A Healthier Option (and a bonus drink!)

A few days ago a friend facebook messaged me and a few other people saying that she  remembered one of us making a salad for a cookout and that it it had lime and black beans and avocado but she couldn’t find the recipe.  I recalled that I had made it, sent her a link to the recipe and went about me day.

But found myself, at various points in the day, zoning out and thinking about avocados, limes and black beans.  I needed to make the salad.  Luckily, in continuing my no/low sugar summer, it is also a sugar-less and healthy recipe.

It’s an Ina Garten recipe, of course, and it’s amazingly good.  I leave out the jalapeno because I’m not that brave.  I’m sure it would be good with it.  It’s also a really simple salad to throw together and… bonus, if you squeeze fresh lime juice for the dressing, you can make yourself one of my favorite summer drinks, a vodka gimlet (which is not sugarless.  But I think it’s worth the sugar to drink it.).  Yum!

Guacamole Salad (Foodnetwork/Ina Garten)

Ingredients

1 pint of grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 yellow (or orange or red, your call) bell pepper, seeded and cut in a  large-ish dice (cut in bite sized squares)

1 can black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed

1/2 cup of red onion, diced small (about 1/2-1 medium sized onion)

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I left this out, I don’t like jalapenos)

1/2 teaspoon of grated lime zest

1/4 cup fresh lime juice  (about 2 limes)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 ripe avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into large-ish dice (like the peppers)

Directions

Start by mincing your onion.  I like to soak mine in a bit of ice water to take some of the sting out of the raw onion.  I find if I eat raw onion, it makes everything taste like onion for the next three days.  Same with raw garlic.  So, I soak mine first.
My HipstaPrint 942372553_13 My HipstaPrint 942372553_1Slice your tomatoes and chop your pepper.  Throw them into a large bowl- perhaps the one you plan to serve from- so that you’ll have room to mix it all together and coat with the yummy dressing.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_7Rinse your beans.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_6Add them to the bowl, along with your drained onion.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_3Zest your lime.  A micro-plane is great for this- make sure to just zest the green part.  The white part is bitter.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_17Sprinkle the lime zest over your salad.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_12Now, juice your limes.  I have an old school juicer that was my grandmother’s.  I love using it because it’s loud, simple and brings me back to making orange juice with her on those summer mornings.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_11Kind of hard to juice the lime and take photos.

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Whisk together your fresh lime juice (if you have extra, save it for the bonus drink at the end of the post), the pepper, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper and olive oil.  It will emulsify and be delicious.  Pour this over the salad and mix well so everything is coated.  If you are serving immediately, add your avocado pieces.  If you’re not serving immediately don’t cut your avocado yet!- wait until you’re ready to serve.  Toss the avocado in and mix gently so that it also gets coated.  Serve it at room temperature.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_9We had ours with steak.  After several months of eating little to no meat, I’ve had a sudden craving for red meat.  Not sure what that’s about but I’m going with it.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_2If you have some lime juice left, you can make my absolute favorite summer grown up drink, a vodka gimlet.  Make some simple syrup (ratio of 1:1, sugar and water.  So, if you use a cup of water, use a cup of sugar- mix it together in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved and it comes to a boil.  Take off the heat and let it cool.).  Fill a cocktail shaker (or large glass, like we use!) with ice.  Pour in 1 oz of lime juice (fresh!), 1 oz of simple syrup and 1 1/2 oz of vodka (I like Tito’s) or gin (why?  Why would you use gin?  Blech!) into the shaker.  Shake well and pour into a chilled glass.  Try not to drink too many.

My HipstaPrint 942372553_8My HipstaPrint 942372553_14

 

 

 

 

 

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