Avocado Egg Salad

by Susan on April 18, 2014

Every Good Friday during my childhood my mom dyed Easter eggs with us and had us watch The Greatest Story Ever Told. I think holidays are best when honoring family traditions; sharing rituals with your kids is the way to pass memories on. I’ll confess we watched Hop as opposed to the more religious fare, but we kicked off our day making pretty eggs.

No one in the house eats hard-boiled eggs except me, however. The kids will eat the cooked white but aren’t crazy about the yolk, and my significant other doesn’t even like egg in his cobb salad. Thus just about every Good Friday I engaged in a solitary ritual: eating egg salad.

Another thing I carry over my youth is an utter dislike of mayonnaise. I don’t like most restaurant or store-bought egg salads because they’re usually made with the white stuff, and more often than not they use quite a bit of it too! Not only do I not like mayo, but I’m not a fan of an overly “wet” egg salad.

This version not only ditches the mayo, but is more nutritious and I think has a better flavor and texture as well. Creamy avocado replaces the white stuff, and a little Dijon mustard adds just the slightest kick.

Since we’d been out of town and I had to shop for this one, I found myself with avocado that wasn’t quite as ripe as I’d like. While the taste was delicious I’d say the results were a little dry even by my standards. You want to look for an avocado that’s soft enough it will mash up and combine easily with the egg.

There are many recipes for this easy lunch online. I wanted to share my two-egg version as I make it one portion at a time. As written it’s gluten and dairy-free. Experiment with the seasoning to suit your taste buds… sometimes I’ve even added a little curry powder for heat. Chopped pickles and celery are nice additions if you like some crunch!

Avocado Egg Salad

2 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 ripe avocado
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste

Combine eggs and avocado in a bowl, mashing with a fork. Add mustard and mash/stir/mix until well-blended. Season to taste.

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Chicken-Broccoli Mac & Cheese with Bacon

by Susan on April 17, 2014

Back from our mini spring break jaunt and I was dying to get back in the kitchen! I had a salmon recipe on my mind, but made a change of plans when my tween asked to make dinner with me. I’m not going to lie and say the event is a common occurrence; usually when I even dare ask the kids what they want to eat I’m met with little more than a shrug.

My girl chose the recipe from the May 2014 issue of Cooking Light, and even came with me the store to pick up the ingredients. No great surprise she chose a dish incorporating two of her favorites: pasta and cheese. While we used our usual brown rice noodles, I did use “real” cheddar (when I use real cheese I opt for raw cheddar, as it’s easier to digest and higher in nutrients than pasteurized). I cut out all of the other dairy, though, I we picked up our favorite nitrite-free bacon to top things off.

This dish is crazy easy to make and was a HUGE hit. The boy is sometimes iffy about broccoli, but he happily went to town on his bowl. While I did use the pinch of turmeric the recipe calls for, I didn’t find it added much yellow color and I frankly don’t think my brood cared that much about the hue either.

My adaptation of this dish ditches the gluten but none of the flavor. You could easily go 100% daiary-free with delicious results as well.

Chicken-Broccoli Mac & Cheese with Bacon
adapted from Cooking Light

6 oz. uncooked brown rice penne
3 cups prechopped broccoli florets
3 nitrite-free bacon slices, coarsely chopped
12 oz. skinless & boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 tbs. minced fresh garlic
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
1 1/4 cups coconut or unsweetened plain almond milk
1 cup organic chicken stock
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. brown rice flour
5 oz. raw cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

Preheat broiler to high.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.

While pasta cooks, place bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add chicken to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with turmeric; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently.

Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, milk, stock, and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pasta mixture and 2 ounces cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 3 ounces cheese and bacon. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and just begins to brown.

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