Easy Weeknight Salsa

I LOVE fresh salsa. LOVE IT. One of my favorite salsa recipes is from the Mexican food guru, Rick Bayless. The recipe has you roast the some of the ingredients in the oven and then puree it all together. It’s WONDERFUL, but it’s a little time consuming. (Side note: I can point you to that particular recipe if you’d like it – just comment or email me!)

Anyway, a few nights ago, I needed fresh salsa something terrible but there was no way in heck that my wiry toddler and starving husband were going to afford me the time to chop and roast. Enter “Easy Weeknight Salsa”. Three minutes of chopping, 15 minutes in the fridge, and you’re off enjoying chips and salsa without a lot of hassle! This is really a basic Pico de Gallo – you’ll find this recipe in many home cooks’ repertoire, I’m sure, but it was too good and easy not to share!  Here’s how you do it:

Easy Weeknight Salsa

2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand 15-30 minutes so the flavors meld together. I like my salsa chilled, so I put it in the fridge to let it sit.

(Note: The salsa may get a little wet if you have any left over, but you can use a slotted spoon to get it out if you like! It’s still just as tasty!)

Green Beans with Sweet & Sour Onions

We eat a lot of green beans in our house. My daughter LOVES fruits and vegetables (she’ll eat most anything, really), but green beans are at the top of her food list (along with “wackawoni”, “booberries”, and yogurt!). I had cut this recipe out of Bon Appetit several years ago and it was on a tiny little paper in my ‘to try’ folder. I had a pound of pole beans from the CSA and didn’t want plain boiled beans, so this dish made an appearance on our table.

The recipe is EASY but has such complex flavors, it’s one of those dishes where you’re not sure if it’s savory, spicy, sour, sweet. “Hold on, let me have one more bite.” YUM! I rarely cook vegetables in butter, so that was a nice change, too. You can use any herb that you have on hand – our oregano plant is doing well, so that’s what I used. This dish was also slightly spicy (but not fiery by any imagination!) so if you don’t like the heat, cut the red peppers to 1/4 tsp.

Green Beans with Sweet & Sour Onions

Adapted from: a Bon Appetit Recipe
Serves: 6 to 8 as a side

1 pound green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons butter
1 large red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1) Boil the green beans until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. (If you prefer, you can steam them for about 5 minutes) Transfer to a bowl.

2) Melt butter in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onions, oregano, and red pepper. Sauté until onion begins to soften and becomes translucent, about 4 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until sauce thickens, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add beans; toss to coat and heat through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Mound in shallow bowl.

(60) Lemon Chicken with Olives

Do you ever have a day where you feel like a complete moron with everything you do? That was me today! I don’t know where my kitchen mojo went, but it was missing! This is a pretty easy, straight forward recipe (thank the lord!). If it wasn’t, we would have been ordering pizza! I made a few changes to the recipe. My shallots were dried up and nasty, so I used the red onions from the farm box. I didn’t have any fancy green olives… just used the ones from the jar. Voila! I also didn’t have cutlets, rather just had some chicken tender pieces, so I used those. All in all, it went very well!

I do want to point out 2 things about this recipe. First, I would double the sauce part. There was little to no sauce action by the time it all cooked down. It was still very tasty, but it needed more sauce (Nancy, are you out there?! This sauce tip is for you and the RC!). Secondly, don’t crowd the pan when you’re doing your chicken. I know it’s a pain to have to do the meat in 2 batches, but it cooks so much better that way!!

I served this with some couscous (which I will discuss later) and sauteed greens that I needed to use up. (I think this would be FANTASTIC with some wilted spinach!)

(55) Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

Brace face strikes again! I thought this would be soft enough, but I underestimated the joy of new braces! Soooooooooo, I didnt really eat this, which makes me sad! But my husband and daughter both sucked it down, so I’d say it was a hit. Not hard to make, just a little time consuming to get everything chopped. I’d make this again! (And sorry, no picture on this one…)

Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

Source: Cooking Light, October 2006
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups stew and 1 tablespoon parsley)

The ingredient list may look lengthy, but this recipe involves mostly measuring and adding ingredients to the pot to simmer. To trim prep time, look for prechopped onions in the produce aisle. Serve with crusty slices of a baguette. A double-dose of lycopene comes with tomato paste and canned tomatoes.

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
4 cups cubed red potato (1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups sliced carrot
3/4 cup pinot noir or other spicy dry red wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 (16-ounce) package frozen pearl onions
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove beef from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add broth; bring to a boil. Return meat to pan. Add potato and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour and 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Stir in salt and pepper. Top with parsley.

CALORIES 329 (21% from fat); FAT 7.5g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.4g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 51mg; CALCIUM 93mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.3g; SODIUM 630mg; PROTEIN 31.1g; FIBER 4.1g

(47) Black Bean Salad

I was looking for something light to compliment the Stuffed Pork Sandwiches and came across this recipe online. I highly recommend the Simply Recipes website – she always has great recipes and beautiful photography!

Anyway, this recipe was delicious!! It was labor intensive on the chopping front, but it was worth the knife time. I used pickled jalapenos and probably not enough (it was spicy, but not overly). I thought for sure that the basil or cilantro would be overwhelming, but they weren’t! The flavors were perfectly balanced. I can’t wait for the leftovers!

Black Bean Salad

Source: Simplyrecipes.com
Yield: 6 to 8 servings (I measured 8 servings that were a hefty 1/2 cup each)

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, thoroughly rinsed, and drained (or 1 1/2 cup of freshly cooked black beans)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted (or fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled)
1/2 cup chopped green onions or shallots
2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced, or 1 whole pickled jalapeño pepper, minced (not seeded)
3 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
2 Tbsp lime juice (about the amount of juice from one lime)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar (to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure to rinse and drain the beans, if you are using canned beans.

In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, onions, jalapeno chile peppers, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, basil, lime juice and olive oil. Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste. (The sugar will help balance the acidity from the tomatoes and lime juice.) Chill before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

I ran the nutritional information on Spark Recipes and came up with 8 servings for 130 calories, 5.6g fat, 19.4g carbs, 4.5g protein, 5.5g fiber.

Original Recipe (You can print from here)

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