SHRIMP-AVOCADO-FETA SALAD

This salad was a snap to make–and delicious! The only thing I would change is that, rather than use Mediterranean Herb feta cheese, I would stick with good old regular feta (reduced fat). My guys and I gobbled our salads down and all that remained was a bit of dressing.

8 cups romaine lettuce, torn

1-1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered then halved

1-1/4 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1/2 cup feta cheese

1 avocado, diced

12 oz medium-sized shrimp (cooked, deveined, and tailless)

1 tbsp parsley

1) Divide lettuce between 4 plates; top each salad as follows: tomatoes, green beans, feta, avocado, shrimp, and parsley

2) Serve with dressing of your choice (we used our favorite, Ken’s Steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette)

Serves: 4

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AVOCADO EGG SALAD SANDWICH

I should have used my favorite sourdough bread from Panera, but I didn’t want to make an extra trip, so I went with grocery-store-bought sourdough bread. Not that the sandwich wasn’t wonderfully tasty, it just could have been that times two–or three. Have you tried Panera’s sourdough?

5 eggs hard-boiled, cooled, and chopped

2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tsp dijon mustard

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

8 slices sourdough bread (highly recommend Panera’s)

4 slices Monterey Jack cheese

8 slices turkey bacon, fried to slightly crispy

2 avocados, sliced thin

1) In medium bowl, gently combine eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper; refrigerate 15-30 minutes before using

2) Assemble four sandwiches as follows, dividing ingredients between each: sourdough bread slice, cheese, bacon, avocado, egg salad, sourdough bread slice; serve!

Makes: 4 sandwiches

PROSCIUTTO-GOAT CHEESE-AVOCADO GRILLED SANDWICH

Lunch time! But what to whip up? Though my guys would have been happy with basic grilled cheese sandwiches served with a squirt of ketchup (er, hmm), I decided to make it special. They were skeptical when I started loading the kitchen counter with prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, and goat cheese, but when all was grilled and done… No crumbs.

8 slices sourdough bread

4 oz goat cheese, softened

3 oz prosciutto ham

1 avocado, sliced thin

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tbsp butter, softened

1) Assemble four sandwiches as follows, dividing ingredients between each: sourdough bread slice, goat cheese, prosciutto, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, sourdough bread slice

2) Over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter in large skillet (I used a grill pan); place sandwiches in skillet and grill 3-5 minutes on bottom; spread remaining butter on top slices; flip and grill 3-5 minutes; serve!

Makes: 4 sandwiches

EASY CHICKEN POSOLE

I adore hominy–hot or cold–and this soup combines those lovely morsels with chicken, tomatillo salsa, avocado, and radish. It’s on the spicy side, so you’ll need a large glass of water at hand, but don’t let that stop you. Super yum!

Easy Chicken Posole

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium-sized white onion, diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

5 cups chicken broth

1-1/2 cups tomatillo salsa (I used Frontera brand)

2 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken

1-15 oz can white hominy, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 radishes, sliced thin

1/2 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced thin

1) To large soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium-high; add onion, oregano, cumin, and chili powder and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until onions soften

2) Stir in chicken broth and tomatillo salsa and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and add chicken, hominy, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper; cook 10 minutes and remove from heat

3) Ladle soup into bowls and top with sliced radishes and avocado; serve

Servings: 4 dinner-sized; 8 sides

CHICKEN-CORN CHOWDER WITH AVOCADO-TOMATO RELISH

I love a good soup almost as much as I love a good salad, and now that the weather’s cooling, I have yet another reason to pull out the soup pot and toss in yummy ingredient after yummy ingredient. This chicken-corn chowder was tasting pretty fine, though not anything to spectacular–until I topped it with avocado-tomato relish. Then–wow! So the relish is not optional. Enjoy!

Chicken-Corn Chowder with Avocado-Tomato Relish

1 tbsp olive oil

3 slices turkey bacon, chopped small

1 medium-sized onion, diced

3 tbsp flour

4 cups chicken broth

3-10 oz cans chicken breast, undrained

1 large potato, chopped small (I used a baking potato)

1-1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used Campari)

1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped

3 radishes, sliced thin

3 cups frozen corn

juice of 2 limes

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1) To large soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium; add bacon and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until just crisp; add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring often; sprinkle flour over onion-bacon mixture and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes

2) Stir in chicken broth, chicken breast with its liquid, and potato; increase heat to medium-high and, stirring occasionally, bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes;

3) Meanwhile, in small bowl combine avocado, tomato, and radish; set aside

4) Add corn and lime juice to soup and cook 3 minutes; stir in heavy whipping cream and cook 2 minutes; ladle soup into bowls, scatter avocado-tomato-radish mixture over top, and sprinkle with cilantro; serve!

Servings: 4-6

SHRIMP-BLACK BEAN-AVOCADO SALAD

Though our summer here in middle Tennessee has been unusually rainy, it’s still been hot (and humid) enough to justify an overabundance of salads as entrees. This time, however, I nixed the lettuce (of course, this recipe can certainly be served on a bed of iceberg or romaine). Regardless, it’s a delicious summer meal that will have forks chasing around every last bean and avocado bit. Enjoy!

Shrimp-Black Bean-Avocado Salad

2-15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 lb cooked medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tailless

1 small red onion, diced small

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced

1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes

2 tbsp minced jalapeno

2 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

lettuce (optional)

Tortilla chips (optional)

1) To large bowl add black beans, shrimp, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, and jalapeno; gently mix

2) Add olive oil, lime juice, oregano, cumin, and sea salt; gently mix

3) If you go the lettuce route, first divide lettuce between 4 plates; divide shrimp salad between servings, sprinkle with cilantro, and add a few tortilla chips on the side (optional); serve!

Servings: 4-6

BACON-WRAPPED SALMON ON AVOCADO-RED ONION SALAD

Once again, I turned to the Bacon Nation cookbook for dinner, tweaked (a little) their “Crusted Salmon with Avocado and Red Onion Green Salad” and served up this amazing meal to some very grateful plate scrapers–and me. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: fish is not my thing. However, this fish was amazing. Was it the bacon? Avocado? Lime-Dijon dressing? I can’t decide, but YUM!

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad (2)

3 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

sea salt

ground black pepper

8-10 slices bacon (depending on length of salmon fillet)

1-1/4 lb skinless, deboned salmon fillet

4 cups baby spinach

1/2 red onion, quartered and sliced thin

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered, and sliced thin

2 tbsp shaved parmesan (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) In small bowl mix: olive oil, lime juice, and Dijon mustard; lightly season with salt and pepper; refrigerate

3) On a 10″ to 12″ long sheet of aluminum foil, layer bacon strips horizontally, overlapping slightly; center salmon fillet on bacon strips and fold excess left side bacon strips over top of fillet, then right side bacon strips over bacon strips

4) Heat large skillet over medium-high; lift bacon-wrapped salmon fillet by aluminum foil and gently turn into skillet so that loose bacon edges are in bottom of skillet; cook 4 minutes, gently turn (I used 2 spatulas to keep bacon intact) and cook additional 4 minutes; remove from heat

5) Transfer bacon-wrapped salmon fillet to 13″x9″ baking dish and bake in oven 8-10 minutes until salmon is just cooked in center; remove from oven, place on cutting board, and let sit 5 minutes

6) Divide spinach between 4 plates and scatter onion and avocado over top

7) Slice bacon-wrapped salmon fillet into 1″ thick slices and arrange on top of salads; scatter parmesan cheese over top (optional), drizzle with lime-Dijon dressing, and serve

Servings: 4