Kids in the Kitchen…Quesadillas with Homemade Pineapple Salsa.

So how’s everyone doing getting lots of color on your plate this month?

As I promised in my first “Eating a Rainbow” post, here’s a little bit more info on what all those gorgeous colors are providing in your diet…

  • Carotenoids are natural plant pigments found in red, orange, yellow, and green foods.  Beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are just some of the carotenoids.  These are found in a wide range of fruits and veggies including tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, sweet potatoes, carrots {Yes, what your mother told you is true…you can turn orange from eating too many carrots!}, mango, apricots, corn, squash, spinach, kale, and collard greens. Carotenoids are powerful scavengers of free radicals in the body, and may play a role in helping  prevent certain cancers such as prostate cancer, skin cancer, and cervical cancer.  In addition, they may help protect against heart disease and age-related macular degeneration.  Finally, foods rich in carotenoids may help enhance the functioning of your immune system.
  • Anthocyanins are water soluble pigments, typically red, purple and blue in color.  They are found in foods such as strawberries, cherries, red/purple grapes, acai, plums, and blueberries. Like, carotenoids, anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from damage. Potential health benefits of including foods high in anthocyanins in your diet include protection against heart disease, hypertension, stroke and  certain types of cancer.  In addition, anthocyanin rich foods such as blueberries may help improve memory function and promote healthy aging.

I’ve definitely  been talking up color with my kids this month, and encouraging them to eat a rainbow of foods.

We even got to see a real rainbow the other day.  Big Tex, my Kids in the Kitchen Chef for today’s post, spotted it first…

I thought it would be fun to share this “rainbow” meal Big Tex and I made the other evening.  The highlight of the meal was fresh, homemade pineapple salsa.

I got the recipe from a fun new magazine I just discovered, Delight Gluten Free.  For those of you in to fashion, Delight Gluten Free has been described as “The Vogue of gluten-free publications.” {NOTE: I am wearing old ripped up cargo pants and a sweatshirt as I write this.  So, NOT, fashionable!}  The colors of the salsa really popped out at me when I was reading the magazine.  If you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other food allergies or sensitivities, I definitely recommend you check out Delight!

Here’s the recipe…

Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 cups pineapple, finely diced {We used an Organic Maui Gold pineapple, and had plenty of pineapple left over to snack on!}
  • 1 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt {We used 1/2 teaspoon…}

Mix all ingredients together.  How simple is that?  {NOTE:  There is a lot of fine chopping involved in making salsa, so this is an activity for an older child.  I let Big Tex cut the fruit and veggies in to big pieces, then I did all of the fine chopping myself.  He had fun mixing everything together.}

For our quesadillas, we placed TJ’s {Trader Joes} shredded Mexican Cheese blend on top of TJ’s Truly Homemade corn tortillas for me {naturally gluten free}, and TJ’s  organic whole wheat tortillas made with olive oil for Big Tex, SiSi, and Ian.

Well, actually Big Tex was pretty hungry so he had 1 whole wheat quesadilla and one corn tortilla.

Guess what?

He did not eat the salsa.  Can you believe my Texas boy does not eat salsa?  He says it’s the raw onions he doesn’t care for {cooked onions are ok}.  But, during the preparation, he did eat almost 1 whole tomato, plus he ate the carrots and strawberries that we served with the meal, so, all in all, he did get some good color in his tummy!

The rest of us loved the salsa.

Here’s the menu…

  • Corn or Whole Wheat Quesadillas with homemade pineapple salsa
  • Black beans
  • Carrot sticks
  • Locally grown organic strawberries {It’s definitely strawberry season here in San Diego!}

What’s on your colorful meal plan this week?  Do your kids like salsa?

I would LOVE to hear from you!  Please click here to leave a comment, ask a nutrition question, or leave a suggestion for The Spicy RD.  Or, if you enjoyed the post, please share it below!




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  1. I so want that magazine (though not sure my current workout wear and ski headband makes me any more fashionable than you)…but our food is fashionable and hip, right?

  2. EA-The Spicy RD says:

    Absolutely! If we aren’t always wearing the latest fashions, at least we can be eating in style!

  3. I have been “preaching” the rainbow idea since my kids were little. Unfortunately, they have not really been following the idea of late. We really need to work that direction again. Neither of my kid will eat tomatoes, however my son loves salsa and eats it nearly every day. I love pineapple and mango salsas… I’m thinking this one would be wonderful alongside a pork tenderloin!! Nicely done!

    • EA-The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks! I think that if we encourage our kids to eat healthy from an early age (and set a good example ourselves) in the long run they will grown up to be healthy eaters, even if they resist some foods as kids. I do love salsa too, so I hope one day my son will like it 🙂


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