Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.

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I’ve been totally obsessed with the salty-sweet-spicy flavor combo lately. Ever since I fell victim to a Facebook ad selling some chili-coated sour patch kids (yes, they were awesome). So I was totally delighted when I decided to throw together the gochujang in the back of my fridge with some pineapple from my freezer, and a fresh cucumber, and it tasted exactly like the chili gummies! But like, with actual fruit and vegetables instead of candy. Haha! Needless to say, this Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is a HIT.

Close up overhead view of a bowl of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a centuries-old Korean chili paste made with chili peppers, rice, soybeans, and salt (check this article for a really extensive history and detail of this awesome sauce). It has a salty-spicy-umami flavor that kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. The flavor profile is so unique and so delicious, and I couldn’t be happier about the fact that it’s really trending in the U.S. right now because that means it’s fairly easy to find in major grocery stores. My local Kroger store has about five or six different brands on the shelf!

P.S. Gochujang stays good in the fridge for a really long time, so don’t worry about needing to use up the whole container right away. Here are some other recipes I’ve made using gochujang, if you need some inspiration.

Fresh or Frozen Pineapple?

I used frozen pineapple this time around because I had it on hand, but fresh would work just as well. Canned pineapple (in juice, NOT syrup) might work in a pinch, but it tends to be a lot sweeter and not quite as bright in flavor as fresh or frozen, so it’s definitely not my first choice for this recipe.

Substitutions

This particular flavor combination has a lot of flexibility, so I think there is a lot of room for substitution. Here are some ideas:

  • Pineapple: You can use mango, cantaloupe, or even watermelon in place of the pineapple.
  • Cilantro: If you can’t do cilantro, you can either leave it out or try adding some green onion for a little fresh kick.
  • Gochujang: If you can’t find gochujang, Tajín seasoning actually makes a really good substitute. It has a really similar salty-spicy flavor profile. It is a powder instead of a paste, but will mix into the dressing all the same. Use about 1 tsp Tajín and add more to your liking.

What to Serve with Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This tasty salad would make a great side dish to something like Coconut Chicken Strips, Baked Ginger Salmon, Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls, or Easy Orange Chicken.

Side view of spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl
Overhead view of Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad in a bowl

Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, making it an addictive summer treat.
Total Cost $4.41 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Calories 75kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber (3 cups chopped) $1.25
  • 1/2 lb. frozen pineapple chunks (2 cups) $2.46
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 1.5 tsp gochujang $0.12
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.37
  • 1 Tbsp sugar $0.01

Instructions

  • Thaw the pineapple chunks and chop the cucumber into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple chunks. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Prepare the dressing by whisking together the gochujang, rice vinegar, and sugar until dissolved.
  • Combine the cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and dressing in a bowl. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Stir the salad just before eating to redistribute the dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g

How to Make Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cucumber, pineapple and cilantro in a bowl

Thaw ½ lb. (about 2 cups) pineapple chunks. Chop one cucumber (about 3 cups) into pieces roughly the same size as the pineapple. Roughly chop about ½ cup cilantro. Place the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in a bowl.

Gochujang dressing in a bowl

In a bowl, stir together 1.5 tsp gochujang, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 Tbsp sugar until everything is dissolved.

Dressing being poured over cucumbers and pineapple

Pour that “awesome sauce” over the pineapple, cucumber, and cilantro in the bowl, then give it a good stir.

Finished spicy pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl

You can either eat your salad immediately or let it marinate for a while. The salad will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days, but the fruit and vegetables will get softer the longer they marinate. Make sure to give it a good stir each time just before serving to redistribute the dressing!

front view of a bowl full of spicy pineapple cucumber salad

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Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob,…

The post Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

esquites recipe

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob, served in salad form.

Esquites are creamy, tangy, spicy, sweet and savory all at once. In other words, they’re completely irresistible. This elote recipe was the best recipe to come off our grill last summer, and I’m excited to share this stovetop variation with you.

how to make esquites

Esquites share the same ingredients with elote: fresh corn, mayonnaise, cilantro, chili powder, lime and crumbled Cotija cheese. The combination is sublime, and this variation is much easier to eat. I’ve enjoyed both options in Mexico City and love making them at home. I’m going to cook this simple salad all summer and through the rest of the year.

Esquites have one strong cooking advantage over elote—you can start with frozen corn kernels, which really cuts down on preparation time! We’ll just cook the frozen corn in a hot skillet until it’s seared and delicious. If you’re using frozen corn, you can prepare this dish in about twenty minutes, from start to finish.

Continue to the recipe...

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Spicy Guacamole Recipe

This simple Spicy Guacamole recipe is made with avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, lime, garlic, cilantro, and an extra kick from Sriracha. Make this guacamole as mild or as spicy as you like!  I’m all for trying different foods – at least once. Sometimes one bite is all it takes to make me a convert. Other times, …

The post Spicy Guacamole Recipe appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

This simple Spicy Guacamole recipe is made with avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, lime, garlic, cilantro, and an extra kick from Sriracha. Make this guacamole as mild or as spicy as you like! 

White bowl filled with spicy guacamole set on a wooden board, surrounded by tortilla chips

I’m all for trying different foods – at least once. Sometimes one bite is all it takes to make me a convert. Other times, that first bite will be the only bite of that food that will ever cross my lips. 

For instance, I’ve eaten a raw oyster and a frog leg once – I’ll never consume either of these foods again. Recounting those moments gives me the shivers. But guacamole – that’s a totally different story.

Up until about 10 years ago, avocados and I weren’t on good terms. And if I’m being honest, I hated them before even giving them a chance. 

I think I had a negative textural perception of them. I’m big on textures and if something falls into the categories of slimy, gritty, jiggly or velvety (unless it’s ice cream), I immediately deem it as suspect.

Hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of spicy guacamole

Then, during a fateful trip to Whole Foods, I was wandering around and lost my friend for a minute. When I found him, he was standing in the middle of the produce section oohing and aahing over a tub of $9.00 guacamole. 

I went over to inspect the situation and was welcomed with a guacamole-covered chip shoved near my face. Of course, I got all dramatic, recoiled and claimed I hated the stuff. 

However, I decided to take a tiny nibble – just to prove to him that I did indeed loathe the velvety green dip. But I was wrong. I actually loved the stuff and immediately tossed the pricey container into our cart. 

From that day forward, I was a guacamole lover.

This Spicy Guacamole recipe is one of the best I’ve found, and certainly my favorite. Try it at your next barbecue, or heck – on a random Tuesday night. Then come back here and tell me what you think.

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Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet

This beef and cauliflower taco skillet has layers of flavor, color, and texture, and all of your favorite taco flavors in one hearty bowl.

The post Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A couple of months ago I posted a side dish, Southwest Cauliflower Rice, and ever since I’ve been dying to flesh it out into a main dish. This week I finally got around to it, and OMG, so good! I added some ground beef, black beans, and a bunch of fresh ingredients on top, so you get this wonderful mix of hot and cold flavors and textures, kind of like when you eat a taco, but in bowl form.

Overhead view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet with vegetables on the side and a spatula in the side

Is it Spicy?

The heat level in this recipe depends on the spiciness of two ingredients: the canned diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Ro-tel) and your chili powder. Unfortunately, with both of these ingredients, some brands are spicy and some are not. So you may need to do some experimenting to find the brands that match the heat level that you prefer.

Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower Rice?

You can use either fresh homemade cauliflower rice or frozen store-bought cauliflower rice for this recipe. Both types of riced cauliflower cook very quickly and you shouldn’t need to make any changes to the recipe based on the type of cauliflower rice used.

Take the Taco Seasoning Short Cut

The recipe below includes all the herbs and spices in my homemade taco seasoning. If you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper listed in the recipe below.

Other Topping Ideas

This recipe is so flexible! If you don’t like some of the toppings that I used, here are some other ideas:

Make it Low Carb or Vegetarian

If you want to make this tasty skillet low-carb, you can skip the black beans and use a full pound of ground beef instead.

If you want to make this taco skillet vegetarian, add an extra can of beans in place of the ground beef. You can use an extra can of black beans, or add a can of pinto or kidney beans.

Close up side view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet being scooped out of the skillet
overhead view of beef and cauliflower taco skillet with vegetables on the sides

Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet

This beef and cauliflower taco skillet has layers of flavor, color, and texture, and all of your favorite taco flavors in one hearty bowl.
Total Cost $7.74 recipe . /$1.94 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 467kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 3 cups riced cauliflower $1.25
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.55
  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.50
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $0.38
  • 1 avocado $0.99
  • 1 tomato $0.46
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion $0.10
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro $0.10

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic. Add the garlic, olive oil, and ground beef to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned. If you're using a high fat content beef, you may want to drain off the excess fat before the next step.
  • Drain the can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with the diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until the skillet is simmering.
  • Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet (no need to thaw, if frozen). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is tender (about five minutes).
  • While the beef and cauliflower are heating, dice the tomato, avocado, and red onion. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Top the beef and cauliflower mixture with the shredded cheddar. Place a lid on the skillet, and let it heat over medium for a few minutes, or until the cheddar has melted.
  • Once the cheese is melted, top the skillet with the tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 360mg | Fiber: 14g
beef and cauliflower taco skillet in a bowl with a fork on the side

How to Make Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos

browned ground beef in a skillet

Mince two cloves of garlic. Add the garlic to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and ½ lb. ground beef. Cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned.

Tomatoes, beans, and seasoning added to the skillet

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Continue to cook and stir until the skillet is simmering.

Frozen riced cauliflower added to the skillet.

Add 3 cups riced cauliflower to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the riced cauliflower is tender (about 5 minutes).

Diced tomato, avocado, and onion

While the cauliflower and beef are heating, dice one tomato and one avocado. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion. Roughly chop one small handful of cilantro.

Shredded cheddar being added to the skillet

Top the skillet with 2 oz. (about ½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese. Place a lid on the skillet and let it heat over medium for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

skillet topped with fresh tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro

Once the cheese is melted, top with the fresh tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro, then serve!

A fork lifting a bite of beef and cauliflower taco skillet out of a bowl

That’s one FLAVORFUL bowl!!

The post Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Cilantro Sunflower Seed Dressing

This cilantro sunflower seed dressing was created when we needed something quick & easy for a dinner side salad. It’s cashew-free, soy-free, plant-based, and now a go-to anytime we need something fast, flavorful, and nourishing. Just 5 simple ingre…

Creamy Cilantro Sunflower Seed Dressing

This cilantro sunflower seed dressing was created when we needed something quick & easy for a dinner side salad. It’s cashew-free, soy-free, plant-based, and now a go-to anytime we need something fast, flavorful, and nourishing. Just 5 simple ingredients, a blender, and 10 minutes required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Why Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are the creamy base for this dressing. They’re a mild-flavored, nut-free alternative to cashews, and they’re packed with vitamin E, selenium, vitamins B5 & B6, folate, zinc, and more (source).

Creamy Cilantro Sunflower Seed Dressing from Minimalist Baker →

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Josh and my boys LOVE a good, juicy steak. One of their favorite cuts is flank steak and they especially love grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce because it is loaded with flavor. They get steak AND an amazing sauce. The two combined are a match…

Josh and my boys LOVE a good, juicy steak. One of their favorite cuts is flank steak and they especially love grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce because it is loaded with flavor. They get steak AND an amazing sauce. The two combined are a match made in heaven. This recipes comes from my friend…

The post Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Easy Mango Salsa

I love making homemade salsa because it is easy, fresh, SO delicious. This homemade mango salsa is really going to blow your mind. It is one of my very favorite salsa recipes. Using fresh mango, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeño, this salsa is the …

I love making homemade salsa because it is easy, fresh, SO delicious. This homemade mango salsa is really going to blow your mind. It is one of my very favorite salsa recipes. Using fresh mango, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeño, this salsa is the most perfect marriage of spicy and sweet that you’ll keep coming…

The post Easy Mango Salsa appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

The Best Queso

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and…

The post The Best Queso appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best queso recipe

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and utterly irresistible.

This recipe uses a simple secret ingredient—cream cheese—to achieve its gloriously creamy texture and light tang. No flour and no fussy roux required here (as a bonus, this queso is gluten free).

This stovetop queso possesses all of Velveeta’s positive attributes, but it tastes a million times nicer. It even cools down with grace, developing just a slight skin on top that really doesn’t detract from its appeal.

queso ingredients

If you’re like me, you probably don’t need an excuse to eat queso while sipping a margarita. I grew up around a lot of Tex-Mex food and like to consider myself a queso connoisseur. If queso is on the menu, I’ve likely sampled it.

My husband, on the other hand, exercises an impressive amount of restraint when it comes to queso. He tells me he doesn’t like it. (He’s generally a rational man, though I question him in cheese-related matters.) This queso is an exception to his rule. He loves it.

We both agree that this is the best queso we’ve ever had. Try it, and I hope you’ll say the same!

Continue to the recipe...

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Easy Mango Salsa

Make use of fresh spring and summer produce with this vibrant mango salsa! Sweet mango blends perfectly with spicy jalapeño, zesty onion, and lime juice for a spicy-sweet flavor. Just 8 ingredients, 20 minutes, and 1 bowl required. Let us show you how …

Easy Mango Salsa

Make use of fresh spring and summer produce with this vibrant mango salsa! Sweet mango blends perfectly with spicy jalapeño, zesty onion, and lime juice for a spicy-sweet flavor. Just 8 ingredients, 20 minutes, and 1 bowl required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Origins of Salsa

Salsa is thought to have originated in Central America from the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans. It dates as far back as the 1500s, when it was used as a condiment to add flavor and spice.

Easy Mango Salsa from Minimalist Baker →