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Entries in avocado (5)

Monday
Jul092012

Steak Wraps with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

Steak Wraps with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

Fresh flour tortillas piled with tender juicy steak, sliced cucumber, grated carrots, sliced radishes and cotija cheese. And for a real punch of flavor, Avocado Chimichurri Sauce. This sauce. It’s entirely versatile. You can change it to suit your tastes or leave it as is, which to me, is perfect. Have it on chicken, fish, pork, beef, vegetables, in wraps and sandwiches--I could go on and on. Oh, on roasted potatoes? My gosh, yes. On pizza! Yes, we’ve done this, too, and it’s fantastic!

It’s no secret how much I love Tortilla Land Fresh Uncooked Tortillas. I’m completely in love with them and they’ve spoiled all other tortillas for me. Seriously. They’re fresh--you have to cook them, which takes all of 30 seconds, maybe a minute. That quick cooking time insures a flavorful tortilla that’s never doughy, cold, or rubbery. Don’t you hate that? It’s so aggravating to order a fabulous wrap only to have it arrive in a cold, doughy tortilla that’s only going to turn to mush as you eat. Gross! I can’t use a flour tortilla for anything without crisping it up a bit in a hot pan first. It should be a law! Tortilla Land tortillas are the ones you’d make at home if you did that sort of thing. They have five ingredients in them. FIVE: unbleached wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt and just a pinch of sugar. That’s it, folks!

The sauce is super easy to throw together. Literally, you just throw the ingredients in your food processor and turn it on. Drizzle in the olive oil and you’re all set to use it. And oh, will you ever use it. You’ll want to use it on everything. You may even want to eat it by the spoonful. I won’t judge.

Steak Wraps with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

Steak Wraps with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

 

Measurements are up to you. How hungry are you? How big is your crowd? You really don't need a whole lot of steak in each wrap, so slice your steak thinly. I had a little over a pound, I believe, and we had enough for 7-8 wraps.

These can be grilled, which is fabulous, or if it’s just too hot to be outside or it’s raining, they can easily be done in the house. As was the case when I made these. There’s a fantastic method for cooking a steak in the oven on TheKitchn. This is how these steaks were cooked. Proceed with your method of choice.

Tortilla Land Fresh Flour Tortillas (or what you have on hand)
Avocado Chimichurri Sauce (recipe below)
Steak (your favorite cut) cooked, rested, sliced and set aside (or try chicken!)
Sliced cucumbers
Shredded carrots
Sliced radishes
Cotija Cheese, crumbled 
Sliced limes for squeezing over the top, optional

Cook the tortillas on your grill, or in a hot pan on your stovetop. Let them get some nice color and a little char on them if that’s your thing. It’s definitely my thing!

On each tortilla, spoon a little sauce down the center, top with steak, cucumbers, carrots, radishes and cheese. I like to drizzle a little more sauce over the top, too. Squeeze a little lime juice over the top, if you like.

Serve with ice cold drinks!

 

Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

 

Makes approximately 2 3/4 cups

Like I said, this is versatile and forgiving. Don't worry too much on the amounts of the herbs, just go with the flow.

1 bunch of parsley (you know, the size of the bunch they sell in stores) 
about 1/2 cup of cilantro (if you absolutely hate cilantro, skip it)
1 small carrot (or a handful of pre-shredded carrots, which I always have on hand)
1 clove garlic
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
5 tbsp water
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup avocado (depending on the size of your avocado, of course-don't sweat the amount, just toss some in)
1 cup olive oil

In your food processor, toss in the parsley, cilantro, carrot, garlic, vinegar, water, salt, oregano, pepper and avocado. Pulse a few times, but don't process the heck out of it. Turn it on and while it's running, drizzle the olive oil in and give it a few seconds, then shut it off. It's done.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week to two weeks. Try it on everything!

 

Thanks again to Tortilla Land Fresh Flour Tortillas. I love you guys! See if they’re available in your area. If not, bug the heck out of your local grocer to carry them! I’m on a mission to get them here in NH. I’ll also have another recipe using their tortillas coming up later this week!

Steak Wraps with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce



Thursday
Oct272011

Zombie Deviled Eyeballs-I mean...Eggs!

Zombie Deviled Eyeballs

It's that time of year again! Halloween. Exciting, isn't it? We get to dress up as someone--or something else, there's candy, parties, and all around fun. Spooky fun!

You need food to serve at these parties, and that's where these come in. They're not just any old deviled eggs--they're Zombie Eyeball Deviled Eggs! I've mixed my favorite guacamole ingredients up with the hard boiled egg yolks and made a hybrid deviled egg/guacamole squishy eyeball filling.

My daughter and I absolutely loved these. My husband, on the other hand, thought they could use more "bite." I know they could have, but my daughter seriously loves deviled eggs, and if I added too much bite, she'd have hated them, and wouldn't have been able to enjoy these. I'm not a mean mom, so I held back. I'd have loved to have added some hot sauce or horseradish to the filling--so if that's your thing, too--please go for it! Use this recipe as a starting point and go from there.

One last thing. Sometime between making these and today, I lost my notes on the recipe. What I'm giving you is what I remember, which I believe is all of it. Taste your egg filling and adjust to your liking. It may need a little of this or a little of that. As always, add ingredients in small quantities when experimenting. You can always add more, but once it's in there, you can't take it back. Oh! I don't normally use onion and garlic powders in fresh guacamole, but there were already enough tomato and jalapeno chunks in the filling, so I went with powdered. Also? Less dicing. (Listen, we've already talked about me being lazy occasionally, so that should come as no surprise.)

A bit more on the lazy front: don’t worry too much about cleaning up the egg whites. You know, a little egg yolk still showing or a crack in an egg white, or if they didn’t peel right and look bumpy. These are zombie eyes, not pretty princess eyes, ok?

Zombie Deviled Eyeballs

Zombie Deviled Eyeballs

Makes 24 creamy, sorta chunky "staring back at you" eyeballs.

1 doz. hard boiled eggs, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise
1 medium avocado (halved, pitted and cubed right before adding to the recipe)
juice of one lime
few pinches kosher salt
1/2 cup finely diced tomato
1 jalapeno, finely diced (seeds and ribs removed if you don't want the heat)
1/2-3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2-3/4 tsp garlic powder
black pepper
2 heaping tbsp (the kind you eat with, not the measuring spoon!) mayonnaise
sliced black olives (alternatives: green olives, capers, roasted red pepper, fresh red bell pepper, etc.)

Set your cooked egg white halves aside, and toss the yolks in a medium bowl. Add the avocado chunks, lime juice and salt. Mush all of this together with a fork, the back of a spoon, or if your avocado is a little under ripe (like mine was), a potato masher will squish the bejeezus out of it.

Stir in everything else except the black olives and mix it all up. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Want more bite? Try horseradish, hot sauce or even wasabi if you've got it!

Scoop the ghoulish mash into a sturdy zip top bag, and snip off a small corner. You may need to snip off a bit more than you think to fit the chunks through, but start small and then adjust. Place the egg white halves on paper towels. Why? Because they slip and slide all over the place when you're trying to pipe the filling in. I chased one around a plate for about a minute before I realized what I was doing. Truth. Press a sliced black olive into the top of each one.

Place the filled eggs on a serving plate, and keep chilled till ready to serve. I wouldn't make these too far ahead--the day you'll be serving them is best.

Zombie Deviled Eyeballs



Monday
Aug172009

Vegan Brunch: Tofu Rancheros

 

So…yeah, we’re 95% Vegan.  The other 5%?  We just can’t give up sushi.  (And occasionally the small bit of parmesan cheese. Occasionally!)  And I don’t see that happening any time soon, so…95% Vegan is what we are.  But are we feeling better?  Hell, yes!  Are we happy?  Definitely.  We aren't sitting around, reminiscing of the old days when we ate meat and dairy with wild abandon, hehe.  Though my husband could probably do with a good dose of bacon, I can take it or leave it.     I love it, don’t get me wrong, but it was never huge with me--it was just…there.  I’d eat it if put in front of me, but didn’t usually go out of my way to have it.  Yes.  I’m totally serious.  

tofu-rancheros-4

Where is this rambling taking us?  Brunch!  We have always loved breakfast.  A big breakfast on Sunday is a tradition with us.  You may remember me talking about how much we love going out for breakfast.  We haven’t in quite a while, because, well--there aren’t really any vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the area.  Sad, isn’t it?  I know!  I should totally fill that niche, but running a restaurant isn’t something I remotely want to do, or have any idea how to, for that matter.   We’ll just have to open up our search area, I guess.  But then again, if we find one, will it be worth it?  I’ve heard stories of nasty vegan breakfasts.  And I have learned that I can make freaking delicious ones right at home!

This Tofu Scramble from The Post Punk Kitchen has been our Sunday tradition for the last 6 weeks or so.  It’s so damn good!  Like scrambled eggs loaded with lots of other good stuff.  We have it with vegetarian baked beans, roasted potatoes, and anything else we may feel like.  I totally recommend it!

Yesterday, I tried a new recipe for brunch, Tofu Rancheros from Vegetarian Times.   We loved it!  It’s quick, easy and so satisfying.  Like all day satisfying, so you’ll only be hungry for dinner at 6:30 or so.   And it’s ridiculously simple.  It’s from Chef Nava Atlas, the author of Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.  

Before I forget, this is for Meatless Monday, and on twitter: #meatlessmonday  Check it out and maybe think about joining next Monday!

tofu-rancheros-2

 

Tofu Rancheros
serves 6, or 3 so you can have 2 each
Vegan

2 tsp oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 TB chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 oz) package extra firm tofu, diced
2 TB lime juice
1 (15 oz) can refried beans with green chiles, warmed-set aside
6 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion and spices, sauté for 5 minutes.
Add in tomato sauce, tofu and lime juice, then simmer for 10 more minutes.
(Make sure your beans are heated up!)

Now here is where I had an issue with the tortillas.  The recipe didn't specify heating them up, but who wants cold, limp tortillas?
We usually fry them up in a little oil till they're nice and crispy, but in this case, my husband
put them under the broiler for 2 minutes per side, then shut the oven off and let them stay warm in there until we needed them.  They were good, but we'd still prefer them crispier next time, so we'll go with our usual method.  But it's up to you!

Spread the beans on the tortillas, top with tofu/sauce mixture, and garnish with tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.  And these are just screaming for some cheese, so use your favorite!

Note:  If you want to try this, but aren't in a vegan-type mood, how about frying some eggs on the side, then topping your tortillas with them, the sauce, and the garnishes?  Oh yeah, that would be delicious!

Print

 

This was a great way to have a vegan brunch, still feel happy and satisfied, and didn’t leave us feeling like “Ugh, we just ate tofu for breakfast.”  hehe  The two changes I’d make, though, are:

A) Crisp up those tortillas first!

B) I think I’d add a little more heat to the sauce, but that’s personal preference.

 

  tofu-rancheros-6

 

Monday
Jul202009

Meatless Monday: Raw Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Welcome to my first edition of #meatlessmonday! I saw this Tweet this morning, from Chris at Blog Well Done. He was looking for people to join in, so I figured, why not?

My first entry in Meatless Monday is Raw Zucchini Pesto Pasta. Yes, it's raw, and the pasta is julienned zucchini. We use one of these, from Zyliss, to make easy julienne strips. It works great, it's quick to use, and you don't have to drag out some contraption, then clean it. We also have one of these, from Joyce Chen. It works alright for soft veggies, but not for anything like butternut squash or beets. It just mangles them. So...that was $30 down the drain.

Anyway, this was a quick dinner to get on the table. Some zucchini, tomatoes, basil, pesto...you get the idea. And it's versatile--you can add whatever you like, you don't necessarily need to use what I used here. Also, with summer in full swing, and gardens bursting with zucchini, this is a great way to use some of that up! And if you can't wrap your head around zucchini being pasta, you have two options. You can think of it as a cold salad, or you can lightly sauté the zucchini, then toss with the rest of the ingredients.

And remember, organic is best when enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables, if you can swing it.  You don't really want to be putting all of those chemicals in your body, do you?  And damn, they're hard to wash off.  Getting organic foods is easier than ever in the summer time, because farmer's markets are also in full swing.

 

Basic recipe:

Raw Zucchini Pesto Pasta

This one has parmesan, it was made before we decided to eat vegan. But feel free to use it on yours!  You can also find raw milk parm, if that's something you want.

3-4 zucchini, washed and julienned
2-3 tomatoes
a handful of basil, sliced thinly (stack leaves, roll them up, and slice thinly across for ribbons)
pesto, to taste
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
olive oil, for drizzling over

Toss all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.  Eat right away.

 

And here's a quickie--a bonus recipe.  Well, it's not even a recipe, really.  But it's one of my favorite lunches.

A whole wheat pita, toasted in the oven.  Slather on your favorite hummus, then your favorite veggies.  Here, I've used tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and avocado.  Lots of fresh cracked pepper over the top, and you're done.  So good!

 

Last order of business.  Some of you may be wondering how my husband and I are doing with our new way of eating.  Some of may not be, so you can skip to the end now, hehe.

We're doing great!  We have more energy, have lost a few pounds, and just look and feel better, in general.  My husband's blood sugar: he's been testing, and at first, without his meds, his levels were anywhere from 140 to 220.  With his meds, they were still  up and down like that.

Last week, he took a reading and was at 88.  And he hasn't taken his meds since we started eating 100% raw and vegetarian, then eventually raw and vegan.  Do I recommend that everyone try this?  Hell, no, I'm no doctor.  But this is what's worked for him. 

So when people ask me if I miss meats and dairy, my answer is no.  First, because I really don't!  And second, because I can see how healthy and happy it's made my husband.  And to make him go it alone in this journey would be selfish.  For me, anyway.  

I'm not going to get all preachy on you, but I do want to let you all know the changes we've seen.  Also, I'm amazed how satisfied I feel eating raw and vegan foods!  I never in a million years would have thought that eating this way would leave me feeling full and happy, but it does!  And everything tastes so good and clean.  It's almost like meat and dairy were clouding everything else over.  I know this isn't for everyone, and yeah, meat still looks good.  Damn good!  The smell of meat on a grill still gives me a little jolt of "aaaaahhhh."  But I know I feel better without it.  So for me, it makes sense to skip it.

Again, thanks for coming along on this journey with me!  

And don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Thursday
Mar272008

Random Thursday Thoughts: Guacamole, The Foodie Blogroll, and Today's Tunes


First up--guacamole! Is there anyone that doesn't love fresh, cool, chunky guacamole? Anyone? Bueller? Ok, I guess there's gotta be at least a couple of people that don't like it. So more for us!

Guacamole is one of the easiest, and most satisfying things to make. It's so freaking good. The trick is to get good avocados. I always get Hass avocados, but in a pinch, the bigger, green ones are good, too. You can read everything you ever wanted to know about avocados here. If you're buying Hass, look for the darker, almost black ones, that yield a bit to a little squeeze. If they're all hard and green, you can ripen them at home pretty quickly in a paper bag. But be careful--they're funny little things and go from "We're ripe, yay!" to "Um, we're just going to lie here and get moldy...in the next sixty seconds, ok?" ugh!

So cut them in half carefully, from top to bottom, whack the pit with your knife, carefully! and twist it out. Take a knife and carefully cut lines vertically and horizontally while the halves are still in the peel. Then run a spoon under and around the flesh and scoop it out. Did I mention to be careful? Please do!

So here we go! I've made this so many times that I don't use a set recipe or measurements. You can eyeball your avocado/tomato/onion ratio. And if you hate tomatoes or despise onions (but why would you?) you can skip those. Your guacamole won't mind.

Guacamole

3 avocados
1 lime
1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium tomato, chopped and seeded
1/2 a small onion (red, white, sweet--doesn't matter)
1 jalapeno, remove seeds and ribs if you want it mild--leave them in if you like it hotter
chopped cilantro
coarse salt

Get your avocados ready, and put the chunks in a medium bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half over the avocado. Add the garlic to the bowl and mash it all up some more with a fork, but leave some chunks--chunks are good!

Add the tomato and onion and some salt, then cilantro and jalapeno. Oh, leave out the cilantro if you hate it-- I'll forgive you. Mix it up and give it a taste, and add more lime juice if it needs it. I usually use almost one whole lime.

When you've got it just right, cover it and put it in the fridge to let the flavors mingle amongst themselves. About 1/2 an hour or so. But if you're like us, you'll grab a bag of corn chips and sample some (ok, a lot) before it even hits the fridge. And don't bother with this business of sticking an avocado pit in the guacamole to keep it greener, longer. It's a lie. From the Save the Avocado Pit People--SAPP, for short. Put a bit of plastic wrap right on the surface, and keep it in the fridge. It'll last into the next day, but no longer than that. And if it's a little discolored on top, just give it a stir.

Serve this with chips, in wraps, over a spicy salad, on tacos, in burritos, etc.

Next up--The Foodie Blogroll! Have all you food bloggers joined yet? What are you waiting for? It's a very cool way to get more exposure for your blog, give you more traffic, and a good way to get to know other foodies like yourselves. PLUS you'll find more great blogs to read!

There are three requirements:

1) Your blog must be at least one month old with at least five posts. (I joined one month to the day after I started blogging, hehe.)

2) Your blog must be at least 80% about food.

3) You have to put the Blogroll in your sidebar in plain sight where it can be seen by Jenn, the genius who started it all. It's nice and not in-your-face. See it in my sidebar, there on the right?

Here's a blurb from Jenn, on Foodieblogroll.com:

 

Why Should I join The Foodie Blogroll? What’s in it for me?

The Foodie Blogroll is the first of its kind and is one of the fastest growing online communities for foodies. With over 1000 members spanning the globe in less than a year, there is a reason for its popularity. It is the first blogroll created just for foodies like you. When I started my food blog, I went looking for a blogroll for food and cooking related websites and there were none to be found. So I decided to create my own! This is all about building the best community online for foodies! Imagine what having over 1000 websites linking to you can do for your blogs traffic and Google or Technorati ranking.

A great benefit for joining is a forum for members (and other foodies alike) to hang out with each other and get to know each other and talk about our favorite subject – FOOD. There are also contests and your blog could also be featured as part of my Finest Foodies Friday – where I feature the best blogs from the Foodie Blogroll! If you are not a member, you can’t be featured.

_______________________________________________________________


And there's forums on her site, too, for contests and getting to know other bloggers. So drop Jenn an e mail and get started soon!

 

 

And lastly, Today's Tunes!

I've been listening to Puddle of Mudd. I love these guys! It's a great album, lots of fun, and really, don't we all know at least one Paranoid Flake?

Also in rotation the last couple of days is Flyleaf . I love this album, too. Definitely makes kitchen time (what I mean is cleaning time) more enjoyable.

Being served soon: Brownies, Cornbread and Tuna Orzo Salad. But not all together, because... ewww. hehe. Stay tuned...