Monday, September 27, 2010


My diet is about as Mediterranean as they come. On any given day, a survey of my fridge is likely to include Greek yogurt, feta cheese, olives, pita bread, Roman tuna salad, stuffed grape leaves and, most importantly, a wide array of hummus. Sun-dried tomato hummus? Check. Spinach and artichoke hummus? Check. Man-repelling garlic lovers' hummus? Unfortunate check. My hummus addiction is a running joke amongst my friends and roommates, due largely to the dip's inclusion as #112 on the all-too-real Stuff White People Like. This hummus fever came to a head in June, when I attended - wait for it - a hummus release party for my internship. Literally an event designed to celebrate chickpea puree. There was a string quartet and free-flowing white wine and many, many WASPs in business casual attire. It was the whitest thing I have ever been a part of, and I have been to several Northwestern sporting events.

As a former member of the James Madison High School step team (yep) (that happened) (ah, memories), I can no longer allow the tantalizing draw of tahini to interfere with my street cred. Pro-chickpea though I am, I have been known to cheat on my beloved with that other notoriously faux-healthy (well, healthy in small doses), quasi-ethnic dipping sauce: guacamole. Guac can serve as a respectable replacement in both dressing up boring veggies and adding satiety to empty carbohydrate calories. But how to reconcile this new dietary direction with my need to ensure that my veins are pumping at least 50% olive oil at all times?

Holy Greekamole!

(Not as photogenic as the cake truffles.)

1 avocado, halved
1/4 cup fresh tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
5 kalamata olives, pitted and diced
5 large pepperoncini, seeded and diced (these are kind of emotional, so have a sharp knife at the ready)
Half a lemon

1. Mash avocado in a bowl with a fork.
2. Add tomato, onion, olives and pepperoncini.
3. Squeeze the lemon over top (very important! Keeps the avocado from browning too quickly) and season with salt and pepper to taste (but remember that olives are salty/pepperoncini are spicy and restrain yourself accordingly). Makes about 3-4 servings. Double the recipe for a trendy fusion party snack.

Opa! Olé! Eyeball the mix-ins and alter the amounts to suit your preference. My recipe makes for a very chunky, tomato-and-onion-heavy guacamole, which I prefer both for texture's sake and to limit the healthy fat in the avocado per serving. I enjoyed a scoop over romaine for lunch today, with a generous sprinkle of feta on top (I considered adding feta to the guac itself, but was worried about how it would keep).

But don't forget the best part of the salad:

Mmm! Tiny, tasty ladybugs in my lettuce leaves. Thanks for that one, Whole Foods. At least I can say with 100% certainty that that romaine was pesticide-free.


Anonymous said...

HAHAHA, the ladybug! whole foods loves tasty surprises. like the caterpillar in my most recent kale purchase!

kellyhope said...

<3 step team