My Homemade Salsa

FreshHomemadeSalsa

   {It was super sunny outside when I took this picture, so please excuse all of the shadows!}

One of my favorite things to eat is fresh salsa. I’ve been making it for so long that I’ve grown accustomed to adding spicy, delicious, fresh salsa to my vegetables, whole grains, burrito bowls, and more. My friends and family love this recipe as well. I’ve often posted on Instagram that I top dishes with my homemade salsa, and I’ve since received lots of requests for my recipe. I actually have tomatoes and jalapenos in my garden, so it makes it even easier to enjoy fresh, homemade salsa all the time!

If you love salsa as much as I do, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s not only delicious, it’s healthy, too! Tomatoes are a wonderful addition to a healthy diet, as they contain lots of vitamin C, biotin (vitamin b7), vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, copper, manganese – and lots of other essential vitamins and minerals! Tomatoes are also rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is important for heart health. Like tomatoes, jalapenos also have vitamin C. They also contain capsaicin, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and have a fair amount of vitamin A as well. Like tomatoes and jalapenos, garlic also contains vitamin C – this is a great way to get your vitamin C year round! The health benefits of garlic are vast, and they range from providing you with essential vitamins and minerals to offering you yet another amazing anti-inflammatory food to add to your diet. As you can see, salsa is not only delicious, it’s also good for you – my favorite way to eat! Let’s not forget all of the spices included in this recipe as well: between the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, you’re getting even more healthy goodness into your body. Now that I’ve shared just a fraction of the benefits of eating fresh salsa, here’s my recipe – enjoy!

Ingredients:

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

8 medium sized tomatoes

1 Anaheim pepper or 1 green pablano pepper

1 small jalapeno

1 small lime

Cilantro

Tiny bit of fresh garlic or garlic powder

Smoked paprika

Cumin

Chili powder

Cayenne pepper (optional) – use it only if  you love spicy salsa :)

Salt

Pepper

Instructions:

Wash and dry the peppers; place them on parchment paper and put them in the toaster oven or a conventional oven so that they can roast for about 10 minutes. I usually put mine in a toaster oven, but I’ve put them in a conventional oven as well (300-350 degrees should be fine). I love the flavor that the roasted peppers give to the salsa!

While the peppers are roasting, wash and chop up the tomatoes into medium sized chunks. Add 1 small lime, smoked paprika, dash of cumin, a small bit of fresh garlic (I add just less than a small clove – or you can use garlic powder – or both!), chili powder, salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, and taste. I am not including exact measurements, because everyone’s taste buds are different, so please add the spices to your liking :).

Once the peppers are done roasting (this shouldn’t take very long at all), carefully remove them from the oven. I like to remove the seeds from the peppers so that the salsa isn’t too spicy, and I’d suggest doing the same. Anaheim and poblano peppers are both mild, but the jalapeno is fairly spicy, so it’s best to be on the safe side and remove the seeds before adding the peppers to the salsa. I like to cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds, and then chop up the peppers into medium sized chunks, and then I add the peppers to the tomatoes and spices.

I enjoy a thicker salsa, so my trick for keeping salsa nice and thick is to blend the salsa in batches on grind – not liquefy. This recipe makes a huge bowl, so I usually have another big bowl on hand. As I blend each batch of salsa in the blender, I transfer it to the bowl that I’ve kept on the side. If you have time, I’d recommend letting the spices settle with the tomatoes before you add everything to the blender. I like to taste the liquid at the bottom of the bowl to see if my mixture needs more salt, pepper, lime, spices, etc. You can also taste the salsa as you blend it to see if it needs more heat. If you don’t want your salsa to be too spicy, add half of your jalapeno first, and then see if you want more. Conversely, if you love spicy salsa, you’ve added all of your jalapeno, and you’ve tossed your seeds, you can add a dash of cayenne pepper. A little bit of cayenne goes a long way, so be careful not to add too much!

Health tip: If you’re dipping tortilla chips into your salsa, pay attention to how much you’re eating. Chips typically have lots of fat, as well as sodium, so try limiting your consumption of them. You can use vegetables instead. I am so tempted to have salsa and chips that I usually avoid buying chips altogether. I’ll have them from time to time, but I’d rather get my fat grams from avocados, nuts, and seeds.

I hope that you’ll enjoy this delicious recipe as much as I have been! Cheers!

Spring Super Smoothies Workshop at Whole Foods Market

WholeFoodsPasadena

Last  night I gave a health workshop at Whole Foods Market in Pasadena. The focus of the workshop was how to incorporate healthy, whole foods in our diet and I  made three different smoothies for people to sample. I am so happy to say that the workshop went well; everyone working at Whole Foods was kind and supportive. The audience was a pleasure to speak with, and I was so excited when Jay, the marketing manager said that he had never seen a group of people so engaged during a workshop at Whole Foods! I love to have interactive workshops, so I was thrilled to have so many people asking questions and being fully present during the presentation.

It’s always fun for me to meet new people who are interested in making healthier diet and lifestyle choices. During the workshop, people learned how different foods affect our health; many people were surprised by all the benefits we get from making simple additions to our diet, including eating more greens, berries, pineapple, coconuts, ground flaxseeds, raw cacao, and more. I had such a wonderful time and am grateful for this amazing opportunity. Below is a picture of all the yummy ingredients I used to make the smoothies:

WholeFoodsMarketWorkshop

During the workshop, I made my Super Green Smoothie, Superfoods Smoothie, and Dessert Smoothie (which I also call my, “Tropical Island Smoothie” because it reminds me of being on vacation on a beautiful island :)).

If you missed last night’s workshop, but would like to attend another one soon, I’ll be giving a health workshop at Whole Foods Market in Porter Ranch on March 25th at 6:00PM. I would love to see you all there!