Tag Archives: avocado

Fresh, February Feast: Cooking in Season

Tonight’s dinner was primarily made from fresh produce that is currently in season! And Bryan brought home some fresh rye and caraway bread from class today to round it all out. Throw in a little citrus and local honey, and we’re golden!

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Counter-clockwise from the top right, we have Sautéed Asparagus and Mushrooms with Fried Eggs, Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup, Fresh Bread with Butter, and Broiled Grapefruit with Sliced Bananas and Honey.

Here’s a closer look at the individual dishes:

Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup (adapted from EatingWell.com) - my friend Ashley shared this recipe and told me to double the avocado and add tarragon. It was quite tasty! (Click on image for recipe.)

Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup (adapted from EatingWell.com) – my friend Ashley shared this recipe and told me to double the avocado and add tarragon. It was quite tasty! (Click on image for recipe.)

Sauteed Asparagus with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Garlic, Mint, Dill, Cilantro, and Parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice; and some fried eggs for some extra protein

Sauteed Asparagus with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Garlic, Mint, Dill, Cilantro, and Parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice; and a side of Fried Eggs

And last but not least...Broiled Grapefruit with Bananas, Honey, and Ginger from She Wears Many Hats (click on picture for recipe)

And last but not least…Broiled Grapefruit with Bananas, Honey, and Ginger from SheWearsManyHats.com (click on picture for recipe)

It was a feast indeed!

 

Recipe: Corn Salad by Melissa McKinnon

photo-21Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • handful of fresh basil and cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ears of sweet corn, husked, scrubbed, and kerneled
  • 1/2 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 radishes, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed

Instructions:

  • Chop herbs and whisk together with mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. (If vegan, dairy-free, or you just don’t like mayo: substitute mayo with vegannaise and corn milk for the sour cream–after cutting off kernels, run flat edge of knife down ears of corn to release the sweet milk.)
  • Clean vegetables.* Cut kernels off of corn (discarding the cores), and chop other vegetables to desired sizes (I like the radishes and onion to be fairly tiny and the cucumber and avocado to be a little bigger, personally).
  • Toss vegetables into dressing and mix. Serve with sprigs of herbs as garnish, if desired.

*Note: All vegetables are raw in this dish–no cooking required. So, it’s a fast dish with fantastic colors and flavors. Since everything is raw, make sure you use the freshest produce possible and clean everything well. This salad is a great alternative to potato salad or coleslaw at a picnic or as a “salsa” on top of curried chicken and rice. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe: Mel’s Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Sauce

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Stuffed Pepper Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped red and green bell pepper
  • 2 c. stemmed and chopped kale leaves
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. uncooked red quinoa
  • 6 whole bell peppers
  • parmesan rind and freshly grated cheese (optional)
  • fresh cilantro leaves (optional topping)

Stuffed Peppers Instructions:

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onions and peppers with salt and pepper until almost translucent. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add ground chicken and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Don’t worry about getting it fully cooked yet–it will keep cooking through to the end. Stir in sriracha, Worcestershire, and spices.

Add water, quinoa, and kale, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes (see quinoa package cooking instructions for time length; if you have parmesan rinds available, add them during this step).

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425ºF and prep whole bell peppers by carefully cutting off (and reserving) pepper tops. Remove seeds and pith. You may need to remove a small portion of the bottom of the pepper so it stands upright, being careful not to cut through into the shell of the pepper.

Stir stuffing till mixed evenly. Oil a medium size casserole dish and line with about 1-2 cups of the stuffing. Stuff peppers and place in stuffing bed in the casserole dish.  Place pepper tops back in casserole dish as well. If there’s any remaining stuffing, add it to the casserole dish around the peppers to help them stand up. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake uncovered 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Meanwhile, prepare Avocado Sauce (below).

For serving, remove parmesan rinds, drizzle with Avocado Sauce, and top with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Avocado Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. water (or more to desired consistency)

Avocado Sauce Instructions:

Add all ingredients except olive oil and water into food processor (or high power blender) and blend till smooth. Slowly drizzle olive oil in till emulsified, then slowly pour water in until sauce reaches desired viscocity.

Note: This dish is great to make the night before and reheats very well. On the second day (if there is any leftover stuffing), use as taco filling and top with chopped fresh tomatoes, sour cream, avocado sauce and fresh chopped cilantro.

Journal Journey: Days 43-45

Day 43: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Leftover curry and rice for lunch. Had a really good workout at the gym after work. Dinner of salmon, yellow rice, and salad with an avocado-based Caesar dressing (started experimenting with this tonight–it was pretty good but a little too acidic…maybe a little less lemon juice and anchovy paste next time). Read for a while tonight, with a cup of hot tea.

Day 44: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Large granny smith apple and a handful of nuts for breakfast with coffee. Chicken noodle soup for lunch. Went to the gym, then I surprised Bryan with dinner from a little Greek restaurant–I had a falafel sandwich with tabouli and got him a beef and mushroom pizza. Then I had a small evening snack of blueberries, almonds, and a  square of dark chocolate with a cup of Vanilla Sleepytime tea. Finished reading my current book, French Women Don’t Get Fat–hope to have a book review post soon.

Day 45: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day! Woke up late, so today’s breakfast and lunch were the same as yesterday’s. I’m actually thinking I need to start making a big batch of soup at the beginning of the week to take for lunches…at least till it gets warm outside. Good day at work…called Bryan on my way out to check in before heading home. We typically don’t do anything too fancy for Valentine’s–and try to avoid restaurants–so we decided burgers sounded like a good idea for dinner. I stopped by Publix to grab some buns and picked up a bar of Bryan’s favorite dark chocolate. I came home to a surprise Valentine’s card and my own bar of dark chocolate. So sweet!

I mixed up a fresh batch of guacamole with avocado, onion, garlic, tomato, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Bryan mixed up the hamburger meat with an egg, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, sage, sriracha, and a little lite soy sauce. Bryan topped his burger with cheddar, mixed greens, cilantro, mayo, ketchup and mustard; I topped mine with a tiny bit of mayo, mixed greens, cilantro and the guacamole. Quite possibly the best burger I’ve ever had! Finally, we delved into our chocolate with a few almonds for dessert. Now to pick my next nighttime reading book…

Recipe: Lissa’s Ceviche

Over the July 4th weekend, I got to spend some time with my future sister-in-law Lissa! She was born in Guatemala, raised in NYC, and lives in L.A. now! She’s a great girl, who loves the Lord, and enjoys everything from fashion to cooking to photography. Oh, yes, and she loves my brother. 🙂 She showed me how to make Ceviche while she was at our house that weekend! I think I could eat it every day!

My future sis-in-law Lissa and my brother Jordan

If you’re not familiar with Ceviche, it’s amazing! In my experience, it’s kind of like salsa, but with more coarsely chopped, raw vegetables in a lime and cilantro dressing. Here’s Lissa recipe:

Ceviche de Camaron (Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail):

“The dish basically consists of combining seafood cooked or not fully cooked with fresh vegetables and lime juice. The lime juice works as a cooking agent and helps finish cooking the shrimp.

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • 1.5 pound of tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

——–

“Additional ingredients one could add:

  • 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoons of Worchester sauce – gives it a nice kick. Or hot sauce for more of a kick 🙂
  • Adding fish, scallops, crab — results in a richer taste.

“**Ceviche, tastes well on its own or can be paired with various dishes. It tastes very good when paired with a well marinated steak or chicken, beans, rice and or guacamole — as the juices from the steak and from the other side dishes secrete and blend with the ceviche, a nice rich and unique flavor result from the mix. Yum yum yum.” ~Lissa

Here’s a recent sample I made with avocado but without shrimp, served with Quesadillas and Greek Yogurt:

Bright and Beautiful Veggies!

I had some wonderful vegetables in my fridge this week. Below are some examples of what I did with them.

Veggie Pizza: Homemade Sourdough Wheat Crust drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic and basil, and topped with fresh spinach, sliced red peppers, sliced green tomatoes, onions and blue cheese. Mmm!

Veggies that Wanted to Be Eaten! Hmm...what to do with them...

Stuffed Peppers! Slice off top (and just enough of the bottom so they sit flat). Chop excess peppers, green onions, and green tomato. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, dill weed, and cumin. Mix and stuff peppers.

One for dinner and one for tomorrow's lunch! Crunchy, sweet, and savory all at the same time!

What to do with over ripe avocados? Make pudding, of course! 2 small avocados, 3 Tbsp. agave nectar and 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder. Blend till smooth. You may need to add 1/4 c. to 1 c. of water to get desired smoothness.

Creamy chocolate pudding serves 4.

Chocolate Pudding in the Raw (Feb. 16, 2010)

I have a friend that switched to a primarily raw foods diet for health reasons. She’s had great success with it! And though I’m not ready to follow in her footsteps, I am willing to try many of her recipes.

Last night I tried her chocolate pudding recipe made with avocado and agave nectar. Here it is:

1 avocado (peeled, pitted)
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (she uses carob powder, but I hear that’s an acquired taste)
4 Tbsp. agave nectar (I found this at Publix next to the honey)
1 c. water
Juice of 1 orange

Basically, just blend it all up and chill it for several hours. To be honest, I didn’t even taste the avocado. However, I think next time I will eliminate the orange juice and reduce the amount of water (I like my chocolate pudding thick). But it was a good experiment! And I’m excited to try it out on my nephew who’s allergic to whey.

Original recipe courtesy of Catherine Hosack at adventuresinuncooking.wordpress.com.

An alternative chocolate pudding recipe can be found at this Raw Foods Recipe Blog: http://www.thedailyrawcafe.com/2007/09/chocolate-pudding.html.

Feb. 17, 2010: Okay, I tried it tonight without the water and orange juice, and I liked it so much better! It was rich, creamy, and thick (not runny like my first try). Yum! Be sure to share though: this recipe definitely is for 2!

Guacamole Recipe (Feb. 4, 2010)

Tonight was Fajita Night! I sliced and sauteed 3/4 of a red onion and 2 green peppers in 2 Tbsp. olive oil over Medium heat. When softened, I added 3 cups of cubed, pre-cooked chicken, 1 package of taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of water, and simmered for 10-15 minutes (till the chicken was warmed through). We served them on Garlic Pesto Wraps with organic salsa, mixed greens, sour cream, and my guacamole. Great, quick meal for week night company!

Ingredients for Guacamole:
2 Haas avocados, peeled and pitted
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/4 onion, finely chopped (reserved from fajita veggies)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. dried cilantro (3 Tbsp. if using fresh)
1 Tbsp. diced jalapeno peppers (find these in the same aisle as pickles in the grocery store)
1 tsp. sugar
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine and mash to desired texture. If you like chunky guac, dice the avocado and just stir the ingredients together. If you like it smooth, use a food processor. Either way, enjoy!

Buen provecho! (That’s Bon Appetit in Spanish!)
Melissa