As the weather finally warms, I am growing ever more excited for the arrival of one of my most treasured summertime traditions: the non meal-meal. The non meal-meal is exactly what you might ascertain it would be, given its name. It is a meal that is comprised of many different things that do not, on their own, constitute a meal. The non meal-meal can be anything one wants it to be, really. It can be a handful of nuts, an apple, and half of a leftover biscuit. It can be a log of string cheese and some crackers slathered with almond butter. Sometimes, when no one is around to express displeasure at my oftentimes rather questionable eating habits, it can be a single bite taken from each container in the refrigerator that holds leftovers from throughout the week.
I’d like to blame my propensity for eating non meal-meals on a lack of food preparation motivation when the warm weather arrives, but, to be quite honest, I don’t really have an excuse for eating that way, so much as I just have an outright confession: I like to eat that way. My favorite type of meal involves many small bites of many different things (hello, tapas), so grazing my way through the fridge and pantry is a pleasant and long held tradition of mine.
Occasionally, however, I will take this buffet approach of mine and apply it to an actual meal that needs to be, albeit very simply, prepared. I’ll toss leftover roasted vegetables on some salad greens and sit down for a lunch that involves actual silverware, or, if I feel it must be done, I’ll briefly peel and chop a few items and then combine them into something that resembles an actual dish.
I’d like to tell you all that after I took the time to put this salsa together, I made sure to set some aside for the other people in the house who I am sure would have loved it. But I did not. Upon sampling a taste of this creamy, spicy, and sweet concoction, I immediately hoovered down the entire bowl, first with the aid of some tortilla chips, but then, realizing that the chips were merely a cumbersome vessel getting in the way of me and the salsa, I ditched the chips and proceeded to attack the salsa while armed with nothing more than a very large spoon. Am I ashamed? Absolutely not. This salsa, filled with fresh fruit and invigorated by a kick of jalapeno, is nothing short of delightful, and nothing less than vigorously healthful. Devoid of chips, you can make this salsa and call it a salad, then eat it on a bed of greens (or not) and call it lunch. Or, if you are me, you can eat it any way you wish and just call it delicious.
Mango and Avocado Salsa
1 large mango, peeled and sliced into small chunks
1 large avocado, peeled and sliced into small chunks
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely, seeds and white inner ribs removed and set aside
4 tablespoons of finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Toss thoroughly with a spoon, then taste for seasoning. If you want to add more heat to the salsa, add a small amount of the reserved jalapeno seeds, toss again, and taste. Continue in this fashion until you have reached the spiciness you desire.