This morning, I woke up in Albuquerque, and now I’m writing this post from the hearth of a fireplace in my hometown in Connecticut.
Aside from the mountain-scapes and unseasonably warm weather, I’m really going to miss the bold flavors of Southwestern food that I always struggle to find on the East Coast. Even the best Mexican restaurants seem to shy away from embracing the heat, spice and burn you can find in the Southwest.
It will take a few days for my palate to adjust to the milder spices, but in the meantime, I’m going to indulge in my take-home treat. Admittedly, one of the great things about vacations will always be the souvenirs. In addition to some vintage sterling jewelry, I picked up this local find – El Pinto salsa, made in Albuquerque, and full of jalapeno and green chile peppers.
Salsa is always a staple product in my pantry. Very low in calories (only ten or fifteen per two tablespoons), and easily made vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, salsa is a great way to spice up a dull meal, or snack guilt-free. That’s why I can’t get enough of Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips. You can have almost twenty tortilla chips for no more than 125 calories, regardless of the flavor.
My favorites are the Chipotle and Spicy Black Bean. If cross-contamination is not an issue, some of these varieties are gluten-free, too, which is an added bonus.
Satisfy your craving for a spicy bite by turning this snack into a Mexican meal. One serving of Guiltless Gourmet chips with a generous helping of salsa won’t top more than 150 calories.
Add a teaspoon of fresh, homemade guacamole salad (guacamole mixed with shredded lettuce and extra tomatoes for added texture, and to spread out the calories!) and serve up a crunchy, crispy, spicy lunch for under 300 calories.
The best souvenirs are the ones that never run empty, and new recipes, products or culinary interests are always valuable bites to take away from any trip.
I’m home in New England, but as always, I’m off to find another little bite!