I am living in New Mexico now.
I know this doesn't come as a surprise to most of you, especially if you've been following my soap opera-ish journey that led me to the Land of Enchantment. (Take an amazing paying job in D.C.! Hate the job, the money doesn't matter! But wait, the money DOES matter because D.C. is the most expensive city in the U.S.! Boyfriend decides to pursue his passion and go back to graduate school. Do a long distance relationship! Hate the long distance thing, still hate the job! Drop everything! Find a new job and move 2,000 miles to New Mexico in less than a month!)
Luckily, my life has calmed down a lot since then. A lot of it had to do with maturity, some of it had to do with living so far away from home that I can’t just go home and avoid my problems when I was having a crisis, but most of it had to do with focusing energy on the people and hobbies in my life that consistently bring me positivity and joy.
Ahh, sweet life lessons from South of Vanilla.
But even though my life is very placid right now....Cinco de Mayo is coming up. And I am living in New Mexico. Catch my drift? My expectations are high. I am hoping for piñatas and tequila flights and really ridiculously good Mexican food. Of course. Duh.
And of course, this is the third part of the South of Vanilla-Care to Pair Cinco de Mayo installment, where we pair fabulous Mexican food paleo recipes with drinks. If you haven't seen the first or the second, you need to go check them out now.
This recipe came to me one night when I was experimenting with Paleo Margaritas. Then, of course, I just had to have it. I had this vision in my head of how it would turn out, and it only took me 56356 times to get it right. Just kidding, it didn’t take that long.
But guess what? Now you have this awesome recipe that you will impress your friends this Cinco de Mayo. Oh and umm, there’s spinach in it. Not for the taste, of course not. That would be silly. And disgusting. It just gives these bars a nice, rich green flavor with natural coloring rather than dyes; you won’t even notice that there’s a serving of veggies in these! If you would like, you can leave the spinach out of the bars, but they’ll be a light yellow in color. You’ll also have to leave out 2 tbsp. of coconut flour (So ½ cup coconut flour- 2 tbsp.).
Dani from Care to Pair decided to pair Mezcal with these salted lime tequila bars in a genius Oaxaca Old Fashioned. According to Dani, the Mezcal is kind of like tequila, but smokey in flavor. She also predicts that its going to be the next big drink in cocktails soon , so you'll have to check out the details here. She's the expert at pairings.
This is the third a final installment of our Cinco de Mayo series, but we will be doing a recap for all of your upcoming Cinco de Mayo parties next week. After that, make sure to keep looking at Care to Pair- Dani has a lot of great summer recipes coming your way. Oh, and she's getting married in two weeks in an upstate Nevada, country-desert wedding. Its going to be gorgeous. I am sure she will post pictures. Stay tuned!
I hope you bring trays of these bars and Mezcal to your Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Ole! Or ummm, aclamaciones!
Grain-Free Salted Tequila Lime Bars
Makes 12-16 squares
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup raw honey
- 1/3-cup fresh limejuice
- 1 tbsp. cashew flour (can substitute Almond flour if finely ground)
- 2 tbsp. lime zest
- 1.5 oz. tequila
- ½ cup fresh spinach* see note above
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp. margarita salt (Optional)
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Place all crust ingredients in a food processor except almond milk and blend until combined.
- Add almond milk into processor and pulse until just combined.
- Line a 13x9 casserole dish with parchment paper.
- Place crust batter into pan and use fingers or a spoon to evenly press crust into all corners and edges. Make sure crust is as a uniform thickness as possible. If batter is too sticky to spread, put some coconut oil and fingers and spread while fingers are oiled.
- Bake at 350 degrees on middle rack and bake for 12 minutes.
- While crust is baking, place eggs, honey, limejuice, cashew flour, lime zest, and tequila in food processer. Blend until well combined.
- Add in spinach and blend well. Make sure you do this, since you really don’t want any random leaves floating around in your lime bars.
- Add in coconut flour slowly, blending after each addition.
- Once crust has finished baking, remove from oven.
- Pour in filling, and return to oven on middle rack.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes, until edges are firm and middle is slightly wobbly.
- Let cool until middle sets, about 30 minutes. If you try to cut these bars before, they will fall apart.
- Sprinkle margarita salt over bars, cut, and serve.