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Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad with Guava Dressing (no oil)

I have always had a love for guavas or guayabas, but this year I can’t seem to get enough of them. We are still spending time at my parents’ house in Mexico and guavas are in season right now. My kids are eating crazy amounts of them and I have started looking for other ways to use them. This week we came up with this Spinach Avocado Jicama salad with guava dressing. Baby spinach, creamy avocado, crisp jicama, juicy orange segments, and toasted pistachios are tossed with a sweet and tart guava dressing.

This Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad combines baby spinach, creamy avocado, jicama, orange, and pistachios tossed with a guava dressing.

I’m happy to report that homeschooling is going great! Now that we are surrounded by family, I feel more supported, and my rowdy 7 yr. old has finally gotten around to accepting that mom is the teacher for now. Of course, we still have difficult days with a lot of whining, mostly from him, but sometimes from me. The great thing about it is that if we’re both having a bad day we can stop and move on to other activities as we please. It’s already January, which means that we have been doing this for 6 months! Honestly I didn’t think I was going to last this long.

This Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad combines baby spinach, creamy avocado, jicama, orange, and pistachios tossed with a guava dressing.

 

We are hoping to relocate to San Antonio or Austin to be close to family. I’m excited about having access to more Mexican ingredients, and to create tons of new recipes inspired by our new home. The sale of our book Vegan Tamales Unwrapped is going great, and this makes me wonder if I should write another book.  A reader suggested I should write a book on Vegan Pan Dulce, and I have to say that seems like a pretty good idea to me!

The Recipe: Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad

You can use mixed greens or kale instead of spinach for the salad. Pecans and cashews would also be a good substitutes for pistachios.

This Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad combines baby spinach, creamy avocado, jicama, orange, and pistachios tossed with a guava dressing.
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Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad with Guava Dressing

Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

Guava Dressing

  • 4 Guavas, seeds taken out, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic, small
  • 1/2 cup Water

Salad

  • 1 package (6 oz.) Baby spinach, washed
  • 2 Oranges, peeled, cut into segments
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup Jicama, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup Chopped pistachios, roasted

Instructions

Guava Dressing

  1. Place the guava, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and water in the blender and process until smooth. If the dressing is too thick add a little more water or orange juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Salad

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the salad and toss with guava dressing. Sprinkle with the toasted pistachios. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Recipe Notes

You can use mixed greens or kale instead of spinach for the salad. Pecans and cashews would also be a good substitutes for pistachios.

 

 

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Roasted Garlic and Orange Guacamole

Life is good right now, busy but fun. The kids are almost done with school and we’re looking forward to staying in our pj’s until well past 9am during the summer. The baby is probably going to be walking within a month, eek! We spent Mother’s day at a friend’s house celebrating her daughter’s first communion. Dylan gave me a beautiful cross he made at school and my hubby gifted me several outfits to update my wardrobe. I joke that he’s my stylist, but I really don’t have any fashion sense at all, so I need all the help I can get.

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

I almost forgot to tell you, I added a prayer request button at the bottom of the site. If you are in need of prayer, click on the image of our Lady of Guadalupe and fill out the form. We will include you and your loved ones in our daily prayer. It doesn’t matter if you’re not catholic or christian. We all need some good vibes, energy, or whatever you want to call it to come our way every once in a while.

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

The Recipe: Roasted Garlic and Orange Guacamole

I’m a minimalist when it comes to guacamole. All I need is mashed avocado, a sprinkle of lime juice, and a dash of salt. That’s it! No fancy ingredients, fruits or anything else for that matter. That’s the way we always ate it at home, so it was a surprise to me when at culinary school I was asked for the best recipe for guacamole. I kind of just stared at the instructor, but I was thinking, ” A recipe? You don’t need a recipe to make guacamole.”

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

In reality, you can add pretty much anything to guacamole. This recipe is adapted from a Rick Bayless’s show, One Plate at a Time. The major difference is that he uses a grill to char the garlic, peppers, and onions and I use the broiler in my oven.

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

I really enjoyed this guacamole, the acidity of the oranges contrasts the creaminess of the avocado, the smoky flavor of the roasted garlic and chiles permeates throughout, and finally the hint if sweetness from the orange brings it all together. Enjoy!

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

garlic orange guacamole
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Roasted Garlic and Orange Guacamole

Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless's One Plate at a Time
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 12 cloves Garlic, not peeled
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 Serrano peppers
  • 6 Avocadoes, medium-large, pitted, flesh scooped
  • 2 Oranges, large, cut into segments
  • To taste Lime juice, fresh
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Set your oven broiler on high.
  2. Line a sheet tray with foil or parchment paper and place the garlic, sliced onion, and Serrano peppers on it.
  3. Place under broiler for 7 min. Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside. Flip the peppers and toss the onion so it chars evenly. Return to oven for 5 -7 more minutes or until the peppers and onion are charred, but not burnt. Chop the onion and peppers and set aside.
  4. Peel garlic and place in a molcajete, mortle and pestle or you can use your knife to turn the garlic into a paste.
  5. Place the garlic paste in a large bowl and add the chopped pepper and onion, avocado, and chopped cilantro. Mash with a potato masher to the desired consistency (I like mine chunky).
  6. Season with salt and pepper and lime juice to taste.
  7. Cut the orange supremes in half and fold them into the guacamole. Serve with your favorite chips.

Recipe Notes

To cut segments from oranges, cut both ends off the orange. Stand it up and cut away the rind and white pith with a knife. Using a pairing knife, slide the blade between one of the segments and the membrane. Cut until you reach the center of the orange, repeat on the other side of the segment.

 

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Noche Buena Salad

This recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve Salad is a classic in every Mexican household. Ok, maybe not in every Mexican household but it´s a pretty popular Christmas recipe. It brings a little bit of healthy into an otherwise indulgent season. Think of it as a palate cleanser, with the earthiness of the roasted beets, the sweetness of the apple, and the acidity of the orange and pomegranate your body will be thankful for some light fare.

I spent the last two weeks running around like crazy. I made over 200 tamales to sell! With the packing and the school recital and everything else, the making of the salad kind dropped down to the very bottom on my to do list. Even with all the craziness, I’m glad I get to share this recipe with you.

This vegan recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve salad has crisp lettuce, apples, oranges, jicama, beets, and pomegranates.

The kiddos and I are enjoying our time at my mom’s house, of course we are being spoiled silly. My grandmother passed away a couple of months ago, so even with the joy of being together there is still a hint of sadness. This will be our first Christmas without Güeli. My heart goes out to all of you who might be grieving the death of a loved one this Christmas. We will try to focus instead on the beautiful smiles of children on Christmas morning, the good food, and the birth of a baby unlike any other who came into this world to bring us joy. Merry Christmas!

The Recipe: Noche Buena Salad

It is thought that this recipe or variations of it have been around since the 1830’s. It is a true Mexican classic. You can also use boiled or canned beets. If you do not want to make your own dressing, this salad will pair really well with balsamic vinaigrette.

This vegan recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve salad has crisp lettuce, apples, oranges, jicama, beets, and pomegranates.

This vegan recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve salad has crisp lettuce, apples, oranges, jicama, beets, and pomegranates.
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Noche Buena Salad

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 hds. Romaine chopped
  • 3 Beets, medium, roasted or steamed cut into slices
  • 1 cup Jicama cut into matchsticks
  • 3 Oranges cut into supreme
  • 1 Apple, sliced
  • ¾ cup Pomegranate, seeds
  • 1/3 cup Peanuts, roasted, chopped

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Orange juice fresh
  • ¼ cup Vinegar white
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil optional

Instructions

  1. Toss the chopped romaine with the rest of the ingredients, or arrange the ingredients on top of the lettuce.
  2. To make the dressing whisk the orange juice, vinegar, and garlic together. Slowly add the oil and continue whisking. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over salad.

Recipe Notes

You can also use boiled or canned beets. If you do not want to make your own dressing, this salad will pair really well with balsamic vinaigrette.

 

 

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Pumpkin Marmalade

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin! We are now well into pumpkin season and I’m wondering if you’re starting to get tired it. In case you’re not, here is a recipe for mermelada de calabaza or pumpkin marmalade.

 

Pumpkin, as you probably already know, is native to North America. In fact, the oldest evidence of pumpkin seeds has been found in Mexico, pre-dating the Aztecs. The pumpkin was a staple of the diet of many of the indigenous people of Mexico. Now a days in Mexico, pumpkin is used to make candy, mermelada de calabaza, and empanada fillings.  The seeds are used to make oils, sauces, and eaten as a snack.

Read more

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Roasted Beet Orange and Quinoa Salad

A reader asked me for a recipe for roasted beet orange and quinoa salad months ago, and finally here it is. Better late than never! Lately, it seems that every time I try to set time aside to work on the blog I fail miserably at actually working on it. I could blame it on scheduling, work, or argue that I’ve been spending time with my family, but I think that when it comes down to it I have been lacking motivation.

I have been blogging for 2 yrs. pretty consistently, and it has been very rewarding. After leaving professional kitchens to be a mom, I desperately needed an outlet for my cooking, so I started this blog and a blog in Spanish. I plunged head into it, maybe a little too eagerly. So much so, that the hubby had to ask me to please step away from the computer on more than one occasion. I got excited about every single person who subscribed to the blog, rejoiced if anybody “liked” my post, and considered it a true achievement when a post had more than 5 viewers a day. With every post I discovered something new about cooking and my relationship with food. By reading other blogs, I also caught a glimpse of other people’s lives, what they cook in their homes, and their family recipes passed down from generation to generation.

After a while the novelty wore off, and it hit me how much work goes in to keeping up with a blog. In order to publish one post, there’s cooking, recipe resting, recipe writing, picture taking, picture editing, writing, editing the writing, putting it all together, and finally hitting the publish button. It doesn’t end there! After you publish, you spend several days promoting on facebook, twitter, and pinterest. If you want other people to read your blog, you also have to spend a good amount of time reading and commenting on other blogs. This could truly be a full time job, and it is for some people.

It has taken me 2 yrs. to get 228 blog followers and about 1,200 views a month. Some of my posts have been better than others, and the recipes and pictures have improved over time. I just think I have reached a moment in my life where I have to ask myself, “Could my time be spent more wisely?” Bloggers I need your help. How do you stay motivated?

This vegan recipe for roasted beet orange and quinoa salad is full of protein, flavor, and texture. It´s dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

The Recipe: Roasted Beet Orange and Quinoa Salad

This vegan recipe for roasted beet orange and quinoa salad is full of protein, flavor, and texture. It´s dressed in a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. It is a great lunch option. Enjoy!

beet-salad_002
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Roasted Beet Orange and Quinoa Salad

Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 Servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Salad

  • 3 cups Quinoa, cooked
  • 2 Roasted beets, medium, cut into small dice (see notes)
  • 3 Blood oranges, cut into segments
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette To taste

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 3/4 cup Oil grapeseed
  • 3 tbsp. Water room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp. Agave nectar, or other plant-based sweetener

Instructions

Salad

  1. In a large bowl combine quinoa, oranges, beets, and pumpkin seeds.

  2. Add the desired amount of dressing and season to taste.

Dressing

  1. Place vinegar, garlic clove, and mustard in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Through the top of the blender, gradually pour in the oil, while running the blender on low/medium. The mixture will thicken as the oil is blended in.
  3. After all of the oil has been added, pour in 3 tbsp. of water, and agave nectar.

  4. Season to taste and serve.

Recipe Notes

To roast beets, preheat oven to 375 degrees F, coat beets lightly with oil, wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

You can use canned beets or steamed beets for a quick version of this recipe. 

 

 

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Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

FoodArts is my guilty pleasure. I check the mail so often, surely the mail man thinks I’m stalking him! FoodArts is an industry magazine that has news, recipes, and the latest innovations in food and equipment happening now. Ok so maybe it’s not for everyone, but I really enjoy it. I usually pore over the pages and marvel at how quickly the industry changes, I try to find old classmates in the ” deep dish” section, and wish I could recreate the amazing recipes at home. Sigh.

Latest edition of FoodArts

Some of the recipes are simple and can be recreated; others have ingredients not available to the home cook like gum arabic and gellan gum; some use techniques like sous-vide cooking and pressure cooking that require special equipment; but mostly the recipes are just time consuming. The magazine is not geared to the home cook, so none of this should come as a surprise. I just can’t really justify spending 3 days on a dish when I know for sure that both the hubby and the munchkin would be happy with pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese. Oh wait! We’re not eating cheese right now so I guess just pasta and sauce.

Yes, we’re still doing the vegan thing, except for one day a week. The one day a week has really helped us to not get frustrated, and we usually try not to go overboard and pig out. With the exception of this week, when we ate at Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena. The chef, Bryant Wigger, is a friend of ours and we couldn’t resist working our way through the menu. It has taken me the rest of the week to recover from my food coma.

 

Tagine cooking.

This recipe for Moroccan Vegetable Tagine is one of the best plant-based recipes we have tried yet. The flavors are intense and perfectly balanced. You can find the original recipe in the FoodArts issue of September 2012. It was created by Chef Laurence Jossel of Nopa in San Francisco. I have adapted it to fit my current needs and to make it more accessible to the home cook.

The Recipe: Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

moroccan vegetable tagine
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Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp. Cumin, seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Fennel, Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp. Salt, kosher
  • 1/2 tbsp. Black Pepper, ground

Tagine

  • 2 cups Chickpeas, canned, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Tomatoes, diced, canned
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth
  • 1 Orange, zest removed in wide strips
  • 1 Lemon, zest removed in wide strips
  • 1 Bay leaf, dried
  • 5 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, sliced
  • 2 Fennel bulb, sliced thick
  • 1/8 tsp. Saffron
  • 4 Carrots, large, cut into ½ in. chunks
  • 2 Garlic, cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Thyme fresh, chopped
  • 1 lb. Yukon gold or fingerling potatoes halved
  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 head Broccoli, cut into florets, blanched
  • 2 Zucchini, cut into ½ in. rounds
  • 1 cup Corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup Green beans, blanched

Garnish

  • 2 cups Green olives
  • 1 cup Almonds, toasted, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Mint, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Harissa sauce,
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt. (Optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine vegetable broth, chickpeas, lemon and orange zests, can of tomatoes, and bay leaf in a large pot. Set aside.
  3. Combine spice mix in a small sauté pan set over medium heat and toast. Remove spices from pan and set aside. Once cool, grind in spice grinder.
  4. In a large bowl, combine red onion, fennel, 2 tbsp. of oil, half the spice mixture, saffron, and toss. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and roast in oven for 20 min. Remove from oven and place in the pot with the chickpeas.
  5. In the same bowl, combine potatoes, thyme, 1 tbsp. of olive oil and second half of the spice mixture. Place on a sheet pan with parchment paper and roast in oven for 35 min. Add to pot with chickpeas.
  6. In the same bowl, combine carrots, garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Place on a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place cut zucchini and cauliflower separately in the same sheet pan as the carrots, drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 min. Add to pot with chickpeas.
  7. Add blanched broccoli, blanched green beans, and corn to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Bring ingredients in the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 min. or until vegetables are cooked through.
  9. Serve in bowls with couscous and garnish with almonds, harissa, yogurt, olives, mint, and cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Serve with whole wheat or plain couscous or rice