Archives for posts with tag: Avocado

I’m back up in Vermont for two glorious weeks. The first part of this trip I’m dog-sitting for my sister Emily. To me, her pup Julius sometimes looks like the bat, Fidget, from Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective. We were lucky to be joined by my dear friend Melony and her dog Kima, who came up from Boston for the weekend.

We swam in Lake Champlain, hiked along beautiful trails flanked by wildflowers, and made some good grub. This chilled avocado soup is a snap to make and dairy-free (but can also be made with regular milk). All it takes is a few raw ingredients and a blender. No cooking, and not much chopping. We were nearly melting in the hot sun yesterday so the thought of using fire (even the grill) did not call to me. In addition to this soup we had chilled soba noodles with ginger, scallions, and wasabi (see this post from one year ago for how to make). Cold summer food for those hot summer nights, even in Vermont.

Chilled Avocado Soup
Serves 4

2 ripe avocados
2 c milk (coconut milk, whole milk, etc.)
1 clove garlic
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 c fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Chopped scallions and lime wedges, for garnish

Scoop the flesh from the avocados and place into a blender. Add the milk (in order to keep it vegan I used Coconut Dream Coconut Milk—you could use whatever milk you prefer), garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Blend until smooth and creamy. Thin out with water or vegetable stock if too thick.

Top with chopped scallions and cilantro. Serve with fresh lime wedges. You can also serve topped with fresh crab or lobster meat for a more decadent meal. Or a dollop of sour cream, crumbled ricotta salata, or homemade crème fraîche, which I’ve been meaning to make. Eat up!

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This is just a quickie teaser of a post since I should definitely be working not blogging right now. I have something like 100 captions to write today, artwork to send to the processor, essays to read, illustrate, and edit, oh and cover designs to choose for another book! Oy.

I’ve written before about how every day (or close to that) I make a green smoothie: some form of greens like kale, chard, spinach, etc. blended with fresh fruit. It’s a good way to get lots of vitamins and chlorophyll into your system, chopped up finely so it’s easily absorbed. They also taste great. They also make captions more fun to write.

Anyway yesterday morning I stumbled upon a great combination and wanted to share. Spinach, fresh pineapple, avocado, and ginger. That’s it. Oh and water. This is in the top three green smoothies I’ve made in the past year (other favorites include dandelion greens-peach-banana, and romaine-grapefruit-mint-avocado). The fresh pineapple adds a real zing-a-ding-ding to the whole thing; the avocado makes it smooth and creamy.

You start with 2-3 cups of fresh spinach and 12 ounces of water. Blend this. Then add 1 c fresh pineapple chunks, 1/2 avocado, and 1 tsp fresh ginger, and blend until smooth.

Ginger-Pineapple Smoothie
2012
Spinach, water, avocado, pineapple, ginger, blender, glass
5 x 4 x 2 in. (12.7 x 10.2 x 5 cm.)

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Been too long since my last post.

It’s not that I haven’t been eating anything good, just nothing too post-worthy, but also I’ve just been busy. Working, occupying Wall Street, taking care of Grandma, studying Japanese. Even for me food can sometimes take a back seat. But not for long!

My slump changed on Saturday when a friend brought over last-of-the-season squash blossoms from the farmers market. The first time I had these babies was in Rome when I lived there back in 2003. I seem to remember they were something of a speciality in the city, especially stuffed with mozzarella (and sometimes anchovies), battered, and fried. In fact, that’s the only way I’d ever had them, from Rome to New York to Vermont.

But in a bold and unexpected move, my friend decided to serve them raw. She brought over a mixture of avocado and tomato and assembled them at the kitchen table, neatly spooning them into the cleaned blossoms. I was waiting for her to nudge me out of the way at the stove and start frying – I assumed they must be fried! – but she had us roll them up and bite in, unadorned by batter or copious oil. The avocado was a soft and creamy contrast to the somewhat sturdy petals of the blossom and the tomato provided just the acidic bite to round out the flavors.

So sometimes zucchini can get a bad rap. I’ve heard it referred to as a swollen ovary, immature fruit, and just plain nuisance. (My goodness, would you kiss your mother with that mouth?) It seems the supply and demand ratio is a bit off come August–September, with an over-abundance leading otherwise perfectly civilized folks to “zucchini” their friends, neighbors, and total strangers by leaving bags of the stuff in cars and on doorsteps. It’s a pastoral version of “ring and run.”

For those that don’t know, squash blossoms are  just that – the flower that blooms from both the male and female squash, and typically we’re eating the flowers from zucchini specifically. As I mentioned, they’re often served stuffed and then fried or baked, but you want to remove the pistils first from the female flowers and stamens from the males.  I mean, who wants to eat reproductive organs with dinner? And you can eat the whole flower but avoid the hard and fibrous stem.

(Here’s a recipe from Saveur that I like.)

We served the stuffed blossoms as a first course to a meal that included white beans simmered with turmeric, coriander, and chile; a pork roast with a rub of cumin, black pepper, and fennel seeds; and sauteed kale with cayenne, lemon and garlic. I think these may in fact have been the only swollen ovaries I had all summer, and according to signs at the farmers market last week, they will be my last, until next summer. Serves us right I suppose, for all the slandering of excess zucchini all summer long, that we should be denied any for another year. Who you calling swollen?

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