Loving the BITE: Best Ever 10-Minute Fresh Salsa
I have a serious case of writer’s block. Actually, I have a serious case of poison ivy from a recent trail run (which is why I should just stay on my bike). I barely skirted the side of the trail to let an oncoming mountain biker get by. It’s bad. Not just a rash, but a severe-reaction-blistering wound. And, unfortunately, it’s on my go-to trail, right out my door…the one I ride or run 2-3 times per week. Right now, it’s a little less trail and a little more cortizone for me.
Understandably, I’m not feeling too creative. But, I do have a fabulous recipe to take my mind off of it.
If you’ve ever wanted a great salsa recipe, here it is. It’s easy. It’s full of fresh vegetables (really, it’s one of the healthiest things you’re and I’m likely to eat on any given day). And, it’s delicious. In my household, we’re going through a double batch of this stuff weekly.
Here’s what I’ve got:
Tomatoes are red. Jalapenos are green. This salsa’s the best. Poison Ivy sucks.
Yep. Writer’s block.
Loving the BITE: Best Ever 10 Minute Fresh Salsa
(adapted from a great friend’s recipe – Megan Watkins)
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1 small red onion, quartered
- 2 jalapeños with seeds, sliced
- 24 oz. can organic diced tomatoes, drained (or, 3 cups fresh diced tomatoes)
- 1 lime’s juice
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or to taste
- salt to taste
Place garlic, onion, and jalepenos in food processor…process until onion and jalapenos are small pieces.
Add tomatoes and process to desired consistency (some like chunky salsa, some like smooth.
Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt.
For best results, chill for at least an hour and serve.
Of course, the all-star of this recipe is the loads of tomatoes. Fresh or canned, and especially organic, tomatoes have a lot to offer. Most notably, they are high in lycopene. Lycopene is a carotene. But, unlike other carotenes, it is not chemically altered into an active form of Vitamin A in the body. This is actually very beneficial since it allows lycopene to have unique, very powerful antioxidant action in our cells that other carotenes do not offer (which is a good reason to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to get a lot of different carotenes and other nutrients).
There have been a lot of human studies done on lycopene – it has been shown to be protective of healthy cells and inhibitory to unhealthy cells (such as cancer cells). While much of the research is inconclusive at this point, lycopene’s benefits are potentially as far-reaching as promoting heart health, reducing cancer risk, reducing Diabetes, reducing cholesterol, and reducing inflammation. In fact, as an antioxidant, test tube studies have shown it to be 125 times as powerful as vitamin E! To get the most of your tomatoes, use organic whenever possible – they usually contain significantly higher amounts of lycopene.
In addition, you’ll get wonderful capsaicins from the jalepenos. These are the hot components that provide anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic, anti-diabetic, and increased metabolism benefits. (Full story here)
Onions and garlic are no slouches either. Onions provide detoxifying benefits (at a cellular level) as they are high in sulfur and garlic is wonderfully beneficial for heart health.
Last but not least, cilantro leaves or coriander seeds (they are from the same plant) provide disease-fighting phytochemicals, antibacterial compounds strong enough to fight salmonella, cholesterol-lowering agents, blood sugar stabilizers, and free radical fighters to keep our cells young and healthy. Not bad for a simply herb, huh?
This is all great, but if you’re trying to keep away from highly processed foods or shed some pounds, you likely don’t want to ruin it all with a pile of chips. Instead, try kale chips (might have to give them some extra support), fresh cucumber slices, celery sticks, bell pepper strips, or other vegetables. That’s right, a load of vegetables on top of some vegetables. Of course, occasional chips are fine too, and there’s some good ones out there…but, if this is a nightly happy-hour we’re talking about, some healthy alternatives are a good idea.
With all this talk of delicious salsa, I’ve practically forgot about my leg. But not completely (it’s not magic). Lessons for the week: #1 You can make the Best-Ever Salsa in 10 minutes or less. #2 Do not touch poison ivy. Just don’t.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.