Go-To Guacamole

Go-To Guacamole 2014To me, guacamole is one of those foods that doesn’t really need a recipe. In fact, I think that perhaps writing down what you put in your guacamole might even be like putting this fantastic condiment in some sort of food jail. I believe it’s meant to be an expression of the cook, a playful conversation between the different ingredients that you choose to put in, something that can be changed on a whim. It really depends on the flavors of the individual ingredients too. Is your avocado more or less ripe? Is your onion sweeter or spicier? How strong is your garlic? Plus I think it might also be that avocadoes are so incredibly delicious, you have to try really hard to mess it up. At least in my opinion. So go for it! You might even surprise yourself.

That being said, a few years ago I was at a friend’s house and she had become somewhat of a guacamole aficionado. She shared a recipe, or rather more of a technique, that had come from her brother-in-law and ever since that day, this has been my go-to guac. I might do something different when the mood strikes – a little more lime, some cumin or coriander, orange or lemon as the citrus component, extra garlic or other combinations that stray even farther from the base – but when I just want a straight-up, no-nonsense guacamole, this one never fails. Thanks, Lauren and Raf!

Go-To Guacamole

1 large avocado or 2 small avocadoes

3/4 Tbsp. lime juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced sweet onion

1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno

1 Tbsp. minced cilantro

6-8 little cherry tomatoes, diced

1/4 tsp. salt + more to taste

Directions

1) Start by cutting the avocado in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop each half out in one piece and place pit-side down on a cutting board. Cut each half in half again, as if you were cutting at the equator. Then slice lengthwise into very thin slices, 1/4 in. or less. Finally cut the slices horizontally. The goal is to have very small little chunks that hold their shape while also getting a little creamy when mixed with the other ingredients. Put the avocado dice in a medium bowl.

2) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very gently. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more lime juice or salt, a little more jalapeno, whatever makes it taste right to YOU.

3) Dollop on everything, use as a dip for veggies, eat next to eggs at breakfast, lick the spoon!

 

 

Cucumber-Avocado Salad

Cucumber Avocado SaladThis special salad is a nod to my wonderful neighbors who brought the original version to our house for dinner one evening. Three ingredients: Cucumber, avocado, and olive oil. That was it. After one taste of the crunchy, smooth, gorgeously green combination, I was hooked.

I have since added thinly sliced sweet onion and grassy parsley because I love how they layer into the salad and provide even greater color contrast. This salad is so pretty, it is perfect for company, but it is so simple that you can make it just for you any time you want. With very few ingredients, each one needs to be able to stand alone in freshness and taste. This is especially true for your olive oil. You want to use an extra virgin olive oil that has a flavor you love because it really comes through when paired with such simple, pure ingredients.

Once you taste this salad, it is sure to become a favorite. Go ahead and try it both ways – they are equally spectacular!

Cucumber-Avocado Salad

1 cucumber

1/4 of a sweet onion

1/4 c. parsley, about 1 Tbsp. chopped

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1 avocado

Direction

1) Peel the cucumber and cut it down the middle lengthwise. Remove the seeds using a small spoon. With a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the cucumber crosswise into very thin slices and place in a bowl.

2) Very thinly slice the onion and chop the parsley. Add to the bowl with the cucumber, drizzle the olive oil over the salad, add salt, and toss thoroughly.

3) Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the entire half at once. Place pit side down on a cutting board and slice through the middle (not lengthwise or crosswise – keep the knife parallel to the cutting board). Now cut the avocado into thirds lengthwise, and then crosswise into thin little pieces. Do the same with the second half. Add to the bowl and toss as gently as you can, trying not to mash up the avocado. Taste, add salt if necessary, and enjoy this delightfully simple combination.

Serves 2-3

Note: If you’re following a Paleo Auto-Immune Protocal, check out the PhoenixHelix recipe roundtable!

Avocado-Citrus Cream

Guacamole is awesome. I pretty much like it in all its different permutations, but I do have a go-to recipe that a friend taught me a while back and I love it. Sometimes, though, I want something a little different. I was looking for a smooth and creamy topper with a citrusy punch for my Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew and made this delicious concoction. It mellows the spices and gives it a creamy smooth finish that pops. If you want some heat, a jalapeno would be perfect in it.

What can you do with the leftovers? Put it on eggs – scrambled or hard boiled would be great, use it for a veggie dip – cucumber is particularly delicious, or just eat it right off the spoon.

Avocado-Citrus Cream 2013

Avocado-Citrus Cream

1 avocado

1/2 c. cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Juice from 1/4 an orange

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 t. salt

2 T. water

Directions

1) Place everything in a blender and blend until very smooth and silky. I used a Magic Bullet, but you could even mash it with a fork. A little chunkier but still tasty!

Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew with Avocado-Citrus Cream

I love pork for its incredible versatility. Depending on the spices you use, you can travel the world with this meat – and that makes me happy. Tonight I wanted to make an avocado-citrus cream I’ve been thinking about, so I went south for the flavor profile. I served it on top of butternut squash noodles but it was also great on its own. Depending on your chili powder, this can be quite spicy or not at all – so feel free to add more spice if you need to kick it up. Either way, the cooling avocado cream will round everything out perfectly.

Pork and Pepper Stew with Avocado-Citrus Cream 2013

Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew

3 lbs. of pork loin, cut in 1 inch cubes

1 T. ground cumin

1 tsp. granulated garlic

2 tsp. salt, divided

1 T. + 1 tsp. coconut oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

28 oz. diced tomatoes

2 c. water

Directions

1. In a large bowl, massage cumin, garlic, and 1 tsp. of salt into the cubed pork loin.

2. Melt 1 T. coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add pork without crowding the pot and brown well. This may take several batches. Set aside.

3. Melt 1 tsp. coconut oil in the pot and add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and 1 tsp. salt, stirring and scraping up any brown bits until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, then add the chili powders and coriander. Return the pork to the pot with its juices and pour in the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium to keep a lively bubble.

4. Leave the lid off and allow the mixture to bubble until most of the liquid is gone for a thick stew. This will take about an hour. Check the tenderness of the pork and when ready, serve with a generous dollop of Avocado-Citrus Cream (recipe follows).

Serves 4-6

Avocado-Citrus Cream

1 avocado

1/2 c. cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Juice from 1/2 an orange

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 t. salt

2 T. water

Directions

1) Place everything in a blender and blend until very smooth and silky. I used a Magic Bullet, but you could even mash it with a fork. A little chunkier but still tasty!