Fresh Bean Salsa

Fresh Bean Salsa | Once Upon a Recipe

High five friends, it’s Friday!

I say it every week, but I’m so glad that the weekend is here. I have fun plans with friends, a birthday party for my little bro (who’s not so little anymore, btw), and sleeping in on the agenda. There is nothing I love more than not having to wake up to the sound of an alarm. I will also endeavour to keep up with my 2014 goal of reading one book per month. I realize that reading a dozen books in a one year period doesn’t seem like much, but I’m going for achievable here. I’ve read a few great posts on book recommendations, which have directed me to some great reads (if you’re also looking for inspiration, try here, here, and the comments section of this post).

Fresh Bean Salsa | Once Upon a Recipe

Annnnnyways, today I bring you a very humble bean salsa recipe. My friend, Jill started bringing this salsa to get togethers a while back. It always got rave reviews, so I asked for the recipe. Then I started taking it places and it got more rave reviews. It’s super simple, yet extremely flavorful and healthy. All it takes is a little chopping, a little mixing, and a little time for the flavors to mingle together, and you’ve got yourself a great snack, appetizer, or even side dish. My favorite way to enjoy this salsa is with Hint of Lime tortilla chips (either Tostitos or Old Dutch), but I bet it would taste great on nachos (add after baking the nachos so the chips don’t get mushy) or alongside your favorite Mexican dish. I’ve even thrown leftovers on top of a salad. Use your imagination folks!

Fresh Bean Salsa | Once Upon a Recipe

Fresh Bean Salsa | Once Upon a Recipe

Fresh Bean Salsa

This bean salsa tastes best if you give it a chance to chill out in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. It will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can use the salsa of your choice. 

2-19 ounce cans of mixed beans, drained and rinsed

1 red pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1 cup prepared salsa of your choice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Chop. Mix. Allow to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight, if possible). Enjoy with tortilla chips!

Fresh Bean Salsa | Once Upon a Recipe

Have the most marvelous weekend!

There’s An App for That | Pasadena Pinwheels

Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe













Aloha mes amigos!

‘Tis the holidays! At this time of year, every good host and hostess needs a few recipes in his or her entertaining arsenal – tried and true crowd pleasers that can be counted on time and time again. For me, Pasadena Pinwheels is one of those reliable appetizers that everyone seems to love. They are easy to prepare ahead of time, only need a quick nip in the oven before serving, and well, they’re kind of delicious.

Why not give ’em a try this holiday season? Whether you’re hosting a party or attending one and need something easy to take along (yes, we’re all going to be good guests this year), Pasadena Pinwheels are money.

I’ll even walk you through it. Let’s get started!

Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe













The ingredient list is trés simple. Cream cheese, a lil’ mayo, green chiles, tomato, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, and tortillas. And some salsa for dipping.

Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe













Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe

Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe

Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe





































Mix it all together. Spread it on the tortillas. Roll ’em up. Slice. Arrange them all pretty on a platter. Snack on the ends as you’re working. Refrigerate until you’re almost ready to serve. Pour yourself a glass of wine before your guests arrive. You deserve it.

Ten minutes before you want to serve your Pasadena Pinwheels, heat up your oven to broil, pop the whole shebang into the oven for a couple of minutes, just until things are getting toasty and golden. Boom. Dinner Appetizer is served. You can thank me later.

Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe













Pasadena Pinwheels

8 ounces of cream cheese, softened

2 TBSP. mayonnaise

1 4-ounce can of diced green chiles

1 large tomato, finely chopped

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. salt

10 large flour tortillas

Mix everything together (an electric mixer works well). Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight (to let those flavors mingle!). Spread evenly onto the tortillas, roll each tortilla up tightly, then slice into 1-inch rounds. Arrange on a platter or cookie sheet. Broil until golden brown before serving. Dip into salsa, if desired.

Pasadena Pinwheels | Once Upon a Recipe













What is your favorite go-to holiday appetizer recipe? 

Meatless Mexican | Black Bean Quesadillas

Meat and potatoes people. MAPPs.

People who think that a meal without meat cannot be filling and satisfying.

If you know any such people (*cough cough* ie. men *cough cough*), you must introduce them to Mr. Black Bean of the Legume family. Other members of the Legume family include lentils, peas, soy, and even peanuts. All are great sources of protein, and protein helps to give you that satisfied feeling (because protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrate). When taking meat out of a meal, or out of your diet entirely, it is important to replace the protein with other sources. Now, I know you didn’t come here for a science or nutrition lesson, so let’s get on to the good stuff! PS. Rattle off that scientific mumbo-jumbo to the MAPPs in your life when you make this recipe for them.

 A couple of years ago, when honey and I were in the throes of our vegetarian challenge (no meat for one year), we practically lived off of legumes. This black bean quesadilla recipe was one of the first dishes that I discovered during our challenge, and we have eaten it many times since then. It is so easy, so delicious, and I promise you won’t even miss the meat! Try it. Now.

Please and thank you. 🙂

Black Bean Quesadillas (slightly adapted from

1 TBSP. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, diced

1 TBSP. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot!)

1 can corn kernels

6-8 whole wheat flour tortillas

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Sour cream and salsa, on the side

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, green pepper, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the black beans, salsa, and corn, and stir until heated through (about 5 minutes).

Lay out your tortillas and spoon the mixture onto one half of each tortilla. I usually make 6 tortillas, so they end up being quite full. However, you can make 8 tortillas and fill each with a little bit less. Sprinkle the cheese overtop of the mixture, then fold the tortillas over. Place on a lined or greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turning the tortillas over halfway through. Serve with sour cream and more salsa. Enjoy!

How Sweet! | Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Honey and I hosted a Christmas party last night! We had a wonderful time with great friends and family – it was a fabulous way to kick off the holiday season! We also spent the 48 hours prior to the party in preparation mode – food and drink planning, grocery shopping, housecleaning…we ended up with about 8 appetizer and dessert dishes. I photographed all of the dishes as I was making them, but once the party got going and I started putting the food out, I was too preoccupied with visiting and of course, eating, to take photos of the finished products! I am kicking myself now, because there were a couple of other recipes that I really wanted to share with you! Oh well, perhaps they will be recreated over the course of the holidays and I will be better prepared to capture them with my camera!

This fruit salsa with cinnamon chips is another family favorite that has made an appearance at many parties and get-togethers. It can be an appetizer, it can be a dessert, and it is so deliciously refreshing. It can take a little bit of time, dicing up the fruit and baking the cinnamon chips, but your efforts will be rewarded once you sink your teeth into the sweet, crispy chips, and the fresh, succulent salsa. The colors and flavors make it very season-appropriate, although it is a wonderful summer treat as well.

Try making this fruit salsa for a holiday party that you’re hosting or attending, and I guarantee your guests will not be disappointed. Stay tuned for Christmas cookie recipes, coming up this week! Happy eating!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced (Granny Smiths work well)

2 kiwis, peeled and diced

1 pint of raspberries, chopped

1 pound of strawberries, diced

2 TBSP. white sugar

1 TBSP. brown sugar

3 TBSP. fruit jam, either strawberry or raspberry

Fresh mint (optional)

10 10-inch whole wheat tortillas

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups of cinnamon sugar (2 cups of white sugar mixed with 2 TBSP. of cinnamon)

For the salsa: In a large bowl, combine the apples, kiwis, raspberries, strawberries, sugars, and jam. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (I usually make the salsa the night before and chill it overnight).

For the cinnamon chips: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush both sides of each tortilla with butter, and generously sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tortillas are lightly browned. Cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. Store the chips in an airtight container if you will not be eating them right away.

Serve the salsa and cinnamon chips together just like you would serve savory salsa and tortilla chips. Garnish the salsa with fresh mint, if desired. Enjoy!

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