mango and avocado salad with black beans + vegetable biryani

September 3, 2009

Are ya ready for some hardcore catching up?! Let’s get to it!

I have had my chef’s hat firmly wedged to my head the last few days which makes me a happy young lady. I got a bit recipe happy on the Whole Foods Web site. Check it out! My new kitchen is seriously seven times bigger than the last one. I wish I’d taken a photo of the old one but Holly can attest to the fact that it was teenier than a matchbox.

Lemme update you on some other things I’ve been cooking…

Mango and Avocado Salad with Black Beans and Lime Vinaigrette


  • 1 ripe but firm avocado, halved, peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 1 ripe but firm mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup black beans


  • Gently toss avocado with 1 tablespoon of the lime juice in a medium bowl. Add mango, jalapeño and salt and gently toss to combine. Set aside.
  • Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, zest, sugar and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • Whisk in oil until thoroughly combined to make a thick vinaigrette then season with salt and pepper.
  • Add black beans and avocado mixture and toss gently. Spoon salad onto plates, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
So. Frickin. Good. Make it.

Come see my back garden!

And also…

Vegetable Biryani with Cashews


  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into small wedges
  • 1/2 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2.5 cups (1 1/2-inch) chunks fresh vegetables such as zucchini, carrots or green beans
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear then drained


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, ginger, half of the cashews, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often and adding a splash of water when the mixture sticks to the pot, until deep golden brown and soft, about 15 minutes. Add yogurt and curry powder and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in vegetables, water, salt and pepper, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender on the outside but not cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in frozen peas.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add rice and simmer for 5 minutes; drain well. Arrange rice over vegetables in pot, cover pot with foil then a tight-fitting lid and bake until rice and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover, carefully transfer contents of pot to a large bowl and toss together gently. Spoon into bowls and serve garnished with remaining cashews, fresh tomato wedges, diced jalapeno and cilantro.

So tasty!! Make this!! Super spicy

Total yums all round. It’s been a tasty week!

What are your Labor Day weekend plans?!
Love me a three-day weekend. We might be heading to a friend’s cabin for some of it but I am mainly excited to finish unpacking, thrift store shop, decorate the house and bake! Hurrah!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Janetha September 3, 2009 at 11:28 pm

hello dollface! so glad to see a post this evening :D

ive never consulted the WF website for recipes, genius. SEVEN times bigger?! holler!

mmm. avocado black bean heaven? sign me up. bookmarked, noted.

OHHHHH your garden!!!!!!!!! can we have tea at that table together?! PLEASE?!

love it.

if you go to the cabin have fun! no plans for me. just maxin' relaxin' all cool.


insideiamdancing September 4, 2009 at 1:35 am

WF website rocks my world! So good! I agree that vita muffins = party in the mouth.

Your garden is gorgeous- I vote a tea party!!!

Enjoy your weekend- I kitted my house out with thrift stores a car boot sales. Best way :D


Thinspired September 4, 2009 at 5:45 am

You have been cooking up a storm! I really, REALLY want that mango avo salad. Looks sooo good with a nice cold beer :)

Your backyard is so cute-those chairs and table is the perfect spot to enjoy the chips and dip ;)


Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) September 4, 2009 at 7:04 am

I need to get in on this Waffle Week! :D

I absolutely love your backyard. The patio set is adorable, and so "French country" looking. Love it! :D

My labor day weekend plans are pretty exciting, I have to say. :D Family cookout tonight, shopping trip on Saturday, and possibly sleeping over my brother's new apartment from Sunday into Monday in Boston. Woohoo!! :D

Happy Friday girlie! :)


Leianna September 4, 2009 at 7:17 am

Love that mango and avocado salad looks so good!
Love your cute backyard and garden, I can't wait to live in a house!


Whit September 4, 2009 at 7:51 am

GAWJUSS backyard. Just GAWjuss.


Holly September 4, 2009 at 8:44 am

ahhhhh sooo glad to see me lil' Brit back in action. i want that veggie biryani + mango avo goodness. now. whole foods web site is completely underutilized…they have such fabby things there!

LOVE your new backyard and the patio – ohhhh i can imagine you and enjoying that. can't wait to have a lazy glass o' wine on the patio wich ya.

vitatops…can't wait to hear more. i have never tried them, and obv trust your opinion. tell dan to get on the vita-top train – i want his opinion too.

happy friday lovesy…talk soon :)


platipus329 September 4, 2009 at 9:44 am

A big kitchen–plenty of damage to be done with that! Vitatops definitely taste 10 times better warm and gooey out of the microwave, hopefully you can experience one like that soon.


Dee September 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

all that food looks super yum!

i am not a fan of vita muffins at all, i tried the pb one you had, and there was like .. ZERO flavor in it. nasty waste of 100 calories! i would rather eat a tbsp of pb straight, WAY more satisfying.

how are you liking the new place ?! more improtantly, hows the kitchen :p


runnerskitchen September 4, 2009 at 11:28 am

Hope the unpacking is going well – my new apartment is still a total mess. But yay! for your new being larger. More space = more cooking :-)

I'm always on the fence about vita tops – I think the brownies taste better than the muffin tops!


K from ksgoodeats September 4, 2009 at 11:59 am

One of my must haves for any future house is a big ass kitchen! Glad you got hooked up with this one ;)

PB Vita isn't anything to write home about, you're right! There's not a strong PB taste which is sad!

LOVEEE cashews so that dinner sounds delicious! Hope you have a great Friday and an even better weekend!


amy. September 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog–I'm glad you left it because it led me here! I love your style and photos. Everything is so pretty :) I look forward to reading more.

Have a fab weekend

<3 amy


ohonemorething September 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm

This post is wonderufl. What a nice backyard you've got :D Enjoy it, girl!

lol I found the avocado and black bean mango salad on WF too. AAAAND that cheddar cheese + mango chutney griled sandiwhci is one of my favorite sandwiches ever. You should try it on pumpernickel bread. LOVE the addition of the mascarpone cheese – a lot of people don't know what that is. But seriously.. it's such a good compliment to so many things, and wonderful on it's own. If I'm eating tiramisu.. this better be what it's made with.. not cool whip or something lame like that ;) Okay I'm getting snobby now lol.

Enjoy your weekend! I've got a Saturday class, so no big out of town adventures for me. Maybe a daytrip though, not sure.


brandi September 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm

i hope all the unpacking and everything is going well!

both of these recipes look great, and now I want waffles AND to try vitamuffins :)


Michal September 4, 2009 at 3:45 pm

im glad to hear that you are all moved in and getting settled in. your breakfast looks lovely :)

this weekend im taking my senior pictures, and im also having a family picnic!


Abby September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Holy crap you're a cooking freak! Tip on the VitaTops is that they can be popped in the toaster, too. Although I suppose having to wait for them to defrost prevents rash decisions to consume large amounts of them at one time…

Anyway, love the digs! When are you inviting us all to the housewarming? I want some of that black bean creation…


Sarah September 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

What a good bunch of eats! Looks like you guys are settling into your new house nicely!

Your backyard is so pretty!


Jenny September 4, 2009 at 5:09 pm

You are rockin' those recipes, chica! Good eats for real!

Oh vitas, I have a deep and passionate love for those pups!


Susan September 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Look at you cooking up a storm in your new kitchen!! You've totally inspired me to get creative in mine asap (even though it's 7 times smaller than my last one!) Oh and I love your garden! Lovelovelove pretty backyards :D

I work at 5am Sat, Sun & Mon. Tis the story of my life! But there will be lots of unpacking and decorating in between as well. Have a great weekend!! :D


Michelle September 4, 2009 at 6:07 pm

That mango avocado salad looks delish! Glad you are enjoying the new kitchen.

Have you tried the deep chocolate Vita-tops? I think they are better than the PB ones, and I think you will find them to be even more of a party in your mouth. :)

No big plans this weekend, just catching up on some school stuff and hopefully going for a nice long run tomorrow. Have a great weekend!


lilveggiepatch September 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Mmm, I love mango/avo/black beans together! So summery.

Thanks for the biryani recipe! I love it, but I was feeling lazy and bought the kind in a pouch at TJ's. Whoops.

Have a great weekend! I"m hoping to taking a day trip with the boy.


april September 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm

You are quite the cook!! The recipes look delish!

And I agree with you on the vitatops.. they are pretty yummy but lack pb! So that's why i always add my own! :)


Karena September 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

beautiful garden and yummy looking biryani!!


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