Timesaver Ceviche

We wanted a simple, fresh and light dinner and I had a perfectly ripe avocado. This recipe did the trick and we enjoyed it with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.

Instead of shrimp, I used a bag of Trader Joe's Langostino Tails -- that is pre-cooked, chopped and frozen -- and what a timesaver! After some research, I discovered this is squat lobster meat (love the name!) and tastes a bit like crab. I thawed, rinsed and dried the Langostino tails. Of course you can use shrimp or other seafood as well. Enjoy!

This serves two hungry souls:

1 avocado, chopped (firm, not too ripe)
1/3 purple onion, chopped
A bag of Trader Joe's Langostino Tails, thawed, rinsed and dried
1/2 of a standard-sized cucumber, peel and chop
Fresh lemon and lime juice (2 TB of each)
Olive oil - 3 TB or to taste
Fresh minced garlic (to taste)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
A splash of hot sauce

Chop avocado, onion, cucumber and add the langostinos tails or chopped shrimp. 

Mix the olive oil, lemon and lime juice, garlic, and add this to the avocado, onion, langostinos, and cucumber. Mix well.
Sprinkle salt and pepper, add hot sauce to taste,  and serve immediately.

Note: We did keep a little bit for the next day and it was still fresh and delicious 24 hours later. The lemon and lime juice helps to preserve the avocado.

Asparagus and Red Pepper Salad

This is one of my favorite side dishes to take to picnics and summer gatherings because it is delicious, nutritious, colorful (yes it matters) and I can make it ahead.

2 bunches of asparagus - ends trimmed, boil, then chop to 1 inch
2 sweet red peppers - chopped to 1 inch
extra virgin olive oil - to taste
white balsamic vinegar - to taste
sea salt - to taste
pepper - to taste
garlic salt - to taste

Cut the stalks off the asparagus and boil the rest al dente and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. You want the asparagus to be firm. Chop into 1-inch pieces.

Slice 2 red peppers into 1-inch pieces as well. 

Place the cut asparagus and peppers in a big bowl.

Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic salt to the vegetables. Sorry, I don't measure it -- just do it to taste. (Sometimes I throw in some pine-nuts when I am serving it.)

Time-saver ... or, you can use Garlic Expressions in place of the liquids and spices. 

Chill in the fridge for an hour and serve. Or, make it ahead and it keeps well for 2 or 3 days in the fridge. Severs 6-8 people.

Plantain Snack or Breakfast Side

I buy a plantain and slice it up and cook it in a pan with some Kerrygold butter. You can't eat a plantain raw -- they are too hard and tasteless, but they are deliciously sweet after cooking them. They are high in fiber, and contain potassium and vitamins A, C and B6.

After cooking them, I store them in the fridge to pull out as a side dish with my eggs and bacon breakfast. 

And I also like to add a little nut butter to my plantains for the perfect late afternoon snack to hold me until dinner. Enjoy!