Tag Archives: vegetarian

Grilled citrus and avocado dressing

Grilled citrus and avocado dressing // Dinners for Winners

This week is flying by, y’all!

The sun is almost up enough at 5:00am for me to get in a lighted run before work these days. Sucking all that fresh air into my lungs is such a perfect way to wake up.

My rides to work have needed two jackets in the morning, but not a scarf, and are absolutely sublime on the commute home — the temperatures have been perfection!

And tonight is girl’s night, my favorite!

I’m excited for one of my favorite community running events on Friday, this month supported by our most-loved local brewery pals. I’m hoping the rain holds off.

I’m agonizing over my menu for Father’s Day (Middle-Eastern? Sichuan. American comfort food?) and I’d really like to go meatless. We don’t eat meat at home too often unless we’re entertaining, but I’d like to see us buy even less of it. Hearing Dan Barber’s reading from his new book last week in Portland was so inspiring and also, convicting.

Grilled citrus and avocado dressing // Dinners for Winners

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say this is the first vegan recipe on my blog, and it would need one minor substitution to even count, but there ya go. Mostly I was trying to give a browning avocado new life as a salad dressing and then started grilling the components. SO good! I would grill everything in the world, if it wasn’t such a pain in the rear to unpack our piece-of-junk grill from its shelf in our “outdoor closet” (crippled apartment interpretation of a garage). Oh these are the days I wish with all my might for a house with a yard!

It’s ok. I get the grill out, I make this dressing, I put it on everything. The citrus flavors really change to a complex bittersweet from grilling, and the charred avocado adds a gentle smokiness to the mix. The finished combination with a little garlicky kick and tons of cilantro is super green and bright, creamy and fresh. Kinda puts a spring in my step.

Grilled citrus and avocado dressing // Dinners for WinnersI made breakfast sandwiches for us with this green goodness slathered on toasted English muffins with fried eggs; I’ve been dressing my salad and pea tips with it every day as you can see here; I’ve been dipping pita chips in it. I can’t stop! And the cilantro and lime makes me think it would be wonderful on some grilled-vegetable tacos. Let’s get grillin! Enjoy!

Grilled citrus and avocado dressing // Dinners for Winners

Grilled citrus and avocado dressing/dip

yields about 2 1/4 cups
  • 1 lime
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons honey (swap agave for vegan option)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Few handfuls roughly chopped cilantro leaves

Halve citrus and avocado, removing pit. On well-oiled grates, grill the fruit face down on a medium-high heat until beginning to char. (If a mellow, sweet garlic flavor is desired, grill the cloves of garlic in their skins as well.) Allow to cool.

In a blender or food processor, blend shallot until finely minced. With motor running, add garlic and blend until finely minced. Add citrus juices, avocado flesh, honey and Dijon. Blend until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with plenty of salt and pepper and add cilantro, pulsing until cilantro is finely chopped.

Dressing will thicken in the fridge (will keep, well-sealed, up to 1 week). If a looser dressing is preferred, add water two tablespoons at a time, whisking to combine.

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Asparagus and goat’s cheese quesadillas with melted leeks

Spring quesadilla with asparagus and goat's cheese // Dinners for Winners


Let’s talk! What’s been going on y’all?

We went to New York, and we came home! While most of our visit was sunny and warm, for the first two chilly days I wore every layer I packed, and then some of my sister’s. It had snowed right before we arrived, but by the time we landed back in Oregon, I definitely had a sunburn. We had it all! Via carry-on, I lugged home two hefty loaves of chocolate babka from Russ and Daughters (in my new tote bag from Brooklyn Larder!)….. that was delicious!

favorite highlights…
The squid and the whale (yes: everyone did go to the  museum during Spring Break and Holy Week)

spending every day for a week with my sister (and the kitties)!
Cooking Easter brunch at my sister’s new apartment
Easter brunch -- by @celiphoto
Watching Jim Lahey bake pizzas (fangirl!) and sampling his treats
Sullivan Bakery -- by @celiphoto
Seeing dear old friends
The Barnes visit! -- by @celiphoto
shennanigns -- by @celiphoto
Korean tableside barbeque and some fizzy rice wine
New Wonjo -- by @celiphoto
Sour beer in the chilly sunshine
by @celiphoto
Filipino brunch (SERIOUSLY)
Our first airbnb experience
Drinking at a bierhalle across the street from our apartment, plus the Polish barkeep whom we adopted as our own
giant grapefruit shandy
Every single dish we ate at Tanoreen (you’re gonna want to get that cookbook)

….a wonderful trip, and much-needed breaks from work and the norm.

Back at home, I got writer’s block

I PRed my bench press

Our dog has spring-time allergies

I held my nephew while he clutched onto my shirt in his sleep

I got my motorcycle out of winter storage! Suns out pipes out

A friend and I went to see Augustana play!

The new album is my favorite to date, and it was a magical night. Singers, musicians, writers, cooks, painters, bloggers — when we find an artist whose work we strongly connect with, we keep ‘em around… Augustana and I have been together a lonnnng time.

And, the newest issue of Willamette Valley Life came out, with my column centered on a green and Spring-y recipe!


Spring quesadilla with asparagus and goat's cheese // Dinners for Winners

Crisp whole wheat quesadillas with shaved asparagus ribbons, melted spring leeks, creamy Gryuere and goat’s cheese. The light was tricky so I had to have these for dinner several times to keep shooting…. and I’m glad. They were so good.

Spring quesadilla with asparagus and goat's cheese // Dinners for Winners

It seems to be a season of extra fun things. Currently, my sister is with us on the West Coast to meet our new nephew; we’ll immerse in family gatherings and wonderful food from my mom’s kitchen. We have birthday parties coming up, baby showers, Office Cakes to bake (and so much going on at work!)…. sometimes a super-quick dinner is just what’s needed. Quesadillas are always a delicious fall-back in our kitchen. Click over to Willamette Valley Life to get the full recipe! And spring on. Cheers!




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