Recipes - Pickles & Dips

‘Me time’ smoky cherry tomato salsa

‘Me time’ is now official. Early this year over 1,000 new entries were added to the Oxford English Dictionary and the noun ‘me time‘ was one of them. I imagine very few people would turn down more me time. Because too often life’s essentials get in the way of precious time for ourselves – the biggest one being work. 

Me timeFor too long I found myself wanting more hours in the day. This craving for more time is one reason I’ve just embarked on a ‘career break’. After 15 uninterrupted years in the corporate world a gut instinct told me it was time to try something different, to explore my passions and to have the luxury of time. I trusted my instinct and now with time on my hands my favourite ‘me time’ activities are so much more plentiful – especially cooking and reading.


I’m enjoying more time reading the lovely posts of fellow food bloggers and working through a backlog of books. I love a good mind, body, spirit style non-fiction book and here are three top picks from my recent reads:

  • The well publicised “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson – a book that suggests we can improve our lives by being fanatically critical about what we choose to care (or give a f*ck) about.
  • “Ancient Wisdoms for Modern Health” by Mark Bunn – a must read for anyone looking for super simple lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, sleep and more) that can radically improve health.
  • The newly released and inspiring “When To Jump” by Mike Lewis. This is super timely reading for me, it being a collection of over 40 stories from those who, like me, have found themselves at a crossroads and have jumped from their day jobs into something new.

Next on my reading list is to dive into my cookbooks – some of which have been gathering dust for too long…..

'Me time' smoky cherry tomato salsa


Cooking during me time is so relaxing and fulfilling. And the end result is always more gratifying and nourishing than something whipped up in haste. My new found extra time has seen me dabble in creative baking – like these Chocolate muffins with avocado and this saintly Banana bread with banana flour. My most recent kitchen highlight? This smoky cherry tomato salsa. I made up the recipe on the fly and surprisingly it turned out to be the best tomato salsa ever. It’s good for you and keeps for weeks. Give it a go……

Smoky cherry tomato salsa

'Me time' smoky cherry tomato salsaIngredients

  • 1 kg ripe cherry tomatoes (or standard tomatoes)
  • 50g fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp each salt, cumin & smoked paprika
  • 1 black cardamom pod – seeds (optional)
  • 1 dried habanero or 2 chipotle chillies
  • 1/2 tsp each allspice & black pepper
  • 250ml malt vinegar
  • 100ml coconut oil


  1. Soak the chilli in a little hot water for 10 minutes. Then blitz it, water included, into a paste with the ginger.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin and paprika. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the paste and cook.
  3. Throw in the tomatoes – whole or sliced. Add the vinegar. Then the salt, pepper, allspice and cardamom.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 hours (longer is better) until the consistency is thick. Transfer to jars.

'Me time' smoky cherry tomato salsaFinal thoughts

I talked at the start about my craving for more time. A little voice in my head knew that creating space with more time would open up new opportunities. Perhaps you’ve been there or are experiencing something similar right now? If so I thought you’d appreciate a couple of inspirational quotes from those who share their stories in the book I mentioned called When to Jump:

“We arrive at a crossroads between two really different paths over and over again throughout our lives – should and mustShould is all of the expectations and obligations that we feel other people put on us while must is our own intuition and deepest knowing.” Elle Luna

“If your body’s telling you something, it’s not lying. If you feel like you want to do something else or be somewhere else, and that feeling stays in your body, and it’s not going anywhere, listen….you don’t want to look back and wonder.” Rashard Mendenhall

And thanks to Mike Lewis, the author, for sending me a copy – it’s given me an extra boost of confidence in my decision to listen to that little voice.




29 thoughts on “‘Me time’ smoky cherry tomato salsa

  1. Thanks for the lovely salsa recipe and reading recommendations! A feeling like that conveyed in the second quote recently got me blogging again and contemplating other projects. You might also enjoy You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. She also narrated the audio book, and her delivery is equally good.

    • Hi Marian, I’m glad the salsa and book recommendations were valuable…I love the second quote too – never want to be one to look back and wonder ‘what if…?’….I’ll also check out the book you mention – thank you!

  2. This is such a great post! The recipe is lovely, but the thoughts you’ve been having resonate a lot! Powerful quote too! Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the best as you indulge in your me (you) time! x

    • Hi Marisa, so lovely to hear from you and it sounds like my experience is one you can relate too….always good to receive feedback when I share a little more than just a straight recipe!

  3. Interesting that you put ginger with the tomatoes in your chutney – not something I would have thought of. I’d love more time to cook and read.

    • Hi Sally – yes this was a chutney I well and truly made up on the go without a recipe – but it worked! I’m always looking to sneak on extra health boosting ingredients where I can!

  4. Great book recommendations Laura. Love that color on the smoky cherry tomato salsa!
    I also relax with my cooking.

  5. Your smoky cherry tomato salsa sounds delicious!
    I am so glad you followed your inner voice, it is there for a reason and we only have one life. I am so glad I changed what I am doing but it was a bit scary, and still is but I love my life, so different and so much more fulfilling. 🙂

  6. I am so happy for you that you are enjoying your “break” and your change ❤ And tomato salsa – amazing! We are home of tomato salsas and I cannot wait to try this one as I find very interesting the addition of all spice! 🙂

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