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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guacamole Salad Bowl (or how do you get a fish-hater to eat fish?)

First of all I just want to say thanks for the well wishes. I'm doing much better. Sometimes I just run myself into the ground. I've spent a good deal of the last few days just napping, or doing nothing in particular. And now, life feels much easier this week. But thank you for your kind messages.

What I want to share with you today is a recipe that my mom clipped out of a magazine back in 1962. (Isn't it fun to find old recipes, cut from newspapers or magazines, many years ago?)

I think I've mentioned that I am trying to eat more fish. However, I really do not care for it (okay, that's an understatement so grand it borders on a fib). You know how some things just smell "bad" to you? Well, fish just smells "bad" to me. Frankly I don't understand how anybody ever thought to eat it in the first place. But everybody says that it's good for me, so I am making an effort to eat more of it.

So, not being a fan of fish, I have to look hard to find a recipe that I'm even willing to try. My foray into salmon patties a few months ago, was a miserable one. The smell of canned salmon was so horrible that I kept asking the fam if they thought I had bought a can that was contaminated with some deadly bacteria. I ate one itty bitty salmon patty, while the family devoured the remainder. No one died, so I guess the can was safe, after all.

Then I remembered this recipe of my mom's. I actually made this several times in the earlier years of our marriage. And it's one of the few ways that I will happily eat canned tuna.

This is a pantry entree salad -- the kind of thing that you may already have many of the ingredients, sitting in your pantry right now. It's fresh tasting, has some crunch, and is covered in a creamy, avocado dressing. It's called Guacamole Salad Bowl. And it can be whipped up in about 15 minutes, start to finish.

I am always quite generous with the corn chips (so I won't be judging you if you use way more than the 1-cup called for in the recipe!!). I like the crunch and salty flavor. My mom always used Fritos, so that's what I prefer. I suppose if what you have is tortilla chips, they would work just as well.

Guacamole Salad Bowl

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 medium head of iceberg lettuce, washed (or 1 full head of either Romaine or Loose leaf lettuce --enough for 4 to 6 persons in a main dish salad)
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup sliced, pitted black olives
1/4 cup chopped green onions (I used shallot greens in this salad, but I've also subbed chives before)
1 cup corn chips
1 drained can of tuna, 6 1/2-, 7 1/2-, or 9 1/2 ounces (this recipe is from a time when cans of tuna contained 7 ounces in the US. Currently, most tuna is packed in 5 oz. cans. I use 2 cans of tuna for a recipe. For 5 of us that's 2 ounces per person)
1 recipe Avocado Dressing (you could use any guacamole, thinned with salad or olive oil)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
additional olives for garnish, if desired

Break/tear lettuce into a large bowl. Add tomato wedges, olives, green onions, corn chips and tuna.

Toss gently with Avocado Dressing. Top with cheese, garnish with extra olive slices and serve.

Avocado Dressing

1/2 cup mashed, very ripe avocado (I use 2 of the peewee avocados sold at our farmer's market. 1 medium avocado would also work well.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream (plain yogurt also works. I used mayo plus a little extra lemon juice, as I can't have dairy)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional, I skip it)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco (hot  pepper sauce) -- I subbed about 2 tablespoons mild salsa for the Tabasco
1/3 cup salad oil (or thereabouts. I use about 1/4 cup of oil)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, except oil. Blend in enough oil to a dressing consistency.

Enjoy! Even this fish-hater is happy to eat this salad!     :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)


  1. Fritos. Yum. I haven't had them for years. This recipe certainly needs a try.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Remember those little bags of chips that came in a multi-pack? My sister always chose the BBQ potato chips and I always chose the Fritos. I'm getting hungry for some just thinking about them. Hmm, Fritos for breakfast? Anyways, if you try the salad, I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Yum, I think corn chips and avocado can make anything delicious :)

    1. Hi Economies,
      Maybe that's why I'll eat fish in this salad!

  3. Lili,
    This sound very tasty-I like the way you have incorporated so many healthy ingredients into this salad-that way a few corn chips won't hurt a soul!
    Glad you are feeling better.
    Happy Hugs,

  4. Hi Jemma,
    I hadn't thought about it before, but it is fairly heart-healthy, isn't it, with the avocados, olives, olive oil (in dressing) and tuna? And it does get me, the resident fish-hater here, to eat fish. Now, to think of a way to eat fish tomorrow night. Friday's have become our fish night. I am open to suggestions.
    Thanks for the well wishes!

  5. I like fish but not canned fish...this sounds good, though! I have been able to make myself eat canned tuna by mixing it into mac and cheese, or making a tuna salad with chopped apples and celery. Now I want Fritos and I haven't had breakfast yet, either :)

    1. Hi anexacting,
      A tuna salad with apples and celery sounds interesting. That could be an addition to my limited fish repertoire. I have made tuna casseroles a few times. They're okay. I do everything I can to make the fish taste less fishy. With canned fish, I drain and rinse it in a strainer. Then pour lemon juice over it and allow to sit in the fridge for an hour. Then drain again.

      I'm going to venture into the world of fresh fish I think. It's funny that I dislike fish so much, having lived almost my entire life near the water.


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