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Sunday recipe: celebrate California’s Mexican heritage with spicy salsa and tasty guacamole

Norteamerianos seldom let a holiday with food possibilities pass by uncelebrated.

Cinco de Mayo marks the Mexican army’s victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. While that victory was a relatively minor one, modern celebrations of Cinco de Mayo have become incredibly popular across North America.

While Cinco de Mayo may have been overshadowed by COVID-19’s stay-at-home order, home is exactly where salsa and guacamole are tastiest!

So enjoy Cinco de Mayo a little late, and celebrate Mexican culture and enjoy some tasty food along the way.

No Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without a spicy, tangy salsa dip. In fact, May is also National Salsa Month, making it an ideal time to whip up some homemade salsa. When planning Cinco de Mayo parties for your household, consider this recipe for “Salsa” from Vegan Cooking for Beginners (Publications International) from the PI Kitchens. Why not pair it with the equally delicious “Guacamole” for plenty of menu options?


Makes 41⁄2 cups

1 can (28 ounces) whole Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
2 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons canned diced green chiles
1 tablespoon canned diced jalapeño peppers (optional)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine tomatoes with juice, fresh tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeños, if desired, vinegar, garlic, onion powder, sugar, cumin, garlic powder and salt in food processor; process until finely chopped.


Makes 2 cups

2 large ripe avocados
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ jalapeño, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Cut avocados in half lengthwise around pits. Remove pits. Scoop avocados into large bowl; sprinkle with lime juice and toss to coat. Mash to desired consistency with fork or potato masher.
  2. Add onion, cilantro, jalapeño and salt; stir gently until well blended. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.