La Lore’s Salsa Fresca

la lore's salsa fresca

This salsa is so good that I literally know a few people who prefer to drink it straight from a mug! When I was a kid, I remember that my mom used to make ridiculously large batches every weekend and package it up for neighbors, friends and family who submitted orders to her — FO FREE! (00:50 – 01:13). I really thought she would one day be famous for it.

la lore's salsa fresca

There are a million different kinds of salsa out there and sooo many good ones (my favorites are roasted chile salsa and tomatillo salsa) but there is just something unique about my mom’s; I’ve never tasted one like it. I think it is just the particular ratio of tomatoes to onions to lime juice to avocado that gives it such incredible flavor. Also, have you ever seen a salsa with avocado??? (omg besides avocado salsa, people). We all know that avocado is the most perfect, creamy companion to any food but it really shines in this salsa, where it balances out just enough of the bite of the jalapeño.

la lore's salsa fresca


This salsa is a great as an appetizer with tortilla chips, as a complement to any Mexican dish or, my personal favorite, atop any egg-based breakfast dish. My mom will dump the entire bowl onto whatever she happens to be eating at the moment but she is a special kind of person… Anyway, I hope you try! This really is a one-of-a-kind recipe and I’m sure you’ll love it :) ¡Buen provecho!

la lore's salsa fresca

La Lore’s Salsa Fresca by cocinadecella.com
Print PDF:

5 tomatoes
5 jalapeños*
1 stalk of green onions
1 bunch of cilantro
4 cloves of garlic
3 avocados
3 *small* limes
salt to taste

*this yields a medium-spicy salsa. If you would like it to be mild, remove seeds and reduce jalapeño count to four. If you like it hotter, you know what to do ;)

la lore's salsa fresca


use a food processor to blend the onions, jalapeños, cilantro leaves (removed from stems), garlic, salt and tomatoes

la lore's salsa fresca la lore's salsa fresca la lore's salsa fresca la lore's salsa fresca la lore's salsa fresca

dice three avocados and toss into the salsa

juice 4 small limes and add to the salsa as well. this also keeps the avocado fresh! i added too much lime juice so ignore the puddle in that picture

la lore's salsa fresca

dip yo chips and enjoy! Yeah, that’s really it. Super easy, super tasty. I might add that having a paloma in hand doesn’t hurt…

la lore's salsa fresca

What kind of salsa do you prefer — a fresh tomato salsa, roasted chile salsa, prickly tomatillo salsa or a creamy avocado salsa? I’d love to know your favorite recipe! Share in the comments below >>>>>>>>

 

P.S. Do you have an Instagram? Let’s be friends! @cocinadecella

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Oat-Free Dark Chocolate Espresso Granola

As a granola enthusiast, I am extremely disturbed that my sister is allergic to oats. Yes, oats — on top of wheat, rice, corn, soy, avocado, walnuts, pecans and more. In the name of solidarity, I try to refrain from eating and keeping food items in the house that she is unable to eat but I draw the line at OATS, dammit!

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola by cocinadecella.com

The truth is, until recently, I wasn’t aware that there was anything that could adequately substitute oats in recipes. Sure, I could make a porridge from quinoa but what about my sacred oatmeal cookies with vanilla bean-soaked golden raisins? I couldn’t just put those hard little quinoa balls in there; that would create the wrong texture. And, strangely more concerning to me, what about granola?!? I get maybe a little too excited about my daily FAGE greek yogurt parfaits… sometimes topped with sliced bananas & honey, other times with almond butter and berries, but most times with some form of crunchy/salty/sweet/hearty/perfect granola. Have you ever seen an oat-free granola? My extensive internet searches have resulted in strange nut piles that look unsettlingly like bird food — not my thang. And so, I thought all was lost. Until…

One day, a colleague and fellow food-obsessed individual asked me if I had ever tried quinoa flakes. Suddenly, I felt as though all of life’s questions had been answered.

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola by cocinadecella.com

Transformed from its hard, seedy natural state and into thin flakes of quinoa goodness, these make the perfect replacement for rolled oats in absolutely any recipe. Upon discovering this treasure, the first recipe I wanted to attempt was granola. Granola is great because you can pretty much think of your favorite dry, crunchy ingredients, throw them all together, bake them and call it granola (okay kinda). Well, if you know me at all, you know that when given the option to choose an ingredient, I will always choose CHOCOLATE and/or coffee. And in this case, both.

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola by cocinadecella.com

Today I share with you an oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola. The espresso is subtle and completely necessary for addicts like me who are too embarrassed to get up for yet another cup of coffee at the office. And if you close your eyes and pretend there are no chocolate chunks, we can even call this healthy!!! (Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone) This medley of crunch is heavenly atop a thick, creamy scoop of Greek yogurt with an optional drizzle of agave nectar. Hmmm how else might one consume granola? Eh, I don’t care; one way is good enough for me.

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola by cocinadecella.com

Oat-Free Dark Chocolate Espresso Granola by cocinadecella.com
Loosely based on Smitten Kitchen’s Maple Granola recipe
Print PDF:

Ingredients:
2 cups quinoa flakes
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon quinoa
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 egg
½ cup of agave nectar

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola

preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit

combine all ingredients but the egg white and chocolate chunks in a large bowl, tossing to coat evenly

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola

whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. stir into the granola mixture, distributing it throughout

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola

spread granola in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola

bake for 40 to 45 minutes. about halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to turn over sections of the granola carefully, breaking them up as little as possible. rotate the pan if granola is baking unevenly

when it is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch, transfer the pan from the oven to the cooling rack. cool completely. once it’s completely cool, break up granola into whatever size clusters you like

add dark chocolate chunks, mix thoroughly and serve!

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola

oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola
oat-free dark chocolate espresso granola

 

What are your favorite ingredients for granola? Have you ever tried quinoa flakes before? 

P.S. Do you have an Instagram? Let’s be friends! @cocinadecella

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Best Products from the CDF National Conference & Gluten-Free Expo



Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Celiac Disease Foundation’s National Conference & Gluten-Free Expo at the Pasadena Convention Center. This event struck close to home for me because, well, it took place about ten minutes away from my house! (Fun Fact: did you know that when American Idol contestants go to “Hollywood,” the auditions are actually filmed at this convention center? Yeahhh, we’re pretty cool).

All kidding aside, celiac disease is a very serious autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself after consuming gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye). Although nobody in my family suffers from this disease, my sister has a severe wheat allergy and I have witnessed firsthand both the physical and emotional trauma that comes with a sensitivity to wheat, a grain that seems near possible to escape in today’s food industry. Thank God for organizations like the Celiac Disease Foundation, which “drives early diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease through advocacy, education and advancing research to improve the quality of life for all people affected by gluten-related disorders”.

Eager to show our support for the cause and anyone affected by it, my sister and I strolled over to the convention center last Sunday. We took our time and circled the entire room, tasting everything we could get our hands on and listening attentively to the reps of each product to learn what we could about each one. I left the expo with a small collection of new gluten-free obsessions, which I’ll describe a bit below. I have to say, however, that I did not taste one bread that I liked. Gluten-free bread is a toughy (as I’ve learned), but I really thought I would taste an outstanding product at this expo. I just can’t get behind a product that tastes/feels “gluten-free”; I want to eat and bake products that taste like the real thing! And I know all the wheat-sensitive people do too! I haven’t given up on finding/creating a great gluten-free bread yet, so stay tuned for that.

Without further ado…



Green’s Beer: there were several breweries present at the expo and, while the others were not horrible, Green’s was the only one that tasted like real beer — like good beer. I love discovering new craft beers and Green’ Dry-Hopped Lager was no exception. Hoppy beers can go one of two ways but this particular brew had just enough hops to perk up the smooth and refreshing flavor. I would drink this beer again in a heartbeat. I tried a few of the other Green’s beers (double dark ale, amber ale, golden blonde) but was not as crazy about any of those — which I was sad about because ambers are my favorite. The double dark was rich, full bodied and pretty good but I’m just not into dark beers. If you are, I’d suggest giving it a try! They are comparable to a port wine; good with desserts. Didn’t like the golden blonde because it had a distinct honey taste and I do not like sweet alcoholic drinks.

Rice Flour Palmiers: I am kicking myself in the head right now (is that even possible?) because I cannot find the business card for this vendor and the company name is not on the package! If anybody is reading this and they know the company information, please send it to me! I love love love palmiers — I get them whenever my family picks up Mexican pastries from our local “pan dulce” shop. They are a crispy pastry twisted into kind of a skinny heart shape that are coated in some kind of waxy, sugary glaze. I have actually thought about attempting to make gluten-free ones before but never really had the courage. This vendor from Japan had the most delicious palmiers made with 100% rice flour! I went a little bit crazy for her green tea palmiers. These were made with incredibly potent organic matcha green tea from Japan, the likes of which I’ve only encountered at Urth Caffe. Matcha lovers, this one is for you.

Glutenetto: Glutenetto is my new favorite thing in life. I feel particularly qualified to vouch for the deliciousness of this line of gluten-free cookies from the Italian cookie company Cookies Con Amore because I grew up eating the most amazing cookies from a local Italian bakery called Federicos. I will have to dedicate an entire post to them one day because they are THAT good. I actually stepped away from this booth as I taste-tested a cookie because I didn’t want them to see me making what I thought would be an unimpressed facial expression. After biting into the raspberry linzer and registering its perfection, I turned around, sprinted back to the booth and gave my sincerest compliments to the chef (who was there at the booth!). If you know an Italian who has celiac or sensitivity to wheat/gluten, recommend these cookies to them! It’s so hard to find gluten-free food that resembles traditional recipes from your culture and I know they would be eternally grateful.

Brazil Bites: If you’ve never had pão de queijo, they are magical little cheeseballs with a remarkably chewy interior and crisp exterior that are sold as street food in Brazil. They are made with tapioca starch so they are naturally gluten-free! If you’re familiar with tapioca starch, you would recognize it immediately — there’s a certain chewiness to the starch that is present in the gooey cheesy center. I actually tried these for the first time in Brazil when I was backpacking in college and I had no idea they were gluten-free. Brazil Bites sells boxes of frozen pão de queijo that taste just like I remember. Give these a try if you see them in the grocery store freezer section.

King Arthur Flour: If you saw my last post with the recipe for Coconut Tres Leches cake, you would know that I replaced the flour with King Arthur’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix. If you didn’t, now you  know! Something else you should know? I made two versions of the cake, one using traditional wheat flour and one using this baking mix. The difference in taste and texture was completely indiscernible. If you’ve been baking gluten-free for a while, you know that result is very difficult to find. I am so in love with King Arthur Flour right now and I can’t wait to keep playing with it.

Well, those are my favorite products from the expo. I hope you get the chance to try some of them one day. I’d like to give a HUGE thank you the the Celiac Disease Foundation for giving me a press pass to the event and introducing me and my sister to all of these great products. Did you attend the CDF National Conference & Expo? What were your favorite products? 

*The Celiac Disease Foundation provided me with a complimentary ticket to the event to attend as press; all opinions are my own

 

 

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