In Season: Avocado

Amanda Harper


Avocados are widely considered a superfood, as they offer tons of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, folate and vitamin C. They’re low in sugar and high in fiber. They may be high in fat, but it’s the “good” fat that can help you lower bad cholesterol – when eaten in moderation.

Most avocados are grown in Central America; in the US, they’re primarily grown in California and Florida. US-grown avocados are in season from April through the summer.

Avocado Toast

  • half an avocado
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • slice of bread, toasted
  • 1 cooked egg (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • paprika or taco seasoning mix
  • herbs of your choice (see notes)

Combine avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Gently mash with a fork. Spread mixture onto bread and top with egg. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, paprika and herbs, to taste. (adapted from Eating Well)

Notes: Eggs prepared over easy, boiled, poached or scrambled would work just fine here! Fresh chopped chives, parsley, thyme, basil, alfalfa sprouts, cilantro or oregano are great options for herbs.


Avocado Pesto Pasta

  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, stripped
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • Pasta
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In the bowl of a food processor, combine basil, avocado, walnuts, lemon juice, garlic and salt; pulse until finely chopped. Drizzle in olive oil and pulse until combined, then process until a thick paste forms. (adapted from Eating Well)

Prepare your favorite pasta according to package instructions. Add 1/4 c. of pasta water to food processor, and process until fully combined.

Toss pasta with pesto and crushed red pepper flakes.

Optional: top with a squeeze of fresh lemon and your favorite chopped fresh herbs.

Note: if you want to store extra sauce, press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pesto in an airtight container; this will prevent the sauce from browning. This pesto can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. This recipe is an easy vegan alternative, as the avocado stands in for cheese. Many people use Zoodles instead of traditional pasta for an extra dose of veggies. 


Poke Bowls

Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish (“poke” means “to slice” or “cut crosswise into pieces.” It rhymes with “okay.”) Generally, poke includes seasoned raw fish, making it a popular staple in sushi restaurants. In fact, most poke served today has been influenced by Asian cuisine, incorporating soy sauce, seaweed, sriracha and more.) Most poke bowls you’ll see today include avocado, as it adds an interesting texture to the mix, as well as its signature bright green hue!

If you’re looking for an exciting alternative to a boring salad this summer, we suggest whipping up a poke bowl. They’re cool, refreshing and much easier to make than they look. You can mix and match ingredients, or even invite your guests to build their own.


Vegan Poke Bowl Mix

  • 14 oz. block firm tofu, cubed
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1/4 c. edamame
  • 1/4 c. carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 red cabbage, shredded

At least three hours ahead of time, add tofu to vegan Soy Marinade and refrigerate, covered. In a seperate bowl or Ziploc bag, add vinegar to cucumber; toss to combine and refrigerate, covered.

Assemble bowls with rice on the bottom, then placing tofu and vegetables on top. Drizzle with vegan Sriracha Mayo Sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Shrimp Poke Bowl

  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • 1/2 mango, cubed
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • seaweed salad

At least three hours before serving, toss cucumber with rice vinegar and refrigerate, covered.

Cook the shrimp according to package directions until no longer pink. Toss with Soy Marinade. Set aside to cool.

Assemble bowls as above.


Guacapoke Bowl

  • 12 oz. sushi-grade fish, cubed
  • Guacamole
  • 1/4 c. edamame
  • Cilantro
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1/4 red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 c. sliced jalapeños (to taste)

At least 3 hours before serving, toss fish with Soy Marinade; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Assemble bowls as above, each with a nice scoop of gauc!

Notes: Ahi tuna is great here. Yes, we know this is ridiculous. Have fun with it!


Poke Bowl Rice

  • 1 1/2 c. sushi rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T sugar

Rinse sushi rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Prepare according to package instructions, cooking until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Cover and let sit 10 minutes.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine salt, vinegar and sugar; warm until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute, and stir.

Transfer rice to a large plastic bowl. Sprinkle vinegar mixture over the rice, and stir with a rubber spatula for about 2 minutes. Allow to cool completely. (adapted from Food Network)

Note: this makes enough rice for approximately four poke bowls, depending on how much rice you prefer with your bowl!


Sriracha Mayo Sauce

  • 1 c. mayonnaise (see notes)
  • 3 T sriracha
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. honey, optional (see notes)

Combine ingredients. Refrigerate until use; can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Notes: to make this recipe vegan, use vegannaise and agave nectar. The sweetener tempers the heat of this sauce; if you like things spicy, skip the honey/agave entirely.


Soy Marinade

  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. honey (see notes)

Combine ingredients. Toss protein with this sauce to coat.

Notes: to make this recipe vegan, use agave nectar instead of honey.