Tag Archives: avocado

CSA Week 5: A Kale Salad I Actually Like

Kale is not my favorite. Unfortunately, it has shown up every week so far in my CSA box. But the good news is we’ve been talking a lot lately, and we’re starting to build a rapport. I’ve found I really like it sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil and scrambled eggs for breakfast. It’s not bad sliced into ribbons and mixed with salads or pasta or thrown into a veggie medley. I have hidden it here and there in various fritters and patties and smoothies. It’s a good one to hide since other people in the household are even less enamored with it than I am.

But this salad. Kale is the star and lo, and behold! I actually really liked it. No, really! Bright, chewy, salty and sour and creamy. Good stuff. I’m not even kidding. I topped mine with a little parmesan, but if you leave that off this salad is not only tasty, it’s dairy free, gluten-free and sugar-free. The creamy texture all comes from the lovely marriage of avocado with lemon and olive oil, scrunched through the crunchy kale with your hands to coat every little ribbon.

I paired this with a couple of pan-fried slices of polenta, left over from the previous night’s herbed polenta. A little fresh tomato rounded out the plate nicely.

Lemony Avocado and Kale Salad

Lemony Avocado and Kale Salad

Lemony Avocado and Kale Salad

4 cups of kale, sliced into ribbons
A drizzle of olive oil, about a tablespoon
1 avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired

Put kale in a large bowl. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, add the avocado, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Using your hands, scrunch everything together until all leaves are evenly coated. Top with cheese if desired.

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Honey-Lime Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

Sweet potatoes. Eh. Never been a huge fan. At Thanksgiving I place that nasty marshmallow covered pan far away from me. But I’m definitely making progress on learning to like them. The trick for me? Cook them savory, not sweet. And cook them in a way that they get a little crispy. A bit of texture goes a long way with me. Baby food sweet potato mush does not appeal. Give me some crunch!

This recipe went down as a big check in my sweet potato “like” column. The beans and other veggies add texture, the spices add some savory to balance the sweet and roasting the potatoes added some crispy edges and nice chewy texture. It all added up to an out of the ordinary, and very delicious taco!

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos
(From Cooking Classy)

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled if desired and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5) oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed and drained
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Corn or flour tortillas
Taco toppings of your choice, such as romaine lettuce or purple cabbage, cotija or feta cheese, lime wedges, diced avocados, fresh salsa or pico de gallo and hot sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil then place sweet potatoes on foil. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle evenly with cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste then toss to evenly coat. Bake in preheated oven 15 – 20 minutes until tender, removing from oven and tossing once halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until caramelized (golden brown on edges and tender), about 5 – 6 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Reduce heat to medium-low, add in drained black beans, corn, honey and lime juice. Heat until warmed through. Toss in roasted sweet potatoes and cilantro. Serve in warm tortillas with desired toppings.

 

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Brown Sugar Chili Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Crema

The photos had me drooling.  I spotted this on one of my favorite blogs and I had to make it.  Immediately.  And let me tell you, it was amazing. And to top it off, it is one of those recipes that is easy enough to make on any weeknight, but fancy enough for special guests too.

You have to make this.

Sweet with a tiny touch of spice, cooled with a creamy avocado sauce.  The little tang of lime.  Perfection.  I’m told it’s not bad form at all to lick the crema bowl (good thing!).

If you only try one new salmon recipe this year, make it this one.  Easily in my top 10!

Tastes as delicious as it looks!

Could it possibly taste as delicious as it looks?  Absolutely!

Brown Sugar Chili Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Crema
(from canyoustayfordinner.com)

For the crema:
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley (optional, I didn’t have any so I left it out)
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp. salt.

For the salmon:
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 – 5oz. salmon filets
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lime, sliced into rounds (at least 4 slices)
In a blender or food processor, combine crema ingredients and blend until smooth.  If you want the sauce thinner, you can add a bit of water to thin it (I didn’t).
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, chili powder, salt and cayenne.  Sprinkle over fish and rub into all sides of the filets.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat. Add 2 of the salmon filets (skin-side-up if they have skin on) and cook, undisturbed, until the underside is crisp and just beginning to blacken, about 4 minutes. Flip the filets and cook an additional 4 minutes, until the fish feels firm to the touch. Remove to a plate immediately. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the remaining 2 filets of salmon and repeat the cooking process. Once all of the salmon is cooked and transferred to a plate, add the lime slices to the now-empty pan and cook just until they begin to caramelize, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
To serve, top filets with a generous dollop of crema and press a caramelized lime into the top of each filet.
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Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwich

Fried egg sandwiches are one of my favorite foods.  Not only are they delicious, but they have great sentimental value for me.  My Grandma and Grandad both made them for me when I was young.  My mom made them for me (and occasionally still does).  It was one (if not THE) first foods I cooked for myself. And now, whether I’m dieting or not dieting, sad or happy, it’s one of my favorite things to make.  Breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I don’t eat them every day, but when I do, I enjoy every single bite.

At my favorite fruit stand today, I discovered a new thing, a Bacon Avocado!  Now you, like me, may be all excited about the seeming hybrid of bacon and avocado, but alas, that is not the case (although that would be awesome). They are just named after somebody named Bacon who discovered them.  But, although they have nothing to do with actual bacon, they are really, really delicious!  Very creamy and good.  And more importantly, they paired beautifully with a fried egg on my sandwich.

My mom might be appalled that I’m messing with the traditional fried egg sandwich, but then again, she’s an avocado fan, so she may go for this one.

Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwich

Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwich

Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwich

2 pieces good bread (I prefer rye or sourdough)
1-2 large eggs
1 tsp. mayonnaise (optional)
1/2 avocado
Salt & pepper

Heat small skillet over medium heat.  When pan is hot, rub the surface with a bit of olive oil or butter.  Break egg(s) into pan.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook a minute or two on each side, until they are done to your liking. I like mine over easy, still yolky in the middle.

While the eggs are cooking, smear a little mayo on the bread if you like that sort of thing.  Slice up the avocado and spread out on one side.

Yummy avocado!

Yummy avocado!

Gently place the egg on top of the avocado, top with the other piece of bread and dive into bliss!

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Lemony Avocado Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

Pinterest has been both good and bad for my waistline.  So many good recipes, so little time.  But more than the exact recipes, I love it for the inspiration.   I saw a photo of egg salad made with avocados and just had to make it.  That being said, beyond the egg and avocado I veered off and did my own thing.

You can always put this on bread or roll it in a tortilla or wrap instead, but I loved it wrapped in leafy lettuce with some fruit on the side.  Light but very satisfying – and very low on the carbs!

Lemony Avocado Egg Salad

Lemony Avocado Egg Salad

Lemony Avocado Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

4 eggs
2 small avocados
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
Zest from half a lemon
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt & pepper
Leaf Lettuce or Boston lettuce leaves for wrapping

Boil eggs. You can use whatever method you prefer.  Here’s the way I do it:  I put a half dozen eggs in a pan, cover with water, turn the burner on high and set the timer for 15 minutes (time may vary depending on altitude).  When it goes off, I rinse with cold water, and when they are cool enough to handle, I peel the ones I want to use, and stick the rest in the fridge for salads or whatever the next day.

Score avocados (see pic) and spoon out into a bowl.

Cut in half, remove pit (if you whack it with the blade of the knife and twist, it pops right out).  Score with a knife like this, then just use a spoon to scoop out perfectly diced avocado.

Cut in half, remove pit (if you whack it with the blade of the knife and twist, it pops right out). Score with a knife like this, then just use a spoon to scoop out perfectly diced avocado.

Dice up eggs and add to bowl (you want about equal amounts of eggs and avocados).  Use a knife to slice and stab through the mixture until it’s all chopped as fine as you like it (nice high-tech method, huh?).  I like a little texture so this is how I left mine.

Use a knife to cut through chunks to make them smaller and get it all combined well.

Use a knife to cut through chunks to make them smaller.  It also combines everything really well.

Add mayo, lemon zest, lemon juice (I didn’t measure it, I just cut off a wedge and squeezed it in there) plus a pinch of salt & pepper. Mix well.  Layer two or three big leaves, plop some egg salad in there and wrap up.  Eat.

Lunch.

Lunch.

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Make Like A Rabbit

One day my kids went to visit a friend who is a vegetarian.  When they came back they reported that she was doing great, but that she was eating a “bowl of weeds.”  Upon further investigation I found out what she was eating was kale.  And really, I couldn’t argue in kale’s favor.

I’ve never been a big fan of your leafy green things.  I love salad, and have embraced the spinach (especially the baby variety) but collard greens, mustard greens, kale, etc. leave me baffled.  I don’t really know what to do with them, and truthfully, I’ve never really liked them.  When I have had them, they have been cooked to slimy lumps of science project green that leave me with no appetite.

BUT.

One of my goals in the last year has been to teach myself to like some new foods.  Foods that I have previously either disliked or really never eaten.  Especially foods that are really good for you. Like your dark leafy green things. Hello, Kale.

So I was watching a food documentary the other day, and Rip Esselstyn, author of the Engine 2 Diet, was showing some people a few recipes and one of them was a kale salad.  I was actually intrigued.  It looked good.  Kale looked good?  Yep.  So with this new revelation and very simple recipe in hand, I ran to the store and bought myself a wad of kale.

I will not say that kale will be on my menu every day from now on.  I didn’t looooooove it. But I liked this recipe.  It was simple, crisp and refreshing.  I ate this one day as my lunch and then again as a side dish with pasta the next day.  I’ve made my peace with kale and I have a feeling we’ll be meeting again soon, maybe even with a little heat involved.

Kale & Avocado Salad

Kale & Avocado Salad

1 small bunch of kale (I used dinosaur kale)
1 avocado
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper

Chop up the kale into small pieces.  Stop when you get down to the stem area unless you want to do some extra chewing; the stems are tough.  Put the chopped kale in a bowl.  Peel the avocado and scoop out the insides into the kale bowl.  Squeeze the lemon juice in with it.  Add some salt & pepper to taste.  Using your hands, mash the avocado and kale together like you were making a meatloaf.  The mashed avocado and lemon juice make a sort of salad dressing consistency that should coat all the greens.  Adjust the seasoning if needed and make like a rabbit.

This will make 2 main dish servings or 4 side dish servings.

 

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