Tag Archives: avocado

Paleo Smashed & Loaded Sweet Potato

41c75aad24e7dde300b846f350af9535One of my favorite things to do with leftover roasted sweet potato is to smash it and brown it in a pan with ghee. It gets all caramelly and crispy and drool-worthy. I wanted something different for breakfast today, so I smashed my sweet potato then loaded it with pan-fried eggs, leftover shredded kalua pork, buttery avocado and crispy homemade bacon bits. Get creative and use any leftover meat that you want! Is your mouth watering yet? [Hint: roast a bunch of sweet potatoes on a foil-lined sheet in a 400°F oven for about 45-60 min. Refrigerate. When cold, the skins come right off.]

Prep time: 5-10 min     Cook time:  10 min     Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 roasted medium-sized sweet potato, peeled
  • Ghee, coconut oil or fat of choice
  • 2 eggs
  • Toppings: leftover shredded or cubed meat (I used shredded kalua pork), avocado, bacon, jalapeño rings, etc. Get creative!

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high (I like cast iron for this job). Add ghee or your fat of choice. 
  2. Put the pre-cooked sweet potato in the skillet. Press flat with a fork or spatula. Fry on each side for 2-4 minutes or until the sweet potato caramelizes (but doesn’t burn). Remove to a plate.
  3. In the same pan, add more ghee. Fry two eggs (or more if you’re hungrier) in whatever style you’d like. I made mine over-easy so the yolk would run all over my potato. Tasty.
  4. Stack your smashed and loaded sweet potato: add the eggs on top of the sweet potato then layer with your toppings of choice.
  5. Rejoice in how tasty your breakfast is. Consume.

Note: great for post-workout if you go easy on the avocado and bacon.

Citrus Avocado Salad with Chicken

DSC_0692 The inspiration from this recipe came from a hip, local eatery here in San Diego called Craft & Commerce. Their version of this salad comes with fried goat cheese – and would put me on the express train to Stomachacheville – but the rest is absolutely divine. I served mine with Easy Pan-Fried Lemon Chicken because it’s already got a bright, citrusy flavor.

Prep time: 15 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 6-8 cups of arugula (rocket) or spinach
  • 2 small oranges, cut into segments
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into segments
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Pickled Jicama, optional
  • Top with Easy Pan-Fried Lemon Chicken or any other protein of choice, if desired

Directions:

  1. Place the arugula down on the bottom of the plates. 
  2. Zest one orange and the grapefruit into a small bowl. Cut the both oranges and grapefruit into segments over the bowl to catch any juice. Squeeze the rest of the juice from the membranes!! Set the juice aside.
  3. Top each salad with the segments from one orange, half a grapefruit, and ~1/4 cup of pickled jicama if desired.
  4. In the bowl with the juice, add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk in the olive oil to make a simple vinaigrette (you should have about 3 Tablespoons of juice, and if your fruit didn’t yield enough you could always add the juice of a lemon).
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and top with chicken or your protein of choice.

Creamy Paleo Avocado Pesto

avocado pesto Avocado pesto blends the both of avocados and well, pesto in a really tasty and creamy combination. Serving suggestions: mix into zucchini noodles, use as a dip for veggies or spread over eggs.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: ~2.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, depending on your preference
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (or a mixture of pine nuts and pistachios)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ~1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

DSC_0826 Directions:

  1. In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. 
  2. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add less if you like a thicker pesto and more if you want it thinner.

Ahi Tuna Salad

Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps Fresh tuna is sooooo tasty…I’ve you’ve never tried it, give it a whirl. It’ll make canned tuna pale in comparison. This recipe is based on one from the Barefoot Contessa, and is a perfect way to add some kick to your plate. Wasabi powder can be found in the Asian food section of the store, and can be REALLY potent, so I suggest adding just a little at a time and seeing if it’s too hot. Finding one without sugar or anything weird can be really tough…it took me a lot of searching to find one that was Paleo-friendly (“Hime” brand…horseradish, spirulina and turmeric are the only ingredients). Don’t like wasabi? You can totally leave it out.

I served this tuna salad on fresh romaine lettuce boats wrapped up into nori and served sushi style. If you don’t like tuna, you could substitute cooked chicken breast.

Prep time: 20 min     Cook time:  5 min     Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients for the dressing:

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 lb. ahi tuna steak
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Romaine or butter lettuce leaves
  • Nori wraps, optional

Directions:

  1. To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, lime zest, coconut aminos, sesame oil, wasabi powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together and set aside.
  2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Grill or pan-fry on high heat for ~2 minutes per side. *Important: you want the fish to be rare inside. If you cook it until well-done it’ll be tough and dry. Allow to cool on a cutting board. Cut into chunks.  Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps
  3. Add the avocado, green onion, sesame seeds and tuna to the bowl with the dressing. Fold the ingredients together to combine. Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps
  4. Serve on lettuce boats / cups or wrap with nori. Or, just serve in a bowl with chopped lettuce. Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps Ahi Tuna Salad Wraps

Easy Breakfast Salad

DSC_0776 I’ve taken a liking to making what I call breakfast salad. It’s usually a mash up of different mildly flavored veggies or leftover fruit that’s in my fridge, and the exact ingredients are always different. Sneaking in more veggies is something I’m always trying to do, and this cold salad served in the morning is a good way to do that. You could easily prep this the night before to save time in the a.m. Easily doubles for two servings.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an orange, segmented or cut into supremes
  • 1/2 a black plum, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of jicama, cubed
  • 1/2 an avocado, chopped
  • 1Tablespoon of chopped mint or parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0765 Directions:

  1. Combine all the veggies, fruit and herbs in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice on top.
  3. Gently stir to combine all the flavors. If you’re preparing other breakfast items like eggs, make the salad first so it has time to sit and let the flavors marry a bit.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simple Shrimp Ceviche

DSC_0219Can I interest you in a meal that cooks itself?

Yes? I thought so!

It’s not too good to be true, it’s just ceviche – a dish of seafood that’s “cooked” using citrus juices and served up with ingredients like tomato, jalapeño and avocado. YUM. Last year, I posted a recipe for ceviche - along with one of the first videos I ever made…eeeek – and recently, I created a different one with shrimp that came out just as good (if not better).

Since I cook for just one person, I only used 1/2 lb. of shrimp but you can easily double the recipe or more. Plan the day (or morning) ahead so you can give the ceviche enough time to “cook”. If you don’t like shrimp, you can substitute scallops or firm white fish. Rumor has it that the juice from the marinade is a hangover cure though I haven’t tested that theory yet ;)

Prep time: 15-20 min     Cook time: 6+ hours    Makes: ~3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. (~250 g) raw shrimp
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 an avocado, cubed
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0217

Directions:

  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, if necessary. Chop the shrimp into small pieces.
  2. Prepare the veggies: dice the tomato, mince the garlic and jalapeño, and cube the avocado. If you want the ceviche to be spicier, you can leave the seeds in or add more jalapeño.
  3. Mix the shrimp, tomato, garlic, jalapeño and avocado in a bowl. Squeeze the citrus juice on top and combine. There should be enough liquid to cover the shrimp.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until the shrimp has turned from translucent to opaque.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped cilantro.

Cinco de Mayo Steak Salad

DSC_0163Living in San Diego, you could say that Cinco de Mayo is a pretty big deal around these parts. All over the city – and pretty much the rest of the US – folks will be gladly using this holiday to eat vast quantities of guacamole and drink lots of tequila. I hate tequila. It all stems back to a Jimmy Buffet concert in October 2008, but I digress. Safe to say, no NorCal margaritas for me!

I made a version of this salad the other day, and it was so punchy with flavor that I had to make it again. And then it hit me! The colors are red, white and green and most of the ingredients are common to Mexican cuisine. In celebration of the Fifth of May, the Battle of Puebla and the love of drinking fermented agave, I bring you this festive salad. Substitute any cooked meat you’d like if you don’t like steak. I topped mine with a pan-fried grassfed New York strip steak sliced thin.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 10 min    Makes: 2-3 cups of salad (plus meat)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 ripe tomato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup jicama, cubed
  • 1/2 an avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 tsp Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0161

Directions:

  1. Combine the spinach, tomato, jicama, avocado and cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice on top and drizzle with olive oil. 
  2. Taste and season with salt and pepper if you like.
  3. Top with cooked meat of choice. I used steak, but grilled chicken would be a great alternative!

Note: I earn a small commission if you use the links in this post to purchase the products I’ve featured. I personally use and believe in the products I recommend.

Creamy Sweet Potato Mash

sweet potato 405 x 405 Sweet potatoes and avocado don’t normally sound like a perfect match, do they? Well, guess again!

It’s not a rarity these days for folks to throw recipe ideas my way and ask me to bring them to life. This one’s no different! The concept for this super simple dish came from a CrossFit buddy, Justin. I’d never thought of combining these ingredients together so I was pretty pleased / surprised with how it came out. If you use sweet potato as a post-workout source of carbohydrate, you may want to save this tasty mash for a different meal since the fat from the avocado will slow digestion / absorption of the carbs.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 0 min*    Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 large roasted** sweet potato, skin removed
  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Let it rip! You may need to scrape down the bowl at least once so that there are no chunks remaining (I mean, unless you like that sort of thing).
  3. I dipped crispy bacon into mine almost like it was dip (mmmm!) but consumption with a spoon is just as practical.

*If the sweet potatoes are  roasted ahead of time.

**Bonus tip: Roasted sweet potatoes are easy to make in advance and keep throughout the week for quick additions to meals. To roast the perfect sweet potato, set the oven to 425°F (~220°C). Line a baking sheet with foil. Place washed sweet potatoes on the tray. Roast for ~45 minutes (depends on how big they are…size, uh, matters), flipping upside down once during cooking. If you let them COOL completely, the skin should easily peel off. If you’re in a hurry and have asbestos fingers, you can go for the hot-peel method but it’s not pleasant!

Super Bowl Bites: Simple Guacamole

IMG_3796

Milestone alert: this is Stupid Easy Paleo’s 100th post! Looking forward to the next 100 because I seriously love making all these recipes and sharing them.

There are about a million different ways to make guacamole, but I fancy mine plain and simple: avocado with a healthy dose of lime and salt [fun fact: the word "guacamole" comes from an Azetc word that basically means "testicle"]. I like my guacamole really tangy, so start with one lime and go up from there if you want more punch. When I was thinking of what to serve alongside to dip into it, I thought back to a few of the trips I’d taken down to Baja to race my bike several years back – immediately the memory of eating pepino con chile y limon (cucumber with chile and lime) from a vendor’s cart after a race – hit me. Crunchy and tart with a bit of smoky chile flavor, cucumbers with lime and chile make the perfect dipping platform though you can try any other veggies you like. I made my own chile powder by grinding down 3 dried ancho chiles and 3 dried guajillo chiles (seeds removed) in the Vitamix – you could use a spice grinder instead. I happen to live in Southern California where many markets have vast assortments of the dried chile pods, but feel free to use any store-bought chile powder you can find.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes1.5 cups of guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 limes
  • Salt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp chile powder

Directions:

  1. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop the green yumminess into a glass bowl. 
  2. Roll the limes on the countertop to mobilize the juice inside. Squeeze the juice of two limes into the bowl (save the 3rd lime for the cucumbers). Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  3. Mash the guacamole with your hands or with a fork. Hands are more fun, just be sure to wash them first.
  4. Peel and slice the cucumbers on the bias (diagonal cuts give a longer piece). Squeeze the juice of one lime on top and sprinkle with chile powder and a bit of salt.
  5. Consume.

Cucumber Tomato Bites

IMG_3688

Every once in a while, I miss crackers and it’s most evident when it comes time for parties or get-togethers. It always seems cheese and crackers and different variations of it are more than plentiful on plates and platters, circulating around and tempting me. These tasty bites use cucumber as the crunchy (cracker-like?) component upon which to pile the rest of the ingredients. In any case, I’m not the brain child behind these (that would be Z), but they’ve gone through a bit of an evolution in the past few weeks and have ended up as a virtual salad in one bite. Z really likes his with goat’s cheese, but if that’s not your thing, I used avocado instead. For a variation, try a toothpick through the top to hold it all together with an olive stuck on top. Makes about 16.

Ingredients:

1 English (seedless) cucumber

8 cherry tomatoes

1/4 of a white or purple onion

1/4 of a ripe avocado

1/2 of a lemon

2 oz (~60 g) soft or hard goat’s cheese, optional

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Slice the cucumber into rounds, about 1/8″ thick. You can use a piece as a top and a bottom or just as a base. If using a slice for a top, cut out the middle from those pieces so it will sit on top of the tomato without falling off. Season the cucumber slices with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the slices.

2. Next, spread the goat’s cheese on the bottom cucumber slice. If you aren’t using the cheese, add sliced avocado instead.

3. Then, slice thin pieces of onion and add a couple on top of the avocado (or cheese). Raw onion is usually overpowering for me, so I added just a little to give a bit more flavor.

4. Next, slice the tomatoes in half and add it to the stack.

5. Top with another piece of cucumber (or not…after all, it’s your show!). Alternatively, stick a toothpick into the stack and top with an olive.

Pineapple-Avocado Salsa

IMG_3655

Sometimes I get bored of regular salsa, and I’m not one to buy fruit at the market very often – I just don’t fancy it all that much, unless we’re talking about berries in season. Lately, I’ve made a couple of fruit salsas to brighten up some otherwise heavy winter dishes. It’s easy to switch out ingredients, so if you don’t like pineapple then try mango or papaya, for example. This recipe made about 5 cups of salsa and keeps well for 1-2 days.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a fresh pineapple
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, red or green
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 1/2 of a cucumber
  • Juice of two limes
  • Large handful of cilantro
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

1. Dice the pineapple, avocado, tomato, bell pepper, onion and cucumber into roughly the same sized pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl.

2. Remove the seeds (or leave them in if you like things spicy) and inner white ribs from the jalapeño pepper. Dice finely. Add to the bowl and then go wash your hands so you don’t get capsacin in your eyes. That would be ouch.

3. Chop the cilantro and add the juice of two limes to the mixture.

4. Add salt and a sprinkle of cinnamon to taste.

5. Let the salsa sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors combine. This goes great with pork, chicken or fish.

Holy Guacamole Salad

guacamole salad

I’ll admit it: I love the Food Network. While I’m more drawn to shows like Chopped! and Iron Chef America, I decided to watch an old episode of Barefoot Contessa yesterday. Normally, Ina’s food isn’t really up my alley but her recipe for Guacamole Salad spoke to me right away. Only bummer…it wasn’t Paleo. A couple of tweaks later, and I had a bowl of amazing flavors and colors sitting in front of me…perfect for a summer cook-out (or just a quiet weeknight at home).

The creaminess of the avocado, tang from the lime and crunch from the Persian cucumbers are the stars of the show! (Persian cucumbers have thinner skin and hardly any seeds…their crunchiness is the reason I used them. If you can’t find them, regular cucumber–peeled and seeded–would be a good replacement).

Prep time: 15 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: 4-5 cups

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 large, ripe avocados (I used 3 small)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (2 if you like spicy)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro

Dressing:

  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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Directions:

1. Prepare the veggies and add to a large mixing bowl:

  • Halve the grape tomatoes.
  • Chop the cucumbers and bell pepper into medium chunks…we are making salad here, not salsa!
  • Chop the red onion into small dice (big chunks of onion = not so bueno).
  • Cut the avocados in half, and remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop out the entire flesh. Then chop into medium chunks.
  • Chop the garlic and jalapeño finely. Remove the white inner membrane and seeds to control the spiciness.
  • Run your knife through the cilantro a few times to cut the leaves down a bit.

2. Mix all the veggies together and then prepare the dressing.

3. Zest one lime into the bowl.

4. In a measuring cup, combine the fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix and pour over the veggies. Toss to coat.

5. Try not to eat the whole bowl! :)