I’m always changing things in the recipes I “follow.” Usually it’s because I don’t have all the ingredients required, so often I’ll either leave it out or substitute with something else. Sometimes I just don’t like the way the recipe is written to be followed, other times I might not like certain ingredients. (Note: if I’m baking, I’m usually much stricter with myself because baking is more like a science project where exact measurements are crucial but I am beginning to experiment with baking as well, such as reducing sugar).
The other day I made my usual salsa recipe but didn’t look at the can of organic tomatoes very carefully until after I had poured it into my food processor. It was a can of pre-seasoned tomatoes with basil and garlic spices. I try to be very careful when I buy diced canned tomatoes because I don’t like pre-seasoned flavors, preferring to season it myself. I decided to go ahead and make the salsa anyway since I had already opened it. The result was something I called pizza salsa. It really tasted like salsa with a slight pizza sauce flavor! It wasn’t fabulous, but it was good enough to eat, which is the important thing. Taste matters the most.
Yesterday I had a taste for the salad I usually eat at Steve’s Backroom so I made this with beans I had on hand: homemade chickpeas (yes, I made them), beluga lentils (they look just like caviar!), black beans, and kidney beans. There’s also onions, some fresh parsley from the garden, dash of Tabasco, dash of cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, the juice of one lemon, avocado, walnuts, almonds, green pepper, and dried cranberries. There is no oil in this salad at all, nor salt or pepper.
When I served it, I also added some baby greens and arugula Jim picked up at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday while I was at the library. It came out really good, but I need to find the recipe for a pomegranate dressing, which is how they serve it at Steve’s.