Six Delicious and Fun Ways to Put to Use the Beloved Avocado

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Whenever I first began eating a more plant-based diet, the avocado became a huge part of my life. I rarely ate it growing up, only in the occasional guacamole and never did I eat it by itself. It simply wasn’t something my parents ever though to buy or what I gravitated to when eating out. These days, the story is quite different. I have it almost everyday, because it is honestly the most important ingredient in keeping you on track and eating right. It provides healthy fats and the much needed bulk to keep you full and satiated. Here are 6 ways to complement your healthy lifestyle with avocadoes.

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Pink Cauliflower Dip

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Sometimes the only thing that makes  a vegetable appealing is everything…but it. A flavorful dressing, sauce, or dip can make the difference between a blah, force-fed meal and one that you inhale in 5 minutes flat. This dip ensures the latter.

I hate cooking with cauliflower and broccoli. Sure, I love their taste (nothing beats a broccoli and cheese [and lots of it] casserole), but they’re tough, often a hit-or-miss in terms of cooking properly, and can get messy when preparing.

But, I found that by steaming in a covered saucepan with only 1-inch deep water boiling at the bottom, cooks these cruciferous vegetables quickly and hassle-free.

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I either eat them as such, seasoned with salt, pepper, nooch (nutritional yeast), and butter or I puree them to make something a bit more creative.

Pink Cauliflower Dip

by GK

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, steamed
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives (leave some for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 roasted beet
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Tonight, I tossed the cooled-down, steamed cauliflower (an entire head) with 1/2 roasted beet, 1 tbsp chopped chives, 2 tbsp chopped basil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp mustard, the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.

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The texture is creamy, but light. The taste has an overtone of “what is that?!” (but totally in a good way). The mustard cuts the neutrality of the cauliflower and the garlic – to say nothing of its stellar color – gives it enough oomph to make it gather a crowd on any dinner table or appetizer spread at a party.

This recipe’s flavors are more pronounced when cold, but it pairs wonderfully with white fish or used as a thicker salad dressing for otherwise uninspired greens.

My dip was in good company, aside some broccoli that had been steamed and cooked with garlic. Garnish with chives.

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Enjoy this versatile dip!

xo Aylin

Raw Carrot & Avocado Kale Salad

YUM is all I can say.

Salads are fun because you can eat them in an infinite amount of ways by just changing the dressing up, but let’s face it–it’s easy to be bored by them.

The key is to make sure every dressing tastes like Jesus, but without divine, hard-to-get/expensive ingredients. By keeping it simple and working with strong flavors and chewy textures, you’re bound to love a salad any day, any meal.

I used to hate kale. It’s a rough one to nosh through. There is nothing wrong with chewing, but to chew and chew and chew on something that doesn’t seem to be breaking down is a bitch. So, once I realized how to soften this frigid foliage up, it has become my favorite green!

The dressing was inspired by my go-to salad, which is essentially greens massaged in guacamole.  This time, however, I wanted the dressing to be more mellow and sweet, hence the carrot!

The result=to die for. This salad is so filling, because kale is denser and thicker than most greens, and the dressing is full of flavor.

Raw Carrot & Avocado Kale Salad

Ingredients:

- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 carrots
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 lemon’s juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper

Serves 2

Directions:

Gather your kale and begin to pick the leaves from the stems. The stems are rough and not fun to eat, so get rid of ‘em.

Now that you’ve washed and de-stemmed the kale, it is now time to massage 1 tbsp of sea salt into the kale until juices are released and the kale becomes softer. Don’t worry, we will rinse the salt away after we massage, so there will be no salty taste left behind.

Massaging requires a few minutes to break the kale down.

Let the kale sit a bit before you rinse. Meanwhile make the dressing.

Combine 2 carrots and 1 avocado in a food processor with 1 garlic clove, 1/2 lemon’s juice, and salt & pepper.

Blend this bad boy up until it is a creamy consistency.

And that’s all there is to it!

Rinse your kale thoroughly and then add this dressing.

You can mix with a spoon or get right to it and use your clean hands to massage and coat each leaf evenly with the dressing.

My favorite part of this salad is how the dressing gets caught in the ruffles and grooves of the kale, collecting chunks of avocado and carrot deliciousness that is captured with each bite.

And plate. I like to add some color contrast with tomato.

Delicious darlings, simply yum.

xoxo

Angelica Kitchen, NYC

My best friend took me out to Angelica Kitchen in NYC’s East Village tonight.

The place has a small, scrunched interior that somehow maintains a sense of ease and calm despite how busy it is. The food is clean, simple and straight-forward. For vegans and health-enthusiasts, it’s a sigh of relief.  For the foodie who craves intelligent flavor and creativity, Angelica Kitchen won’t impress. In any case, sometimes all I want is a simple, healthy meal, and I’ve only heard about Angelica Kitchen, so it was nice to experience it for the first time.

Creamy Carrot and Black Sesame dressing. Perhaps my favorite tastes of the night.

I ordered the combo platter–Marinated Hiziki & Arame Salad, Garlic Lemon Marinated Kale, Assorted Seasonal Pickled Vegetables and Kimchee.

My friend also got a combo platter as well, but she chose a combination of Norimaki, Turnips, Kale Salad and a Simple Salad.

Easy.

I brought dessert–my favorite raw chocolate bar in the world–Fine & Raw. We shared it in silence.

Other recent NYC photos that inspire me:

xoxox