Spinach and Avocado Salad with Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette

Finding a salad that all can agree on is never easy.  Settling for a tossed, mixed green salad gets boring.  We hit the jackpot with this delicious green salad!  Three people eating, no salad left!   We didn’t have any dijon mustard so I used a spicy brown mustard and it worked just fine!

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon or brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into cubes

Directions

1. Using a mortar and pestle or a heavy knife, pound or mince the garlic together with a pinch of salt until a paste forms.

2. Scrape the paste into a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, mustard, and another pinch of salt, whisking to dissolve the salt.

3. Whisk in the oil.

4. Place the spinach and avocado in a large bowl and gently toss with the dressing. Season with more salt and lemon juice to taste.

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Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

This is a unique salad mixing roasted carrots right out of the oven with cool avocado.  It makes a great summer type salad and was very well received and incredibly easy to make.  Original recipe was found on Yummly.  This has been slightly modified for our tastes and experience.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into two-inch segments
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • Juice of half a lemon

Directions

  1. Roast the carrots: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the carrot chunks in a medium bowl with two tablespoons of the olive oil, cumin and as generous of a helping of salt and pepper as you like.
  3. Spread them on a roasting sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender and browned. Roasting time will vary depending on the thickness of your carrots.
  4. With about five minutes left to roast, slice the avocado into slices a little bigger than bite sized.  Do not mince/cube it really small!
  5. Finish the salad: Arrange roasted carrots on a serving platter with slices of avocado on top.
  6. Drizzle the salad with the last tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice and extra salt and pepper, if desired.  I recommend letting each person add their own salt if they want.
  7. Eat immediately.

South Texas Avocado Hummus

This recipe is from Matushka Elizabeth Perdomo and is great anytime, nut just during the fasts!  The avocado gives it a really creamy texture, and the jalapeno does not overpower the hummus with spice.  I recommend making it as directed and including all “optional” ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 16 Oz Can Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 Med. Avocado, Halved, Pitted, and Peel Removed
  • 1/4 C. Liquid from Can of Chickpeas, Reserved
  • 3-5 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, To Taste
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp. Tahini (Sesame Paste), To Taste
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 1/2 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper, Stemmed & Seeded, Optional
  • 1 – 2 Sprigs Fresh Cilantro, Roughly Chopped, Optional
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt, To Taste
  • 1- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, Reserve for Topping

Directions

  1. Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can.
  2. Combine chickpeas and remaining ingredients in blender or food processor.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas.
  4. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.  Add additional reserved liquid by the tablespoon if too thick.
  5. Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.
  6. Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
  7. Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread or pita chips.
  8. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.

Gazpacho with Crab Meat and Avocado

This recipe is my attempt to recreate the best gazpacho I ever had.  It was served at Louie’s 106, a fine restaurant in downtown Austin that is unfortunately no longer with us.  No trip to Louie’s would be start without ordering this tasty gazpacho.  I’ve had other, but nothing like theirs.  This is my homage to Louie’s 106!  A final note, a real chef decided that canned tomatoes are OK for gazpacho – it beats the hell out of seeding and peeling fresh ones!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped, or one 28-ounce can (include the juices)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 or 3 slices bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • 1 /4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Avocado and lump crab meat for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, bread, oil, vinegar, garlic and jalapeno with 3/4 cup water in a blender.
  2. Squeeze in lemon; process until smooth.  If the gazpacho seems too thick, thin with additional water.Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Serve immediately (or refrigerate and serve within a couple of hours), garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped avocado and crab meat!