Friday, December 10, 2010

Let's party like Latinos this holiday season!

Take a "cue"  (ha - bad ZUMBA joke) from Latin America, where people and fun come first. At traditional holiday parties, for example, guests focus more on dancing than on feasting. If they eat too many heavy foods, then they won't have the energy to dance. So the party often features tamales and other finger foods that provide energy and don't leave guests feeling weighed down. As we face skyrocketing rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease, it's time to put the focus on enjoying friends and family during the holidays. 

I will often feature recipes from Latin America in this spot because they tend to cook with wonderful ingredients like whole grains, quinoa and brown rice, and include lentils, beans and other forms of natural protein.  These foods satisfy us and give us both short bursts and prolonged energy for our daily activities.
Also, the focus is very much on flavour and enjoyment.  Healthy, enjoyable, unprocessed natural foods that are delicious!  I'm all over it!

With that in mind here is a holiday salsa to share with you all: (courtesy of ZIN Life Magazine)

Black Bean Salsa
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans (rinsed)
1 diced tomato
1 diced red pepper
1 diced green pepper
1 diced jalapeno pepper
3 scallions, chopped
3 TBSP cilantro
3 TBSP lime juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix ingredients in a bowl and stir until blended.

Experiment with other ingredients you may have on hand, frozen corn, minced garlic, chopped celery. You can also puree the beans before adding to the other ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

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