Salsa nutritional facts are pretty encouraging; in fact, they’re practically swoon-worthy for anyone on a diet. While the exact calorie count will vary depending on which salsa recipe you’re using (southwestern salsa recipes, for example, might be a little higher because of the beans and corn included), you’re probably looking at somewhere between 10 and 20 calories per 2-tablespoon serving. On the low end are pico de gallo salsa dips, which use raw tomatoes, onions and peppers for a fresh kick.
While most Americans use salsa primarily for dipping, there are plenty of other recipes with salsa dip that can allow you to take advantage of salsa’s low calorie count and big flavor. Here are three recipes jazzed up with pico de gallo salsa dips to get you started:
- Pico De Gallo and Avocado Salad
Salads often lose their diet standing when drenched in dressing. But with a few smart changes, you can make a salad so flavorful, it would be a crime to drown it in ranch. Start with crisp romaine lettuce (never iceberg), throw in some marinated black beans for protein, and get your flavor in with a hearty scoop of pico de gallo. If you miss the creaminess of salad dressing, add some chopped avocado. Avocado isn’t low in fat, but it’s the healthiest kind of fat.
- Pork Tacos with Pico de Gallo
Dieters often turn to chicken, but lean pork can be just as good a choice (and provide a little extra flavor and variety). If you take the time to slow-cook the pork with plenty of garlic and herbs, it will be fall-apart tender and need no extra fat for flavor. Combine in a whole-wheat tortilla with pico de gallo for spice and some thinly sliced Napa cabbage, which holds its own against meat and tomato juices better than lettuce — no one likes the texture of slimy greens in a taco.
- Pico de Gallo Pilaf
If you want a carb fix in as healthy a way as possible, consider a pilaf (try half rice and half whole-wheat orzo pasta) made with veggie stock. Stir in a generous amount of pico de gallo for flavor after the pilaf is done cooking on the stovetop — remember, pico de gallo requires that all the ingredients remain raw.
Do you have any other recipes using salsa to contribute? Share your culinary ideas in the comments.