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.

Advertisements

Zucchini Brownies

zucchinibrownies

What?! Zucchini Brownies? It doesn’t sound appetizing but I can tell you that it is very good. It’s moist, rich, super dark, not too sweet, and yes, guilt-free (gluten-free, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, nut-free, and wheat-free). My 9-year old daughter loves them. My 4-year old son won’t try anything with the word “zucchini” it in no matter how chocolatey it is. If you’re lucky, it’s a great way to get veggies in your child or husband’s diet. 🙂 Perfect for dessert or a snack.

The recipe is from cookingalamel.com but I made my own changes because I want it EXTRA DARK!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup Peet’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain Fage Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup more coconut sugar, added to the dry ingredients)
  • 2-3 zucchini squash, shredded
  • One (1) 3.5 oz. of 85% or higher dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and liquid stevia together, until smooth.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  5. Fold in the shredded zucchini, chocolate pieces, and nuts.
  6. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.

Eggplant Pesto

eggplant_caviarI love eggplant! I especially love roasted eggplant… on pasta… with feta cheese! I don’t know why. I just love the smoky taste mixed with the zesty feta. This low-carb, gluten-free, vegan recipe for Eggplant Pesto is easy – as long as you have a grill ready to roast your eggplant. If not, then baking it in the oven will do.

RECIPE

  • 1 large globe eggplant or 2-3 long Asian eggplants
  • Finely chopped 1-2 shallots or 1/2 small red onion
  • 2-3 tbsp of balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, parsley, cilantro, or whatever herbs you like.
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  1. GRILLING: Place eggplant directly on the grill. (Do not oil or salt and pepper). Rotate it occasionally until all the sides are charred and it softens. This takes about 25-30 minutes. OVEN: Preheat at 375˚ F. Pierce the eggplant with a fork in a couple of places then place eggplant on a cookie sheet (Do not oil or salt and pepper). Rotate after 10-15 minutes then cook for another 10-15 minutes until it’s soft and mushy. Let the outside char so that peeling will be easy. Remove from the grill and let cool completely before peeling. If the eggplant seem really watery — the larger ones tend to give off more liquid — let them drain in a colander for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, put the shallots/red onion and pour the vinegar over it and let it sit. Then add the chopped garlic.
  3. Peel the eggplant. Place it in a larger bowl and sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste. Mash it all together with a fork.
  4. Add half of the shallots/red onion and garlic to the eggplant.
  5. Mix in the herbs and a drizzle with olive oil. Mix and then taste.
  6. Serve over brown rice pasta and sprinkle feta cheese on top for lunch or dinner. Or you can also serve this as a dip with gluten-free crackers. Makes for a delicious guilt-free snack or appetizer.

Frozen Banana with Peanut Butter

banana_PBWhen you’re craving ice cream and you really shouldn’t have ice cream, I go for this Frozen Banana dessert treat. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. So simple to make. I usually have bananas in my freezer because sometimes I buy too many bananas. And instead of tossing them out or if I don’t have time to make banana bread, I peel them and put them in a zipped bag and save them for future use. For this frozen treat, I cut up a frozen banana and drizzle all-natural, no sugar added peanut butter all over it. It tastes like you’re eating real ice cream! Hits the spot (and I’m eating clean.) You can also use almond butter, cashew butter, any other nut butter of your choice. Even sunbutter if you’re allergic to nuts.

Apple Peanut Butter Sammies

applePBsammiesI saw this recipe on Instagram and thought to myself, “I have to make this… RIGHT NOW! I’m having a snack attack!” This is my photo, but the picture I saw on @myhealthydish_ looked absolutely delicious. I hope I captured it as well as they did. The recipe didn’t have a name and so I figured I’d call it Apple Peanut Butter Sammies (or sandwiches) because it’s kinda like a sandwich but I’m using apple slices instead of bread, so it’s gluten-free, wheat-free, low-carb and healthy. Mmmmm. It’s a perfect snacks for your little ones too!

RECIPE

  • 1 apple
  • peanut butter (or any other nut butter of your preference – almond butter, sun butter, etc.)
  • chopped nuts (I used pistachios but you can use almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. )
  1. Slice the apple thinly.
  2. Spread peanut butter generously on an apple slice. Top with another apple slice. (Peanut butter will squish out. That’s what you want.)
  3. Roll the “sammie” in chopped nuts so they stick to the peanut butter.
  4. Enjoy!

“Corn” Dog Bites

corndogsMy favorite gluten-free food blogger, Michelle at GlutenFreeFix.com, strikes again! She made these low-carb, gluten-free “Corn” Dog Bites that both my kids enjoyed! So much so that I made it TWICE in a week! Although it doesn’t have corn in the recipe, the bread comes pretty close to tasting like cornbread.

I also made a cheese only option for my daughter who loves cheese. These are quite simple and fun to make. Perfect for a weekend lunch with the kids, an after-school snack or as an appetizer. I’m thinking of making these for Easter for the kids to eat while egg hunting. 🙂

RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar or coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup almond flour, firmly packed
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour, firmly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 hot dogs or string cheese (cut in 1/2 inch slices)
  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
  2. Whisk together melted butter, eggs and sweetener.
  3. Stir in dry ingredients. Then add in the shredded cheese.
  4. Scoop into greased mini muffin pans, about 1 tablespoon of batter in each.
  5. Place 1 hot dog or cheese slice in each muffin batter.
  6. Bake for 14-17 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Serve warm.

No Bake Cookies

In case you need more guilt-free cookies this Christmas, here’s another recipe for No Bake Cookies which I found on Gluten Free Fix which I altered a bit. This tastes like a candy bar! I like that you don’t have to bake it, and it’s really, really good when eat them right out of the freezer. Great as a snack or dessert.

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free option)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (I used almond butter.)
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup of nuts* (Your choice: pecans, almonds, peanuts, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a pot, combine butter/oil, agave nectar, and cocoa powder.  Bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in nut butter, salt and vanilla.
  3. Stir in coconut flakes and nuts.
  4. Scoop cookies onto a parchment lined sheet tray.
  5. Refrigerate to set.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 1 week and freezer up to 1 month. (Makes 3 dozen)

*You can make this guilt-free goodie nut-free by using 3 cups of coconut flakes instead. It turns out more like a chocolate macaroon.