Summer and the warm weather that comes with it is rapidly approaching and that means I’m always looking for snacks and sides that are fresh and best eaten cold. Last week, I gave you a recipe for a summer salad that definitely fits into that category (I’m still in love with it by the way-I’ve turned it into a green salad too!). One of my other food love affairs is avocado and most things made with it. As you know if you read my blog with any regularity, I am on a weigh-loss journey right now, which means that I try to cut calories when I can. Now, although I consider avocado to be a healthy food full of healthy fats, it is still quite high in fat and calories. And I sort of lose self-control when it comes to the glorious guacamole. I. Can’t. Help. Myself. So, here’s how I get my guacamole fix without devouring several avocados in the process.

Guacamole For Gluttons
serves 2
One avocado, mashed (I like to leave mine a little chunky)
1/2 – 1 jalapeño, diced (remove the seeds for less heat)
1/4 – 1/3 of a decent sized onion, diced
1/2 – 3/4 of a cucumber, diced
A handful of cilantro leaves (I like a lot of cilantro so I probably use a little more than this)
A few shakes of garlic salt
Black pepper
A splash of apple cider vinegar

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with chips or sliced jicama or other veggies for dipping. Or you can use it as a topping for sandwiches or tacos. We had it on burgers tonight and it was awesome. Or you could just eat it alone with a spoon. I wouldn’t judge you for it.

See, my theory about a lot of reduced calorie or reduced fat food you find at the store is that they replace real ingredients with fillers and super processed, um, stuff. I can’t even call it food because is it really? Now, I eat garbage food sometimes like most other people in this country and I even think it’s okay as a treat once in a while. Once in a while. Not every day, man. And I used to eat like that every day. No more.

I did add fillers to my guacamole recipe though. Extra vegetables. See, when I make “skinny” versions of things, generally, I just add more veggies. It works. I feel like I’m eating larger portions and the calorie impact is much less. To get the volume of guac from the above recipe without any added veggies, you’d need at least two avocados. Maybe more. And to be honest, you could add more veggies to the mix. This recipe is just what I happened to have on hand tonight. Zucchini or summer squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, maybe even sprouts or peas would all be awesome in this. I was actually thinking of adding some diced strawberry to it. With balsamic and feta. Yum.

So, what tricks do you use in your kitchen to make healthier versions of your favorite foods? Do you add extra veggies to everything like me? Or do you have other ways? Tell me, tell me!