Summertime Pineapple-Mango Salsa

Lately, it has been too hot to use the oven. My small southern Californian town has been averaging a stinging 90 degrees for the past few weeks, and in response I’ve been looking for ways not to create more heat by frying veggies, or baking pastries. This installation of Mexicali vegetarian cooking focuses on a no-cook, non-bake recipe that will satisfy your starving, sun-baked mouth. Salsa is usually built on the base ingredient of tomatoes with supplementary chilies to add spice. Served at room-temperature or chilled, this staple of Mexican  cuisine remains to be quite versatile as it can be revitalized with replacements or additions of fish, beans, or fruits. 

This Pineapple-Mango salsa recipe gives that essential refreshing bite of chilled fruit during a humid 3pm, while still maintaing a natural spicy perkiness. There is no need to boil, fry, or bake with this recipe, as all that is needed are some of fruits, vegetables, and a refrigerator. 

*While preparing this recipe, also know that other fruits would work as well, like watermelon to replace the mangoes, or lime juice to add more of a bite. When making quick salsa like this one, it is fun and easy to experiment with other fruits and juices. 


Pineapple-Mango Salsa Ingredients
The taste of Summer in one dish!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time : 10 minutes




1 ripe pineapple

2 ripe mangoes

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper

1 large white onion

¼ cup of onion stalks

1 lemon

¼ cup of cilantro leaves

Pineapple-Mango Salsa
A refreshingly easy and flavorful dish



  1. Peel and dice all the fruit and vegetables, save for the lemon, into tiny pieces. Add each ingredient into a bowl, mixing each new addition well. 
  2. Cut the lemon, and squeeze about ⅓ cup of juice into the salsa mix. Or, dice the lemon into small cubes, and it add to the salsa mix.
  3. Mix well, and add salt to taste.
  4. Chill the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy with chips!





Dinner and a Movie: Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me prizes at the pier

I have a minor obsession with minions.  I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of “Despicable Me 2” since this gem was released over a year ago.  Let’s face it, Gru’s minions are the best part of his villain universe. Their rendition of an ode to bananas and potatoes is just wonderful (and may or may not be my ringtone).  The second installment in the Despicable Me franchise finds villain-turned-father Gru (Steve Carell) attempting to use his dark past to help him save the world, all the while coming into his role as father to his three adopted daughters.  Carell, by the way, opened two summer movies in one weekend, the other being indie hit “The Way Way Back.”

It seems that like so many of us, Gru has a soft spot in his heart for guacamole.  At a Cinco de Mayo party, a lovelorn Gru assures his host Eduardo that he is doing alright.  “Nothing is wrong,” he asserts, “I’m just chilling…with the guac…from my chip hat.”  That’s right.  He wears a tortilla chip sombrero, the brim of which is filled with guacamole.  If that doesn’t say fiesta I don’t know what does.  Eduardo attempts to comfort him, telling him that he, too, “has spent many night trying to drown my sorrows in guacamole.”  And who hasn’t, really? Of course, as any Culinarian would, I spent a good chuck of the rest of the movie wondering how and where to get a chip hat.








Homemade Chips & Guac

Making a chip hat quite large enough to fit a human head and heavy enough to hold guacamole in its rim is a feat I unfortunately have no accomplished.  But I can help you make a mini chip hat—perhaps you can adorn your favorite minion with it (mine is Stuart).  Mine isn’t quite as sophisticated as the one in the movie.  To keep it super simple (and healthy) I made a microwave tostada bowl.  Simply place a tortilla atop an overturned microwave-safe bowl.  You may want to spray your bowl with non-stick spray or oil so that the chip comes off more easily.  Microwave it on a paper towel for about 1 minute.  Check to see how hard it is—depending on the size of your tortilla you may need to adjust the time.  Once your shell is crispy enough, gingerly remove it from its bowl, and voila—you have a tostada shell!  Just be careful not to heat it for too long, or it will break as you try to get it off the bowl.

As far as the guacamole itself goes, I leave that largely up to personal preference.  Play around with avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, chili, lemon, lime, and salt until you get the perfect mixture.  Trader Joe’s actually carries a guacamole kit—all you have to do is chop and mix!  This guacamole is fairly smooth and consists mostly of avocado—but you can leave it chunkier, or add more ingredients until yours is just right.  This super easy dish is perfect for a summer gathering.  Or, if you have little tortillas like I do, you can make yourself a fancy-looking snack!