summer hikes and salsa, what more do you need?

You know what I love about Portland? No, not the groomed-to-look-like-you-just-entered-puberty mustaches, No, not the beer, either. It’s the summer. And it’s the easy access to so many hikes, from the wide, fire-road paths of Opal Creek to the wrap-your-knees-before-you-set-foot-on-dirt Angel’s Rest/Devil’s Rest. Both of these are easy half-day trips, but what if you only have a couple of hours free and want to get your hike on? Hello, Forest Park.

It’s not the most isolated park, sitting on the northwest edge of Portland, but it does have trees and dirt and little critters and fresh air.

Look how pretty!


And what’s the perfect food for after a hike? Without fail, by the time I reach the car, I’m hankering for a black bean and veg burrito. But sometimes you don’t feel suitable for public sight, so your burrito joint is out, and you don’t have the time and energy to get home and make a burrito. What you can do is a super quick corn-and-bean salsa.


In the past, I was resistant to the idea of beans and corn in my salsa, but during a trip to Chicago my sister-in-law, Brenda, made it and I was a convert. It’s a full meal, with everything you need to refuel—and it takes care of that burrito craving. So what’s in my salsa?

1 cup (or a can, rinsed) of black beans
1 can of sweet corn kernels (low-sodium, if you can)
½ white onion, diced
1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes (a good double-handful), choppy chopped
1 large avocado, diced (2 if they’re small)
hot peppers! (I like a habanero and an anaheim, for balance), diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of a lime

If you are, in fact, eating this right away, you might need to cheat and add some heat with cayenne, and if your chips aren’t salty you might want to add a dash of salt to the mix.

Anyway, off to celebrate more summer!

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