I can't believe it is already summer season! I mean, I've definitely noticed more people in town since I live near the beach, but still! This year has been flying by! (Gosh, I'm getting old). Okay, onto the good stuff... A few months ago at Expo West, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting with the Late July Snacks team! I had tried a few of their chips (and loved them), but they were still a relatively new brand to me. Since then, I have had the opportunity to test out their line of Organic Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips, and all I can say is I am a HUGE fan! So much so, that I was inspired to share a few snacks and recipes that are PERFECT for summer and/or graduation parties (or any other time of the year :D). Below you will find Late July's Founder Nicole Bernard Dawes' Organic Salsa Recipe, as well as a quick Guacamole recipe, and a healthier version of my Dad's Famous Chili. Tortilla chips are essential for all three of these items!
First off, I LOVE Tortilla chips. They are triangles of crispy goodness! Unfortunately, most tortilla chips and tortillas are made with ingredients that are not very good for you. That is NOT the case when it comes to Late July Snacks! I was honestly so excited when I learned more about Late July and their founder Nicole Bernard Dawes, and the practices of her company.
A brief history: Nicole started Late July in 2003 when she was pregnant and looking for an organic cracker option, but could not find a decent one. She is no stranger to snack foods, as her father founded Cape Cod Potato Chips. Her mother also happened to run a natural food store, so it seems like she had a good mixture in her upbringing to succeed in organic snack making!
Besides tasting amazing and being extremely easy to eat an entire bag (don't judge me), I am really impressed with the quality and simplicity of ingredients that Late July uses in their snacks. They strive to use the best ingredients, including certified organic and NON-GMO corn. They also use safflower and sunflower oils, and the ingredient lists are short and easily pronounced. On top of their high quality ingredients, they also donate 10% of their profits to causes that promote healthy kids and a healthy planet. I can't wait to try their full line of snacks!!
Now, on to the recipes! I recommend making the chili first as it takes a few hours to fully cook, and then you will have salsa and guacamole to snack on while you wait!
Nicole Bernard Dawes' Organic Homemade Salsa :
2-3 RIPE Avocados
1 Organic Tomato (Whichever kind you prefer. I used roma for this one)
1 Jalapeño (I only used half for this batch. Every pepper has a different spice)
1/4 Onion. Diced.
Cilantro (optional. I find it overpowering sometimes)
Himalayan Salt to taste
Mash the avocados in a bowl. Dice you tomato, jalapeño, and onion and add. Squeeze half a lime into your guac and mix together. Salt to taste. Add more lime juice and salt to taste as needed. Dig in with chips :)
Dead Man's Boots Chili - The Healthy Version made with ground turkey
This chili holds a special place in my heart. I grew up on this chili, and looked forward to it every Super Bowl. I was debating posting the recipe, as it is my Dad's "famous" family recipe. I have perfected it over the years, and have made many variation including this one. I have many it for many Super Bowl parties and holidays, and my boyfriend requests it ALL the time. Everyone loves it. Basically, it is a party hit! My Dad first made this chili while wearing boots he purchased at an estate sale back in ancient times (:D), and with our family humor, the name was born. No, I do not wear boots of a dead man while making this, but, the name stands! The original recipe is made with ground beef and sausage. This one is made with turkey.
*This is the simplified version using Carroll Shelby's chili spice mix, which my Dad used to use. I have since made my own blend, but it makes it very easy to make with this pack. It is a mixture of garlic, cumin, oregano, onion, paprika, ground chili peppers, salt, and an optional cayenne packet. You can mix your own spice blend if you prefer!*
You will need a crock pot (I like this one) for this recipe!
Yield - About 3 Quarts
2 - Anaheim Chilis
1 - Jalapeño
1 - Habanero (optional, we like spice. It really doesn't make it very spicy though)
2 - Bell peppers of choice
1 - Onion
1 - Can of organic kidney beans
1 - Can of organic diced or stewed plain tomatoes
1 - Can of organic tomato paste
1-1.5 lbs ground turkey
1-3 cups of water or 1 can/bottle of mexican beer
1 - Carroll Shelby Chili kit or your own spice blend
Cheese of choice (optional)
Cook your ground turkey on the stove first. If you do not do this and just add it to the crock pot raw, it WILL turn to mush. I know this because my boyfriend did this once... Chop all of your peppers and chilis. I prefer to chop the bell peppers, Anaheim chilis, and onions larger. I dice the jalapeño and habanero very small. Add all of your ingredients including the spices into the crock pot minus the water. Add 1 cup of liquid at a time. I sometimes wait to add more water until it cooks a bit longer, as it can become soupy when cooking. For added flavor, add your favorite Mexican beer instead of water. 16 oz should suffice. Make sure to check the chili every so often to see if you need to add liquid or to thicken it. Salt to taste as well. The chili should cook for at least an hour, but 2 or more hours will make a really tasty chili. The next day it will be even more amazing, if there is any left that is. Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips (or sourdough bread).
I hope you enjoy these recipes AND the chips from Late July to go with them. The Sea Salt and Lime are currently my favorite of the group. I love supporting brands that have similar priorities to my own, and that make amazing products.
You can find Late July Snacks at your local Whole Foods, and other natural food stores such as Sprouts and CO-OPs.
Happy Snacking this summer!!
*Disclaimer* All photos are my own except for the photo of Late July's founder, which was provided by Late July, as well as the salsa recipe. All other recipes and opinions are my own. I was sent products for review, but I only recommend and support companies and products that aline with my own values, and that I use myself.