vinegar on sale. I’ll find sale prices, too, around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stock up on the best prices because they keep forever. Often sales are not advertised, and you can find coupons, now and then, for both the basic and the fancier vinegar. Cost: negligible
- Sugar: Often on sale before any Holiday, especially at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. I’m not a heavy year round baker, so I try to stock up at these times. You’ll especially see the smaller bags on sale. A good price is $1.49 to $1.69 per pound, on sale, and often with a manufacturer’s coupon or a store coupon. A teaspoon is about 2 cents.
- Limes: I use often to add freshness to salsas, Mexican food and marinades from everything from chicken to steak. I rarely see on sale, but they’re generally very inexpensive. Just like with lemon, I’ll use every bit. See lemon for ideas on how to get more juice. Don’t be concerned about the color of your limes – when you buy, pick up several and choose the heaviest ones. They’ll be the juiciest. They often have a wax on the skin, so before zesting, go after them with a “scrubbie.” I used a little lime in my dipping sauce for the Sweet Potato Fries, and part of it for this salad, cost 12 cents.
Nutrition: Cal 129.55; cal fr fat 1.91 (1%); sodium 1021mg; tot carb 15.43g; fib 6.63g; sug 2.01g; prot .43g
Put Your own Spin on It:
- As mentioned above, you can add hot pepper to this or if you don’t have any on hand, a few red pepper flakes.
- All lime can be used in place of the vinegar, lime zest is a good addition. Papaya is really good in this salsa, as well. You can’t go wrong with adding in some pineapple. Nectarine or Peach works well, too.
- Depending on what you’re serving, cilantro, green onion, parsley can be added.
- Olive oil will add richness and carry the flavor
Recipe made July 2012