December is an odd month for me and food. While everyone else is baking their little heads off, I’m slinking away from the oven, eyeing the growing pile of seed catalogs, and waiting out a finicky stomach while it makes the transition to craving greens.
It’s inconvenient, blog-wise, for sure. While many of you are racking up the traffic numbers with delicious cookies and cakes and appetizers, things go quiet around here in SoupAddict land, while I try to convince myself that, it’s okay, my readers are actually ready for salads and light fare, even while they keep up with all of the traditional holiday cooking and baking.
That’s what I’m telling myself, at least. So forgive me, my lovely readers, if you’re not yet in salad mode (maybe bookmark or ZipList it for January?).
In my own defense, this might not be a dish you’ll serve to your beloveds on December’s special celebration days, but maybe — just maybe — it’s something you’ll whip up for a quick lunch when you need a burst of healthy energy and a rest for heavy-food-laden tummies in the middle of all the holiday hooplah.
I first put together this guacamole salad last winter, and it’s been an all-season salad staple ever since, varying up the dressing as my mood strikes.
Guacamole is, hands down, my favorite dip, and deconstructing it into a salad was a no-brainer. Served on a bed of massaged kale — so lush and beautiful this time of year, even in my snow covered garden — this salad is healthy, vitamin-packed, and full of rich guacamole flavors. I also take the opportunity to raid my freezer and add whatever summer yummies I’ve preserved for moments just like this — sweet corn, jalapeños, bell peppers, garlic scapes. A quick thaw and they’re good to go.
To keep things light, and to stay in step with winter produce, I top my guacamole salad with a light citrus vinaigrette. I used a blood orange here, but any orange or tangerine will do just fine.
For a satisfying meal, serve this skinny guacamole salad with my Spicy Quinoa Patties — another recipe from the December archives, put together when I just couldn’t look another bowl of sugar in the face.
But lest you think I’m some kind of green food saint weirdo, I assure you that come Christmas day, I’ll be chowing down on my fair share of all the traditional sugary, salty, fatty goodies.
- 6-7 kale leaves, thick stems removed (I used lacinato/dinosaur kale)
- olive oil
- 1/2 small avocado, diced
- fresh lime juice (from about 1/2 lime)
- 3-6 cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 corn (thawed, if frozen)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced (about 6 stems)
- 2 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice (about 1/2 of an orange)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 of a medium lemon)
- 1 tablepoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced cilantro
- In a large bowl, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with just a touch of olive and sprinkle very lightly with salt. Use your fingertips to rub the leaves, working in the oil and the salt. Keep massaging until the kale is soft and silky, and has turned a brighter green. Toss the avocado dices with lime juice and a big pinch of salt. Add the avocado, tomatoes, peppers, corn, green onions, and cilantro to the kale and toss well.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.