Taste of Home to feature ‘light’ done right

Published 3:20 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If you’ve not gotten your tickets for next week’s Taste of Home Cooking School at the Demopolis Civic Center, I’m sorry.

As of Monday all tickets had been sold. Next week, the civic center will be packed with 400 foodies ready to see Michelle Roberts’ and Taste of Home has in store for spring.

I’ve gotten a sneak peak of the magazine that Taste of Home will be giving to all the attendees. It’s chock full of great-looking spring seasonal fare.

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Those of us looking to trim up our waistlines will be excited to see most of the recipes and tips offered in the publication are healthy!

Low calorie doesn’t have to mean low taste and Taste of Home shows us how to make it right.

Now that bathing suit weather is practically here, I thought I would share one of my favorite low calorie snacks with you. With Memorial Day weekend coming up, this light twist on guacamole makes a great table filler for your parties and gatherings.

You’ll need:

3/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 ripe peeled avocados, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

The cooking steps here are pretty simple. Put all your ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

This dip is best served with tortilla chips but also works fairly well as a toping for all your favorite Mexican dishes.

The hardest part of this recipe is knowing what a ripe avocado looks like.

A good rule of thumb is, you want to be able to press on the skin and feel it give slightly. If your finger leaves a small dent, it’s a little too ripe to slice and serve but will be fine for this dip.

If if leaves a large dent, it’s way too ripe. If the skin is jet back, that is another sign that it’s overripe and should be thrown out.

If the avocado is rock hard, it’s not ripe yet.

If all you can find are rock hard avocados, that’s okay. Place and seal them in a brown paper bag with a tomato for about 24 hours. That will speed the ripening process along. Tomatoes give off ethylene, which is a natural plant hormone.

It will expedite ripening. If you don’t have a tomato, don’t worry. Just throw the avocados in the bag by themselves. They give off ethylene, too. The tomato is just a turbo charger of sorts.

The tomato trick also works on other under-ripened fruits and vegetables.

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached via email at tiffany@2ate9.com