Gluten Free Smoky Black Bean Dip

Smoky Black Bean Dip Here’s a quick and easy dip that’s perfect for any of your last minute cinco de mayo needs! All you need is a food processor and a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry. This dip is easy to make and easy to serve, plus there’s not absolutely no cooking involved, which makes it a perfect summertime dip. I recommend serving it with tortilla chips and veggies, but you could use it with nachos or on quesadillas as well.

I felt that three chipotles was the perfect amount for this dip. It gave it a nice smoky, spicy taste, but it wasn’t spicy to the point that you couldn’t eat the dip. You notice the spice, but it’s subtle. I thought the dip was delicious when I made it, but it tasted even the better the next day. If you have the time, I would really recommend trying to stick it in the fridge for a few hours and let the flavors mingle.

Smoky Black Bean Dip


  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (leaves & stems)
  • 2-4 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek, you can use sour cream too)
  • 2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo (depending on your heat preference), coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except salt & pepper, and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper to taste, and if you prefer a thinner dip, continue processing, adding lime juice 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Garnish with 2 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro (if desired) before serving.

Gluten Free Baked Churros

Gluten Free Baked Churros

Make these! Make them right now! You need these in your life and you don’t even need to use cinco de mayo as an excuse. these are good enough to any time! I can’t tell you how many years it’s been since I had a churro, but they were one of my favorite childhood treats. The second I bit into one of these gluten free churros, I instantly had delicious memories of fairs and fiestas and trips to Disneyland.

I was actually shocked by this recipe. One, it was so easy! SO easy. And two, so delicious. Like, sugary, buttery, melt in your mouth, you never want to eat anything else every again delicious. I am always a bit wary of attempting to make desserts with French names and since the pastry used to make churros is choux pastry, I wasn’t feeling super confident going in. Luckily, I was proven wrong! choux pastry could not have been easier to make. Plus, baking the churros not only makes them a bit healthier, but takes care of a lot of the mess and work frying causes. 

This recipe made a lot of churros. I got just over 40 mini churros out of this recipe. I was having piping bag issues, so I only made my churros about half the length of the baking sheet, which I think turned out to be the perfect size.

Gluten Free Baked Churros

Gluten Free Baked Churros
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.


  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup water, brown sugar and salt. Add butter and place over medium-high heat. Heat until butter is melted and mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Mixture will clump and pull away from the sides of the pan. Mix/mash with wooden spoon until no streaks of flour can be seen.
  3. In a small bowl, combine eggs and vanilla. Scramble mixture with a fork and then add to the dough-ball in the saucepan. Stir and mash, breaking up the dough until loosened. Stir well until eggs are incorporated and mixture has the appearance of mashed potatoes.
  4. Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with Wilton star tip #M1. You could also pipe the dough in a zip-top bag with the corner snipped, but the churros will be ridge-less (delicious, nonetheless).
  5. Pipe dough into long thin lengths on the parchment covered pans. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the end of the dough from the piping tip. Leave about 2-inches of space between the churros.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed. Turn oven to broiler setting and watch carefully as churros toast and turn deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. If you’re baking the churros one pan at a time, be sure to return the oven setting to 425°F before putting in the next pan.
  7. Combine sugar and cinnamon and pour onto a long dish. Roll churros in mixture. Serve.

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

It took me nearly a quarter century to realize that avocados weren’t absolutely vile, disgusting and gross. Up until the time I was about 24, I would act like a three year old anytime an avocado came near my food. If avocado or guacamole touched anything, I refused to eat it. Luckily I have since learned the error of my ways and have grown to love guacamole (I’m still working on plain avocado (it’s totally a texture thing)). This is an ever so slight twist on my favorite guacamole recipe and I have to say it’s pretty amazing.

This guacamole recipe is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t love garlic, you should just skip this one, but if you’re like me and insist on adding inappropriate amounts of garlic to everything, this will be the perfect guacamole for you! Roasting garlic might seem like a bit of a hassle to do, but really it couldn’t be easier! And trust me, it’s definitely worth it. The extra flavor it brings to the guac is out of this world.

Roasted Garlic Guacamole


  • 2 whole garlic bulbs
  • 3 large avocados
  • 2-4 limes
  • 1/2 large red or white onion, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced (include seeds if you want heat!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (be generous)


To Roast Garlic:
  1. Heat oven to 400. With a sharp knife, chop off top 1/4 to 1/3 of garlic head, so that the bulbs are exposed. Place in small oven safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
For the Guacamole:
  1. Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh into large bowl. Squeeze in lime juice. Remove all the garlic cloves from bulbs and add to bowl. Mash together (you can use a wooden spoon, fork, potato masher, etc.).
  2. Add cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeño, and salt and pepper. Mix together until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Feel free to add more lime juice or salt and pepper to taste.

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

This recipe is a combination of things I was craving and things I needed to use up. If you have some leftover chicken and tortillas (both are pretty standard leftovers around my kitchen), this is the perfect recipe to use them all up. I really like to make a batch of shredded barbecue chicken to use throughout the week (this is my favorite recipe, but you could easily combine any leftover chicken with bbq sauce). It’s perfect to add to salads or as your meal’s main protein, but I wanted to try something a little different and these taquitos seemed like an easy way to do just that. I was able to get 24 taquitos out of the barbecue chicken recipe I mentioned above (I could have made a couple more but I had already put away the tortillas and cheese), which is a whole lot of taquitos. After a couple dinners and lunches, I froze the leftovers, which defrosted easily in the microwave and I crisped them up again with a few minutes in the oven.

I always bake my taquitos because I just don’t have the patience to fry things. Plus, baking them healthier, you don’t have to stand over a hot pot of oil and it’s less of a mess to clean up, which are all big pluses in my book. I put about two tablespoons of chicken and a sample sprinkling of cheese in each tortilla. I was able to roll them tight enough that they stayed shut when I placed them seam side down on the baking sheet. If you want more filling or are having trouble getting them to stay closed, wooden toothpicks will easily solve that problem.I like my taquitos (and just about everything else) on the crispier side, so while the ends might look a bit burnt, it was really just a combination of caramelized barbecue sauce and cheese.

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

For the Taquitos

  • Leftover chicken (I recommend this barbecue chicken recipe)
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 24 corn tortillas
For the Avocado Ranch Dip
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and cubed
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons ranch dressing powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Taquitos

  1. Heat oven to 400. Line two large baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Combine chicken and barbecue sauce.
  3. Wrap 12 tortillas in a damp paper towel. Place in microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Flip over and microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove from microwave.
  4. Add around two tablespoons of chicken to one side (almost to the very edge) of a corn tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Tightly roll the side with the chicken toward the other side of the tortilla and place seam side down on the baking sheet (use wooden toothpicks if they won’t stay together). Repeat until all tortillas are filled and then begin again with the next 12 tortillas until all are filled and rolled.
  5. Place baking sheets in oven and cook 20-25 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy.
  6. Serve immediately. For your leftovers, I recommend that you let them cool completely and place into large freezer bags and freeze for future dinners and snacks.
For the Avocado Ranch Dip
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more juice if needed to thin out dip. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili Tacos

Chicken Chili Tacos

A couple years ago I went to my friend Nancy’s Super Bowl party. We spent the weekend coming up with all kinds of delicious ideas. She decided to make one of the day’s main bites to eat (BBQ pulled pork sandwiches) in the crock pot and just let people serve themselves whenever they wanted. Genius! I don’t eat pork like that, so I didn’t try any, but I liked the idea. I easily could have done BBQ chicken sandwiches here, but tacos are more my style. It would be really easy to prep a taco bar with all the fixings before the big game and allow your and your guests to eat at leisure.

I totally had delicious salsa to put on the tacos, but I totally got distracted by the amazing guacamole. The avocados in these parts are pretty phenomenal at the moment (that and I make delicious guac). Fear not, the salsa will find a home in the leftovers, if it doesn’t meet some tortilla chips first.

Another slow cooker recipe that would be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday, or any day really, I would also recommend my Tri-Tip tacos! They are delicious.

If a taco bar seems like a bit too much work, this recipe could easily be turned into an real chili recipe. You would just have add some more tomatoes/salsa. I would recommend a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes (look for fire-roasted or chiles) and their juice and a second can of pinto beans (also drained and rinsed).

Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili Tacos
Loosely inspired by Martha Stewart.

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a mix)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounce jar prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1-16 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 Tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chipotle powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • hard corn taco shells
  • Cilantro, shredded cheese, guacamole, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)
  1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, onion, chiles, pinto beans, chili/chipotle powder, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 6 hours).
  2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and shred, using two forks. Return shredded chicken to crock pot and stir with juices. Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.

Chicken Taco Casserole

Chicken Taco Casserole

Yes, I am aware it’s Halloween and I should be sharing something themed, but to be quite honest I am not really into Halloween. It’s one day, I don’t get why it now gets a month+ ‘season’ (this also my complaint about christmas). The closest I’m coming to the Halloween spirit is drinking bourbon and reading ‘Helter Skelter‘ (it’s for my book club) all while pretending we aren’t home when trick-or-treaters come by. If that doesn’t say ‘Happy Halloween’, I’m not sure what does…

Enough about things I don’t like, let’s talk about things that I so like: Mexican food. Even in the vaguest sense, Mexican food always makes me happy. This dish is very vaguely Mexican, but tasty enough that we can overlook authenticity. It’s also super easy to throw together. Tasty and easy is definitely a double bonus in my book. I thought about adding in some more vegetables (zucchini or mushrooms maybe), but to cut down on prep/chopping time I decided not to. I thought the end result was very tasty and definitely didn’t seem like it was missing anything, but if I add more time, I would definitely add in some extra veggies as well.

Chicken Taco Casserole

Chicken Taco Casserole
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1-7 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1-10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 4-6 inches corn tortillas, coarsely torn
  • 3 ounces Monterey Jack or Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl toss together chicken, garlic, and chili powder. Add to hot skillet. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
  2. Add canola oil to skillet. Add onion and green chiles. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach.
  3. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1/2 cup of the salsa in the baking dish. Top with half of the tortilla pieces, half of the chicken mixture, and half of the vegetable mixture. Pour half of the remaining salsa over the vegetables and top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers once, except do not top with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with cherry tomatoes and green onions.

Shrimp in a Mexican Tomato Sauce

Shrimp in Mexican Tomato Sauce

This dish is almost like a cooked ceviche. It has all the same flavors, just prepared in a different way. These shrimp would be great in tacos or even as the filling for enchiladas. The sauce in this dish is very simple and easy to make and very versatile. It would be great with chicken as well. This dish comes together pretty quickly, but making the sauce ahead of time would cut down cooking time to around 5 minutes just for the shrimp.

Shrimp in a Mexican Tomato Sauce

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 2 cups fresh or canned chopped tomatoes, including juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • juice of one lime

For the Shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  1. To make sauce, heat the oil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat and add onion, garlic and chile and cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and simmer over low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. When thickened, add in lime juice and stir to mix.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke. Toss the shrimp with the salt, then add to the oil and sauté, turning occasionally, until barely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir the sauce into the shrimp and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Aguas Frescas

aguas frescas

Perhaps your Cinco had a bit to much drinko involved with it. These should help alleviate some of the problems you are facing today. These drinks are actually good any day, especially when it’s hot out. And the are super easy to make. Aguas frescas are really popular Latin American drinks, but there are some variations from country to country. Living in Southern California, I am most familiar with the Mexican variety. You can find them served at pretty much an taqueria you go to and even most of the ‘fancier’ Mexican restaurants will have some version of their own. There are even bottled aguas frescas, but trust me, you are better off sticking to the fresh stuff. Aguas frescas are traditionally just fruit purée, water and a bit of sugar. I find that most of the restaurants add way too much sugar. If you get fresh, in season fruit, I think that’s usually sweet enough on it’s own. I also like to make mine with sparkling water to give them a little more of a refreshing feel.

Strawberry Aguas Frescas

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • juice of two limes
  • water, sparkling or flat, of choice (I used La Croix Coconut)
  1. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Push purée through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
  2. Pour purée into a large pitcher and add lime juice. Stir together. Top with water and stir (lightly if using sparkling water) to mix.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
Pineapple-Mango Aguas Frescas
  • 1 fresh pineapple, cored and sliced
  • 2 fresh mangoes, chopped
  • juice of two limes
  • water, sparkling or flat, of choice (I used La Croix Lime)
  • generous dash of cayenne pepper (optional for when you are feeling a bit crazy).
  1. Blend the pineapple, mangoes and lime juice (and cayenne pepper if using) together.
  2. Pour into a large pitcher. Top with water and stir (lightly if using sparkling water) to mix.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Grilled Pineapple & Goat Cheese Quesadillas & More Cinco de Mayo Treats!

Grilled Pineapple & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

This is a great last-minute appetizer for an Cinco de Mayo. It’s super easy to make if you already have the grill going or you can cheat (like I did) and use a ridged grill pan in the kitchen

I’m a big proponent of putting my favorite foods and ingredients together and just hoping for the best. Pineapple is my all-time favorite fruit. I really enjoy goat cheese as well. Put the two together and yum. I used this amazing goat cheese from Trader Joe’s that had kalamata olives in it . I also really love olives, so I thought it was fantastic. The sweet, caramelized pineapple went really well with the tangy goat cheese and the little bits of kalamata gave the whole thing a little bit of saltiness.

Grilled Pineapple & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Grilled Pineapple & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

  • sliced fresh pineapple (in rings)
  • softened goat cheese
  • corn tortillas
  1. Heat the grill to high or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place pineapple rings on the grill. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes until there are visible grill lines on the fruit then flip and grill the other side. Remove from heat when done.
  2. One side of a tortilla spread the soften goat cheese in a thin layer to cover the tortillas. Place the pineapple on top and cover with an other tortilla. Place the tortilla directly on the grill or in the grill pan and cook until there are visible grill lines. Flip the tortillas and grill the other side.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
Last minute Cinco de Mayo recipes!

Lentil Tacos

lentil tacos

Yum. I am so into these tacos. They are so simple and so tasty. The possibilities with this recipe are really endless. You can stick to taco shells, but soft tacos, burritos, nachos, burrito bowl, all kinds of options. And depending what type of salsa you add in, you can really adjust the whole thing to your spice leve. I added in some spinach and mushrooms to make use of some use it or lose it veggies. They were definitely a great addition. I also really liked this recipe because I had so many leftovers, which always makes for an easy/lazy lunch or dinner the next day. It’s also a nice vegan addition to your usual, fairly meaty Mexican fare (I added cheese to mine, so it was not vegan in the end, but the lentil base definitely is without any of the extra taco toppings).

 Lentil Tacos
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1+ garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • baby spinach (optional)
  • sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • taco shells
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
  • Additional/optional toppings: chopped fresh tomato, cheese, sour cream, green onions, salsa, hot sauce
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.
  2. Stir in salsa remove lentils to large serving bowl. Add in baby spinach and mushrooms into skillet and sauté until cooked.
  3. Spoon mushrooms and spinach into taco shells (if using). Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream, etc. if desired.