Paleo Stuffed Avocados with Cilantro Cream Sauce

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Healthy Paleo-Diet Keeps Hall Director Motivated
Story and Photos by Paige Gandara-Valderas

As a full-time hall director in Founders Hall, Samantha Garcia enjoys cooking when she can.

Garcia, a San Antonio native, received her undergraduate degree in leadership and development from Texas A&M and a graduate degree in Seattle. She enjoys that St. Mary’s has a nice family feel to it and that everyone supports
one another.

“We all have each others backs. It’s an ‘I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine… and if you can’t scratch it back just yet, don’t worry about it’,” Garcia says.

Growing up in San Antonio, Garcia’s favorite foods are primarily Mexican. Her favorite ingredient is avocado. She uses avocados in just about anything she eats.

“You can put avocados in any dish and it goes great with Mexican food!” Garcia says. “I love avocados even in my smoothies.”

The dish that Garcia prepares is Paleo Stuffed Avocados with Cilantro Cream Sauce, a recipe from her sister.

Cassy Joy Garcia, Garcia’s sister, is a food blogger and soon-to-be published author. She runs her own website at Fedandfit.com.

The significance of  the dish was to showcase a  healthy option and also because it is one of her sister’s first dishes. Garcia’s tip on preparing the dish is to not overcook the avocados in the oven because they can burn easily and ruin the flavor.

Garcia also enjoys her yoga workouts. Yoga, for Garcia, is a great exercise.

Garcia likes to promote mental, emotional and physical health. Garcia has also done a podcast series with her sister called “Fed and Fit Podcast: College Student Series,” which is five episodes long.

“I’ve been in college for a really long time and I am able to give a lot of insight about that. Especially since I work with college students on a daily basis,” Garcia says.

There should always be that leeway according to Garcia. It’s important for her to live in a balanced lifestyle.

“It’s all about that 80-20 balance. Eighty percent should be a really healthy portion, but 20 percent is whatever you want,” Garcia says.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 5 avocados
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 4 limes for lime juice

 

Directions

Sautee 4 cloves of garlic with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil for flavor.Then, wash, dry and season the chicken tenders with a pinch of kosher salt, then sautee in extra-virgin olive oil. After that, simmer the chicken tenders in broth for about 20 minutes, then shred immideately after. Add the cumin, chili powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and the black pepper to the shredded chicken to taste.Halve and de-seed five avocados and lay them out on the baking sheet to bake at 400 F for 5 minutes. For the cream sauce, stir one can of full-fat coconut milk, lime juice and cilantro. After the avocados are baked, pull out of the oven and drizzle with the cream sauce to serve.

Chili and Cornbread

Chili and Cornbread by Brandon Littlefield
Videography and Production by Troy Grohman

Brandon Littlefield, a former student at St. Mary’s, studied engineering at the university until 2006. In this video, Littlefield cooks a nostalgic winter-time favorite of his youth: chili and cornbread; it has been a family tradition to prepare this dish whenever it first starts getting cold.

Ingredients

For Chili:

  • 1 tbs. of olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • ½ cup of carrots diced
  • 2 tbs. of cumin
  • 1 lb. of ground sirloin
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of chipotle peppers
  • 1 can of kidney bean
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • ½ tsp. of oregano
  • 2 tsp. of adobo sauce
  • 2 cups of water

 

For cornbread:

  • 1 bag of cornbread mix
  • 2 ½ cups of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can of corn
  • cupcake wrappers
  • cupcake pan

 

Directions

To start the chili, begin by sweating the bell peppers onions and carrots for about 5-10 minutes. Once the vegetables are sweated and they become soft, add in the cumin and the ground sirloin, raise heat to high until the meat is fully cooked. Once the meat is done stir in the crushed tomatoes, water, adobo sauce and oregano and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the chili on low heat for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally. Then add the beans and simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes. Then the food is ready to serve.

To start the cornbread, mix in bag of cornbread mix with egg milk and corn stir in a mixer for about 3-5 minutes until it is smooth then pour in cupcake wrappers, in the pan. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until cooked all the way through (check by using a toothpick).

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies by Daniela Borrego
Videography and Production by Holly Basaldu

Daniela Borrego shows us how to make sugar cookies from scratch, while telling us a little about her life in the kitchen. As we follow her into the oven we’ll also discover how she came to like cooking and why she enjoys it.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 2 batches until just incorporated.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough on a floured surface, dusting with flour as needed, until about 1/8 inch thick.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely before icing, about 5 minutes.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes By Mary Jo Chamberlain
Videography and Production by Sydnee Hodge

Mary Jo Chamberlain is a donor of St. Mary’s who loves to cook recipes she learned from her family in Mississippi. She made fried green tomatoes, a feel good food from the south a couple of weeks ago. In the video, Mary Jo begins with a bit if history and ends with revealing a few tricks for making the best possible meal, and how to enjoy what you are creating in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 large green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • up to 2 quarts of vegetable oil

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
Beat eggs and water in a shallow bowl. Place flour and cornmeal in 2 separate shallow bowls. Season cornmeal with salt.
Dip each tomato slice into flour, then dip into egg mixture. Press tomato into cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Transfer tomato to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tomato slices, arranging tomatoes in a single layer.
Heat about 1/4 inch canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat until oil begins to shimmer. Fry tomatoes in batches until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel-lined plates. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes by Isabela Vasquez
Videography and Production by Sara Jauregui

Isabela Vasquez, freshman at St. Mary’s University, shows how she made Chocolate Cupcakes perfect for Halloween. Her interest in cooking and baking has allowed her to push her limits and try making cupcakes, a new method of baking for her. Isabela discusses how baking is easy as long as you know how to follow a simple recipe and add your own creative twist to it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line cupcake pans. In a large bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients: the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Next add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be very thin. Pour evenly into the lined cupcake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to cool completely. Decorate when cupcakes are completely cool.

Recipe makes 18 small cupcakes or 12 large cupcakes.

 

Spicy Potatoes

 

Spicy Potatoes by Christy Chen
Videography and Production by Xu Yelu

Christy Chen, a freshman business major in St.Mary’s University. She is also a Chinese student who loves cooking Chinese food very much. An international chef, Christy shows us how to cook spicy potatoes in Chinese flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 ginger
  • 3 chilis
  • salt
  • vegetable oil

Directions
Start with washing the potatoes thoroughly. Then cut potatoes into slim slices. Cut ginger and chili after that. Pour the vegetable oil into the pot and wait for at least five seconds. When the pot is hot enough, put ginger and chili. Then add the potatoes and some water. Cook for five minutes and smell the scent to make sure that the dish is ready.

Finally, put the dishes out carefully and enjoy it!

Gumbo

Gumbo by Julie Dahlquist
Videography and Production by Joseph Dahlquist-Bauer

Julie Dahlquist a professor at Texas Christian University and St. Mary’s alumna shows us how to make Gumbo. She learned this recipe growing up in South Louisiana where cajun cooking was part of every family meal.

Ingredients 

* 1 Cup Flour
* 1 cup oil
* 1 gallon water
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
* 1/4 cup chopped celery
* 1 pound sausage
*1/4 cup onion tops

Directions
Start by making your rue by cooking flour and oil at a low heat then add chopped vegetables and sausage. After cooking serve over hot rice. You can add salt, pepper, or tabasco sauce for seasoning.