Guacamole and Salsa Fresca

Someone asked for some more Latin flavors. Oscar, this one is for you! I like to make these two salsas at the same time, because they have similar ingredients and once I start choppin, I might as well keep on choppin...Nobody complains on meatless dinner night when these two salsas are on the plate! Let's start with the Salsa Fresca.

Salsa Fresca Ingredients:
5 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
1/2 Onion (small dice)
2 Garlic cloves (chopped or crushed)
1-2 Serrano or Jalapeno pepper (small dice)
1/2 bunch Cilantro (chopped)
1 Lime
Salt to taste

*Tip: After washing the cilantro, dry it off with a paper towel so it doesn't stick to the knife when you chop it. Also use mostly the leaves and discard the stems.

Use a serrated edge knife to cut tomatoes without fuss.

In a bowl mix together tomatoes, onions, chilli pepper, cilantro. Squeeze juice of one lime over the top and salt to taste.

Moving on to the Guaca-MOL...e (pronouncing the the MOL part of the word like the Spanish soccer announcers do when someone makes a GOAL...) Now avocados might be one of the fattiest fruits out there, but it is all good healthy fat! Good for your heart; avocados contain 76 milligrams beta-sitosterol in a 3-oz serving. Beta-sitosterol is a natural plant sterol which may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and other phytonutrients such as, carotenoid lutein, which studies show may help maintain healthy eyes. With that said...let's make some GUAC!

Guacamole Ingredients:
4 Avocados
4 Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Onion (or Shallots are a nice alternative)
2-3 Serrano or Jalapeno pepper
2-3 Garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
1 bunch Cilantro (chopped)
1 Lime (fresh squeezed juice)

Cut the avocados in half and spoon out the inside, removing the seeds and placing aside. Mash the avocados with a spoon or a little plastic cup. Then add tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilli peppers and cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top, salt to taste and stir.

*Now if you are knife savvy, after the avocado is cut in half, you can hit the avocado seed with the sharp edge of the chef knife, then with a little twist of the wrist...voila, the seed pops right out. But please be very careful with that move, cuz blood will ruin the guacamole ;-)

*Tip: to keep the guacamole from turning brown, add back the avocado seeds. And for storage, squeeze a small amount of lime juice over the top and cover with saran wrap, placing the saran wrap right on top of the guac, leaving no room for air.

Both Guacamole and Salsa Fresca are great in place of salad dressing. Tonight, for meatless dinner night, they are served along side Red Beans with Queso Fresco and Brown Rice. Yummy! I hope you all will enjoy these as much as I do!

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