SmartCooks here. I'm definitely in that weird January space. I hate this -40 plus extreme cold. It makes me feel claustrophic as I huddle around the fireplace surrounded by kitties, my laptop and various other electronic gadgets, herbal tea and music. The three feline children obviously feel the same way and I couldn't resist posting another photo of them on Facebook. Check it out.
I played semi-hookey from work today after 14-plus consecutive days of intense work pressure. This morning the day caved in on me. The water wouldn't work in the upstairs bathroom (pipes frozen) and the car was giving me the sluggish whir-whir of a nearly frozen engine. Clearly it was not going to be easy to haul myself to a 12-hour 'Retreat'. I felt terrible. Sore throat was a-brewin. So, I called it a 'sick day' and burrowed in for some much-needed space/time completely by myself, with a solid, hard workout at end of day rocking to a new Body Attack release at the gym. Rejuvenates the soul kindof day.
I spent quality time surfing some interesting on-line journals and trying my hand at adapting some recipes I found. Today's obsession was a fresh, simple recipe for Avocado and Cucumber Soup or Dip or Side (you decide!). It reminded me of spring. I sampled it as a chilled soup (photo from the site; two others are mine), a dip for vegeys, or as a dollop for tonight's dinner of lemon kale, tomato salsa and chicken strips.
I found the original recipe on a blog called Whole Family Fare, written out of New York by a young woman who is both vegan and devoted to cooking fresh and raw foods. She and her family travel to places like Costa Rice to live in treehouses and browse farmers' market. Years ago we would have called her a 'hippie'; now I think she would be called an 'environmentalist' or a 'locavore'. Whatever, she comes up with some terrific recipes based on nutritious, low-calories, organic, foods for the family.
Preparation is super simple -- five main ingredients i.e., avocado, cucumber, green onions, garlic and lemon juice plus some water and sea salt. (For a bit more heat, add a jalapeno. I did. Cilantro was a nice touch too).
A blender is all the clean up you need. No cooking, no muss, no fuss.
Avocado Soup or Dip or Side (you decide!)
2 ripe avocados
1/2 large cucumber
5 green onions (white part only, save some of green parts for garnish)
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup of water
Green parts of onion for garnish
Peel the cucumber, cut into slices and set aside.
Chop the green onions, white parts only. Put the avocados, cucumber, green onions, garlic, lemon juice, 1 cup of water and 1/2 tsp of sea salt into the blender. If using a jalapeno and/or cilantro add as well.
Blend well, adding more water if necessary. Consistency can be thicker or thinner, depending on the amount of water you use.
Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, after which I would pitch it.