Cucumber Salsa and White Bean Stuffed Avocados

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, chopped into large chunks
  • 1–3 chiles, mild to moderate heat
  • ¼ small yellow onion, cut in several pieces
  • 1–3 green onions, cut into several pieces (use both green and white parts)
  • ¼ bunch cilantro
  • ¼ bunch fresh mint
  • 1 lime, juiced to make 2 tablespoons lime juice (or more to taste)
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1½ cups cooked or 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large or 3 small ripe avocados
  • 4–8 ounces of mixed sprouts such as
    sunflower, buckwheat, pea, radish, etc.

Directions:

  1. Remove chile stems and cut in quarters. Remove some seeds and white pith for a medium spicy salsa, or leave all seeds and pith if you want it spicier. If removing seeds, reserve some for adjusting heat later.
  2. Strip leaves from mint stems.
  3. Cut or tear off tough cilantro stems.
  4. Combine cucumber, chiles, both kinds of onions, garlic, herbs, lime juice, and a pinch of salt in the container of a blender or food processor. Pulse process until you have a coarse salsa consistency. Pause to scrape down bowl sides if needed.
  5. Taste for spiciness. Add some of the reserved chile seeds if you want more heat, and process briefly to combine.
  6. Dump salsa into a mixing bowl, and gently mix beans into salsa.
  7. Taste and adjust salt and lime juice.
  8. If using small avocados, halve lengthwise. If large avocados, cut into thirds lengthwise. Carefully remove pits and peels.
  9. Divide the sprouts evenly across six plates.
  10. Place a half or third avocado on each sprout bed, cavity side up.
  11. Spoon the salsa into and onto the avocado halves.

Notes, Substitutions, and Variations:

  • Substitute another fresh herb for the cilantro. Other herbs that would work well are parsley and basil.
  • Use baby greens if sprouts are not available.
  • Double the cilantro if mint is not available.
  • Serve with extra lime wedges on the side.
  • Meal on the Table Now Variation: Substitute store-bought green salsa for the homemade salsa.

Watercress Salad with Spring Veggies and Lemony Seed Dressing

Yield: 4-6 servings (about 8 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
    (note: these get soaked overnight)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    (note: these get soaked overnight)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
    (note: these get soaked overnight)
  • 6–8 spears asparagus
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 4 ounces of snap peas, cut diagonally into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ large fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1–1½ lemons, juiced to make about
    3-4 tablespoons juice
  • ¼ cup water, or more for consistency
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted,
    quartered and sliced
  • 6–8 nasturtium flowers, optional

Directions:

  1. Combine sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds in a bowl. Cover with about 3 times their volume of water and leave to soak overnight. Drain and rinse before using.
  2. Cut or snap off tough bottoms of stems of asparagus spears. Cut diagonally into ½-inch slices.
  3. Place asparagus in steamer and steam over boiling water for 1–2 minutes until barely tender. Remove from pot and place in the fridge to cool.
  4. Strip leaves and tender tops from watercress stems. Discard stems.
  5. Make dressing:
  • In a blender or food processor, combine soaked seeds, parsley leaves, lemon juice, and water.
  • Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed to make it pourable.
  • Taste and adjust lemon juice.
  1. Toss watercress leaves with snap peas, asparagus, and fennel.
  2. Place avocado on salad.
  3. Top with nasturtium blossoms, if using.
  4. Serve with dressing on the side.

Variations and Substitutions:

  • Try different edible flowers such as pansies, cornflowers, or calendula.
  • Substitute other spring vegetables for the asparagus, fennel, and peas, for example try cucumbers, radishes, and carrots.
  • Substitute a different salad dressing.

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