Money Mindful Meals: Baked Tortilla Chips and Roasted Garlic Guacamole

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be eating less processed food and cooking basic items myself. Over the last few weeks I have baked bread, churned ice cream, and stocked my fridge with heirloom tomatoes, red onions, and leeks from the farmers’ market. I’ve found that I am cooking with a lot more vegetables and less meat, and have become addicted to Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook. I have cooked Pasta with Rich Leek “Pesto”, Not Your Usual Steak Fajitas, and these Beet “Sandwiches” from his cookbook. This week I’m expanding my repertoire of staple foods with baked chips and guacamole.

This addition occurred when I was planning a picnic for a Monday evening concert in Chicago’s Milleniun Park. Last year when I packed picnics for these concerts I would buy a few varieties of cheese, bread, and jam. This year I wanted a larger, healthier mix of appetizers. Since a large portion of my vegetable-heavy diet has included avocado I immediately thought to make some guacamole. I also believe that one can rarely go wrong by adding extra garlic to a dish, so I decided to alter my typical guacamole by roasting a couple cloves of garlic on the stove and mashing them with the avocado, before adding the remaining usual suspects.

I couldn’t stand the thought of spending $4 on salty, fried tortilla chips to go with this fantastically garlicky and fresh guacamole. Luckily I had a free solution: I used left over flour tortillas to make baked tortilla chips. These were insanely easy to make and only required tortillas, olive oil, and salt. After 15 minutes in the oven and 5 minutes to cool (we don’t want any burnt tongues), you get a warm and crispy tortilla chip. These chips were delicious on their own, with the roasted garlic guacamole, and I imagine would be great with some homemade fruit salsa.

Alex Milling is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and loves dry red wines.


Baked Tortilla Chips
Adapted from Food Network
Serves 4

Total Cost: Free
Cost Per Serving: Free


6 six-inch white flour tortillas (leftovers)
1 tablespoon of olive oil (in-stock)
Salt (in-stock)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Brush both sides of the tortillas with olive oil. Stack tortillas on a cutting board and cut into eighths. Spread tortillas on a baking sheet and season with salt. Bake until the chips are crisp and golden brown, rotating the baking sheet once, about 14-17 minutes.

Roasted Garlic Guacamole
Adapted from Rick Bayless
Serves 2

Total Cost: $2.86
Cost Per Serving: $1.43


2 cloves of garlic ($0.11)
1 ripe avocado, cut into large cubes ($1.50)
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro ($0.25)
2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice ($.20)
Salt (in-stock)
1/2 medium tomato, chopped ($0.50)
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped ($0.25)
1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped ($0.05)
2 teaspoons olive oil (in-stock)
Pepper (in-stock)

In a small dry skillet over medium heat, roast the garlic until it is soft and there are small black spots, about 10 minutes. Cool, slip the skins of the garlic and coarsely chop. Add the garlic, avocado, cilantro and lime to a bowl and mash. Taste and season with salt. Fold in tomato, onion, jalapeno, and olive oil. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Originally posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012

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