Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…
No it’s not my birthday, it’s the Recipe Redux’s 5th birthday! While I haven’t been a member from the beginning, I’m so happy to be a part of this amazing group of healthy food bloggers. I think that this month’s theme is one of the best we’ve ever had but it’s also one of the hardest! We were asked to celebrate each other by choosing a fellow Reduxer and creating a dish inspired by one of their recipes. The problem is, with so many amazing people in the group, this was such a tough decision!
Ultimately, I decided to feature the one and only Jessica Fishman Levinson from Nutritioulicious. Why Jessica? Well, for a few reasons. Although we’ve never met in person, I kind of feel like we’re kindred spirits in a way. She’s a New Yorker, she’s a mom, and she’s passionate about delicious and nutritious food, like myself. We also definitely have a recipe ESP thing going on and there have been plenty of times when we posted similar dishes at the same time. We even know the same people- it turns out that I went to high school with her sister-in-law! If I hadn’t moved to South Florida, I have a feeling that Jessica and I would be getting together for coffee or lunch all the time!
Of course I couldn’t just choose one recipe to feature so I ended up making two! The first is Jessica’s Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Corn & Black Bean Salsa. This recipe originally caught my eye when she posted it as part of a Recipe Redux challenge looking for fun new lunch ideas. I was intrigued by the idea of grilling avocados and was inspired to try it out. Turns out, this won’t be the last time I grill avocados! I love the slightly smoky flavor the avocados got from the grill and they paired perfectly with the bright, flavorful corn and black bean salsa. The only change I made was to add a little cumin to the salsa to enhance the smoky flavors because I love cumin! Also, since fresh corn is plentiful at the market now, I threw some fresh ears of corn on the grill to get a nice char, which added even more smoky flavor to the dish. But if you’re making this dish out of season, you can use frozen corn. The combination of the creamy avocado with the crunchy salsa was fantastic!
Because the salsa was so good, I actually doubled the recipe and used the leftovers to make a second dish by mixing it with cooked quinoa. The quinoa salad tasted even better the next day for lunch once the flavors had a chance to meld! It was the perfect accompaniment to the grilled avocados.
Since I had some extra avocados, I also made an easy avocado cilantro yogurt sauce to drizzle on top of the stuffed avocados. The tangy sauce paired nicely with the other flavors in the dish. It also tasted great with the quinoa salad and would even work well as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.
Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Corn & Black Bean Salsa
Corn & Black Bean Salsa:
- 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn (I grilled fresh corn on the cob and cut the kernels off)
- 1 cup no-salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Avocado Cilantro Yogurt Sauce:
- ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
- ½ cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce like Sriracha (optional)
- 2 medium to large avocados, halved and pits removed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Combine all of the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for flavors to meld together.
- To make the sauce, puree the avocado, yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and hot sauce together in a mini food processor or blender.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Brush avocado halves with oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. When grill is hot, place avocado halves cut side down on the grill and cook 2-3 minutes until nice grill marks form. Remove from heat.
- Fill avocados with some corn and black bean salsa. Drizzle some Avocado Cilantro Yogurt Sauce on top and garnish with cilantro.
- Serve extra salsa and sauce on the side. You can also mix the extra salsa with cooked quinoa for a tasty second dish!
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) watermelon puree
- crushed ice
- 20 mint leaves
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) white rum
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) fresh lime juice
- club soda
- To make the watermelon puree, blend seedless watermelon cubes (about 1 cup) in a blender or food processor. Strain into a glass and set aside.
- Fill two highball glasses halfway with crushed ice. Tear the mint leaves and add them to the glasses. Pour ¼ cup watermelon puree, ¼ cup rum, and 1 tablespoon lime juice into each glass. Top with club soda and stir to combine. Garnish with extra mint leaves.