Salsa Like Your Abuelita Used to Make

Salsa dips

Ahh, Mexican cuisine. So delicious, and so often associated with loads of fat grams. In truth, although traditional Mexican food is often spicy, it is not laden with cheese and sour cream as we have become accustomed to in North America. In fact, Mexican food is made with fresh, native ingredients (such as corn and chili), that can be both healthy and amazingly delicious.

One of the most common accoutrements to Mexican dining is salsa. So when throwing your own fiesta, consider these recipes using salsa. You will find that you can alter any to match your palate (or spiciness threshold) with just a few additions or deletions.

First, what is salsa? If we are not talking about the dance, then we are talking about the delicious combination of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. In regards to salsa nutrition, fresh salsa calories are very little, and as such, salsa is a wonderful way to add flavor without the fat.

The most commonly sought out recipe is for classic mild salsa dip. For a classic mild salsa dip to be, well, mild, it has very few, if any, chiles. Pico de gallo salsa dips, which use tomato, onion, and jalapeno or serrano, are often the most mild. If, however, you seek a more powerful punch to your pico de gallo salsa, the amount of chiles you use, of course, can alter the heat index of the salsa.

Southwestern salsa recipes incorporate beans, corn, and often avocado or cheese. These, too, can be a classic mild salsa dip or a spicy variation, depending on what you add to your concoction. One of my most favorite recipes includes a bit of ranch dressing, which although adds a bit of fat, adds a creaminess that enhances all of your ingredients.

If you made a classic mild salsa dip that ends up being too spicy to eat, do not fear. A little sugar or acid (from a lime or lemon) can tame the heat from the peppers.

So, on that note, buen apetito!

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