It’s officially summer, meaning it’s officially margarita and guac season. I mean, come on guys. Who doesn’t loooove fresh guac? So why not whip up a batch yourself to make with these spicy margaritas? Perfect for (every) Friday night, or get togethers, or movie night, or…you get the point.
I recently bought a TUB of coconut oil. Completely by mistake, mind you. That’s what happens when you late-night shop on Amazon. Anyway, I’ve managed to use it for a couple of things – chapstick, moisturizer, hair mask. However, I’ve been a bit nervous about trying it out in food. I don’t necessarily want my eggs to taste like coconut by using it as an oil.
I’ve tried mixing it with peanut butter like this recipe calls for. But let’s just agree that you don’t want to see the blob it actually came out as. #nailedit
Luckily, I came across Anna Eastick’s blog Heart+Bowl. She has super healthy bowl recipes like this drool worthy chocolate mousse recipe, with coconut oil! I’ve been seeing avocado mixed with chocolate for a while now, so it’s about time we give you a damn delish recipe for it.
1 large ripe avocado (or 2 small)
1 tbsp raw, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut milk (or any nut milk of your choice)
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 chunk of bittersweet dark chocolate, grated
2 tsp cocoa nibs (optional)
In a food processor, purée the avocado until smooth. In a jug, combine the cocoa powder and milk until a smooth paste forms. Add the cocoa and milk mixture to the avocado, along with the remaining ingredients. Blend everything together until smooth and well combined. Transfer the mixture into individual bowls and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Top with grated bittersweet dark chocolate and sprinkle over cocoa nibs.
Listen, I’m a huge fan of store bought, however my mom made me a convert the last time she was visiting me in Philly. She blended up a batch of her home made hummus for me to dip with carrots and then a few other flavors for me to use with the kebabs she brought. My oh my, trust me when I say, its WAY better. Silver lining is, its almost as easy/quick as opening the store bought container.
Tahini (see it wasn’t JUST for that shaved brussels sprout recipe, you silly non-believers)
So yea you get the point, there are multiple flavors, but even the original or base flavor is so yum! It’s also a nice way to use up anything you may have going bad. I always have cilantro leftover from my chimichurri sauce recipe or who doesn’t always seem to have an avocado that went from firm to ripe too fast? So throw it in the hummus and get to snacking! As you know hummus is also a good/healthy sub for mayo in wraps and sandwiches. Plus, recently, I ate a hummus stuffed omelet at this French/Lebanese brunch spot (shout out to Cafe La Maude) that rocked my world. So yeah, make some, you won’t be disappointed.
Can I just tell you, I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE the Morrocan chicken salad at CPK (You know California Pizza Kitchen, yes food blog people DO go to chains) Anyway, I am obsessed with it, BUT its SOOO expensive! Literally, I spend $16-$18 on the salad (the range is because the tax/tip usually makes it $17) which is totally cray to spend on a salad and yet I do. A) because of the convenience of grabbing it after work en route to my night MBA class B) because it is beyond delish! It has all the taste bud pleasing elements you can think of: sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, etc! Anyway work was slow this week and I have an online class this semester so I am not running around as much and I figured its time to replicate this salad. Especially because I need to save my money for pedicures. Oyi my feet are looking rough! woof! Ok back to the tasty salad prep. As always this is going to reuse ingredients from other recipes. At CPK they use a champagne vinaigrette, so I grabbed a bottle of the Trader Joe’s pear champagne vinaigrette used in one of our salad recipes and a chicken dish to toss my greens with. Then the beets were in the last salad recipe as well-ha can you tell I really like them?! Might be the new truffle, lol just kidding that would never happen.
1/3 cup Dates (Sliced in halves or quarters depending on how big yours are, I did mejdool dates)
1/3-1/2 cup Toasted almonds (I tossed them in a pan to toast when I was boiling the eggs)
6 oz. Beets (Drain all the water if using the canned stuff and chop vs. slice)
10 oz. Roasted butternut squash (I just did it with salt, pepper, and paprika)
1/2 cup Cranberries (I bought dried packaged ones from the store)
3 Grilled chicken breasts (I just did it with cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, & paprika)
1 Avocado (dice into cubes)
1 medium Red bell pepper (try for the same sizes as the beets and avocado).
1 package or 8-10 oz. Mixed greens (tossed w 1/3 cup of the bottled dressing)
Chopped up boiled eggs (I did 2, but 3 without the yellow of the 3rd would be good too)
Heat up a nonstick pan (I used my grill pan since it was washed & ready from the last time I made burgers) with some olive oil and sear the chicken breasts (I had them coated & rubbed in with the spices on both sides of the breasts) until cooked through about 5-7 minutes on each side. Let the meat rest before slicing and adding to salad. While you are cooking the chicken you can toss the squash with some oil & spices as well and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While the chicken and squash cools, chop the other veggies and eggs and mix well. This is how pretty the colors look:
I called this recipe the pseudo salad because its a knock off of the one from the restaurant and its much more filling than a regular old salad. This is meant to be an entrée and that’s why there is a bit more cooking involved than most salad recipes. Anyway its yummy, don’t worry about what the title means, just devour.
Guys, we need to stop having #fomo just because we aren’t in Austin. I re-created the feel of being down there by coming up with these sumptuous lil appetizers. You know because us grown ups have people over for drinks and apps on the weekends. Anyway, I went real southwestern with my home-made corn cakes, topped with spicy andouille chicken sausage & a dollop of my avocado sauce. It was sweet, spicy, creamy, crunchy, and filling. Everything you’d want to coat your stomach with before a night of cocktails. Plus, if you drink enough it will be way easier to pretend like your actually at SXSW.
1 can of creamed corn (400 grams)
2 cups of de frosted frozen corn
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar (I suggest sharp since its more flavorful, but go with whatever you have aka I may have just used leftover Mexican blend from fajita night, don’t judge)
1/2 of a red bell pepper chopped small (should be around the same size of the corn kernels).
1 tsp of baking powder
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flower
1/2 cup of milk
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. onion powder (I would even say thinly sliced green onion would be fab for this recipe, but I had to improvise with what was in my pantry. I am trying it with that next time though because this is a definite repeat dish).
salt & pepper to taste
Mix the creamed corn, eggs, chopped red pepper, corn, baking soda, flour, and milk. Then fold in the spices & cheese. Then in a sauté pan heat vegetable oil at medium to high heat (you don’t want to scorch the corn cakes, but if the oil isn’t hot enough you wont get a nice crisp on the cakes). Use a large tablespoon to measure out the corn cake mixture evenly in the pan. Meanwhile, I sliced the store bought sausage and threw it in the oven at 350 degrees to roast & crisp up as I made the corn cakes. I’d say about 10-15 minutes (but mine were fully cooked, in case yours are raw increase the cooking time to 20-25 minutes or when browned). Fry spoonfuls of the batter until bubbles appear at the top & flip (like you would do with pancakes). Allow to cook on the other side and then in a paper towel lined platter, cool the corncakes so the excess oil is absorbed. No one wants to be able to taste the grease, but they do want crispy & yummy corncakes. The batter should make about 15 corn cakes (varies based on size). Layer with a slice of the warm sausage and a cold dollop of the avocado sauce. Nosh your face off.