I have a secret.

Well, okay, maybe it’s not a secret.

Okay, okay…it’s actually no secret…I love me some spicy food.

The spicier…the better.

I have a pleasant childhood memory of my grandfather that I play over and over in my head…basically, every time I encounter spicy food.

As far back as I can remember (my earliest memory is probably around the age of 4), my grandfather (“peeps”) loved spicy food.

I used to sit with him at the kitchen counter at my grandparents house and watch him chomp on whole jalapeno peppers, seeds and all.

Not a glass of water in sight.

Okay, maybe a glass of wine.

He would sit there and explain to me the spicy flavor and warn me to never try this until I was older and he could supervise 😉

I thought he was a hero, a brave champ of the spicy food world.

I remember my first bite of a jalapeno pepper when I was older.

There was definitely water in sight and it was chugged until I could feel the tastebuds on the back of my mouth.

I thought it was the best thing ever.

Plus, it cleared up my sinuses like a giant antihistamine!

When hatch chile pepper season rolls round’ here in Texas, you can bet I’m the first one at the store.


Now, these aren’t super super spicy, but still have that mild spicy kick that is just enough heat to get me going.


There’s a 99.99999% chance that I will go hatch chile crazy and make ALL THE THINGS using hatch chiles.


You know I am a big “dipper” and must have a dip/sauce etc. with any meal I eat at all times.


This hatch chile pesto sauce is everything I ever want in a sauce.


It’s “creamy”, mildly spicy from the hatch chiles, with a ton of flavor from the cilantro and garlic.


Oh, and I added some pepitas in there because duh…it’s a pesto sauce.


Spoon this stuff on just about anything you want.



5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Hatch Chile Pesto Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce/Dip/Pesto
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz. jar
A silky smooth pesto sauce made w/ mildly spicy hatch chiles, cilantro, and pepita seeds for a sauce with a ton of flavor and a little spice. Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo.
  • 3 large hatch chile peppers, roasted
  • 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 T. unsalted, raw pepita seeds
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • ¼ c. unsweetened, original almond milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Bake the peppers for 35 to 40 minutes or until the skin is slightly "puffed" and charred. Let the peppers cool and remove the seeds.
  3. Place the peppers, cilantro, garlic, pepitas, and sea salt in a large food processor and process on high.
  4. Slowly stream in the almond milk until the mixture begins to thin out and become a sauce-like consistency. Play around with the amount of almond milk you add and adjust to the type of consistency you like.
  5. Serve w/ grilled meats, over salad, etc.


Pancakes on my Mind…Mind on my Pancakes.

We might as well declare it “veggie zucchini week” here on Mangia.

Like Shark Week…but less blood shed 🙂

Anyhoo, so obvi (that’s an obnoxious way of saying obviously just in case you are oblivious like I usually am to shortened lingo) I have been obsessed with zucchini lately.

Heck, I’m obsessed with vegetables 24/7/365.

I like em charred…or grilled to a pulp.

I’m 100% sure that if you grill me a vegetable I only want to see a hint of color on it.

That’s just me.

I’ve been finding new and innovative ways to get my veggie fix at each meal.

Including breakfast.

Seeing as I’m obsessed with pancakes for breakfast, I thought why not have a savory pancake for breakfast?

I know…who am I?




I mean, usually for breakfast I would choose scrambled eggs slathered in homemade apple butter w/ a side of toasted coconut pancakes.

Butttttttttt think again.

I’m going to be seeing zucchini at most of my breakfast meals this week.

Oh, and basil…just because I bought my first basil plant at the Farmer’s Market this weekend.


Let’s see how long I can keep it alive.

Now, technically these pancakes don’t have to be eaten at breakfast.

I’ll most likely be switching it up, eating them at breakfast, or at other meals of the day.

This is a versatile pancake.

We serve these up w/ a tahini sauce sweetened w/ a touch of maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice.


Just think of it as a little sweet dipping sauce or a little sweet something you can slather over all of this savoriness.


These pancakes have a special place in my heart.


Adding new recipes to my daily meals is looking up. 🙂


Change is a good thing.




I just put zucchini into your pancakes.

Veggies in your breakfast…?

Yep. See what I did there? 🙂

Paleo Zucchini Basil Pancakes with Sweet Tahini Sauce
Recipe type: Breakfast, Side Dish, Vegetables,
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 8
Delicious savory breakfast pancakes made of fresh, shredded zucchini squash, seasoned with fragrant basil, and topped with a tahini sauce sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. So simple, with only 4 ingredients! Gluten-free/Paleo.
  • For the pancakes:
  • drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded and squeezed of excess water
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • ¼ c. fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the sweet tahini sauce:
  • 1 T. tahini
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 T. brown rice flour
  1. For the pancakes, heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat with the evoo.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Scoop the pancake batter out into the pan by rounded tablespoons.
  4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden.
  5. For the sauce, place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  6. Let the pancakes cool slightly, then top each with a dollop of sauce.

Nutritional Facts (for each pancake w/out sauce): Calories: 26, Total Fat: .9g, Total Carbs: 2.3g, Sodium: 23.6mg, Protein: 2.2g

Nutritional Facts (for the sauce (per 1 Tablespoon/makes 1/4 c. ): Calories: 44, Total Fat: 2g, Total Carb: 6g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: .8g


Cinco + So Delicious Recipe Contest Entry

Let’s Cinco.

But first, let’s chat about some of my fave products.


I know you want to ole!, forget about work, and start happy hour at noon…but seriously, this is muy importante.

How’s that for my Espanol?

Bueno. Just bueno.

Okay, soooooo I’m going to chat about how I love So Delicious Dairy-Free products.

I practically live off of their coconut milk creamer…I could drink it by the gallon, their new protein almond milk (seriously an answer to my smoothie prayers), and my latest fave…cultured coconut milk yogurt. I mean, seriously? It’s like it was made for coconut addicts like myself.


And they love me 🙂

Sooooo, when I heard they were doing a fun recipe contest ya know I was the first to sign up!

Ironically, my recipe for Cinco de Mayo uses 2 of their products.

What what? That’s fate.

Back to celebration de Cinco.

I’m going to show you how to put avocado in your cornbread.


Yep, you heard me correctly. AVOCADO. Think of it as the new butter.


It seriously made the most “melt in your mouth” cornbread experience ever!


Then I kicked this vegan/gluten-free (yes, yes) avocado cornbread up a notch w/

the almighty roasted poblano pepper.


I added cilantro, garlic, avocado, orange juice, and wait for it….


SO Delicious cultured coconut milk yogurt  to create the


most ridiculously silky butter/sauce/frosting? ever!!!


Just think of this avocado cornbread as a savory cake with a creamy, zesty, perfectly spicy “frosting.”


This is definitely my kind of 5th of May.


I can’t even believe this stuff is vegan? Are you kidding me?


So tender, yet rich…all with no butter or oil.


I love that avocado’s are healthy fats…it’s a win-win situation.


Sadly, I will be working on Cinco de Mayo, but at least I am able to enjoy this treat today!


I’m telling you, your guests will never know that there is avocado up in this business.


It will be our little secret….mhmmmm? 😉


Now, if only someone could bring me a margarita right about now…


any takers?


I will pay you in avocado cornbread and


I just might* have some cookies laying around.


What did you expect?


You know me so well!


While we are on the subject of Cinco de Mayo, does any one have a pinata? I could really go for some candy right now 🙂

Avocado Cornbread w/ Roasted Poblano Coconut Crema
Recipe type: Bread, Side Dish, Sauce,
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
Cornbread with a secret ingredient: avocado, which makes for the most "melt in your mouth" experience of a lifetime. Top it off with a roasted poblano coconut crema made with avocado and cultured coconut milk yogurt. All gluten-free and vegan!
  • For the cornbread:
  • ½ c. almond flour
  • ½ c. certified gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • 1 c. SO Delicious, unsweetened almond plus, almond milk
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • 2 medium-sized avocados, pitted, scooped of flesh, about ¼ to ½ c., pureed in a food processor
  • For the crema:
  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 mandarin orange
  • 1 large avocado, pitted, scooped of flesh
  • 1 6 oz. container SO Delicious cultured coconut milk yogurt
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  1. For the cornbread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine using a whisk.
  3. Add the almond milk and maple syrup and stir until just combined.
  4. Fold in the avocados until a smooth batter forms.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  6. Let cool while you make the crema.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the poblano pepper on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pepper begins to brown and the outside of the skin looks "blistered."
  8. Let the pepper cool, then stem and remove the seeds.
  9. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the roasted poblano flesh with all of the ingredients for the crema on high until smooth.
  10. Serve the cornbread topped with a good slather of crema.



Capital P.

Happy Wednesday y’all!
Is it too early to start prepping for Thanksgiving? I think not! I started recipe testing yesterday for Thanksgiving and I might as well have cranked up the Tony Bennett Christmas album and started decorating the tree. I just looooove this time of year. Anyway, I wish someone in my family would drop the ball already and let me know who is hosting Thanksgiving. While I would love to do it…I am totally not prepped, my kitchen is too tiny, and my oven…well, that is another story.
 While it’s nice for me to hope that I will hear something from a family member soon, I know how we do things in my family…everything starts with a CAPITAL P…for Procrastination. If things go smoothly, I should hear something the night before Thanksgiving. The good thing is, I have mapped out my plan of attack on sides, desserts to bring to the gathering (wherever that may be). You see, baby seester needs to have options when it comes to Thanksgiving…meaning no gluten and no dairy. Don’t worry. I got dis.
Let’s talk about cranberry sauce. No, not that jelly like substance that comes in a can. I’m talking real, deal cranberry sauce made with actual cranberries. Now, I usually have my go to jalapeno cranberry relish that I make each year, but yesterday, I was searching for something quick and simple to make. 
Basically, I just threw some things into a pot…
starting with cranberries…duh.

20 minutes later…BADA-BING. 
Fresh Honey Cranberry Sauce.

Of course I don’t have a huge roasted turkey (because it I did I would slather this stuff on it)
so naturally, I broke out the crackers and cream cheese

and went to town.
This sauce is delightfully thick, not overly sweet, and scented with orange juice for a little zing!

My plan was to freeze this stuff for Thanksgiving, but I predict I will finish this stuff off by Friday!

Good thing it’s quick and easy to make…back to the market I go to stock up on cranberries!
Cream cheese…just do it.

Honey Cranberry Sauce (GF/V):

1/2 c. honey (or agave nectar)
1/4 c. water
12 oz. fresh cranberries
juice of 1 small orange (about 1/4 c.)

1. Place the honey and water in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil on the stove.
2. Add the cranberries to the pot and bring back to a boil, stirring the mixture periodically.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the berries have burst and the sauce becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the orange juice.
4. Remove the pot from the stove and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with cracker and whipped cream cheese, or alongside your Thanksgiving turkey!

Makes 1 large jar (about 1 1/4 cups).


Food Buzz Tastemaker: Sweet N’ Low.

Happy Thursday y’all,
I am pretty excited to share some fun things with y’all today! So, I may have mentioned that I am a part of the Foodbuzz family (well, now they are called the daily buzz, but that is beside the point). One year and going strong! Anyway, Foodbuzz has these amazing opportunities for it’s featured publishers every so often (I think it might be each month) to opt-in for a specific partnership. This allows their featured publisher’s, aka ME, to get to sample awesome food/drink products. I was super excited when Foodbuzz partnered up with Sweet N’ Low this month for the Tastemaker Program, and lucky me, I was one of the chosen blogger’s…whoop!
 Now, I was pretty freaking excited when my package showed up on the door yesterday from Foodbuzz + Sweet N’ Low with a sweet little cocktail shaker, great drink recipes, and of course, numerous samples of Sweet N’ Low. My imagination began working immediately. No joke. Plus, this was my first go around as a bartender on my blog. Look at me now! 
I mean, who doesn’t remember growing up with Sweet N’ Low? They were my first sugar substitute and to this day, I still sprinkle a little over my strawberries for a quick snack! 
Let’s get down to business. 
Tomorrow is Friday. Let’s start this drinking game early, shall we?
The essentials: strawberry puree, coconut water, tequila, Sweet N’ Low, and a squirt of lime juice.

We just made a Skinny Spiked Strawberry Coconut Agua Fresca. 
 Oh, and you know in my kitchen, drinks and food go together. 

Asian Turkey Meatballs 


a Sweet (because there is sweet n’ low in it) and Spicy Tropical Peanut Dipping Sauce. 
I could definitely get used to this Tastemaker thing. 
Thanks a bunch to DailyBuzz and Sweet N’ Low
Skinny Spiked Strawberry Coconut Agua Fresca:
1 c. fresh strawberry puree, divided (blend about 6-7 strawberries until smooth in a food processor or blender)
1/4 c. agave tequila 
1 c. plain coconut water 
juice of 1 small lime
2 packets of Sweet N’ Low 
4-5 ice cubes
extra sliced strawberries, optional
1. Place 1/2 c. of the strawberry puree and the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker, do a little shaking dance, and pour into a large margarita glass.
2. Stir the remaining puree into the glass.
3. Garnish the drink with extra sliced strawberries or toss a few into the drink. It’s your call! 
Serves 1
Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sweet and Spicy Tropical Peanut Dipping Sauce (GF):
For the meatballs:
1 lb. of ground turkey (I used a 90/100 ratio)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 of a carrot, grated
1 T. fresh ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1 T. low sodium soy sauce
For the dipping sauce:
3 T. coconut water
1 T. light coconut milk
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. smooth peanut butter
1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 t. freshly grated ginger
1 t. Sirracha
2 packets of Sweet N’ Low
For the meatballs:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl using your hands. 
3. Roll the mixture into small meatballs, about 2 tablespoons worth for each meatball. 
4. Place in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
For the dipping sauce:
1. In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. Serve in a small bowl for dipping the meatballs. 
Makes about a dozen meatballs and 1/2 c. of dipping sauce.