Meatless Summer Grilling: Avocados

A grilled avocado is elegant in its simplicity – simply brush with lime juice and place on the grill to infuse the earthy fruit with savory smoke. The grill marks make for a delightful presentation and you can really up the ante in serving the salsa smack dab in the middle, replacing the pit.

This recipe comes to us from Patrice of Circle B Kitchen.

Serves 12


For the salsa:

  • 1 15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 sprigs cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 jalapeño*, stemmed and seeded

For the grilled avocados:

  • 3 avocados, halved
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • salt, to taste
  • low-fat sour cream, for garnish* or low-fat Greek yogurt, for garnish*



To make the salsa:

Combine the tomatoes, diced onion, garlic, pepper, salt, cilantro, vinegar or lime juice and jalapeño, if using. Pulse in a food processor or blender until the salsa is chopped and blended to preference.

To complete the grilled avocados with salsa:

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Remove the pit of each avocado by cutting into the pit with a large sharp knife and turning the knife counter-clockwise. Once the knife is properly wedged into the avocado pit, it should be easy to remove the pit from the flesh of the avocado, as you twist and remove the knife.

Whisk together the lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Brush each avocado half with the lime juice marinade.

Place each prepared avocado half, flesh side down, over the hot grill. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until grill marks appear and the avocado is warm, but not overly mushy.

Remove the avocado halves from the grill and fill the hole, left by the pits, with salsa. You will have salsa left over after all the holes are filled. Reserve the leftover salsa in the fridge for a future snack or entrée topping.

Squeeze the wedge of lime over the avocado halves and sprinkle lightly with salt. Top the salsa with a dollop sour cream or Greek yogurt, if using.

Consume with a fork or use baked pita chips as your utensil.

Moroccan Vegetable Soup


  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, diced small
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp harissa paste, or 2 tsp harissa spice blend (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¾ cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight), or 1 (15 oz) can
  • ½ cup French green lentils, rinsed
  • ½ cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 6 medium tomatoes, or 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable stock, or water with 1 added bouillon cube
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves chopped fine
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, stems and leaves chopped fine
  • 1 cup fine egg noodles or vermicelli
  • salt, to taste
  • lemon slices, for serving (optional)
  • olive oil, for serving (optional)


  • For stovetop: Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, celery and onion to the pot. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the harissa, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, pepper and salt to the vegetable mixture. Stir until everything is well coated and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pot, stir and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add the soaked chickpeas (if using canned chickpeas do not add them at this point) and stir. Add the green lentils and red lentils to the pot. Stir everything so that it is well coated in the tomato paste mixture.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, chopped parsley stems and chopped cilantro stems to the pot, then increase the heat to high. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 60-90 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender and the soup is starting to thicken.
  • Add the noodles and simmer for 15 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, add them along with the noodles. Taste and season as needed, add more liquid if needed. Turn off the heat and add the freshly chopped parsley and cilantro.
  • For Instant Pot or slow cooker: Combine all of the ingredients except the noodles in a pot and cook according to the manufacturer’s recommendation for soups and stews. Add noodles to the soup after it is cooked; simmer for 15 minutes or you cook the noodles separately and add them to the soup when serving.

Meatless Mondays Climate Update 12-9-21

This week’s climate change update: climate change comes to the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states:

In a document issued this fall, the Smithsonian Institution warned that increased flooding on the National Mall threatened to outpace the Smithsonian’s ability to defend those museums and their priceless contents.

Just take this summer, for example: Massachusetts and eight other states experienced the hottest month of June on record!

Jeff Geddes, a BU College of Arts & Sciences Assistant Professor of Earth and Environment says the rise in temperatures has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people per year in the northeastern United States.

Meatless Chili

Prep time: 22 minutes
Cook time: 38 minutes
10 oz. (283g) king oyster (or other) mushrooms
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 large tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups (360ml) tomato sauce
2 (15oz / 425g) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (240ml) water or vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
Optional Toppings:
Chopped fresh cilantro
Corn chips
Coconut yogurt
Vegan sour cream
Sliced jalapeño
Grilled corn
1. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel or a mushroom brush.
2. Using a fork, hold the mushroom from one end and shred it into pieces. Place the shredded mushrooms in a mixing bowl.
3. Sprinkle the mushrooms with chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well to coat.
4. Prep the remaining veggies. Chop the carrots, tomatoes and dice the onion.
5. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat.
6. Add the mushrooms, onion, and carrots to the pot. Sauté, stirring often, until the veggies begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
8. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and water or broth.
9. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low.
10. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the beans are very tender and the flavors meld.
11. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
12. Serve with toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Meatless Monday Recipe

Chickpea FattehYotam Ottolenghi Recipe:

12 ounces/350 grams dried chickpeas
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
Kosher salt and black pepper

1 round white or whole-wheat pita (about 3 1/2 ounces/100 grams), pocket opened up, roughly torn into small 1-inch/2-to-3-centimeter pieces

5 tablespoons/75 milliliters olive oil
1 tablespoon za’atar
¾ packed cup/30 grams roughly chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves and tender stems
⅔ packed cup/30 grams roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
⅔ cup/30 grams roughly chopped fresh chives
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed using a garlic press
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted, then roughly crushed
⅓ cups/80 grams tahini
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed using a garlic press
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt and black pepper


1. Place the dried chickpeas and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda in a large bowl. Top with enough cold water to cover by about 1 inch/3 centimeters, and let soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius.
3. Drain the chickpeas well and add them to a large saucepan along with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda. Add 6 cups/1 1/2 liters water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium and let cook until chickpeas are soft but retain a slight bite, 30 to 35 minutes. (The cook time can vary greatly depending on your chickpeas, so check them at the 20-minute mark to determine how long you need.)
4. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and continue cooking until the chickpeas are supertender, 5 to 10 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to set aside 2/3 cup/100 grams strained cooked chickpeas. Keep the rest warm on a low heat until ready to serve.
5. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the toppings: Toss the pita with 2 tablespoons oil, the za’atar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper, and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, tossing halfway through, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the tahini sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk the tahini, lemon juice and garlic with 1/3 cup/70 milliliters water and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth and pourable. The tahini sauce will thicken as it sits.
Make the chile oil: Add the oil and red-pepper flakes to a small frying pan. Heat over medium until gently bubbling and fragrant, about 4 minutes, then add the paprika and remove from heat. Set aside.
When ready to serve, add the reserved 2/3 cup/100 grams chickpeas to a food processor along with the fresh herbs, 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, the garlic, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a good grind of pepper and the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Blitz until smooth, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Drain the warm chickpeas using a sieve set over a bowl. Add the chickpeas and 3/4 cup/170 milliliters of their liquid to the herb mixture, mixing well to combine. You want the chickpeas to be well coated and the whole mixture to be saucy (but not overly wet), so add a couple more tablespoons of chickpea liquid if you wish (discard the remaining).
Transfer to a large platter with a lip. Drizzle lightly with some of the tahini sauce, then all of the chile oil. Sprinkle with half of the pita and serve warm, with the extra tahini and toasted pita alongside.