Here’s a quick and easy dip that’s perfect for any of your last minute cinco de mayo needs! All you need is a food processor and a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry. This dip is easy to make and easy to serve, plus there’s not absolutely no cooking involved, which makes it a perfect summertime dip. I recommend serving it with tortilla chips and veggies, but you could use it with nachos or on quesadillas as well.
I felt that three chipotles was the perfect amount for this dip. It gave it a nice smoky, spicy taste, but it wasn’t spicy to the point that you couldn’t eat the dip. You notice the spice, but it’s subtle. I thought the dip was delicious when I made it, but it tasted even the better the next day. If you have the time, I would really recommend trying to stick it in the fridge for a few hours and let the flavors mingle.
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
- 5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (mainly leaves, a few stems are okay)
- 2-4 limes, juiced
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek, you can use sour cream too)
- 2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo (depending on your heat preference), coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients except salt & pepper, and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper to taste, and if you prefer a thinner dip, continue processing, adding lime juice 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Garnish with 2 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro (if desired) before serving.
Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan
Tagged black beans, cooking, food, mexican, recipes, vegan
Make these! Make them right now! You need these in your life and you don’t even need to use cinco de mayo as an excuse. these are good enough to any time! I can’t tell you how many years it’s been since I had a churro, but they were one of my favorite childhood treats. The second I bit into one of these gluten free churros, I instantly had delicious memories of fairs and fiestas and trips to Disneyland.
I was actually shocked by this recipe. One, it was so easy! SO easy. And two, so delicious. Like, sugary, buttery, melt in your mouth, you never want to eat anything else every again delicious. I am always a bit wary of attempting to make desserts with French names and since the pastry used to make churros is choux pastry, I wasn’t feeling super confident going in. Luckily, I was proven wrong! choux pastry could not have been easier to make. Plus, baking the churros not only makes them a bit healthier, but takes care of a lot of the mess and work frying causes.
This recipe made a lot of churros. I got just over 40 mini churros out of this recipe. I was having piping bag issues, so I only made my churros about half the length of the baking sheet, which I think turned out to be the perfect size.
Baked Gluten Free Churros
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup water, brown sugar and salt. Add butter and place over medium-high heat. Heat until butter is melted and mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Mixture will clump and pull away from the sides of the pan. Mix/mash with wooden spoon until no streaks of flour can be seen.
- In a small bowl, combine eggs and vanilla. Scramble mixture with a fork and then add to the dough-ball in the saucepan. Stir and mash, breaking up the dough until loosened. Stir well until eggs are incorporated and mixture has the appearance of mashed potatoes.
- Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with Wilton star tip #M1. You could also pipe the dough in a zip-top bag with the corner snipped, but the churros will be ridge-less (delicious, nonetheless).
- Pipe dough into long thin lengths on the parchment covered pans. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the end of the dough from the piping tip. Leave about 2-inches of space between the churros.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed. Turn oven to broiler setting and watch carefully as churros toast and turn deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. If you're baking the churros one pan at a time, be sure to return the oven setting to 425°F before putting in the next pan.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon and pour onto a long dish. Roll churros in mixture. Serve.
Posted in Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged baking, dessert, food, gluten free, mexican, recipes
It took me nearly a quarter century to realize that avocados weren’t absolutely vile, disgusting and gross. Up until the time I was about 24, I would act like a three year old anytime an avocado came near my food. If avocado or guacamole touched anything, I refused to eat it. Luckily I have since learned the error of my ways and have grown to love guacamole (I’m still working on plain avocado (it’s totally a texture thing)). This is an ever so slight twist on my favorite guacamole recipe and I have to say it’s pretty amazing.
This guacamole recipe is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t love garlic, you should just skip this one, but if you’re like me and insist on adding inappropriate amounts of garlic to everything, this will be the perfect guacamole for you! Roasting garlic might seem like a bit of a hassle to do, but really it couldn’t be easier! And trust me, it’s definitely worth it. The extra flavor it brings to the guac is out of this world.
- 2 whole garlic bulbs
- 3 large avocados
- 2-4 limes
- 1/2 large red or white onion, diced
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeño, finely diced (include seeds if you want heat!)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (be generous)
To Roast Garlic:
- Heat oven to 400. With a sharp knife, chop off top 1/4 to 1/3 of garlic head, so that the bulbs are exposed. Place in small oven safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
For the Guacamole:
- Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh into large bowl. Squeeze in lime juice. Remove all the garlic cloves from bulbs and add to bowl. Mash together (you can use a wooden spoon, fork, potato masher, etc.).
- Add cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeño, and salt and pepper. Mix together until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Feel free to add more lime juice or salt and pepper to taste.
Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan
Tagged Appetizer, avocado, food, garlic, gluten free, mexican, recipes, vegan, vegetarian
Last weekend I popped up to San Francisco for a quick visit with friends and my blog and computer decided they wanted a vacation too. Technical problems seem to be resolved for the most part, so let’s get back to it. Cinco de mayo is rapidly approaching and since I like any excuse to eat Mexican food, I plan on taking full advantage of the fact this week. Most of these recipes aren’t super traditional or exactly authentic, but they are delicious enough for any fiesta.
This queso is super tasty. I added some of my favorite spring ingredients (mushrooms, leeks and spinach) and they really added a lot of flavor to the queso. They mushrooms added a great earthy flavor, which worked really well with the tangy goat cheese. The chiles add just a little bit of spiciness. I served my queso with tortilla chips, but it would also go well with veggies, crackers or bread.
My oven, like all the other machines in my life, has also been a bit temperamental lately (had to get the igniter replaced… again…), which has changed my oven’s personality somewhat. It seems to be cooking a bit lower or slower (I’m still trying to figure it out). After 25 minutes the queso was definitely bubbly and ready to serve, but there was absolutely no color to the top of it, which made it look like a blob of boring, white cheese. It’s not a requirement, but I like a little bit of a brown crust on my baked dips. It took me at least 35 minutes to get any type of color to the dip and as you can see in the picture it still came out a bit splotchy. Despite my odd requirements for baked dip coloration, the end product was delicious.
Gluten Free Green Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
- 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 (10 ounce) can green chiles, diced (chop finely if using whole chiles)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and onion cook until softened and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Spread leeks, mushrooms, spinach over the bottom of a small ovenproof casserole or gratin dish. In a large bowl, combine goat cheese, Jack cheese, and chiles and mix until combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly over mushrooms and bake until bubbling, about 25-35 minutes. Serve hot.
Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Holidays, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged Appetizer, cheese, food, gluten free, goat cheese, mexican, mushrooms, onions, recipes, spinach
Back when I was living in Budapest, there was this amazing Greek restaurant that I loved to go to. It was right on Danube and had a wonderful patio during the summer and was nice and cozy in the winter. At the time I was also a pescatarian and trust me when I say it can be a challenge to find tasty vegetarian options in a land full of szalámi and gulyásleves. (I never quite understood where fish in a landlocked country came from, so I either didn’t question it or steered clear completely.) Between good veggie dishes and an excellent wine list, it was one of my favorite places in Bp.
I have really had a hankering for Greek food recently. Unfortunately nearly every dish I could think of involved pita or phyllo… While attempting to make gluten-free phyllo dough sounds like a wonderful challenge, unfortunately I just don’t have the time or patience to attempt it. Being the resourceful type that I am, I took a look around the kitchen and decided to improvise. I made the executive decision that corn tortillas would make a perfect substitute (might sound strange to some, but corn tortillas are a staple in these parts, plus they are gluten-free and are very handy for holding/transporting food).
Spanakopita quesadillas were the perfect (gluten-free) fix for a Greek craving. Not authentic by any stretch, but the flavors were there and they were so, so, so easy to make. I threw in a few chopped kalamatas for fun and I served up these quesadillas with some delicious tomato pasta sauce (Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic) and some Greek yogurt mixed with dill and a few spices in an attempt to make a totally illegitimate tzatziki. I do kind of , sort of, like tzatziki, but cucumber in general makes my skin crawl, so plain Greek yogurt and dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice was the perfect compromise.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4+ cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- cooking spray
- 1/2 cup prepared pasta sauce
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- First make the 'mock' tzatziki. Combine Greek yogurt, dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is heated add onion and cooking until translucent and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant. Add oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until mixed.
- Next add the baby spinach. Stir to coat and cook until spinach has wilted.
- Remove pan from heat and put the spinach mix into a bowl or plate and set aside. Wipe down the pan return to medium heat and spray with cooking spray (you can use a new pan, but why do more dishes?). Place one tortilla in the pan and heat. Flip over when warmed and sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella. Top the cheese with half the spinach mixture, 1/4 cup of the feta and half the olives.
- Place another tortilla on top, spray lightly with cooking spray and use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over. Cook until the tortilla is warmed through and slightly crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Repeat with the other tortillas to make a second quesadilla.
- Serve with pasta sauce and 'tzatziki'.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged cheese, cooking, feta, food, gluten free, greek, mexican, olives, onion, recipes, spinach, vegetarian
A couple of years ago I went to my friend Nancy’s Super Bowl party. We spent the weekend coming up with all kinds of delicious ideas. She decided to make one of the day’s main bites to eat (BBQ pulled pork sandwiches) in the crock pot and just let people serve themselves when they wanted. Genius! I don’t eat pork like that, so I didn’t try any, but I liked the idea. I easily could have done BBQ chicken sandwiches here, but tacos are more my style. It would be really easy to prep a taco bar with all the fixings before the big game and allow your and your guests to eat at leisure.
I totally had delicious salsa to put on the tacos, but I totally got distracted by the amazing guacamole. The avocados in these parts are pretty phenomenal at the moment (that and I make delicious guac). Fear not, the salsa will find a home in the leftovers, if it doesn’t meet some tortilla chips first.
Another slow cooker recipe that would be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday, or any day really, I would also recommend my Tri-Tip tacos! They are delicious.
If a taco bar seems like a bit too much work, this recipe could easily be turned into a real chili recipe. You would just have add some more tomatoes/salsa. I would recommend a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes (look for fire-roasted or chiles) and their juice and a second can of pinto beans (also drained and rinsed).
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili Tacos
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a mix)
- 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 ounce jar prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1-16 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-2 Tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
- 1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tablespoon Chipotle powder
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- hard corn taco shells
- Cilantro, shredded cheese, guacamole, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)
- In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, onion, chiles, pinto beans, chili/chipotle powder, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 6 hours).
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and shred, using two forks. Return shredded chicken to crock pot and stir with juices. Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Slow Cooker
Tagged chicken, food, gluten free, mexican, recipes, slow cooker, tacos
Yes, I am aware it’s Halloween and I should be sharing something themed, but to be quite honest I am not really into Halloween. It’s one day, I don’t get why it now gets a month+ ‘season’ (this also my complaint about christmas). The closest I’m coming to the Halloween spirit is drinking bourbon and reading ‘Helter Skelter‘ (it’s for my book club) all while pretending we aren’t home when trick-or-treaters come by. If that doesn’t say ‘Happy Halloween’, I’m not sure what does…
Enough about things I don’t like, let’s talk about things that I so like: Mexican food. Even in the vaguest sense, Mexican food always makes me happy. This dish is very vaguely Mexican, but tasty enough that we can overlook authenticity. It’s also super easy to throw together. Tasty and easy is definitely a double bonus in my book. I thought about adding in some more vegetables (zucchini or mushrooms maybe), but to cut down on prep/chopping time I decided not to. I thought the end result was very tasty and definitely didn’t seem like it was missing anything, but if I add more time, I would definitely add in some extra veggies as well.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1-7 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1-10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 1/2 cups salsa
- 4-6 inches corn tortillas, coarsely torn
- 3 ounces Monterey Jack or Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl toss together chicken, garlic, and chili powder. Add to hot skillet. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
- Add canola oil to skillet. Add onion and green chiles. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach.
- Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1/2 cup of the salsa in the baking dish. Top with half of the tortilla pieces, half of the chicken mixture, and half of the vegetable mixture. Pour half of the remaining salsa over the vegetables and top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers once, except do not top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with cherry tomatoes and green onions.
This dish is almost like a cooked ceviche. It has all the same flavors, just prepared in a different way. These shrimp would be great in tacos or even as the filling for enchiladas. The sauce in this dish is very simple and easy to make and very versatile. It would be great with chicken as well. This dish comes together pretty quickly, but making the sauce ahead of time would cut down cooking time to around 5 minutes just for the shrimp.
Shrimp in a Mexican Tomato Sauce
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 jalapeño, finely chopped, including seeds
- 2 cups fresh or canned chopped tomatoes, including juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- juice of one lime
For the Shrimp:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- juice of one lime
- To make sauce, heat the oil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat and add onion, garlic and chile and cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and simmer over low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. When thickened, add in lime juice and stir to mix.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke. Toss the shrimp with the salt, then add to the oil and sauté, turning occasionally, until barely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir the sauce into the shrimp and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.