The Whole 30. Surely you’ve heard of it? Maybe you’ve done it. Well I’m doing it. Today is my third day so I’m still not feeling much change, good or bad, but I know change is comin’! (PSA…I will be posting weekly updates on my progress with TW30 so make sure and subscribe if you want recipes, tips and such from my own personal experience! Plus you get a free e-book!!) Anyway, this super easy salsa verde is an important part of The Whole 30 for me (keep reading to see why). Make it once and you will be adding this tangy, multipurpose salsa to your recipe folder.
Since I have lived in Texas for the majority of my life, I consider Mexican my native cuisine. Therefore, I HAVE TO HAVE IT! As a kid, Mexican meant cheesy enchiladas covered with chili sauce and taco “salads” that came in an edible bowl. I’ve mentioned this recently, but a chance encounter with hotel employees in Mexico clued me in that Mexican is all about fresh, real food. What has become known as Tex-Mex is a legit cuisine in the culinary world, but it’s just not legit Mexican cuisine and it’s definitely not fresh, especially when you factor in places like the Bell! But real Mexican is fair game on The Whole 30 as long as you don’t eat tortillas, beans or rice, so having a batch of salsa verde made up gives me a jump start on goodness.
I’m on a Whole 30 bender it feels right now. As with all lifestyle changes, I have been single-minded the past few days. I am talking about it constantly which leads to thinking about it constantly; what to make, creating shopping lists, multi-store shopping, prepping for all three meals at once to get ahead. Yes, it’s a lot of work, and if you’re around me, you may be tired of hearing about it, but hopefully, it will be worth it.
Forever, I have been on a health adventure with the goal of losing weight but found out I was on the wrong path. When I was in college, my soccer playing guy friend who didn’t seem to have an ounce of fat, told me to eat less fat to lose weight. I did that with gusto and ate a lot less meat and more rice and pasta along with diet coke and candy (all these things are fat-free but as I found out, not calorie free). I have done the points counting, calorie counting, 5:2 diet and assorted others. I even did the Eat Right for Your Blood Type diet at one point which proved mind-blowing since having been on low-fat for so long, I was appalled that my blood type dictated eating more meat and very little carbs. That diet led me into the last decade in which I have been really delving into what real food looks like. I began to understand fully that all low-fat foods are processed and not real at all. After moving back to Texas three years ago and watching no less than 20 people battle cancer just in this metroplex and many of them losing, I have started focusing less on losing weight. and more on feeding my body what it needs to be sustainably healthy. For instance, in the last year I have started noticing that when I do a cleanse, the thing I craved most is meat…in other words, the very thing my blood type actually needs (I’m not endorsing that diet, but I do believe there is something to this theory.) I had eschewed this all those years before because mainstream medical says saturated fat equals heart disease and other maladies, but now I know these are real foods that my body can process and use and will not, on their own cause me to have heart disease. Sugar on the other hand – used to replace fat in low-fat foods and is contained in almost every processed food – is cancer’s favorite food. Okay…I digress.
While the Whole 30 started showing up in my friend’s Facebook feeds last year, it seemed very restrictive at the time, so I ignored it. Then a friend of mine did it and shared all the benefits. Clearer skin? Ummm…yes! Lose inches…sign me up! Less joint pain…am I getting older?…yes! I realized that it would provide the very thing I was seeing in my research all those years. The foods you can and should eat on The Whole 30 are properly raised meat, poultry, eggs and fish, lots of fruits and veggies and nuts. The foods you leave out are dairy, grains of all kinds, legumes, alcohol and sugar. Pretty major food groups, but it’s very beneficial and only thirty days. So, yes…I took the leap. I’m on it, and loving it, however, being a private chef and a very creative person means I can’t just cook scrambled eggs every day or grill pounds of chicken and steam a bunch of veggies. I HAVE to have flavor AND variety. That’s what led me to making a batch of this salsa verde. No I can’t have tortilla chips to go with my salsa, but I do have plantain chips. Besides just being a chip buddy, I use it on carnitas and eggs (or both together!). Sometime this week it’s going into a very simple Chicken Chili Verde along with homemade bone broth and a bunch of my pre-roasted hatch chiles to serve as easy lunches.
This is about as easy as it gets for making a salsa from fresh ingredients. True salsas, many times, require roasting vegetables then pureeing them, and almost all salsas, whether you roast the ingredients first or not, require frying them in hot oil. This salsa is simply boiled then blended. Here’s the step-by-step with full recipe to follow.
Super Easy Salsa Verde:
Keep some of the ingredients raw. These will add extra flavor, freshness and body to the finished salsa
Place the remaining garlic, chile, tomatillo and onion in a medium saucepan and fill with water to almost cover
When all ingredients are slumped and the tomatillos have changed from chartreuse to olive, the mixture is ready to blend
Use a slotted spoon to transfer everything to the blender and add the reserved raw ingredients along with a teaspoon of sea salt.
This is a great time to use your cilantro stems, by the way, as they will blend up perfectly.
Taste and add more salt if you like then pour into jars to store.
- ¼ large white onion
- 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed*
- 6 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 jalapeno or 2-3 serranos
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 1 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
- Cut a sliver off of white onion and set aside along with one tomatillo, two cloves of garlic, ½ the jalapeno or one of the serranos.
- Place remaining vegetables in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the tomatoes soften (some may burst) and the onion is starting to turn translucent.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables into a blender and add the raw vegetables, cilantro and sea salt. Remove the center of the blender lid and cover the hole with a clean kitchen towel to prevent the hot mixture from exploding out of the blender.
- Starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, blend well until smooth. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
- Transfer to containers and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Freeze for 2-3 months.