Recently, my friend Justine asked if I would create an orange recipe to shine a light on something near and dear to her heart. You may be wondering… Why orange?
Orange is the official color of the non-profit Cycle for Survival, an indoor cycling event (a four hour relay to be precise!) that raises funds for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. For the past two years, Justine and her team have ridden many miles in honor or in memory of many different people by writing their names on their arms. Justine has a personal connection, too: her father is a survivor of sarcoma—the same rare cancer that killed the founder of this event when she was just 40 years old.
As Justine points out, there are some other great reasons for the color choice. Orange foods are gorgeous and delicious. They are chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients that are good for your skin, eyes and heart, and they may also decrease the risk of cancer.
I immediately thought of this salsa recipe that I started making last year as a twist on my old recipe for Pineapple Mint Salsa. I don’t think I will ever go back! The timing is perfect as mango season is at its peak from March through July. When available, Ataulfo mangos are a perfect choice. (They’re also known as champagne mangos and one is pictured above.) Though they appear smaller than other varieties, Ataulfos have a very small seed, so there’s a high flesh-to-seed ratio. They actually yield about the same amount of sweet, juicy flesh as the larger varieties–about 1 cup per mango. They’re less fibrous, too.
Use this flavorful salsa as a topping for almost any protein. Chicken, fish, flank steak, and pork are all enhanced by the amazing flavors in this easy salsa. You can even serve it as a dip or create a salad by adding black beans.
~Justine is also the author of Full Belly Sisters and she was the inspiration behind Cauliflower Fried Rice, which has been a hit with my family, friends, and readers for quite a few years now. She also shared this amazing grilled zucchini recipe with me last summer. I pretty much know that any of Justine’s recipes are going to be equal parts healthy and delicious!~
Yields approximately 3 cups.
- 1 cup mango, peeled and diced
- 1 cup pineapple, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup red pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and minced (you may keep the seeds–or some of them–if you like the heat)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice plus the zest of one lime
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
To easily cube a mango, slice all the way down the mango along the flat part of the seed. Then, slice in a checkerboard pattern without going through the skin (see flat piece in the back of photo). Invert the piece, and then carefully slice off the little squares. My kids like to just bite off the little cubes. It’s a great snack or lunchbox addition–what we call “fun food!” There will be a little more fruit clinging to the pit which you can slice off as well.
Founded in 2007, Cycle for Survival has raised more than $61 million to date, directly funding clinical trials and research studies that bring new hope to countless lives touched by rare cancers. Cycle for Survival has contributed to more than 100 clinical trials and research studies, and also to major research initiatives that will change the way cancer is diagnosed and treated. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the donated funds will go directly to MSKCC to help patients around the world.
If this cause is near and dear to your heart and you would like to support it with a tax-deductible gift, you may follow this link to Justine’s page: http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/justine. Her event takes place on March 8, 2015. If you would like Justine to ride for someone special, simply send her the name and she will gladly ride in honor of your loved one.
If you would like to tag Cycle for Survival, they are on Twitter as @Cycle4Survival and on FB at www.facebook.com/cycleforsurvival
For more recipes inspired by Justine…
Cauliflower Fried Rice — forget that this sounds so healthy…it’s one of my kids’ favorites!!
Grilled Zucchini with Goat Cheese and Balsamic-Honey Syrup — so simple yet so good…and you’ll want to put the sauce on everything!