Posts tagged tomatoes

Ditch the Tostitos, fresh is best

As promised, I’m bringing you a recipe to use those leftovers from my last post: the black beans and corn.  What I didn’t tell you was that this recipe was one of the best things I’ve made all semester.  It’s a simple salsa, but it’s so delicious and the fresh ingredients knock that jar of Tostitos that’s sitting in your cabinet right out of the water.  Homemade salsa is really healthy, as long as you moderate your portions.  Of course it’s traditionally served with chips, but for a healthy alternative, use it over chicken, or in a salad.  Here are some recipes using salsa from Yahoo.  You’ll probably need to go buy some ingredients, but everything is pretty cheap, and you’ll use everything.  

You’ll need:

  • The leftover corn (3/4 cup)
  • The leftover black beans (2/3 cup)
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (don’t omit!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes, but I had lime juice at my place so I used that)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Put the leftover corn and beans together in a large bowl.
  2. Chop all the vegetables except the avocado.  The tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and red pepper.  This is the most tedious part of the process, especially the tomatoes.
  3. Add these ingredients to the bowl and mix everything together.
  4. Chop the fresh cilantro and add that to the bowl.
  5. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper and stir everything thoroughly.
  6. Now, you can be done here if you’d like: it’s delicious just like this. Or, store it in the fridge for at least two hours, and then just before serving, chop the avocado and add that to the salsa. I didn’t include the avocado in the pictures, because I haven’t served the salsa to anyone (other than myself) and have yet to add the avocado; but it does add a great touch.

Serving tip: If using tortilla chips, put them in a pan and place them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes before serving.  The contrast of cold salsa and warm chips is fantastic., which is why most restaurants do this.

A ridiculously easy recipe, yet one of the tastiest!  It’s a perfect solution if you’re having friends over, or want to store something you can use a snack for a few days.  Enjoy!

The picture step-by-step:

Use the leftover corn and black beans

 

Chop the vegetables: tomatoes will take you the longest

 

Keep chopping!

 

Add all the vegetables together and stir

 

Chop the fresh cilantro and add that to the bowl

 

Add the lime juice, salt and pepper to the bowl and stir one more time

 

Enjoy with warm tortilla chips

 

Try these other great salsa recipes:

Top 20 salsa recipes from AllRecipes.com

The Food Network’s salsa collection

Great-Salsa.com… pretty self-explanatory

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This one’s for Mom

This is hands down the easiest recipe you’ll ever use.  It’s my Mom’s favorite, and every time I come home the first thing she does is tell me to make it (if she’s not home she’ll leave a note telling me to, because she wants it ready for when she gets home).  I turn to it for parties, dinners, snacks… you name it and I guarantee you, this one’s a winner.  It’s bruschetta that’s based off a recipe I got from an easy Italian recipe book made by Hunt’s, and it’s so simple but so delicious (the perfect combo if you ask me).  If you’re like me and your kitchen is always fully stocked with spices, then you’re good to go.  If not, you may have to grab a few things or skip a few steps.  It’s always beneficial to keep the basic spices around if you ask me, and if you’ve been reading most of my posts, you’ll notice they certainly won’t go to waste (I use basil, oregano and black pepper in anything I possibly can).  Without further delay, I give you my favorite recipe of all time:

You’ll need:

  • One 28 oz can of Petite Diced Tomatoes (the original kind works best), or smaller if you’re serving less people
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped garlic. The wet kind that comes in a jar works great for this recipe, but you can also use cloves
  • Dried garlic powder (yes you’ll need this kind in addition to the other kind)
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Dried crushed red pepper(only a dash or so)
  • Ground black pepper
  • A dash of salt to taste
  • French baguette: one loaf is sufficient for this recipe, but if you’re serving a lot more people you may want to double the recipe and buy two baguettes
  • Mozzarella or Parmesan: you won’t need more then a quarter of a bag or a single block if you’re grating

Directions:

  1. I like to start with the bread so I can prepare the bruschetta while the bread is in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 400 degree and slice up the baguette into relatively thin slices (maybe half an inch) and place them on a baking sheet.
  2. Next brush every piece with olive oil.  Then sprinkle garlic powder over every piece, as well as black pepper. 
  3. Then sprinkle every piece with shredded cheese (or if some of your friends or family don’t like cheese, only sprinkle half of the pieces).  Stick the baking sheet into the oven for about 13-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  4. Now you’re ready to start the bruschetta.  Drain the can of diced tomatoes, making sure all the extra juice is gone, and place them in a medium-sized bowl.
  5. Next add the olive oil.  I’m not a big fan of measuring things out when I cook, but my guess would be about a tablespoon and a half.  As long as it looks like the tomatoes are moist enough (without being soaked) in olive oil, you’re probably good.
  6. Then toss in about a tablespoon of the canned chopped garlic and stir everything together.
  7. After that throw in the dried spices: oregano, basil and a dash of crushed red pepper.  I would say use about two teaspoons of the basil and oregano, maybe more.  You want the mixture to look about two parts red and one part green once everything is stirred together.
  8. Add about a teaspoon of black pepper and sprinkle salt to taste.
  9. Stir everything thoroughly, but not too much since you don’t to come up with some sort of tomato sauce
  10. When your bread is done, let it sit for a few minutes, then arrange the pieces on a serving tray.
  11. Place a spoonful of the bruschetta on each piece of bread, making sure not to load too much on each piece so it’s not hard to pick up the bread and eat it.
  12. If you have some dried parsley powder around, it’s nice to sprinkle some on each piece of bread.  The green adds a pretty touch.

Here’s a visual guide:

Starting with the bread gives you time to make the bruschetta, so that the bread is done around the same time the mixture is done, and you’re ready to go faster.

Strain the tomatoes:


Next add all your spices:

Take out your bread and let it cool for a few minutes:

Place a spoonful of bruschetta on each piece of bread and you’re ready to serve:

And that’s all!  Easy enough, right?  It’s so fast, and everyone loves it (ask my friends and family, they’ll attest).  The best part is, if you have leftovers you can do almost anything with it: put it on chicken or steak, on top of salad, or just on it’s with wheat thins or pretzels.  Another Italian classic done easy and cheap… enjoy!

Here’s some other tasty bruschetta recipes to try:

A fresh bruschetta recipe from Giada de Laurentiis of the Food Network

An extensive guide to from Bruschettarecipe.org

About.Com\’s bruschetta page featuring a variety of ideas and recipes to try

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