Asian-Inspired Sesame Guacamole

Asian-Inspired Sesame Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

My brain is exploding with Asian flavors recently, in case you haven’t noticed. Tofu and sesame and ginger, oh my!

Well, no tofu in this one. That was Monday. Today we mostly have a whole lotta avocados!

Asian-Inspired Sesame Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

This recipe was actually inspired by the Asian slaw stuffed avocados I posted last week. Between taking pictures, I was pouring leftover liquid from the slaw over the bits of avocado I’d scooped out when it hit me – ASIAN GUACAMOLE. I googled it immediately and while I wasn’t the first one to think of it, that’s practically impossible anyway. I was just looking for validation that this idea that had come out of my brain wasn’t going to be disgusting. Usually, if I google a recipe idea and get no results, it means 100,000 bloggers have tried it before me and decided it wasn’t worth posting about.

That is definitely not the case here. And while I’m not the first one in the history of mankind to make an Asian guacamole recipe, I bet your friends will be pretty impressed with your creativity when you show up at a party with this.

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Teriyaki-Glazed Tofu Lettuce Cups

Teriyaki-Glazed Tofu Lettuce Cups

Well well well, what do we have here?

Lettuce filled with tofu, that’s what. Can you get more vegan?

Well, maybe if I had also incorporated kale and quinoa. Then these could be eeeven more granola.

As it is, I feel like just the idea of tofu turns some people off. But no longer, because just LOOK at this tofu:

Teriyaki-Glazed Tofu Lettuce Cups

No matter your general feelings on tofu, come on. This stuff looks good.

This is definitely a tofu recipe for tofu haters.

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Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

When it comes to clothes shopping, I have a cardinal rule: if it isn’t going to be your new favorite thing, don’t buy it. It means you don’t really like it that much.

If it’s just OK now in the store, how is it going to look with a few wrinkles when you’ve waited a bit too long to fold it? Are you really ever going to choose it over all your other clothes to wear on a given day? Maybe… but probably not.

If you’re considering buying it in three colors, on the other hand, you probably have yourself a winner. Hold off on the other two colors until you make sure you like the first one, though.

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

Blog recipes are a lot like that, too. If you’re just so-so on a recipe you came up with, you might not want to recommend it to everyone you know (and even more people you don’t) on the internet. You’ve got to be obsessed with it, or it’s not worth posting about.

That’s pretty idealistic, of course. Not every recipe I post is my new favorite thing, but I try to follow my own rule as much as I can. And I get pretty excited about my end-of-year fail posts, too, so I’m never afraid to relegate a recipe to the fail pile. As I scrape it into the trash, I dream up something sarcastic to say about it in December.

Luckily, this one is far from the fail pile. It’s more in the which-other-two-colors-should-I-buy-it-in category. In fact, I liked this recipe so much that I made a spin-off that I’ll post for you next week :)

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

Come on, if these avocados were a summer dress, wouldn’t you want to buy three of them?!

I know I would. These avocados look like a party, and I love a dress that looks like a party.

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

Anyway, I wasn’t sure these avocados were going to make it to the blog when I started out. Experience has shown me that cabbage and avocado do not make a great combination of textures. But for some reason I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I decided to give it a try anyway. I was glad to prove myself wrong! The sesame and ginger flavors of the slaw are AH-mazing with the avocado, and the texture is good, too. The secret is just to shave the cabbage very thinly with a mandolin.

Time to put that lazy little gadget to work!

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

Between shredding the cabbage and onion with a mandolin and pitting the avocados, this recipe is fraught with opportunities to lose a finger. If I ever go down a digit, I’m convinced that a really snug avocado pit will be to blame. Or a butternut squash… gah, those things are the worst. If I worked in a restaurant, I’d end up in the ER every night.

For the record, I didn’t have any near brushes with nine-finger-ness while making this recipe. I just always have to hold my breath while pitting avocados.

Anyway, these stuffed avocados make a perfect light lunch with toast or another side. I also got to thinking about serving them at a party, and decided that most guests wouldn’t want to eat an entire half of an avocado. Enter: avocado slaw crackers!

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

A thin slice of avocado and a little mound of slaw atop a sesame or rice cracker. They are so colorful and so tasty… perfect crunchy little bites! I think you’ll impress your guests if you ever serve these.

I used 34 Degrees sesame crisps for these. I’ve mentioned 34 Degrees before because they are my favorite. They’re so different from any other cracker, and people always love them. The folks at 34 Degrees were nice enough to send me a few boxes of crackers after I gushed about them in this post. Let’s just say they’ve gone to good use!

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

OK, one final side note: I’m running a half marathon tomorrow! A race on a Thursday?! Weird, I know. It’s actually a Utah holiday (Pioneer Day) that many businesses are closed for. The city does fireworks and a parade, and holds a 10K, half marathon, and full marathon along the parade route. The street closures cut my neighborhood off from downtown and make it pretty hard to get to work, so this year I decided to not even try. Instead I’ll be waking up at the crack of dawn in the middle of the night to bust my butt 13.1 miles down a canyon and through downtown Salt Lake. Yep, I picked another downhill race! I’m hoping for a fun long run and maybe even a new PR. Wish me luck?

Now go make these avocados! And remember my sage advice next time you’re in the dressing room debating a new purchase. Hah! Kidding… kind of.

Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw | coffeeandquinoa.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Stuffed Avocados with Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw
 
Hands-on time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage (I recommend using a mandolin)
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot (about 1 carrot)
  • 1/2 cup shaved red onion
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado or brown sugar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 avocados, halved and pitted
  • sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together both cabbages, the carrot, red onion, and green onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, lime juice, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Carefully scoop a hole in each avocado half. Fill with the slaw and top with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Notes
For a smaller appetizer version, top a rice cracker or sesame cracker with a small slice of avocado and a spoonful of slaw. Garnish with sesame seeds.

 

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

You may have noticed that I like to eat tofu with various sauces. Um, this one and this one, for example? But in truth, there is no better match for tofu, in my opinion, than teriyaki sauce.

Could anything really be better than peanut sauce?! Well, that is a pretty bold claim. I’m not sure I’m prepared to make it. I could drink peanut sauce with a straw any day of the week. And teriyaki sauce? Well, I didn’t really think I was a fan until recently. But it turns out I am – and especially on tofu!

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki BowlCrispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki BowlCrispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

Like so many of the recipes on this blog, these tofu teriyaki bowls are based on one of my favorite Whole Foods finds. They have a brown rice tofu teriyaki bowl that I’ve picked up several times when I don’t have leftovers to bring to work.

The meal is pretty straightforward – brown rice, baked tofu and roasted bok choy, topped with a teriyaki sauce – but the flavors are meant to be together! Something about the sweet and salty sauce, the neutral tofu, and the almost bitter bok choy. Once you try it, you won’t be able to fathom subbing a different vegetable or protein. It is just SO meant to be! Throw some green onions on there and I’m in HEAVEN.

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

I think of this as comfort food to begin with, because I usually get it from Whole Foods when I’m tired after traveling (hence the no leftovers to bring for lunch). There’s really no better pick-me-up in my freezing cold office than a piping hot lunch! And this week, I don’t know about the rest of the country, but it is coooold in Utah. 47 and raining on my drive home from work today, when it was high 80s last week! Nothing like six inches of snow in the mountains to let you know it’s SUMMER. It’s not too bad, though, really – the valley will stay green a bit longer with the rain and extra snowfall, and it’s a good excuse to turn the oven on for meals like this. And then curl up in sweatpants on the couch… not that I’m in that very position right now.

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

Wait, speaking of curling up in sweatpants and needing an office pick-me-up, here’s what you need to do if you work in an office: watch this video from The Onion immediately. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m that annoying girl with a standing desk at work? Needless to say, multiple people shared this link with me last week :)

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

OK, back to the food. I’ve been searching for my ideal tofu preparation for bowls like this, and I think I’ve found it in Kate’s method, which I used here. Previously I’ve pan-fried the tofu, which is great for getting it extra crispy, but terrible for having your house smell like a burning wok for the next 72 hours. I’ve also baked it without corn starch, which is healthy, but not as crispy. This way, where you bake the tofu after tossing it with cornstarch, soy sauce, and oil, is the best of both worlds. Let me know if you have a different favorite way to make your tofu! I’m all ears… but until then, I’m sticking to this method for the foreseeable future!

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

5.0 from 3 reviews
Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl
 
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
For the brown rice:
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3 to 4 cups water
For the crispy baked tofu:
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup Bragg's liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
For the bok choy:
  • 3 to 4 baby bok choy, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil
  • sprinkle of pepper
For the teriyaki sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Bragg's liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp raw turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water
To serve:
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Make the rice. Rinse and drain rice. Add to a small pot, along with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, cover, and let sit for 20 more minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
  2. Make the crispy baked tofu. Preheat oven to 425. Drain the water out of the package of tofu. Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and squeeze out the excess moisture. Slice tofu into bite-sized triangles.
  3. Place tofu in a bowl or large dish. Pour Bragg's and peanut oil over the tofu and sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss gently until tofu is coated with the mixture and no dry spots of cornstarch remain. Spread tofu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until deep brown and chewy, about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  4. Make the teriyaki sauce. While the tofu bakes, whisk or blend together the Bragg's, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture. Bring to a simmer in a small pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a small pitcher.
  5. Make the bok choy. Slice the baby bok choy in half lengthwise. Spread halves on a baking sheet. Drizzle the leafy greens with peanut oil and toss them a bit to coat. Sprinkle with pepper. The bok choy will need to bake for just 6-8 minutes, so place them in the hot oven when the tofu has 6-8 minutes left to go.
  6. To serve, scoop rice into bowls. (If you want to be really nice, you can chop up the roasted bok choy before serving.) Top rice with bok choy, tofu, teriyaki sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

 

Mushroom Larb (Thai Mushroom Lettuce Wraps)

Mushroom Larb

Lately…

I cannot stay awake in shavasana for.the.life.of.me.

I’m considering making a Warby Parker purchase and doing the glasses thing. (Thoughts???)

I can’t believe that I graduated from college 6 years ago this weekend.

It feels like summer and I am getting excited for summer travel plans!

I registered for a July half marathon and am hoping to PR by dropping some lbs. We’ll see!

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