I’m trying to keep a phrase from The Paleo Mom in mind today: It’s only effort until it becomes routine.
How very true. When I reframe my thinking from egads, this is hard to looking at all the foods that are Paleo friendly, I realize that much of my pre-challenge diet was, in fact, not so far off from Paleo. (Well, the less strict versions, anyway.) Lettuce substitutes for bread for a quick lunch — like julienned ham or chicken wrapped in butter lettuce leaves, with a touch of mustard. Yum. Main course salads with grilled chicken or salmon on top, along with other vegetables or some nuts. We do that already. So what’s so hard about this again?
With this mind shift, I set out to make a Mexican-themed dinner, something we do pretty regularly. Guacamole (always homemade) is a regular pre-dinner nibble, and assemble-your-own quesadillas or fajitas let even the pickiest eater find a combination of ingredients that work. With no crispy corn tortilla chips to help, ahem, hoover down the guacamole like we normally do, I decided it would work as an accompaniment to the main dish: Deconstructed steak fajitas. With the strip loin, and a few grilled peppers and asparagus that we had kicking around in the fridge begging to be used up, this felt like a 4 star dinner in an upscale Mexican cantina. I honestly didn’t miss the tortillas at all.
I've been making this for years and really don't measure the ingredients anymore, so use this recipe as a general guideline. The keys to success are to start with fresh ingredients -- bottled lime juice or prepared garlic are definitely out -- and make it just before you eat it.
- 1 ripe avocado, cubed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 fresh lime
- dash of Tabasco sauce (or substitute a pinch of ground cumin and chili powder)
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- optional add-ins: a couple tablespoons of minced red onion, chopped cilantro, or chopped tomato
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the avocado and garlic with a fork (or spoon, if you prefer a chunkier consistency).
- Squeeze the lime into the bowl along with a dash of Tabasco sauce and mix together. Season with salt and pepper and taste it. Don't be shy with the salt.
- Once you're happy with the seasoning, feel free to add in some minced red onion and cilantro, or some chopped tomato. Serve immediately.
It's preferable to make guacamole just before serving, as the surface will start to oxidize (turn brown) as it sits. If you do make it ahead of time, refrigerate it and cover the surface directly with parchment to minimize oxidation. This recipe easily doubles as written but if you're making a big batch (over 3 avocados), scale back the garlic a little...unless you're looking to ward off all the vampires in your neighborhood.