Classic Guacamole!

The title Classic Guacamole! is courtesy of my favorite food tester: the boyfriend 🙂

Bobby and I both adore guacamole and have it often. He told me last week that he didn’t know how to make it, so of course I had to let him help me create this recipe. He knew he wanted fresh cilantro (only $0.39/bunch at Milk Pail Market), so we built up our dish based on that. This guacamole is chunky and rich, with flavors coming from fresh herbs, fruits, and spices. Yes, I said fruits – tomatoes and avocados are certainly not vegetables! In fact, they both are technically berries.

Though the recipe is important, the key to good guacamole is good ingredients – don’t try to make it unless you have a beautiful ripe avocado. If the tomatoes aren’t juicy and ripe, leave them out – this recipe will still be delicious.

Classic Guacamole!

1 large ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 large ripe tomato
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more, if you like it as much as I do)
1/4 cup chopped white onion
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cut the avocado in half and twist it to separate. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl, discarding the pit. Add the lime juice and mash in a bowl with a fork.
2. Chop the tomato and discard the juicy seedy parts. Mix the tomato, cilantro, and onion into the avocado. Flavor with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Enjoy however you like – on tortilla chips, in a burrito, and topping off a salad are my favorite ways!

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables and WHB

Last week I had so many veggies in my fridge that I just had to make roasted vegetables. This recipe was inspired by my mom’s roasted rosemary vegetables, but I cut way back on the potatoes. I don’t like them and always picked them out! This time I picked out the few potatoes and gave them to Bobby, who was much more receptive to them.

The key ingredient in this whole dish is the rosemary… Which is why I’m submitting this post to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Simona of Briciole and created by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. It’s a wonderful event and I encourage all of you to participate!

Without further ado…

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables

2 cups chopped broccoli
2 small potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced (these are great!)
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
dash of cinnamon (totally optional, but a great addition)
1 teaspoon each of sea salt and cracked pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Mix together all the ingredients, making sure to distribute the olive oil well.
3. Spray a baking tray with nonstick cooking spray and spread out the veggies. Roast for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
4. Enjoy plain or with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette!

I made this again tonight, but with some different veggies – zucchini, yellow summer squash, and turnips! Of course I used orange bell peppers and new CSA potatoes as well – they are fantastic roasted. My brother and his girlfriend are visiting, and we all (the boyfriend especially!) loved this dish. Enjoy 🙂

Vegan Trail Mix Cookies

Ever since I bought a bag of Trader Joe’s Vegan Trail Mix Cookies, I knew I had to make my own version. These are different from the TJ’s ones, but they are still amazing! They are nutty and satisfying, with hints of fruit and spice. I decided to go for a savory flavor, using molasses, brown sugar, and lots of cinnamon. I’ll just let the recipe speak for itself…

Maggie’s Vegan Trail Mix Cookies

Ingredients (makes 18 small-ish cookies that disappear in a day)
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup whole wheat couscous (OR an additional 1/2 cup flour)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like your cookies
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 banana, mashed
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Mix together oats, couscous, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, water, molasses, and applesauce. Add this to the flour mixture.
4. Mix in the raisins, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
5. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop out about a tablespoon of the dough for each cookie.
6. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes. Enjoy with some vanilla soy ice cream 🙂

Since couscous made an appearance in this recipe, I should introduce you all to the newest member of our family… Couscous the cat!

We adopted him from a family that lives nearby and is moving to an apartment complex that does not allow cats. He is 6 years old and quite a cutie. Despite his slightly lazy appearance, he’s very playful – especially when he gets his paws on his catnip-stuffed mouse!

Mei Quin Choy (Baby Bok Choy) and WHB

Last week’s CSA delivery brought many greens, including Mei Quin Choy, more commonly known as Baby Bok Choy. Bok choy is rich in vitamin C, fiber, folate (folic acid), and calcium – a true gem. Tired of the salads and stir-frys that I usually make when I have greens, I decided to try something new – roasted greens!

This is kind of a non-recipe because of its simplicity, but I thought I should post it as my entry to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, and because it was quite delicious. WHB is hosted this week by Pam of Sidewalk Shoes, and was started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Roasted Mei Quin Choy (Baby Bok Choy)

Ingredients (serves 2 as a small side dish)
2 heads of Mei Quin Choy
2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
dash of cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Turn the broiler on high. Mix together the spices.
2. Slice each head of choy in half; brush with olive oil. Place them in a baking pan and sprinkle them with the spice mix according to your own preference. Before cooking:

3. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the choy starts to get crispy.
4. Serve as is, or with some Asian ginger dressing – any kind will do!