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Hot Weather, Cool Dinner

With the temperature back into the 90s this week, I’ve been favoring lighter meals that don’t heat up the kitchen.

The Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados from Vegan Fire & Spice, really hit the spot for last night’s dinner. I cooked up the quinoa early and then assembled the rest of the ingredients just before dinnertime.

The recipe can serve four people for a light lunch or salad course, but if you’re serving it as I did (as dinner for two hungry adults with a taste for quinoa and avocados), then it serves two.

Do I need to mention how nutritious quinoa is? If you’re not familiar with this hearty South American grain, it’s super-high in protein and rich in iron and other nutrients. It has a delicious nut-like flavor and is very satisfying.

Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados

This recipe is from my book, Vegan Fire and Spice.

3/4 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, minced
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 ripe Haas avocados
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 large butter lettuce leaves

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes to soften. Transfer the onion to a bowl. Add the reserved quinoa, tomato, parsley, salt, and pepper, and mix until well combined.
Carefully halve the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Running a small knife around the between the avocado skin and flesh, remove the pulp, keeping the shells intact.
Cut the avocado pulp into 1/2-inch dice and add to the quinoa mixture. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Spoon the mixture into the reserved avocado shells and serve immediately on salad plates lined with lettuce leaves.

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