Restaurant Style Salsa

salsa

I love Restaurant Style Salsa. It’s so good! Especially with the warm chips… Mmmmmm! Too bad store bought salsa in a jar just doesn’t cut it. And I don’t want pico de gallo. I want salsa, like what they have at Chevy’s. So after searching for a recipe on Google and altering what I found, I finally came up with something that I really love! My husband likes it HOT and I like it medium. Tastes good with regular chips or my favorite, Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean-Infused Tortilla Chips. Perfect snack!

RECIPE

  • 1-28 oz. can of whole tomatoes with juice
  • 1-10 oz. can of Rotel brand diced tomatoes and green chilies or just a can of green chillies (mild, original or hot, whichever is your preference)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 whole jalapeño, quartered and thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1-2 limes

In a food processor or blender, combine whole tomatoes, Rotel (or diced chillies), onion, jalapeno, garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like. Taste and adjust as needed, if you need more salt or lime juice.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour.

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Chimichurri Sauce

I LOVE Nordstrom Cafe’s skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. What a wonderful guilt-free lunch or dinner to have after a hard day’s work of shopping. 🙂 It’s gluten-free and low-carb, too! It comes with roasted asparagus, carrots and potatoes. (I sub the potatoes for more asparagus). Every time I crave this delicious entree, I can’t just run over to Nordstrom. So I’ve decided I need to learn how to make the chimichurri sauce. Actually, it’s pretty simple, you just need a lot of herbs. Here’s my version:

RECIPE

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf or Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  1. In a food processor, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, parsley, basil, cilantro, oregano, and garlic.
  2. Pulse until well-blended.
  3. Add salt and pepper and pulse again.
  4. DONE

Serve this sauce on top of your grilled skirt steak or use as a marinate.

Seafood in White Wine and Garlic Sauce

I usually order Seafood in White Wine and Garlic Sauce at a fancy restaurant for dinner. But it’s so expensive! Since I like cooking I figured I’d venture out in cyber world and see if I can make this dish and serve if for dinner. Well, guess what? I discovered how easy it is to make. I didn’t know it was THIS easy. I can even make this for lunch! Or you can surprise your Valentine and whip this dish out and have a fancy candlelit dinner at home. And the best part… it’s low-carb and full of protein. So… go have a guilt-free feast!

RECIPE

  • 4 lbs of fresh seafood* (mussels, scallops, prawns, clams, etc.)
  • 2 cups dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works best)
  • 4 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, chervil, or basil)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  1. Rinse seafood and scrub mussels under cold water.
  2. Using your fingers or pairing knife, remove beards (strings that hang from the mussel shells), and discard.
  3. In a large stockpot set over medium heat, combine wine, shallots, garlic, and salt. Simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Add seafood. Cover and increase heat to high.
  5. Cook until all mussels are open and prawns are orange, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in herbs and butter.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Serve immediately.

(*I bought the prawns and scallops from Costco so I knew they were fresh and of good quality. The mussels were from Whole Foods so they came pre-cleaned. (Phew! Otherwise, you’ll need to remove the beards.)

Eggplant Hummus and Edamame Crackers

Tired of seeing the same old snacks at the Holiday potluck table? Here’s something that’s tasty and guilt-free: Eggplant Hummus and Edamame Crackers. Both from Trader Joe’s, the eggplant hummus is delicious, lower in carbs, gluten-free and makes a fantastic dip to these gluten-free edamame crackers. Great as an appetizer or snack. (In case you don’t know what edamame is, they’re soybeans or those green bean pods that you get at Japanese restaurants. Full of fiber and nutritious, too.)

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

GREAT NEWS! I just found out that these noodles are made with glucomannan which can help you lose weight!!! Read it here: http://www.shiratakinoodles.net/lose-weight.html

Here’s another pasta alternative… Tofu Shirataki Noodles. This one is made out of tofu so it’s not soy-free like Miracle Noodles, but it’s still very low in carbs (3g per serving) and packed with protein. These noodles are more accessible, too. I found a 2-serving package in the refrigerated section at Safeway or Lucky for around $2. Can’t beat that! And you don’t have to pay for shipping. So I buy these noodles any time I need to.

I love Vietnamese Pho but I’d rather skip the noodles. What I like to do is place an order to-go from my favorite pho restaurant and ask for “no noodles” (and sometimes double meat), and while my hubby is out picking up our order, I quickly rinse and blanch my tofu noodles so by the time he gets home all I do is pour them into my soup and I’m ready for dinner!

KFC Double Down Sandwich

Yesterday my family and I watched the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in our town. After the parade, of course, we were all hungry. It was almost lunch time after all. I hit the nearest fast food joint which was a KFC. I heard about these low-carb Double Down Sandwiches and thought I’d give it a try. From the picture you can see there is no bun. This is pretty much all protein! It’s just two chicken patties surrounding two slices of cheese, bacon and some Colonel’s special sauce. Hardly any carbs in this baby!

I was starving so it started out really good. After a couple of bites, I realized that it was quite salty and very intense. This “sandwich” needed lettuce or some kind of veggie to cut the fat and richness. And it needed something aside from paper to hold it all together. I didn’t finish the entire sandwich because two chicken breast patties was a bit much. Overall, it’s not bad if this was your only choice for fast food.

The Protein Burger!

Today was an unbelievably busy day for me that I barely had time to eat lunch. But even if I only have time to grab fast food, I can still eat something that won’t affect my weight. And I’m not talking about a salad (Who here is sick of salad? ME!) I’m talking MEAT AND CHEESE! Maybe most of you know, but just in case you didn’t, In-and-Out has a secret (or not-so-secret) menu. They have items like grilled cheese, double meat, and 4x4s. My favorite burger to order is the good ol’ Double Double Protein Burger – Animal Style. Mmmmm! This is a lip-smacking, finger-licking, mouthwatering treat for me! Just look at the picture (I’ll give you a moment):

Let’s break this baby down:

  • Double: Two beef patties
  • Double: Two slices of cheese
  • Protein Burger: Wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun
  • Animal Style: with grilled onions

Basically, this burger is ALL protein with very little carbs. If you only have a small window of time to grab a meal, don’t despair. Look at the menu choices and see how you can make it work for you so you can enjoy food without the guilt.