Fresh Salsa- Pico de Gallo [Peek Into Kelly’s Kitchen]

When I think of fresh summertime snacking, I immediately want something savory and crisp, juicy and fresh. It takes one look at my tiny garden brimming with tomatoes to know the answer to my snack time cravings. Fresh salsa is the ticket!

I received a delicious fresh salsa recipe from my friend Candice several years ago. It has become our family go-to for savory summer snacking. On occasional lazy summer evenings, chips and salsa make up our entire meal! The fresh flavors of cilantro, tomato, jalapeño, onion and cumin along with the crispy chips are oh-so-satisfying. Just remember to compare NuVal scores when shopping for chips—the higher the score, the better the nutritional content.

You can adjust any of the ingredients in this recipe to suit your taste buds. Like more kick? Then use the entire jalapeno. Just don’t skimp on the vinegar or seasonings. Because without a burst of acidity and heat, you’re just eating chipped tomatoes. Not that we mind tomatoes. After all, they score a perfect 100 on the NuVal scale! Check out our BLEND Pinterest page for some more delectable and healthy ways to enjoy the season’s tomato harvest. Or click HERE to find out how to prepare my all-time favorite tomato recipe: Caprese Salad.

Did you know?

The Spanish name for pico de gallo means ‘rooster’s beak”. It originally referred to a salad of jicama, peanuts, oranges, and onions. But today, pico de gallo is the familiar cilantro-flecked combination of chopped tomato, onion, and spicy peppers we’ve all come to know and enjoy.

Hot Hot Hot!

Chile peppers, such as jalapeños and habaneros, contain oils that can burn your skin and eyes. Avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with fresh peppers, wear rubber gloves or cover your hands with small plastic bags. If your bare hands do touch them, wash well with soap and hot water. And whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes! If you happen to get some of the oils in your eyes, flush them with cool water.


Candice’s Fresh Salsa

3-4 large, firm tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped
1/2-1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 T. vinegar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

In a colander, place chopped tomatoes and allow to drain well. While tomatoes are draining, place the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add drained tomatoes and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately with crispy tortilla chips.

If you desire, add a can of rinsed, drained black beans for some more nutritional punch. Or stir in some lime juice and mashed avocado to turn your salsa into amazing fresh guacamole.

Wishing you a happy, healthy summer!


This is a guest blog written by Kelly Radi,

Passionate about food and nutrition, Kelly is a freelance writer, NuVal expert, former BLEND employee, and current BLEND advocate.  A wife and mother of 2 teenagers, Kelly lives in Sartell where she is often spotted at Coborn’s scouring the shelves in search of the best NuVal scores. She enjoys cooking, playing tennis, and sitting down with a good book. She can be reached at 

The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of NuVal LLC, Coborn’s, Inc., BLEND, and the CentraCare Health Foundation.