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A Fresh Alternative to Regular Salsa

A Healthier Cinco de Mayo

Hailing from Mexico, pico de gallo is a flavorful uncooked sauce that literally translates to “rooster’s beak”—which may be a reference to its vibrant, rooster-like colors, or how the diced salsa resembles bird food. Its green, white and red colors also remind people of the Mexican flag, hence its other name “Flag Salsa”.

In any case, pico de gallo definitely earned the title “Lazy Salsa” because it’s so quick and easy to make (it takes only 10 minutes)! Chunkier than traditional salsa, the sauce is a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, peppers, salt, garlic and lime juice.

With so many vegetables as its ingredients, it’s not hard to believe pico de gallo is also full of health benefits. Armed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, the onions and garlic in the sauce may prevent the hardening of your arteries, fight bacteria and protect against heart disease. Tomatoes may help prevent prostate, urinary, intestinal and other cancers. Double dipping doesn’t hurt with this salsa because it’s antioxidant-rich, low-calorie and low-fat—which makes it a great dip for fresh veggies or tortilla chips and also a refreshing addition to many other dishes! Try using it on tacos, inside quesadillas, atop steamed fish, in salads and with avocados.

Ingredients:

  • 7 tomatoes, diced (or 2 ½ pound container of pre-diced tomatoes)
  • 1 ½ cups, diced onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro – or use 1 bag (8 oz.) of frozen cilantro
  • ½ cup diced green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened lime juice
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup canola oil

Instructions:

1)  Place all ingredients except vinegar and oil in a large mixing bowl. Pour in vinegar and oil and gently mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate below 40° F for at least 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 8 cups

You can keep leftover pico de gallo for a week if you store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator, though tomatoes may get a little mushy and cilantro will wilt. Try making this awesome sauce today!

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