Vegan Boeuf Bourguignon Stew – Just like Julia’s

One of my favorite cookbooks of all time is Julia Child’s “The Art of French Cooking”. It is sticky and covered in sauces and oil and butter and flour. I used to use that and my favorite mexican cookbook so religiously that they looked like they had been dipped in the foods rather than utilized to make them. There is one recipe I knew by heart and is obviously a huge fan favorite for the carnivore and omnivores out there: Boeuf Bouguignon. It is a Braised beef dish similar to a beef stew in essence. I decided to attack this dish head on because my vegan world isn’t the same without it. I know the flavors and the essence I want to create so making it vegan is actually easier than one may think but remember, if you want it just like Julia’s you do need to put in the time to make it and of course the butter (the earth balance butter that is).

I would like to make note that I initially made this without tasting it. My mother an omnivore had to taste test because I had ruptured my esophagus a few nights before. She loved it and I caught her going back for “extra tastes” later on. I can say that the beef in the oven covered in flour and crisco and pureed onions made my house smell like heaven though. It was hard not to just throw doctors orders out the window and face the throat pain just for a little taste. But I didn’t. I tasted it last night though and it is divine. Please try out the recipe and I promise this will become a warm comforting favorite you can’t believe you lived without.

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Vegan Boeuf Bourguignon

(2) tablespoons Crisco

1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke

(1) Onion

(2) sticks Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

Kosher salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

(2) packages Gardein Beef

1/4 cup Flour

(1) Package Baby Carrots (diced)

(1) package of white button mushrooms

(3)  Medium Yukon Potatoes

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon frozen minced garlic

(3) Cups Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine

(3) Cups Water

(2) tablespoons Vegetable Bouillion

(1) Small 6oz can of Tomato Paste

2-3 bay leaves

2-3 tablespoons parsley (fresh preferred)

1/2 cup flour (to make paste)

Preparation:

  • Rough Chop onions.
  • Dice Carrots and mushrooms.
  • Chop Potatoes into cubes.
  • Place extra large sauce pan or dutch oven on medium low heat with crisco, liquid smoke, and at least 1-2tablespoons salt.
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  • Preheat oven to 350degrees.
  • Get out a small food processor or immersion blender and several spoons. You will want to check the salt/seasoning level throughout.

Begin Cooking:

  • Once the crisco melts at onions and stir onion, oil, salt, smoke misture until onions are golden.
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  • Take onions out leaving a small amount of oil in the pan.
  • Puree onions in the food processor then return mixture into the pan.
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  • Add (2) packages of Gardein Beef Tips. Cook until slightly soft and seared about 3-5 minutes.
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  • Sprinkle on 1/4cup of flour and stir until meat is covered in the onion flour mixture.
  • Place beef cubes on a cookie sheet and place in warm oven approximately 30 minutes.
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  • Take 1 stick of butter place in pan and scrape the bottom bits up. Add Garlic.
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  • Add carrots and cover in melted butter. Add mushrooms next. Add salt and pepper while tossing.
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  • Add vegetable bouillion, water, thyme. Mix well until everything is combined. Start to simmer.
  • After the sauce is simmering add tomato paste and wine.
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  • After the sauce has cooked down about 30 minutes and the meat is crusty and firm on the outside, add the potatoes and meat back into the stew.
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  • Stir in 2-3 bay leaves and parsley.

Finishing it Off:

  • Last, after another 30 minutes. Remove 1-2 cups of the broth, a few carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes and place in a small sauce pan (my immersion blender has a little pot to puree in so I use that). Add 1/2cup of flour and make a paste with an immersion blender.
  • Add last stick of butter to stew pot and then stir in paste with the immersion blender until creamy and combined.
  • Cook for at least 30 more minutes. It will be nice and thick and the wine will have cooked down at this point. Your home will also smell like heaven.
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  • Serve hot with some crusty bread on a blustery fall or winter weekend.
  • It also keeps for about a week in the fridge or for months in the freezer! Enjoy!

Total servings 12. Serving Size is approximately 1 cup.

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Meatless Mondays Guest Contributer: @VeganRebecca from VeganRestaurantFinder.com

Keeping The Whole Family Interested In Meatless Mondays

Meatless Mondays are a day of the week set aside to eating in a more world and health conscious way. With the right attitude and recipes it can be a tradition that is carried on through the years. Sometimes though, sustaining a meatless day can be seen as restrictive and have negative connotations for non-vegans. There are a few things you can do to pep up your one meatless day of the week so no one feels like it is a restriction.

Tips For Sustaining Meatless Mondays For Children:

– Change another detail about the dinner, for example, during a meatless meal you can eat under the table and play pretend during the meal. Explain how each of the foods come from the earth and pretend to be bunnies.

-Let your child pick out his/her favorite vegetables, and at first do not make him eat a particular food. If your child knows meatless days do not automatically equate to a particular vegetable then they will be more comfortable with trying new things.

-Stick to the habit even when there is resistance. If you do not give in at first it will become a habit your child establishes even if there is resistance in the beginning.

Tempting adults into enjoying a change in diet can be slightly more difficult if your significant other is very resistant but there are a few things to try.

Tips For Sustaining A Meatless Day For Adults:

-You will need to pull out the culinary guns for adults, but there are a lot of addictive vegan recipes that even the most carnivorous adult will enjoy. When you find the one recipe that they request even on other days you will know you have a go to meal when temptation strikes on meatless day.

-Do not get preachy. Keep things light, if it becomes an argument simply state that you are choosing to cook meat free on this one day but you will not be offended if they do not partake. At first it may be tempting to cook a hamburger for the unhappy party, but stick to your guns without judgment. One day a week they can fend for themselves or enjoy your delicious healthy, eco-friendly meals.

For more information on meatless meals, visit http://VeganRestaurantFinder.com.

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How to Find Rebeccan Linen: @VeganRebecca on Twitter or http://VeganRestaurantFinder.com on the Web

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I hope you enjoyed our first guest contribution! If you did please write in and we will continue this meatless mondays series!

XOXOX, The Hippie Gypsy

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

When I wasn’t vegan and I was applying to law school I worked at a law firm in Quincy, MA near a Panera Bread. My favorite lunch was always a bowl of their signature Broccoli Cheese Soup and a toasted Asiago bagel and an apple.  The soup was so decadent and the sharp Asiago smothering the bagel made me just fall into a million pieces. I would’ve eaten this over a filet mignon or fancy lobster dinner (mostly because I never liked either but also because it was that good in my mind). So when I was beginning my ideas for this next week of blogging on soups, stews, and chowders I thought that I really must start off with Broccoli Cheese Soup. I have eaten the broccoli cheese soup in Chef Chloe’s cookbook and it is very good and very healthy but I wanted to make a truly decadent creamy creation that reminded me of that soup near the law firm. So with that I present my version.

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Creamy Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

1 tbsp vegetable bouillon paste (I use Penzey’s)

1 1/3 cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds

(1) White Onion

(2) Heads of Broccoli

(6) Small or Baby Carrots

1 qt of Soy Creamer

1/2 cup soy milk

1 cup of water

1/4 cup Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese

1/4 cup Tofutti Sour Supreme Sour Cream

Salt

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Prepare the Base:

  • Put (2) tablespoons of oil in a pan with salt and (1) onion chopped into rings.
  • Sweat the onion on medium heat until very soft and light golden brown. They will naturally start to separate as they heat up, so continue stirring.
  • Take 1/2 of the onions out and place in an extra large sauce pan. Add broccoli and 1 tbsp oil and place on medium heat,
  • Toss oil, onions, and broccoli and sprinkle with salt. Leave on medium heat.
  • Take remaining onions in the frying pan and add 3 tablespoons oil and flour. Stir until it forms a paste.

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Cooking down the soup:

  • Pour creamer into large sauce pot with broccoli and onion mixture.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and oil/onion paste except for carrots.
  • Stir until broccoli is soft and well combined. The sauce should be thick now and form a film on top if not constantly stirred.
  • Take an immersion blender and place in pot allowing the blender to chop and puree the broccoli. You can reserve a few small pieces if you want it a little chunkier.
  • Then shred the carrots with a peeler or making matchsticks with a sharp knife and add a few minutes before serving. These should be cooked but slightly crisp.
  • Serve hot and Enjoy!

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Serves (7). 1 cup servings. WW Points 11.

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Banana Bread Bars

There are very few things that can make me feel as cozy as banana bread. My mom would make it all the time when I was a kid (and would even bring it to my dorm in college sometimes). Saving up all the brown bananas we didn’t eat in time and putting them in the freezer. When she had enough she would make the whole house smell like heaven and it was hard to keep us back long enough for the banana bread to cool so she could cut a slice for my brother and I. My grandmother would cozy up next to me with some tea and her banana bread and on those chilly fall days we would watch infomercials and old movies at my parents house. So when I got a tweet on Twitter the other day from a follower that wanted to use up some Chia seeds I thought what better way than to give out my banana bread bars recipe! The recipe is easy and just requires dumping everything in a bowl and mixing and then placing it in the oven. The weather was cool over the weekend so I made a batch as a breakfast snack for my husband and I this week. They were also snacked on by both my parents yesterday while we continued mounting new things to the walls of my new house.  Note: I bribe family and friends with dinner and snacks for free labor 🙂 

 

banana bread bars done

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Banana Bread Bars

 

Ingredients:

(3) Bananas (overripe and brown is best)

1 1/2 cup Quick Oats

1 tsp tapioca granulated

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup of Raw Agave Syrup/Nectar

1/4 cup raw unsalted pistachios

1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup white chocolate chips (I use Lieber’s White Decorative Chips)

Spectrum Coconut Oil Spray for pan

 

banana bread bars ingredients

 

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Preparation:

  • Place white chips, nuts, seeds, coconut, and tapicoa in a medium mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  • Add quick oats. Stir until combined.
  • Add bananas (i ususally microwave frozen bananas for 1 minute and then add them). Mix until thick adn well combined throughout.
  • Add agave and fold in.

banana bread raw mix 1   banana bread raw mix 2   banana bread raw mix with oats   banana bread raw mix with banana   banana bread raw mix with agave

 

Cook!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a bread pan with coconut oil.
  • Place bar mixture into bread pan and pat flat with spatula.
  • Bake for 30-40minutes until the sides turn brown and the center is firm tot he touch.
  • Cut into 6 bars and serve after cooled about 15-30minutes.
  • Enjoy!

 

banana bread raw mix patted flat   banana bread raw mix in pan   banana bread bars done

 

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WW Points: 8pts per bar.

 

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XOXOX,

 

The Hippie Gypsy

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Vegan Creme Brulee

Thanksgiving may seem like it is far away but in Canada it is next month and for the USA it is around 75 days away. So this is my favorite time to start testing recipes that I may cook. I also start inviting folks over for the holiday so I can get the right amount of recipes down for the group I am serving. I started late last year because I was only having a small group in an even smaller house but this year I am going all out. Since Pumpkin Pie seems to be everyone’s favorite dessert at Thanksgiving I thought why not try a pumpkin pie custard/pudding/or brulee? So I did. And although the first time it came out to liquidy I learned that upping the agar and arrowroot helps immensely. You can always add more pumpkin as well and allow to chill overnight. I love a challenge!

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Pumpkin Pie Creme Brulee

Ingredients:

  • 1/2cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 can of pumpkin or 1/2 boxed carton of pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4cup maple syrup
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1tablespoon agar agar powder (this is vegan gelatin powder found in the asian section of the grocery store)
  • 1tablespoon arrowroot powder/starch (don’t use cornstarch due to the high heat, arrowroot is better)
  • 1 1/4cups Soy Creamer
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon-1tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (depends on your pallet, I use a little more)
  • 1/2teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (I use Penzey’s)

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Preparation

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

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If you do not have a high powered mixer soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight so that the batter will not be grainy. 

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Cook

Preheat oven to 375degrees.

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Fill a casserole dish with water to go halfway the height of the  jars you in tend on placing the brulee mixture in. I have used both mason jars and square ramekins before and both come out well.

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Pour batter into each ramekin allowing a little space so that they do not spill over as the casserole dish will be heavy with all the water in it. You need to be careful not to allow water into the ramekin.

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Cook for at least 30 minutes or until the batter is wiggly but not liquidy and slightly firm on top.

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Chill

Take jars out of the water with tongs and place on a towel on a drying rack. Let cool 15 minutes and then transfer into the refrigerator for 2-4hours. I prefer overnight for real custard consistency.

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Brulee

After the creme is completely firm and chilled through and you are ready to serve. …Take sugar, sprinkle a good layer on each creme top, and brulee with a hand torch until the sugar bubbles, browns, and quickly hardens.

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Serve Immediatly.

Serves 6. WW Points 6.

(PS Any of these can be simply custard without the brulee if you do not have a torch)

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Pistachio Vegan Creme Brulee

When I was a kid we would go to this little Tavern down the street from my house. It was called the North Pond House back then. It was next to North Pond and boasted karaoke and traditional english pub fare. I ate a lot of fish and chips there and regrettably sang a lot of karaoke as a child (which everyone clapped but I am sure it was funnier than it was actually entertaining). For dessert however they had this ice cream called Spumoni which was an Italian layered slice of heaven as far as I was concerned as a kid (I also think this was an 80s dessert because I never see it anymore). I loved the green layer of pistachio. Pistachio ice cream was a luxury that was not in my fridge at home often. We did popsicles at home. So I loved these visits where I could indulge in my pistachio layer of ice cream. It seemed so fancy back then. So when I was testing creme brulee recipes I remembered my fall visits to the pub with the smell of fireplaces and pumpkins and haystacks in front of the doors of the neighborhood near the pond which was cirlced in orange and red leaves. Pistachio creme brulee would be amazing. I said to myself this weekend “Let’s see if we can make it work”. And I did. Enjoy!

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Pistachio Creme Brulee

Ingredients:

  • 1/2cup raw cashews
  • 1/2cup pistachios
  • 1 avocado (skin and seed removed)
  • 1/4cup raw agave
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1 1/2teaspoon agar agar powder (this is vegan gelatin powder found in the asian section of the grocery store)
  • 1teaspoon arrowroot powder/starch (don’t use cornstarch due to the high heat, arrowroot is better)
  • 1 1/4cups Soy Creamer
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (I use Penzey’s) (or use almond extract)

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Preparation

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and mix until smooth. This batter will be quite thick. Consider stirring it with a spatula if needed.

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If you do not have a high powered mixer soak cashews  and pistachios for at least 4 hours or overnight so that the batter will not be grainy. Also, place half the nuts in at first and the second half after most ingredients have liquified.

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Cook

Preheat oven to 375degrees.

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Fill a casserole dish with water to go halfway the height of the  jars you in tend on placing the brulee mixture in. I have used both mason jars and square ramekins before and both come out well. Then sprinkle each jar bottom with extra pistachios. It’s a fun surprise on the bottom. Also remove metal presses from the jars. They will be so redhot it is better to pop them off now.

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Pour batter into each jar allowing a little space so that they do not spill over as the casserole dish will be heavy with all the water in it. You need to be careful not to allow water into the jars.

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Cook for at least 30 minutes or until the batter is wiggly but not liquidy and slightly firm on top.

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Chill

Take jars out of the water with tongs and place on a towel on a drying rack. Let cool 15 minutes and then transfer into the refrigerator for 2-4hours.

Brulee

After the creme is completely firm and chilled through and you are ready to serve. …Take sugar, sprinkle a good layer on each creme top, and brulee with a hand torch until the sugar bubbles, browns, and quickly hardens.

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Serve Immediatly.

Serves 6. WW Points 6.

(PS Any of these can be simply custard without the brulee if you do not have a torch)

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

My 9/11 Story: How a newborn, a father, an uncle, and the weirdest drive of my life lead to joy.

I was 19 when 9/11 happened. I was sleeping in my childhood bed at my parents house because I didn’t move into my new dorm until Saturday. I was woken up to my mother screaming “We are being attacked” and that my father was possibly on one of the planes. Within an hour we found out my uncle may be on another. It was unreal. We lived just outside of Boston and my father regularly traveled for business as did my mother’s brother. He had rescheduled his trip and sent someone in his place. They all perished. My father had been late that morning and went to work cancelling his flight because he would never make it. His coworker perished. On the other side of the world in San Diego California my now husband was at the hospital with his now ex-wife and 1 day old newborn baby girl who turned 12 yesterday. She is my oldest stepdaughter. My husband was enlisted in the US Navy at the time and had to begin preparations immediately to leave his 1 day old baby behind. While he made preparations our phones were all turned off in Boston. Since the flights came out of our airport. I got in my car and drove on an empty highway all the way to my father’s work. I found him there and eventually got in touch with my mother to tell her the good news. Everyone in his office was crying or glued to small TVs. I then had to take one of their workers who was also a reserve back into the city because he needed to report for duty. He hopped in the car and we headed back south into a city that everyone was escaping. It reminded me of that scene from Independence day where they drive into DC and everyone is in a traffic jam going the opposite way. I dropped him off and headed home. The whole world seemed numb for days. Everyone I knew was affected in some way, lost someone, knew something. Boston became this tiny city where everyone new everyone and New York was only 3 hours away so it just became this devastating day in this tiny area of the world. When I was 22 I even became a Homeland Security Officer because I was so influenced by those days and moments that seemed to last forever. However years later, I see it differently now.

I look at my stepdaughter. She was born 1 day before this devastating terrorist attack. She is still growing and happy and beautiful. My husband gave up an epically important moment in any father’s life, that first year of his first child’s life, to protect people he didn’t know from an enemy that was threatening our livelihood. I do not know many people who could do something that courageous and even as his wife I am humbled by that commitment he and so many men and women made. I also learned that this little girl represents the one thing we say so often but never practice, “Live for today”. We need to enjoy our lives and treat our lives and days with respect because tomorrow anything can happen. Find joy in your day and soak up that moment. If you learn anything from 9/11 it should be the heroism, the selflessness, and the joy others share. The calls of “I love you” that people made from planes and the babies that were born to remind us that life will go on and we need to protect it for these little guys. Be selfless, be joyous, be happy, be free. It’s what being an American is really about that pursuit of happiness. We should learn from the past in this way. No one who perished that day would want us to dwell they would want us to continue on and fill the world with peace and joy. So today honor them by doing something to pay it forward. Pay their sacrifice forward and fill this world with more joy.

Apple Cheesecake Vegan Creme Brulee

The fall weather has officially started here in Coastal Massachusetts. This weekend I started raking, trimming back trees, turned off the Central Air, and opened up all the windows in my house. The cool air made the sheer window coverings sweep the floors from the wind like a chiffon wedding dress. It was a beautiful weekend. I could smell chocolate chip cookies and ocean air from my deck and I even kicked it off with a trip to the Brimfield Antiques Fair which just screams “Welcome Fall”. Together my mother and I picked up a red rocking horse for my nephew Nolan, a few records for my new record player, a set of silverware that completed a set I had inherited which was just dumb luck!, a buddha painted in reds and blues and gold for my side garden to go just underneath the chimes, and a poster from the 1980’s when a friend of mine ran for office which I will make him sign because it was such a fun find! Who doesn’t love a gigantic yard sale? I would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a good time at these events. I then went over to my aunt’s to help her pack up her apartment to move to her dream destination. I am so proud of her. I know she appreciates a good dessert. So this weekend I worked on puddings.

Fall is the time for puddings both warm and cold. There are bread puddings (my mom’s favorite) and the more exciting french puddings like the creme brulee and then there are the puddings I would never eat like black pudding. My favorite has always been a vanilla bean creme brulee with a good crunchy crust and a thick custard filling but not to sweet to offset the brulee. My parents would bring us to brunch on Easter and Mother’s day and I would always run over to make sur ethe hotel had the little ramekins of this dessert. So I tried to replicate it now as a vegan with a few fall fun flavors. This is my first of a series of three I will post this week (all tested and approved by the omnivore husband). They are all easy to prepare (35minutes max) but the cooling process (2hrs min.) causes it to be something you have to make in advance. Since everyone in the office was talking about apple picking on Friday we shall start with apple! Enjoy!

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Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake Creme Brulee

Ingredients:

  • 1/2cup raw cashews
  • (2) Macintosh Apples Cored, Peeled, Diced
  • 1/4cup maple syrup
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1tablespoon agar agar powder (this is vegan gelatin powder found in the asian section of the grocery store)
  • 1tablespoon arrowroot powder/starch (don’t use cornstarch due to the high heat, arrowroot is better)
  • 1 1/4cups Soy Creamer
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon-1tablespoon Apple Pie Spice (depends on your pallet, I use a little more)
  • 1/2teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (I use Penzey’s)

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Preparation

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

074   075

If you do not have a high powered mixer soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight so that the batter will not be grainy.

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Cook

Preheat oven to 375degrees.

Fill a casserole dish with water to go halfway the height of the ramekins or jars you in tend on placing the brulee mixture in. I have used both mason jars and square ramekins before and both come out well.

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Pour batter into each ramekin allowing a little space so that they do not spill over as the casserole dish will be heavy with all the water in it. You need to be careful not to allow water into the ramekins.

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Cook for at least 30 minutes or until the batter is wiggly but not liquidy and slightly firm on top.

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Chill

Take ramekins out of the water with tongs and place on a towel on a drying rack. Let cool 15 minutes and then transfer into the refrigerator for 2-4hours.

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Brulee

After the creme is completely firm and chilled through and you are ready to serve. …Take sugar, sprinkle a good layer on each creme top, and brulee with a hand torch until the sugar bubbles, browns, and quickly hardens.

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Serve Immediatly.

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Serves 6. WW Points 6.

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Meatless Monday Meal Menus and Recipes

At my office there are quite a few folks trying to do Meatless Mondays for environmental and health reasons. We have a fabulous Wellness Committee that I am honored to be a part of that organizes everything from 15minute chair massages to bootcamps to a Wellness Day once a year where everything that helps us be healthy comes together. This year there was healthy food, healthy activities, mindfulness activities, ecofriendly ideas for the year, carpooling incentives, etc. It’s amazing! I am very blessed to be here. I held the Meatless Mondays booth feeding the masses vegan and vegetarian foods and giving them the ecofriendly reasons to try Meatless Mondays as well as health benefits and of course the history behind it all. It was fun. But now is the hard part. Months have passed and my coworkers and others around the world participating in Meatless Mondays have to scour the fridge, the internet, and the grocery for menu ideas for the family when Monday comes around. So here are some collections of my recipes formed into “menus” to help my coworkers and fellow Meatless Monday participants out. Enjoy!

(1) Homestyle Comfort Meal

(2) Fresh and Quick

(3) Guy’s Night

(4) Ladies Night

(5) Kids Night

(6) Holiday Meal

XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Holy Guacamole!

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I decided to eat avocados but I know it wasn’t when I lived in Southern California where they grow and I would’ve had the best opportunity at this particular produce. I am funny sometimes in that way. I always find a way to randomly miss a great opportunity like when I got parasite in Guatemala the day before I was supposed to zipline through a rainforest a life long bucket list item. Instead I was in the parking lot getting sick next to a van. But I digress. Back to the avocado, I was always turned off by the green black pimply shell and the bring mushy green insides of this so-called fruit. I knew it was fairly fatty but everyone seemed to love it as some sort of super food. So I categorized it with all those other superfoods like Wheatgrass and Seaweed and Blue Green Algae all of which (at that point) I was not buying into. They seemed alien and gross and I preferred Cheetos and Frozen Pizza. I remember trying guacamole once because my friend CiCi demanded it was amazing at a local mexican food chain one night. I thought it was soupy bland and boring. Then sometime in the past year I started putting avocado on my sandwiches to bulk them up a little after having warmed up to the smoothness of them against spicy roasted peppers at a peruvian sandwich shop near Downtown Crossing in Boston before I went vegan. I decided it was time to try guacamole but on my own terms. I would have to make it myself. I scoured the internet and saw about a thousand different recipes and gave up on them all. What flavors would I want? What would make it fresh? My mom says cilantro tastes like soap and avocados like dirt so how can I offset those flavors that she thinks she tastes so she won’t gag at the next dinner party? So I spent the day in the grocery store and then in the kitchen mixing the flavors together until I got what I wanted. I didn’t want mushy, I needed some acidity, I needed salt. So here is what I produced. It is both mom and husband approved and everyone that has tried it said the same thing “I usually don’t like guacamole from the store but I love this it’s so fresh tasting!” Mission accomplished.

guac 3

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Guacamole

Ingredients:

1-2 capfuls of lemon juice

2 avocados

1 container of Whole Foods PreMade Salsa Fresca (or you can make it:  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/learn-cook-fresh-salsa)

Kosher Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

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Time to Prepare!

  1. I make sure that both of my avocados are a little soft to the touch they don’t have to be super squishy but a finger imprint and a dark skin almost black are good signs.
  2. I then slice them in half by placing them upright like a pear and going straight down until I hit the seed and then circling around the seed keeping that straight line of cutting it in half.
  3. I pull the two halves apart and I either scoop out the seed with my avocado tool or if it is in the dishwasher I pull it out with my fingers or I stick a knife in it and pull until it loosens up and falls out.
  4. I then scrape out the contents with my avocado tool or make a slice down the center of the fruit flesh without piercing the skin and then across making little blocks and turn it inside out to pop out the blocks of avocado like ice cubes in a tray.
  5. I take all the cubes and mash them lightly with my avocado tool or a fork but I make sure it stays chunky. Over mashing will cause it to get soupy when you add the lemon juice and salsa.
  6. Then add kosher salt and pepper to taste. I use at least 1-2 teaspoons of salt and a few grinds from a small pepper grinder.
  7. Add the capful or two of lemon juice (I use Real Lemon) and then toss with a fork.
  8. Last add 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of the salsa fresca to the mixture and lightly mix. This adds the exact freshness that the guacamole needs to not be bland. I love that Whole Foods prepares it and has it on ice in the prepared foods section. I would hate to have to cut up all those tomatoes and onions. 
  9. Serve with corn chips or on top of my chili recipe.  

   guac 1                    

 

   guac 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Weight Watchers Points: 1/4 of bowl is 4 points. 1/8 is 2 points. So eat it up with some fresh chopped veggies or in a veggie soup for a low point dinner or lunch!

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy