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Gluten-free Nacho Chips

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Gluten-free Nacho Chips

I know there are a lot of gluten-free options for nacho chips out there, but I’ve never been satisfied with the quality of the ingredients used: mainly a lot of corn and vegetable oils. So, I started thinking of ways I could make my own super healthy nacho chips. Here’s what I came up with! (it makes about 60 chips)

Fiesta!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Butter for the pan
  • Red palm oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

It’s pretty quick and easy to make, but it’s a three-step process. Batter, cooking, frying. So first things first, the batter. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (potato starch to pinch of salt, on the list). Add an egg and mix some more. Slowly add the water, while mixing at the same time. The batter should feel like pancakes: smooth, no lumps and not too liquid. Add the lime juice and the chopped cilantro. Mix well.

In a pan over medium heat, melt a little butter (half a Tablespoon) so the batter doesn’t stick. Pour about a fifth of the batter in the pan and cook it like a pancake: two minutes, flip, one minute and done. Cut the “pancake” in small triangle and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

They still need to get fried, but it’s starting to look good!

Red palm oil gives the nacho chips a perfect color.

And now, on to the last step! Heat up red palm oil in a fryer to 370F. Fry until nice and crisp, around 5 minutes. I had to make three different batches because my fryer is pretty small, but it was worth it. When they’re ready to be taken out, be careful not to burn yourself. Remove the excess oil with a paper towel.

Sprinkle salt on top to taste. Eat with salsa, guacamole or sour cream – or better, with all three!

I also like to use these chips to bake nachos with refried beans, ground beef, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Hmmm!

Shrimp Spring Rolls

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Shrimp Spring Rolls

I found shrimp on sale at the store and I was really excited. I wasn’t too sure what to make with them, but I’ve made a few asian inspired meals lately so I thought spring rolls sounded like a nice challenge. Rice paper can be a little tricky to work with, but other than that, this is a very simple meal. No cooking. Well unless you buy raw shrimp, but mine were already cooked. Here’s what you’ll need:

The peanut butter dipping sauce really enhances all the delicious, fresh flavors of the spring roll.

Ingredients for the spring rolls

  • 1 lb cooked shrimp
  • 2 ounces cellophane noodles
  • 1/2 cup Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup carrots, grated
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 16 mint leaves
  • 16 cilantro leaves
  • 16 rice paper sheets

The red pepper flakes add a little bite!

Ingredients for the dipping sauce

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon substitute soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

Make the dipping sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until the spring rolls are ready to serve. It’s pretty easy, just add all the ingredients to a bowl, then add hot water and mix well. Words of advice: fresh ginger doesn’t last very long and you can’t really buy just a little of it, so I keep mine in the freezer in an airtight bag and grate it frozen whenever I need it. Also, choose your peanut butter carefully. I like mine to have only one ingredient: peanuts. No oil, especially not hydrogenated. It has a very strong taste and makes the sauce taste even better. When you add the red pepper flakes, make sure to taste the sauce, so you have the desired amount of heat. I used almost half a teaspoon.

Plate the veggies, herbs and apple so they are all easily accessible.

Now, prep all your veggies and fruits. Thinly slice the cabbage and cucumber, grate the carrots (I used 1 carrot to get about 1/3 cup, maybe a little more), get whole mint and cilantro leaves from the bunch. For the apple, after it’s been sliced, put a little lime juice on it to keep its nice color and add a pinch of salt for taste. Apples and salt may sound a little weird, but I find it brings out really good flavors.

Cook the cellophane noodles (also called bean thread noodles). Place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes and they’ll be ready to use.

Place the shrimp in another bowl. If they are big, cut them in half, lengthwise. If they are small like mine were, just use them as is.

Now, it’s time to put the spring rolls together. Get a deep dish and fill it with hot water from the tap (not boiling, just hot). Immerse one sheet of rice paper in the water and after a little less than a minute, it should become very soft and malleable. Carefully place it on a clean work surface and get some of the extra water out with paper towel. When you take the rice paper sheet out of the water, put a new one in, so you can work faster. You may have to add more hot water once or twice during the process.

Be careful when you take the rice paper out of the water, it is very thin and fragile.

Now, it’s time to actually make some delicious spring rolls. Place your filling on the rice paper sheet, about 1/3 of the way in. I used 4 small shrimps, 4 slices of apple, 2 slices of Napa cabbage, 2 slices of cucumber, 3 shreds of carrot and about a Tablespoon of cellophane noodles per spring roll. Obviously, you can adjust this to your liking. Also, don’t forget 1 mint and 1 cilantro leaf. If you want big bites of flavor, you can keep them whole, but I prefer when it is a little bit more subtle; fresh mint is very fragrant. But not a problem, I just chopped my herbs.

And there! You’re all done. Don’t forget to serve it with the peanut butter dipping sauce. I can’t wait to make these again. It’s such a fresh and healthy meal, full of delicious flavors.

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