This Real Food Girl loves her salsa. My secret salsa love affair started when I had some at a local Mexican restaurant called Chi-Chi’s. I have no idea if Chi-Chi’s made authentic Mexican salsa or not, I just know I loved their salsa, and by the time my fajitas came sizzling down through the restaurant, I was full after eating 2 baskets of chips and 4 little containers of salsa all by myself.
Having worked in a couple of restaurants, and with many Mexican co-workers I was sad to learn that Chi-Chi’s is slang for bewbs. As in “lovely lady lumps”. I think I set my blog to catch any word that isn’t G-Rated or below, so pardon my Ebonics spelling of bewbs. Where else can you get a salsa recipe, a story about Mexican slang words for bewbies, and a lesson in the value of eating REAL food? Nowhere! I’m it people!! You won’t be findin’ this level of uniqueness anywhere else… (she says, grinning smartly)
Back before I realized that I needed to consume more REAL foods, I, like most of America bought my salsa from a jar at the grocery store. I sit here and wonder what the heck I was thinking now that I know what I know about processed foods, but I didn’t know that information back then, and Chi-Chi’s had a grocery store brand, I loved their salsa. I was happy.
Now that I’m more educated in the truths about highly processed foods I make my own salsa. I don’t have a recipe. I just throw in what tastes good to me and TSM. The Stud Muffin came to me with an aversion to Mexican food and he seriously loathed guacamole. He felt the only reason Mexican food existed was because it was a delivery system for sour cream. That man loves his sour cream. He gets all giddy when he’s about to scoop some onto his “delivery system”. Like I said, he came to me that way.
Now he loves guacamole, and he likes my chicken enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, fish tacos, and salsas. Yet he still doesn’t care for eating out at Mexican restaurants. Yeah I know, he’s just odd. But when it comes to eating out, I’m the same way. The food just isn’t as good unless it’s a really high quality place that serves local, sustainable and organic foods. I made a mango-habanero salsa a few years back and he raved about that one for days. I brought that salsa to our family’s 4th of July gathering and ended up sending the recipe to two of my Aunts and a Cousin… Yeah- that salsa is really good. I share that recipe another time.
As far as this salsa is concerned, it just plain tastes good. It’s got loads of fresh, organic veggies in lots of different colors. It’s healthy. Uh-oh. Does that word make you cringe? It used to make me cringe. The word healthy used to be like a 4-letter word to me, but after eating only organic or non-GMO foods for almost 3 months now, I no longer feel that way. I enjoy eating healthier and I like that my body isn’t rejecting raw fruits and veggies. For about 15 years (almost) all raw fruits and veggies would cause my throat to start to close and I’d get hives in my mouth and down my throat.
Favorites like cherries, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, carrots, peaches, plums, strawberries, green grapes, nectarines, cauliflower. I couldn’t eat them unless they were processed in some way. If they were frozen, canned, steamed, cooked, baked, roasted, pureed or turned into juice, I could eat/drink them. If they were raw then I would take 2-3 Benadryl and hope a trip to the E.R wasn’t in the near future.
As I’ve been making changes to how we live, what kinds of cleaning and personal care products we use, and what kinds of foods we eat, I’ve been able to slowly add back all berries, and grapes. I follow this list to help me choose the safer produce options for me and TSM. I can also eat cauliflower, cucumbers and carrots; all raw without issues. I still have to take 2 Benadryl if I want to eat watermelon or cherries. I’m hoping that will change once I buy those organic this summer at a Farmer’s Market. Crimany! I went off on another tangent! “Ain’t no one got time fo’ that!”
When you make this salsa, please play around with the ingredients and with the amounts. You honestly can’t screw it up and you can’t go wrong any time you add the kinds of veggies that you like. Unless you add peas. Peas just don’t have any business being in salsa. Make sure that you have a big bag of organic blue corn chips handy so that you don’t have to eat this salsa with your hands.
I have found that salsa is really subjective as far as how you like yours to taste. This is one recipe where I feel it is within my right as a chef to encourage you to decide just how much of that red onion you put in the salsa, and how much lime, salt, etc. It depends on how you like your salsa to taste. Sometimes I even add a roasted jalapeno (I roast it myself under the broiler set to low, rotating so it blisters evenly. Put scorched and blistered pepper into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Remove and with a clean dish towel, “scrap” away all the skin on the pepper, seed and dice the pepper and add it to the salsa.)
This salsa can be made “hotter” by adding different peppers, or increasing the amount of jalapenos that you use. TSM can only handle low to moderate heat so my salsa is somewhat mild.
Fresh Garden SalsaRecipe by: Real Food Girl: Unmodified Serves: 8 Time: 30-45 minutes For best results refrigerate for 6-24 hours before serving All ingredients used in this salsa were organic.
- 6 large organic Roma tomatoes, or 8 smaller ones
- 1 red onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 Fresno chili (looks like a red jalapeno)
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper
- 1/2 of a red bell pepper
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4-1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro (depends on your tastes) Yes- finely chop it. No lawn mower clippings here people!
- 2-3 limes
- 1 TB tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- Kosher Salt
I normally have around 10 containers in varying sizes ready so that I can place each ingredient in a bowl after chopping.
- Quarter each tomato lengthwise. Cut out the firm middle part and remove the seeds. What you have left should resemble this:
- Cut each quarter lengthwise into 1/4″ wide strips. Turn the tomato slices crosswise and cut into a dice. Like this:
- Gather up all your beautifully diced tomatoes and put them in a medium-large sized bowl. Set aside.
- Dice your onion. (Using a sharp chef’s knife, trim off the stem end of the onion and cut it in half through the root end. Peel back the skin on both halves, leaving the root end attached, next make horizontal cuts parallel to the cutting board, cutting to but not through the root. Then make lengthwise vertical cuts almost but not quite through the root. Finally, cut across the width of the onion to chop into small pieces.)**
Once your onion is diced, set aside.
- Finely dice your jalapeno(s) and your Fresno chili pepper. Set aside.
- Finely mince garlic and set aside.
- Slice your bell peppers down the center from the bottom of the pepper, remove the seeds, stem and excess membranes. Slice each half into Julienne strips (like you did with your tomato) and then cut each strip into a small dice. When both the red and green pepper have been diced, set aside in a bowl.
- Finely chop 1/4 to 1/3 cup of fresh cilantro leaves. We’re not big fans of cilantro so I use less than 1/4 cup. Set aside.
- Taking the larger bowl that the tomatoes are in, start adding your preferred amounts of red onion, jalapeno and Fresno peppers, and the red and green bell peppers. Mix well.
- Add the juice from 2 limes. Stir to combine. Taste. At this point you’ll want to add some salt. Use Kosher or Sea Salt for this.
- In a small cup, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water– depends on how much “sauce” you like your salsa to have. I like mine a bit on the watery side- less like pico de gallo which has no “sauce” –and the tablespoon of tomato paste. Mix well and pour into the bowl with all your veggies.
- Add the cilantro and garlic. Mix well. Taste. You may wish to add any remaining veggies you have, and you can also add some cumin at this time. Sometimes I add a few dashes of cumin, other times I don’t. It’s up to you. If your salsa needs more zip, juice the final lime.
When I make this salsa, I also make a batch of guacamole. I end up using the entire red and green bell pepper because I add a good 1/2 cup of my salsa to my guacamole. Feel free to use the entire red and green bell peppers for this salsa recipe even if you don’t make Guacamole. More veggies is never a bad thing. I promise to share my guacamole recipe at a later date.
An important factor to remember is that you should season your food at the temperature that you’ll be eating it. So you can think your salsa is salted and spicy enough, but once it sits in the fridge for 6-24 hours and all those veggies and ingredients get all happy together, you’ll break out a tortilla chip and take a bite and find out it’s bland… so add more salt. You may even find it needs more heat, so add more jalapeno peppers. I often keep one spare pepper on hand because I find out that after the salsa has had time to sit and all the flavors have blended that it isn’t hot enough.
In case you aren’t drooling enough or you haven’t added these ingredients to your grocery list. Here is one final look at this amazingly fresh, flavorful, mouth-watering salsa.
Pictures of tomatoes from Let There Be Bite
**How to dice an onion from YouTube
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