Super Simple Spring/Summer Salad

This is the simplest salad that I know. My mother used to make this, but also included the now-debatablyendangered hearts of palm, during the summer when tomatoes and avocados were at their bests. It’s a bit early for this salad, and, to my complete horror, I almost missed this avocado (sorry that I didn’t use a more beautiful one in the pic–it was my last).

I have to remember that hydration can come in the form of food, not just by drinking the prescribed numbers of glasses of water. So, come ON hydration!

Super Simple Spring/Summer Salad

2015-05-28 13.02.27Prep-time: 10 minutes
Serving Size: 2 (as entrees), 2-4 (as side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 2-3 T balsamic vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve immediately or marinade for up to 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes or so.
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Gorgeous (Nearly) All Green Salad – Avocado, Asparagus, Grapefruit and Baby Spinach

The asparagus has been amazing, this year. I see it on a ton of menus, and every time I find it, even in the most “regular” of grocery stores, the spears are thin, tender, and gorgeous. Yay asparagus. For this recipe, I sauté them, very lightly, with some olive oil and lemon, as a means of brightening them and making them stand out against the dressing.

Also, the vinaigrette for this is made with mustard and fresh grapefruit juice. I love this so much, for a variety of salads, but particularly with avocado. Delicious! It is one of the ways that I am using my mother’s Christmas gift to me: a NutriBullet. I poo-pooed this contraption before getting it–because, my heart belongs to the Vitamix that I don’t yet have. But, I’m happy to say that I’ve found a variety of uses for this wonderful contraption–it does a really wonderful job for not only smoothies, but salad dressing, soups, and more. Anyway, enough with my testimony! On to the recipe…


(Nearly) All Green Salad

2015-05-24 14.27.43Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: as entree, 2 people; as side-dish, 4 people

Salad Ingredients:

  • sauted asparagus
    • 10-15 spears asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 t olive oil
    • 1/2 lemon
    • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 1/4 fresh red grapefruit
  • 1/2 small Haas avocado
  • 2 T roasted pumpkin seeds

2015-05-24 14.20.14Dressing Ingredients:

  • juice of 1/4 fresh red grapefruit
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 1 T cider vinegar
  • 1 T dried herbs (your choice)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat, on high, a small sauté pan. When hot, add olive oil.
  2. Add asparagus, and quickly move around the pan to coat with oil. Add salt and pepper and then squeeze lemon over the asparagus.
  3. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until bright green and lemon juice is completely evaporated.
  4. Pull off of the fire and let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  5. Separate the flesh of 1/4 of a grapefruit (from the “salad” ingredients list) in a large bowl. This is a bit messy, but try to keep the sections into chunks. There will be some juice that settles in the bottom of the bowl. Pour that juice into the blender cup.
  6. Make the dressing by first squeezing the other 1/4 grapefruit directly into the blender or blender cup. Feel free to include some of the grapefruit flesh.
  7. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients to the blender cup and blend until completely emulsified and frothy (will be a light yellow and completely opaque). Set aside.
  8. Put all of the salad ingredients into a salad bowl and drizzle the dressing over it (dress as heavily as you desire–I tend to use only about 1/4 of the dressing, but keep the rest in the fridge for additional salads over the next week.

2015-05-24 14.27.55Serving hint: I like to keep the salad somewhat pristine as I put on the table. Toss the salad before actually loading onto plates. The avocado and the grapefruit will break up and make the salad even more creamy than the dressing, alone.

Black Bean and Mango Tacos

I am surely a sucker for sweet and salty, together.  And, I will also admit that one of my favorite terrible things to eat is Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo.  And I mix it in with the black beans, sometimes, to make taco filling.  However, certainly you do not have to mix the chorizo, and can simply use the basic black beans as the filling for your tacos.

Image courtesy of SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Black Bean and Mango Tacos

Yield: 12 tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked basic black beans (3-4 if you are not using the chorizo)
  • 1 package soy chorizo (optional)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 c cubed fresh mango
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 2 c thinly sliced cabbage
  • 12 soft or hard corn tortillas
  • roasted tomato salsa to taste

Directions:

  1. Saute the soy chorizo on medium to medium-high heat for 10 minutes, adding the onion after about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beans and continue to saute until the chorizo becomes somewhat carmelized and the liquid from the beans is mostly evaporated.
  3. Prepare the tortillas by either dry pan heating the soft tortillas or baking the corn taco shells according to the package guidelines.
  4. Load up the tortilla with the taco filling (the chorizo/bean mixture) and top with mango, avocado, cabbage, and salsa.
  5. Eat them up.

Cold Avocado Soup with Sweet Corn

Soup soup soup soup.  It doesn’t seem like the summer thing to eat.  But, with the right chilled version, it surely can be.  And, well, when we are more exposed to sun than ever, and skin can use some tlc.  Avocado oil in its natural state is just the thing.

I adapted this recipe from Joy the Baker (who altered it from an August 2011 Bon Appetit recipe).

Cold Avocado Soup with Sweet Corn

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • 2 ripe Haas avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons cashew cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
  • white pepper and additional salt to taste

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ears fresh corn, sliced from the cob
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 small plum tomato, de-seeded and diced
  • small handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (if desired)
  • white pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

To make the soup, place avocado in a blender along with vegetable broth, lime juice, cashew cream, cayenne, and salt. Blend until the avocados are creamy. Remove the center from your blender lid, and while blending, slowly add the water. Soup will be done when smooth, with your desired consistency. Feel free to add a touch more water if you prefer a thinner soup (I like it on the thicker side). Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Place in a container in the fridge while you make the topping.

To make the topping, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and browned, about 5 minutes. Add corn and jalapeno and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 1/2 of the parsley. Cook until everything is warmed and just browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pile about 1/2 cup of warm topping into a bowl. Pour cold soup around the topping. Top with fresh tomato, parsley, and cilantro. Serve and enjoy. Soup lasts up to three days in and airtight container in the fridge.

Hints:
You may want to add a little fresh onion and jalepeno for a fresh bite, along with the tomato.
Consider adding 1/2 t of cumin to the soup for a little more flavor.

Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing by Smitten Kitchen

Oh the summer salad!  Oh ginger!  Oh sweet, sweet carrots!  Oh… oh… ahhhvocado. Oh, Smitten Kitchen!  The original post suggests varying the ginger to your taste.  I am a 2T ginger woman, fo sho.  Keeping this dressing on hand is wonderful.  It reminds me of Natalia Rose’s Liquid Gold Elixir.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeImages.com

Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com

Serves 4, with dressing to spare

1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed or another neutral oil
2 tablespoons water
1 small/medium head of lettuce (I used Bibb) or mixed greens of your choice
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, quartered

Whiz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.

Divide the lettuce among four bowls, add some of the onion and a quarter of the avocado. Drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.

Original post, here.