Ditch the Chips

Sure, there are definitive guides out there on breakfast burritos plus all the ways to add salsa to traditional Tex-Mex cuisine like enchiladas and tacos, but there are so many other ways to eat salsa! I wish I could take credit for these great ideas, but they actually came from the tempting site, Sweet Kickin’ Salsa (www.sweetkickinsalsa.com). These folks are creative cooks!

Consider meatloaf. Substitute salsa for the ketchup or tomato pastes in your usual recipe. This adds a happy little kick to your mom’s traditional meatloaf and seems to be a crowd favorite around a lot of dinner tables.

Or how about tomato soup? Mix the salsa into heated soup, then add shredded cheese and/or sour cream. Pair your tomato soup with a yummy grilled cheese and settle in to enjoy a comfort food that you will turn to time and time again.

Rice works, too. Substitute salsa for half the water, serve as a side or use this rice as a foundation for a burrito bowl. (You can also mix salsa into cooked riced cauliflower and serve it the same way as rice). This is a budget-friendly way to add some flavor to chicken and rice without having to spend a fortune on herbs and spices.

And so does slow cooker chicken. This one’s fast, easy and delicious—all things we love! Start with boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs, brown them and throw into a slow cooker with salsa and black or pinto beans, cook until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice or with tortillas, add avocado and lime for bonus points.

But why not as a topping? This section is the shortest because it’s also more vast than the others. Pretty much anything savory, salty, meaty, fresh, or slightly sweet is even better with salsa on top: chicken, steak, baked potato (red, yellow, sweet, seriously all of them are good). You can even put salsa on a salad; it makes a delicious dressing and you can call it a winning meal, especially in the heat of summer.

Or as a veggie dip? If you’re looking for a convenient and different approach to your fresh veggies, consider dipping them in salsa. Plain or gussied up, it works. But for a nutrition boost, you can also add refried beans or mashed canned beans to the salsa. And while you’re at it, work in a little softened cream cheese, too. Celery is scrumptious dipped in this stuff.

Finally, how about a meat-eaters dip? Crisp fried bacon, grilled steak chunks, salami slices, and cheese sticks can also be lined up on a platter with salsas for dipping on the side. As an experiment, try putting one of these plates out next to your veggie platter and see which one disappears faster, just for fun.

  •   www.sweetkickinsalsa.com
  •   www.reynoldsbrands.com
  •   www.myfoodstory.com
  •   www.eatingwell.com
  •   www.pinchofwellness.com

    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

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