Aug 7, 2009

Seven ways to use salsa

I'm always trying to get my family lots of vegetables in their diet, and salsa is such a good vehicle for them because the kids like it, and you can eat it with lots of things. I've even come up with different ways to use it, as I always try to have some on hand in the refrigerator! It's easy in summer, when all of the salsa vegetables are in season!

Not only is salsa delicious and sometimes spicy by itself, but it's a healthy addition to other foods too. Tomatoes are a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Jalapenos are a strong anti-inflamatory food, and also a good source of Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. How's that for a power food?

Now let's get out there and use it!

7 Ways to Use Salsa

1. Serve it by a dip itself. (got to include this, right?) Add lemon or lime juice for a splash of flavor!

2. Mix with chopped or mashed avocado for instant Guacamole. (a dash of lemon juice will be good for keeping the avocado fresh, too.)

3. Mix with pureed can of black beans for Black Bean Dip.

4. Mix with sour cream and serve over pasta for a Creamy Pasta Sauce.

5. Marinate diced whitefish in lemon juice overnight in the refrigerator. Mix with salsa for Ceviche.

6. Heat water and cook a penne or curly pasta until al dente. Drain and cool. Mix with a small can of corn, a small can of beans (your choice) and salsa for a Taco Pasta Salad. You can top with cheese and chips for serving.

7. Place a nice piece of fish on a large piece of foil or parchment paper. Top with 1/4 to 1/2 cup salsa and 2 Tbs;. olives. Fold to seal and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes for a tasty and delicious Fish Espanol.

8. For those who feel #1 doesn't count, bake a few corn tortillas and top with canned refried beans. Top with an egg or two, and top that with salsa. Huevos Rancheros!

I've found a few salsas I like in the grocery store, and try to look for them on sale. But just in case you don't already have a good salsa recipe, here's one like Momma used to make:

Salsa Fresca

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, quartered
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper (like that used to top pizza)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed
1 22-oz can of tomatoes - whole or diced ( or chopped organic tomatoes, if you prefer)
1 tsp olive oil
1 lemon - juiced

Place ingredients into a blender, and pulse at puree speed, or chop by hand until a desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chips.

Enjoy, or refrigerate for later!