The Guacamole salad, Mexico

Hands up who doesn’t love guacamole? The creamy avocado, the crunch of red onion, the sweetness of chopped tomatoes, a squeeze of tart lime, and the fragrant balancing act of the coriander? Exactly. To not like guacamole would probably be travesty.

  This is my fourth time in Mexico, and for the first time ever, im struggling as a vegan. Normally, it’s all about corn tamales filled with veggies and smothered in a habanero sauce (the hotter the better). That, or tacos piled high with frijoles, strips of avocado, and doused in jalapeños. Yeh yeh, it’s ALL about spicy food 🙂

This trip a few people have tried to sneak cheese into my food despite a “sin queso” plea accompanied by a winning smile. This winning smile has got me approximately nowhere. Also managed to buy a bottle of soya milk in the supermarket that was apparently only masquerading as soya milk. “Contains 2 percent cows milk” the ingredients said in tiny tiny lettering below the rest of the ingredients. Why? What anti-vegan jokester is enjoying their elaborate practical joke from their millionaires milk mansion?

  Fast forward to El Tabano, an open-kitchen food joint on the beach road in Tulum. Tulum’s a strange place. With the central town, (home to more backpackers types), to the low-slung beachfront all-inclusives (for the most part sympathetic with their surroundings), it’s divided into local v tourist. The food by te beach tends to be super over priced and a bit same-y, but this Guacamole Salad meant that El Tabano deserved a mention.

It’s not really that much different from guac, but the avocado is beaten so that its creamier, there are olives, which give it that umami, cheesy taste, and there are young sprouting leaves and big chunks of tomato in it.

  When the sun’s beating down and you’ve got a chilled margarita in hand, this is the sort of light, filling salad that vegan avocado lovers crave. And El Tabano have nailed it. 

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Guacamole, sweet potato wedges and spicy salsa

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Add some crisps and vegan sour cream to turn your lunch into a party snack

Yesterday I mentioned the gnarly sweet potato that I found in the recesses of a cupboard. It’s been there for weeks, possibly months, but my boyfriend reassures me gloomily that it’s still edible.

My subconscious probably hoped that if I left it there long enough it would sprout and make baby-sweet potatoes. Then I realised it would just go mouldy. I decided to take a forward step.

I resolved to cook it, hack off it’s weird growths and try to make a tasty lunch.

 

Sweet potato wedges with guacamole and salsa (serves 2)

 

Ingredients

One sweet potato

Avocado

Red onion, chopped finely

Juice of one lime (or from a bottle)

Two fresh tomatoes

Handful of fresh coriander

One green chilli, sliced finely

Salt and pepper-to season

 

Method

Slice the sweet potato into wedge shaped pieces and them on a tray, drizzled with oil (rapeseed works best, but Value sunflower is also fine). Grind some salt and pepper over the top and place in a hot oven (180 degrees) for about 45 minutes or until tender.

 

While the potato is cooking, peel and chop the red onion and halve it. Put half on one bowl. In this bowl, add the avocado, half the chilli, half the chopped coriander, a generous squeeze of lime and more seasoning. Mash together, so it’s chunky, but not pureed.

 In another bowl, finely chop the tomatoes and add the remaining onions. Squeeze the rest of the lime in, the rest of the coriander, half the chilli, season and then mix it all together.

 Your potato wedges will be ready when they are slightly browned and crisp. Take them out of the oven and serve with the guac and salsa.