It’s Long Overdue ~ Mango Avocado Quinoa Salad

There’s part of me that wants to pretend that there’s nothing unusual about falling off the face of the blogging world for over six months and then casually popping in for another post like I’m right on schedule. Not that I ever actually had a schedule going around here, but I was rather consistent about posting once a month…or so.

The other side of me wants to make a BIG deal out of this. Hey WORLD!!! I’m BACK!!! And look what I brought ya!!!!

That, I tell myself, sounds rather obnoxious though, so I won’t. You’re welcome.

It’s been six months of significant season change, from a lovely autumn, a fairly mild winter (that is, on the days when it wasn’t snowing or icing), a spring of rain, storms, and more rain, to another hot, hot summer. Tell me, how does the ground go from oozing water like a soaked sponge, to cracking from dry heat in less than a week???

My life has been considerably less drastic.

IMG_1093I bought a new cutting board!  Yeah, not much to say here…

Actually, you want to know what I haven’t talked about since this post in August of 2013?? My braces! Well, they are off now folks, as of September 2014. It wasn’t as thrilling as I was hoping since the adult canine died, but hey, it’s where it’s supposed to be now and seems sturdy enough. I don’t even have to wear that horrendous retainer! As far as I’m concerned, I can happily forget the whole thing happened. I’m sure you were dying to know the rest of the braces saga, so there you have it!

So, in spite of the fact that I haven’t posted since 2014, I do still cook…just as much as ever, as my Instagram can attest. (You can pretty much blame that app for the seemingly imminent demise of my blog.) What brings me back, you ask?

Well, it’s this…

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I made it for a party, innocently enough, and…well, people just got addicted. Every other person wanted the recipe and I scolded myself for not having blogged it already so I could just pass out my blog address rather than racking my brain trying to remember what I actually put in it. Yep, I’ve returned to the old habit of not making notes while I cook (and creating run on sentences that you can barely get through without stopping for breath!). Oops!

I made it again today because I think my original taste testers have pretty good taste when it comes to good food. I’m pretty sure, if they liked it, than you will too.

And let me tell ya’, this is a salad for summer! Sweet, spicy, refreshing, light and yet filling. Okay, I hear you, I’ll stop the wordage already and get with the recipe!

Mango Avocado Quinoa Salad

  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 2 mangos, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, cored, diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 t. minced garlic
  • 1 t. honey
  • 2 T. sesame oil, or other mild flavored oil (not toasted sesame)
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed

IMG_1160Rinse quinoa. Drain, then add enough water to the pan to cover the quinoa by about an inch. I use the first joint on my index finger to measure from the top of the grain, because I dislike measuring liquid for grains. Weird, I know.

Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and lower heat to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes or until all the water is cooked out. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temp (or refrigerate for later use) and fluff with a fork.

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Peel mangos and cut into bite-sized pieces.

IMG_1110Dice the red pepper, purple onion (Can we just come to terms with the fact that this variety of onion is not red and should not be called red?), and the jalapeno. This is my favorite way to de-core a pepper…

IMG_1122Chop cilantro and add to prepared ingredients. Let’s just stop and relish the colors for a moment, shall we?

IMG_1134Purple, that onion is totally purple.

Mix the juice of the limes, honey, red pepper flakes, oil, and garlic in a jar or cup and pour over ingredients.

IMG_1130Add cooled quinoa to bowl and toss lightly. The avocados should go in at the last minute…or at least a couple hours before.

IMG_1139Salt and pepper to taste. Please don’t over stir! Once the avocado is added, you want to mix as little as possible so it doesn’t just mush together.

IMG_1151Enjoy as a side for grilled chicken, or eat it as a meal all on it’s own!

Before the next mouth watering photo, I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you. Thank you to my loyal readers who have stayed with me even though I ditch you for 6 months at a time. And thank you to my new visitors for getting this far in reading this post! Welcome and I hope you enjoy what you find here on Stir it Up!!

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Bean, Cheese, and Vegetable Enchiladas

The cold front finally came in. It’s deliciously cool outside, slightly rainy, and feels like autumn.

I am always excited for this kind of weather because some of my favorite meals seem to call for cold weather outside in order to enjoy them to their full potential.

With spicy undertones and creamy filling, these vegetarian enchiladas fit the bill for just this kind of evening.

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Bean, Cheese, and Vegetable Enchiladas

  • 1 onion, chopped and sauteed
  • 2 zucchinis, shredded
  • kernels from two heads of corn
  • 3 avocados, cubed
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained
  • salt to taste
  • 10-12 flour tortillas
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

IMG_0966Combine all the veggies…

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…the cheese and the beans.

IMG_0971Brush oil onto a large casserole dish. Fill tortillas generously with veggie mixture and roll tightly. Lay seam side down in casserole dish and brush with oil. Repeat with remaining tortillas, leaving room between each enchilada.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

IMG_0973Enjoy hot from the oven!

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Nori Seaweed Wraps with Sprouts and Avocado

I don’t know about you, but I like sushi. You probably know I like sushi from my post about Sushi Salad, but sometimes I can’t help repeating myself.

I’m not sure if the kind of sushi I like is technically 100% authentic sushi, but I don’t think it get’s much better than smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado – with pickled ginger and wasabi, of course. It doesn’t hurt to add some cucumber in there, too, and maybe some carrot for crunch. My, oh my, that’s good!

I’m not sure why I started off with that sushi rant, except that I’m thinking about seaweed and avocado and the other good things you can make with said ingredients.

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I’m sharing this recipe, or idea rather, that a good friend shared with me, ’cause I think you need it in your life.

Sometimes, we landlubbers just need to eat some seaweed in order to get a taste of the ocean and remember what it’s actually like to dip our toes in the foamy salt water and breath in the smell of fish and sea and sand. Ah, I miss it!

Nori Wraps with Sprouts and Avocado

  • Toasted Nori Seaweed Sheets (You should be able to find these in the Asian section of your grocery store.)
  • cream cheese
  • low-sodium deli turkey, or sardines if you really want to go “ocean”
  • sprouts – I use radish, but alfalfa sprouts from the store would be just as satisfying
  • shredded carrot
  • avocados

Spread cream cheese on one edge of a sheet of nori. Top with remaining ingredients. Roll up tightly and use a little water to seal the end. Repeat until you aren’t hungry any more. It’s that easy!

These pack well for lunches, afternoon snacks, or pre or post-workout meals (depending on your workout philosophy.) Also, the filling possibilities are endless. But you already figured that out, didn’t you?

My readers are just smart like that.

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