Healthy can be salsa

(Picture courtesy of

Hopefully, you read that title and are aghast at the prospect of the calories and lack of nutrition.   In my teens, the awful bags of potato chips went down even quicker with the store-bought dips in little plastic containers, and when we put away the empty calories, it was truly all bad for us.

Sometime in the 60’s, we began to make dips out of sour cream and packages of dry onion soup mix.   That was an improvement, cheaper and healthier.   Not too far back, we even began to pick up tortilla chips and salsa made with real veggies.  It’s not exactly health food that’s ideal for you, but getting better.

Not long ago, I had a conversation online with a friend whose boys are in their teens, who is faced with either spending a fortune on healthy chips or watching the cheaper version go down as fast with much more unfortunate effects.  Of course, there’s that other alternative of refusing them the snack foods and watching the teens themselves disappear from the home.

Of course, what many of us haven’t much noticed is that for about the price of a loaf of bread you can buy tortillas on the bread aisle of the store.   You could buy the Maiz and make them, too, if you have the time.  Mirabile dictu, when you cut up the tortillas and brush them with healthy oil – even EVOO – and bake them in the oven, you have the best of the tortilla chip, for a price you can almost afford.

The salsas, as well, are veggies.   You can buy the fresh tomatoes, and right now if you planted them in the spring, you probably have more than you can eat at standard mealtimes anyway.   Hot peppers, cilantro, some black beans and/or corn, onions, mild peppers, all can go into the food processor or you can chop them, making a really healthy dip.

Here’s one that comes from garden ingredients;


  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 5 slices pickled jalapeno peppers, or to taste
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Place onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add tomatoes, and pulse just a few times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and salt.
  3. Pour dressing over tomatoes, and stir well. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

There are lots of healthy ways to use those garden veggies.   I sure hope your garden is going strong.   Mine is taking lots of hand watering, but that means those weeds are fighting a losing battle as well.

Next week, I will go visit friends out of town, and the garden will be toast when I get back.  Oh, well.   In July in Texas, that’s standard.


Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.