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.

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.

Bagels

Before I get to the bagel recipe, I’m so sorry that I haven’t been posting in a while. I’ve been bitten by the “workout bug” and have delved into the land of fitness. My life has been consumed by daily exercise so I haven’t been cooking as much or trying out new recipes but I am still eating clean and always refer to my recipes for weight maintenance.

If you’d like to see NEW Before & After Pics, click here.

Now on to the Bagel recipe…

bagels2

I love bagels! I practically salivate when I smell their delicious aroma when I pass by the bakery at Costco or when they’re toasting in the toaster! BUT… since I stay away from bagels because it’s full of carbs, I only eat them very rarely. And when I do, I will only eat half, and eat is ever-so-slowly so that I can enjoy it. Then I found this gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, lower-carb bagel recipe from Elana’s Pantry. Ok, so it doesn’t have the chewiness and texture of a bagel, but it LOOKS like a bagel, it has a hole in the middle, and I can eat it with cream cheese for breakfast. So, I’ll take that over nothing. 🙂 You can also use this to make bagel sandwiches for lunch or dinner. Yum, yum!

I altered the instructions a bit since I don’t have a food processor. I used a mixer and the bagels came out fine.

bagels1

RECIPE

  • 1-1/2 cups of almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of flax meal
  • 1 T of coconut flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T of poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven at 350˚F. Grease and dust a donut pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (except for the seeds).
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and vinegar on a medium setting using a mixer. Then slowly add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time mixing with a spatula until you form batter.
  4. Place the batter in a piping bag or a plastic bag, and snip off one corner and pipe the batter into the donut pan.
  5. Sprinkle the seeds over the bagels.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bagel comes out clean.
  7. Cool the bagels for an hour, then serve.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Toast to reheat.

Cheesy Quinoa Salad

cheesyquinoaA few months ago, I went to an upscale deli and had this beautiful quinoa salad that was so delicious and flavorful. I didn’t know how to reciprocate it since I didn’t know all the ingredients used. But I decided to get creative and try to achieve something close. I call it Cheesy Quinoa Salad because, well, there’s cheese in it. Maybe I should have come up with a different name but, hey, my kids will eat anything that starts with “cheesy.”

This makes for a great gluten-free, vegetarian side dish with dinner or you can eat it by itself for lunch. Filling and tasty!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of grilled asparagus, zucchini, steamed spinach (or whatever cooked veggies you may have)
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Not the dry pre-grated that comes in a can but the one that comes fresh in a resealable bag or plastic tub. But you can really use any kind of cheese you prefer: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, etc.)
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook your quinoa following the directions on the package. I cooked mine in my rice cooker using 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.
  2. While that is cooking, grill or steam your vegetables, then rough chop them in to big bite size pieces. I like to see and bite into my veggies.
  3. After the quinoa is cooked, mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from the lemon, and salt & pepper. (You can add red pepper flakes if you want more heat!)
  4. Let the quinoa cool for about an hour, then add the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir.
  6. Add more olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper depending on your taste.
  7. Serve as a side dish at room temp or cold.

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!

Oven Baked Prawns

butterprawnsI saw this recipe for Oven Baked Prawns on a Facebook post that went viral and HAD. TO. TRY. IT! Looked so simple to make and, of course, I had to add my own spin on it. This dish is great as an appetizer at parties when your guests don’t mind getting their hands dirty or as a dinner entree.

RECIPE

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 lemon sliced thinly
  • 1 lb. of prawns or shrimp (shelled or not shelled, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tsp of dried Italian spices (basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, etc.)
  • salt & pepper
  • Optional: sliced zucchini or asparagus spears
  1. Preheat oven at 350˚F.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe glass pan (about 1-2 minutes in the microwave.)
  3. Layer the lemon slices over the butter.
  4. Place the prawns over the lemon slices.
  5. Sprinkle the Italian spices, salt & pepper over the prawns.
  6. Top with veggies.
  7. Cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. (You may have to move the veggies around to make sure all the prawns are cooked.)
  10. Dig in!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

cauliflowerpizzaDoesn’t this Cauliflower Pizza Crust look like a REAL pizza crust?! I finally found a recipe for this gluten-free, wheat-free, low carb crust that doesn’t turn out soggy and is actually a decent guilt-free substitute for pizza crust. This is based from a recipe from GoSuperSisters.com. The trick is getting ALL THE EXCESS WATER OUT! And it’s best to make this a personal-sized pizza vs. a regular family-sized pizza because then the center will be soggy. I couldn’t bake it longer without burning the edges. And look at those edges! Yup… there is a little crunch with this crust!

RECIPE

Crust:

  • 2 cups of rough chopped cauliflower
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbs coconut or oat flour
  • 1 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of dry Italian herbs or seasoning
  • Pepper (optional)

Toppings

  • 2 T tomato sauce or sugar-free pizza sauce
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup of shredded mozzarella
  • Your choice of toppings
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cauliflower in a food processor (or in a blender with a bit of water) and process until “riced.”
  3. Put the riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 4-5 minutes or until soft.
  4. Once cauliflower has completely cooled (a couple hours?), pour the cauliflower “dough” in a clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth and squeeze the excess water out. I’m talking SQUEEZE! There is a lot of water in cauliflower and when you think you’ve squeezed it all out, SQUEEZE some more! You’ll be thankful you did.
  5. Place cauliflower back into a bowl and add your egg white, flour, cheese, garlic, salt, seasoning and pepper. Mix well and form into a ball.
  6. Place the dough on your lined baking sheet and flatten into a round circle with your hands. Place in oven for 15 minutes, then remove and carefully flip (I used another lined baking sheet on top to support the crust and make sure it didn’t fall apart).
  7. Put it back into oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown (more if you want).
  8. Once your crust is done, top it with sauce, cheese and any other toppings.
  9. Place it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is golden.
  10. Buon Apetit!