About Megan

Megan is a local food fanatic, seeking out the best ingredients Central Texas has to offer. The Greenling Local Box has served as the perfect source for her cooking experiments, and she loves sharing her creations with her family.
Author Archive | Megan

Grapefruit Avocado Couscous

In order to make sure I keep getting fresh-tasting, delicious meals during this crazy week of Not-Wanting-To-Cook-SXSW, I’ve made a refreshing grapefruit and avocado couscous salad. It’s perfect for this almost-spring weather we have, and I love how pretty the Texas grapefruit looks alongside the green avocado. Make sure you use avocados that are firm, yet ripe. You want the avocado to maintain its shape in the salad and not get mushy.

You can easily add a zesty vinaigrette to this salad, but I prefer to let the fresh flavors of the grapefruit and avocado shine.

Grapefruit Avocado Couscous Salad

1 cup dry couscous
2 large red grapefruit
2-4 small avocados (or 2 large)
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup diced fresh parsley or cilantro
Salt and pepper

Set a saucepan with 2 cups of water or vegetable stock to boil. Once water is boiling, pour in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Section your grapefruit (a helpful tutorial video is located over at Kitchen Daily) and place onto a paper towel. Halve avocados, remove pits, and slice into small chunks. Put avocado in a large bowl along with shallot; drizzle lime juice over the top and stir gently.

Fluff couscous with a fork and add to the bowl. Add grapefruit and parsley or cilantro and stir gently to combine all ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and chill until ready to serve, up to 12 hours in advance. (Any longer and the avocado might start to oxidize and turn an unattractive brown.)

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Shrimp Stuffed Avocado

Stuffed avocado is an easy snack or light lunch that anyone can throw together because it requires no cooking skills. You need to know how to use a knife, a spoon, and a bowl – the hardest part of this is slicing the avocado in half.

You can make this fancier by getting raw shrimp and sauteeing them in your choice of spices, but using precooked shrimp takes no time at all, and if you’re hungry you probably don’t want to mess with it anyway. This goes great with blue corn chips, or you can just eat it with a fork and serve with a salad. Either way, it’s a great way to get all the flavor of the beautiful avocados we’ve been seeing this season.

shrimp stuffed avocado

Shrimp Stuffed Avocado
serves 2

2 small avocados
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons diced green onion
1 cup chopped precooked shrimp
1/2 cup crumbly cheese, such as goat, blue, or queso fresca
Salt and pepper

Halve avocados and scoop pulp into bowl, removing pits. Add lime juice and mash avocado roughly. Add onion, shrimp, and cheese, and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture back into avocado skins and serve with extra shrimp and cheese sprinkled on top.

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Avocado Mousse

Even though you probably have no trouble eating up the delicious avocados we’ve been getting week after week (my son has taken to eating them with a spoon!), there’s no reason why you can’t try something new, right?

Chocolate doesn’t necessarily seem like a logical pairing for avocado, but I’ve been seeing avocado cakes, brownies, and more popping up all over the internet and in cookbooks. The luscious avocado, it turns out, is a perfect ingredient for the last course of the meal.

This mousse is a creamy, dreamy, dairy- and guilt-free delight. If you’re a chocoholic like me, you won’t be let down by this dessert. You can easily swap out the honey for agave nectar, if you’re vegan.

Avocado Mousse

Avocado Mousse
serves 2

2 small or 1 large avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. In a blender or food processor, puree avocado flesh until smooth. Add cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla, and blend until completely mixed and no lumps remain. Scoop into dishes and serve immediately, or chill until ready.

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Easy Pickled Daikon and Carrots

 

If you’re a fan of Portlandia you’ll know the joke behind pickling, but pickling really is an easy way to transform food and extend its life in your kitchen. Daikon in particular is wonderful pickled, as anyone who is a fan of banh mi sandwiches can attest to.

This recipe made exactly one pint jar, which in my mind is the perfect amount for fridge pickles, especially if you are unsure about what you’re doing or the flavors of the end result. You can omit the spices if you’d like, but be sure to not reduce the vinegar. By the way, I find pickling works best if you use a wide-mouth jar, but regular jars work fine too, and you can even use a Tupperware if you don’t have jars on hand.

Pickled Daikon and Carrot
makes 1 pint jar

1 pound total daikon and carrot
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger (or use fresh grated if you have it!)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Peel daikon and carrot and slice into thin rounds. Place in a fine sieve or colander set over a bowl, and sprinkle salt over vegetables. Stir to coat, and let sit for at least 20 minutes while the salt draws excess water out. (This will speed up the pickling process.)
Mix together the rest of the ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Pack vegetables tightly into a clean jar, and pour liquid over the top, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar. Place lid and ring on jar and store in the fridge. Let ferment for at least 4 hours before eating, but preferably overnight.

Note: You might have liquid left over, but don’t worry about it. As long as your veggies are covered they should be fine.

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Green Garlic Sandwich Spread

I almost feel silly giving a recipe for this, and in fact, it’s not much of a recipe other than the list of ingredients. But truthfully, I’m not sure how many people look at vegetables and wonder what happens when you shove them under a stick blender.

The result of my curiosity was a pungent neon puree that is great for topping burgers, falafel, or tofu. Mix it with some sour cream or cream cheese for a dip, or thin it out more for a salad dressing. You just might want to keep some mints on hand.

Green Garlic Sandwich Spread

1 bunch green garlic (or green onions), roots trimmed off
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt

Slice garlic or onions into large pieces. Using a blender, stick blender, or food processor, blitz garlic until chopped. Add olive oil and lemon juice, a little at a time, until you get the flavor and consistency you like. Once fully blended, salt to taste. Eat and don’t breathe on anyone.

Lasts about a week in the fridge.

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Brussels Sprouts Pizza

When Brussels sprouts are on a pizza, you can have Brussels sprouts any time!

Ever since I was introduced to roasted Brussels sprouts a few years ago I’ve looked forward to their season, and I even have a couple of slowly growing plants in my raised bed garden. It’s never been a problem finishing a pint, but I still love to try out new combinations.

Admittedly, this pizza requires a bit more work than the standard pepperoni pie, but I think it’s worth it. I didn’t designate what kind of cheese to use for this pizza, although I used smoked mozzarella on mine. I asked my Twitter followers for cheese recommendations based on the other pizza toppings, and I received at least ten different suggestions – so I have a feeling you can’t go much wrong when it comes to the cheese on this pizza.

 

Brussels Sprouts Pizza

1 pizza dough of your choice
1 small onion
8 ounces Brussels sprouts
1-2 slices thick-cut bacon
1 pear
Olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, make sure it is in the oven while preheating – you want it nice and hot!
Slice onion in half and then into long strips, and cook over medium-low to low in a small saucepan, stirring often. You want them to be nicely browned, but not completely caramelized (remember, they will cook more in the oven).
In a frying pan, cook bacon until crispy. Meanwhile, trim ends off Brussels sprouts and then slice lengthwise into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on the size of the sprout. Once the bacon has cooked, remove it to drain on a paper towel, and add sprouts to the bacon fat. Cook 2-3 minutes, until sprouts are bright green. Remove from heat.
Peel and core pear, then slice thinly.
Roll out pizza dough. Add a light drizzle of olive oil to the top of the dough, being careful to not get too close to the edge (if oil leaks off pizza, it might burn on your pizza stove and make your fire alarm go off).
Arrange pear slices on dough, then scatter sprouts, bacon, and onions on top. Sprinkle on shredded cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until crust has browned. Let cool on pizza stone for 5 minutes before cutting.

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