‘Summer Is Almost Here’ Strawberry Mint Salsa

As this hard won Spring starts its slow inexorable crawl toward Summer’s temperature indulgences, I’m happy to see fresh red pops of color starting to populate the produce section. This season’s first strawberries – check. Early tomatoes – check. Salsa craving in high gear – check.

This salsa is bright, refreshing, and was perfect perched on top of a simple salad loaded with cruciferous greens and simple pulled pork (omit, of course, if serving vegetarians or vegans). A winner in my book.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo and Whole30 compliant

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‘Summer Is Almost Here’ Strawberry Mint Salsa

2 large strawberries
Half a shallot
3 leaves fresh mint
Juice of 1 lime
2 big pinches salt

Dice the strawberries and add to a small bowl. Mince the shallot (you’re looking for about 2 Tablespoons) and add to the bowl. Roll your mint leaves up into a little tube and chiffonade (cut into ribbons). Add to the salsa bowl. Sprinkle with 2 big pinches of salt and top with lime juice. Toss well to combine.

Serve with sliced cherry tomatoes, pulled pork and a glug of grapeseed oil over a bed of Cruciferous Crunch (kale + brussels + red cabbage + green cabbage salad mix sold at Trader Joe’s) for a tasty and healthy lunch.

Serves 1 for lunch. Can be easily scaled up and served in a myriad of ways – I’m thinking it would be especially nice over a light protein (chicken or fish) and would make a fine dip for plantain chips in place of standard red fruit salsa.

 

Spicy Crab Cakes with Sriracha Aioli & Pineapple Kiwi Salsa (paleo, Whole30)

This not your momma’s polite little garden party crab cake. This crab cakes sits legs splayed in a skirt, puts its cigarette out in your sweet tea, and gives you a snarl.

A note here on making aioli. For the love of all things holy, follow the instructions. Your instructions using a whisk? Break that bad boy out. Found instructions for a Vitamix? Use that. I am aioli-retarded and can’t seem to make it – ever – to save my life. Why? Because I don’t listen. I started out this meal’s mayo sojurn with an immersion blender using a recipe written for a whisk-using over-achiever – and made a runny, kinda broken mess. I then Googled ways to fix the mess – and ended up wasting another 2 eggs in the process. I threw the whole batch out, grabbed my Vitamix, Googled Vitamix-specific instructions, and went to town. I waited until the noise of the aioli whipping around the blender changed – until it sounded like slaps instead of whirring madness – and I still thought I’d screwed something up – until I let the mayo sit and it firmed up on its own. So, take it from me: calm the crap down. Calm down and follow directions and your aioli will turn out just fine. No need to use half a bottle of grapeseed oil & over half a dozen eggs in the process.

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Spicy Crab Cakes with Sriracha Aioli & Pineapple Kiwi Salsa (paleo, Whole30)

8 ounces crab (lump or claw, canned is perfect here)
2 tsp. brown mustard (I use Gulden’s spicy)
1/4 c. paleo aioli
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
1.5 tsp. chipotle powder
1 scallion
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Drain the crab and pick through for errant shells. Drop into a large bowl. Slice the scallions thinly and add to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Form into patties and place on a parchment-lined plate. Chill 30 minutes to let firm up a bit.

While your patties are chilling, make the salsa.

1 kiwi
1/4 pineapple
1 shallot
2 Tbsp. cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, seeded

Scoop the kiwi out of its fuzzy jacket and chop finely. Chop the pineapple finely. Dice the shallot. Chop the cilantro. Dice the jalapeno. Combine all in a small bowl and store in the fridge until dinner is ready – you want this to sit about half an hour, so the flavors have a chance to mingle.

While everything else is chilling, take about a 1/4 of a cup aioli and add a teaspoon or two of Whole30 sriracha to make your sauce. Set aside in a small dish.

When it’s time to cook the patties, heat 1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil over medium heat. Add the patties and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.

Serve topped with the salsa and aioli.

Serves 2 for dinner.