Even Salsa

Add a little spice and nutrition to your dish.

I am constantly amazed at what the body can do when we eat real food, fresh food. I mean…even salsa. Yes! Even salsa is a treasure trove for our bodies to pull nutrients out of the real food ingredients and give us the fuel we need for strength, clear thinking, balance, and so much more.

img_2492-2We had about 10 tomato plants sprout up this year from the homemade compost that was spread across our vegetable garden. What a blessing to enjoy such a surprising number of tomatoes in all sizes and oh so delicious flavors. It’s hard to beat a freshly picked tomato that you’ve grown yourself, that’s still warm from the sun when you take a bite. You definitely enjoy a sense of accomplishment when you can eat something that you’ve grown, but Wow…the flavor….definitely worth mentioning.

When herbs and plants are grown in clean and nutrient-rich soil at home or nearby and picked at the optimum time to quickly serve on your table, you get full access of the nutrients that that plant had access to.  Just consider that the reported benefits of the individual ingredients include Vitamins A, C, and K, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, niacin, lutein, and zeaxanthin just to name a few. These nutrients are beneficial to your body in hundreds of ways including detoxification, digestion, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, as well as benefits for eye, skin, and heart health in particular.

The heat in the jalapeno and serrano pepper comes from the plant oil, Capsicum. It is predominantly found in the white flesh inside the pepper and the seeds, so be careful to keep away from broken/sensitive skin, face/eyes, and other sensitive areas. I usually try to avoid handling the peppers with unprotected hands, so I don’t have to worry about touching anything and ending up with a painful situation.

Red and Green Salsa

  • Servings: 3-5
  • Time: 15min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

    For Red Salsa (Rojo):img_2512-2
  • 1 large or 2 medium sized red tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1/3-1/2 large white onion
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 Serrano pepper (more or less depending upon your heat preference)
  • Juice from 1/8 Lime (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • salt and pepper to taste preference

Directions

    Preparing Red Salsa (Rojo):
  1. Wash tomatoes and cilantro. Remove excess stems on cilantro and blossom-end scar on tomatoes. Peel off the dry outer skins on the garlic and onion, and cut off scars and root end. Separate 1/3-1/2 of the onion for use.
  2. Put all your cleaned and prepped ingredients in your food processor or blender and process to the consistency you prefer.
  3. (Variations: Dice up 1/3 of your tomatoes, cilantro, and onions and mix in with the rest after processing or simply chop the tomatoes, onion, pepper, cilantro and mix with other ingredients for pico de gallo.)

Ingredients

    For Green Salsa (Verde-Tomatillo)img_2515
  • 3-4 Tomatillos
  • 1/3-1/4 White Onion
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Cilantro (or 1 Tablespoon dry)
  • 1/2-2 Jalapeno or Serrano Pepper to taste preference
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 squeeze of Lime (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste preference

Directions

    Preparing Green Salsa (Verde-Tomatillo)
  1. Remove the leaf-like covering from the tomatillos. Wash tomatillos, cilantro, and jalapeno/serrano pepper. Remove the excess stems from the bottoms of the cilantro and the blossom scar from the tomatillos. You can also remove the seeds and inside flesh from the pepper to minimize the heat, if preferred. (If needed, consider using gloves or stabilizing the pepper with a fork at the stem end to avoid having the oil from the pepper absorb into your skin.)
  2. Rough chop your onions and garlic clove. Quarter your tomatillos. Peel off the dry outer skins on the garlic and onion, and cut off scars and root end. Separate 1/3-1/2 of the onion for use.
  3. If pan sautéing, melt and distribute your coconut oil in your medium heat pan. Drop in your chopped onions and then add your quartered tomatillos and chopped garlic and pepper until showing a light brown. (You can also roast in your oven until starting to blacken-about 5 minutes)
  4. 4. Add all ingredients to your food processor or blender and process to the consistency that you prefer.

    Notes and Recommendations
  1. Consider playing around with both of these recipes as you get more comfortable with making them. Both are good totally raw, sautéed in the pan, or oven roasted.
  2. Definitely adjust the ingredient amounts to your preference. Everyone has their own unique preferences, and I’ve really tried to represent a very generic recipe for this post.
  3. Recommend organic, non-GMO. Check out the Environmental Working Group at www.ewg.org for their “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen” lists to consider when shopping.
  4. Jalapeño and serrano peppers have a slightly different flavor, but we use them interchangeably dependent upon what we have. I recommend fresh, but you can use jarred jalapeños too.
  5. Jalapenos seem to have a wide range of heat level and can be difficult to judge how much to add to your recipe. You may want to start with a small amount and add until you reach your preference.


img_2518-2When the ingredients are in season, we enjoy making fresh salsa to top our tacos, chips, salads, eggs or some nice grilled chicken with avocado slices.

I usually try to make salsa in small batches, since they take such a short time to make, so I can get the freshest flavor possible for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Enjoy!

 

 

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