Tag Archives: Avocado

Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado & Herb Dressing

Avocado and Fresh Herb Dressing
Avocado and Fresh Herb Dressing
Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing
Kale Salad topped with a fried egg, yum!

Kale Salad topped with a fried egg, yum!

We recently spent a fantastic week in beautiful Vermont for a much needed family vacation.  We spent the first few days at the Smuggler’s Notch resort where we enjoyed an exhilarating/slightly terrifying day at the Arbor Trek Treetops Obstacle Course, swimming in the numerous pools, Evan’s first BIG waterslide, Evan bouncing and Skyler flipping on the Euro Bungy, Skyler flying through trees on the giant swing, and some time finally learning to paddle board on a thankfully smooth and calm lake – I don’t think I’m ready for the ocean waves yet, although I did try a few brief seconds in tree pose while barely balancing on the board!
tree climbing Skyler
tree climbing Skyler
Skyler challenging the treetops obstacle course
Skyler challenging the treetops obstacle course
Survived the treetops obstacle course!
Survived the treetops obstacle course!
We didn’t even let the way too many rainy moments get us down…we watched family movies and ate our way through the offerings at Ben & Jerry’s, and ate decent meals.  While our bellies never went empty and we were nourished well enough, we were left more than a little uninspired by the menu options at the fun family resort…Why is it that so many restaurants think if kids will be there the food needs to be ordinary and, dare I say it..boring?

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Heart Healthy Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread (vegan optional)

Banana Bread flecked with chocolate chunks and walnuts
Banana Bread flecked with chocolate chunks and walnuts
I often find myself with extra bananas past their eating prime, over ripe and brown, which is why I have so many different recipes for baking with super ripe bananas, like these muffins and these cookies or I’ll add them into the daily smoothie that 5 year old Evan often asks for/demands.  But, one of my favorite ways to use extra ripe bananas is, in what else, but banana bread. A slice of banana bread There are a million banana bread recipes out there, but of all I’ve tried, this one is my family’s favorite.  Aside from being super moist, flecked with chocolate chunks and often walnuts, it is lower in fat than many recipes and filled with so many heart healthy ingredients.  I love using bittersweet dark chocolate and even if I use chips I like to chop up the chocolate so you get different size bits with a few chunks.  Honestly, I think even without the chocolate this banana bread would be delicious, but why not indulge a little with chunks of dark chocolate, after all chocolate is a super food too.

Chopped Dark Chocolate

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread. Heidi’s recipe calls for a lemony glaze poured over the top of the finished banana bread and while I love the addition of lemon in so many recipes I am not a huge fan of sweet glazes, and I think in this case the banana bread with the addition of great chunks of chocolate and chopped walnuts really stands on its own with no need for an added glaze.  Dry mix for Heart Healthy Banana Bread
Avocado and Olive Oil

The base recipe is fantastic with olive oil and aside from eliminating the glaze I’ve amped up the heart health with the addition of oat bran, avocado and flax.  And if you add in the optional walnuts, you get even more heart healthy benefits since walnuts are a great source of Omega 3’s, aside from adding in a little yummy crunch.  I like the mix of avocado and olive oil, just be sure to really mash the avocado well, but if a few tiny flecks of green remain it’s no big deal. I also like using a combo of one egg plus one “flax egg”.  Egg substitutes are easy to make using 1 Tablespoon of ground flax with about 2 ½ Tablespoons of water per egg.  Mix up the flax and water at the start of putting together the recipe, to allow time for the water to be fully absorbed and gel up a bit.   Again if you prefer, you can always use 2 eggs or go full out doubling the flax and skip the egg altogether. Either way, the banana bread turns out moist and delicious.  Super healthy, Super yummy, what more could you ask for! 
Slices of Heart Healthy Banana Bread with chocolate chunks and walnuts, yum!
Slices of Heart Healthy Banana Bread with chocolate chunks and walnuts, yum!


Heart Healthy Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread 

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
Adapted from: Heidi Swanson’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour – I use whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup oat bran
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate – from about 2, 3-4 ounce bars or use chips
½ avocado – well mashed
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 X-large egg (or make it vegan, by doubling the flax and water)
1 Tablespoon ground flax with 2 ½ Tablespoons water (double, if leaving out the egg)
3 very ripe mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional (but really good!) ½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a standard loaf pan, I use olive oil spray or coconut oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flax meal and water, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oat bran, sugar, baking soda, salt.  Mix in the chocolate chunks.
Once the flax has absorbed the water, add in mashed avocado, olive oil, egg.  Add in mashed banana, and vanilla.  Mix well.
Add the banana mixture into the flour mix, stir until just combined.  If using, mix in walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Place in the center of your oven and bake for about 50 minutes.  Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.  Slice up, serve and Enjoy!   
Heart Healthy Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Citrus, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Sweet, juicy and delicious citrus tossed with creamy black beans and avocado

Sweet, juicy and delicious citrus tossed with creamy black beans and avocado

It’s been a very long, cold and snowy winter here in New York and many other parts of the country and I’m happy to feel Spring poking it’s head out of all the winter white with some 40 degree weather this week!  I also love to get a little taste of sunshine this time of year with a bite of in season citrus fruits.  Oranges, clementines, grapefruits are all in season now and add a nice refreshing twist to this winter salad.   

Citrus Black Bean and Avocado Salad

There’s citrus in the salad along with black beans and creamy avocados and citrus in the dressing with a little extra freshness from chopped cilantro.

sweet and juicy citrus dressing

sweet and juicy citrus dressing

citrus dressing with black beans

citrus dressing with black beans

This bright, colorful, fruity salad is simple and delicious.  I like to eat this atop some crunchy Romaine leaves alongside cheesy quesadillas, or top with your protein of choice for a nice light main dish salad.

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Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

A flourless, chocolaty, rich, moist and fudgy treat.  But, this is no ordinary brownie, what I have for you here is a big dose of super foods disguised as a delicious decadent treat.  Avocado, almond and cocoa give you antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats, serving up a treat you can feel great eating.  I promise, you will not taste or even see the avocado at all, but it adds moistness and yes, fat, while replacing more traditional and less healthful fats.   Double Chocolate Flourless Brownies

I adapted this recipe from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies, mine are no longer fully paleo as I’ve replaced Elana’s dates with brown sugar, which may actually be better for those following a low FODMAPs diet who have difficulty digesting certain fruits.  I also like that brown sugar is something most of us always have on hand, which makes this a recipe you can throw together easily without much planning, as long as almond flour is one of your pantry items and a ripe avocado is on hand! And speaking of avocado, I’ve swapped that for Elana’s coconut oil, which gives you a healthful fat plus some added fiber. 

Double Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies topped with raspberry sorbet

mashed avocado for double chocolate flourless brownies

mashed avocado

Since this recipe was already, gluten free and dairy free, I decided to give it a test drive going completely vegan by swapping out the eggs for flax.  I give you the recipe both ways, so if you have no issue with eggs and like the idea of getting a little extra protein and vitamin D, go with the eggs, otherwise, swap out the eggs for flax and get yourself a little extra Omega 3’s with your chocolaty treat. 

flax eggs

flax “eggs”

eggs, avocado and vanilla

eggs, avocado and vanilla

I’m no stranger to subbing flax for eggs in recipes, but until now I have never made the same recipe side by side, one with eggs and one with flax, and I have to say the results were interesting and a little surprising to me.  The egg version batter mixes up moister and bakes up with a little more rise, while the flax version actually bakes up a little bit moister, even though the batter looks drier before baking.  Either way, both versions are a treat I wouldn’t turn down and I will say there were no complaints from my family of tasters when two pans of brownies came out of the oven!

Side by Side flax eggs and avocado vs. real eggs and avocado

Side by Side
flax eggs and avocado vs.
real eggs and avocado

Since I did end up with two batches, I found they stayed perfectly moist and yummy for several days, just wrapped on the counter.  Although, I didn’t try freezing these, I think they would do well individually wrapped if you’d like to stash a few for a future treat. 

Double Chocolate Flourless SuperFood Brownies

Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies

Makes 16 Brownies

IngredientsDouble Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies

1 cup Almond Flour

½ cup Cocoa Powder (I use raw organic Cacao)

½ cup Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Salt – I use a heaping amount of Flaky Sea Salt

2 Eggs – I use Extra Large OR 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax + 5 Tablespoons warm Water

½ Avocado – well mashed

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks – Bittersweet or Semi Sweet

Optional: extra Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling on top


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish (I use coconut oil for greasing) OR line with parchment.

IF using Flax instead of Eggs, mix together the Flax with the Water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken up.

In a medium bowl, sift in the Almond Flour.  Note: As long as most of the Almond Flour gets through the sifter, it’s fine to dump the remaining bits that stubbornly won’t go through the mesh, right into the bowl.  Sift in the Cocoa Powder.  Next add in the Salt, Baking Soda and Brown Sugar.  Mix well, being sure to break up any of the Brown Sugar clumps.  Stir in the Chocolate chunks or chips.

In a separate bowl, mash the Avocado until it’s really smooth and creamy.  Add to that the Eggs or gelled Flax and the Vanilla Extract.  Mix well.

Add the Avocado mixture to the Almond and Cocoa mix.  Stir to fully combine.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth out so it fits evenly in the pan.

Bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes.  Now the hard part: best to let the brownies cool right in the baking pan for about 2 hours before slicing through.  Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!


Recipe notes: 

partially sifted almond flour

partially sifted almond flour


I keep my almond flour in the freezer which tends to make it a little lumpy.  So I don’t end up with a brownie filled with unmixed lumps of almond meal, I like to sift it into the bowl. It’s definitely worth the effort even though I never seem to be able to get it completely through the mesh of the sifter, so I just toss in whatever remains behind, which adds a nice bit of nutty texture to the finished brownie.   



Double Chocolate Almond Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate & Almond Flourless Superfood Brownies, yum!


Tofu Summer Rolls with Miso Dipping Sauce

IMG_5004 Tofu Summer Rolls with Misco Cashew Dipping Sauce

Tofu Summer Rolls

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

These summer rolls are so flavorful, light and fresh tasting, perfect for the warm days of Spring and Summer.  They make a great appetizer or party hors d’oeuvres and are perfect as a light lunch or dinner served alongside a nice salad or Asian slaw.


1 12-ounce package of Extra Firm Tofu – drained and pressed

1 Avocado – thinly sliced

1 Mango – thinly sliced

Fresh Mint leaves

Baby Arugula

Rice Paper a.k.a. Spring Roll Wrappers

Flaked Sea Salt (or other Salt)IMG_4955


Miso Marinade/Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

 1 Tablespoon White Miso

1 Tablespoon lite Soy Sauce or Wheat Free Tamari (to make it gluten free)

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider or Rice Vinegar (or 1 Tablespoon of each)

2 teaspoons Honey, Agave or Maple Syrup (Agave or Maple to make it Vegan)

1/4 teaspoon (more or less to taste) Sriracha Sauce

1 Tablespoon Olive or Sesame Oil

IMG_4949 Miso Cashew Dipping Sauce

 Alternate (Miso Cashew) Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Cashew Butter (Almond or Peanut Butter would also be good)

1 Tablespoon White Miso

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

2 teaspoons Honey or Agave Syrup

1 teaspoon lite Soy Sauce or Tamari

1 teaspoon Water

1/4 teaspoon (more or less to taste) Sriracha Sauce

A sprinkling of white or black Sesame Seeds – optional



Starting with drained and pressed Tofu, slice the Tofu block into approximately 8 even slices and the then halve each slice lengthwise, leaving you with about 16 strips.  Season lightly with salt.

Meanwhile heat a large non stick pan and drizzle a bit of oil (I use olive, canola or coconut oil).

Saute each piece of Tofu over a medium to high flame, adjusting temperature as needed, until golden brown on both sides.  Beware of splatters when cooking.

IMG_4715 Golden Tofu in Miso MarinadeWhilst cooking the tofu, prepare the Miso Marinade.  Add the cooked Tofu to the Marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to a few hours or even overnight.  Refrigerating the cooked tofu allows the texture to firm up and also gives it time to absorb the flavors of the marinade.

To make the Summer Rolls:

Fill a pie dish or other similarly sized bowl with warm water.  Working one at a time, soak 1 Rice Paper wrapper in the water until it softens.  Beware, if you’ve never worked with rice paper wrappers before, they are delicate and prone to tearing, but don’t worry about small tears they should still wrap up fine.

On a flat surface, like a cutting board lay out the softened Rice Paper (you can place a paper towel on top of your board if you like to help absorb a bit of extra moisture and prevent it from sticking to your board).

Begin to layer your filling – start with 2 -3 leaves of Mint placed vertically down the center of the rice paper.  Next, line up 2 slices of tofu on top of the Mint, then 2 slices of Mango and 2 slices of Avocado, finishing with a small handful of Arugula and a little sprinkle of flaked Sea Salt.IMG_4970 IMG_4993IMG_4988

IMG_4981Now to wrap, if you’ve ever rolled up a burrito this is very much the same.  Start by folding up the ends over the filling, then , fold up one side over all the filling tucking it to make it tight, then roll the whole thing over the last end until it is completely wrapped, tucking as you go to make a nice tight roll.  Using a sharp knife cut the roll in half (I like an angled cut).  Now repeat.

Place the completed rolls on a platter until done and then serve with either the leftover marinade or the miso cashew dipping sauce.  Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:  These rolls take a little pre planning as you need to first cook and marinate the tofu before moving on to make the rolls, if you want to save time, you can use already baked and marinated pre-packaged tofu. 

Click here to view printable version

IMG_5012 IMG_4996






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