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Spicy Pineapple Salad

pineapple salad

Photo by Alex Uballez


My philosophy of life has long been: “Can I do something about it? If I can, I do; if I can’t I try to forget it and live with it. In this new section of my website, I plan to debunk the myth that all Mexican food is heavy, highly caloric and not good for you. This misconception is fostered by Tex-Mex style of cooking that , can in fact be all of those things.

The proliferation of taco trucks and stands where people can get a bite for a buck has introduced a generation to the flavors of true Mexican food.,,In Zarela Cooks at Home, I will feature naturally-light Mexican food, some of it inspired by street food, that you can cook, enjoy and be guilt free.  I have not fiddled with the ingredients or the recipes to make them so.

Even tacos, soft shell tacos that is, can be very light yet infinitely satisfying.  Tacos al pastor are the perfect example:  Marinated slabs of thinly sliced pork are stacked tightly and slowly cooked on a rotating spit, a pineapple impaled on the top drips juices onto the meat as it turns.  Sliced thinly and encased in freshly made corn tortillas with a squirt of spicy table sauce, the combination can be thrilling.  Vegetarians will be happy with tacos de ensalada de nopalitos (cactus salad) like the ones I used to eat as a child at the Juarez market on our Saturday shopping trips. One of my favorite tacos is stuffed with smoky roasted Anaheim chile strips, grilled onions or scallions and a thin slice of queso blanco.


There are hundreds of Mexican dishes that are naturally light, healthy and easy to make…  They are often ideal for vegetarians or vegans and there are many that raw food aficionados can easily and deliciously incorporate into their diets.  Like me, many people simply prefer to eat this way. –spicy, refreshing, tangy dishes that satisfy your craving for the taste of Mexico  You will not be sacrificing flavor and you will be able to add to your repertoire when cooking at home.

Here is one of my favorites recipes

Spicy pineapple  salad.


1 pineapple
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 fresh jalapeno chiles, seeds and veins removed, and cut into thin slivers
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
Remove the top and bottom of the pineapple;, cut into 4 vertical pieces, core, and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Combine with the red onion and jalapeno chiles.

Combine the lime juice, the olive oil and salt to taste: add to the pineapple mixture.

Add the cilantro leaves last minute. And serve immediately.



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