Great cucumber and avocado salad

The wonderful food blog, “Smitten Kitchen” has come up with a version of a lovely and easy salad to have either as a main course or as a side to some grilled protein.
The salad is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian and takes about 5 minutes to put together.
There are many ways to adapt it, too. You can add some thinly sliced Romaine hearts for bulk, but still leave it predominantly a cucumber and avocado bowl.
The scallions weren’t in the original recipe, so if they’re not your “thing” skip them.
If you’re not into lime, cilantro or parsley, try lemon and dill.
If you’re not into mayo, try using yogurt…

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Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

3/4 to 1lb seedless cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks
2 thin or 1 regular scallions, thinly sliced
1 large avocado, pitted and diced
2 tbsp mayonnaise (I use Vegennaise)
Juice of half a lime, plus more to taste
Salt and hot sauce (we used Sriracha) to taste
Chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Combine the cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime and seasonings, adjusting levels to taste.
Drizzle the salad with the dressing and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Avocado toast with cilantro-lime-cashew cream

A wonderful light meal. Avocado on toast is one of my favorite things and this Cilantro-Lime-Cashew cream is perfect to drizzle over it.

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Serves 4

4 pieces of bread
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup Cilantro Lime Cashew Cream (see below for recipe)
freshly squeezed lime juice
sea salt & coarse ground pepper
crushed red pepper {optional}

Toast your bread.
Slice your avocado in half, lengthwise and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado flesh and spread it or slice it onto the toast. Each piece of toast takes roughly 1/4 of the avocado. Squeeze some fresh lime juice on top of the avocado to prevent it from browning.
Drizzle the cilantro-lime-cashew cream generously over the avocado and top with a pinch of sea salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

Cilantro Lime Cashew Cream

This creaminess literally takes 5 minutes to whiz up and you’re going to want to put it on everything. It makes about 1 cup, so make extra you’ll want it.

1 packed cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lime, all the juice + zest

Blend everything together on high until smooth. Store it in an air-tight container, refrigerated, for up to a week.

Asian brown rice, avocado, ginger and peanut bowl

The combination of crunchy peanuts, creamy avocados, and the sweet bite of ginger make for a dish that’s full of complex flavors, yet easy to make. Serve it on its own or with tofu for a vegetarian meal, or add grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp.

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1 cup short grain brown rice (or leftover cooked short grain brown rice, then miss the rice-cooking part of the recipe))
Kosher salt, to taste
3 1⁄2 tbsp soy sauce
3 1⁄2 tbsp. mirin
3 1⁄2 tbsp. sake
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
1⁄2 cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1⁄4 cup pickled ginger, thinly sliced. (Available from the Asian section at your supermarket. It’s in a glass jar)
5 scallions, thinly sliced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1⁄4” pieces (1/2 moon shape)
Zest and juice of 1 lime

Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink; cool to room temperature.

Combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a 2-qt saucepan over medium-high; cook until sugar has dissolved, 3-5 minutes. Cool the sauce slightly. (It is a teriyaki sauce)

Combine rice, teriyaki sauce (You may only need half of it at the most. taste to tell), the cilantro, peanuts, ginger, scallions, avocados, cucumber, and zest and juice in a bowl; transfer to a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.

** I had some leftover salmon in the fridge and put chunks of it in the salad and it was delicious!

Spicy sesame Asian guacamole

Who doesn’t like guacamole? Well, as I’m an Asian food nut, this recipe ticks all the boxes for me, especially if it is served with sesame rice crackers or fried wontons.
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Serves 4 and the total time is 15 minutes.
3 ripe Haas avocados
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions,white and light green parts only
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp chile-garlic sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Sesame rice crackers for serving

Cut each avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin and place the avocado flesh in a bowl.
Add the red onion, scallions, lime juice, chile-garlic sauce, soy sauce, ginger, 1 tsp of the sesame seeds and the sesame oil.
Mash with a fork until half smooth and half chunky. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Radicchio, banana and avocado salad with dates and a ginger- lime dressing

This is very unusual but sensational. Bananas and avocado have a very similar texture and the Asian dressing lends itself really well to this combination. I would love to hear what you think of it.
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Serves 6 as a starter.

2 medium heads of radicchio
6 Medjool dates, pitted
2 firm bananas
2 ripe avocados

For the dressing
3 tbsp safflower oil
2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp Asian chile sauce
1 tbsp finely minced ginger
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp chopped cilantro sprigs

Pull apart the radicchio leaves, then tear away and discard the bitter white stem area; you should have abut 4 cups. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to make the dish.
Thinly slice the dates. In a small bowl combine all the dressing ingredients and refrigerate until needed.
When ready to serve, slice the bananas and cut the avocado flesh into 1/4 slices. Stir the dressing, place the radicchio in a bowl and toss with just enough of the dressing to barely coat the leaves.
Transfer the leaves to salad plates and put the dates, banana and avocado slices in the same bowl, add the rest of the dressing and very gently toss together.
Place this mixture on top of the radicchio and serve at once.

Oil Packed-Tuna, Avocado, White Bean, Almond and Arugula Salad

This almost doesn’t need a recipe, but the combination is so delicious and healthy, I had to post it.

Serves 4 and makes about 1/3 cup dressing
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 oz baby arugula
1/3 cup of lightly toasted slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (white kidney beans)  canned is fine.
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
6 oz olive oil-packed tuna (preferably line or poll caught)
4 oz crumbled Greek feta cheese
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced small

Whisk together the lemon juice, balsamic, Dijon, a pinch of salt and a couple of twists of black pepper in a small bowl until well combined.
Add honey to taste and slowly whisk in the olive oil until well combined.
Taste and add more salt, pepper or honey if desired.
* The dressing can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
Arrange the arugula in a salad bowl and top with the beans, quinoa, tuna, feta, almonds and avocado.
Drizzle with half the dressing and serve, passing the additional dressing on the side

Avocado and lime mousse

Wondering what to do with all those avocados?
Here is a super, light and tangy recipe, great as a starter for a nice dinner.
Yields 4 servings
2 large ripe avocados
grated zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 1/2 oz low fat cream cheese, softened
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp unflavored gelatine powder
1 egg white (optional)
You will need nice glass dishes as the picture above or 4 x 4oz ramekin dishes
 Pit and peel the avocados and scoop the flesh into a blender or food processor.
Add the lime zest and juice and process until really smooth.
Add the cream cheese and blend until completely combined.
Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
Sprinkle the powdered gelatine over 2 tbsp water in a small heatproof bowl. Let it stand until it starts to look spongy . Place the bowl in a skillet of barely boiling water so it comes about halfway up the sides and sir constantly until the gelatin dissolves.
 Drizzle the dissolved gelatin over the avocado mixture and stir well.
If using, beat the egg white until it forms soft peaks. Fold the egg white into the avocado mixture.
 Spoon into the dishes and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or so until chilled and set.
Serve chilled


Avocado green curry noodles with toasted coconut and cashews

Thank you Aida Mollenkamp for this gorgeous, tasty healthy combination.

Makes 2 to 3 servings

8 oz dried soba noodles or udon noodles
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
4 medium shallots, peeled and minced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 very ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
3 tbsp green curry paste
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp honey
1 bunch stemmed kale, torn into bite sized pieces, (about 4 cups packed)
1/3 cup raw coconut flakes, toasted
1/2 cup roasted and salted cashews, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp raw flax seeds

Bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil over high heat and cook noodles according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Add the kale and cook until crisp, about 2 minutes.

Drain the noodles when they are done, saving 1 cup of the cooking water.
Combine the avocado, curry paste, lime juice and honey in a small food processor and puree until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste and thin out, as needed, with the reserved cooking water.

Toss the noodles with the sauce, turning to coat all the noodles. Add the shallots and kale and turn to coat everything.

Divide among serving plates, top with the cashews, coconut and flax seeds and serve.

Asian avocado salad

This is lovely and a bit different with the Asian dressing complementing the avocado beautifully.
A simple but very effective starter

Serves 4

2 ripe Haas avocados
mixed greens


1 tbsp white sesame seeds
2 tbsp safflower oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Chinese pepper mix  (Equal amounts of whole black, white and Szechuan peppers, toasted then ground in a spice mill. You will be able to keep this for quite a while)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger

Toast the sesame seeds in a small ungreased skillet set over a high heat until they are light golden.
Combine the sesame seeds with the remaining ingredients in a jar and shake well.

Cut the avocados in half, seed and thinly slice.
Place some mixed leaves on 4 salad plates. Fan an avocado half across each bed of greens.
Shake the dressing in the jar and then drizzle it over the avocado.
Serve at once


Baked avocado with egg and "miso butter"

This recipe was on a blog I received recently.
This recipe is so easy, quick, tasty and good for you.

Serves 2


1 avocado
2 eggs
sherry vinegar
light miso
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. In order to make more room for the egg and have a tbsp of the avocado flesh for the “miso butter” scoop out 1/2 tbsp of flesh from each half of the avocado.
Slice a little piece off the bottom of each half so they will sit flat on a small aluminum foil lined baking tray.
Season the flesh of the avocado halves and break an egg into each half.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for a soft boiled egg consistency or longer if you like a firmer egg.
Remove from the oven and drizzle some miso butter on the top.

Miso butter

1 tbsp light miso
1 tbsp avocado flesh
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar

Smash avocado until smooth. Add the miso and vinegar and mix until combined and smooth.

The garnish in the photograph is japanese pickled chillies, but you can just sprinkle some parsley or leave it as is.