A Dish for Your Celebration Menu: Avocado Salsa

May is a month of celebrations – the end of school, graduation, Memorial Day, and the unofficial start to summer.  This recipe is a wonderful, fresh, and healthy dish to bring to any celebration!

One of the best features of this recipe is that it is very forgiving and can easily be adjusted to suit your own tastes.  Make it hotter by adding more jalapenos, add olives to bring in an additional flavor, or use green onions instead of white onions.  Whether you use this salsa as a dip for chips or top off some delicious tacos, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Here's the ingredients you will need to gather: 
 In a large bowl, mix the onions, bell pepper, corn, jalapeno, and tomatoes.  In a smaller bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Wait until just before serving to add the chopped avocado.

Avocado Salsa
Servings: 12

What You’ll Need:
1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds removed if desired)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced

1.       In a large bowl, mix corn, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, and onion.
2.       In a small bowl, mix garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Pour this into the large bowl with the corn mixture and toss or stir gently to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
3.       Just before serving, add avocados and stir gently to combine.
4.       Enjoy!

 Thanks to Texas Tech Dietetic Intern, Amy Williamsom, for contributing this blog. 


Cheers for Cherries!

Cherry season has arrived at Market Street and we are so excited!  These delicious red morsels are not only great tasting but full of good nutrition.  Here's a few ways they help our bodies function better:

•Fill up:  1 cup of cherries contains 90 calories, 3 grams of fiber and are high in water content.  This helps keep you full longer and thus may help prevent overeating.

•Antioxidants:  Beta Carotene + Vitamin C+ Quercetin = help prevent cancer, heart disease and can also help slow the signs of aging. 

•Sleep:  Cherries contain melatonin (which helps regulate sleep cycles) and may be helpful for to get a better night of sleep and fight jet lag.

•Heart Health: Anthocyanins (antioxidants) give cherries their red color.  Those antioxidants may help reduce inflammation and cholesterol.

•Potassium: Cherries are a good source of potassium.  1 cup = approx. 270 mg.  Potassium plays an important role in muscle, heart, kidney and nerve cell function.   It also helps counterbalance sodium, which helps maintain water levels throughout the body.

While I love to just eat the cherries by themselves, I also enjoy incorporating the cherries into various dishes.  Here is one of my favorites: Cherry-Almond Cookie Dough Oatmeal.

These are the ingredients you will need to gather: oatmeal, milk, cherries, almonds, brown sugar, vanilla, and a banana.

And this is the result: Yum!

Cherry-Almond Cookie Dough Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (not steel cut nor instant, certified gluten-free if you need it)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk, any kind
  • 1 small ripe banana, sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cherries, pitted then sliced in half
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced almonds
  1. Combine oats, water, milk, and banana slices in a saucepan over medium heat. Once bubbling, stir and cook until oats are creamy, about 3 minutes, using a spatula to mash banana slices. Remove pan from heat then stir in brown sugar, and vanilla, Pour into a bowl then top with cherries and almonds.
Adapted from iowagirleats.com


Celiac Awareness Month and Cauliflower Pizza

Celiac disease is an allergy to the protein gluten that is found in wheat, barley, and rye. When individuals with celiac disease ingest foods that contain gluten, their immune system responds by causing damage to the small intestine. The damage that occurs leads to decreased absorption of nutrients from food which can lead to malnourishment.  About 1% of Americans have celiac disease and the only treatment is a 100% gluten free (GF) diet.  It’s also becoming very popular among individuals without celiac disease to choose to follow a GF diet.

When making choices within a GF diet, some items are more nutrient dense than others. There are plenty of whole foods that are naturally free of gluten including fruits, vegetables, meats, beans, and some grains such as quinoa, rice, sorghum, and some oats. What we are seeing more often in the grocery store are GF pre-packaged foods such as breads and baked goods.  It is important to take note of the nutrition labels on these foods. Often times, these products may be higher in calories, sodium, fat, or added sugar compared to the original products.  This doesn’t mean these products should be avoided, but take the time to compare them to make the best choice possible among GF products.  Eat them in moderation and most of the time, go for the naturally GF products! 

For those that aren’t diagnosed with celiac disease, realize that choosing a GF product over the regular doesn’t automatically mean it is a “healthier” product or that it will lead to weight loss. Eating a GF diet can lead to an improved eating pattern if you choose to fill your plate with more fruits and veggies that are naturally free of gluten.  This holds true for all people and every diet! 

Here's a recipe for a gluten free pizza.  It's made with a cauliflower crust! Let's start with the ingredients you will need to gather:

Pulse one head of chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like rice.

Microwave the cauliflower for 8 minutes in a microwave safe bowl.  In a medium bowl, stir together riced cauliflower, mozzarella, oregano, garlic salt, garlic, and egg. 
Pat mixture out into a circle.  You can do one larger pizza or several smaller pizzas. 

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. 

Top the pizza with your choice of toppings.  This is a Mediterranean pizza with marinara sauce, olives, basil, red onions, sliced tomatoes, bell pepper, and feta cheese.  Yum!
Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts.  Enjoy!

Cheesy Cauliflower Pizza Crust


Pizza Crust
  • 1 cup riced cauliflower
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 pkg. grape tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • Olives
  • Basil, fresh
  • Marinara sauce
  • Feta cheese

Other topping ideas
·         Turkey pepperoni
·         Pineapple
·         Mushrooms

·         Remove the very top of the cauliflower (avoid the stem).
·         Pulse one head of chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like rice. Microwave the cauliflower for 8 minutes in a microwave safe bowl.  In a medium bowl, stir together riced cauliflower, mozzarella, oregano, garlic salt, garlic, and egg. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
·         Pat mixture out into several small 4-inch circles and brush with olive oil. This will make several small mini-pizzas!
·         Bake at 450° F for 15 minutes.
·         Top the pizza with marinara sauce, olives, red onion, basil, sliced tomatoes, bell pepper, and feta cheese for a Mediterranean twist!
·         Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts!

·         A whole head of cauliflower made almost 3 cups of riced cauliflower! You can make several pizzas from this. Try new toppings on each one to make it more fun and exciting!
·         A food processor helps speed the process and makes it easier!
·         Make sure to get as much moisture out of the cauliflower as you can! The recipe calls to microwave the cauliflower and use a cheesecloth to help remove the water.