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Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

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Celebrate a Gluten-Free Cinco de Mayo with Tortilla-Shell Salads

Here in the Southwest, we heartily observe Cinco de Mayo (May 5), a day of celebrating Mexican heritage and pride. While it has some serious roots in the history of Mexico, this date is also a good excuse to indulge in Mexican food and drink and have a little fun.

Gluten-free flour tortillas make crispy tortilla shell salads.

Gluten-free flour tortillas made crispy tortilla shell salads.

In keeping with the Mexican theme, have you ever craved those cute little tortilla shells filled with salads? I have, and then I discovered the fluted tortilla shell pans (4 to a box, around $10-$12 per box) in my local Kroger grocery store and I just absolutely had to make my own crisp tortilla shells.

TO MAKE THE TACO SHELLS

[1] Place the tortilla shell pans on a rimmed 9×13-inch baking sheet for easier handling and to prevent sliding

[2] Gently press the flour tortillas into each pan with your hands, taking care not to tear the tortillas. If the tortillas have been refrigerated or are stiff, steam each one on a splatter guard set over a skillet of simmering water, covered with a lid, until soft and pliable, about 5 to 10 seconds. Then press it into the pan while it is still pliable.

[3] I tried many brands of gluten-free flour tortillas and the brand that works quite well is Rudi’s Fiesta flavor, although I have used all 3 flavors (Spinach, Fiesta, and Regular) with great success. Also, Rudi’s tortillas are fairly pliable, so you may not need to steam them. 

[4] Bake, following the instructions on your package. The time varies depending on the size of the tortilla, but will be under 10 minutes. Let the shells cool in the pan and then remove them and fill with your favorite salad.  I used a simple oil-and-vinegar salad dressing, with some extra cilantro tossed in because I love it, but you can use whatever you like. Ranch dressing would be also be great.

Crispy gluten-free tortillas bake into crispy shells.

Crispy gluten-free tortillas bake into crispy shells.

FILLING

The salad in the photo contains lettuce, beans, tomatoes, black olives, cheddar cheese, avocado and some cilantro and a dollop of sour cream, but you could add chopped cooked chicken or cooked ground beef as well. Whatever makes a good Mexican filling is fine. Top with your favorite Mexican salsa and a wedge of lime and serve it with your favorite gluten-free beer. Here in Colorado, we’re partial to New Planet, brewed in Boulder, CO. If you prefer hard cider, you might try Angry Orchard.

The best part of this dish? You get to eat the shell so enjoy!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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