Saturday, December 31, 2011

A little something sweet…a little something salty


Today is the hubs’ 36th birthday!  And we’re spending the day together as a family, just the way he likes it!  On the menu tonight is Mexican Layer Pie with homemade salsa, guacamole, and Spanish rice.  And for anyone who knows my hubs, knows that any birthday of his wouldn’t be complete without brownies and mint chocolate chip ice cream! 

DSCN2514And he wishes he could have his dessert first!!

DSCN0792Mexican Layer Pie


2 cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup salsa, divided (I used homemade, but you can use your favorite kind!)

2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 can organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

7 (8-inch) tortillas (I used spinach tortillas for some extra flavor!)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

olives (optional garnish)

*Optional Topping:

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1/4 green salsa (Trader Joe’s is our favorite)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash black beans.  Stir in 3/4 cup salsa and garlic.

In another bowl, mix 1/4 cup salsa, cilantro, pinto beans, and tomatoes.

Place one tortilla in prepared pie dish.  Spread 3/4 cup black bean mixture (within a 1/2 inch of the edge of tortilla).  Top with 1/4 cup cheese.  Cover with another tortilla and spread 2/3 cup pinto bean mixture and top with 1/4 cup cheese.  Repeat layering twice.  Cover with remaining tortilla, black beans, and cheese.

If using the optional topping: mix together the yogurt and green salsa in a small bowl.  Spread the mixture over the top layer of cheese.  Top with optional olives.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

*NOTE: To make this a gluten free dish, you can use brown rice or corn tortillas.  I’ve also made it in small ramekins without any tortillas and just layering the bean mixtures with the cheese. 

DSCN0791  This is a very hearty dish that any “meat lover” would enjoy! 

We started our morning at the Farmer’s Market, unfortunately it was slim pickins.  I did get me some spinach, onion sprouts, green beans, pink lady apples, and some grapes.  Not too terribly shabby!

DSCN2491 DSCN2493 DSCN2494Aren’t those colors amazing?

DSCN2496 Found some interesting flowers!

After all the excitement of Christmas sort of died down and the decorations were put away, I was ready to get back to the kitchen.  And it’s no surprise that I was craving something sweet!  I got to thinking, “wouldn’t it be fabulous to have the best of both worlds…something with a bit of sweet and salty?”  BINGO! 

DSCN2489 Salted Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields 3 dozen cookies


2 cups gluten free rolled oats

1 1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking Mix

1 cup organic brown sugar

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 “flax” eggs (2 Tbsp flax meal + 6 Tbsp water)

1 tsp pure vanilla

4 Tbsp Earth Balance, softened

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

sea salt



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate dough for about 10 minutes.

Use a tablespoon to portion out dough onto prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle dough with sea salt.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Allow to cool on pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



DSCN2487 These cookies definitely hit the spot!  They have just the right amount of sweet with a little bit of salty on the outside.  Completely satisfied my craving! 

I can’t think of any better way to spend my New Years’ Eve than celebrating with the man I love!  Happy Birthday my sweet, handsome hubs…I Love You!











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