Avocado Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps with Bacon (paleo, dairy-free)

Avocado Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps with bacon on simplebites.net

Was your Easter lovely? I hope it was. And now it is April? Gracious, I’m so ready for spring, thank you.

Today’s post is going to be quick. I’ve got the family around on this holiday Monday, and we’ve got all sorts of plans that don’t involve mama working. Heehee.

We only dyed a few Easter eggs last weekend, using blueberries for a light purple hue that matched the simple grape hyacinth table centerpiece. Then to use up the boiled eggs, I made these avocado egg salad wraps for a quick lunch.

The flavors were inspired by my favorite Guacamole Deviled Eggs, but these wraps are much faster to put together. You can leave off the bacon for a vegetarian version or spread the mixture between two toasts for a more traditional egg salad sandwich.

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Traveling in Mexico: What we ate (Recipe: Guacamole Deviled Eggs)

Guacamole deviled eggs

I feel like I got the more technical information off my chest in my last post on traveling with kids in Mexico; so now we can get down to the really good stuff: food! I’m dying to talk taco and tequila, as we ate and drank our fair share during our two week stay. It’s kind of what our family does when we get together.

As I explained to Tsh in a recent Homefries podcast, my siblings and I bond best in the kitchen. We’re a family who cooks together, then sits down around a table to continue the conversation.

Here’s a look at how we ate, and a few recommendations for our favorite places in and around Lo de Marcos and Sayulita.

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Pea Plant

Salute Spring! Peas (Recipe: Pea-camole)

Join us as we Salute Spring with a week-long series featuring the finest fruits and vegetables of the season. Written by Megan of Stetted.

Peas make me optimistic. After a cold winter, they’re the first of the spring plants to push through the dirt and begin reaching toward the sun. Once the tendrils start their grab, they’ll climb as high as you let them, only stopped by the limit of your trellis. They are harbingers of things to come, with lovely white blossoms leading the way for plump green pods.

If I had known how sweet and crunchy fresh peas could be when I was a child, I probably would have not shunned them as I did, choking down only what was necessary to be able to leave the table.

My son has no such qualms about peas. He gobbles them up as soon as they’re shelled, leaving the possibility for even attempting a recipe almost impossible. I can’t fault the kid.

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Michel’s Super Bowl Guacamole Recipe (vlog)

On Sunday afternoon, Danny and I will gather at his father’s place and watch the Super Bowl with as many of his seven other brothers as are in town. There’s also a handful of grandchildren, family friends, wives and girlfriends who help push the numbers well into the twenties, but there’s always plenty of food to go around.

Full confession: I’m not a huge football fan. The Super Bowl is about the only game I sit through all year, and that is mostly because of the company — and the food. For years, my brother-in-law, Michel, has been bringing a massive bowl of guacamole that, together with a few bags of tortilla chips, keeps the gang of us happy until half-time. It always keeps me coming back for more, and with avocados in season right now, guacamole is ideal Super Bowl party fare.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered Michel’s guac had a secret ingredient, and of course when I did, I knew I had to share it with readers. It is an absolutely brilliant addition that makes for a healthier guacamole and helps stretch it out. And when you’re making dip for twenty people, anything that stretches avocados is a good thing.

Michel agreed to do a demo just for you, my readers, so hit the jump to watch our fun vlog, and learn about the secret ingredient that now goes into all my guacamole.
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Grilled Avocado & Smoky Corn Salad and Our Dinner with Julie & Cheryl

Meeting Calgary food bloggers Cheryl and Julie didn’t go exactly to plan, but isn’t that usually the case when you are looking forward to something?

On the day of the appointed dinner date we drove into Calgary from Jasper, Alberta. It was our second day of driving, meaning that clothes were rumpled, faces and hands were sticky and everyone was a little out of sorts. Jasper to Calgary is an easy 4 hour drive, but a breakfast stop at Moraine Lake stretched the journey to nearly 6. Making this drive without seeing some of the best scenery in North America is just silly and it was worth the detour.

We pulled into Calgary around lunchtime, but it wasn’t until we were on the doorstep of another friends’ home (coincidentally our hosts for the weekend and away on vacation themselves), did we discover that their neighbor had left us the wrong key and our access was denied. That meant no naps for the boys, no much-needed cup of tea for me, no fresh sundress for dinner–just packing everyone back into their car seats and freshening up in the car wash bathroom. It didn’t help that said neighbor was on a cruise and unreachable; we were pretty much stuck until our friends returned from New Brunswick that evening and opened up their place for us.
Of course, by that time we were saying our ‘Hellos’ to Cheryl, Julie and their families, where the TGIF celebrations were already in full swing.

I immediately felt at home in Cheryl’s comfortable home; gorgeous splashes of color on the walls and exquisite handmade quilts draped luxuriously over the furniture gave the place such a warmth, it would thaw the most timid of visitors. I soon forgot about my frustrating afternoon, especially after a few (OK, a lot) of these jicama sticks with chili salt and a glass of bubbly.

Cheryl–actually the entire family–had prepared quite the spread:

Watermelon and Jicama Sticks with Chili Salt
Hubby’s Famous Arkison Burgers w/ house ketchup
Grilled Avocado and Corn Salad with Smoky Caesar Dressing

Sour Cream Ice Cream
Cherry Hand Pies

Can I just say for the record that everything was stellar?!! Cheryl outdid herself and created the perfect, relaxed summer BBQ. The kids chowed down on buffalo hot dogs while I assembled the tastiest burger of the summer to date. Of course the presence of a wriggly one-year-old on my lap prevented me from getting any photos of the masterpiece, but Julie has a great shot in her recap of the night. I can’t wait to re-create the burgers with our own fresh beef.

The kids…before Noah and Julie’s son started a shoving match and Mateo swiped Noah’s hot dog

After two days of road food, I couldn’t get enough of the avocado and corn salad! It was indeed smoky and the grilled avocado gave it a sensual twist–ideal for a warm sultry night as that one. And those sour cherry hand pies! Killer. Lucky for us, Cheryl gives the recipe here, which you should promptly start prepping for because they were too good.

Julie provides the recipe for Sour Cream Ice Cream and plenty more great photos over at Dinner with Julie. Oh, and here Cheryl describes the evening as a perfect first date. This was one well documented dinner, but what do you expect when 3 food bloggers unite, really?

For the record, I can confirm that Julie does not have an assistant, yet she skillfully manages a career in freelance,TV & radio, plus mothers, cooks and blogs almost daily. Wonder Woman! Also Cheryl somehow fills the roll of full-time mom, food blogger, career woman and expert quilter without the help of a nanny. Did I mention she has a baby and a three-year-old?
One thing they both have–and I should say this because they are our backbone– are supportive husbands who know how to fix a plate of food that is camera-worthy AND keep the kids fed.
Cheers to the men behind these food blogs!

Romaine, Grilled Avocado and Smoky Corn Salad with Chipotle-Cesar Dressing
adapted from Gourmet

1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ears of corn, shucked

2 firm-ripe 6- to 8-oz avocados, halved and pitted but not peeled

1 head romaine (1 lb), tough outer leaves discarded and head quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch strips

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (high heat for gas);

Put parmesan in a medium bowl and add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in lime juice, garlic, chipotles, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.

Rub vegetable oil on corn and cut sides of avocados, then season with 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper. Grill avocados, cut sides down, and corn, covered only if using a gas grill, turning corn occasionally, until golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Peel avocados and thinly slice. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Toss romaine with dressing and serve topped with avocado and corn.