Sandy Island Chicken + Spicy Mango and Avocado Salad (Antigua & Barbuda)

November 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Admittedly, the title of this post is rather cumbersome.  But I think this was one of our favorite countries so far!  I was expecting some tropical flavors coming from this tiny Caribbean twin-island nation, and that is indeed what we got — but there was also quite a kick in one of these recipes (spoiler: it’s not the one you think).  We intentionally chose recipes that would allow us to play with mangoes, because there are never enough excuses to use mangoes in cooking, and avocado — well.  Y’all know my feelings on avocado.

Overall, these were pretty simple to put together, and thoroughly delicious.  You could also definitely make either of these alone, as side dishes – and as an added bonus, the mango/avocado salad is vegan!

colorful and tropical

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Avocado Gazpacho

December 12, 2011 § 4 Comments

J: So, I don’t remember if I have expressed my feelings on avocados on this blog yet.  Here they are: I LOVE AVOCADOS.  They are one of my favorite foods.  I regularly used to have just an avocado, maybe with some cottage cheese or something, for a light lunch or dinner.  I would eat them every day if I could.  And so, a few weeks ago, while it was still in the 70s (ridiculous!), when Erik and I were trying to come up with an interesting soup to make, I thought of this: avocado gazpacho.  The recipe we came up with was, I think, not the best one; it was fine the first night, but the longer it was in the fridge (read: by the second night) it had a bit of a funny taste to it.  We’re both pretty sure that was the fault of the cucumber.  Simple fix: don’t add cucumber.  Otherwise, this soup was rather delightful: creamy, cool, and refreshing.

blended avocados in a bowl

I’m including here the original recipe we used, as well as an alternative suggestion we came up with after the fact: guacamole soup!  As always, feel free to add your own twist to this recipe, and let us know what you find works best for you — we want to improve on this, and welcome any suggestions. « Read the rest of this entry »

Warm Couscous Salad with Avocado, Cranberries, and Feta

April 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

J:  So, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to eat this week, and remembered that I had most of a box of couscous in my pantry left over from making these mac ‘n’ cheese burgers.  I decided that, yes, couscous has an extraordinary shelf life, but it was about time that I used up the rest of that box.  So, what to do?  I settled on a riff on a salad that I used to make all the time in college: it used spinach as the base, and had feta, dried cranberries, avocado, and almonds, and a little bit of light balsamic dressing.  I decided to throw in the same mix-ins, but leave out the spinach and add one or two other ingredients I thought might go with couscous.  For instance, I knew I wanted a spice, and Erik suggested turmeric, so I threw in some of that and it worked really nicely.

This salad turned out just the way I wanted it.  It’s so delicious and so, so easy, and it’s even pretty healthy for you!  You can have it as a main course or as a side, and while I prefer it to be just a bit warm, you could serve it cold as well.  It’s got nice fresh flavors, and it would be great to take on a picnic or some other outing to enjoy the lovely spring weather!

One last note: I made this with 3/4 box of couscous, so I’ve scaled up the recipe to be for a full box.  Most of the amounts for the mix-ins can be adjusted to your own taste, so feel free to play around with them to get proportions that you like.

dramatic lighting!

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