Much as we all might hope (and I might try, say, with guacamole made from broccoli), there's really no replacing real avocados if we want real guacamole. So this year, I switched strategies, trying a recipe that adds bulk from a lower-calorie ingredient to the traditional avocados.
And taste-wise, it works! This is definitely an avocado guacamole but there's a brightness that's just a touch deliciously different. The 'lower-calorie' ingredient is tomatillos, also called a Mexican Green Tomato so in addition to being lower in calories, it also fits the 'theme'.
NUTRITION NOTES So did my strategy work? Well, yes. With tomatillos, the guacamole can't help but have fewer calories for equivalent volume -- and a quarter cup of this guacamole is only 1 Weight Watchers. It's all still a matter of portion control, however, for a half cup is four Weight Watchers points. I'm no expert in low-carb eating so don't know if guacamole is thought good or bad; but math-wise, guacamole has low net carbs. (See avocado nutrition analysis, including carbs & Weight Watchers points.)
WHERE's THE HEAT? Lots of people think that the 'heat' in hot peppers resides in the flesh. Nope. The seeds. Nope again. The skin? Sorry. What's left? The heat in chiles is in the membranes that connect the seeds to the flesh. Let your knife decide what heat to keep and what to cut away.
2010 UPDATE: Check out the collection of recipes for Superbowl parties at my food column, Kitchen Parade.
HOMEMADE GUACAMOLE with TOMATILLOS
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 2 cups
1/2 pound tomatillos
3 or 4 serrano chiles, halved, seeds and membrane removed
1/2 a small red onion, grated on a hand grater
2 large cloves garlic, grated on a hand grater (this may be my new favorite way to get small but still discernible bits of garlic!)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Zest & juice of a lime
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large California avocadoes (about 1 pound), seeds removed, cut into cubes (I use my favorite avocado knife)
CHAR the TOMATILLOS & CHILES Turn on the broiler. Remove the papery husks from tomatillos, then wash. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler, 4 or 5 inches from the heat. Leave there until the tomatillos char, about 7 - 10 minutes or until the skins begin to blacken. Midway, I added the chiles flesh-side down, they're not as thick so don't take as long. Turn the tomatillos over, let the flip side char too. Remove from the broiler, let cool a bit. Remove the core and skins. Chop. (They'll be slippery and seedy, don't worry, this is natural.)
Meanwhile, in a bowl, collect all the ingredients except the avocadoes and stir. Add the avocado and with a fork, mash a bit but still leave chunks of visible avocado.
Before the cilantro was added, the tomatillos added a sourness that made the guacamole more 'weird' than 'good'. So if you're not a fan of cilantro, I'd maybe look for another recipe.
I did love the charred tomatillos! I charred some extras, hoping to add still more to the guacamole. That didn't turn out so I put them on top of a salad or two. Delicious!
For anyone thinking ahead to Super Bowl appetizers, here are a few ideas:
~ Standing Veggies, a great way to present fresh vegetables ~
~ Spinach, Artichoke & Bacon Dip, a crowd favorite ~
~ Beet Pesto, my favorite vegetable appetizer in the longest time ~
~ more appetizer recipes from A Veggie Venture ~
From Kitchen Parade, a few favorite appetizers that are easy to transport and serve:
~ Easy Radish Spread ~
~ Easy Italian Appetizers ~
~ Black Pepper Almonds ~
~ more appetizer recipes from Kitchen Parade ~
~ more avocado recipes ~
~ more tomatillo recipes ~
Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2008