Simple Pick-me-up Pico de Gallo Recipe

I created this recipe to add a flavourful twist to my tacos. I ate vegetables all day yesterday so it was time for some protein (i.e., tacos for dinner). OK, let’s be honest, I was looking to reward myself with a taco dinner (which is protein-based, so there!). I created this recipe on the spot, based on my recollection of pico de gallo’s appearance. I knew it was made with tomatoes and onions and then I improvised the rest. My tacos tasted amazing and yours will too!

Delicious pick-me-up for tacos and dip. (Photo credit: iStock.)

Ingredients

  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 dash of taco seasoning
  • sprinkling of dried parsley bits

Directions

  1. Dice the tomato and onion, then mix.
  2. Add a tablespoon of water and a dash of taco seasoning; be sure to stir the seasoning with the water, tomato and onion to make sure it dissolves.
  3. Sprinkle on dried parsley bits. Then scoop the pico de gallo into your taco (heavenly taco recipe here) and enjoy!

Serves 4 tacos

Daily food group servings
Grain: 0
Fruits&veg: 1
Protein alt: 0
Dairy: 0

Nutritional information
Calories: 34
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 2332 mg
Carbohydrates: 7.7 g
Sugars: 4 g
Fibre: 1.7 g
Protein: 1.2 g
Vitamin A: 12%
Vitamin C: 23%
Calcium: 2%
Iron: 2%

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Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Photo credit: iStock

Ingredients

  • 1 tortilla (whole grain or white) per quesadilla
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 bottle taco sauce or salsa (I use Old El Paso taco sauce)

Directions

  1. Heat toaster oven to 375° F convection.
  2. Spoon and spread uncooked refried beans over one half of the tortilla.
  3. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over layer of beans. Fold the tortilla in half so that it resembles a half moon.
  4. Heat in toaster oven until cheese begins to melt. Remove quesadilla and fold so that the beans and cheese are inside.
  5. Spread grated cheese on top surface (half of moon) and sprinkle green onions over.
  6. Continue heating until cheese is melted. Serve immediately with sour cream and salsa/sauce.

Serving sizes: Snack (1 quesadilla), Main course (2 quesadillas)

**Note: If bringing quesadillas to school as a snack and with the intention of microwaving, modify step #6 to “Continue heating until cheese is almost melted” (it will finish heating in the microwave later). I also find the quesadillas tastes better post-microwave if it’s left out of the fridge between leaving home and eating it.

Daily food group servings
Grain: 1
Protein alt: 1
Dairy: 1

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    Bruschetta recipe—from a real Italian

    A great recipe when you’re hungry, want something quick and need to fill up your fruits and vegetables group for the day. Makes a fantastic high-in-demand item for parties! (But be prepared for the incessant chanting of “More, more!”)

    Juicy tomatoes drizzled in olive oil over a crunchy panini. Photo credit: iStock

    Ingredients

    • 1 panini, cut in half length-wise (so it opens like a sandwich), producing two pieces of bread
    • 1 tomato, diced
    • salt
    • olive oil
    • dried oregano

    Directions

    1. Heat bread in toaster oven at 325°F convection until surface is lightly crunchy.
    2. While bread is heating, dice tomato and put in bowl. Add salt for taste.
    3. Cover tomatoes with a rich layer of olive oil.
    4. Lightly sprinkle dried oregano over the tomatoes.
    5. When bread is lightly crunchy and has been removed from toaster oven, spoon the delicious tomato concoction over, making it as heavy or as light as you wish, depending on your love for tomatoes versus bread.
    6. Heat bruschetta in toaster oven at 325°F convection until tomatoes are warm and before the bread becomes too hard. Serve to satisfy very eager stomachs!

    Serves 1 (multiply by number of guests or depth of hunger)

    Daily food group servings
    Grain: 1 (per piece of bread—so cutting a panini in two = 2 servings)
    Fruits&veg: 1 (per tomato)
    Dairy: 0 (You may add a layer of cheese under the tomato. Most use soft cheese but I feel a strong, hard cheese adds a kick!)

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      Nacho dip recipe—supreme it or basic, both yummy!

      Health tip: Buy nachos that are baked, such as Garden Fresh Gourmet chips, and unsalted. The unhealthy part of this meal lies in consuming too many chips.

      Ingredients

      • cream cheese or sour cream (I prefer cream cheese for this dip)
      • salsa
      • cheddar cheese, shredded
      • lettuce, sliced (thin strips somehow taste yummier!)
      • tomato, diced
      • black olives
      • green onions (soooo good!)
      • a bag of nacho chips (I recommend a healthier, baked version, such as Garden Fresh Gourmet chips)

      Directions

      For a basic version, follow steps 1-3 (and of course #8, the best part!!). For a supreme delight, continue.

      1. Smooth cream cheese over a plate, covering the entire base.
      2. Spread a layer of salsa over cream cheese (quantity varies depending on your taste).
      3. Sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese over salsa.
      4. Add a layer of lettuce strips.
      5. Sprinkle diced tomatoes over lettuce (yumm…).
      6. Sprinkle black olives over dip.
      7. Sprinkle green onions over dip.
      8. Grab a chip—and dip!

      Daily food group servings
      Grain: 1 (depends on how healthy you consider chips to be)
      Fruits&veg: 1
      Protein alt: 0 (add
      Yves veggie ground over lettuce, or refried beans under cream cheese, for protein)
      Dairy: 1
      *These quantities vary based on how much you snack on!

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        Chinese Stir-fry recipe

        Photo credit: iStock photography

        Ingredients

        • ¾ pot of water
        • pasta or rice
        • salt
        • peanut oil
        • ½ cup frozen or fresh vegetables including: broccoli, water chestnuts, snow peas, baby corn, carrots and green beans
        • peanuts
        • sesame oil
        • stir-fry sauce (eg. peanut sauce)

        Directions

        1. Fill pot ¾ with water and set to boil.
        2. When water boils, add preferred type of pasta and follow cooking time indicated on the package.
        3. While pasta is cooking, add a light layer of peanut oil to a pan and heat.
        4. After 1 minute, add frozen vegetables to pan. If also adding fresh vegetables, wait until frozen vegetables are lukewarm before adding to pan. Stir vegetables.
        5. Occasionally stir pasta as well to keep from sticking. Add a dash of salt. Remove pasta once cooking time is done and drain. Pour into bowl.
        6. When vegetables are warm, add peanuts to pan. Cook until vegetables are hot, adding 2 drops of sesame oil for flavour.
        7. Remove vegetables and pour over pasta. Add stir-fry sauce as desired.

        Serves 1 (multiply by desired number of guests to serve more)

        Guacamole recipe

        Photo credit: iStock

        Ingredients

        • 1 avocado, ripe
        • 1 lemon
        • 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)

        Directions

        1. Peel and pit the avocado. (Hopefully it’s not brown!)
        2. Place the inside of the avocado in a bowl. (Here comes the mess!) Mash avocado with a spoon to create a smooth texture.
        3. Squeeze the lemon over the avocado spread for flavour, to taste.
        4. Repeat previous step with garlic if desired.
        5. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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          Yves Veggie Ground Mexican recipe

          Yves veggie ground: imitation ground meat, good for tacos, pasta sauce or shepherd's pieMakes a great nacho topping or taco stuffing!)

          Makes a great nacho topping or taco stuffing!

          Ingredients

          • Yves veggie ground
          • Old El Paso taco seasoning
          • 1 stem green onion, chopped
          • 3 tbsp tomato, diced

          Directions

          1. Pour desired amount of Yves veggie ground into a pan.
          2. Add enough water to keep from sticking.
          3. Add desired amount of taco seasoning.
          4. Heat for 3 minutes.
          5. Add green onions and tomato.
          6. Heat until warm and cooked (taste).

          Photo source: Image credit

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