Fresh Pico de Gallo

With summer just around the corner and gardens beginning to produce an abundance of fresh veggies and herbs, I decided to share my pico de gallo recipe.  Summer is the season of cookouts, BBQ’s, and grilling, and I guarantee this salsa will be a crowd favorite.

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About a year ago, I learned how to make this pico from a coworker who is from Guatemala.  I never made fresh pico de gallo before, and I was surprised that I liked it because I am not a big fan of tomatoes or cilantro…but combined with limes, jalepeno, and onion, this fresh pico is addictive.

And of course, pico de gallo is naturally nutritious! Tomatoes contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant (fights free radicals in the body to prevent  cancer and chronic diseases), onion (high in fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium), cilantro (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, fiber), and lime (vitamin C).

Full, FREE printable recipe below and make sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter and use #livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

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Fresh Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion, diced
  • 2 Jalepenos, seeded + diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 Limes, juiced
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash produce. Thinly slice and dice Roma tomatoes (I also de-seeded tomatoes, completely optional). Add to serving bowl.
  2. Dice 1/2 vidalia onion and add to tomatoes in serving bowl.
  3. Slice jalepenos in half. Using a spoon, scoop out jalepeno seeds (you may keep the seeds if you want extra heat). Dice peppers and add to tomatoes + onion in serving bowl.
  4. Finely chop fresh cilantro and add to other ingredients in serving bowl.
  5. Juice 3 limes into ingredient bowl.
  6. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  7. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to enhance the flavors.
  8. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

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Tikki approves, too! 🙂 I hope you all enjoy this fresh summer recipe! The leftovers are perfect for work lunches, too!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

Inside My Herb Garden: Basil

This is my first year cultivating an herb garden! Mind you, it is a super small scale herb garden, but I am so excited to have fresh herbs to add to my dishes.

I have various kinds of herbs in my garden, but today I want to highlight basil. I have THREE types of basil in my garden right now: sweet basil, Thai basil and purple basil.

 

Sweet Basil

Arguably the most popular form of basil, sweet basil is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties–making this herb perfect for anti-aging and decreasing chances of chronic diseases. This flavorful herb is used in many different cuisines but primarily known for Italian cooking such as pesto, bruschetta, caprese and various pasta dishes.

Sweet basil is rich in vitamin A (eye + skin health), vitamin K (healthy gut microbe), vitamin C (antioxidant + wound healing + immunity), magnesium (aids in metabolism), iron (transports oxygen), potassium (aids blood pressure), and calcium (cardiac function + blood clotting + strong bones). Adding a few fresh leaves of basil to your dishes will not only add freshness but will also boost the nutritional content of your meal.

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Thai Basil

Have you ever gone to a Thai restaurant and ordered a “Basilia” dish? You might be eating Thai Basil! Just like the name states, Thai Basil is an herb used in most Southeast Asia cuisines–especially Thai. Infused in many curries, sauteed with meats and veggies, or simply used for a garnish, Thai Basil is mildly sweet with a little more of a bitter, licorice-like bold flavor than sweet basil. In most recipes, Thai Basil can be substituted for sweet basil, making them interchangeable.

The nutrition profile of Thai Basil is similar to that of sweet basil being rich in vitamin A (eye + skin health) and vitamin C (antioxidant + wound healing + immunity) as well as vitamin E (antioxidant + skin health).

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Purple Basil

In all honesty, I had never heard of purple basil until I planted it in my garden! The deep, rich purple color is a nice accent to my other herbs, and it smells divine–quite similar to other basil family members. While there are similarities of this herb to other basil plants, this herb is more earthy, less sweet, and comparable to the flavor of cloves. Purple basil is primarily used for infusing oils and vinegar as well as garnishing dishes.

This herb is nutritionally comparable to other basil, meaning it is high in anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. In general, purple plants are high in anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.

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Incorporating basil into diet ideas:

  • make your own homemade basil pesto (traditionally made with olive oil +pine nuts + basil)
  • toss with other mixed greens + veggies for a salad
  • homemade salad dressing using fresh or dried basil
  • saute with veggies
  • add to pasta dishes
  • top fresh pizza
  • caprese salad with mozzarella balls + fresh basil + grape tomatoes all tossed in olive oil
  • combine with watermelon + feta for a refreshing summer salad
  • make a panini with fresh basil + mozzarella + tomato
  • freshen your water with basil + lemon
  • infuse olive oil with purple basil for a strong, aromatic flavor

 

As summer approaches and my garden starts producing large quantities of herbs, I will share some of my favorite recipes and harvesting hacks–this is all new to me, so I will be learning along the way! If you have any harvesting tips or tricks for me, comment below or contact me here. 

 

 

What is your favorite way to use basil?

 

 

 

Until Next Time,

 Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

References:
  1. Karen Gill, M. (2019). Basil: Uses, benefits and nutrition. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php [Accessed 1 May 2019].
  2. Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.nutriliving.com/foods/thai-basil [Accessed 1 May 2019].
  3.  I Love Gardening. (2019). All About Purple Basil. [online] Available at: https://www.igardenplanting.com/all-about-purple-basil/ [Accessed 1 May 2019].

 

Avocado Caprese Bruschetta

With spring just in a few days, I wanted to share a fresh new spin on traditional bruschetta that would serve great as an appetizer, snack, or addition to any meal.

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Containing avocado (heart healthy fat), tomatoes (vitamin C, potassium, lycopene-antioxidant, and fiber), fresh parsley (vitamin K-aids in blood clotting, vitamin A-good for eye site, folate-prevent neural tube defects in pregnancy, and iron-carries oxygen from lungs to rest of  body), and lemon juice (keeps avocado bright green, vitamin C source), this bruschetta is a great nutritious option to bring to the table.

Avocado Caprese Bruschetta

  • Servings: 4 servings, 3 pieces each
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh avocado, cored and diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 baguette
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil (to drizzle)

Directions: 

  1. Wash, peel, core and dice avocado.
  2. Wash and dice roma tomatoes.
  3. Chop fresh parsley.
  4. Add avocado, tomatoes, and parsley in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add lemon juice, zest, salt, dried basil, and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  6. Place in refrigerator for ~30 minutes to let flavors marinade.
  7. Slice baguette into 1 inch bites. Drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Toast baguettes until golden brown.
  9. Put about 2 tablespoons of avocado caprese mixture on top of bread slices.
  10. Top with fresh parsley.
  11. Enjoy!

 

Happy-almost spring!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @livebetterwithkatdetter