Tag Archives: Healthy

Healthy Purple Baked Potato Chips & Creamy Vegan Tasty Tuber Topping Dip Recipes


These healthy recipes for purple baked potato chips and creamy vegan tasty tuber topping dip will transform your snack time into a guilt-free indulgence. They’re a great enticement for those store-bought fried chip lovers to take better care of their health, and for the picky eaters in your life… because who can resist purple food!? The tasty tuber dip is also the perfect topping for baked potatoes and can be prepared well in advance for ease of week night dinner preparation. All in all, this is a winning combination worth trying… if I do say so myself!

Purple Baked Potato Chip Ingredients:

  • 5 purple fingerling potatoes, per plate full (or any fingerling potato)
  • olive oil (enough to lightly coat potatoes)
  • sea salt (or salt free seasoning)
  • dried garlic powder (optional)
  • dried onion powder (optional)

Tasty Tuber Topping Dip Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsweetened vegan coconut yogurt (or any variety of plain yogurt)
  • 6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (or another healthy oil)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon veganaise (or mayo)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or lime)
  • ½ cup shredded cheese (I used Follow Your Heart brand soy-free vegan.)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh chopped chives (or 5 teaspoons dried)
  • ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (or 2 tablespoons salt free seasoning)

Purple Baked Potato Chip Instructions:


First, wash and scrub the potatoes well with a brush.


Slice them easily with a mandolin (or slice thinly by hand… the harder way).


Next toss the potato chips with enough olive oil to coat them lightly in a bowl with the seasoning.


Place the chips in an even layer over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then sprinkle them with a light coat of seasoning.


Bake at 375ᵒ for about 25 minutes or so depending on your oven’s nature. (They will shrink a little and change color when they’re done… so keep an eye on them.)

Tasty Tuber Topping Dip Instructions:


Simply combine all of the ingredients.


Then blend everything with an immersion blender, or a standard one.


Scoop into a serving bowl, and garnish with extra chopped chives.


This tasty topping also makes the perfect baked potato filling. It’s great to make ahead, along with baked potatoes, when you know you be in late the next day. Just reheat the spuds and serve with bagged salad.


Who needs fried potato chips when these can be enjoyed guilt-free!? These are less expensive than the store-bought kind too! And… they are purple! Enough said.

“It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple” potato “eater, sure looks strange to me.”

Faithfully Yours,


Tex-Mex Dinner Fiesta Forever Tablescape Décor Ideas (for San Antonio Fiesta or Cinco de Mayo Party)


Fiesta forever with Tex-Mex dinner party tablescape décor ideas perfectamente for celebrating San Antonio’s Fiesta or Cinco de Mayo. Raise the roof and raise a glass in cheers for the celebratíon. Let the mariachi music play on in your heart as you feast. Throw your work aside and troubles away as you lose yourself in the rhythm of the beat. Come on and join our fiesta!


“Well, my friends, the time has come, To raise the roof and have some fun, Throw away the work to be done, Let the music play on…”

Mexican purple bubble glass goblets are playfully adorned with initialed wooden chalkboard signs serving as both place-card and drink minder as the party plays on. Casual yet elegant flatware are just some of the stainless steel elements bouncing around the tablescape.


“Everybody sing, everybody dance, Lose yourself in wild romance, We’re going to party, Karamu, fiesta, forever, Come on and sing along!…”

A colorful soutache decorated table-runner dances across the table. Coordinating striped cloth napkins are rolled into polychromatic jute bracelets masquerading as napkin rings. Vintage steel lanterns bedecked in purple beads light up the night as do upcycled luminarias.


“All night long! People dancing all in the street, See the rhythm all in their feet, Life is good wild and sweet. Let the music play on, Feel it in your heart, And feel it in your soul, Let the music take control, We’re going to party, Liming, fiesta, forever, Come on and sing my song!…”

Stacked upon a vintage purple basket-weave tablecloth are vintage purple glazed ceramic dishes sandwiching borrowed Mexican serape styled plates.


“All night long! Yeah, once you get started, You can’t sit down, Come join the fun, It’s a merry go round, Everyone’s dancing, Their troubles away, Come join our party, See how we play! Oh, yes, We’re going to have a party!…”

A fun Tex-Mex trifle bowl layered dinner salad centerpiece is joined by creamy vegan cilantro citrus avocado dressing, Texas peach salsa, and a medley of gluten-free chips held in vintage serving pieces. Salt and pepper shakers of purple cabbages are ready to spice up the fiesta.


“All night long! Everyone you meet, They’re jamming in the street, All night long! Feel good!”

¡Fiesta Forever!

Faithfully Yours,


P.S. The party song quoted is “All Night Long (All Night)” by Lionel Richie.

P.P.S. Buy your own adjustable jute bracelets to double over as napkin rings inexpensively at Fire Mountain Gems, whose affiliate discount link is in the left side panel (or below on a tablet).

P.P.P.S. Find my healthy Tex-Mex trifle salad and dressing recipe by clicking HERE. Find a similar salad in a crunchy baked tortilla bowl HERE, and a Tex-Mex salad taco HERE. Learn how to easily upcycle your own DIY luminarias HERE!

Tex-Mex Trifle Bowl Layered Dinner Salad Recipe with Creamy Cilantro Citrus Avocado Dressing (Gluten-Free & Vegan)


This recipe for a gluten-free Tex-Mex trifle bowl layered dinner salad complete with creamy vegan cilantro citrus avocado dressing is perfect for your next dinner fiesta. It’s so easy to throw together without having to measure anything. It also saves time and expense because the beautifully layered trifle bowl pulls double duty as a colorful centerpiece. Plus, when everything is prepared ahead of time… the hostess can spend the evening in the dining room with her guests rather than in the kitchen. Most guests should be able to partake of this healthy gluten-free vegan meal, and dressing is served on the side so that everyone can control their own portions. Once everyone is taken care of… there is nothing left to do but ¡Fiesta Forever!

Layered Dinner Salad Ingredients:

1: torn romaine leaves (or any lettuce)

2: prepared black beans (rinsed canned or cooked dried)

3: chopped green onions (or leeks)

4: diced Roma tomatoes (or any variety)

5: diced black olives (or green)

6: fresh cilantro leaves (or a sprinkling of dried)

7: vegan cheese (Follow Your Heart brand vegan & soy free shredded cheddar or any variety)

8: sprouted pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)

  • Serve with gluten-free vegan Beanito brand chips (or any tortilla type chip), fresh salsa, and homemade creamy cilantro citrus avocado dressing (or sour cream, plain yogurt, store bought dressing, or guacamole) on the side.

Cilantro Citrus Avocado Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegan coconut yogurt unsweetened (or unsweetened almond milk yogurt, or plain dairy yogurt)
  • 1 ripe avocado mashed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1 tablespoon of salt substitute if sodium restricted)
  • ½ teaspoon dried onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Latin seasoning blend (optional… wholefoods brand has sea salt, garlic, annatto, bitter orange, citric acid, citrus peels & oils)

Layered Dinner Salad Instructions:


Gather, wash, and chop enough ingredients to fill the trifle bowl you have.


Place a layer of each of the fresh ingredients in the order listed… so that you see them through the side like giant savory parfait.


I like to arrange the top in a bullseye pattern with the last ingredients… because a whole layer of cilantro would be demasiado (way too much)!


This is awesome when served with homemade creamy cilantro citrus avocado dressing on the side.

Cilantro Citrus Avocado Dressing Instructions:


Mix all the ingredients together and then blend. (I used an immersion blender.)


This is great to make a day ahead and refrigerate until serving.


I also served the trifle salad with gluten-free vegan Beanito brand chips and fresh peach salsa… to be eaten along with the salad or as a side. (Any variety of tortilla type chip and salsa would be great.) See more of the Cinco de Mayo dinner fiesta featuring this Tex-Mex trifle salad as a centerpiece HERE.

Oh so delicioso y’all! (One simply must speak “Spanglish” at a Tex-Mex dinner fiesta.)

Faithfully Yours,


Tex-Mex Filling Recipe for Taco Salad Baked Tortilla Bowls or Salad Tacos (with Gluten-Free & Vegan Options) with Creamy Cilantro Citrus Avocado Dressing (Dairy-Free)


This double recipe for Tex-Mex taco salad in gluten-free baked tortilla bowls and salad tacos uses the same healthy fillings spiced up with creamy (yet dairy-free vegan) cilantro citrus avocado dressing. This is so that the salad eaters and the taco lovers can enjoy the same meal without creating extra work for the family chef. This is also why everything is gluten-free and dairy-free, and salad ingredients don’t require measuring. It’s also easy to please the vegans and the carnivores because the optional beef crumbles can be selectively applied… but know that meat isn’t necessary because beans with rice tortilla form a complete protein. So let the dinner fiesta begin!

Cilantro Citrus Avocado Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegan coconut yogurt unsweetened (or unsweetened almond milk yogurt, or plain dairy yogurt)
  • 1 ripe avocado mashed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (add more if using fresh herbs)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1 tablespoon of salt substitute if sodium restricted)
  • ½ teaspoon dried onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Latin seasoning blend (optional… wholefoods brand has sea salt, garlic, annatto, bitter orange, citric acid, citrus peels & oils)

Tex-Mex Taco & Salad Ingredients:

  • torn romaine leaves (or any lettuce)
  • prepared black beans (rinsed canned or cooked dried)
  • chopped green onions (or leeks)
  • diced Roma tomatoes (or any variety)
  • diced black olives (or green)
  • fresh cilantro leaves (or a sprinkling of dried)
  • shredded cheese (I used Follow Your Heart brand soy-free vegan shredded cheddar.)
  • sprouted pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • diced ripe avocado (optional)
  • beef crumbles (optional)
  • brown rice tortillas (or any variety of wrap)
  • homemade creamy cilantro citrus avocado dressing (or sour cream, plain yogurt, store bought dressing, salsa, or guacamole)
  • for the crunchy bowls: grapeseed oil in spray pump (or any oil or cooking spray)

Cilantro Citrus Avocado Dressing Instructions:


Mix all the ingredients together and then blend. (I used an immersion blender.)


This is great to make ahead of time and refrigerate until using.

Taco Salad & Tortilla Bowl Instructions:


Gather, wash, and chop enough ingredients to fill up the crowd you’ll be serving. I haven’t included amounts because everyone has their own preferences regarding salad composition… I like ¾ toppings with a little lettuce! (Brown the beef crumbles in a pan now… if you aren’t vegan.)


Toss everything but the tortillas in a large mixing bowl with a portion of the prepared creamy cilantro citrus avocado dressing … or your dressing of choice. (Or serve it own the side.)


To make the baked tortilla bowl shells, spray each tortilla on both sides with oil… from a refillable mist pump or cooking spray. Press each into either an oven safe bowl or a metal tortilla baker. (Sorry about the lack of pictures for this step… oops!) Bake at 350ᵒ for about 15 minutes or so… really just watch them with the oven light on so that they can be removed when just beginning to brown, because everyone’s oven behaves a bit differently. (Note that overcooked broken shells make great tortilla chips.)


Fill these lovely creations with the tossed salad mixture, and garnish with extra cilantro and pepitas.


I serve these in rimmed salad bowls rather than on plates so that guests can break the shells to eat with the salad without making a mess.

Salad Taco Instructions:


For the non-salad eaters in the group who don’t care for salads, try making a salad taco instead.


Make this soft taco by filling a folded brown rice tortilla with the tossed salad mixture.


Now that’s something you can sink your teeth into!

♥ “Yo quiero taco salad!” said the imaginary Chihuahua spokesdog.

Faithfully Yours,


Gluten-Free & Egg-Free Potato Pancake (aka- Kartoffelpuffer, Latke, Hash Brown Cakes, etc.) Vegan Recipe with Baked & Fried Versions for Oktoberfest


Willkommen to a wunderbar meal of potato pancakes made without gluten or eggs! This allergy-friendly recipe is based on the fried kartoffelpuffers I grew up eating at Wurstfest in a small German town in the Texas Hill Country. Known the world over by many different names, these hash brown cakes can also be baked as a healthy and easy make-ahead dish. Serve up these tasty latkes with a variety of sweet and salty toppings for a hearty brunch buffet. Be warned… always make way more than you’ll think you need, and never expect any leftovers!


  • 6 medium or 5 large potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Namaste brand this time)
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt (adjust according to sodium needs)
  • 4 servings Ener-G brand egg substitute (= 8 tablespoons warm water + 6 teaspoons powder… or just use 3 chicken eggs)
  • grapeseed oil for fried version… or olive oil for baked version
  • Optional: sweet or salty toppings like apple sauce, sour cream, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, mixed berries, cheese, fruit syrup, goulash, sugar & cinnamon, etc…



Wash and peel the potatoes and onion.


Grate the potatoes and onion. (I’ve previously made these the hard way with an old-school grater and the easy way with an electric food processor. On this occasion, I went the eco-conscious direction with a vintage hand-crank shredder contraption that has actually been passed down 3 generations… and it still works beautifully!)


Soak the grated goodies in a bowl of cold water. (This reduces the starch content and adds crispness to the finished product.)


Mix 6 teaspoons egg substitute powder well with 8 tablespoons of warm water, until it becomes opaque white (or just crack and whip 3 eggs).


Mix this with the salt and flour. (I add salt to the batter, but if you have a family with vastly differing sodium requirements, just omit it in this step and salt them individually after cooking.)


Drain the potatoes (squeezing / pressing all the water out of it), and then add in the “egg” and flour blend. Mix this up really well.


Tastier Fried Version: Heat the oil and drop spoonfuls of batter into it. (Grapeseed oil is best for frying because of its high smoke point and neutral flavor.) Spread them flat with the back of a spoon. Flip them over when the edges have browned well. Drain them on clean cloth or paper towels before serving.


Healthier Baked Version: Fill oiled muffin cups ¾ full, and then brush or spray olive oil onto the top. (Olive oil is great for baking and will some impart flavor which isn’t infused the same way as with frying.) Convection bake them in a 350ᵒ oven for 35 minutes, and then broil them for 10 more minutes to brown and crisp the tops.


As a make-ahead breakfast test… I filled a 6 muffin cup pan with batter, covered it with clear wrap, and refrigerated it. (The rest of the batter was fried up on the stove.) The next day, I baked the batter filled tin in a toaster oven. It made perfect little hash brown cakes for breakfast without any morning effort.


Though the fried version is admittedly tastier, I’m thinking that baking a whole oven full would a be much easier way to prepare them for a brunch crowd.


These kartoffelpuffers were served with all beef knackwurst sausages made in Texas, Bavarian style sauerkraut, and homemade applesauce… and pretty parsley garnish.




Faithfully Yours,


Healthy Herb Garden Fresh Parsley Pesto Pine Nut Pasta Recipe (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan)

Partake of a sinless garden of earthly delights with this recipe for parsley pesto pine nut pasta. These herb garden fresh noodles are guilt-free because they are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan. This dish is so deliciously delectable that Eve herself wouldn’t know it was healthy!



  • 4 cups fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (or try basil, or even cilantro)
  • ¾ cup pine nuts (+ more for garnish)
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil (adjust for taste)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (adjust for taste)
  • ⅓ cup vegan parmesan (or regular variety) + extra to serve with
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (adjust for taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black peppercorns (adjust for taste)
  • 16 ounce package gluten-free brown rice spaghetti style pasta (or any variety)



Gather all of the ingredients, and wash the fresh herbs. Boil the pasta according to its package instructions.


Mince the parsley in a food processor adding olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan. Add the seasonings then taste it. (Adjust the mixture as desired, but keep in mind that the flavor should be really strong at this point because it will be diluted by two cups of pasta.)


Drain the pasta and add the pesto to it. (I do this in the same warm pot I cooked the pasta in.) Cover the pot to keep the pasta warm until serving, and then transfer it to a pretty serving dish. Garnish with additional pine nuts and flower-cut radishes if you like.


I’ve even made this recipe without adding any parmesan at all, and everyone still thought it was wonderful. (This is a great way to indulge in a weeknight meal while cutting a few extra calories.)


Serve the pasta along with a side salad of mesclun greens topped with sliced radishes and pine nuts. Offer parmesan, sea salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar for each guest to season their own greens with.

082Leigh We served Italian pomegranate soda in lieu of wine for this luncheon.


See how to easily craft your own herb garden napkins rings from printed fabric, get your own free basil seed card printables (invitations, place-cards, food tents, menus, herb markers) and learn how to effortlessly customize a table setting with Washi tape here!


Be sure to check out more of the Fresh Herb Garden Luncheon Tablescape here.


Race you to the herb garden!

Faithfully Yours,


Lemon Glazed Pumpkin Pear Teacakes (Gluten-Free Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg- Free) for Mother’s Day Tea


My dairy, egg, and gluten-free recipe for Lemon Glazed Pumpkin Pear Teacakes began as an experiment to concoct an original healthy and allergy-friendly cake. It can be fashioned into your choice of layered cake, cupcakes, and teacakes. The level of sweetness can be controlled by the amount of glaze you choose to top it with, and almost four cups of pumpkin and pear make this a yummy but guilt-free treat for all to enjoy. So for this Mother’s Day, let them eat teacakes!


Pumpkin Pear Cake Ingredients:

  • 4 cups gluten-free baking mix (brands vary greatly… I used Arrowhead Mills)
  • 2 egg replacers (3 teaspoons + 4 Tablespoons water = 2 eggs… or just use eggs)
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin (or use homemade purée)
  • 2 ¾ cups pear puree (blended ripe pears, or other fruit purée)
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1½ cups sugar (or alternative granular sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or other citrus juice)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice

Lemon Glaze Icing Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (or any citrus juice)
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (or use powdered)
  • optional: dust with more confectioner’s sugar (or use powdered)



Mix all the dry ingredients together.


Add in the wet ingredients to make a super sticky batter.


Spray a 2 tea cake pans, 1 muffin tin, or 2 cake rounds with coconut oil… or use a jarred stuff to grease them the old fashioned way. Do not dust with flour afterward.


Pack the dough into your pans. If you’re making muffins, shape rounded tops with the back of a spoon. If making cakes or tea cakes, smooth the mixture flat with a spoon. (This is a sticky dough that will retain more of its shape than the more fluid batters.)



Slide your filled pans into a non-preheated 350ᵒ oven. (This is because gluten-free vegan goods bake a bit differently than the wheat and egg types.) Bake according to your oven’s temperament, for about 40 minutes.


Let them cool off a little before popping them out.


To make the glaze while you’re waiting for them to cool completely, simply mix the ingredients well in a bowl.


Spoon the glaze onto cooled teacakes.


Confectioner’s sugar may also be dusted over the top if you like. (Confectioner’s is a dusting sugar without corn additives.) Top these teacakes with raspberries for a delightful sight.


They were a delicious allergy-free addition to my Spring Garden Mother’s Day Tea.


I hope they bring a smile to your face too!

Faithfully Yours,


Easy to Mold Naturally Colored Pink Sugar Shapes Sweethearts Recipe = a Spoonful of Sugar for Your Mother’s Day Tea


Celebrate Mother’s Day the Mary Poppins way with a spoonful of sugar in your tea! This no-cook recipe for pink sweethearts utilizes natural beet juice instead of artificial food coloring, but you can substitute any color of juice you like. Plus, they’re really easy to make and mold into any shape you desire. They’re a “supercallifragilisticexpialidocious” alternative for decorating your baked goods as well, because they contain no corn syrup. It only takes a matter of minutes to mix and mold, then let them dry overnight. They are “practically perfect in every way”.



  • 2 cups granulated sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon bottled beet juice (or other juice… or gel food color + 1 teaspoon water)

+ flexible silicone molds in your choice of shape



Gather the ingredients, and measure them precisely.


Mix them together very well, until the pink color is evenly distributed.


Use spoons to dispense the sweet mixture into each well of the mold. Pack it down tightly, flattening the top with the back of a spoon.  (This recipe filled two of my heart molds.)


Let them sit out to dry overnight, and unmold them gently in the morning. Keep them stored in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.


Here they are at the Spring Garden Mother’s Day Tea.


One must be allowed to indulge in girliness every once in a while.


These are so much cuter than plain little squares of white sugar.


So how about you… one lump, or two?


“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – snap – the job’s a game!” –Mary Poppins

Faithfully Yours,


Cherry Pecan Chicken Salad (Soy-Free / Egg-Free with Stuffed Tomato & Gluten-Free Shaped Finger Sandwich Options) for Mother’s Day Tea


Skip the watercress and cucumber, and opt for heartier fare for your Mother’s Day Tea with this easy allergy-friendly recipe for Cherry Pecan Chicken Salad. Serve this delicious soy-free and egg-free delight with gluten-free bread or crackers for all your guests to enjoy worry-free. Or just make a nutritious lunch of adorably shaped finger sandwiches for the kiddos and a stuffed tomato for yourself. Either way, try some today!



  • 1 oven baked chicken breast (see my recipe for this here… or use a can, leftovers, or even turkey)
  • ½ cup pecan pieces (or walnuts, almonds, etc.)
  • ½ cup diced green onion (or leeks, onion, etc.)
  • ½ cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries, raisins, etc.)
  • ¾ cup soy-free veganaise (or mayo, vegan unsweetened yogurt, etc… or mix these ½ and ½)
  • sea salt to taste (or salt free substitute)
  • ground peppercorns to taste
  • optional: heirloom tomato to stuff, gluten-free crackers to top, artisan lettuce to fill, gluten-free bread for tea sandwiches, etc.



Bake and cut a chicken breast into cubes. (See my roasted cocorico chicken with root veggies recipe here, and my chicken with sautéed mixed greens recipe here.) Wash and dice the green onion.


Measure and mix all of the ingredients. Add sea salt and pepper according to your taste and sodium requirements.


Here I cut the top off of a large red and purple heirloom variety tomato, and then scooped out some of the center. Then I spooned a good portion of chicken salad into it and garnished the top with ground red peppercorns and green onion.


The green and purple artisan lettuce it’s resting on, also makes a wonderful carb-free wrap for the chicken salad. Those are gluten-free vegan Mary’s Gone Crackers in the Super Seed variety… yum!


The chicken salad was the perfect filling for the gluten-free tea sandwiches I served at the Spring Garden Mother’s Day Tea.


To go beyond tea sandwich triangles, simply press a cookie cutter into the bread, and fill with chicken salad. (Tulip, daisy, and butterfly shapes were my choice for the tea, but you can see bunny bread here with my carrot crouton recipe.)


Thanks Mom, for all the chicken salad you’ve made me over the years!

Faithfully Yours,



P.S. If you’re looking for another easy version of this, try my turkey salad recipe here.

“Nacho Average Fiesta Dip” & Spicy Nachos Compuesto (Dairy, Corn, Red Pepper, & Gluten-Free) Easy Appetizer for Cinco de Mayo Fiesta


My “nacho average fiesta dip” is the main ingredient for my spicy nachos compuesto, and it proves that you don’t need to add red pepper to get a spicy kick out of Tex-Mex. And they make perfecto Cinco de Mayo appetizers because they’re not only quick and easy to make, but are also free of other allergens (like dairy, corn, and gluten) that are so typical of Mexican cuisine. So feel free to indulge without feeling indulgent… & ¡Fiesta forever!

“Nacho Average Fiesta Dip” Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces canned vegan refried black beans (the vegan varieties have no lard added… or try pintos, or make fresh)
  • 7 ounces canned fire roasted crushed tomatoes (or use freshly chopped and roasted)
  • 8 ounce package gourmet soy-free vegan cheddar shreds (this kind doesn’t have canola, soy, or milk casein protein… but use any variety of cheese you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or lime)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or minced fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon ground peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or salt substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons dried cilantro (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • chips, crackers, or veggies for dipping (try a corn & gluten-free alternative like bean and rice chips)

Spicy Nachos Compuesto Ingredients:

  • diced green onion
  • diced tomatoes
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced black olives
  • shredded lettuce
  • chips (try corn-free bean and rice chips like these Beanitos)
  • prepared “Nacho Average Fiesta Dip”
  • optional: vegan yogurt or sour cream
  • optional: guacamole (try my spicy recipe that’s red pepper free here)

“Nacho Average Fiesta Dip” Instructions:


Gather all your ingredients and mix them together.


Heat the mixture until the cheese melts. (I used a microwave on 80% power stirring every 2 minutes, for a total of 8 minutes… but a saucepan on a stovetop works well too.)


Blend the hot mix until the cheese is indistinguishable from the beans and rice. (I, of course, used my handy-dandy immersion blender.)


Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with sliced olives, cilantro, and fresh ground peppercorns.248Leigh

Serve with freshly cut veggies, crackers, or your favorite chips. (I used beautifully dark “Beanitos” made in Austin because the bean and rice combo make a complete protein, at 4 grams per serving… plus they’re yummy.)


Spicy Nachos Compuesto Instructions:


Arrange an overlapping layer of chips onto a dish, and spoon hot “Nacho Average Fiesta Dip” over the top. Add the remaining ingredients in amounts that suit your taste-buds.


I had yogurt on hand and guacamole already made, but the nachos didn’t even need them. The Fiesta Dip had all the flavor I craved. Try tasting the chip-dip combo before loading yours up.


All of that salad-like part (lettuce, tomato, olives, green onion, and cilantro) that makes up the compuesto part of the nachos transforms this recipe from a snack into a meal… and therefore a guilt-free indulgence.


¡Yo quiero spicy nachos!

Faithfully Yours,



P.S. Try my Healthy Tex-Mex Cilantro Chicken Spinach Quesadilla Recipe (Dairy, Red Pepper, Corn, & Gluten-Free) Easy Appetizer for Cinco de Mayo Fiesta as well!