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Cucumber Guacamole Sandwiches

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Don’t you feel hungry when you are at home all day?

It happens to me all the time. I want to nibble on something here and there. A bit of this and that. We have stocked up on a lot of fruits and veggies just so that Varun and I can snack healthy. Varun enjoys his fruits but not vegetables. I am trying to introduce veggies back in his diet.

Carrots with hummus, celery sticks with peanut butter, cucumber sandwiches is what I have planed for this week. Serving carrots in avocado boats filled with hummus or cheese and baby tomatoes as flower seems to make it more appealing for him. So far he has had carrots, cucumber and cheese but hasn’t touch the hummus or celery. Baby steps.

To make this more adult friendly and filling, I made cucumber sandwiches. A fresh take on using guacamole and cucumbers and making them into finger food. They are perfect with good fat, veggies and a satisfying crunch. Made ahead, they are perfect as appetizers or h’ordeuvres for a party.

Fresh home guacamole is always best ( no preservatives) but store-bought one can work in a pinch. Especially during these busy holiday weekends when we are trying to do multiple things – shop for gifts, deck the halls, setup the tree, bake, attend gatherings etc.

I had them with my cuppa yesterday and they kept me full till dinner.

Any variety of cucumber works though I think English would be lovely. Zucchini rounds work as an alternative.You can top the guacamole with nuts or smoked salmon or even tofu to make it more filling and for that added boost of protein and vitamins. I suppose goat cheese, finely diced sun-dried tomato and anchovies would make a festive party filling.

Give them a try today. You probably already have everything you need in your fridge already!

Cucumber Guacamole Sandwiches Recipe

  • 1/2 Cucumber or Zucchini sliced into rounds
  • 2 – 3 tablespoon pesto (optional)
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1/4 – 1/2 habernaro chilli pepper
  • 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1  – 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

1. Slice the cucumber or zucchini and arrange on a platter. Smear wee bit of pesto on half of the round. You don’t want the pesto to overpower the taste but a bit enhances the flavors. Set aside.

2. Cut and de seed the avocado. Mash its pulp in a bowl. Add rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice per taste.

3. Add a dollop of guacamole on the pesto smeared rounds. Cover with remaining rounds.

Serve immediately.

Happy snacking.

The Daring Cooks May Challenge: En Croute Paneer Puffs

Paneer Puffs

You remember the puff pastry dough that I shared last week? I made it for Daring cooks May challenge.  Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys , our hostess for May challenge, encouraged us to wrap food in pastry dough and then bake it.

Inspirations were shared of Beef Wellington, stuffed Portobello mushroom wrapped in pastry dough and even sausage pigs in blanket. I stuck to simple favorite of  paneer puffs. Homemade paneer was perfect filling for the crispy crunchy outer covering. They were lightly spiced with onions, chilies and had a pesto base. They would taste wonderful with any other seasoning of choice.

Homemade paneer

I filled the pastry with as much paneer as they could hold which caused some tears as I folded the puff over. But I liked the higher paneer to wrapping ratio!

Puffs to be filled

Be warned the puffs are filling – they are prefect as a weekend snack. Make them smaller for bite sized appetizer. We skipped dinner that evening.

Puffs Filled

This is my approximate recipe as most ingredients were eye-balled and adjusted for taste. A dash of cumin powder, some chili powder, squeeze of lemon. Store bought puff pastry sheets and paneer or even tofu can be easily used in this recipe. Just take care to thaw it per directions on the package before use.

Paneer Puffs Recipe

  • Puff pastry sheets thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups paneer,  thawed and crumbled ( if store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup – red onion finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely diced
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin  powder
  • Salt – to taste
  • A dash – black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon – lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup store bough pesto

1. Mix all the ingredients from red onions to lemon juice with paneer. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings per taste. Set aside in a bowl.

2.Pre-heat the oven to 425 F

3.Start with one pastry sheet and unfold it ( or roll out your homemade dough about 1/2 cm thick). Cut it into  squares depending on how big you want the snack to be.

4. Spread a bit of pesto on the dough. Fill with paneer mix. Fold over leaving some room for edges.

Seal  the edges with a fork so that the edges stick and don’t unfold during baking.

5. Bake for 12 -15 minutes, till golden  brown.

Serve warm with ketchup or mint chutney.

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