cinco de mayo inspiration

When we were in Thailand (I know, I need to fill you in!) we fell into a consistent schedule of breakfast–>beach–>lunch–>pool–>snack–>sunset-at-beach bar–>shower–>dinner. Notice a theme there? Lots of food. It was totally my kind of vacation. And while I absolutely loved the fresh shrimp salads I ate on a daily basis (usually during the snack portion of the day) I was really craving/wanting avocados. Precisely chips and guacamole.

I was hardly in a place to complain, so I didn’t. (Ok, maybe like once.)

But when we came back to LA, I was allllll about the Mexican food. And avocados of course, but that’s standard. I’ve been researching chilaquiles, I’ve been researching burritos and I’ve been craving the old-school tortillas + refried beans + cheese that my old roommate and I used to eat all the time. Note: “researching” in my world means I’ve been eating a lot of the aforementioned foods and you’ll probably hear about them soon. 

So naturally, the combination of cinco de mayo recipes everywhere + my current food focus means I’ve been drooling over pretty much everything on the internet right now. I wanted to share some of my favorites – both light and… not-so-light.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sip: Any good cinco de mayo celebration includes margaritas and I love this one because it’s made with all fresh ingredients. It’s been deemed the “best margarita you’ll ever have” and bonus – it’s less than 200 calories per drink. ¡Salud! Recipe and image via Cookie & Kate.

Guacamole Bar | A Nutritionist Eats

Spread: Guacamole bar. This is a really old post (sorry!) of mine, but a really fun – and delicious – idea that allows everyone to personalize their own guacamole. And…bacon!

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Simple: Mollettes are SO simple, but satisfying and delicious nonetheless. Especially perfect if you’re feeding a crowd or picky people.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sea: Fish tacos are kind of mandatory in my book and these Spicy Fish Taco Bowls fit the criteria perfectly. (And I can pretty much guarantee this version will be much easier to eat.) Image and recipe via Pinch of Yum.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Splurge: Tijuana Fries don’t really need much of an explanation. Ok, I’ll give you the short version: chipotle carnitas + salsa + queso +avocado topped fries. It’s a lengthy recipe (everything is made from scratch) but I can bet that the results are worth the effort. (And the GIF is amazing!) Recipe and image via Half Baked Harvest.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sweet: Finish off your celebration with light and flavorful Mango-Lime Ice. Churros are no doubt delicious, but this will hit the spot. Recipe and image via Epicurious.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Soooooo cute: these diy mini cactus piñatas make me want to have a party and do crafts. And I’m not even a crafty person. Image via Oh Happy Day

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? I want to live vicariously through you…

 

red onion marmalade crostini

 Red Onion Marmalade Crostini | A Nutritionist Eats

I absolutely love taking cooking classes. (Reasons to Take a Cooking Class) It totally reenergizes me in the kitchen and gets me to think about food in a new, creative way. I wish I could take them on a weekly basis!

Of course, the items on the menu are the highlight but I always love picking up the little tips along the way that have nothing to do with the food we’re cooking. I also love that it’s totally acceptable to talk about food, and only food, throughout the entire night. Hello, that is my dream.

Red Onion Marmalade Crostini | A Nutritionist Eats

When we we’re in Mexico, I set up a cooking class for my family to all take and it was SO fun! Not only did we make some incredible dishes, but our instructor, Daniel, mentioned an onion crostini that consisted of red onions, soy sauce, brown sugar and red wine. I was sold in about -0.0000047 seconds. I emailed the mentioned ingredients to myself and made it shortly after we returned home.

I took a bite and it was great, but it didn’t wow me. It didn’t taste like anything new like I expected it to. It tasted familiar… like caramelized onions. (Which are obviously delicious, but I was looking for a little something extra.) I initially thought that I  needed to adjust the brown sugar and soy ratios but then I realized that I completely forgot the wine.

Red Onion Marmalade Crostini | A Nutritionist Eats

Me, of all people, forgetting the wine. So I made it again, this time changing the ratios and adding the wine. So much better.

It’s sweet and salty; and just what is missing from your cheese tray. But the great thing about this red onion marmalade is that it can be used in SO many things! Add it to eggs in the morning, spread it on a sandwich for extra flavor or use it as a topping for fish or chicken at dinner time. And for snacks, serve with cheese of course!

nutrition facts: 254 calories, 11 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Red Onion Marmalade Crostini

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: appetizer bread snack vegetarian cheese

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

    For the Marmalade

    • 1 large red onion
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup red wine

    For the Crostini

    • 1 baguette (6 servings)
    • 8 oz log of goat cheese

    Instructions

    For the Marmalade

    Slice onion in half length-wise and then thinly slice.

    Add butter to medium-sized saute pan and heat over medium heat.

    When pan is hot and butter has melted, add onions.

    Cook onions, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until they are mostly browned.

    Sprinkle brown sugar over onions and stir until sugar dissolves (just a minute or two).

    Add remaining ingredients to pan and stir together. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.

    Taste and season with salt & pepper if necessary.

    For the Crostini

    Heat oven to 400 degrees.

    Thinly slice baguette and spray with olive oil if desired.

    Bake for about 15 minutes, flipping

    Top crostini with goat cheese and marmalade.

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    shrimp cocktail with green goddess dressing

    Green Goddess Dressing | A Nutritionist Eats

    If you could eat a meal (or have a drink) with anyone, who would it be? I usually pick Anthony Bourdain because, well, I’m slightly obsessed with him. But on the rare occasions that I catch Barefoot Contessa (Ina’s show on the food network), I always think,  I’d love to attend one of her cocktail parties. They’re a little uptight, yes. But there’s no denying that she knows how to throw a party.

    Now if I could attend one of her parties – with Anthony Bourdain – well then I’d be living out all of my food celebrity dreams.

    Green Goddess Dressing | A Nutritionist Eats

    But the title of this post isn’t “food celebrity dreams,” it’s shrimp cocktail with green goddess dressing and it happens to be inspired by Ina herself. What is green goddess dressing? It’s not the tahini-based “goddess dressing” versions by Annie’s or Trader Joe’s that I always try to like but never do.

    Traditionally, green goddess dressing  contains a  blend of mayonnaise, sour cream, chervil, chives, anchovy and tarragon. It dates way back and was made popular by a San Francisco hotel in the 1920’s which was actually inspired by “Sauce au Vert” (Green Sauce) served with Green Eel in France.

    Ina’s version is a blend of mayonnaise (a requirement for green goddess dressing), basil and the other usual suspects but the real surprise was serving it with shrimp! Brilliant! As someone who loves shrimp cocktail, I welcomed a change of dipping options, but purists may not and in that case use the dressing for veggies, salad or spread on crackers. (Richie is one of the purists I speak of and while he loved the green goddess dressing itself, he wasn’t a fan of dipping shrimp in it.)

    Green Goddess Dressing | A Nutritionist Eats

    And only because I feel like this needs to be addressed…If you’re scared of anchovy paste (but seriously, you shouldn’t be) you can omit it. (Sigh.) The dressing is still flavorful and delicious, but the flavors aren’t as deep so go buy a little tube of it to keep in the fridge for occasions like this. And caesar salad.

    Green Goddess Dressing | A Nutritionist Eats

    The only unfortunate thing about this shrimp cocktail with green goddess dressing? That it wasn’t served in the Hamptons. West Hollywood will have to do…

    nutrition facts: (for dressing only, 10 servings) 88 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber

    Green Goddess Dressing

    by Emily Dingmann

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

     

    Ingredients (about 2 cups)

    • 1/2 cup roughly chopped green onion
    • 1 1/2 cup roughly chopped basil
    • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley
    • 1/4 cup roughly chopped shallot
    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
    • 2 tsp anchovy paste
    • 1 cup light mayonnaise
    • 1 cup 2% greek yogurt
    • salt & pepper

    Instructions

    *All herbs and onions are roughly chopped, then measured.

    Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender.

    Pulse until well combined and desired consistency.

    Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

    Serve with veggies, on a salad or with shrimp cocktail.

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    simple & sophisticated appetizers

    Appetizers are, by far, my favorite thing in the world.

    If I invite you over? We’re having lots of appetizers. (I think I’ve only hosted two actual sit-down dinners).

    If I offer to bring something over to you? It’s always appetizers.

    When I eat out, I always choose appetizers over dessert. And often, I order a bunch of appetizers instead of an entree.

    So, you get the point, right? I. love. appetizers.

    And this time of year, it seems there’s endless opportunities for appetizers.  Whooooowooo!

    But as much as I love spending time in the kitchen, it’s important to have an arsenal of recipes that can be made ahead of time, don’t require cooking and can sit out at room temperature. These are some of my favorites!

     simple & sophisticated appetizers | a nutritionist eats

    Links: prosciutto wrapped figs | wine bar nut mix | warm olives with rosemary, garlic & lemon |beet-pickled deviled eggs | smoked salmon with potato chips and lemon crème fraîche | parmesan shards (cut chunks of high-quality parmesan)

    What are you making this holiday season?