Now that I’m caught up on posting the last of the recipes I made before we moved out of the RV, I finally got down to business and whipped up a dish for the blog in my new kitchen! When I say ‘new’ I mean new to me – the kitchen itself, as I mentioned in a previous post, is far from new – in fact, I’d describe it as an abomination straight from 1989. Aesthetics aside, however, it works just fine and it’s a real luxury having more space to move around when I’m cooking. I no longer feel like a giant jammed into a toy-sized kitchen!
Another auspicious aspect of being out of the RV is that I have a far less awkward photo-taking set up. In the RV, in order to get decent natural light when taking pictures, I’d have to fling open the front door of the RV and set the dish to be photographed on the FLOOR just inside the front step. There was nothing glamourous or professional about it – far from it! It worked well enough when the weather was good but in the Fall and Winter things got a little treacherous. If you look closely enough at some of my photos you can actually see snowflakes, droplets of rain, even hail that had blown in the door and onto the food. And if there were an auditory component to the photos you’d be able to hear Mike yelling at me to hurry up and shut the door, that I was letting all the heat out of the trailer.
My new set up here at the house is still far from professional (and won’t be until I invest in something better than the point-and-shoot camera I currently use), but at least it’s a little more streamlined. We have a big sliding door that lets in plenty of light, so all I need to do is place my dish on the dining room table and I’m good to go. No more letting in of the elements! And no more nudging of curious toddler out of the way with my leg.
Where I live, finding affordable mangos is a rare occurrence so I was pleased to come across some on my last trip to the grocery store (they were 76 cents a piece versus the usual $2.50 – $3.oo). I try to buy locally-grown produce as much as possible but when it comes to some things – citrus and ‘exotic’ fruit in particular – I make an exception. Sometimes a girl just has to get her mango on! I also snagged a few avocados and thought these two ingredients ought to be paired together in some way. I was in the mood for a sandwich – when am I not in the mood for a sandwich – so I decided to make an avocado-y version of an egg salad – with lots of zesty fresh lime, jalapeno, a dollop of vegan mayonnaise and a bit of scallion and celery for some crunch. A little diced mango adds nice colour and the perfect amount of tart sweetness. And I loved the sauteed baby arugula on top! It’s peppery flavour and delicate texture worked really nicely with the avocado salad. As a matter of fact, I nominate arugula as the NEW leafy green. Kale, you’ve been overthrown!
Recipe: Avocado and Mango Salad Sandwich | With Sauteed Baby Arugula
Makes 2 open-faced sandwiches
For Avocado and Mango Salad
- 4 pieces of bread or 2 bagels
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- Juice of 1/2 a small lime
- 1 stalk of celery, minced
- 1/2 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 thin scallions, minced (light and dark green parts only)
- 1/4 cup diced fresh mango
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
For Sauteed Baby Arugula
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare Avocado and Mango Salad:
- In a medium bowl, mash together 1 avocado and vegan mayonaise.
- Add salt, paprika (if using) and lime juice and stir until everything is combined.
- Fold in celery, scallions, jalapeno and mango.
- Dice second avocado and fold gently to combine with other ingredients.
- Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until needed.
Prepare Sauteed Baby Arugula:
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Add baby arugula and season lightly with salt and pepper
- Sautee just until wilted (this should only take a minute or so).
- Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl (this will prevent arugula from overcooking)
- Lightly toast your bread or bagel of choice.
- Spread Avocado and Mango Salad onto each piece of toast.
- Top with Sauteed Baby Arugula.
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