cilantro lime avocado magic

cilantrolimeavocadomagic

If you’re anything like me, you sometimes find bags of old, slimy, black herbs in your fridge that never had the chance to reach their full potential.

They were purchased with the good intentions of joining taco night, topping pasta dishes, or flavoring soups, only to be partially used and then forgotten. Until weeks later. Slimy and black and destined for the trash.

And another thing: what about all that flavor in the stems? Is that just automatically condemned to the trash or compost for it’s lack of leafyness?

Well to all of that I say: no more!

I was inspired the other day to throw some of the best taco toppings into a food processor and make a little magic. Here’s the gist:

Cilantro Lime Avocado Magic Stuff

  • 1 bunch of cilantro leftovers – stems and all!
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 avocado
  • Salt

    Throw all of your ingredients into the food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

So now, what do you do with something like this? Well, what DON’T you do? [that’s an exaggeration, there is plenty you absolutely should not do with this magic stuff]

It makes a fantastic topping on tacos, chili, soups, and just about any dish with “southwestern” in the name. It also simplifies serving as it combines three delicious toppings into one!

This stuff is really strong. I could eat it with a spoon, but Matthew not so much.

It is also a great base for a salad dressing! Keep it Paleo/Whole30 by adding some pepper and thinning it out with oil. Or go for a creamy dressing and add some mayo/greek yogurt, pepper, and then thin it out with some oil. For both of these I would recommend a light, flavorless oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.

The batch I made kept well for 4 days sealed in the fridge, but there wasn’t any left after that to know how long it’ll stay good for.

I can’t wait to make some more….cilantrolimeavocadomagic

cilantro lime avocado magic

weekly links // 2

Weekly Links Header

I always come back to kate spade new york, and these charming telegram notes and this sticky note set are calling my name.

Coffee cake donuts? yes please.

Cute infographic on re-potting houseplants that’s been open in my tabs on my phone for months…

Crying over this lovely tape

Super talented hand-lettering artist Ian Barnard not only makes pretty things, he gives some away too.

How incredible is this?!?! iwantone

I can’t even HANDLE how adorable this baby girl sleeper is.

Dinosaurs as Disney princesses.

Part one and part two of organizing digital photos using Google Photos – wayyyyyy easier than emailing yourself iPhone photos.

I love Alton Brown. I love soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. Alton’s chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe? I’m thinking yes.

Love this sweet birth announcement pillow.

List of inspiring coffee table books for designers.

I. Am. Dead. Over. These. Shoes.

Some very lovely [free!] fonts.

Last, how fun would a 4th Doctor scarf be? so fun. It just comes down to: do I want to figure out the pattern and knit one, or let someone else take care of that, or go with the funky rendition of an infinity scarf!

weekly links // 2

3-ingredient chocolate banana ice cream

This is the stuff of dreams. Vegan, Paleo, delicious, and easy? Yes, please. The three ingredients are all things you likely already have on hand – ripe/overripe bananas, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Plus, you don’t need a specialty appliance to make it, a food processor gets it done best.

A few months ago I was out of milk and looking for another way to use frozen bananas and came across these instructions for one-ingredient banana ice cream. I was sold and tried it right away. Needless to say, there weren’t any leftovers for Matthew to try…

This time around I decided to up the ante a bit and go chocolate. I made this over the weekend for Matthew and I to have at a gathering we hosted that included a birthday party. While this is very much NOT in the spirit of the Whole30 (and technically not even ingredient-compliant due to the vanilla extract), it was really fun to be able to have something while everyone else ate birthday cake (that I made) and ice cream. Plus, some of our guests tried it and were blown away at how good it was and were excited to make it later.

So here it is, so easy you can hardly call it a recipe:

  • ~5-6* ripe/overripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder [I used Hershey’s Special Dark]
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Place frozen bananas in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until the mixture is crumbly and mostly broken up.
  2. Add cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
  3. Continue blending until the mixture is completely incorporated and smooth and resembles soft-serve ice cream. [at this point you can remove ice cream from the food processor and stir in any desired mix-ins like nuts, chocolate chips, etc.]
  4. Either serve and enjoy immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until desired time.
    *The amount doesn’t really matter just be sure to not overload your food processor or it will be tough to blend.

I prefer eating this right when it’s made for the smooth, creamy soft-serve-like texture. It is still delicious after freezing and it is convenient to make ahead of time, but is colder and more solid.

Either way, this yummy “ice cream” is still dairy-free, paleo, vegan, and doesn’t have any added sugar. Try your own combinations of mix-ins to the banana base for the perfect personalized summer treat!

3-ingredient chocolate banana ice cream

chocolate chocolate chip banana bread

You know those people who say things like “I’ve never met a cheesecake I didn’t like”?

Those people are crazy.

On the other hand, maybe they really haven’t ever met a bad, boring, bland, horribly fluffy cheesecake, and then hey! not their fault.

When it comes to banana bread, it is super easy to meet one you don’t like. Maybe it’s got nuts or no chocolate chips or is so dry your mouth becomes the desert. I’ve definitely met a banana bread I didn’t like.

But a banana bread I do like? It’s double chocolate, adapted from this recipe, and goes like this:

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s special dark)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate. Whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if you’re using a dark metal baking pan).

Cream together butter and sugar. Once combined, add eggs and banana. Beat until combined, but it’s ok if you have some larger bits of banana.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to banana mixture. Add vanilla extract. Don’t over mix! Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a greased and floured or non-stick loaf pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the center is set (but not dry).

Let cool and enjoy!

To make this recipe without chocolate, simply omit cocoa and chocolate chips and increase flour to 1 1/2 cups. 

chocolate chocolate chip banana bread

homemade taco seasoning

Growing up, one of the first meals I remember making by myself is taco salad. We had it for dinner multiple times a month and it remains to this day one of my favorites to both make and eat. I love the build-it-yourself aspect that allows for everyone to customize their own plate and the ease of throwing it together quickly for dinner. It’s flexible and forgiving and still delicious. It’s easy to double and makes great leftovers – win/win!

For years my “taco seasoning” consisted of heavy-handed amounts of cumin and chili powder and that was about it. No longer! Matthew came across a great recipe and I tweaked it just a smidgen to get it how I like it [like, reeeally like it].

It seems practically blasphemous to say “recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s Taco Potion #19” but to not say it would be lying. For some reason the recipe was wayyyy too salty for me the first time around and I thought the addition of garlic & onion powder would be tasty so that’s where the differences are.

I am a firm believer that recipes should not be altered by the consumer until after once following it though exactly. Who knows what you’ll miss out on trying to immediately do it your way [sometimes nothing, but sometimes a whole, whole lot]? But hey, things happen and sometimes you don’t have ingredients on hand and you’ve got to improvise, I get that [and I do that] so no stress.

On to the recipe!

Homemade taco seasoning

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in an airtight jar. Shake to combine and store for up to a month.
To use: In a skillet over medium heat, sprinkle one to two tablespoons (or so) over one pound of ground meat (beef or turkey work great) that has just begun to sizzle. Stir as you finish cooking through and viola! Tasty taco meat!

Because I more often have ground turkey on hand, I usually use it instead of ground beef thought both are great with this seasoning. Often when working with a lean meat and making taco salad however, I find myself in need of more moisture. I add one 14oz can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes to one to two pounds of seasoned meat and let it simmer 15-20 minutes to meld [taste at this point to be sure you don’t need anymore seasoning because you might and that’s fine to add more]. If I want to make my meal go further I’ll throw in a can or two of rinsed beans – kidney, black, cannellini, pinto, whatever I have on hand. And serve it up over lettuce with tortilla chips, salsa, olives, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, corn, you name it!

I guess the only negative is it isn’t the most attractive food to photograph ; )

Enjoy!

homemade taco seasoning