I think it’s safe to assume that the majority of single-folk have served time in online dating purgatory. I gave it a fair shake and it’s just not the venue for me but it has worked for several of my friends who have found love and happy, successful relationships. I have one friend who has not yet given up hope that “The Internets” will deliver the big, sexy, lumberjack-type man of her dreams. This friend also comes up with creative nicknames for her online suitors including: Teen Wolf, Fireman, Mustache Man, Captain America, and Avocado, just to name a few. Yes, you read that correctly: Avocado. It was basically a spin-off of a first name that sounded vaguely like Avocado. I won’t get into the personal business regarding why these suitors weren’t a good fit because it’s not really my place to share. I also could not hold a candle to her telling the stories herself and performing the necessary physical comedy routine. What I have learned from her experience is that unlike her Avocado, the real avocado can be used in a variety of dishes; and the real avocado probably has a 99.9% satisfaction rate minus the mommy issues. Enough said.
You may recall from my last post that I am currently on a detox and thus, need to be very creative with my vegan-style meals. I knew I had to create more than just lentil soup and guacamole or I’d eventually get bored. Have you ever had a kitchen experience where halfway through the cooking process, you realize the dish tastes really odd (okay, downright awful) and you have to get very creative very quickly with the spice rack to salvage it? Well, that happened here and in the end it actually turned out to be one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever made. I adapted this recipe from one that was included in the detox program and it incorporates a brand-new ingredient that I’d never heard of or worked with before: hemp powder. This is not your college boyfriend’s hemp. No. This powder is made from seeds an apparently, is one of the most digestible proteins out there.
Lady Sensory’s Happy Ending Red Pepper & Avocado Soup
2 red peppers, chopped
2 cups warm water
1 ripe avocado, diced
3/4 cup baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup hemp powder (or less, depending on your taste)
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
2 tsp raw honey
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (more or less depending on your taste)
One pinch (less than 1/4 tsp) of each of the following dried ingredients: cumin, ancho chile powder, thyme, oregano, basil, and chipotle pepper flakes (you can get the ancho & chipotle at Williams Sonoma).
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro and lime for garnish
Warm the oil in a 3-4 qt pot and add the onions. Allow onions to become translucent, then follow with the garlic and cook until slightly golden. Then, add the carrots, red pepper and jalapeño and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add the avocado. Mix the hemp powder and warm water together until combined and add to the mixture, followed by the honey. Add all spices and simmer mixture until hot for about 10-15 minutes, but do not boil. Remove half of the soup and place in a food processor and pulse until a thick purée forms. Place back in the pot with the rest of the soup. This process should really open up the smoky chipotle flavor. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge for additional zest. This makes two good size portions. I was able to refrigerate one portion and eat it the next day and it was just as delicious.
While we’re on the topic of avocados, here’s a slightly healthier version of my guacamole:
Lady Sensory’s Chunky Guacamole
2 ripe avocados, diced
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 small cloves garlic*
1 jalapeño, finely diced*
*This is a delicious and fresh version of guacamole. If you aren’t into being healthy, you can omit these and substitute with my original recipe which calls for a teaspoon of mayonnaise and a teaspoon of Thai chili paste or Sriracha. I’ve also thrown little chunks of bacon in the original recipe and that is really decadent!
Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl without completely mashing the avocado or tomatoes (I prefer chunky guac). Serve immediately with tasty blue corn chips, pita wedges, on top of a hamburger, or if you are detoxing like I am, exciting cucumber slices. You can store guacamole for another day by placing in an airtight container and pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface (reduces oxidation/browning). Seal the lid tightly and chill in the fridge.
Now, make sure to wipe all of the creamy green goodness off your face before you update that online dating picture!