Paleo Avocado & Tomato Salad





Introduction: Paleo Avocado & Tomato Salad

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My favorite food of all time is Mexican food. You have a burrito?  Okay, I'd love one!  Oh what's that you say?  It's deep fried into a Chimichanga? Okay, I'll take 3!

But since adopting a new style of eating, Mexican food is but a thing of the past for the most part.  But I still yearn for some of those flavors.  It was here that I sort of started making this un-smooshed, slightly deconstructed, guacamole as a side salad to accompany my lean meats. 

It's delicious and THUPER easy to make. 

This salad serves 2, or if no one is looking, just YOU!

Step 1: Gather Your Weapons

You can really add whatever spices and flavorings you like.  If you are practicing Paleo like I am, you will want to avoid salt as much as possible, so I like to substitute with lots of spices, or when I'm exceptionally lazy, I use "salt-free" Mrs. Dash.  I like to keep all natural sea salt for emergencies, however refrain from using as much as possible.

So For the core of this salad, I use the following:

1 Med-Lg Avocado
About a 1cu to 1.5cu of cherry or grape tomatoes.
1 Jalapeno Pepper
Lemon Juice (or lime juice)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Onion

Some other good spices to use: chili flakes, cayenne pepper, garlic....whatever you like!

Step 2: Bust Out the Knife!

I like to cut the tomatoes in half.  The water from the tomatoes help to sort of coat the avocado, and it makes everything that much more "bite sized."

I then cut the avocado into small bite sized pieces and pile it all together.

Step 3: IAye! IEs Mucho Caliente!

There are many ways to chop up a pepper.  You can do slices, you can just use the meat of the pepper.... But one thing to bear in mind, its the seeds and membrane of the pepper that give it the spice, so depending on how spicy you want your salad to be, you should cut accordingly.

I typically like things REALLY spicy, but for this salad, I don't want the spice to overpower the great flavors of the avocado and the sweetness from the tomatoes, so I cut the seeds and membranes out.

The best way to do this is as follows:

Cut the stem clean off.  Stand the pepper up and cut it down the center.

Now this is important! With a spoon (or gloved hands), scoop the membrane and seeds out.  Be careful not to touch the pepper innards excessively, and if you do, WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY!  I can't stress that enough.  (however, even then, sometimes that doesnt help.  I touched them, washed my hands, ate dinner, proceeded to wash dishes later that evening...and when I went to bed some 4 hours later, I scratched my eye and it started burning like holy hell..... be careful)

Chop the pepper up into a small rough chop.
This is probably a good time to get those onions chopped too.

Step 4: Mix, Pour, Squirt!

Mix the onions and pepper in with the tomatoes and avocado. 

Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the mix as well.  Since we aren't mashing this up into a guacamole, the light coating of olive oil helps to give it that "salad dressing" feel.  I would say this is optional, but it really adds nice flavor to the dish.

Squirt! An important element to this salad is the presence of something acidic like lemon or lime juice.  Not only does it add a great depth of flavor, it keeps the avocado from turning brown.  I like to use anywhere between a a teaspoon and a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice.

Step 5: Cilantro

I have found that people either love or hate cilantro.  There is really no in between.  I happen to LOVE cilantro. It has this sort of spicy and peppery taste to it and really compliments this salad.

The best way to cut cilantro?  Take the bunch and hold it upside down.  Then slide your knife down the stems of the bunch so you are just shaving the leaves off.

Then rough chop them into more manageable little morsels.

Step 6: Season It Up!

This is where you can get really crazy and put all your favorite spices in.  Be sure to taste frequently as you don't want to put too much of any one spice in!  Here, I am using Mrs. Dash because a) Im lazy, and b) it tastes pretty good

Step 7: Fiesta En Su Boca!

Once everything is mixed together, give it a second to really absorb and marinate in the flavors.  I typically eat it about 15 minutes after I have mixed everything.  Then enjoy as a great side salad with your meal!

Bon Apetit!



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    Made this today with bacon added and it was truly amazing! Thank you!

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    How much cilantro do you use? I'm assuming that's all dependable on the person's taste maybe (or does it even matter)?

    Also, I know this is posted under the vegan category *lol* but have you, or others you know, tried this with any types of meat (top sirloin cuts, chicken breast, etc)?

    2 replies

    I looove cilantro, so I use a nice chunk... probably close to 3 tablespoons chopped worth. Use per your liking.

    I'm not vegan, but this happens to be vegan. I'm very much a meat-a-saurus. I haven't tried this with meat, but I bet it would taste awesome mixed with like grilled shrimp or chicken. If you try it, let me know how that goes!

    I forgot to come back after posting this comment a while back. It does go great with grilled chicken and steak. I even made a grilled lime chicken, diced it up and mixed it in and it was excellent!

    I still enjoy making this meal and have even turned it into a Chipotle style burrito dish at a family gathering and was a hit! Thanks for sharing this recipe angelabchua!

    Oops! Now that I went & looked up the paleo diet, I see that beans are no-nos. Itpays to find out these things BEFORE opening oral orifice & inserting pedal appendage. Sorry 'bout that. I don't think I could handle a legume-less diet, myself. For one thing, I'm on a very high fiber diet & beans are very important components to this. Please disregard my uninformed comment. Your recipes look delicious, btw!

    1 reply

    hahha no worries! The recipe is tagged Vegetarian, so i can see the confusion. Yes, i love hummus and beans, so at first it was really tough for me. but in 3 months, I lost 28 lbs from changing up my diet so, im pretty excited about that.

    I'm puzzled as to why you feel being vegetarian means little-to-no Mexican food. If you consider that the staples of the Mexican peasant diet are beans & corn, it's pretty clear that a vege lover can get plenty to eat without ever visiting the area of animal protein (with the possible exception of cheese). What say you?

    1 reply

    I'm not a vegetarian. I'm eating Paleo, which eliminates beans, corn, and gluten from my diet.... those are the things i love. I think you mis read my i'ble.

    If you rub a small amount of oil into your hands before chopping the pepper, its oils will be less likely to burn your skin and also will be easier to wash off. If you do get pepper oils on your skin, remember that oil cuts oil - you can rub olive or other cooking oil into your hands and then wash your hands with soap, and both the spicy oils and the olive oil will wash away.

    I find it both hilarious and awesome that the first recipes on here I've seen labeled "paleo" were both vegan. I know a number of people have tried to reconcile paleo dieting with vegan ethics, with reasonable success. I'm just surprised to see meatless paleo recipes on Instructables so soon.

    1 reply

    our ancestors guts could burn up many of the worms and germs in raw meats . Our gut soup is so weak today ,they'd have a field day in there . =) In the interim of getting our hydrochloric acid back up to Caveman level, the vegan half of 'paleo' is a good sub .

    You should add some squid!

    NUM NUM!...Vegan Power! HAHAHA

    Definitely NOT Paleo, but none-the-less a great recipe.

    If you want to add a salty taste without using salt, look for herbs that have it naturally like ransoms or sea kelp. The kelp is available in whole leaf, granules or powder. Don't be afraid to ask your local, well-stocked greenhouse or nursery what you're looking for, they just might be able to help. I also contacted the Smithsonian's National Horticultural Gardens and they provided a ton of stuff.

    1 reply

    oh cool! Thanks for the tip. Thankfully I live in an area that has a lot of quirky organic, all natural stores that sell off kilter or hard to find specialty items. I will look into this!

    your instructable is really nice!!
    But I'm sorry to disappoint you. What you are describing is traditional mexican guacamole (we use white onion instead of red, and no olive oil of course). It is only smooshed sometimes, people prepare it both ways.
    But as delicious as always!

    1 reply

    Thanks for the reply... not a disappointment at all! I LOVE guacamole, and I was always under the impression that if it wasn't smooshed, it wasn't guac. Good to know! Thanks!