Here are the recipes for salsa, guacamole, and tortillas used in the July 3rd Facebook Live event:

 

Quick and Easy Salsa

  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes, diced
  • ~½ bunch fresh chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ tsp of lemon zest
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1/2 chopped green pepper
  • 1 small chopped jalapeno and/or 1 tbsp. adobo sauce (add more if you like it hot)
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 finely chopped garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients except cilantro in the food processor. Pulse for 8-10 seconds. Add cilantro and pulse for 3-5 more seconds. Allow to come to room temperature to serve.

Healthy Byte: What are generally referred to as “hot peppers”, like chili peppers or the jalapeno peppers used above are members of the capsicum species of plants. It is believed that the active ingredient in these peppers, capsaicin, may actually protect the stomach lining from damage by killing bacteria and stimulating protective stomach secretions. These peppers have also been used as a digestive aid, and an appetite stimulant and they can produce endorphins. Capsaicin, when applied topically, is a vasodilator and enhances circulation leading to a warm feeling and pain relief. But I recommend you eat it instead of rubbing it all over, at least if there’s company present.

Corn Tortillas

  • 12 oz. Masa flour
  • 12 oz. warm water
  • ~½ tsp salt

Combine salt and flour. Add the water a little at a time and incorporate fully. The dough should come together in a firm moist way without cracking into crumbs. Roll out ~ 2 oz. patties. Place the patties on a tortilla press covered with parchment paper or other non-stick surface on the bottom and the top. Press down firmly. Remove the tortilla by peeling the non-stick covering back. Place on a griddle at 350 degrees F. Once the edges start to lift, and you can grasp the tortilla without it tearing flip it over. Push the edges back onto the griddle with your fingertips. Once the tortilla starts to puff, flip it over for another 1-2 minutes, then remove.

Guacamole Salad

This is one of my most favorite creations. I call this guacamole salad because I like it with little more than just smashed avocados. This fresh combination bears no relation to the green like Exorcist goo served in faux Mexican restaurants in the U.S. This is a delightfully tasty and healthy treat. One of my favorite memories of this little guacamole salad was when we were vacationing in Merida, Mexico with some good friends. We walked down to the local open air market. Using our best broken Spanish we were able to buy the ingredients like fresh cilantro (pictured here) we needed as well as a pile of fresh corn tortillas. We went back to the hotel and mixed up the guacamole poolside, squeezed some fresh lime juice for margaritas and made a meal of it. Muey Bien!

Guacamole Salad

  • 4 Avocados (preferably Haas), roughly mashed
  • ~½ -1 bunch fresh chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ tsp of lemon zest
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 small chopped jalapeno and/or 1 tbsp. adobo sauce (add more if you like it hot)
  • 1 finely chopped and seeded roma tomato
  • 2 finely chopped garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients except the cilantro into the food processor Pour the citrus juice over the avocados to help prevent them from turning brown. Pulse for and 8-10 seconds, add the cilantro and pulse for 3-5 more seconds. Serve immediately or cover the top directly with plastic wrap to avoid the guacamole from discoloring and refrigerate. Allow to come to room temperature to serve.

Healthy Byte: Avocados are super rich in oleic acid; an omega-9 monounsaturated fat. The monounsaturated fats are believed to actually lower cholesterol. In studies examining this, “bad” cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides both went down. The HDL or “good” cholesterol went up. Another substance that is thought to lower total cholesterol is beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol was shown to reduce cholesterol in 16 human studies as noted in a 1999 study published in The American Journal of Medicine. Monounsaturated fat like that found in avocados has also been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. These fats are a key component to the Mediterranean diet, which is many studies, has lowered heart disease. Avocados also contain lutein, a natural antioxidant that helps your eyes stay healthy and maintains healthy skin. Avocados are also a great source of fiber with an average of 11-17g of fiber per avocado. When you shop, realize that there is a difference between California and Florida avocados. A California avocado has 20% fewer calories (approximately 289 calories as compared to 365 for the Florida variety). California avocados also have approximately 13% less fat, 60% less carbohydrates, and are higher in lutein than their Floridian brethren. However, Florida avocados have roughly 20% more potassium.

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