During the summer months, I constantly crave raw foods. For dinner, I’ll prepare veggie sticks and nut pâté and sometimes even raw soup! But when I’m cold in my bones (my status quo from November to March), all I want is spicy green curry and mounds of beautiful, brown rice!
This past weekend, we finally saw a little sun in the northwest corner of the country—just enough for me to whip up one of my favorite summer meals, which my fiancé and I lovingly call “Southwestern Night.” It basically involves my homemade salsa and guacamole, and veggie sticks, a bag of blue corn chips, and the two of us vegging out on the sofa.
To make this (mostly) raw meal more winter-friendly, I added cumin, a warming spice, which provides a delicious hint of smokiness. Of course, extra black or cayenne pepper will also turn up the heat! Finally, the avocado in the guacamole delivers that creamy comfort I so need during this season.
A note on the blue corn chips: I recently discovered Xochtil Organic Blue Corn Chips. Made with organic, non-hydrogenated, expeller-pressed oil, these extra thin and crispy chips can be enjoyed in healthy moderation. Gently warm a batch in the oven for a truly divine chip experience.
A note on veggies sticks: Julienned carrots, bell peppers, and celery make great chip substitutes. Before serving, toss in lemon juice. This will preserve their brightness as they sit on the table, waiting to be devoured. (I also find that lemon juice just makes veggies taste even better!)
Fresh Salsa and Guacamole
½ red onion
1 bell pepper (I choose a yellow/orange pepper for color variation)
generous handful of cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper (black or cayenne) to taste
Chop veggies to your desired texture (I like my salsa fairly chunky). In a large bowl, mix chopped veggies and seasonings. If possible, allow the salsa to sit, covered, in the fridge for at least an hour—this will help blend and intensify the flavors.
2 large avocados
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ red onion, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
Scoop out avocado meat and mix with seasonings. Allow the final mixture to sit covered in the fridge for about one hour.
Also see: Gluten-free Spiralized Zucchini Pasta
Photos: Mary Hood