Finding balance with food, movement, and community for my (dairy-free) family.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Salsa and Guacamole

Until a few years ago, I don't think I'd given salsa or guacamole much thought.  If we ate them, they came in a jar from the store and I really didn't think much about their ingredient list.

Then, in the hunt for a semi-elegant snack to serve for my book club, I found recipes for homemade, fresh salsa and guacamole and a love affair was born.  To justify my addiction, I would like to point out that both are composed entirely of fruits and veggies.  The only downside is the tendency to consume them with an excess of corn chips.

These recipes are very flexible.  My husband usually makes them and never measures anything.  We have discovered that guacamole fills in nicely in dishes where one expects a cheese topping:  tacos, burritos, Spanish rice, and some casseroles.

The best part:  both Big Brother and Sis love these and cheerfully eat them.  If only avocados had not suddenly jumped to an absurd price, we'd be making these every week.

Fresh Tomato Salsa
2 medium ripe tomatoes or 4 canned whole tomatoes, diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine
½ white or red onion, diced fine
6 cilantro sprigs (stem and leaves), chopped
Juice of ½ lime

Combine all ingredients, stirring gently.  Add salt and lime juice to taste.  Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

  • Add 1 jalapeno or Serrano chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • Fold in ½ avocado, diced.

2 ripe avocados
1 T fresh lime juice
2 T finely chopped onion
2 T chopped cilantro
Add salt and lime juice to taste.

Directions:  Cut the avocados in half; remove skin and pits.  Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and use an immersion blender to combine.  (The original recipe recommended using a mortar and pestle for this process, but we don’t have one of those hanging around our kitchen.)  The lime and salt balance one another out—too much salt? Increase the lime.  Too limey?  Add more salt.  I like limey guacamole. 

Variation:  Add a jalapeno or Serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Zucchini Patty Cakes

I made up this recipe on the fly this morning.  It came out differently than I expected, but was very tasty!

Zucchini Patty Cakes
1 cup zucchini (grated, water squeezed out)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil *
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Scoop onto a pre-heated cast iron griddle over medium-low heat (I used about 1/4 cup per patty, making 4 patties).  Cook until golden brown on the bottom, flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

These were eggier than I'd expected (perhaps too much coconut oil?), but very yummy.  Big brother and little brother both ate some and Big Brother said he liked it.  Sis wouldn't even try.  She did lick one bite just to humor me, however.

Edited to add:  These have become a frequently made dish around here.  I've dropped the coconut oil from the recipe as it really wasn't adding anything.  Big Brother actually requests these now and all three kids will eat them fairly cheerfully.  Minus the coconut oil and with the natural moisture of the zucchini squeezed out, they look far more appetizing than the above picture would suggest.