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Archive for the ‘Avocado’ Category

No official name here, not even a *real* recipe, just a framework for you.

We fell in love with kale salads a few years ago. And I was actually surprised that my husband went for it the first time I made one!

I almost always have a bag of Trader Joe’s curly kale in the frig – it lasts quite a while and is pre-prepped (torn and washed) so this salad is easily thrown together. I also always have a ripe avocado – they’re either ripening on the counter or there are ripe ones *on hold* in the frig. This salad frequently accompanies our other “go-to” meal item, our homemade frozen tamales, as the flavors are complementary.

"Go-To" Kale Salad

“Go-To” Kale Salad

Kale, washed and torn from stems

Olive oil

Salt

Garlic powder

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Avocado, diced

Lemon (or lime) juice, just a squeeze, to taste (a few drops of bottled works in a pinch too!)

Sriracha Sauce (aka Rooster Sauce), to taste, if desired

Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Place your kale in a bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a dash of salt. Massage kale with your hands until the leaves are coated. Sprinkle with garlic powder and let it rest while you make the other parts of your meal; the leaves will soften. Top kale with remaining ingredients and serve.

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I ended up with the flu this past week. First time in more than 12 years. But it got me. I made these the day that I was starting to get sick, but I was still in denial. I was SURE I was just getting a bad cold. Nope. But luckily I didn’t lose my appetite while I was sick. And these leftovers called my name all week in the frig. I had to make a deal with the hubby to split the last of them, we both loved them so much.

We enjoyed these topped with a dab of sour cream, chopped avocado and my homemade tomatillo salsa with its tangy taste, which is a nice complement to the other sweet and savory elements.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Tacos | Beyond Rice and Tofu

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Tacos

1 pound of sweet potatoes, 1/4″ dice

2 tsp oil, divided

2-1/2 tsp cumin, divided

2-1/2 tsp chile powder, divided

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1 onion, chopped

2 cups cooked black beans

3 cups kale, torn

Corn tortillas

Sour cream (omit for vegan or dairy-free)

Avocado, chopped

Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Preheat oven to 450*. Line a baking sheet with foil. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chile powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet. Roast for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how small you cut them, turning once.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion until tender. Add remaining 1-1/2 tsp cumin, 1-1/2 tsp chili powder and stir, cook for 1 minute. Mix in black beans. Add kale and 1/4 cup of water and stir well. Cook until kale is wilted down. Add roasted sweet potato and cook until potato is heated through again. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste. Add more cumin and/or chili powder as desired.

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and allow to heat through. Lightly fry corn tortillas in oil on both sides.

Assemble tacos with sweet potato mixture, sour cream, chopped avocado and tomatillo salsa in corn tortillas.

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This past month I haven’t been blogging so much about each of the individual meals I have been making, although most meals have been photographed. So I thought I would do a little round-up of photos of the meals and a brief yea or nay vote on some of them.

Spinach Avocado Grapefruit Salad from In My Box

I enjoyed this salad, although my husband, who is not a big fan of spinach, did not. The oil in the avocado and then the tang of the grapefruit is all the dressing this needs. The leftovers even held up and made it into my lunch the next day. Yea for me.

Gingered Skirt Steak with Snow Peas from goodLife{eats}

Instead of steak, we used tofu ‘steaks’. We also omitted the oyster sauce and added 1/2 Tbsp more of both the hoisin and soy sauces. We served this over rice vermicelli noodles which I had attempted to pan-fry. (They didn’t turn out so great.) The stir fry was delicious and next time I will serve it over rice instead of the noodles. The noodles didn’t have much flavor and actually detracted from the rest of the dish. Snow peas were fresh from our garden. Yea for us both.

Baked Salmon (me) and Baked Tofu (husband), Stir-Fried Snow Peas with Scallions and brown rice

I baked the tofu in Book of Yum’s Yummy Grilled Tofu marinade. And the snow peas and carrots were sautéed in sesame oil with green onions. I baked my salmon with a red pepper/five spice powder rub and a rice vinegar/honey marinade. It was very tasty. Yea for us both. And yea for using up the rest of the snow peas we had from our garden this year.

Sichuan Tofu with Garlic Sauce from Fat Free Vegan

We’ve made this dish before and really enjoy it. We used canned, sliced water chestnuts instead of fresh ones. On the side we had some brown rice and steamed broccoli. I follow Susan’s recipe for the most part except I have found that we like a little more sauce in the final dish and so I double the marinade. Yea for us both.

That’s it for now. More to come this week…

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Over the years, I have made quinoa salad quite often, usually with the same standard ingredients of black beans, cilantro and tomatoes. Quinoa pairs well with these flavors but this time I wanted to change things up for a slightly different flavor. I liked the slight sweetness in this dressing from the agave nectar. So, try it, and let me know what you think.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Adapted from The Perfect Pantry

1-1/2 cup quinoa

3 cups water

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 avocado, diced

Dressing

2 tsp olive oil

1-1/2 Tbsp lime juice

2 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp agave nectar *

1/8 tsp chipotle chile powder

1/4 tsp salt

garlic powder

Cook quinoa in water according to directions. Let it cool.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl.

Combine all other ingredients except the avocado in a large bowl. Add cooled quinoa and pour dressing over the top. Mix well.  Gently fold in avocado and serve.

Notes:

* You can substitute the agave nectar with honey if you’d like.

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Here it is, finally!  A review of the Greek Quinoa and Avocado Salad that so many people commented on when I initially posted it for Meal Plan Monday almost two weeks ago. We both liked it. It wasn’t fantastic, but it was good. I wasn’t a big fan of the avocado despite liking avocados a lot. I think the strong, sharp taste of the feta overpowered the avocado and it just got lost. So I have been thinking of modifications for next time.

Also, when I looked at the nutrition facts over on the original recipe, I was a little concerned with the fat content. Yes, I know the fat is mostly from ‘good’ fats, but I was still concerned. I reduced it by using low-fat feta and less oil so that we could still indulge with the avocados.

So you’ve never tried Quinoa? (Pronounced: keen-wah.) Well, quinoa is a high-protein, gluten free, pseudo-grain. (Technically it is a seed.) You can read more about it here and here. It is a nutrition powerhouse. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization compares quinoa’s nutritional content to that of whole dried milk. Read more. Quinoa is a great addition to a vegetarian diet for these reasons. Many gluten free bakers also use quinoa flour to add nutrition to their baked goods. Since I am not much of a baker, I haven’t tried that yet.

Most quinoa recipes I have seen all seem to be along the same theme, so I was excited to see this recipe as it initially seemed a bit different. Thanks to my mother-in-law for sending me this recipe. She knows of my love of quinoa and has bravely eaten it at our house! We chose to eat this as a main course. There were no leftovers, even with my modifications below. Next time I will make more. I also think I will double the amount of quinoa, remove the avocado and add some chopped kalamata olives instead.

Greek Quinoa and Avocado Salad

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

2 cups water

1 cup uncooked quinoa *

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

2 cups spinach leaves, torn

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil *

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup low-fat feta cheese, crumbled *

2 small avocados, diced

Bring water to a boil in saucepan. Add quinoa and stir. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, place tomatoes, onion, spinach, lemon juice and oil in a bowl and stir. Sprinkle with salt. When quinoa is cool, stir into vegetable mixture. Top with avocado and feta.

Notes:

* I buy Bob’s Red Mill quinoa from Costco in the large bags. It says that it has been rinsed already. Some quinoa will need to be rinsed to remove the saponin from the surface of the grains, check the box or bag.

* I reduced the amount of oil to try to reduce the fat content as well. It was plenty of oil.

* I use Trader Joe’s low-fat feta and like it. I can’t tell the difference.

Please let me know if you try this recipe too and what you think of it!

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