Stuffed Avocado Creations

One of the more frustrating times to cook can be when you're trying to use up a lot of different ingredients. But I particularly like these times, as I can get creative and innovate a little. This week we're going out of town and next week we're moving, so we're trying to use up perishable (for the former) and non-perishable (for the latter) like they're going out of style. This all led to an extremely tasty dish last night that I made up off the top of my head, with only some stray ingredients as muse. Stuffed avocados.

Well who's ever heard of stuffed avocados? I hadn't, but I had these two ripe avocados and not a whole lot else to base a dinner around. But then I saw we had some leftover black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, some fresh tomatoes, a little bit of red onion…and before long I had the idea in mind.

I halved my avocados as neatly as possible and removed the large pits with a knife. Then I carefully scooped all of the avocado out of each half into a bowl, such that the skins were as clean as possible. I immediately squeezed a stray half lemon over the avocado flesh so it wouldn't brown. Then I added my black beans, a diced fresh tomato and some canned tomatoes, and the remaining eighth of red onion. I also added a large dollop of some tangy salsa verde that we had in the fridge. I added a small pinch of sea salt and pepper and a few swigs of Tabasco sauce and mixed the whole concoction together.

I then sprayed each empty avocado shell with nonfat cooking spray and sprinkled with a little sea salt for flavor. Then I filled each shell very full with the mixture and placed them on a cookie sheet. Lastly I grated a small amount of cheddar cheese that we had left in the fridge over the top of each stuffed avocado. I roasted these in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. When they were done, the cheese was perfectly melted and the stuffing had warmed and cooked together quite nicely.

I used up some remaining corn chips to be the avocado “utensils”/“scoops” and some margarita mix, seltzer, tequila and limes to make some light margarita spritzers. It turned into a nice, light Tex Mex dinner that was very easy to concoct. The flavor of the stuffed avocado was a nice combination of salty, tangy and savory. Julia just loved them and said they reminded her of a fancy, individualized seven-layer dip inside each avocado half. I thought they were quite tasty as well and happy that this new idea came out so well and so smoothly. Plus, I was even happier that I used up so many remaining bits of ingredients in the process.

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