Tag Archives: avocado

Shades of Verde: Baked egg in avocado with pepita pesto

Shades of Verde: Baked egg in avocado with pepita pesto

Makes for a healthy, filling breakfast.

I must admit that two of my favorite things in the food world are avocados and breakfast. I could eat the soft, green fruit (yep, it’s a fruit) on just about anything and even by itself, and breakfast to me isn’t just a meal that can only be eaten during one time of the day.

Recently, I’ve been pondering: How can I incorporate avocados into breakfast? Yeah, I could chop it up and put it on top of my eggs or slather it on toast, but what about using an avocado as the star attraction on my morning plate? Then it came to me. Instead of putting avocado on top of the eggs, why not put the eggs into the avocado? So I baked an egg inside an avocado half. Think ‘Toad in a Hole’ minus the toast and replaced with an avocado.

Now I’ll admit that I’m nowhere near the first person to attempt this, but the recipe I used below is a fresh and jazzed up way to eat huevos en aguacate (free Spanish lesson for ya there). By itself, the dish is a bit plain, so it definitely needs to be topped with a salsa or sauce. I whipped up a batch of pepita (pumpkin seed) pest with basil and cilantro, and the culinary marriage was a match made in heaven, as the tangy pesto cuts through the fattiness of the avocado and egg. Finish it off with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or hot sauce and you’re set.

Now don’t limit this to just a breakfast — this could easily serve as a lunch or dinner main dish as well. It’s also very filling, so one half of an avocado and one egg per serving is plenty. Bonus: for you folks with dietary issues or on special diets, this recipe is vegetarian, gluten- and nut-free, and perfect for someone following the Paleo diet.
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Anything But Rabbit Food: Refreshing, lettuce-less summer salads

Anything But Rabbit Food: Refreshing, lettuce-less summer salads

No lettuce required: Summer Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Salads are a staple of summer and they come in many forms. What pops into most folks’ heads when the word “salad” is uttered is most likely a plate full of leafy greens. While lettuce based salads are well and good, there are other forms of “salad” to consider this time of year, like ones consisting entirely of veggies and/or fruit. They’re a great way to utilize the best produce that this season has to offer and can be a great way to boost the nutritional content of your meal (barring they’re not swimming in mayo or sour cream because that kind of negates the “healthy” aspect).

This first recipe utilizes fresh, raw veggies that are tossed in (my take on) creamy Green Goddess dressing and it makes for a great side for a summer gathering. Instead of smothering this dish in a mayo and/or sour cream based dressing, it gets its creaminess from avocados and buttermilk — the latter being much healthier than you might think (one cup contains less than 100 calories and only 2.2 grams of fat). Make the dressing a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to marry and feel free to toss the veggies together with the dressing up to an hour before serving.

Summer Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Makes 4 servings

2 ears of sweet corn (raw)
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
1 bell red or orange pepper, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed and minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
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“Mockamole”- Not quite guacamole, but just as good

“Mockamole”- Not quite guacamole, but just as good

 mockamole1I am a big fan of guacamole, and avocados in general. So when I found this recipe for guacamole that didn’t use avocados in my Meatless Monday cookbook, I was a bit skeptical. But, as the saying goes, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

The great thing about this recipe is that it contains items you probably already have in your refrigerator. Otherwise, the ingredients are dirt cheap to buy at the grocery store. Just throw in anything you would add to normal guacamole — onions, jalapenos, spices, etc. Frozen peas are about a dollar, and the recipe calls for only one-third of a bag. What will probably end up happening, though, is you’ll try this faux guacamole recipe and then use the rest of that bag of frozen peas to make some more. Bonus: frozen peas are always in season.

Unless you have an aversion to peas, this replacement guacamole rivals the original — it’s slightly sweet, smooth, super tasty, and keeps its bright verdant color (as opposed to the old fashioned kind that turns brown because of oxidation). Not to mention, using peas in place of avocado reduces the calories in this dip by almost three quarters and fat by 34 grams, so you won’t have to feel guilty when snacking on this addictive appetizer.

So go ahead, try this flavorful new twist on classic guacamole and become a convert to the delicious copycat that is mockamole.

Mockamole
(makes about one cup; recipe courtesy of Meatless Monday cookbook)

1 cup frozen green peas, thawed and drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (or one fresh jalapeno pepper, minced)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
(I also used chopped fresh cilantro)

1. Combine the peas, cumin, onion, and garlic in the container of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.

2. Add lemon juice and olive oil, and process just to blend.

3. Taste and season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

4. Blend for just a few more seconds, and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with chips, crackers, or fresh veggies.

Check out the Meatless Monday site for recipes and tips to kickstart healthier living! And be sure to check out my blog, Culinary Pirate, and follow me on Twitter!