You say tomato, I try to say tomatillo
There’s nothing better than cooking Mexican food at home. The fresh peppers, citrus, and spices makes the house smell fantastic, and it’s usually something equally easy to make and delicious.
Made at home, the ingredients also can be extremely healthy. Unfortunately, most people only go to restaurants for Mexican food, and that just means a triple dose of sodium, simple carbs, and unhealthy fats. It’s time to take that back, people.
Salsa, for example. If you are just buying the big name brand salsa in a jar from the same people that make chips, you really are missing out. That stuff tastes like watered down tomato paste with a couple of roma tomatoes chopped up and thrown in as an afterthought.
Making salsa verde with tomatillos is even easier, and the roasting process eliminates the need for any plug-in air fresheners to hide any teenager smells that usually dominate the house. Tomatillos are high in fiber, low in calories, have unique antioxidant phytochemical cancer fighters, and plenty of Vitamin A, B, and C.
Making this at home, you also get to leave out all the unnecessary preservatives, artificial flavors, and inflammatory oils that store-bought jars always seem to bring with them. It also gives an excuse to make a Mexican dinner to go with it.
Before I updated my lifestyle, I used to make sausage cream cheese quesadillas on the reg, and they were a family favorite. They were also loaded with the wrong kinds of fats and carbs. Now that I have finally cracked the code on healthy complex carb wraps, I thought now would be a great time to revamp that recipe Shirtless Chef style, and they were just as good as the original. I know this because the next day when I went to have leftovers for lunch, there was nothing but an empty spot in the fridge… Nooooooo!
One word of caution, cumin and cinnamon look A LOT alike when you are cooking in a hurry. When mixing the cream cheese filling, if you notice an odd sweet smell instead of savory like I did, you better hope you have an extra pack of cream cheese hanging around with nothing to do. Otherwise, you will be making dessert sausage quesadillas. Disaster was averted at the last second making these.
Even if you don’t make dinner to go with this salsa, having a batch around is a tasty and healthy addition to all kinds of foods. Make some and you will never go with the jar again.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
3 jalapeno peppers
3 cloves garlic
Zest of 1 lime, 1/2 juice
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
Turn the oven broiler on its highest setting. Wash and slice 6 tomatillos in half, reserving the other 4. Cut the jalapenos in half, seed and remove the pith if you don’t want the heat. If you do want it spicy, leave them in. Lightly crush 3 cloves of garlic with the flat side of a chef’s knife, leaving the paper on. Spray a cooking sheet with avocado oil spray, lay out the veggies, and roast under the broiler for 10 minutes, or until the skin of the peppers is charred black. Remove and allow to cool enough to handle:
Dice the 4 raw tomatillos and place in a bowl with the lime zest and 1/2 of juice:
When the roasted peppers are cool enough, remove the papers from the roasted garlic, then dump all the peppers and the juice from the pan into the bowl with the raw diced tomatillos:
Blend with a stick blender along with the 1/2 avocado, sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and onion powder to your desired texture:
Place in a bowl and chill in the fridge until you are ready to eat:
To make the tortillas, here is the link to that article:
Cream Cheese Sausage Quesadillas
1 box Applegate frozen turkey sausage links
8 oz grass fed cream cheese
8 oz grass fed pepper jack cheese
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 package organic baby bella mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 can green chilies
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion and garlic powder
Set the cream cheese out in a mixing bowl to come to room temp. Mix well with the spices, taste to make sure you didn’t grab cinnamon by mistake, and set aside:
Microwave the sausage links on a plate with paper towels for two minutes, then brown in a hot cast iron skillet, then remove and let cool slightly:
Prepare red onion and mushrooms. Saute in the same skillet along with the can of green chilies:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with nonstick avocado oil spray, then layer the tortillas with cream cheese and pepper jack:
Slice the sausage links thin and return to the pan with the mushrooms and onions and heat through, then layer on top of the pepper jack:
Cover the sausage mix with another layer of pepper jack, then spread the remaining cream cheese on the other tortillas and cover:
Bake for 6 minutes, then spray the tops of the tortillas with avocado oil spray, flip, and bake 5 more minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing with a pizza cutter:
Serve with Beanitos Black Bean chips, homemade guacamole, pico, and the tomatillo salsa:
See the list of all the Shirtless Chef recipes at www.mysaline.com/shirtless.