cilantro

Serve Salsa in a Flash (about 15 min.)

It was the end of the workday and a co-worker and I walked to our cars together. "Hey, do you have a salsa recipe ?" she asked. Before I answered "yes" I thought to myself, "Doesn't everyone have a salsa recipe?" We got in our cars and I called out the ingredients and the process in about sixty seconds. It then occurred to me that all my online friends need to know how quick and easy it is.

Key: 3 to 1

Ingredients

3 tomatoes

1 pepper ( jalapeno/mild, serrano/spicy)

1 clove garlic

1 t. salt

optional

1/4 c. cilantro

1/2 t. ground cumin

Place about 1/2" water in a small saucepan. Add tomatoes, pepper, garlic and turn stove on medium. Cook until tomato skin tears (about 10 min.).

Drain water.

Place veggies and garlic on a plate to cool if you're in a hurry to dip those chips! (about 5 min.) Remove the stem and seeds from the pepper  and throw all this in the blender or food chopper. Add salt and the optional items if you wish. Blend until you have a smooth consistency.

Voila!!! You are done, and all that in about 20 min. This salsa is so tasty I scooped up a bit  before I took the photo and as you can see I'm short about half a chip on the front of the plate.

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

It's quick! It's easy! It's healthy and more than anything, it's DELICIOUS! Pesto is a sauce that can be added to pasta, used as a topping on pizza  and today it's featured in Pesto Chicken Salad. Traditional pesto ingredients include basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. We're shaking it up a little and melding the sweet taste of basil with the fragrant mix of  parsley and citrus found in cilantro.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh basil

1 c. cilantro (no stems)

1/3 c. walnuts

1 large clove garlic

1/3 c. Romano or Parmesan cheese (Romano is a little stronger)

1/4-1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

pinch of kosher salt

 

 

First of all, run the walnuts through your processor.

 

 

Next, add the basil, cilantro, minced garlic, cheese, salt, and drizzle a little oil in the processor. Pulse and add oil. Repeat until it takes the form of a thick paste.

 

 

Chop 2 c. of chicken (what you see above is the last of a rotisserie chicken) and add some chopped black olives and the pesto. Because I like texture, I added some minced celery as an afterthought. Blanched almonds would also work. They would add texture, taste and visually change the look of the salad.

 

 

 

This Chicken Pesto Salad is whipped up in about 15 min. and served on a toasted baguette or crackers.

 

 

Spicy Black Bean Dip

As the sunshine shows up again this spring, so are  backyard barbecues . A great hostess is always looking for  yummy appetizers and sides for her guests as they wait for the entree to come off the grill. This black bean dip is the perfect third in a trio with garden salsa and guacamole. All the ingredients are economical and make it a great choice for a gathering in your own home or to carry with you to a potluck. Ingredients

3c.  cooked black beans

1/4t. oregano

2 canned chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce)

11/2 c. chopped onion

1T. balsamic vinegar

1/3 c. chopped cilantro

Blend beans (with liquid), chipotle peppers and balsamic vinegar in the blender and blend until smooth. Add chopped onion and cilantro.

The smokey flavor of chipotle makes this dish fabulous  with chips or raw vegetables. If you like,  use it as a sandwich spread or on your favorite wrap.

If you're concerned about calories, fat grams or carbs, it's also a healthy alternative to a sour cream or mayo based dip.