Is it wrong for advertisers to show luscious, glistening foods late at night? It should be. It’s always when you’re incredibly busy, exhausted, haven’t had much of a dinner and there it is–that steaming plate of some complex dish you have no ingredients or energy for. Of course, all the stores are closed and to match this dish would require some quality ingredients. This includes cooking shows. I don’t watch them. I can’t. They make me terribly jealous for whatever they’re making. It’s always a Parmesan lobster risotto or peanut butter creme cups. I look in the pantry…we have hard granola bars and a few left over tortilla chips. Oh, cruelty.
In a psychology course I once took, I was told that even brief suggestions of food are quite manipulative because on a subconscious level when we see food we’re wired to want it. I remember my teacher telling us about a study where just split-second flickers of popcorn during a movie showing sent people to the concession stands at twice the normal rate. Seriously. This explains my random urges for olives and barbeque and yogurt. Perhaps there is a reason people talk about a ban on junk food advertising. There are food stylists who prepare the food not to be eaten, but to look good. Oh, they are my enemy late at night.
On one such night I saw a particularly devastating ad. Luckily, I can almost always find tortilla chips, avocados, lemon or lime, tomato and cilantro on hand. I like that in 20 minutes spiced turkey nachos turn out better than whatever they can advertise. Ha, cooking shows, you don’t get to me. A seven spice turkey mix has more flavor than any risotto and guacamole and homemade salsa are absolutely refreshing. And it’s much healthier.
I also don’t care how others make their dishes. I make guacamole with lemon instead of lime. I swear it brings out the flavor of the avocado more. Being an avocado aficionado, I’m very particular about my avocados. They must be just slightly ripe, but not so soft that when I squeeze them I make an indent. The ones that are slightly soft with a dark green peel I tend to favor. They are an obsession. Why taint a perfect flavor? I once tried to make a guacamole recipe that included cumin, a spice I absolutely love. It was great in theory, but turned out awful. I realized you can’t kill the nutty, buttery taste of avocado for guacamole to taste good. Mine is much more simple. I’m really against smothering food. Bringing out the natural flavors tastes so much better. Also, don’t forget the olive oil, preferably a high quality olive oil. It does something truly amazing for guacamole, even though I’m not sure what it is, but you’ll taste it. I’ve learned olive oil is magic. When a thin coat of olive oil is added to barbequed food, obviously it doesn’t burn, but it does something else–the food tastes tender and moist. Olive oil tends to do the same thing for guacamole. It becomes smooth, tender and flavorful.
The yumminess of this simple dish really lies in the combination of ingredients: the warmth and flavor of spiced turkey, the coolness of guacamole and the crisp fresh burst of tomato and red onion, the crunchiness of the chips. On a summer’s day, I just want this with an iced tea. No thanks, cooking shows and ads. I’m not jealous at all.
For the guacamole:
1 Avocado, medium ripe, peeled and cubed
Handful cilantro, chopped
Lemon juice, from 2 lemon wedges
1 tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp. Salt
For the salsa:
1 Tomato, finely cubed
1/2 Red onion, finely cubed
Handful cilantro, chopped
Lime juice, from 1/2 lime
For the spiced turkey:
1/2 lb. Ground turkey
2-3 tbsp. Coconut aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp. Coriander
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1-2 tsp. Paprika powder
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Ginger powder
1/2 tsp. Chili flakes
1/4 tsp. Cardamom
1 tbsp. Olive oil
Tortilla chips (I like Late July Brand)
1. Use a hand blender for the guacamole. Add avocado, olive oil, lemon and salt and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.
2. For the salsa get a sharp knife because you will be annoyed because the skin of tomatoes is particularly difficult to cut through. Cut the tomato, onion and cilantro and blend then mix with lime juice. Set aside.
3. For the spiced turkey, warm a pan coated with olive oil and throw in the ground turkey. Add some coconut aminos or a bit of soy sauce and mix. Be sure to break up the turkey in the pan because it tends to clump in large chunks. Add the cardamom (don’t over do this one). Cardamom really changes the taste, so don’t be tempted to add too much, even when you adjust the taste at the end. Add coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, ginger powder and chili flakes. Mix this thoroughly to distribute the spices evenly. Then taste. I usually add more paprika at the end. It has a subtle flavor, but truly adds to the taste of the spiced turkey.
4. Serve and pile all of it on quality tortilla chips.