How to Make Your Own (Delicious!) Salsa
Olé! Today we’re celebrating salsa—because there’s no better way to incorporate some of summer’s best flavors, and enjoy a guilt-free, flavor-packed snack—a cup of the homemade versions (like the one below) will count as one Vegetable on your Nutrisystem plan. So let’s get this salsa party started!
NUTRITION SPOTLIGHT: TOMATOES One of our favorite stars of summer produce is the humble tomato. In addition to being downright delicious, these ruby red beauties pack a nutritional punch, dishing out heart-healthy potassium and antioxidant-rich vitamin C.
How to Slice A Handful of Cherry Tomatoes in Seconds
RECIPE: FRESH TOMATO SALSA Here’s our go-to recipe for basic fresh tomato salsa. Prep takes less than 10 minutes and you can enjoy it right away or let it chill in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavors to combine. Count one cup (about a quarter of the recipe) as one Vegetable.
Ingredients: 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, rough chopped 1/4 red onion, rough chopped 1/4 cup cilantro, rough chopped 2 cloves garlic, rough chopped 1 jalapeno pepper (omit for a milder salsa), rough chopped Juice of one fresh lime Salt and pepper, to taste
How to: Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse three to four times, or until finely diced (not pureed). Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy right away, or wait an hour to let flavors combine before serving.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can adjust it to your suit your individual taste—more onion, less cilantro, more garlic—it’s easy to make it your own!
READY TO MIX THINGS UP? Use the recipe above as a base and add in any of these flavor boosters for a whole new spin on salsa!
Black Bean: Add one cup of black beans, rinsed, and one cup red bell pepper, roughly chopped (SmartCarb alert: A quarter of the recipe counts as one Vegetable and half a SmartCarb serving)
Chipotle: Add a quarter cup chipotle peppers in adobo (Extra alert: A quarter of the recipe counts as one Vegetable and one Extra)
Mango: Add one cup fresh mango and one cup red bell pepper, roughly chopped (SmartCarb alert: A quarter of the recipe counts as one Vegetable and a quarter of a SmartCarb serving)
Pineapple: Add one cup fresh pineapple and one cup yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped (SmartCarb alert: A quarter of the recipe counts as one Vegetable and a quarter of a SmartCarb serving)
Roasted Garlic: Add two to three cloves of roasted garlic in place of the fresh garlic
Salsa Verde: Use three-quarters of a pound of fresh tomatillos in place of the vine-ripened tomatoes.
TOP 5 WAYS TO USE SALSA: Now that you’ve mastered homemade salsa, get creative with spicing up some of your favorite meals and snacks. Here are our five favorite ways to use salsa:
1. As a dip for carrot and celery sticks 2. On top of scrambled egg whites for a flavor-packed PowerFuel 3. In place of dressing on green salads 4. As a topping for Nutrisystem Southwest Fiesta Melt or Tortilla Soup 5. Stirred in to hummus for a zesty SmartCarb dip
With summer just around the corner, we know you’ll love this healthy, delicious snack. Summer BBQs on the calendar? Pack a salsa and veggie tray—it’s perfect bring-along dish for summer parties—and you’ll benefit from having a healthy snack on hand!