Monday, June 10, 2013

Recipe: Paleo Avocado Tomato "Pasta" Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

I love me some of that traditional salad of corn, black beans, tomato, avocado, and all, but on a Paleo diet, two of the main ingredients are out. What to do? Modify the heck out of it, obviously! The solution I hit on was to use spaghetti squash, which if you think about it has kind of the rich flavor of corn without, you know, being corn--or otherwise forbidden on a Paleo diet (not that we've been exactly strict about the Paleo thing lately). I thought this turned out really well, and I would definitely make it again--it has a great coolness to pair with basically any meat (for instance, something off the grill). We had steaks tonight.

1 small to medium spaghetti squash
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
2 medium avocados
1/2 med. red onion

1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. packed fresh cilantro
2 T. lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook your spaghetti squash. My preferred method: bake whole at 400F for 45-50 minutes. You can do it faster if you slice it open, which might be a good idea here in the summer. When done, slice in half and scoop out the seeds. Scoop out the "noodles." Allow to cool before adding to the remaining ingredients (I let it cool before scooping out).

Grape tomatoes are small enough that you might forgo slicing them in half, but I would halve cherry tomatoes for sure. Dice the avocados into small (1/2" or so) cubes. Cut the red onion into small pieces. Because of the sharp flavor, I like to soak my onion in water for a while to mellow the flavor a bit. I also went ahead and added it to the food processor when I finished making my dressing, to chop the onions more finely.

Speaking of the dressing, in a small food processor, combine the oil, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Mix everything together and give it some time for the flavors to mix. Enjoy!

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