Sides & Salads / Small Plates / Vegan Foods / Vegetarian / Weeknight Dinner

Avocado Salad & Some Damn Good Stew

I had an avocado in the fridge that’s been there for about a week, so I figured I should probably use it for my lunch today. I love putting together a fresh salad with avocado and chopped peppers, tomatoes, and onion, and I had most of the ingredients I needed on hand.

Unfortunately, when I cut into the avocado, most of it was too ripe, so what should have been a meal-sized salad became more of a side dish / pre-cursor to the muffin I grabbed while out later (hey, at least it wasn’t a cupcake, right?). Still, it was a good salad, and so I’m posting my recipe here. I like to add apple to this dish because I think it gives a nice crunchy sweetness, almost like jicama would do.

Usually when I make this sort of dish, I make it heartier by adding black beans or serving it on top of a black bean burger patty.

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Fresh Avocado Salad (serves 1)
1/2 medium avocado
about 5 cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
about 1/4 medium granny smith apple, peeled
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice from 1 small lime
Salt & pepper, to taste

Cube the avocado and slice tomatoes in half. Dice the green pepper and apple into small pieces. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cayenne, salt & pepper. Place ingredients in a bowl; pour lime juice over and serve immediately.

 You could also add some thinly sliced red onion to this; I didn’t have any on hand so I did without. This would also be good with some crumbled cotija or feta, because cheese makes everything great.

For dinner, I decided to try out a recipe I found on Oh She Glows for a red lentil and squash curry stew. I had a bit of cubed butternut squash left from Trader Joe’s that’s about to go bad, and I also needed to use up the rest of my spinach, so this sounded like a simple, healthy option for dinner that was heartier than a salad.

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The whole meal took less than 30 minutes to make, and oh my god, it was so good. I’m adding this to my rotation; it was simple and the ingredients were affordable and super flavorful. It may very well be one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, and I wish I’d come up with the recipe myself!

Basically, the dish consists of onion, garlic, broth, curry powder, spinach, butternut squash, red lentils, and ginger. The original recipe used leftover roasted butternut squash, but I just cut mine up into smaller chunks and microwaved it in a covered bowl for 3 minutes. I was really pleasantly surprised at how nicely it came out. The meal was hearty and just enough food. Plus, it was a great diet-friendly option (I calculated my serving to be about 175 calories only!). When I make it again, I might try serving it over brown rice, because it’s nice and thick and  that would be an easy way to add some more substance. I might also try adding some broccoli instead of, or in addition to, the spinach.

You can find the instructions here; I followed the recipe exactly, but just cut it in fourths to make just one serving.  As mentioned, I also prepared my squash in the microwave. For the broth, I used low-sodium vegetable broth to keep things totally meat-free.

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