Multi-tasking. For some people that word conjures images of doing 15 things at once and doing none of them well. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Today were are going to learn about one thing, do it very well, then use it in a variety of ways to help us save time and eat healthy. What is this kitchen workhorse? Homemade salsa.
Not a fan of salsa or heavy Mexican dishes? Not to worry. This salsa is light, fresh, and bursting with flavor, which makes it a perfect ingredient to punch up some easy American recipes.
To make the salsa, combine the following ingredients in a non-metallic bowl. Cover and let them sit them sit in your refrigerator at least 3 hours.
3 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 t salt
juice from 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
Now, for the recipes…
1. Dinner: Baked Salmon or Tilapia
For a great summertime meal, try baking salmon or tilapia fillets topped with salsa. Add steamed green beans, corn on the cob, or asparagus for a light but satisfying meal.
For tilapia, lightly spray a baking dish with oil. Place tilapia in dish. Top each fillet with 2-3 tablespoons of salsa. Then, bake for 8-11 minutes in a 450-degree oven.
For salmon, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray an oven-safe skillet. Place salmon fillets flesh-side down (if they have skin) and cook on stove top for 4 minutes at medium-high heat. Flip salmon and cook on stove top an additional 4 minutes. Top each piece with 2-3 tablespoons salsa and place skillet in oven for 5 minutes to finish.
2. Dinner or Weekend Breakfast: Omelets
Make your omelet with the veggies and cheese of your choice: asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella, provolone, etc. (I try to avoid green pepper and tomatoes because those are in the salsa.) Top with salsa, add fruit and toast, and voilà – a hearty breakfast or light dinner is at your table. Don’t know how to make an omelet? Scramble some eggs, add some cooked veggies, and top with your salsa. Same great flavors, different presentation style.
3. Quick Lunch: Tuna Salad
Drain a 5 oz can of tuna. (Water-packed works best; the oil-packed tends to overpower the freshness of the salsa.) Place in a bowl and mix in ½ cup salsa being sure to include some of the salsa liquid. When you’re ready to eat, place the tuna on a bed of greens, add some fruit and enjoy!
Note: This tuna salad is juicy, so it’s not a good version to put in a pita or wrap. Soggy bread – Ewww! If you prefer your tuna salad with bread, try breaking your pita into pieces and dipping it into your tuna.
4. Easy Side Dish: Orzo with Salsa
Cook orzo according to package instructions and drain water. Place in bowl. While still warm, add 1-2 tablespoons salsa per serving of orzo. Adjust to taste. Can serve warm or cold. (Easy Measuring Tip: 4 Tablespoons = ¼ Cup)
5. Family Night Snack: Chips and Dip
You knew this one would be on the list. Add your favorite corn or veggie chips and munch away!
There you have it – one recipe, 5 easy dishes. This recipe will last about 5 days in your refrigerator, so make up a batch and enjoy some easy cooking!
Simplicity Tip of the Day – Trying to do several things at once is a recipe for disaster. Focusing on doing one thing well and using that specialty to help you in other ways is a recipe for sanity and easier living.