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Over the weekend my sister and her husband cleaned out their garden.  They asked me if I’d like some tomatoes (green and red), peppers and carrots.  I sadly replied yes, not in response to the wonderful, fresh produce I was receiving, but to the reminder that summer is over.  Cooking is my way to enjoy the change into the cold weather season.  So, here are some recipes to use up the last of the tomatoes, peppers and onions from your garden and enjoy the fruits from the summer.

simple salsa

Salsa is of course healthy and a great fat-free, low-calorie condiment.  Fresh salsa is not only inexpensive to make but bursting with flavor.  These salsas are great on salads, grilled chicken or on their own with tortilla chips.  Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and antioxidants.  You will get the most bang for your buck if you’re buying all your ingredients because both salsas use similar ingredients.  Make some up for your family or give as a special, homemade gift to friends and neighbors.

black bean & mango salsa

Serve these delicious salsas on game day as you watch your favorite teams play or as a side to a chili supper or taco bar party (recommended: hearty vegetarian chili in my soup archives or make your own signature chili recipe).

SIMPLE SALSA – makes 5 cups salsa

  • 4 1/2 cups FRESH TOMATOES, diced
  • 1/2 medium ONION, chopped
  • 1-2 GARLIC CLOVES, finely minced or grated (add garlic to taste)
  • 2 tsp FRESH LIME JUICE
  • 1/2 tsp SUGAR
  • 2-3 MILD, SMALL, GREEN PEPPERS, diced (ANAHEIM GREEN CHILE PEPPERS or 1-2 jalapenos for hot salsa)
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 1/3 cup FRESH CILANTRO, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Refrigerate a few hours or serve immediately with blue corn tortilla chips.  Serving size: about 2 Tbsp salsa.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 10 calories, 2g carb

NEXT SALSA RECIPE PLEASE…….

BLACK BEAN & MANGO SALSA – makes about 8 cups

I love making this salsa to take as my contribution to a potluck, appetizer party or bbq because it makes a large batch. When using cherry tomatoes you can make this salsa all year round! Try switching it up by taking or adding this appetizer to your holiday parties this year.

  • 15 oz BLACK BEANS, CANNED, rinsed and drained (1 can)
  • 1 cup CORN, GOLDEN (fresh or frozen, cooked and cooled)
  • 2 AVOCADOS, peeled and chopped
  • 1 MANGO, peeled and chopped (or 1 cup diced pineapple or peaches)
  • 1 small ONION, RED, chopped
  • 20 oz CHERRY TOMATOES, halved (or 5-6 medium/large tomatoes, chopped)
  • 2 or 3 cloves GARLIC, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
  • 1 tsp SUGAR
  • 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL
  • 2 tbsp RED WINE VINEGAR
  • JUICE FROM 2 LIMES
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

Combine beans, corn, tomatoes, mango and onion in a large bowl. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar and cilantro in a small bowl. Gently mix chopped avocado in the dressing. Pour avocado mixture over the other ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper; toss gently to combine and coat all ingredients. Serving size: about 1/2 cup.

Great served with tortilla chips, on tacos or grilled chicken!

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING:  80 calories, 4.5g fat, 10g carb, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein

fresh and delicious! think I’ll just have this for lunch today.

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