What is a hero? For me, and the Merriam Webster dictionary, it’s someone that is greatly admire for their achievements and noble qualities. I think a hero is someone we can look up to and be inspired to continue striving for greatness – someone that always inspires us to be our best selves.
I am very excited to announce a new feature on the blog: Hometown Food Heroes. In these articles, I will be talking about local food businesses that I adore and how their products have impacted my goals to create simple, healthy and delicious food.
I recently had the great fortune of meeting some local business owners, Rick and Peggy Wright, from Wrights of Texas Salsa. After talking to them about the beginnings of their business and their philosophy on food, I truly felt inspired and energized on my own food journey.
I first tried Wrights of Texas Salsa at HEB. It was a Friday afternoon, and my mother-in-law, Sandra, and I had to run into the grocery store to get something (I don’t even remember what we had to get!). But we went at the worst time because we were starving!!!! Thankfully, inside H-E-B, there was this nice lady who had a whole table of chips and dip. We jokingly said to her that we were going to eat the whole table of food! From bite #1, I was hooked! The flavors were so bright and fresh, with a kick of heat. Totally addictive! We immediately grabbed a jar of salsa, took it home and ate the whole thing in 2 sittings. #sorrynotsorry
Soon after, I saw the same lady again. Her name was Audrey and she is the daughter of Rick and Peggy. By that time, I was obsessed with their salsa. I had pretty much been putting it on everything from breakfast tacos to salads, posting about them on Instagram, and telling everyone at work about it. I asked Audrey if I could talk to her parents and find out more about their amazing salsas.
I met Peggy and Rick at their production kitchen in Katy, Texas, and let me tell you, they are the warmest, friendliest people you will ever meet! Their kindness and friendliness were so endearing – I felt like we were family!
The Wrights make fresh, raw salsa, both red and green. Each type of salsa has a few different heat levels, from mild to hot using habaneros. Now that is spicy! After 11 years of business, they are the market leaders in fresh salsa and it’s not hard to know why – their salsas taste so fresh and flavorful!
I was dying to know how Peggy came up with the original red salsa recipe. As a girl from San Antonio, salsa is part of your heritage so the red salsa was something that she always made. Her family and friends loved it and often told her that she should sell the salsa. But Peggy just liked to give it as gifts to friends and family at Christmas.
Some years later, a friend of theirs said “I have to find a way to get this salsa sometime other than Christmas!” From there, the idea of selling their salsa started to really take shape. They were soon producing their salsas for sale.
There are two things that really sets Wrights salsa apart from other salsas. First, the produce. All their ingredients are high quality and are ready to be made into salsa immediately. In less than 24 hrs from arriving at the kitchen, the ingredients are washed, chopped, mixed, jarred and packaged ready for sale. Secondly, they care about every step of the process. From inspecting vegetables, to jarring the salsa, extreme care is taken to check each handcrafted batch of salsa. They even taste test each batch of salsa! They don’t use any machines to cut the vegetables – they do everything by hand to ensure that all their food is of an extremely high quality.
In addition to the incredible quality of their salsas, the Wrights philosophy on their business is what really struck me. What Peggy enjoys most is talking to the people who love their salsas, i.e. the customers. She loves to hear the different ways that people use the salsa. I heard about some delicious recipes involving everything from grilled seafood to deviled eggs to gazpacho. I felt like building the relationships with the customers was where Peggy and Rick really find their joy. They still do demos at HEB and they see and remember all their customers. They have become so close to their customers that one of them even helped make their Instagram page! The Wrights really value their customers and they treat them like how they treat everyone that works at their company, like family.
Talking to Peggy and Rick taught me two things:
- Care about what you create. Make sure it’s something you love and that it is high quality.
- Treat people like family. We are nothing if we don’t have people supporting us.
I think these two philosophies relate not only to food related businesses, but also to life in general.
I was so inspired by my conversation with Peggy and Rick that I wanted to make a recipe using their salsas. I really wanted the recipe to be something my kids would eat so I came up with a twist on tacos!
For the taco meat, the mild red salsa was the perfect seasoning. I love the idea of using only two ingredients for the most flavorful taco meat. It actually tastes better than the old way I used to make taco meat. The flavor is so much more fresh and bright. Plus, the kids loved it so that’s an automatic win in my book!
There’s a few options for how to serve the taco meat. Of course, you could serve it in tortillas, but I chose to make stuffed sweet potatoes! There’s something very comforting about a big baked sweet potato filled with yummy wholesome goodness!
To top it all off, I sprinkled on grated cheese, dolloped on some sour cream, garnished with chopped kale, and drizzled on some of the medium green salsa for an extra spicy kick! So good! Adding the spicier salsa as a topping is the perfect way to personalize the meal depending on how spicy people like their food.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Wrights of Texas Salsa. I really believe that they have the best salsa around and once you taste it, I think you’re going to love it too! You can find their salsas at select HEB, Central Market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger and on their website wrightsoftexas.com.
Let me know what you think of the salsa or if you try the recipe for Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. If you give it a try, please let me know. Post it on Instagram and tag me @nourish_with_renata and #nourishwithrenata on Instagram! I would love to see what you make!
I received salsa at no charge after the interview, however, all opinions are my own and I literally do love their salsa and really believe it’s the best fresh salsa around!
A twist on traditional tacos featuring two local salsas from Wrights of Texas!
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil divided
- 2 lb lean ground meat e.g. turkey, beef, deer etc.
- 1 jar Wrights of Texas Red Salsa mild
- 4 medium to large sweet potatoes cleaned
- Optional toppings: grated cheese sour cream, cilantro, kale, extra red or green Wrights of Texas salsa
Preheat the oven to 425 deg F.
Grease an oven proof tray with a non-stick spray of choice.
Wash the skin of the sweet potatoes and dry.
Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise and place on the oven tray.
Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and rub all over sweet potatoes.
Place sweet potatoes cut side down on the oven tray.
Roast potatoes for approx 30-40 mins till very tender.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large sauce pan, heat over medium high heat with 1 tsp olive oil.
Add in the ground meat of choice and break up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally till the meat is browned.
Pour in Wrights of Texas Mild Red Salsa.
Stir salsa into the meat and lower the heat to medium.
Allow to simmer till all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 mins.
To assemble the potatoes, scoop out a little of the center of the potato, making a well for the taco meat to sit in.
Fill potato with as much taco meat as you like.
Top with your favorite taco toppings such as grated cheese, sour cream, green onions, chopped Kale etc. Don't forget extra Wrights of Texas Salsa as well! I love to add the medium green salsa for an extra kick of spice plus those big chunks of avocado are the best!
Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to one week.