Summer Salad: Avocado Lump Crab Salad

It feels like it’s 120 degrees in Texas during the months of July and August.  A cold salad for dinner is a great option to keep you and your house cool.  But sometimes I get tired of the usual “lettuce and tomato” cast of characters.  After a day by the pool try this refreshing seafood salad.  It is perfectly filling.

I have had Gina Homolka’s SkinnyTaste recipe for Avocado and Lump Crab salad pinned on my Pinterest salad board for a while.  It is very easy to make and keeps in the refrigerator for next-day leftovers.


  • 1 medium Hass avocado (about 5 oz avocado)
  • 4 oz lump crab meat
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2 leaves butter lettuce (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine onion, lime juice, cilantro, tomato, olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt and fresh pepper, to taste.
  2. Add crab meat and gently toss.
  3. Cut the avocado open, remove pit and peel the skin or spoon the avocado out.
  4. Season with remaining 1/8 tsp salt and fill the avocado halves equally with crab salad.
  5. This makes 2 servings, place on two plates with lettuce if you wish and serve.

I chose to serve it alongside some steamed shrimp, but you could nestle it on top of lettuce as she suggests.   Gina always lists the Smart Points and calories in her recipes, along with other nutritional information.  This serving is 5 SP, 178 calories, and 9 carbs.

I have both of Gina’s cookbooks — the SkinnyTaste Cookbook and the Fast and Slow book.  Both have easy, doable recipes that are light on calories, but big on flavor.

Easy Chicken Salad

It is so hot.  If August weren’t my birthday month, I would totally right it off along with September.  It’s nice to explore foods that don’t heat up the kitchen and make enough to enjoy for a few days.   We have been smoking chickens every Monday so we can enjoy chicken in different recipes throughout the week.  Smoked chicken is super tasty in Ina Garten’s recipe for Chicken Salad Contessa.  I have pinned it on my Salads Pinterest board here.

I like it with the grapes, but when I don’t have grapes on-hand, I’ll substitute with shredded carrots.  You could also use chopped apple.  I am not a nut-in-my-food person, so I omit the pecans and walnuts in the recipe.  Finely chopped almonds I might try sometime, because I love almonds.

In a bowl I mix the mayonnaise and sour cream, salt and pepper and the tarragon until it’s creamy.  Then add the halved grapes and the chopped chicken.  I toss it all together and keep it in a storage container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.  It is very pretty served on lettuce leaves.  Add slices of cheese, yummy crackers and a sliced apple and you have a perfect summer weeknight meal.  It’s also really good to eat after a workout.

What’s in my Lunchbox — Heirloom Recipes

Sporting my Martha Stewart lunchbox today, I love it when I have a good lunch to eat.  Since I work such abbreviated hours, I usually have a working lunch at my desk.  Today I brought left overs from Easter weekend.

The focus today is on the Paula Deen Blueberry Jello Salad and Julia’s Vermicelli Salad.    We served these at our Easter picnic on Saturday when we dyed eggs.
The jello recipe I tore out of a magazine before Paula Deen became a household word.  It is so yummy and a great dish to take to a friend or potluck.  You could easily make it into several smaller salads, or in my case I just made it in a 9×13 glass dish.
Boil 2 cups of water
Pour into a large mixing bowl then add:
1 20-oz can of crushed pineapple (drained)
2, 3-oz boxes of black cherry jello (I use sugar free and you can’t tell the difference)
1 can blueberry pie filling
Mix all together then pour into your preferred size dish.  Let set in refrigerator for 2 hours.  Meanwhile, mix together one 8-oz package of soften cream cheese, 8-oz of sour cream and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Spread onto the set jello and refrigerate another two hours or overnight. Garnish with mint or fruit.
The second recipe is from 90-years young Julia Johnson.  My childhood friend. 
Julia is an amazing cook.  I first tasted this vermicelli salad on a vacation when I was little.  Julia and her husband, Jimmy, went with me, Earnie and Daddy in the motorhome for a cross-country trip to Virginia and the Carolinas.  Earnie said Julia came over one day to measure the refrigerator in the motor-home so she would know exactly how much food to prepare and how to package it.  That might have been the summer when my waist line started to expand.
You have to do some planning with this recipe.  You make it the night before and there’s lots of chopping.

Cook one package of vermicelli pasta noodles (or really any type pasta you like.  Bow-tie might be nice)
Pour off water but do not rinse.

After pasta has cooled put it into a large plastic container with a lid.  Add 2 TBL of olive or canola oil and 2 TBL fresh lemon juice (not from a bottle), and 1 tsp of Accent seasoning.  Shake tub and mix well.  Refrigerate over night.

Next day to the pasta add one can of chopped green olives, one can of chopped black olives, one chopped onion, one chopped bell pepper, and one cup of chopped celery.  After you’ve mixed in the vegetables, add 2 TBL of mayonnaise and 2 TBL italian dressing.  Mix well and put back in the refrigerator for a few hours.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  This is one of those recipes that tastes better with age.  I usually double it so I have some left over to eat all week.

I am trying to go through Earnie’s recipes to find one that I liked growing up.  I want it in her pretty handwriting she had before her stroke affected her ability to write.  I plan to frame a few and display them in my kitchen.  Aren’t some of your fondest memories watching your mother cook?

Martha made my lunch — It’s a Good Thing

Recently, out to dinner with friends, we shared if money were no concern, what personal luxury would we indulge in on a regular basis.  Most of us said having a personal chef.

I can’t help myself when I go to Macy’s and see how they have merchandised the Martha Stewart line of home products.  Especially her food storage containers.  I upgraded recently to a monogrammed lunch box courtesy of Sister Bee’s Thirty One business.  So, I decided it was time to trade in the Gladware plastic tubs where the lids don’t fit anymore.

Martha made my yogurt parfait this morning and packaged it in this cute little divided cup.  It has a container on the bottom for your yogurt and on top your granola or fruit and a spoon.

Then, she packaged my lunch in this cute four piece lunch to go kit.  A place on the bottom for your sandwich, with little grooves to hold the included ice pack.  Two little containers with lids fit on top of that and a snap-on cover goes over all of it.  It fit perfectly in my lunch tote.  Unfortunately, it’s sold out on-line, but Macy’s still had some in stores.  It would make the perfect gift.
The other thing I would love to have is her salad to go kit.  Great for preventing your salad greens from getting soggy.
Who wouldn’t eat more healthy if we had these fashionable containers to tote to work?