Hey baby, let's salsa: Making tasty chips & salsa

    Homemade salsa — so tasty. Photo by °Florian on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons

    Chips and salsa: A college match made in heaven. The essential party food for which everyone goes crazy. But why do we always reach for the jar when it’s time to serve the classic snack? When you think about it, it’s really just some tomatoes, peppers, onions and a whole lot of artificial flavorings and preservatives. And then there’s the fact that you’re never quite sure when it’s going to go bad. Sounds delicious when you put it that way, don’t you think? Not to mention that salsa is easy to make with ingredients you’d normally have lying around your kitchen. So why not ditch the Pace Picante and whip up some homemade salsa of your own?

    Pico de Gallo

    Spanish for “rooster’s beak”, this traditional Mexican salsa is a cinch to make and guaranteed to taste a whole lot fresher than its jarred counterpart. The colors are representative of the Mexican flag, and the combination of ingredients will meld perfectly with your tortilla chips.

    What You’ll Need:

    • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
    • 1 white onion, diced
    • ½-1 jalapeño pepper (depending on how hot you like your salsa), seeded and finely chopped
    • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
    • Juice of 2 limes


    1. Combine the tomatoes, white onion, jalapeño pepper and cilantro in a large bowl.
    2. Toss contents with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
    3. The salsa is best if left to settle for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
    4. Serve with your favorite chips, and you’re good to go.

    Black Bean and Corn Salsa

    I’ve never met a bean I didn’t like, but I especially love black beans. And since I’m not the biggest fan of the traditional tomato salsa, I like to come up with new alternatives to make my tortilla chip happy and my palette satisfied. If you’re like me and are a bean lover yourself, try out this fun and colorful salsa.

    What You’ll Need:

    • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 cups of corn, thawed and patted dry
    • 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
    • ½ red onion, diced
    • ½ cup parsley, fine chopped
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil


    1. Place the drained beans in a bowl and add the corn, tomatoes, onion, and parsley.
    2. Toss with the lemon, lime juice, and olive oil.
    3. Taste first and then add salt and pepper accordingly.
    4. If you want to make this salsa even more fresh and funky you could add 2 avocados, chopped for a new spin on guacamole or 1 mango, diced for a fruity twist.
    5. Mediterranean Salsa

      This salsa works well with tortilla chips, but even better with pita chips or as a bruschetta topping. Clearly, this salsa is both very versatile and very delicious! Throw it with pasta and some grated cheese and you’ve got yourself a full meal.

      What You’ll Need:

      • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
      • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
      • ½ red onion, finely chopped
      • ½ cup basil, finely chopped
      • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
      • Juice of 1 lemon
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil


      1. In a large bowl blend garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.
      2. Sprinkle in some salt.
      3. Finely mash the garlic using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
      4. Add tomatoes, red onion, olives and basil.
      5. Stir until all ingredients are combined, making sure that the garlic is evenly interspersed.
      6. Add pepper to taste and more salt, if desired.

      So the next time you’re about to reach for that salsa jar, take a few extra moments to stir some up for yourself. Experiment with different ingredients, and create your own perfect salsa recipe.


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