My Aunt Betse has been making fresh salsa since the 1960s when she and her engineer husband lived in South America. So I have been exposed to fresh salsa long before its popularity took off in the United States. In fact, I suppose I could have been a multi-gazillionaire by now if my college roommate and I decided to go ahead with our idea of packaging and selling my fresh salsa in the early 1980s. Oh well…
Salsa is traditionally made with tomatoes, onions, hot pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt. But I like to add seasonal fruits and vegetables to keep it interesting. In the spring, I add strawberries, in the summer, it’s watermelon, which is especially sweet this year. You could even add celery, carrots, greens, mangos – really, anything goes. In the winter, use canned Italian plum tomatoes.
Today is the 6th of “Katherine’s Weekly Market Recipes,” all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here’s how…
So that your salsa is enjoyed for Labor Day festivities, I recommend you buy the tomatoes, watermelon, onion and peppers at the Glover Park – Burleith Farmers Market on Saturday, Dupont Circle’s Fresh Farm Market on Sunday, and Georgetown’s Rose Park Market on Wednesday.
Katherine’s Spicy Salsa with Watermelon
excerpted from “Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations” (LifeLine Press, 2011)
I usually use vine-ripe tomatoes for my fresh salsa, excerpted from my book, Diet Simple. But watermelon is a surprising and exotically delicious substitute for all the tomatoes, or just half of them – as in this version. Serve this salsa with grilled salmon, chicken or beef… even tortilla chips… whatever you may traditionally use salsa with. My friend, Marc Marzullo, said this salsa was “refreshing, light, and delicious, and I especially like the vegetables chopped in larger chunks.” Since this salsa is getting eaten up today, I didn’t bother adding the lime juice. If you would like your salsa to last longer in your refrigerator, use vinegar instead of lime juice.
1 lb vine-ripe, fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (start with about 1-1/2 lbs)
1 lb chopped watermelon, seeds removed
1 large candy onion, peeled and chopped (about ½ pound)
3 – 4 jalapeno peppers (1 – 2 ounces) – or other hot seasonal peppers, to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp salt, or to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 – 4 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 – 2 limes), optional, or vinegar if you wish for the salsa to last longer in your refrigerator
Add the onion to the tomatoes and watermelon. Finely chop 2 of the jalapeno peppers to start with. Taste. If you desire more heat, add 1 – 2 more jalapenos. Mix in the cilantro. Add the salt and pepper, depending on your taste. Mix in the lime juice, if you wish.
Share and Enjoy
I’ve been told that this year’s peaches and melons are especially sweet and velvety because of the lack of rain. It concentrates their flavor. Whatever! I recommend you quickly run over and buy some melons at Rose Park’s Farmers Market on Wednesday or Dupont Circle’s Fresh Farm Market on Sunday – before the season is over.
Though, getting the melons home takes a little help from my friends…
Today is the 4th of “Katherine’s Weekly Market Recipes,” all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here’s how…
It helps to have good friends to share my recipe with, especially when they help with the physical labor…
By Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
Author: “Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations” (LifeLine Press, 2011)
This is an unusual combination of flavors and textures, and a delight on the palate. Use any kind of melon that happens to be in season.
2 pounds melon chunks (about 1 small cantaloupe or seedless watermelon)
½ pound Feta Cheese or other similar cheese
8 small mint leaves, Chiffonade (Basil will also work)
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and serve!
Share and Enjoy
People are always asking me if fruit is too high in sugar to eat, especially if you have diabetes. This fear of fruit, I believe, is leftover from the Atkins craze, making foods like fruits, and even vegetables like carrots, verboten. This is one of the most tragic consequences of this diet fad, because avoiding fruit can actually damage your health.
People who eat fruit have a lower incidence of Type 2 Diabetes, the most common form of the disease, according to a recently published Harvard study. But this study isn’t alone in its conclusions. It corroborates decades of research showing the nutritional value and health benefits of fruits.
Fruit is high in water content and fiber, which help you feel full with fewer calories. Even though it contains simple sugars and carbohydrates, most fruits have a relatively low glycemic index, that is, when you eat it, your blood sugar raises only moderately, especially when compared with refined sugar or flour products.
Fruit is loaded with nutrients scientists believe protect people from major chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and more. The potassium in fruit helps lower blood pressure and actually helps neutralize the blood pressure-raising affects of sodium.
Eating more fruits and vegetables – as high as 5 cups per day or more – is a habit which could help you stabilize and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes. Yes, it is possible!
And, the best part of fruit? It’s delicious! It’s easy to eat, to pack in your lunch box for the office or school, and it’s such a refreshing snack or dessert. What could be better?
Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women
Nicole M Wedick, An Pan, Aedín Cassidy, Eric B Rimm, Laura Sampson, Bernard Rosner, Walter Willett, Frank B Hu, Qi Sun, and Rob M van Dam
From the Departments of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; the Department of Nutrition, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom; and the Departments of Epidemiology and Public Health and Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Supported by NIH grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Background: Data from mechanistic studies support a beneficial effect of specific flavonoids on insulin sensitivity. However, few studies have evaluated the relation between intakes of different flavonoid subclasses and type 2 diabetes.
Objective: The objective was to evaluate whether dietary intakes of major flavonoid subclasses (ie, flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanins) are associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes in US adults.
Design: We followed up a total of 70,359 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, 89,201 women in the NHS II, and 41,334 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who were free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline.
Results: During 3,645,585 person-years of follow-up, we documented 12,611 incident cases of type 2 diabetes. Higher intakes of anthocyanins were significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes after multivariate adjustment for age, BMI, and lifestyle and dietary factors. Consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods, particularly blueberries and apples/pears, was also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. No significant associations were found for total flavonoid intake or other flavonoid subclasses.
Conclusion: A higher consumption of anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich fruit was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.