Last week I mentioned my newest obsession- winter farmers markets. What's better than some fresh seasonal veggies, local honey, cheese, vino and other treats in a warm sunny place during a freezing cold winter? Pretty much nothing, other than Beyonce. My mom came along this week to check out a market I've already been too, and she was definitely impressed! There's something so soothing about a huge greenhouse full of beautiful flowers and samples. The food trucks outside didn't hurt either!
My mom and I split up, as I sampled dairy-free ice cream made from a coconut base and some iced chai made from all sorts of healthy things I'd never heard of before. When we met later on, I wasn't sure her purchase - Number 9 Nine Veggie Tortilla Strips. I haven't seen many successful veggie-packed products (V8 will never get me going, thanks) and wasn't expecting much out of these, but my mom swore the samples won her over, and bought three bags (two Veggie, one Ancient Grain) at three bucks a pop.
Fast forward to home, where I'm getting ready to go out to dinner but definitely could use a little something to tide me over. My dad had just opened the Nine Veggie and some very mild salsa we had in the fridge, so I gave them a go, and holy moly are they good. Like regular tortilla chips but WAY more delicious in ways I never thought tortilla chips could be.
The Nine Veggie have a good orange tint, and up to the second you bite into them they have the look and smell and very very slight taste of a blue Dorito. But don't let looks deceive you (and, weirdly enough, that makes them even more appealing for me)! Once you start chewing you realize that on their own they are savory and salty, with the best aspects of vegetables that you would't notice in the chips unless you reminded yourself what they're made of. For instance, there's the warmth you taste from a pan full of roasted carrots, combined with the sweetness of butternut squash and sweet potato and the almost-like-there's-already-salsa taste of tomato. Combined with just the right amount of salt per bite, these guys pack a major punch.
I'm eating them plain right now to describe them to you (god am I helpful!), but these really bring up any salsa you have, or as strips would be an excellent vehicle for guacamole. Number 9 also sells salsa, which like their chips all contain at least nine vegetables. I'd definitely check these out too since they clearly have some kind of a brain trust going if they can make veggie tortilla chips this addictive.
Once I've popped open the Ancient Grain I'll let you know if you should obsess over those too, since they're both certified Gluten Free. From their site it looks like you can find these primarily in New England and New York, but keep an eye out and beg them to expand so you can continue to scarf down salty foods while pretending you're a healthy person!