Corn and Poblano Summer Salad

I was not going to post about this. It was supposed to be an afterthought to the amazing ribs my husband and I were smoking all day. We just needed a quick side dish. No big deal. 

It was a big deal. It turned out so good I just had to make a post about it! This salad will no doubt become my go-to summer side dish. It can be served cold or at room temp. Also, since it isn’t a mayonnaise-based salad, it lends itself really well to BBQ buffets because it can sit out for longer periods of time.

And the best part? It is SO EASY! 

Corn and Poblano Summer Salad 

1 bag frozen corn

2 Poblano peppers 

1 medium avocado 

Handful of cherry tomatoes 

1 lime

3 T olive oil 

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the corn according to package directions, usually in the microwave. You can use fresh corn too if you want, just grill them and cut it off the cob. I just find the frozen much easier and the taste is still great.

After the corn is cooked, add it to a dry skillet over high heat. The goal here is to just char it up a little bit. Set aside to cool. I put it in the fridge to bring the temperature down to warm/room temp. I prepped the rest of the salad in the meantime.

Put the Poblanos over the flame on your stove, turning until charred on all sides.

When done, put the peppers in a plastic bag and seal. Let them steam for about 10-15 minutes. 

Remove from the bag and the skin will just wipe off with a paper towel. Open up the peppers and remove the stem and the seeds. Dice the pepper.

In a bowl, add diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, diced pepper, and cooled corn.

In a small bowl, mix your dressing which is just the zest and juice of 1 lime, olive oil, a dash of pepper and 1t salt. Whisk together with a fork and pour over the veggies. Careful toss the veggies to coat. Add a little more salt if necessary.

That’s it! So easy and so much flavor! It was the perfect side!


Avocado Pesto Pasta

About a week or so ago, I discovered Banza Pasta. It is pasta made out of chick peas and IT IS AMAZING!!!!!!!  I seriously can’t tell that it isn’t regular pasta. I’ve tried healthy pasta alternatives (brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta), and they just don’t cut it. This Banza pasta is 100% legit.

I promise. I mean, I’ve made it 3 times since I discovered it. I would not lie to you.

I recently bought some avocados, and as they usually do, they went from not ready to EAT ME NOW overnight, so I decided to make some avocado pesto. Yeah, there are lots of healthy ingredients going on here. But you’d never know, because it tastes sooooo good.

This made a delicious, healthy, and easy dinner that my whole family loved.

For the pasta
You can use whatever you want. I highly recommend the chickpea pasta. I found it at Sprouts and Target (if you can believe that), but I’ll bet they have it at Whole Foods too.

For the Avocado Pesto
1 whole ripe avocado
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lime juice
olive oil

handful of basil

pinch of salt and pinch of pepper

In a food processor, add all the ingredients. I wanted to use fresh basil for this like I usually do, but the store was out, so I bought this basil paste. It is still fresh and it tasted good, so I think it’s an acceptable substitution.

Blend everything together until smooth and creamy. I didn’t give an amount for the olive oil on purpose. Start with a couple tablespoons and then add more to get the consistency you want.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and enjoy! For this particular dish, I added some caramelized leeks, but that is totally optional (although a delish addition!).


Mango Guacamole 

Oooh guacamole! My favorite way to eat an avocado.

I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life and it has recently occurred to me that I have taken my year-round access to avocados for granted. I have a friend who lives in the Midwest and she told me that her grocery store sometimes has frozen avocados for sale. Oh that makes my heart hurt. FROZEN AVOCADOS??? The tragedy.

Here, there are still seasons where avocados are better than other seasons, but they are always available. And there are beyond hundreds of things you can do with them! You can even make chocolate cake with them. I wouldn’t recommend it though. I made chocolate cake with avocados once and it was disgusting.

With guacamole, I figure as long as you have the avocados, some salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and lime juice, you are set. Anything else is just added yummyness.

For this recipe, this one time, though, I broke my cardinal rule and bought one of those premixed seasoning packets. I know, I know. Please don’t judge me. I know they are full of sodium and non-clumping agents and whatnot, but they have everything you need and they are a total time saver. Forgive me? OK, thanks!

I feel like I made up for the premixed seasoning by adding some mango. It was a whim and it totally paid off. So yummy! The sweet of the mango was the perfect balance for the spices in the guacamole.

2 large avocados
1 guacamole seasoning packet (or pinches of salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and cayenne if you want it a bit spicy. Everyone likes theirs a bit different so play around with the spices!)
the juice of 1 lime
1 mango

Mash the avocados really well. We like really smooth guacamole in this house. If you like it a bit chunkier, leave some pieces of avocado whole.

Add the seasoning packet or your combo of spices and the lime juice. Mix well.
Peel and dice the mango. Mix it into your guacamole.

You can eat this right away or better yet, let it sit for a little while so the flavors can develop a bit more. I made mine the night before I needed it and it was delicious. You will probably have to stir it because the avocados will brown on the top, but that’s not a big deal.
How do you like your guacamole?