Grilled Sweet Pepper and Ancho Chili Sauce

Chilli pepper still life

Have you ever read the ingredients of a typical marinade sauce? Chances are if you did, you wouldn’t buy it. Here is a sample of ingredients from a popular marinade in the grocery store: vinegar, soy sauce, water, sugar, honey, high-fructose corn syrup. For only 1 tablespoon you’ll get 260 mg of sodium and 4 g of sugar – only 1 tablespoon! Why buy when you can make your own healthier version? This recipe is delicious over chicken or fish and is low in calories, sugar and sodium. If you’re going to grill, grill right and give your body the taste is craves, not the sodium and additives it despises!

Makes 12 servings (Serving size: 1/4 cup)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onions, small dice
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup toasted almonds, sliced
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 cup grilled red pepper*
2 tbsp ancho chili pepper paste**
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

In a large sauce pan, combine olive oil with onion and sauté on medium heat until onions are golden; add garlic and sauté until garlic is fragrant.

Turn off heat and set aside. In a food processor, pulse walnuts and almonds until they are finely chopped.

Add tomato, grilled peppers, chili paste, salt, (optional cayenne) and puree until mixture is smooth. Pour mixture back into the sauce pan, bring to a simmer turn off heat and serve.

You can make the sauce ahead of time, cool and refrigerate or cool, refrigerate, label, date and freeze. This sauce makes a great accompaniment for grilled chicken and fish.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 80
Sodium: 270 mg
Sugars: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrate: 8 g

*To grill peppers: Cut peppers in quarters and remove seeds, white membrane and stem. Place skin side down on grill until the skin blisters and slightly blackens. Wrap peppers in plastic and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove plastic wrap, scrape off skin and use as desired.

**To make Ancho chili paste: Place dried Ancho chili in small bowl, cover with water and set at room temperature until reconstituted and soft. Remove any seeds, stem and tough membranes of skin. Finely mice and mash into a paste using the side of a chef knife.