Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip
Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip with Sweetcorn and Kidney Beans is super health and delicious with any Mexican meal. This easy salsa recipe is a perfect mix of spice, chilli, lime and coriander to tantalise your tastebuds.
My Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip recipe is quick, healthy and a versatile dip that is much better to make than buy readymade. I use this salsa recipe for all of my favourite Mexican dishes. To dip nachos in, spoon onto fajitas and smother enchiladas.
Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip is a plant based post from The Delectable Garden, very on topic for Veganuary. I’m not jumping on the band wagon of Veganuary, or posting a healthier food for a New Year New Me fad either. This recipe actually started last summer after a diagnosis of IBS and has become a healthy dish I make regularly.
For the majority of 2019 I suffered with mysterious stomach upsets. After a few visits to the doctors, one finally mumbled something about IBS. Having previously had an iron stomach, this was a surprise to me. I had no idea what was causing my IBS. I was adamant it wasn’t food because I have always eaten a wide variety without any issues. I put it down to stress IBS after starting a new position in 2019.
However later in 2019 I notice something wasn’t right, without going into too much detail I had reason to believe it was red peppers causing the upset. I stopped eating red bell peppers to see if it made me feel better. The next day my stomach had settled and the issue disappeared.
I was excited to discover the perpetrator, but sad that it happened to be something I loved and ate often. I also discovered that red peppers are used in pretty much everything I eat. I would now need to be conscious of this at the supermarket and at restaurants.
Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip
Mexican, being one of my favourite foods, is now a challenging cuisine for me to eat. Fajitas and enchiladas are a quick and easy midweek favourite of mine. Unfortunately they include red pepper in the sauce and filling. Cutting them out of the filling was easy, but all pre-made salsa contain bell pepper.
My stomach can find the smallest amount of red pepper, even if it makes up less than one percent of the overall ingredient. To please my stomach and my tastebuds I had to create a red pepperless salsa that was easy enough to enjoy midweek and taste authentically Mexican.
I couldn’t let Veganuary pass by without adding my thoughts! Anything that makes people think about where their food comes from and the impact it can have on the environment is a good thing in my eyes. Veganuary definitely does this. Reducing meat and increasing vegetables is obviously going to be a healthier diet. However I think you should look at all the facts and do some research before deciding if a strict vegan diet is right for your family.
The down side of Veganuary are the few vocal vegans who have been shouting at people in the media, trying to shame people into becoming vegan. I want to know when we lost the ability to debate, and respect for other peoples opinions? If you have a strong belief, that’s different to mine, shouting at me isn’t going to change my mind. I’m an adult, we can discuss and I can research the facts to help me make up my own mind.
Healthy and Environmentally Friendly Diets
Most people I speak to about becoming a Vegan say it’s normally down to two reasons, health and environment. If you are doing it for health I recommend you do your research and plan meals. You need to replace the vitamins and minerals you get from dairy, fish and meat with plant based alternatives. If you’re doing it for environmental reasons you need to consider the impacts plant based products still have on the planet. Fruit and vegetables can be packaged in the most ridiculous and unnecessary single use plastics. There are also pesticides, pollution, deforestation and over irrigation impacts.
Fish and meat farming can also have a negative impact on the planet. So it’s important to think about the environmental impacts of food whatever your diet.
You should never be shamed into changing your diet. If you do decide to change your diet for health or environmental reasons, you should do it in a way that is best for you and your family. A successful change should be sustainable, extreme anything is rarely sustainable. I prefer baby steps, drinking an extra glass of water a day, avoiding products containing palm oil, have a meat free day, or add an extra vegetable to evening meals. All are easy adjustments to change bad habits for the long term.
A Balanced Diet
I think our elders have the best view on food. Everything in moderation, eat a balanced diet, a little bit of what you like won’t do you any harm, we’ve all heard this from a grandparent. I think this is true, you need a wide spectrum of food to stay healthy. Too much of one thing certainly tips the balance and inevitably the scales!
If you think about it, our grandparents and great grandparents are a strong, fit breed that went through rations of war. They had to supplement diets with fruit and vegetables grown in the garden and on allotments. They were forced to live like this due to circumstances, but it installed the habit of a healthy balanced diet. They also recycled glass bottles and jars, and didn’t have single use plastics 🙌🏻. This is how I try to live in The Delectable Garden. I can’t grow everything, but growing what I can helps me reduce the impact I have on the planet. I reduce food waste and single use plastic by growing healthy produce to supplement my diet.
What can I grow?
Everybody can grow a bit of something. Below are simple ideas that have been successful for me in The Delectable Garden.
There are always herbs growing in pots on my windowsill. I can’t survive without fresh basil, you will always see a little chap sunning it up in my kitchen window. I find I’m more inclined to use herbs if they are fresh and readily available, they are also crammed with vitamins and minerals. Herbs from the supermarket all come in single use plastic, so you will also be doing your bit for the planet. Plant some rosemary, basil, mint, thyme or bay and transfer them outside if they get too big. You could use the tomato tin for a windowsill planter.
I’ve had success with tubs, pots, hanging baskets and even Belfast sinks placed on a sunny patio. I actually have more success growing in pots than I do in my vegetable plot.
Most herbs can be grown in a pot. I’ve always got rosemary, thyme, parsley and bay in pots outside my kitchen door.
Last year I purchased a dwarf peach tree and planted it in a pot on the patio. I have everything crossed for a bounty of fresh juicy peaches this summer. I’ll keep you posted with the results.
I also like to grow vegetables and salad produce in tubs close to the kitchen. It’s nice being able to pop out for some beetroot, tomatoes, chillies or spinach. Some of the ingredients in my Smokey Tomato Salsa can be successfully grown in pots.
If you have a larger garden and want to grow something that is low maintenance with high yield, then fruit bushes are for you. The raspberries, blackcurrants and jostaberries growing in The Delectable Garden are the most neglected but most rewarding. I get kilograms of fruit each summer and the maintenance is minimal. Fruit bushes can be attractive additions to your borders and will encourage wildlife into your garden. I also believe that children are more inclined to try something they have grown.
Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip
Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip
- 440 g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbs tomato puree
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 small handful of fresh coriander
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 100 g kidney beans, cooked, rinsed and cooled
- 100 g sweetcorn, cooked, rinsed and cooled
- Pop all the ingredients, except the beans and sweetcorn, into a blender.
- Pulse until you have the desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky.
- Pour into a serving bowl and stir in the beans and sweetcorn. Serve with nachos or plantain chips.
- Keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. It’s best prepared ahead to allow the flavours to develop.
Serve Smoky Tomato Salsa Dip with Plantain chips and my Ultimate Margaritas.
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