Papaya, Tomato and Green Onion Salsa

I have been trying some vegan meat products once a week. Why? Well Glen is a major carnivore - me not so much. I enjoy meatless meals a few times a week. And my doctor wants me to eat less meat, so I thought if I could find a quality product without weird chemicals or heavy processing, it would help bridge the gap between our food tastes. I bought a sample box and have been trying out a different product one day week. 

Yesterday I pulled out the 2 packages of "taco stuff'er."  A mistake.  It is shrink wrapped so looked like very small amounts, but once opened and air got around the crumbles it really puffed up. 1 package would have more than enough for just the 2 of us. I tasted the stuff'er for seasoning and was ready to use as it was. It crumbles, but the pieces tend to get really small, so it's important to be gentle and not over mix. 

The one thing I did find as I tried these products was they do tend to be on the dry side. For Vegans this probably a preference, but for my carnivore husband, I needed to work around this characteristic. The ingredients are simple - for Taco Stuff'er it was only Water, Organic vital wheat gluten, Pearl barley, Organic expeller pressed sunflower oil, Organic navy beans, Spices, Nutritional yeast, Tomato paste, Natural flavour, Salt and Liquid smoke - and they don't add tons of oil. I love the simplicity and the fact there are no weird chemicals to try to make it more meat-like.

There are lots of things I could have made with this mix, but as last night was Taco Tuesday, so what could be better than tacos. I decided on soft tacos made in small flour tortillas and then to add more moisture, I made a juicy fruit and tomato salsa to pile on top.  The final note - a few slices of fresh avocado. I really wanted peach salsa, but they aren't in season right now so went with something I could find - papaya. Mango would also work. You just want a juicy, ripe one.

It was a hit. Glen and I both enjoyed our tacos. The flavour and texture was already there, but adding a great homemade salsa on top added that extra zip as well as more juice.  The question now is what to do with the leftovers?  There are lots of options here, I just need to explore them all first. Maybe a Mexican Shepherd's pie? That could be interesting. 

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Papaya, Tomato and Green Onion Salsa

Ingredients - 

1                Ripe fresh papaya, peeled & diced (I ended up with just over 1 cup)
2                Roma tomatoes, diced
1                Bunch green onion, sliced (include a bit of the green tops but not all)
1/2             Jalapeno Pepper, minced (want it hotter - use a whole Jalapeno) 
1                Handful of Cilantro minced (I would guess 1/3 C roughly)
1                Large lime
Salt and Pepper

Instructions -

Prepare all ingredients as mentioned above. Place first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  Cut lime in half and squeeze juice from both on salsa. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and let for 30 - 60 minutes. I left mine on the counter, but if you like your salsa really cold, put in in the refrigerator.  

Serve and enjoy!