Chips and salsa anyone? Ho-hum. Been there, done that. I like the ease of serving up a bowl of tortilla chips with a satisfying dip however I balk at commercial chips which are either deep fried or if they’re fat free they tend to taste like cardboard. And then of course, chips and salsas are so overdone that I want something a little more interesting to eat myself, to serve to my family or to share with friends at a party.
Let’s start with the chip itself. It’s so easy to make your own low fat, low calorie tortilla chips. Once you see how easy it is you’re going to regret every bag of chips you’ve ever bought.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stack whole wheat tortillas, corn tortillas or pita bread rounds on a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice into wedges. Spray or brush a cookie sheet with oil. Place chips on the cookie sheet in one layer. Spray with oil and sprinkle with salt. You can even sprinkle on some taco seasoning, cumin, cayenne pepper or ground coriander if you want a little variety.
1/2 honeydew melon, diced
1 cantaloupe, diced
1/3 jalapeño, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
16 ounces chunky salsa
In large serving bowl mix all ingredients.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. If your salsa is too watery, drain it in a sieve or coffee filter lined colander until it’s the consistency you want.
Beyond the Border
Even though tortilla chips are a classic Mexican side dish, you can nudge them across the border and serve them up with toppings that are Greek, Italian, Indian … When you think of them as corn chips that helps to know what to pair them up with. And if you’re working with whole wheat tortilla chips then even more possibilities are opened up to you.
Smoky Eggplant Dip
This dip works well with both corn chips and whole wheat chips.
2 medium eggplants
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grill the eggplant until soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. The skin will get wrinkly and the eggplant will start to collapse. Let cool slightly, cut each eggplant in half, and scrape out the flesh with a large spoon into the work bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl.
Creamy Basil Dip
1 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup (2 ounces) gorgonzola, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone, at room temperature
Heat the pesto over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan or heat until hot but not bubbling in the microwave. Remove from heat and whisk in the gorgonzola and mascarpone until well blended. Pour the dip into a serving bowl and serve with whole wheat chips.
Sweet Onion Nachos
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive or nut oil
1 cup of onions, diced
½ cup of goat cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
A pinch each salt and pepper
In a medium-sized pan, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and let them cook for a few minutes, until they’re a light tan color. Stir in sweetener.
Spread the chips in a single layer in several pie plates or one cookie sheet.
Spoon the onions over the chips. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the onions and place under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and serve.
Parsley White Bean Dip
This dip works for both corn and whole wheat chips.
If you don’t have cannellini beans you can use any white bean such as garbanzo, lima or soy beans.
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Puree until the mixture is pureed. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a small bowl.
Substitute fresh basil, dill or mint for the parsley.