It’s a Small World After All + Black Bean Salsa Recipe

by Ashley on June 4, 2012

The world is so small. Really. It is.  No matter where I seem to go, somebody knows somebody.  I don’t know if that’s just the south or if that’s just how the world works.  Friday night, Dustin and I were at the St. Augustine Art Walk and we were chatting with a guy in shoes similar to ours…knows little about the town, but happy to be here.  As soon as we walked away from speaking with that guy Dustin looked at me and said, “See Ashley, that’s something we wouldn’t get on the west coast.”  I have tried to conivince Dustin a thousand times that we need to move to the west coast and it’s not that he doesn’t want to go, it’s just that he’s logical. Something, at times, that I’m not.  (With less than 75 years left on this earth (most likely), why not see it all? That’s my thinking at least.) He wants to establish himself career wise before he makes any big moves and rightfully so.  He has been nothing short from amazing making the quick transition to Jacksonville to be here with me during my internship.

Friday night, while at the Art Walk, Dustin and I had to find parking on a very small, one way street a few minutes outside of downtown.  Inside one of the galleries, I had a notification on my phone that I had a Facebook message.  It was from one of our Statesboro friends, letting me know that he was driving down an old St. Augustine road when he saw a blue car that looked just like mine and even had a GA Southern parking decal on it so he knew it had to be mine; what in the world were we doing here?  A few messages later, he invited Dustin out on an off shore fishing trip Saturday morning.  When I mentioned this to Dustin, he was more than excited. Although setting the alarm for 3:15 am wasn’t to fun, he knew the memories and fun that would be had were too much to turn down.

An omelet and oatmeal were made, even if it was 3:30 am (What kind of wife (and at this point, aspiring dietitian) would I be if I sent the hub off on an empty stomach??), and out the door he went.

This. Kid. Had. So. Much. Fun. He returned home around 6 pm (with a bag full of fresh veggies — more on that later), ate a lasagna that I had prepared and went to sleep around 7:30… for the rest of the night. At around 8 pm I asked him if he wanted to sleep for the rest of the night and he responded with, “mmmhummm.” Fourteen or so hours later the guy was awake and ready to share details of his trip.

My biggest question… “You went fishing, Dustin. Where did the large bag of veggies come from?”

“Jesse’s dad!”

You all know me. This bag of veggies excited me more than any other fish story he was about to tell.

Although they did catch and filet a few large fish…

…I was still excited about the veggies.  Dustin quickly reminded me through photos of the fish they caught.

You might be wondering my thoughts on this, as a vegan…

Lately, more than usual, many friends have been asking me questions about being vegan.  “Are you sure you’re getting enough protein?” “I don’t think there is anything wrong with your decision but why?” ” So….what…do… you eat?”  That last comment coming from none other than my own dad, the man that sits down to dinner with me more than anyone other than Dustin.

Last week at the beach with Dustin’s family his dad asked me if I ever missed meat. This question really made me think. At that point, I had never thought about whether or not I missed meat, I only knew that I didn’t eat it.  I have now been a vegan for over a year, so thoughts of that no longer stroll through my mind. I quickly mustered up my response, knowing in my heart that I definitely didn’t miss meat.

At this point you couldn’t pay me to take a bite of your hamburger or chicken sandwich, not because it tastes bad but because I know too much about the industry.  Farm raised fish too.  Doesn’t tempt me. Wild caught, happy fish, however, that was a different story.

While at the beach with Dustin’s family, like I said in a previous post, the guys did the fishing for the food they would eat each evening (or if not personally caught, caught by a fisherman right up the road).  That made it a little harder to resist.  Again, like I said in a previous post, I don’t eat meat and poultry for the health benefits, I don’t eat wild caught fish, eggs, etc. for humanitarian reasons.  I dove too deep in the literature.  Like I said, I learned too much about the industry.  Knowledge is power; ignorance is bliss, yet again, or so they say.

But when my own husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law were catching wild caught, healthy fish, it made it extremely hard to stand my case.  Because honestly, I didn’t feel I had one.

If my family was going to eat fish, wouldn’t I would it to be caught this way over any other?


As a aspiring dietitian, I should preach health, not extremity.  This is paleo, not the garbage that is promoted now: eating as much CHEAP meat as possible throughout the day.  Our ancestors fought for their food, and that’s why they deserved to eat it, not because they had the access to buy as much as as needed for $5.

So while I am still not a meat, poultry, nor fish eater, at this point I am still okay with doing things right.   Fishing the way God intended, causing minimal pain to the animals, so long as it fuels the family.  Pain for no reason will never be okay in my eyes.

With ALL OF THAT being said (I certainly hope I haven’t lost you!), today I want to share with you what we ended up doing with the fish (and no I didn’t eat it) that the guys caught and the veggies that our friend Jesse’s dad supplied us with!

First let me start with a super easy black bean salsa to top the fish (or the rice for my meal)…

Deb’s Super Fresh Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 bag soaked and cooked black beans
  • 2 ears fresh corn (best) or 1 c frozen corn/canned corn
  • 1 large tomato or 1 can tomato, diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 bell peppers (green, red, yellow, or orange)
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro, or 1/4 c fresh cilantro
Chop and mix everything together in a large bowl.

After broiling the fish (tossed in EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic powder and lime juice) for about 10 minutes, the black bean salsa topped it perfectly!

A fresh ear of corn on the cob (too from the garden) was the perfect finishing touch for the meal!  Dustin even said it was better than any other fish he has had. Most likely because it was so fresh.

Thanks to the Bentley’s for not only an awesome fishing trip but for fresh veggies as well!!

Top picture is Dustin’s with the fish; bottom picture is mine, over wild rice.

This salsa pairs great with just about anything…and lasts for days! Perfect for any summer BBQ or afternoon snack!

Have a great Monday evening!

Good health!

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