East Side Pies Jamaican Pizza

Food Porn of the Day: Jamaican Pizza

I’m not usually the world’s #1 pizza craver but when I’m in the mood I’m IN THE MOOD, and lately I’ve been in the mood thanks to the discovery of my boy Macaulay Culkin’s pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band. (WHAT? Yes. Culkin will always hold a special place in my heart and VU is my all-time favorite band, so this bit of breaking news is extremely relevant to my interests.)

A few days ago I fulfilled my cravings with a funky pizza party and I just had to share it with everyone. This combination is truly a Christmas miracle that I think everyone should try for themselves immediately:

East Side Pies Jamaican Pizza

Jerk chicken, pineapple, red onion, jalapeño, habanero, and avocado. AVOCADO. Its cool creaminess is the perfect foil for all that heat. I got this sucker from East Side Pies here in Austin. I wrote about their lil smokies & egg creation last year, but I figured this revelation of flavors deserves another mention. Macaulay should write a song about this.

Cabbage Cashew Detox Salad

Cabbage Cashew Detox Salad

Cabbage Cashew Detox Salad

This is one of my favorite things to make when I’ve been indulging a little toooo much and need to give myself a nutritional jumpstart. It’s chock full of cruciferous vegetables (namely broccoli and cabbage), which are great because not only do they contain tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they’re also said to lower your risk of cancer and regulate inflammation. Basically you can eat a ton of this salad and feel awesome about yourself, especially if you’ve been slacking in the nutrition department!

You’re not depriving yourself, though; the added avocado and cashews, both rich with flavor and texture, make every bite an indulgent yet 100% good-for-you treat. That’s the beauty of heart-healthy fats, people!

Another fantastic thing about this recipe is how easy it is. You can seriously throw it together in about ten minutes, tops. If you’re especially pressed for time and don’t feel like chopping up a big pile of cabbage and broccoli, you can even take a shortcut by using a bagged broccoli slaw, which should be easy to find in the produce area of your average grocery store.

When I’m in a hurry and “cheating” with bagged veggies, I personally like using Mann’s Rainbow Salad, because not only is it a delightful blend of shredded broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots, but it also reminds me of the hilarious/amazing song “Text” by Mann feat. Jason Derulo. I am a ridiculous person.

Cabbage Cashew Detox Salad

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Guacamole That Beats the Heat


I am not a sucker for gimmicks.  Some years ago, I paid big bucks to go to a certain very fancy restaurant, wherein I was served a dish that was “a play on chicken Parmesan.”  It consisted of a one-inch piece of pressed chicken, some Parmesan noodles, and a handful of little frozen tomato sauce balls, a la Dippin” Dots.  And after consuming the one bite that was this dish, I remember thinking, “I wish I had a plate of chicken Parmesan.”  Because I am hungry, and five Dippin” dots do not a meal make.

So, when I was invited to for a preview of their summer ice cream festival, where one of the featured items was a tableside preparation of “guacamole ice cream.” I was skeptical.  Not one to resist the charms of frozen desserts, though, I tried to go in with an open mind.


For this particular concoction, avocado ice cream was hand-blended with raspberries, mint, white chocolate and something crunchy.  It was done in a frozen stone bowl (think upscale Coldstone).  The result looked like guacamole and tasted, well, delicioso.  Cinnamon-coated fried tortillas were the perfect thing for dipping into the “guacamole.”  The presentation was cool (heh) but it was the end result that really delivered.  It was enough to at least partially obliterate my memories of those tiny frozen tomato balls.

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Kale Avocado Salad

Healthy Decadence: Kale and Avocado Salad

Kale Avocado Salad

We’re deep into my salad season right now. You know that time of year – it’s so hot and sticky outside that I barely have an appetite after being out in the sun, and the last thing I feel like doing is standing over the stove. These are the days where a giant bowl of cool, fresh greens is the perfect light dinner. Added bonus: you’re eating super healthfully, meaning you won’t feel bloated and gross after your meal and you won’t dread wearing a tanktop in public. Win-win!

This recipe actually wasn’t created by me (gasp!) – it’s adapted from one courtesy of Saveur. Normally I wouldn’t bother following someone else’s recipe for a salad, for goodness’ sake, but this particular one popped up in one of my weekly Saveur email newsletters and I just couldn’t resist. After all, kale and avocado are two of my favorite foods. This dish is super, super simple, but it really doesn’t need anything extra. The luxurious creaminess of the avocado feels decadent enough to make this whole salad a treat, and the fresh citrus juices and soy are a lovely complement. It’s safe to say that I’ll be eating this a LOT for the rest of the summer… and beyond.

Kale and Avocado Salad

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Cooking with Jager: BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

01_Pulled Pork Sliders_0327

Alright, summer is now officially on and it’s one week til Independence Day which, let’s face it, means you’re not getting an ounce of work down over the next two weeks. Yep, the next 10 days are officially reserved for browsing pinterest at your desk, “working” while actually surfing sites like www.weluvbingo.com, and of course, deciding what you’re going to grill for the 4th. May we present our first suggestion: a pulled pork slider recipe that proves  Jägermeister is good for something other than getting the party started.

Jägermeister BBQ’d Pulled Pork Sliders with Jicama-Avocado Slaw

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The Secret to Awesome Cheater Guacamole

It’s time… I’m about to divulge one of my dirtiest little secrets. It’s lazy, it’s cheap, it’s way too easy, and it’s definitely not authentic.

But it tastes weirdly awesome and only uses two ingredients and zero chopping versus a million ingredients and lots of chopping, so know what, I ain’t too proud. This cheater guac is amazing and I don’t care who knows it.

Chili Garlic Guac

(Yes, that photo is lazy and quick, just like this “recipe” …. I’m being authentic here!)

My friend Joe introduced this shortcut to me when we were camping a few years ago. Just because you’re roughing it, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the luxurious, velvety touch of fresh avocado on your tongue whenever you crave it. Who wants to bring a ton of vegetables, a chopping board, and knife to a campsite, though? Not me!

Enter the unexpected savior of this guacamole dilemma: Huy Fong Garlic Chili Sauce.What?! That’s Asian! And isn’t guacamole… Mexican?! What’s going on here?! How can this BE?

Stop asking questions. Just relax and enjoy the revelation.

Take one large, ripe avocado, cut it open and scoop out the insides into a bowl. Now take your Garlic Chili Sauce and scoop out a generous spoonful. Mash and mix the two together. If you like guac spicy and garlicky, obviously use more… if you just want a subtle kick, use a small amount. This is basically the opposite of rocket science.

Garlic Chili Guac 2

If you want to get extremely fancy and you have a lime sitting around, feel free to squeeze some fresh lime juice in there. If you have a pinch of salt, that’ll make things extra delicious. Promise me you’ll try this next time you’re trying to make some fresh guac on the cheap/quick. So, so, so much better than lugging a plastic tub of store-bought guac to your next camping trip or picnic.

The Endless Road Trip: Colombia–It’s More Than Just Coffee!!

Editor’s Note: Colombian-born, Oklahoma-educated, lover of avocados…sounds like an ES-er! Please welcome our newest contributor, Cyborg.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: “There’s more to Colombia than coffee (and drugs and violence)—say whaaa?” to which I say “Damn the media AHH!!” but there is. From a Colombian foodie to you, let me open your mind to a new world of opportunities and deep-fried dreams.

First of all, let me get this off my chest and I’m sorry for what I’m about to do but the world needs to know: America has robbed its people of avocado greatness. Last time I was in Colombia I decided to take photographic proof of what the real deal is so voilà. Buenos dias, avocado the size of my face!


OK, now that I’ve set the record straight, let’s get serious. Here are four can’t-miss Colombia foods.

1. Arepa Rellena


Where do I even start?  Imagine a corn patty that you stuff with eggs, cheese, shredded beef, and/or chicken and pretty much anything your heart desires; and then you deep fry it in heavenly oil. The result? Oh Em Gee you wanna call this place your new home. Not convinced? Spread some suero costeno on that puppy and it’s a first class ticket to foodtopia. Suero costeno is the Colombian version of sour cream but it tastes more like cream cheese, which gives it that perfect amount of slight acidity that makes you go NOM!

2. Plantain Platters


Now, on to some serious food for thought. What in the world is better than fried chorizo, spicy guac, thick bacon and meaty chicharrones??? ALL of the above served on a dish made of deep fried plantain is the correct answer!! Yes, this happens and it’s glorious!!!!!

Also, note the bean dip and hot sauce dip on the side cause–duh, who doesn’t wanna dip all of this stuff in hot sauce and beans? Man, if this doesn’t make you wanna book a ticket right meow, I know what will, and the answer is: Ajiaco.

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