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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Cinnamon Vanilla Flax Seed Bread

Another reader-inspired recipe (thanks to sisters Heidy and Sonja), they used my Flaxseed Focaccia Bread recipe and adapted it to make different types of breads (adding pesto and garlic for a more savory bread or adding bananas and cinnamon for a sweeter alternative). I played around too to make Cinnamon Vanilla Flax Seed Bread, which is a delicious treat toasted and smeared with butter when you wake up with a sweet tooth in the morning. Feel free to be creative as well and add your own twist to this amazing bread base!

RECIPE

  • 2 cups of flaxseed meal
  • 2 tbsp of almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of Stevia powder – I use Trader Joe’s brand.
  • 1/4 cup of agave nectar
  • 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  1. Beat the eggs then throw the rest of the ingredients in with it.
  2. Let it sit for a couple minutes to thicken.
  3. Pour it onto a flat jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes or until it springs back to the touch.
  5. Cut into sizable squares. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Cheddar Cheese

Look what I saw at Trader Joe’s??? Chocolate Cheddar Cheese. What an interesting combination of flavors! The cheddar is sharp and the chocolate is dark. I thought it would be horrible but it actually tastes pretty good. Not sure if I’d buy it again but definitely worth a try. Probably something I’d serve as an appetizer / snack / conversation starter at my next gathering at home.

Brussels Sprout Chips

Just like kale chips, here’s similar version which I found on nomnompaleo.com: Brussels Sprout Chips. Nutritious, delicious, and guilt-free! You only want to use the outer leaves. The trick to successful chips is to make sure you get the edges brown. See my photo? I could add another 5 minutes to these to get them more brown and crispy but I wanted to make sure you could still tell these were fresh green Brussel sprout leaves.) They may look burnt or wilted but they’re actually crunchy. The lemon zest is optional. I loved it! I thought it added a freshness to the chips.

RECIPE

  • 2 cups of Brussels sprout leaves (outer leaves from 2 pounds of sprouts)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted ghee or butter or olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Lemon zest (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a salad bowl, toss the leaves with oil and salt. You can add the lemon zest at this stage or after baking.
  3. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Arrange leaves in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until leaves are crispy.
  5. Toss lemon zest over the chips.
  6. Enjoy as a snack or appetizer!

Dippers: Gluten-Free Chips

Why is it if I see it at Costco, it catches my eye? I was doing my shopping when I heard a lady yelling out “Gluten-free chips! Try them now!” My ears perked up and so I wandered over to find a gigantic bag of R.W. Garcia tortilla chips called Dippers. I picked up the bag to make sure there wasn’t any added sugars (none). It does, however, list stone ground corn so it’s not completely low-carb, but so full of good fiber: flaxseed, black sesame seeds and chia seeds. I picked up a sample and started to bite into these crunchy, flavorful chips. YUM! And they really are great for dipping into your low-carb dips like salsa or guacamole!

The next day I went to Trader Joe’s and found a similar product with the exact same flavors in one bag: Spinach and Garlic (my favorite!), Red Beet and Onion, and Carrot and Tomato. You really should buy a bag and try these. Great snack!

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.)

Kale Chips

Yes, that’s right. Kale Chips. I read about them on SimplySugarAndGlutenFree.com. I was a little hesitant because first of all, it’s kale (yuck!) and secondly, it’s kale (bleuch!). I’ve never even eaten kale before in my life. But the more I thought about it and read how simple they are to make, the more I convinced myself to try them.

The first batch I made (Yeah, I made more!), I ate the whole thing to myself. They are surprisingly crunchy and have the similar texture as those seaweed snacks. I felt like a pig chowing down on every last leaf but then I remembered, it’s kale. It’s healthy. I can eat pounds of kale and still come out winning. It’s a nutritious leafy green vegetable, full of vitamin A, vitamin K and iron.

The second batch I made, I ate to myself again. I tried to share but my kids just ran away from them. 🙂 The third batch I made, my husband ate most of them and told me to buy more kale tomorrow. I hope you’ll like these guilt-free snacks as much as my husband and I do. We’re going to be adding this to our Thanksgiving table this year. Very low in carbs and gluten-free, this is great as a side dish or to eat by itself.

(FYI: I discovered that these are sold at health food stores for about $7 for a small bag. That’s outrageous when they’re so easy to make, and a bag of kale at Trader Joe’s only costs $1.99!)

RECIPE

  • fresh kale
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Trim kale and rip into chip-sized pieces.  The ‘chips’ shrink slightly in the oven so I make them a little bigger.  Wash and dry kale in a salad spinner.  If you don’t have a salad spinner, fill a large bowl with water, drop the kale in, swirl it around, and then dry the kale on paper towels.
  3. In a salad bowl, toss kale with olive oil and salt.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.  Arrange kale in a single layer. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until kale is crispy.