Salty, Crunchy Chips with a Naturally Sweet & Sour Cocktail:
Margaritas –sour, salty, and overflowing with…. sugar and artificial ingredients? No thanks. I’ll opt for my Simple Skinny Margaritas, which are crazy good, and crazy easy, with a combination of fresh citrus juices and good tequila. This cocktail goes perfectly with my Crispy Nori Chips, baked to perfection with Mexican spices and ready for dipping. Enjoy Cinco de Mayo on a healthier note while still getting a little drank on. 🙂
I love Mexican flavors and got spoiled on really good Mexican food when I went to college in Arizona. Before that, my home state of Pennsylvania hadn’t really wowed me with its offerings of Southwest fare. It took me a while to experience real Mexican food and understand what a good margarita really was. And then I did. And then I loved them.
Loving tortilla chips, on the other hand, has never been an issue for me. At times they have been a borderline addiction (especially when I first went gluten-free), so naturally, I needed to make a healthier yet equally as satisfying version. Now I can get my chip fix without a total carb-fest and consequential corn induced bellyache.
I highly recommend enjoying these two treats together, sitting in the sun and relaxing to some good tunes. The ironic part about that suggestions is when I did my photo shoot for these we had a foot of snow outside (ya know, April in Colorado and what not) so I enjoyed them inside and just pretended I was on a warm, sunny, beach. This was still very satisfying, probably because my Simple Skinny Margaritas and Crispy Nori Chips are so damn good, and reggae never hurts either.
Crispy Nori Chips
If you’re not familiar, nori is a type of seaweed (don’t be scared!) often used in sushi, and you can buy it in these flat sheets that are perfect for layering into delectable chips. The savory flavor of these comes from a mix of tahini (sesame seed butter), nutritional yeast, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika. They bake up into perfectly crunchy, salty chips that honestly will make you forget traditional tortilla chips ever existed, while providing you with some excellent nutritional perks at the same time. These Crispy Nori Chips are screaming to be dipped, so break out the salsa, guac, or hummus and dig in.
Why You Should Eat Them
Nori is an awesome vegan source of Vitamin B-12. This is hard to come by when eating a plant-based diet but is extremely important for neurological and cardiovascular health, along with the detoxification process. So eat up! It’s also a great way to get iodine. Did you know that if you use sea salt you’re actually not getting much iodine since it’s added to traditional table salt (iodized)? So, if you’re like me and only use real sea salt, you can get iodine through whole foods like nori, since it’s vital for thyroid hormone function which affects your entire body.
The tahini in these Crispy Nori Chips adds a cheesy texture and flavor while bringing an impressive amount of calcium. Tahini also has some Vitamin E, which is a fat soluble vitamin so it’s well absorbed from tahini, thanks to the unsaturated fats that are present. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant but also has some major beautifying effects – strengthening skin by improving moisture and elasticity and helping hair keep a shiny luster. Yep, you can get more beautiful as you eat!
How You Can Make Them
These Crispy Nori Chips are a breeze to make. You start by mixing all the tahini, lime juice, spices, and a little water in a small bowl.
Then spread ¼ cup of the mix on a sheet of nori (place the shiny side down). This might be kind of thick and hard to spread, just do the best you can to get it evenly over the sheet and it will melt and spread some more in the oven.
Use a marinating brush to spread water along the edges of the nori sheet, then place another sheet on top (shiny side up), and press firmly all over, making sure to really seal the edges. Brush the edges lightly with water again. Lastly, spray with a little avocado oil and use the brush to paint it evenly all over both sides of the sheets. Repeat until you’ve used up all your filling.
Crispy Nori Chips
Yield 16 chips
These crunchy, salty, savory chips will be your new favorite snack or appetizer! Perfect for dipping in guacamole, salsa, or hummus and enjoying with a Simple Skinny Margarita.
- 8 Nori Sheets
- 2/3 cup tahini
- juice from 2 limes
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup water
- avocado oil spray
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine tahini, water, spices, salt, and pepper and mix well.
- Place two nori sheets shiny side down on baking sheet. Scoop 1/4 cup of the tahini mix onto one sheet, then spread as evenly as you can, leaving a border all around the edges. It will be thick and difficult to spread, just do the best you can!
- Using a marinating brush, lightly spread some water along the edges of the nori sheet. Take the second sheet and place it on top of the tahini, keeping the shiny side on top. Using your hand press firmly all over, especially along the edges.
- Use the brush to apply more water along the edges of the top layer of nori and again press well with your fingers.
- Lightly spray both sides of the nori "pockets" with oil and use the marinating brush to spread evenly all over.
- Repeat using all the nori sheets and tahini mix, you will have 4 pockets total and you can bake 2 on a sheet.
- Place baking sheets in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip, and bake for another 15 -20 minutes. They should feel crispy to the touch when you take them out of the oven.
- Immediately transfer to a cutting board, cut diagonally into 4 triangles, and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Repeat with all. Allow chips to cool slightly before serving, then enjoy with some dips and drinks!
- Save leftovers in an air-tight container.
Courses Snack, Appetizer
Simple Skinny Margaritas
Mar-ga-ri-tas! Yep, you can indulge in a sweetish adult beverage without compromising your dietary morals. Most margarita mixes have tons of sugar, even several forms of it, along with artificial colors and flavors. They are SUPER high in calories and offer nothing beneficial at all. Yuck! My Simple Skinny Margaritas, which I’ve also dubbed my “Mountain Girl Margaritas”, take 5 ingredients: fresh lime juice, fresh tangerine juice, reposado tequila, a splash of Grand Marnier, and club soda. Real fruit juice and good tequila provide all of the flavor you could ever need.
Why You Should Drink It
This is an alcoholic beverage, so moderation is important and I’m not going to pretend my Simple Skinny Margaritas are a health miracle. BUT, you do get a nice dose of Vitamin C and some antibacterial effects from the fresh citrus juice. Because of all the fake ingredients it doesn’t contain, it’s a much healthier option compared to other margaritas.
How You Can Make It
If you like salt on your margs, I suggest buying the course sea salt and combining it with fresh lime zest, to put a nice rim on the glasses. Just swipe a wedge of lime along the glasses first and dunk the rim into the salt/zest mix. Then shake the juices, tequila, and Grand Marnier together, pour over ice, and top with the club soda. I honestly never buy Grand Marnier, but was looking for an excuse to use some I had leftover from a Christmas cake. This was actually a great way to do it! So simple and insanely tasty.
Simple Skinny Margaritas
Yield 2 cocktails
These delicious cocktails are the perfect balance of sweet and sour, made with natural ingredients from scratch!
- 4 oz. reposado tequila
- 6 tsp Grand Marnier
- 3 limes
- 1 large tangerine
- 4 -6 oz. club soda
- Coarse sea salt, for garnish
- Pour a generous amount of coarse sea salt into a wide, shallow dish.
- Zest one lime and mix zest into the salt.
- Cut the zested lime and run a wedge around the rim of each glass.
- Dunk the rims of the glasses into the salt and lime zest mixture and set aside.
- Juice the 2 additional limes and the tangerine, using a citrus juicer or hand press, and pour juice into a jar.
- Add the tequila and Grand Marnier to the jar and shake well.
- Pour into the two glasses, over ice, and top with club soda to your liking.
- Kick back and enjoy!
I want to send out a special thanks to the Dressel’s for lending me their beautiful glasses for this shoot, and to the Rankin’s for giving them the beautiful glasses! Dan is especially grateful I didn’t buy more glassware for the sake of this post, at least not this time!
If you want to make a complete meal check out my post for Purple Sweet Potato Taco Salad. It would be the perfect compliment to these Crispy Nori Chips and Simple Skinny Margaritas, and you can make it Vegan or Paleo. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think, happy Cinco de Mayo!