My tolerance for solids has been a little iffy lately, so I wanted to make something that was reasonably soft, but wasn't the same old boring cottage cheese or scrambled eggs. Since the eggs had been going down well, I decided on an egg salad. Typically, I'd eat egg salad on that lovely squishy plain white sandwich bread from the grocery store, but bread is not on the menu these days. What else could I do with it? I thought it could use a little crunch - not too hard, but just enough to balance the smooth salad. Lettuce leaves! And with that, the salad came together.
First, hard boil 4 large eggs. I have an ancient Sunbeam egg cooker - probably from the late 50s or early 60s. It holds about a quarter inch of water in the bottom of the vessel, then a metal ring goes in that will hold up to 7 eggs on end. Put the cover on, flip the switch, and the water will boil away and the cooker turns itself off when all the steam has escaped. Perfectly hard cooked eggs every time. If you're not so lucky to possess one of these devices, use your preferred method of hard boiling eggs.
Once the eggs are cool, peel and place into a medium sized bowl.
I like to mash my eggs using a pastry cutter - it has larger spaces than between the tines of a fork, and leaves a reasonable size dice on the egg whites when you're done. Go to town, until the eggs are the consistency that you prefer.
I'll digress here for a moment, and let you know that normally I hate what I call "fake foods". Prepared products that have been modified to be low-fat, low-calorie, or low-something through the substitution of traditional ingredients with organic or artificial thickeners, flavorings, or other chemicals. Pre-op, I'd not have been caught dead using low-fat anything, but then again, look where it got me. This recipe (and others to follow), will occasionally use items like low-fat mayonnaise in order to keep the fat content of the finished dish at a reasonable level for the needs of a bariatric eater. I'll include notes on any necessary changes that should be made should you decide to use the "real" product instead.
Now, where were we. Mayonnaise. Add 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise, and a squirt of yellow mustard (how much is a squirt? Probably half a teaspoon - how much you use is up to you, I like only a hint of mustard flavor in my egg salad). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well to combine.
You may opt to cover and chill the eggs at this point - it will keep for 48 hours covered in the refrigerator.
Next we'll slice the avocado. If you've never worked with one before, they can be a bit daunting. Lay the avocado on your cutting board, and pierce the skin with your knife working length-wise.
Cut into the avocado until you feel the pit. Carefully moving your knife with one hand, and stabilizing the avocado with the other, cut completely around the fruit without pulling the knife away from the pit. When you've come full circle and met your original cut, remove the knife. Grasp the avocado in both hands, and twist each side in the opposite direction and pull apart - this will open the fruit and leave the pit in one side or the other.
Using a clean kitchen towel, pick up the side with the pit in it, and hold it in the palm of your hand, pit facing you. Take your knife (a good chef's knife is really the only tool to use here) and gently but firmly whack it directly into the pit - it should sink in a good half inch or more. This photo was taken after performing this procedure, DO NOT attempt to do this with the half just sitting on the board.
Still holding the avocado in hand, gently twist your knife, loosening the pit in it's hole. It should readily pull away from the flesh. You will be left with a pit hanging from your knife blade.
Carefully grasp the pit with the kitchen towel, then pull the knife out of the pit.
When I'm not going to immediately use the whole avocado, I prefer to slice or dice the flesh inside the skin, and then only scoop out the portion that I'll be using. I made length-wise slices in this half.
Next, very thinly slice 2 large radishes - if you have a mandolin with a paper-thin setting, you may prefer to use that, or you can simply slice them your knife. Add 2 thin slices of avocado to a lettuce leaf, and 3 to 5 radish slices down the middle.
For garnish we'll top these with a bit of chopped fresh chives - probably about 2 teaspoons in total.
Scoop 1/8 of the egg mixture on top of the radishes, then garnish with the chives and a sprinkle of paprika.
And there you have it! Egg Salad with Avocado and Radishes. For the bariatric eater, one or two leaves will make a serving. Other adults may prefer three or even four. Here's the ingredient list:
Egg Salad with Avocado and Radishes
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 3 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 squirt yellow mustard (approx 1/2 tsp)
- 4 oz sliced avocado
- 2 large radishes, sliced paper thin
- 2 tsp chopped fresh chives
- 8 bibb or boston lettuce leaves
- dash of paprika
- salt and pepper to taste