Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Avocado Everything! Sweet and savory avocado recipes.

Avocados are magical, we all know this. They are creamy and delicious and can be turned into everything from chocolate mousse, smoothies, and even a dairy-free alfredo-style sauce. They're definitely not local to NY, which fills me with earth-destroying guilt. But I live in a giant dirty city and participate in lots of things that are less than eco-friendly and there's only so much I can stress about. Here are some super easy recipes that are avocado-y and summer-y and scrumptious. 

Avocado Bean Salad
This light and simple salad is perfect for scorching summer nights when cooking a hot dinner is the last thing anyone wants to do. It works well as a side but can be served as a main atop a hearty scoop of fluffy basmati rice, farro, or quinoa.
  • 2 avocados, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups canned or fresh yellow corn kernels
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine lime/lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic in a small bowl and whisk together to create a simple dressing. Combine all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add the dressing. Toss gently, but be careful not to smoosh or break up the avocado!

Avocado Citrus Summer Pie
Avocado pie may sound a little odd at first, but it’s actually a refreshing, cool, and creamy treat that will be sure to wow your guests or family! This pie works best with perfectly ripe avocados that have no brown spots, or have any small brown spots completely removed. I made this for my dad and my father-in-law last year for Father's Day and both of them loved it!

  • 4 medium to large avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 containers of vegan “cream cheese” – I prefer Tofutti brand
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup agave or brown rice syrup
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (coconut or almond work well!)
  • 4 tablespoons arrowroot
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and use vegan margarine or vegetable oil to grease a 9-inch pie pan made of glass or metal.

Puree the avocado with the lime juice and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy in texture. Then add in the lemon zest, vegan cream cheese, agave/rice syrup, and salt and blend at low speed to thoroughly mix all ingredients. In a medium saucepan on low heat, combine the non-dairy milk, granulated sugar, and arrowroot. Other starches may be used, such as tapioca and cornstarch – but arrowroot gives the best results. Heat to a boil and be sure all sugar has dissolved and all lumps of starch are completely broken up. The mixture should thicken once boiling. Pour thickened syrup-y mixture into the blender or food processor and be sure everything is completely blended together and creamy. Pour the filling into your pre-bought or home-made graham cracker crust and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Important Tip: Be sure to serve the pie within one day, as the top layer might turn brown (because of the avocado). Rest assured, this DOES NOT mean your avocado/avocado pie has gone bad or soured. It is simply a reaction that happens when avocados are exposed to the air for too long. Fresh squeezed lemon juice helps slow the browning process. If the top layer of your pie loses its bright and cheery green color, skim off the darker parts with the edge of a knife and sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice. Spruce up your pie with dollops of fluffy white frosting or lemon and lime wedges coated in granulated sugar!

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