avocado cup salads, two ways

I have the most boring thing, ever, to tell you today (and clearly it’s not “how to write an enticing lede”): I tried not to eat bread for a couple months. Wait, come back! Let me explain. I don’t mean ever. I am not anti-carb or anti-dessert, nor is Wheat Belly our new idea of a good bedtime story; I am ever your gluten-full host. I remain certain that freshly-baked, crackly-crusted artisanal bread is one of the greatest things in the world; to turn it down a moderate serving of it when you’re able to enjoy it (chemically and all that) is a sacrilege. But that’s not really what most of our bread looks like, does it? Most often, bread is merely bookends on a sandwich, with the goal of making filling portable. Or, it’s toasted so that it can sop up butter, jam or a runny yolk, or crouton-ed to make a salad feel bulkier. It’s all too infrequently in and of itself noteworthy. These latter categories of bread were what I suspected I wouldn’t miss if when I challenged myself to skip them. That is, at least two meals a day: an ascetic, I am not.

rainbow of peppers, black beans
bell peppers, black beans, jalapeno, white onion

But I promise, I didn’t drag you here today to sell you on a refined carb-free life as I myself have little interest in living one. What I’d hoped to share was the neat thing that many less stubborn than myself have known of eons: when you tip the food scales away from lackluster bread-fill, a wonderful thing happens: vegetables, beans and protein come back into prominence, and it was just the cooking recharge that I needed. To wit, since the beginning of the year we’ve talked about eggs baked in a nest of spinach and mushrooms (biscuits on the side), a seasonal mayo-light riff on devilled eggs, my new favorite three-bean chili (a small amount of brown rice underneath), chicken fajitas loaded with vegetables, beans, slaw, pico, and guacamole (all perched on one or two small corn tortillas) and a kale-quinoa salad I’m so addicted to, if I don’t have it for lunch at least three days a week, I feel twitchy.

radishes, cucumbers, scallions

radishes, cucumbers, scallions

I’ve also rekindled my love affair with I like to call “bruschettas” but in actuality the bread is something more interesting. In the past, we’ve done this with thick discs of roasted sweet potato or eggplant; but raw avocado, scored and then mounded with a finely chopped, well-dressed salad is even more fitting for the warmer weather as it requires no cooking whatsoever. One version has a Tex-Mex vibe, a riff on this black bean confetti salad with a chile-lime vinaigrette; the other drizzles finely diced radishes, cucumbers and scallions with a ginger-miso vinaigrette and toasted sesame seeds. I couldn’t pick a favorite, so I decided not to.

prep the avocados
avocado cup confetti salads

One year ago: Spring Vegetable Potstickers
Two years ago: Bacon, Egg and Leek Risotto
Three years ago: Crispy Potato Roast and Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo
Four years ago: Shakshuka and Easy Jam Tart
Five years ago: Chewy Amaretti Cookies, Artichoke Olive Crostini, Chocolate Caramel Crack and Simple Potato Gratin
Six years ago: Spring Panzanella, Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake, Fork-Crushed Purple Potatoes and Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Seven years ago: Gnocchi with a Grater, The Tart Marg, Black Bean Confetti Salad and Margarita Cookies

Inspired a bit: By these avocados vinaigrette.

Avocado Cup Salads with Black Bean Confetti

You could bulk this up further with some diced tomatoes or even cooked shrimp, as we did in this salsa.

Makes 8 mini-salad cups; I’d estimate 2 halves or 1 full avocado per person/meal

1 cup black beans, cooked, drained (about 2/3 of a 15-ounce can)
1 large bell pepper, finely diced (I used a mix of colors because we keep them around for the kid)
1/4 cup finely diced white or red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Dashes of hot sauce or pinches of cayenne, to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish
4 ripe avocados

Mix black beans, pepper, onion and jalapeno in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and hot sauce or cayenne. Adjust dressing seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin.

If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with cilantro. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with cilantro.

Eat with a spoon.

Avocado Cup Salads with Cucumbers, Radishes and Ginger-Miso Dressing

You could bulk this up further with cooked edamame. This carrot-ginger dressing would also be excellent here, but I didn’t want to make a simple recipe too complicated. My 4 year-old, who has peculiar tastes, thinks that dried seaweed snacks would also be good crumbled on top. Proceed at your own risk.

Makes 8 mini-salad cups; I’d estimate 2 halves or 1 full avocado per person/meal

1 cup finely diced cucumber (from about half a long English or 2 small Persian cukes), seeds removed
1 cup finely diced radishes (from about 4 large red ones)
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons white miso (shiromiso, which is more mild/less salty)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger root (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
4 ripe avocados

Mix cucumber, radishes and scallions in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk sesame oil, miso, rice vinegar and ginger. Add dressing flavor and seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin.

If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with mix of sesame seeds. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with mix of seeds.

Eat with a spoon.

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139 comments on avocado cup salads, two ways

  1. RG

    That was so sneaky! I didn’t even realize the absence of breads in your recent recipes until you just mentioned it. I appreciate your balanced approach to bread – I admit I feel very frustrated when food bloggers swear off carbs entirely as the food of the devil because it just feels so extreme. But in doing this experiment, did you find yourself making your own bread more often? Or eating more high-quality bread? In short, enjoying bread for bread’s sake rather than as the supporting actor of a dish?

    1. deb

      RG — :) It was intended to be sneaky. I EAT BREAD. I am not swearing off anything — I think that only makes you want things more, even obsessively. I just tried to strike the really-not-great-anyway stuff that was just meal filler, keeping me too full for better food. It was supposed to be a temporary thing but I didn’t miss it. And when I did/do eat bread: yes, I’m going for better stuff, such as this Whole Grain Cinnamon Swirl Bread from last month. Or homemade pizza. Or, I’ve always been fond of the bread and sandwiches (tartines) from Le Pain Quotidien — one thin slice of their housemade whole wheat sourdough bread, cut into wedges, mounded with vegetables and protein.

  2. Mel

    I found a new way to enjoy radish that would require less chopping in this recipe. Grow radish sprouts. They are super easy, take just a few days (okay, you need to plan a little), and are spicy and have that radish bite!

  3. Jessie

    I love that you wrote this on a day when the entire NYTimes food section is about bread :)
    Sadly I’m leaving the neighborhood soon so I’ve been trying to eat as much good bread from the local bakeries as possible! I’m going to miss the loaves at Breads and Russo’s Mozzarella terribly. And just last night I discovered the chicken butter at Pearl and Ash (coincidentally, recipe posted in today’s Times!) and it made me extra sad to be leaving such a great bread culture.

  4. Woooooah man do those cucumber miso sesame ones look good! I think I will try this with the avocados I have sitting at home right now. Yum. I like that this post is coming hot off the heels of the NYT dining sections ode to bread. But you’re not talking about those kinds of delicious breads anyway!

  5. Melissa

    What a great idea!! We go through lunch ruts, one of which is a turkey sandwich (though I buy really good bread from a local bakery). This looks like a fun thing to mix-in, especially now that we are starting to get good avocados again, and that farmer’s market veggies are just around the corner….

    I bought three avocados just yesterday, and this seems like a way healthier plan than making guacamole with them, which is what I initially planned to do.

  6. Mandy

    This cut-back-the-bread diet is interesting to me because I’m on week 4 of a two month vegan diet. It has been a lot of fun to experiment in the kitchen. Surprise: I don’t miss meat…at all. What I really miss is cheese! Have you ever thought about trying a vegan diet? I know that you used to be vegetarian. I have combed the archives of your site for vegan recipes–but I would love to see more.

    1. deb

      Mandy — Actually, thank you for reminding me that this recipe needs a Vegan tag, too. I am not terribly interested in a vegan diet, not because I don’t enjoy meals that are, but because I don’t mind buying humanely raised meat or dairy, and wouldn’t want to keep myself from something I enjoy (as I mentioned in my last comment, it would only make me want it tenfold — see always: chocolate cake). But I do think that temporarily abstaining from things can help shift your meals and cooking back into a fresh balance.

  7. Deanna

    I’m going to have to agree with your son about the seaweed snacks being crumbled on top. But then again, I go through those things like crazy. I wish I could quit bread, but my breakfast 4/5 days of the week is avocado toast…that I eat walking to/in my car.

    If the weather is nice this weekend though, I could definitely get behind eating the miso dressed one by the pool.

  8. Did you see that follow-up article after the yoga mat chemicals in Subway expose? It was like, but wait, every loaf of bread you buy at the grocery store, and things like Little Debbie’s, all have the same chemical in them, too. I sort-of started baking my own bread on Sundays as a result, and buy our weekly challah from local bakeries. My daughter loves carbs and I’d been feeding her brown rice made in the USA because I thought it was Chinese rice that was the problem. There was some frightening article in the Times yesterday about how dangerous and arsenic-filled brown from here is. Nothing is safe anymore. Except avocados, I guess.

  9. Bread is, indeed, a gift from the food gods. With that being said, I could easily spend a week without gluten. A vegan diet, not so much. But gluten, yeah.

    I’m about to head out to photograph The Big Potluck in California and I expect there to be lots of avocado consumption. Going to forward this along to Maggy and co. because we have to try these while we’re out there.

  10. I totally agree with you on ditching lame bread and eating only the really worthwhile stuff. That way, I feel absolutely NO guilt when I eat the good bread. I love this idea, too… we are big fans of avocado over here; and these just look too pretty and delicious!

  11. Yep as a baker I am addicted to bread. You sure are trooper for going bread free for a bit but I find If you get good sourdough weekly you tend to not want supermarket types as much. It no longer is a bulky ingredient but a key player in food.
    I love the photos here nothing better than the confetti of the avos

    1. deb

      Helen — Thank you. I score them so that the dressing in general runs in. Both dressings will keep the avocados from browning, so once they’re on, you’re good.

  12. Susan

    I like this. What a great way to rearrange the way we eat. Like you, I obsess about anything I’m deprived of, so to cut back on something is the only way I can ease into a new way of doing things. You made me immediately think of all the different edible vessels I might use; Potato skins, hollowed out apples, peaches, bell peppers come to mind. Wow, this is going to be a fun summer to play with this idea. Thanks, Deb.

  13. Jay

    I was excited about this post because, although I couldn’t be a full-time vegan either, I am reducing meat consumption (even more) after hearing about and looking to try NY Times’ Mark Bittman’s “VB6” program/philosophy. Vegan Before 6pm, where for most of the day he eats no animal products but after 6pm, i.e. for dinners, including socially/dining out, he eats whatever he wants which helps to control the ‘forbidden foods obsession’ you raise as a concern with a full-time vegan diet. Of course, he’s not the first or only advocate for reducing meat consumption; see also: Meatless Mondays, Michael Pollan’s simple mantra “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” In fact, it seems to be a growing consensus. So recipes like this are great not just for ‘real’, or full-time, vegans but for quite of few of us trying to eat healthier.

  14. Sometimes I just eat avocado by the spoonful, sprinkled with just a little bit of salt and pepper. This is like that but better! Avocado is great with tomatoes, onions and a poached egg on top as well for breakfast :) Who needs bread!? (Oh wait this girl, like every day).

  15. This reminds me a lot of the palta salads I saw everywhere in Peru. They filled theirs with mayo-based chicken or tuna salads, which while delicious that one time, are not really my thing.

    However, black bean confetti and cucumber-radish salads are definitely my thing — will definitely be making these this weekend!

  16. Nikki

    I am soooo happy your doing this! I have to be gluten free and you have always been my go to but often can’t make the yummy things you make unless their naturally gf but now I can. Yeah

  17. Jenn

    Thanks for the idea of the avocado cups! I eat these type of veggie-heavy salads almost every day–no real recipes, usually with quinoa and some other protein like egg or canned salmon or left over chicken. My latest obsession is simply minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, s&p for dressing, and I’ve been grating raw zucchini in there, which I love! Today I also cut up raw green beans and added sprouts. Mmmmm…next time on an avocado! :)

  18. Estelle

    Avocados are a huge hit in our house, especially with our 3yo who likes them with a little olive oil and balsamic poured into the centre. These avocado salads look amazing and I’m definitely going to pilfer my son’s avocado supply to try one. Shhh, don’t tell him, he’s very possessive over his stash.

  19. I love it! I noticed the lack of bread because I have been on a lower carb diet. I’m just trying to balance out a life, not crash diet, but I find that as you said cutting out the bread (and pasta) can really help you highlight more veggies and other healthy food. YEAH!

  20. Ayana

    My, you are an inspiration. If I could only convince myself to do the same with rice. My palate is anything but refined, which is probably why even plain boiled rice with salt and a little bit of buttertastes delicious to me. I don’t each much bread, but rice is my crack.

    Love the focus on beans/veggies — I live in the middle of nowhere and meat that’s both humanely raised and kosher is pretty much impossible to come by. Thanks for helping me break out of my beans and rice (there it is again!) rut.

    Anyway now that I’ve properly wasted your time (sorry!), on to my point: is there a variety of avocado that is best suited to this dish? I’m clueless about avocados. I know the small ones are Hass and the big ones are not, but beyond that, nothing. Also, any tips you can share on picking a ripe but not overripe avocado (or is one meant to buy an avocado under-ripe and allow it to ripen at home?) will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Ayana — Thank you. I didn’t say I gave up rice! (But if I was having rice, I’d try not to have bread on that day too.) Calorically and all that, I know it’s not terribly different but because it’s a grain, but it still feels more natural to me. Regardless: I usually use Haas avocados. When you press/squeeze a ripe one, it should give, but only slightly. If it’s soft enough to dent, it’s overripe. It’s okay to buy them underripe. They get ripe faster at room temperature in a paper bag and quite slowly in the fridge, no bag, so it’s really about how long in advance you’re buying them.

  21. Becky

    I am a breadaholic and truly do need a bread-tervention. And when I get serious about dieting and cut out bread and sugar, the lbs melt off. But it is almost impossible for me to dofor long and hense all diets fail : ( These look wonderful and I think I will be making a lot of them this summer. I think I’m going to even get my own avacado tree. Keep these high veg, low bread recipes coming!

  22. Clare

    Are you here? (in DC??) Now? 5 blocks from my office?!
    Sorry – that got weird.
    Hopefully you are here, in DC, enjoying our wonderful weather. And (if you are) hopefully you get to eat at Pizzeria Paradiso on that P Street (it really looks like that block… but maybe my eyes are playing tricks), crust and all, because it’s wonderfully delicious.

    1. deb

      Amy — It’s definitely best to put it on a plate or in a bowl. If you’d like it to be more plate-shaped, you can make a little cut in the avocado skin at 9 and 3 o’clock and it will open right up.

  23. Huh…interesting! I hadn’t thought about bread’s role in that way, but I suppose it makes sense that when you take bread out of the equation, more flavorful and colorful foods take the stage. These avocado cup salads look delicious!! I hope I can find some good, ripe avocados soon!

  24. Carly

    Yum! I almost alway put diced up avocado in the black bean confetti salad (aka the fastest thing to throw together when you need to bring food to a party) but this looks like a fun alternative when I am just making it for myself. This is a well timed post as I have also just adopted the guideline (not a rule!) that bread and pasta should not be a part of my meal just because they are “supposed to.” I let the carbs have their moment when it really counts and just think of other ways to arrange my sandwich fixins for Tuesday’s lunch. I can’t wait to try out this cucumber and radish thing!

  25. Danielle

    I have to echo the love and requests for more high-veggie, high-protein, high-fiber meals! Made these for dinner and they were awesome. We’re also trying to limit simple carbs like bread to the meals where we really, really need them. (Cauliflower pizza crust, for example, will NOT be happening).

    Please more, I love the simple, healthy deliciousness of this!

  26. Kimberly

    I am a long time reader of this blog, and once you made a comment about avoiding mass produced sweets in favor of truly excellent sweets or homemade goodies. This always stuck with me and often follow it myself, especially when people bring food into work! I think the philosophy is similar to what you express here: nothing is off limits, but some things are to be a thoughtful choice.

  27. I totally understand your view on bread, if I’m going to eat bread, I want it to be good, fresh, and tasty bread. Otherwise, I don’t really miss it. These avocado cup salads so good for lunch! Healthful, colorful, and hardy.

  28. Sara K

    This recipe rocks! So much so that I had to comment on it! It meets all of my qualifications for a meal: easy (check), delicious (double check), and chock full of veggies (triple check)! Also, just want to say, this is super diabetic friendly, so, thank you for that as well! Extra exclamation points!

  29. Carmen

    I agree with #58 about Pinterest. But I don’t think that’s a good thing. I have always thought your recipes were in a whole other league.

  30. Mrs. Bear

    Hey Deb! We have been feasting on a similar recipe involving mango salsa, bacon and sour cream! Sooo good! For gatherings we have assembled a build your own avocado bar with all the ‘fixings’. Thanks for further inspiration!

  31. As someone who has an intense avocado obsession, this is definitely going to make an appearance on my table soon. I also totally agree with ditching the sad bread in our lives which would work for me in the United States, but I’ve been in Germany for about two years now and good -amazing- bread lurks on every corner and it’s also incorporated into nearly every meal! Alas, when I move back to the States in the Fall I’ll probably be so depressed with the general quality of bread that I’ll stop eating it altogether. Then I think things will even out!

  32. Rebecca

    Help – how does it stay in the avocado? Are you scooping out some of the avocado filling first? Does it tip over? I want to do this but am confused about how it looks so neat and pretty when mental images of my attempt are already full of brightly colored peppers oozing out of tipped over avocados… v unglamorous. So, help?

  33. Liz F

    Deb, can we use daikon (giant white Asian radish) instead of red variety? Thoughts or advice on preparing that? In a moment of love and passion for my family and dimsum, I fooled myself into thinking I’d make some radish cakes. Hardy har har har. Now it’s sitting awkwardly like a huge man w a tiny towel in the sauna in my crisper drawer. We’re sharing awkward glances each time I open the door. (Shifting eyes here)

    1. deb

      Liz — Daikon would be delicious here.

      Rebecca — You’ll want to put it on a plate or in a bowl as when it’s heaped, it will of course spill a little.

      Carmen — It’s totally okay if you’re not into this recipe — I hardly expect everyone to like every recipe. I know that Pinterest recipes have a reputation of being sort of junky, designed to be pretty, not tasty, but for me at least, avocados + fresh vegetables + good vinaigrette don’t fall into that category. Nevertheless, I don’t mean to quibble. I’m sure you’ll like the next recipe (in the oven right now!) much more.

  34. This looks fantastic!! LOVE.

    I am wondering though, what would you replace cucumber with? I love the taste of cukes, but I can not eat them, they just make my stomach hurt too much. Give me super spicy food, or almost anything else, but cucumbers and watermelon do me in.

    Any suggestions? I will love the black bean salad filling, but want to try out something different and have another recipe to use my white miso in. Thanks so much

  35. Dahlink

    I grew up in California and the only thing I really miss about it is the abundance of perfect avocados. When we visit my mother (who has an avocado tree and many friends also willing to share) we bring back as many avocados as possible. (Tip: they travel well in a suitcase with each one inside a plastic bag tucked into a shoe! )

    As they ripen (check daily!) I put them in the fridge to slow down the process. Otherwise angels weep when I throw out brown mush.

  36. Just like someone else said, that was sneaky of you! I should have realized what you were doing with all the recent recipes :) I’ve just started my love affair with toasted sesame seeds- someone told me they complete the beans-and-rice protein? Basically, they are delicious with everything and they’re good for you- win! Pinning this one for sure, Deb, thanks :)

  37. Clara

    What a blast from the past. When I was a girl, many, many years ago, a really chic dish to serve at “Ladies’ Luncheons” was somekind of seafood salad in avacodo halves. I believe chicken salad was also served this way.

  38. Lizzie

    I was planning on making your chopped salad with feta and mint yesterday. Then, I saw this and had to have it. I picked up some avocados after work, and I ended up serving that salad on an avocado. It ended up being a weird mix of your two salads here, but it worked great! Thanks!

  39. Candice

    Deb, these look delish, can’t wait to try. Just really trying to get a visual. I can see where the avocados are scored, but when I slice them, will there be a hole in the middle that the filling will go into. Your visuals just look so perfect with no hole!!!

  40. Jenn

    Amen! Maybe there’s something in the air, but I too have been working toward focusing more of my diet on fruits and vegetables and away from everything else. Not from a “diet” perspective, but just from the “I feel crappy when I eat too much bread” perspective. I am loving this idea. Thank you for sharing.

  41. Leah

    Hey, someone spelled “lede” correctly! ::grammar high five::

    Deb, I love these avocado salads (and have four lonely avocados at home that don’t know what’s about to hit them), but what I really, really love are your dishes, specifically the ones that you cook your white bean-pancetta pot pies in in the cookbook and that also make an appearance in the pie crust recipe (the large, wide bowl for cutting in the butter). After stalking dozens of posts for a clue, I’m finally just (sheepishly) asking: where can I find them?

    (Also, I got myself the Anchor hocking bowls and a) cannot say enough about how perfect they are for mixing, prep, etc. and b) I now sometimes pretend that I’m filming a FN cooking show when I make dinner. Don’t tell anyone.)

    1. deb

      Leah — Thanks. Most of my dishes are variations on the set we were gifted when we got married, from Calvin Klein, Cargo is I think the name of the line. I bought extra pieces over the years in different colors from — I use the “rice bowls” for the individual pot pies, I think, and the giant salad or serving bowl for mixing pie doughs a lot.

  42. Justine

    Well, I DID notice the lack of bread in your recent recipes, but that’s just because I’m all about that bread-less life (thanks, celiac disease). And I love it! Can’t wait to try these, and I’m super happy to find recipes that need little to no tweaking to make them safe for me to eat. As always, Bravo, Deb!

  43. Roberta

    I’ll definitely be trying this. Expanding on the theme, I’ve been using orange pepper halves as individual serving “bowls” for tabouli. They’re pretty, refreshing, low-cal and give the tabouli an extra crunch.

  44. These looks amazing. And while I don’t agree with you on the ‘not eating much bread’ thing (I think it’s a fad in the US that will change, as the rest of the world doesn’t agree with it :), I’d still try these in a heartbeat.

  45. Trystate

    Yeah, #97 Margaret, but remember, Esther Greenwood’s avocado’s were stuffed with ptomaine poisoned crabmeat – a bit different from Deb’s veggie fest here! Bread schmread – let’s cut to the chase: it’s almost swimsuit season, and many of us have some weight to lose after this awful shut in winter. Something’s got to give.

  46. Deb!! This was amazing. I’m one of those “crazy” low-carb, high fat diet people that is quietly getting skinny and feeling pretty happy/weird about it as a recovering Weight Watcher.

    …Anyway. :) I made the cuke/radish version of this and added some crabmeat to it. SCRUMPTIOUS. Totally delicious. Can’t wait to make it again when it’s so hot in Milwaukee that we can’t bear to turn on the stove. Thank you!

  47. Mary Moss

    Molly! Can you point me to that NYTimes article on chemicals in food?
    Thanks. Oh, and great post Deb! As always- definitely making both variations.

  48. Trystate

    Garnet sauce! I’m a bit embarrassed by my knowledge of depressing Sylvia Plath minutiae, but there’s at least one uplifting theme consistent throughout the letters and journals – her indefatigable love of food!

  49. Love this! Slicing the avocado meat in its skin before topping with the salad is a genius idea. I’m not a fan of beans but I can’t wait to try this idea with different topping choices. Thanks so much for posting. Also, I too have decreased my carb intake, but I don’t think I could ever have a carb free diet. I just don’t have the desire. Upgrading to better quality breads that are fresh baked and use organic and non-GMO ingredients is the best choice for anyone who loves bread like I do. Enjoyed reading your post. Great work!

  50. I’ve recently reduced refined sugars as well – about 12 weeks now – and truly feel so much better, because just as you said I’m eating more humanely raised meats and many more veggies. And I find I really don’t miss the bread/starch items, at least as much as I thought I would. And, I can come home from work, cut into an avocado, sprinkle some sea salt and cracked pepper and dig in with no remorse. Everybody has to find what works for them.

  51. Lizzy

    We made the bean version tonight and it was *divine*. I’m trying to think of other things I could eat as an avocado salad now. Maybe a Cobb salad version of this somehow. Or some kind of summery crab salad. I’m full of avocado-based ideas right now!

  52. I tried the red pepper & black bean cups with salsa today and wow they were amazing. I’m looking forward to cucumber and radish, I just need to get the ingredients for the dressing! Thank you so much for both recipes!

  53. Kate

    Just made this for dinner tonight, accompanied by your Homesick Texan Carnitas and Tangy Shredded Cabbage Salad (which we make so often we now just call it “coleslaw”, because we never make any other kind!). And the flavors were marvelous together…all citrus-dressed! Not yet seasonable, but awfully tasty. Thanks, Deb!

  54. Looks good – I’m planning on making a single-serving of the miso-sesame version today, for lunch.
    But… four tablespoons sesame oil? That seems excessive, doesn’t it? Usually when I make a miso-sesame dressing I have something like 1 tbs miso to 1 tbs tahini, more or less. Was it supposed to be four *tea*spoons, perhaps?

  55. Okay, quick update: I did make it, although I mostly used the salad recipe as inspiration… my dressing had grated garlic in it, as well, and a little bit of wakame (just because I like it), and mostly lemon juice rather than rice vinegar, and I used one heaped spoon of miso and one spoon of sesame oil (while I only ate one avocado half, I figured it never hurts to have leftover salad on the side). It does feel like the right flavour balance, at least for me; I really can’t imagine how the original amounts would taste, but I preferred having the miso more pronounced and the sesame just as a side note (and, well, I d try to cut down on oil when I can in general). And since I had a bunch left over, I can attest that the salad was great on its own, too – but the avocado cup idea is wonderful, especially scoring the meat beforehand. Worked great!

  56. sandy

    Looks so pretty in the avocado cups…I am making the one with radishes for Cinco de Mayo, adding a little charred corn for color and a lime dresssng

  57. Julie

    Two things: One, my husband had a one word comment on the Asian inspired recipe: “Ceviche.” :) Two, my veggie loving son took one look at the picture and said Mmm, I want that. Bonus: I love a good bread, but for the most part, I don’t eat it very often. Thanks for the great post.

  58. Zion

    Hi Deb,
    As a kid I’ve never been a huge fan of avocados, however, my moms LOVE them! I will be sure to show them the recipe. You never know, maybe I’ll try it! Thankyou for such a great idea.

    Thank You,

  59. Li$a

    I’ve made the black bean confetti salad cups 3 times since coming across this recipe on Pinterest. I love it. I’m in the same boat where I’m not giving up bread as a whole, but I’m trying to cut it out in its lesser, overly processed forms. This makes a hearty, satisfying side dish that doesn’t leave me pining for my usual potato or pasta side dishes.

  60. These avocado cups have inspired me in a culinary paradigm shift. No longer is the avocado simply a means to guacamole! or a nice addition to the green salad collection. It is now taking centre stage as an edible container. This week I made some pedestrian tuna, lightened with fresh lemon juice, bit of mayo and scallions and sat on back deck with a friend eating avocado cups for lunch, chopped salad on the side. I felt like I was on a small vacation; the cups looked so lovely. And now I ask you who needs a salad bowl ? –

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  62. Holly

    I love this site, I love your writing, I love your recipes. But I can NOT ABIDE pop-up ADS that sing Disney tunes to me and play videos without my having asked them to, when I am trying to read about avocado salad! Especially when those pop-up ads are hard to get rid of. like, where’s the little x I have to click? No x! it’s not there! there is a TRICK I have to know to read this recipe. Come on! Please get rid of these ads! Ah and get rid of that song in my head!!!! be my guest, be my guest…

  63. minik

    These look wonderful! So easy to make too, with everyday ingredients. But one question I can’t get outta my head is; how do you eat them without spilling?

  64. I recently came across the avocado cup salad recipe from and decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed! The salad was fresh, flavorful and unique. The recipe has two different ways to prepare it which makes it even more interesting. The avocado cups were a nice touch and made for a perfect presentation. I will definitely be making this salad again. For more delicious and healthy recipes, check out my blog quick low carb dinner recipes

  65. Heather

    These remind me of little snacks you can buy in Sweden, though they filled avocados with shrimp tossed with lemon juice, salt, and dill.