When it comes to cooking, l’m always up for a challenge; to me, nothing is impossible, I’ll have a go at anything, as long as someone is going to eat it! So when Angie issued a recipe challenge, I was, naturally, curious…
Angie issued a Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge – healthy eating is my thing, that posed no threat to me, however, Angie also declared that the recipe must include leafy greens (no problem) and…..pineapple….there’s my challenge…!
I don’t eat or use much fruit, and I’m not a fan of anything sweet, so the thought of including pineapple, in any form in a dish, was a real challenge for me. I needed to let my brain ruminate and ponder and create a way to use pineapple in my way, in a dish that I would eat or serve my menfolk.
Hence, this chilli sauce… Yes! This chilli sauce includes pineapple. Freeze dried powdered pineapple to be exact. I found this freeze dried version in my local supermarket and I powdered it.
A lot of recipes I read for chilli sauces include some kind of sugar, and sometimes HUGE amounts of sugar! I do not eat refined sugar in any form, I do not eat sugar substitutes, and I don’t like honey or maple syrup, and I just can’t bring myself to add the required sugar to these recipes. If I make chilli sauces I therefore don’t add any sugar, but sometimes I can taste that it needs something to give it a final finish, so have tried adding cinnamon as an alternative, or even ‘anardana’, which is dried pomegranate powder, both of which were interesting. So, you guessed it, today I tried adding a bit of dried pineapple powder; it’s extremely sweet, to me anyway, so you don’t need much, and it worked very nicely!
I was going to then add spinach to the sauce for the leafy green vegetable element but I didn’t want to muddy the colour, so I paired the sauce with spelt, spinach, red onions and garlic, and mixed it all together to eat it…
The sauce recipe..
This makes a lot of sauce, I don’t know how to make small quantities, plus I like to maximise my cooking and make batches of everything!
2 medium red onions, peeled
2 long red peppers
5 long red chillies
1 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp ground roasted cumin
Several tablespoons of olive oil, apple cider vinegar & lemon juice
600g passata, or a tin of chopped tomatoes plus a splash of water
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp pineapple powder
Roughly chop then blend the first 8 ingredients together to make a rough paste
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat
Cook the paste in the olive oil for a few minutes
Add the passata, tomato puree, vinegar, lemon juice and pineapple powder and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.
Keep it covered to avoid splashes but stir occasionally
You can then blend the mixture again if you prefer it smoother
It’s a tasty tasty thing! You can use it like I did, use it like a ragu, use it as a pasta sauce, whatever takes your fancy.
If you want to create this as a thicker, condiment sauce, reduce the amount of passata or even replace it with sunblushed tomatoes.
For the spelt base, I heated olive oil in a small pan, cooked some chopped garlic, added some defrosted frozen spinach, some roasted red onions and cooked spelt and heated it all through. Mixed with the sauce, it was a lovely concoction.
My next plan is to use pineapple powder in a spice mix of some sort, possibly a barbecue spice rub…watch this space!
So, thank you, Angie, for challenging me, I always enjoy it! And do check out what everyone else is creating…