Delicious, Fun & Healthy Food


Sun-dried Tomato Crisps (No-corn Chips) With Guacamole & Homemade Salsa

AppetizersLina LiwagComment

My very good friend Zeny and her 6-yr. old daughter Ayeesha came over for brunch this weekend.   Smoothies and desserts were in order but I wanted more.  At the onset, I didn't really knew what else to make but after a few ideas here and there, I eventually was inspired by the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebrations.  Chips and dips would work for Ayeesha I thought.  The only problem was, I haven't made chips before and would require some practice.  I didn't really want store-bought ones either.  But I've been making crisps and crackers a lot lately so why not use the same recipe?   So here's one of my family's favourite crisps recipes.  The great thing about this is that it's corn-free and nut-free.  I used sunflower and flax seeds instead.  The recipe is simple and easy to make.  If you don't own a dehydrator, it can also be baked at the lowest oven temperature.  

Sun-dried Tomato Crisps (No-corn Chips) With Guacamole & Homemade Salsa

2 c.  tomatoes, chopped 
1/4 c. sundried tomato,  chopped and soaked 
1 c. sunflower seeds
1  c. flax seeds 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1  1/4 c. water

1. Use 1/4 c. of the water to soak the sun dried tomatoes for 10-15 minutes until soft and making sure to reserve the water. 
2. In a food processor or blender, pulse the sunflower seeds until they turn into a coarse meal.  You also have the option of turning it into a flour for smoother chips.  Transfer into  a mixing bowl.  Next, process the flax seeds into a fine meal  then transfer into the same bowl. 
3. On the same blender or food processor, blend/pulse the sun dried tomatoes with the reserved water and garlic until the mixture turns into a paste.  Add the chopped tomatoes and pulse until the tomatoes liquefy.
4. Pour the tomato mixture and the rest of the water into the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. 
5. Spread the batter thinly, about 1/8" thick on a dehydrator sheet.  Dehydrate at 115F until crisp, approximately 12 hours.  Break into tortilla chip sizes and serve with guacamole, salsa and optional sour cream. Makes 4 trays.


2 small avocados, cut and pitted 
1 1/2 Tbsp. red onions, minced 
Juice of 1 lime 
1 tsp. maple syrup 
2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, finely chopped 
Salt to taste
A pinch of cumin  
A pinch of cayenne pepper  (optional) 

Place everything in a bowl and use the tines of a fork to mash the avocado with the rest of the ingredients making sure not to make it too smooth but give it some chunky consistency. If you own a mortar and pestle, it would really work perfectly. 

Homemade Salsa 
2 cups tomatoes, chopped*
3 Tbsp.cilantro, finely chopped 
2 Tbsp. red onions, minced 
2 1/2 -3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar**
1/4 tsp. cumin 
Salt to taste 
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional) 

Set aside 1/2 c. of the tomatoes .  In a food processor or blender, place  all the ingredients and pulse briefly until the tomatoes liquefy.  Add the rest of the tomatoes and pulse once. If preferred, the reserved tomatoes can also be folded in for a chunkier consistency.  Transfer to a bowl and adjust the taste accordingly. 

* The tomatoes can be deseeded if a thicker salsa is preferred.  Plum tomatoes are less juicy than the other varieties.  
** If you're like me who loves tart salsa, 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar is just perfect.

Our girl-time was really wonderful and fun last Saturday.  The boys were out and we had the whole house to ourselves.   We were able to catch up with what he had missed for over a year no matter how short it was.  We also enjoyed our mini tarts.  I'm hoping to post the recipe of that soon but in case you're not on Instagram, here was the iPhone image of it:) 

We're still waiting for that elusive Spring weather here in Toronto.  Hopefully it won't be long and will soon see some pretty flowers and Spring produce.  Ayeesha brought me some pretty green roses and mini hydrangeas which I am enjoying inside.   Take a look at how cute she is here.  Wishing you all a Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Austin's "Tex-Mex" Inspired Salad

Salad, Lunch, DinnerLina Liwag2 Comments

Every week,  Austin has at least one or two meatless meals...he has several favourites and this salad happens to be one of those.  It would be paired with a pasta dish with hemp pesto sauce which he also loves (will hopefully post this one next week).  For me and my husband, the salad is already a perfect one-dish meal, no sides necessary.



Guacamole is popularly used as a dip...but on this recipe,  I made it as a dressing.  It has very similar ingredients but a little thinner in consistency.  We have a very active teenager and  the creamy guacamole makes for a hearty, satisfying and nutritious dressing for him .  



Austin's "Tex-Mex" Inspired Salad
Ingredients (Preferably Organic): 
For the salad:
1 bunch Romaine lettuce, washed, shredded and spin-dried
3 plum tomatoes, washed and cut into small cubes
1 1/5 c.  cooked black beans
1/2 to 1 piece jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 c. red onions, finely chopped 
1/4 c. coriander leaves finely chopped 

For the dressing: 
1 avocado, cut and  seed removed
juice of 1 1/2 limes
2 tsp. red onions, finely chopped
 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, finely chopped
pinch of salt (or to taste) 
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp.maple syrup
4 Tbsp. filtered water
1 tsp. jalapeno pepper (optional) 


1. Prepare all the salad ingredients and set aside. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients into a blender and process until it becomes creamy.  Adjust the taste or add more water if you prefer a thinner consistency.

2. Assemble the salad then add the dressing.  If you happen to have a mustard or ketchup dispenser bottle, use one to dispense the dressing.  It looks pretty expecially if you are having friends over.

Other options to add to  the salad:
 non-GMO corn 



Last Sunday,  we had our church service at the park and then enjoyed a picnic afterwards.  It was awesome to praise God seeing all his wonderful creations.  It was also a great time to share a meal, play and share stories with friends.


It's almost the end of May and we've had a little cold spell this week.   However, summer will soon  be upon us. Have a wonderful week! 




Dips, Dips, Dips - Austin's Super Bowl Weekend

Appetizers, DipsLina Liwag5 Comments

My 15 year old son  loves to invite relatives during sporting events.   He also loves to plan and talk about the menu...sometimes way too much as he really gets very excited with good eats.  So I thought why not take this opportunity to make some good dips... then share it with everyone.  We had my brother-in-law and his 11-year old son for dinner today and everyone enjoyed a mini Super Bowl party.  I'm not really a big sports fan but I don't mind the entertainment portion of it. 

On this post,  I have decided to showcase three recipes of dips that have become our family's favourites. I know I should have posted this last week in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday but I find I'm always running behind in a lot of things.  I'm sure you can still use these for your snacks or when you're entertaining as I find them very versatile.

In addition to these dips, I also made some flax crackers with organic spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, a variation of the crackers on an earlier post..see here. I will try and share that recipe at another time.  We had some citrus drinks made of lemon, lime and tangerine with mint which was yummy.   After partaking with the appetizers, we were too full but eventually, we had some vegetarian chili and I promise to share that too in a future post.  


Tex-Mex Guacamole
2 medium size avocados
1/2 c. cooked black beans or 1 can BPA-free organic black beans
1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. Non-GMO frozen corn soaked in boiling water for 5 mins.
1/2 to 1  piece jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onions
juice of 1 lime
1/2 t. Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
3 Tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves and a bit more for garnish
a pinch of cumin
Rinse and drain the beans if you are using the canned version. Boil 1 cup of water then add the corn.  Turn off the stove then let the corn sit with the boiling water for about 5 minutes then drain.  In a bowl, mashed together the avocado, salt, lime, coriander, cumin and onions.  Add the black beans, tomatoes and corn and combine well.  Refrigerate before serving.  Garnish with coriander leaves.  

Avocado Hummus
1 1/2 c. cooked chickpeas or 1 can  BPA-free organic chickpeas
1/4c. toasted unhulled sesame seeds, grounded
juice  of 1 1/2 lemons
2 -3 Tbsp. filtered water
1/2 avocado
1/2 t. Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
a pinch of cumin
Rinse and drain the beans if you are using the canned version.  Dry roast the sesame seeds then grind them.  Place all ingredients into the food processor except the avocado.  Process until smooth then add the avocado on the last minute then process until well incorporated.  You may add more water if you want your mixture a little thinner.  

Creamy Cannellini Bean Dip
1 1/2 c. cooked cannellini beans or 1 can BPA-free organic cannellini beans
2 Tbsp. raw tahini paste
5 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. filtered water (or more if you want a thinner consistency)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1-2  cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
Rinse and drain the beans if you are using the canned version.  Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.  Add a bit more water if you want your mixture thinner.  Serve with your favourite crackers, cut up raw vegetables or even use it as base on open face sandwiches with tomatoes, avocado and sprouts like the picture below. 


I'm not sure how your weekend has been.  Did your team win?  Did you have good food?  My weekend just flew by so quickly.  I spent Saturday prepping for today's food and I was happy that my family enjoyed it.  We are still in the midst of winter here...we seem to be having a lot of snow this year.  What I notice though is that the morning is much brighter and so I know spring is not too far away.  I can't wait!  

I took some pictures of the woods behind our town home last week.  These are usually green in the summer and bright with pretty colours in the fall and now they are bare.  However, they are so beautiful whenever we get the right kind of snow...the fluffy kind which gives the trees that magical look!  Whereever you are and whatever kind of weather you have, there is always beauty in it...God made it that way!  Have a great week!

Wishing you the best,