I went and checked out a new gym with Carla and another friend (her name is Jennifer, too – clearly she’s awesome!) this morning. We got a great workout in! It was a team workout that involved running, cleans, front and back squats, and thrusters or push jerks. 20 minute AMRAP. Phew! It was pretty awesome. Then, we went to breakfast.
Om nom nom! Egg white veggie omelet with asparagus, bell peppers, roasted garlic and goat cheese. So delicious! If you have an “Another Broken Egg cafe” in your neck of the woods, I highly recommend them. 🙂
Then, on the way home, the traffic billboard spoke to me.
Pretty apropos with marathon training starting on Monday, don’t you think? Yeah, I thought so, too. 🙂
Part 2 of the Mexican Fiesta in your dining room – salad, guacamole and salsa! There’s nothing quite like homemade guacamole and salsa. You can totally control how spicy or tomato-y (in the case of the salsa) that you want it. Also, you know darn well what went in to the dishes and that you’re not getting some weird stuff that you can’t pronounce. If you don’t feel like taking the time to do this, it’s okay; there are things you can buy at the store that are quite delicious and very healthy. First step, guacamole. Never, ever, ever buy anything that is called “guacamole dip” – if you look closely at the packaging, it usually says something like 10% avocado. Really? Only 10% Um, ew. Guacamole should be 100% avocado with some added stuff in it. Look for Wholly Guacamole. You can find it usually in the produce cooler section of your grocery store – I find mine right next door to the lettuces and salad kits. And, interestingly enough, that’s where I find salsa, as well. Don’t buy salsa in a jar. You only find those in the regular section of the grocery store which means stuff has been added to the salsa to help keep it shelf-stable. You want fresh, real ingredients and you’ll only find that sort of stuff in a cooler-type environment. Sometimes, you can find fresh salsa in with the refrigerated Mexican tortillas, cheeses, etc but most often, you’ll find it in the produce section (it is produce, after all!) and it will usually be in a plastic container. Trust me, if you don’t want to make your own, that is what you should buy. As for the cactus salad, I got nothing. Sorry. Never had it and didn’t make it. But, I’ll provide you the recipe and, if you make it, you can tell me how it turned out! 🙂
1 pound (2 medium-large round or 6 to 8 plum) ripe tomatoes
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 3 serrano or 1 jalapeno), stemmed
1/2 finely chopped white onion
4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime
Chop the tomatoes into small (1/8-inch) dice and scoop into a bowl. Finely chop the chiles, seeds and all, and scrape in with the tomatoes. Scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water; shake off the excess moisture and add to the bowl. Stir in the garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Taste and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon. Scoop 2/3 of the mixture into a salsa dish; leave the rest in the bowl. Cover both and refrigerate.
8 medium (about 1 pound total) cactus paddles
Oil, for grilling
A few nice looking lettuce leaves, for serving
1. One by one, clean the cactus paddles: Holding each paddle gingerly between the nodes of the prickly spines, trim off the edge that outlines the paddle, including the blunt end where the paddle was severed from the plan, then slice or scrape off the spiny nodes from both sides. Set aside until you’re ready to grill.
2. Brush or spray the cactus paddles on both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay on the grill grate, cover the grill and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned in places. Flip the paddles over, cover and grill until they’re browned on the other side, darkened to an olive green color and softened enough to look limp when picked up with a pair of tongs (this indicates they are cooked through). Lay out the cactus in a single layer on a rack and cool completely.
3. When it is cool, cut the cactus into squares a little smaller than 1/2-inch. Mix with the reserved salsa that’s in the mixing bowl. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves, scoop in the cactus salad and set on the table.
4 large, ripe avocados
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Halve and pit the avocados, then scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Add the garlic, lime juice and cilantro. Using the back of a large spoon or an old-fashioned potato masher, coarsely mash the avocados, mixing in the flavorings. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 1/4 teaspoons. Scrape into a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate.