Chunky Guacamole

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It’s a tragic day at the Rowland household. Our eldest decided to taste the guacamole. She was hungry and desperate and tired of waiting for her mother to finish taking photos. She went for it.

“Yum!” she said, “I like guacamole!”

My heart sank. My husband and I have enjoyed exclusive access to the the guacamole bowl for several years now. Apparently, those days are over.

She’s lucky I love her so much. Sigh.[/donotprint]

Chunky Guacamole Recipe

I insist, the avocado must be Haas, preferably ripe but not too ripe. And the lime juice must be from a real lime. I’m a big fan of convience, but quality fresh ingredients make a big difference in this recipe. 

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

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Hard Boiled Quail Eggs

In my dream world, I’m busying planning a fabulous party to celebrate the coming of Spring. Actually, I’d be happy if I just bought some flowers, had the girls make a few crafts, and made a nice lunch. But more than likely, none of it will happen.

The girls spent a great deal of time last weekend celebrating in their own way by making trouble in streams of ice cold water and soaking their clothes with mud. Something was in the air that no party could ever touch. There was bare ground to run on. Coats were cast off and immediately forgotten. Canada geese honked. Life was good.

Then of course it snowed a bit this morning. But it didn’t stick! Being a New Englander teaches you so much about keeping hope alive.

Here’s a snack to celebrate the coming of Spring. A quail egg. It’s not too big or boastful, but it doesn’t have to be because it’s so darn cute. I picked these up at an Asian grocery on a busy Saturday morning for only a few dollars. To me, they taste the same as chicken eggs. With a few grains of coarse salt, they are a perfect healthy and tasty snack.

I also have some green snacks in the archives that might interest you like Smashed Avocado Toast, Mint Yogurt, Avocado and Tomato FaceRoasted Tomatillo Salsa and good ol’ Guacamole. Also, don’t forget my new favorite Joy the Baker’s Kale, Spinach and Pear Smoothie.

How to Hard-boil Quail Eggs 

Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the eggs and an inch more. Place the saucepan on a burner over high heat. Carefully place the eggs in the water. Don’t crowd them.

Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Leave the pan covered on the burner for five minutes.

Immerse the eggs in cold water, or better yet an ice bath, to stop the cooking process. When they are cool, crack the shell by tapping it on a hard surface and peel. The membrane between the shell and the white is a bit thicker than chicken eggs, but not too much so. Serve with salt to taste. Store leftover peeled eggs in cold water in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Prep-time: 5 minutes
Cook-time: 5 minutes

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Valentine’s Day Snack: Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie

Well, life is back to normal I guess. We’re all done being television stars around here. My seven-year-old is so over it. She watched the video in the previous post at school yesterday and hasn’t asked to see it again. I watched the show a couple times yesterday. I’m at the point where I’m starting to notice everything I did wrong and am obsessing about what I should have said and done to plug the blog more. But hopefully I’ll get over myself very soon. Considering it was my first time on camera, I’m just glad I wasn’t a total train wreck.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I’ve got time to squeeze in one more snack. Normally, I try to stay away from smoothie recipes simply because I love the impromptu act of throwing a smoothie together based on whatever you happen to have on hand. But I’m making an exception for this one because it’s so easy and perfect for the holiday.

Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

1/2 cup silken tofu or plain yogurt
8-10 frozen strawberries, preferably organic
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small to medium-sized banana
1/4 cup orange juice
Chocolate syrup, for garnish

Place the tofu, strawberries, vanilla, banana, and orange juice in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour into cups and garnish with a swirl of chocolate syrup. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Valentine’s Day Snack: Raspberry Cream on Heart-shaped Toast

I kind of hate Valentine’s Day. From my perspective as a mother, it’s a holiday that sneaks up on me out of nowhere just when I feel like I’ve restored some balance in our diets after the holidays. And my husband and I aren’t really into it. If the holiday was more along the lines of Mommy and Daddy get to take off for a week and hang out on a beach in the Caribbean, now that is something we’d be happy to celebrate. But an expensive night out at a crowded restaurant or a wilted bouquet of flowers is something we’ve decided to skip entirely.

However, always wanting to be a proper and loving mother, I feel compelled to acknowledge the holiday. And even I will admit that it is nice to have a reason to celebrate in the middle of The Darkest and Coldest Month.

Also, please note that my 4-year-old decided she needed to take photos of her snack today before she ate it. This isn’t the first time she’s mimicked my insanity. I guess she’ll have her own blog up and running by the end of the year.

Raspberry Cream on Heart-shaped Toast Recipe

Any frozen or fresh berry blend can be used in place of the raspberries in this recipe. Blackberries, I’m sure, would be especially nice. I experimented with different sized hearts cut out of toast and the bigger (around 4 or 5 inches) hearts worked better. The raspberry spread is a little on the thick side and didn’t do well when I tried to squeeze it onto a tiny piece of toast.

1/4 cup frozen raspberries, slightly thawed
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sugar
2 slices of toast, cut into hearts using a cookie cutter or free form

Vigorously mix together the raspberries, cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in a small bowl. Spread onto prepared heart-shaped toasts and serve immediately.

Yield: 2
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Curry Dip

Meet my new favorite healthy and tasty snack: Curry Dip with veggies.

I love this dip because it’s different from our usual ranch dip, it’s healthy, and it has a bit of kick. The kids tolerate it. In fact, my eldest actually enjoys it. And I get to pretend I’m actually eating something spicy- with my kids!! It’s a miracle.

Curry Dip Recipe

Inspired by Easy Peasy Curry Dip from La Fuji Mama. She uses Penzey’s Sweet Curry powder. If you happen to have some, bump up the curry powder to 2 teaspoons and enjoy! If you’re using hot curry powder start with 1 teaspoon and gradually add more to taste. The turmeric is added solely for color. But, definitely include it if you have it on hand. The resulting color is lovely.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, curry, lemon juice, and salt together in a small bowl until well combined. Serve or, better yet, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to develop.

Yield: 1 cup
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Smashed Avocado on Toast

[donotprint]My New Year’s resolution is to prepare devestatingly simple healthy snacks whenever possible.

Seriously, snacks featuring toast as a base are relatively unexplored territory for me. And I love it because it has that breakfasty connotation. And we all love breakfast anytime of day. It has been scientifically proven.

My kids wouldn’t eat this. Would yours? I used to feed them avocado often when they were small. But these days I get to keep it all for myself which is nice because I’m attempting the vegan before 6 thing a la Mark Bittman. I’ve surrounded myself with fresh fruit and bags of frozen leafy greens. We’ll see what happens.

Also, I need to mention my new favorite beverage: Lemon Honey Tea. Does everyone else in the world already know about this? You heat up some water and add a dollop of honey and a squeeze of lemon. I feel like maybe I’ve seen my friend Debbie drink hot water with lemon. Regardless, it goes a long way toward curing my family’s winter-time wheezing. I just love it. My kids really enjoy it with apple cider vinegar instead of the lemon.

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Smashed Avocado on Toast Recipe

1/2 of a ripe Haas avocado
1 teaspoon lime OR lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch salt

Remove the pit from the avocado and scoop the pulp out into a small bowl. Add the lime juice, cumin, and salt and smash it all together with a fork. Spread on toast. Serve immediately.

Yield: about 1/3 cup of smashed avocado, enough for one or two pieces of toast
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Banana Milk

In case you hadn’t noticed already, I’m a great lover of snack recipes that allow me to quickly use up over ripe bananas. These recipes started with one in Feeding the Whole Family.

My husband says Banana Milk tastes like a thin milkshake without the ice creamy goodness. (He’s a master of the backhanded compliment, but I still love him.) The kids’ favorite was the Egg Noggy Banana Milk version (see the last recipe below).

1. Honey Banana Milk Recipe

1 1/2 cups milk
1 ripe or over ripe banana, peeled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey

Pour the milk into a blender along with the banana, vanilla, and honey. Blend until smooth. Serve.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

2. Malted Banana Milk Recipe

1 ripe or over ripe banana
1 1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 teaspoons malted milk powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process the banana, milk, malted milk powder, and vanilla in a blender until smooth. Serve.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

3. Egg Noggy Banana Milk Recipe

1 ripe or over ripe banana, peeled
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Process the banana, milk, vanilla, and nutmeg in a blender until smooth. Serve.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep-time: 5 minutes

Stone Fruit Salsa

Even though I’ve been eating peaches, plums and nectarines for what seems like weeks on end, I couldn’t stop eating this salsa. If only I could sneak a little jalapeno into the mix, it would be stellar.

My youngest tentatively snacked on this dip even though she saw me nonchalantly cutting up the yellow tomatoes. She is (currently) not a tomato fan. It was either a moment of genius on my part or dumb luck that she even tried it; most likely the latter.

1 medium ripe plum, pitted and chopped
1 medium ripe peach, pitted and chopped
1 medium ripe nectarine, pitted and chopped
1 medium yellow tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped purple onion (optional)
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1/2 lime)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a small bowl, mix together the plum, peach, nectarine, and tomato. Add the cilantro, onion, lime juice and salt and stir until they are well distributed. Serve with tortilla chips.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep-time: 10 minutes

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Fresh Blackberry Sauce

I used some freshly picked berries for this sauce. Grocery store berries or frozen berries may need some extra sugar and/or lemon juice.

1 pint fresh or frozen blackberries (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar

If you are using frozen berries, allow them to thaw. For fresh berries, mash the berries and the sugar in a small bowl with a fork to get the juices flowing. Puree the mixture with a hand/immersion blender until smooth.

Pour the mixture through a strainer set on top of a medium bowl. Use a rubber spatula to push the pulp through as much as possible. Discard the seeds left in the strainer. Serve or store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Yield: 1 cup
Prep-time: 10 minutes

Fresh Peach Sauce

This recipe requires farm fresh local peaches. No grocery store peaches. No. No. No.

4 ripe peaches, pitted and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sugar

Puree peaches and sugar in a medium bowl using a hand blender or in a blender.

Pour the puree through a strainer set on top of a medium bowl. Use a rubber spatula to push the pulp through. Set the strainer aside and discard the bits that did not pass through. Serve or store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Prep-time: 10 minutes