Genius Pico de Gallo, 3 ways.

February 23, 2016

Ever since the beginning of the year, I’ve been trying to eat better an exercise more. I know: It’s so cliche and boring, but I’d truly gotten off track after a crazy 2015 that culminated in a holiday season of excess. You know, to treat myself for how hard and busy life had been. And then I just didn’t feel good.

Eating healthfully is not hard for me. Other than a splurge here or there, I don’t eat junk food and leaving dessert behind just means not making dessert. Easy enough. What’s not easy, though, is eating smaller portions (ugh) and finding that 3 pm snack option that’s satisfying, can tide me over until dinner time, and feels like a treat—because I truly deserve one by 3 pm—without destroying my efforts to eat better.

The only thing I’ve found that accomplishes this without fail is this fresh, delicious Pico de Gallo, which I can vary several ways and also eat with several things, from a handful of tortilla chips or Triscuits to carrot and celery sticks.

So, basically, this recipe is saving my ass. Literally.

Two other great things about pico de gallo: The kids love it and it’s easy to vary—and the kids love the variations, too. Is that three great things? Oh! Make it four great things because all three variations—Classic Pico de Gallo, Tropical Pico de Gallo, and Pico Guacamole—are made with nothing but fresh produce. So this isn’t a lame skinny snack dip full of weird low-fat ingredients, but rather it’s vegetables that everyone will crave. How can you beat that?

Pico de Gallo recipe, 3 ways: Tropical, Classic, and Pico Guac | One Hungry Mama

Watch for how to make my easy Classic Pico de Gallo and also how to turn it into Tropical Pico de Gallo and Pico Guacamole. If you have the classic around, you can make either variation in a matter of 3 minutes. In fact, you can even use my approach to Tropical Pico de Gallo and Pico Guacamole to doctor fresh, store-bought pico de gallo, which makes these even easier.

And then tell me: How do you use fresh salsa like this Pico de Gallo? In addition to snack time, I also pack these dips in school lunch and have even used the Classic Pico de Gallo in place of dressing in my Turkey Taco Salad… but I want more ideas. Share!

Classic Pico de Gallo
Makes about 1 heaping cup

2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
½ a medium red onion, finely chopped
½ a jalapeño, finely chopped (seeded and deveined for mild)
Juice of 1 lime
Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
Salt, to taste

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix. Eat right away or allow salsa to sit for an hour or so for the flavors to meld.

To make Tropical Pico de Gallo: Add chopped fresh pineapple and/or mango to taste.

To make Pico Guacamole: Mash one avocado and add Classic Pico de Gallo to taste. Adjust salt and lime to taste, as well.

*Note: All three of these can easily be shared with beginner eaters, so long as you puree, pulse or chop into an age appropriate consistency. They give great flavor to rice, cereal, polenta, and even mashed veggies or black beans!

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