Creamy Avocado Bomb Sauce

This sauce, found on Pinterest,  could be used on anything from salad, to tacos, quesadillas, taquitos, egg rolls, or just eaten with chips.  The best part is you won’t need to feel guilty, at least about the dip…

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeno
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Wash ingredients well, especially the cilantro because it can hold in a lot of dirt.
  2. Cut lime and avocado in halves. 
  3. Remove the avocado seed
  4. Scoop the avocado from its shell in put into Vitamix or food processor.
  5. Add 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 jalapeno, 3 garlic cloves, pinch of salt and 1/2 bunch of cilantro into Vitamix/food processor. 
  6. If you do not like your dip/dressing super spicy, remove seeds of jalapeno beforehand.
  7. If you want it extra spicy, add an entire jalapeno or substitute a habanero or hotter pepper.
  8. Squeeze 1/2 lime into mix. 
  9. Blend for 3 minutes.
  10. Do a taste test. You may need to add more salt, pepper or lime juice, depending on your personal taste. 
  11. If you would like a thinner sauce, if you are using as salad dressing, add just a touch of water to thin out. Start with a tablespoon and thin a bit at a time.
  12. Blend another 1-2 minutes.
  13. Pour into a sealed container, refrigerate until ready to eat.

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What Goes With Quinoa?

So my first foray into pressure cooking went off without me getting maimed or burned, so I guess I’ll be using my new toy again soon!  I made a huge batch of quinoa that turned out light, fluffy and quite tasty.  Just one problem: we aren’t big eaters of any grain at dinner time outside of rice, so I was left at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my big bowl of quinoa.

lemonchickenquinoaThe cupboards, refrigerator and freezer were rather bare due to the two week vacation we had just returned from, so I was left with very few options.  A lemon, Roma tomato, small avocado, a bag of frozen edamame, and 1/2 lb of frozen diced chicken breast were all I could salvage to throw together some kind of dinner hearty enough to satisfy my husband.

Lemon Chicken with Avocado & Tomato Quinoa

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (See yesterday’s post)
  • 1 Small Roma Tomato (diced)
  • 1 Small Ripe Avocado (diced)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Shelled Edamame (Soybeans) Cooked
  • Juice of 1 Large Lemon
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lb Fresh Diced Chicken Breast
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Dill
  • 1/8 tsp +/- Arrowroot (to thicken the sauce)
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Juice the lemon, stir in the arrowroot and set aside.  In a medium frying pan, heat 2 TBLS olive oil and the minced garlic over medium-high heat.  Add the diced chicken, season with freshly ground sea salt and pepper, and brown for about 2 minutes per side.  Add the edamame, dill, cayenne pepper and lemon juice mixture to the pan and continue cooking about 3 minutes until edamame and chicken are done and sauce is well incorporated.

Spoon about 1/2 Cup of the cooked quinoa and about 1/3 of the chicken mixture into a bowl. Top with the diced avocado and tomatoes and add more ground pepper to taste.

Light enough for my post-vacation diet yet hearty enough that 2 bowls satisfied my husband’s appetite.  Win-Win!

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UG! I Cut My Avocado Too Soon

I have a 20 year old, beautiful and quite prolific avocado tree in my backyard.  It has survived being broken in half by a dog tie-out (Courtesy of our beloved Husky Whitney), uprooted when the swimming pool was being dug, and being eaten by the tree boring termites that took out it’s neighboring peach and plum trees.  It easily gives me more than 100 large, meaty, delicious avocados that stay good for me to eat and share with friends and family twice a year.

bacon-wrapped-fries-17-140x140January has come, Christmas “Shoeboxes of Love” have been distributed and I still have about 3 dozen on the tree.  I’ve been patiently watching for them to be ready to pick so I can finally try the recipe I pinned months ago for Bacon Wrapped Avocado Slices.  With Super Bowl just a week and a half away, I thought it was a perfect time to give it a try, so I pulled 6 off the tree.

I sent 2 home with my girlfriend and left the other 4 on the counter to slowly ripen.  The great part about picking them fresh is that I often have a good 2 weeks to let them become perfectly soft and ready to eat, unlike those at the store that have to be used as soon as you get them home.

If you don’t have ready-ripe store bought avocados to satisfy your craving, or the patience to wait that long, the following methods are rumored to be effective for ripening rock-hard avocados:

  • Put it in a brown paper bag overnight with a ripe banana or apple, which releases the ripening gas, ethylene (this is what I do)
  • Put it in a jar of rice
  • Bury it in flour
  • Wrap it in a piece of newspaper

3 remained yesterday and 1 was just reaching it’s perfect degree of softness.  My mouth watered anticipating a trial run of crisp salty bacon wrapped around velvety Haas Avocado dipped in a perfectly spiced fiesta ranch dip.  Then I got a massive migraine!

Off to bed I went so my husband was on his own for dinner.  He offered me a grilled cheese sandwich (one of my favorite things) but I was just not hungry.  I smelled his dinner cooking and was glad that he was self sufficient (at least last night).

I woke up this morning feeling a whole lot better and ventured into the kitchen to clean up the mess I knew would await, only to discover that HE ATE MY RIPE AVOCADO!


I cautiously felt the other two and, maybe it was my wishful thinking, but I determined that one of them was ready.  Into it I dove with my butcher’s knife only to hit rather firm flesh.  OH NO!  My avocado was ruined.

Instead of doing what I might have done in the past, i.e. throw the avocado out (GASP!), I went to my trusty friend, the internet in search of any way to save the prized green flesh!

A post on may have just saved my cut too soon avocado after all!

If you have only opened, but not yet sliced the flesh and removed it from the shell, you can try to ripen the whole fruit:

  • Firmly fit the avocado halves back around the pit
  • Wrap the entire fruit with Saran Wrap, Masking Tape, Rubber Bands, Yarn, Twine, or anything that will hold the fruit firmly closed without allowing dust, bugs or moisture to get inside
  • Place fruit back on counter (do not refrigerate) and poke it gently every 12 hours until the flesh starts to give but doesn’t yet hold an indentation

An unripe, already sliced avocado can be prepared in ways that will cut the bitterness and hard texture so that it can still be enjoyed, albeit, not as much as if it were buttery and naturally softened, but nonetheless it can still be eaten.

  1. Make avocado patties by baking the cubed flesh 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees, until soft.  Mash and combine with panko, an egg and Cajun spice.  Spray a hot frying pan with olive or coconut oil spray and fry until brown on both sides.  Would be great with a fiesta ranch type dip.
  2. Make a creamy, cheesy hot avocado dip to serve with crusty bread or crackers.  Dice the avocado and place the cubes in a baking dish. Make a simple white sauce (béchamel), pour it over the avocado and sprinkle some grated cheese on top. Bake until golden and bubbly.
  3. Dip slices of the avocado in tempura batter and fry until crisp.

If you, like me, tend to share the foods you eat with your pets, you might have heard that avocados are poisonous to dogs and cats.  Avocado contains a molecule called persin that can cause illness or even death, but according to the Pet Poison Helpline, it is not poisonous for dogs or cats.  I’m really glad to know that because my dogs (1 Husky and 5 English Labs I’ve owned in the past 25 years) have always knocked the avocados (peaches, plums, citrus, tomatoes, berries and apricots) off the low branches or grabbed them off the ground and eaten them skin and all with no adverse reactions.  Thankfully I didn’t know that they were said to be harmful or I’d be worrying that they somehow harmed them.  Do be aware that the seeds do pose a choking risk and could cause a blockage in the digestive tract if swallowed whole, so it’s probably a good idea to keep the seeds away from them.

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Roasted Jalapeno Avocado Bacon Pie

Because Thursday is the slowest day at my “real job” I usually have time to fool around in the kitchen to try to create a new dish to serve for dinner.  This week was no different except that I needed to come up with something healthy because I am (BOO – HISSdieting i.e., not eating anything that even resembles Halloween candy or that I can pick up at a drive-thru window, have delivered to my front door, or comes out of a can or box.  No Bueno!

jabpieings Determined to stay on track, into the kitchen I went to make a healthy meal that would taste good, keep me full and make my digestion work hard (and burn calories) all night long.

aha-cartoonHappily I found some of my favorite spicy, salty, satisfying flavors there!  Bacon, fresh jalapenos, a forgotten Roma tomato (thankfully still firm), some ripe avocados from my backyard, green onions, eggs, and a wedge of aged gouda.  AHA Moment: I’d eat breakfast for dinner!

Roasted Jalapeno Avocado Bacon Tortilla Pie

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cups Sour Cream
  • 4 Slices of Bacon (cooked crisp, drained, cooled and chopped)
  • 3 Green Onions
  • 1/2 of 1 Large Roma Tomato
  • 7 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Medium Avocado
  • 1 Cup Shredded Aged Gouda Cheese
  • 1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 9.5″ Pyrex pie plate with the Olive Oil Spray.

In a small non-stick frying pan heat each of the tortillas until just lightly browned on both sides.  Lay one in the center on the bottom and then layer the rest around the pan overlapping to make sure there is a “crust like” coverage.

In the same pan roast the whole jalapenos until the skin bubbles and begins to blacken.  If you want a bit less spice, remove the seeds and stem first.  Combine both of the cheeses: sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese over the bottom of the tortilla crust.  When peppers are roasted, chop them and scatter over the first cheese layer.

Chop and quickly dry saute’ the whites only of the green onions (chop the greens and set aside) and the Roma tomato with a bit of salt & pepper.  Distribute the onion/tomato mixture over the jalapenos then cover with 1/2 of the remaining cheese.

Chop the avocado then layer it with the bacon over the second cheese layer.

Mix the 4 eggs and the sour cream until well combined and beginning to thicken.  Add cracked salt and pepper then pour carefully over the pie surface taking care not to overflow the edges of the exposed tortillas on the sides. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and put pie pan in the center of the pre-heated oven.  Bake 40-45 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown and a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out with no egg mixture on it and center is cooked through.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing into wedges to serve.  Top each wedge with the reserved chopped green onions.

jabpie2     jabpie3     jabpie4

To make this a complete meal serve with a salad of Romaine, the reserved 1/2 of the tomato, and any other fresh produce you’d like (I chop a green apple, some jicama, and add a shredded carrot) then dress lightly with olive oil, combined with salt, pepper and some lemon juice to keep it healthy.

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