easy guacamole

guacamole

We have officially entered avocado season! I just found them on sale for as little as 79¢ each. I repeat, 79¢ each! 

Usually, the avocado is quite pricey where I’m from. So at 79¢, I stock up like a mad woman and make everyone eat guacamole until they’re blue in the face (no wait, that would be green in the face…) Buying pre-made guac is always an option, but those scary preservatives are not my thing.

smashed avocado

For this recipe, I like to use haas avocados and vidalia onions. Haas avocados have a nice buttery texture and vidalia’s are great for their sweet, mild flavor. Although these onions are sweet, make sure to chop them up real fine. To do this, give them a quick dice and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Gently smash with the flat side of your knife and they’ll break down into a paste. Little onions = good breath.

When you’re ready to assemble, grab a bowl and mash everything together. Don’t forget to add lots of cilantro and fresh lime juice! I like my guacamole slightly chunky, but feel free to make it creamy, chunky- however you’d like.

guacamole and chips

You’ll be happy to know that guacamole can be made in advance too. Squeeze some lime juice over the top, cover it in place plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge. Make sure that the plastic wrap is actually touching the avocados. Guacamole can go brown fast so getting this right is really important. I’d suggest making this in advance only on the day that you are going to eat it. You don’t want to take any chances!

avocado shells

And there you have it- my favorite recipe for homemade guacamole. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a big bowl with my name on it!

What’s your favorite avocado recipe?

easy guacamole
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 2 haas avocados
  • 2 heaped tbsp. vidalia onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 4-5 limes
  • 1 jalapeno (optional) ribs & seeds removed
  • flaky sea salt, such as maldon
Instructions
  1. Run your knife around the avocados. Remove the pit and score the flesh into medium size chunks. Scoop out into a large bowl and squeeze over some lime juice (prevents browning).
  2. Finely chop up your onions. To do this, ddd a pinch of salt and smash with the flat side of your knife. This will break them down into a paste.
  3. Roughly chop up some cilantro. The amount is up to you.
  4. Add the onion, cilantro, and diced jalapeno (if using) to the bowl.
  5. Gently mix the ingredients together. You can make it chunky or smooth.
  6. Give it a taste. Adjust the flavor with extra lime juice and salt.
  7. Serve with your favorite chips.
Notes
* Buy yourself extra limes as some can be juicier than others.

curried zucchini and swiss chard

curried zucchini, swiss chard, platter

The last time I had this dish, we were packing up our apartment. We were moving. Amidst all of the chaos, I was starving of course. In the fridge we only had 1 zucchini, a sad looking bag of spinach, and a bottle of Gatorade or something. Mmm, just what I had in mind…

I didn’t have time to be picky so I quickly shut the fridge. I waited. I opened it again. Nothing. Still the same stuff inside. As if opening and closing the fridge was going to magically produce some new kind of food. Why do we all do that?

sliced zucchini, swiss chard, scallions, curry

So I ended up throwing everything into a pan (no, not the Gatorade) and sauteing it with a little curry powder. Don’t even ask me where I found curry powder or more importantly, how old it was. I threw in a couple of raisins too. And let me tell you, this little creation was delicious. Who knew?

As with most off-the-cuff creations, I never write down the ingredients and then I completely forget the dish altogether. Until something like this shows up…

zucchini

…a lifetime supply of zucchini, courtesy of my CSA farm share.

Something triggered my recipe index and I remembered that curried zucchini/spinach dish from 4 years ago.

This time around I swapped out the spinach for swiss chard (also courtesy of my CSA) and left out the raisins (those are under strict surveillance by my 3 year old).

This is a wonderful side dish to accompany grilled meat or flaky white fish. If you prefer, serve it as the main event with a side of rice.

curried zucchini, swiss chard, plate

What is your favorite off-the-cuff creation?

curried zucchini and swiss chard
 
Author:
Serves: 2 hungry people
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, or 1 (16 oz) bag of spinach
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, white and light green part
  • ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • a bunch of lemons
  • jasmine rice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Wash and trim your swiss chard. Remove the stems and the large center vein (you can do this by folding the leaf in half and running your knife vertically down the side). Chop into pieces.
  2. Thinly slice your zucchini. A mandoline is best for this.
  3. Thinly slice your scallions.
  4. In a large, wide saute pan heat 1 tbsp. of butter with a splash of olive oil. Medium heat is good.
  5. Add your scallions and saute for 1 minute. Add a large handful of swiss chard and saute in batches. As is starts to wilt, you can add more. Your swiss chard is done when it tastes tender, not tough. This should take about about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste.
  6. Using tongs, remove swiss chard from the pan squeezing out any excess liquid. Set aside on a platter and keep warm.
  7. In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp. of butter with a splash of olive oil. Add the curry powder and warm it through to bring out its flavor, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the zucchini and saute for about 3-5 minutes (the thinner they are, the faster they'll cook). Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Sprinkle the zucchini over your swiss chard and squeeze some lemon over the top.
  10. Serve with extra lemon wedges and jasmine rice if desired.
Notes
* Only the zucchini are sauteed in the curry powder, not the swiss chard. This keeps the curry flavor mild. * Swiss chard wilts down a lot, so double this recipe to serve more people. Pictures make everything seem bigger!

homemade miso dressing

miso dressing, greens

I’m a big fan of homemade salad dressings.

They’re quite simple and inexpensive to make. In my dream fridge, I’d have an array of homemade dressings all lined up in cute little jars waiting to be used at my leisure. In my real fridge (crammed in between the leftovers), I usually have just one dressing; my good old stand by of olive oil, vinegar and dijon mustard.

Then I discovered miso.

miso dressing jar

Miso dressing is a Japanese style concoction made from buttery, white miso paste. It also contains honey, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil which gives it that nutty, salty, sweet taste. Need I say more?

My favorite way to eat it is drizzled over avocados. It’s also great in salads with carrots and cucumbers, and is absolutely delicious over grilled tuna. My 3 year old enjoys it with raw broccoli. Yeah that’s right, raw broccoli.

miso dressing, avocado, greens

 

If you’ve never made your own salad dressing before, this recipe is incredibly easy. Just throw everything in the blender and hit the button. That’s it. It will keep in an air tight jar for about a week (if it even makes it that long). This stuff is highly addictive.

homemade miso dressing
 
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. white miso*
  • ¼-1/2 garlic clove (depending on how much you like)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable or mild olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
*To make this gluten-free, be sure to look for brown-rice based white miso. Gluten-free brands include Eden Foods & South River Miso.
Instructions
  1. Blitz everything together in a mini food processor or blender. Add additional water if it seems too thick.
  2. Store dressing in an air tight jar in the fridge. It will keep for about a week.