A couple of years ago I developed a recipe for Garlic-Lime Black Bean and Avocado Spread, twist on guacamole packed with protein and tons of veggies. It has proven to be a very popular recipe and I’ve even featured it on menus I’ve developed for school lunch programs. It’s a familiar dish with enhanced nutrition: my favorite kind of healthy recipe.
Since guacamole is one of my favorite things on earth to eat, I thought it was time to try a new version, this time spotlighting its versatility as a salad course. Over the years I’ve seen chicken or tuna salad mounded on top an avocado half–a delicious combo in its own right but hardly a healthy one–so I thought maybe I could do the same thing with the guacamole ingredients. Easy as that, I mounded the chopped guacamole ingredients onto an avocado half and served it ready to be combined by the diner right before eating.
The first thing I noticed was how much more appetizing this dish looked. The cool white onion and dark green cucumber skin contrasted with the tomato and lime green pulp of the avocado. Set off against the black skin of the avocado, the bright colors of the ingredients really enhanced the visual appeal of what otherwise amounts to a pile of hastily mashed up dip. When I threw in a handful of my friend Craig’s heirloom tomatoes, this guacamole looked even more refined and exciting. It looked like I tried!
Interestingly, I thought the overall taste experience was improved as well, which I attributed to the last minute combination of ingredients. Because the guacamole didn’t sit around for too long before eating, I could taste every element of the dish. The onion didn’t overpower the grassy taste of the avocado, which is too often the case. I also avoided the dreaded “super-lime” guacamole, an unfortunate side effect of the overuse of lime juice to stop the avocado from blackening (which allows one to make it ahead of time). Adding the lime to taste puts the diner in control of the flavor of his or her dish.
What I hadn’t considered was what I was going to eat this guacamole with. Tortilla chips were the obvious first answer, since plenty of brands earn Guiding Stars. Yet I wanted to make this dish into a salad could stand on its own as a meal, and the missing element was protein. The solution was found in a low-carb wrap, which I baked on an inverted bowl to create a crispy container. Lined with a generous handful of baby greens, the bowl became a protein rich, high fiber, whole grain source of crispy tortillas to dip into my guacamole. And just like that, a guacamole meal was born.
Try this recipe and let me know what you think. Don’t be afraid to add additional ingredients; anything from roasted corn or peppers to slices of grilled chicken would be amazing. Remember to slice your avocados just before serving to avoid the dreaded blackened flesh. If you’re bringing it to work and must cut it before packing, squeeze a wedge of lime and rub it onto the cut side to coat, then immediately lay the avocado cut side down onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the avocado as tightly as possible, and you’ll slow down the oxidation process amazingly well.
Avocado is a filling food to include in a vegan wrap. Paired with the components of guacamole over greens, it’s a refreshing summer sandwich you’ll return to again and again.
Servings: 2 (398 g )
Prep Time: 10 min.
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- ½ cup finely chopped white onion
- ½ seedless cucumber, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. chopped chives
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups mixed baby greens
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 2 low-carb, high-fiber wraps
- Gently toss together avocado, tomato, onion, cucumber, chives, lime juice, and olive oil.
- Toss greens with cilantro.
- Divide greens and avocado mix between wraps to serve.