Homemade Salsa & Chips

In Appetizers and Snacks, Recipes by the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl0 Comments

Salsa is the Spanish term for sauce, and in the United States, it usually refers to  Mexican sauces used as dips. They are often tomato-based, although many are not, and they are typically piquant, ranging from mild to extremely hot. On the occasion of Cinco de Mayo, which happens on May 5th, celebrate this year by making salsa at home – in a range of flavors sure to please everyone in your family.

Using a food processor or blender makes these recipes come together in literally minutes. I’m willing to bet that if I started making Zesty Mango Salsa the same time someone would leave from our house to drive and buy a jar of salsa at the local grocer – mine would be done and I’d be eating before they got back! No joke. The other two salsas are best with the ingredients grilled. It’s okay – you can start the grill before Memorial Day! It really adds a lot to the flavor. Don’t have a grill? Try roasting in the oven. It makes the prep time longer, but the roasted/grilled flavor is worth it. Planning a party? You can make all of these one or two days ahead of time! In fact, they are delicious chilled and the flavors only intensify when made a day in advance.

As written, these salsa recipes are vegan and gluten-free. You can intensify the heat in any of them by leaving in the seeds of the peppers. Want it milder? Remove the seeds – or leave out the hot peppers (jalapeño, serrano or chipotle) entirely.

Zesty Mango Salsa

  • 2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded
  • 1/2 cup red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large red tomato, seeded and halved
  • zest of one lime
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno, halved and seeded (or leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled
  • salt, to taste

Directions

In the bowl of a high power blender or a food processor, add mangoes, red bell pepper, red onion, tomato, lime zest, orange zest, fresh ginger, jalapeño and fresh cilantro. Pulse two to four times until all fruits and veggies are in small pieces or a size you like. Do not over-process or the mixture will turn into soup! Season to taste with salt and serve immediately or chill.

If you don’t have a blender or food processor, cut all fruits and veggies into small pieces by hand and stir together.

Grilled Tomato Salsa with Black Beans

  • 12 roma/plum tomatoes, seeded and halved
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and halved
  • 1 red pepper,seeded and halved
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeded and halved (leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and halved (leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 2 purple onions, peeled and halved
  • 3 ears corn, husked
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • olive oil, to grill
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat grill for veggies. Lightly oil tomatoes, peppers, onions and corn, and lay them on a single layer on your warmed grilled. (Grills vary depending on gas/charcoal and size – please refer to your user’s manual). Grill all veggies until charred but still firm, about 6 to 15 minutes. Tomatoes will be done first and peppers shortly after. The onions and corn take a little longer. While veggies are cooking, place halved lemon and lime cut-side-up on grill to smoke. Remove after about 5 minutes, when skin has darkened, being careful not to squeeze out the juice! When removing tomatoes and peppers from grill, place in a large bowl and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, cut grilled corn off the cob and squeeze juice from grilled lemon and lime. Add rinsed black beans. Stir to combine and set aside.

When all veggies are cooled a little (about 15 minutes), pour off any liquid that has welled at the bottom of the bowl. This keeps your salsa from getting soggy. Place tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, fresh cilantro and cumin in the bowl of a powerful blender or food processor. Pulse two to four times until veggies are in small pieces or a chunky size you like. Do not over-process or the mixture will turn into soup!  If you don’t have a blender or food processor, cut all  veggies into small pieces by hand and stir together.

Mix chopped veggies with corn and black beans in bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill and serve cold.

Don’t have a grill? You can roast the tomatoes, peppers and onion in the oven. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil and place veggies in a roasting pan or on a cookie sheet. Roast about 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until skins are browned, but veggies are still firm. Proceed as above with making salsa.

Chipotle Pineapple Salsa

  • 3 cups fresh pineapple, about one pineapple, peeled and cored, sliced into rings
  • coconut oil or canola oil, for grilling
  • 1/2 cup red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a can (add another if you want more heat); (we used Goya, also look for LaCostena, Embasa or San Marcos brands)
  • 2 tsp. adobo sauce (use more if you want greater heat)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat your grill. Lightly oil pineapple, and lay  on a single layer on your warmed grilled. (Grills vary depending on gas/charcoal and size – please refer to your user’s manual). Grill all pineapple rings until charred but still firm, about 8 minutes, turning once or twice to cook evenly.

Add grilled pineapple, red onion, roasted red peppers, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cumin, lime zest, lime juice and fresh cilantro to the bowl of a powerful blender or food processor. Pulse two to four times until all fruits and veggies are in small pieces or a chunky size you like. Do not over-process or the mixture will turn into soup!  If you don’t have a blender or food processor, cut all  fruit and veggies into small pieces by hand and stir together.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately or chill to serve cold.

Don’t have a grill? Saute the pineapple instead. Warm coconut or canola oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat.  Add several rings at a time, and cook until lightly browned, turning once or twice to cook evenly. Proceed as above once all pineapple rings are sauted.

Cook’s Note

Want to save a little time? Buy pre-sliced pineapple rings.  But please, don’t skip the grilling step! It brings out a very different and special flavor in the pineapple and is worth the extra effort!

Chips

True, you can eat salsa in many ways. Pile it onto tacos, smear it on veggies, eat it with your breakfast tofu scramble. But everyone loves salsa and chips. There’s a lot of buzz – i.e., concern – about GMO foods and corn in particular is a hot topic. We checked it out recently at our local grocer and found several non-GMO, gluten free and vegan corn chips brands. You will need to look for the little Non-GMO Project logo, like in the picture. It was on the bags, sometimes on the front, or occasionally on the back.salsachipsGMO_LR

Still not sure? Then make your own chips. It’s really easy and takes only minutes in the oven. We found a variety of tortillas at the local grocer, as well as at the natural foods store. To find non-GMO corn tortillas, we did have to go to the natural foods store, however regular grocers still have a variety of wheat and whole grain tortillas, and for those eating gluten-free, we saw Food for Life’s brown rice and mixed grain UDI’s Gluten Free Tortillas in the freezer case and La Tortilla Factory makes a teff gluten free tortilla. All the chips pictured with the salsa above are the oven-baked kind.

6 to 9 tortillas, your choice  (we make a whole pack at one time to munch on)

Options: non-stick spray, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, pepper

Preheat your oven to 375. Set two large baking sheets to side.

Using a knife or clean kitchen scissors, cut your tortillas into shapes you like – triangles or strips are best for salsa dipping. They can be different sizes and imperfect shapes.

Place cut tortilla shapes in a single layer on cookie sheets.

If desired, spray with non-stick spray and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning, such as chili powder or cayenne for heat; salt or pepper – or try cinnamon, which pairs well with the fruit salsas.

Bake at 375 for about 4 to 7 minutes, checking often. Times will vary based on the thickness of the tortilla. The chips should be crisp and browned on the edges, but they also burn easily – especially smaller chips. When crispy, pull them from the oven and allow to cool before digging into your salsa!

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl are working artists based in Baltimore. They write an eco-aware, flower power, neo-hippie, vegan blog that features travel profiles, original recipes and candid book & product reviews. They are excited to join forces with Sister Eden!

To visit the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl's website, click their byline. To read the rest of their posts on Sister Eden, click their tag at the top of the post.
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