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This is a story about guacamole. But it will be a bit of a journey to get there.
I was a bride of one night when Tim and I packed up our bags, bought a sourdough sandwich at O’Hare Airport, and boarded an American Airlines jet for our eight-hour nonstop flight to Honolulu.
The day before had been filled with nonstop activity: his going to the car rental place, my fussing with my hair over and over again, his driving with the photographer to Morton Arboretum, my being denied access because the gate attendant saw my wedding dress but no $300 photography permit to go along with it.
Before the wedding, there were people all over my parents’ house: members of the bridal party staying there, hanging out in the dining room, eating with us in the kitchen. During the wedding, there was a crisis when the lone violinist didn’t show, and relief when my friend Becky stepped in to take his place.
When we stepped out of the church, greeting people for the first time as man and wife, there was a frantic 15 minutes of pulling together family for pictures, with me giving orders for who to come where and when.
Tim and I escaped to a park for a few minutes, staring at each other in the rosy haze of newlyweds, only to realize no one had grabbed the yellow gladiolas from the ceremony. So, there we were, driving back to the church, placing them in the back seat like our babies, and driving them to the tent in my parents’ backyard.
We were surrounded by people and handshakes and warm wishes, tables laden with cookies and cake and presents, but by the time we finally changed clothes and drove away in our packed car, flanked by friends holding sparklers on either side, we were almost electric with the energy of it all.
We talked the entire way to the hotel, and most of the night after we got there.
The next day was different. Instead of nonstop activity, it was a nonstop lack of it. We were strapped into a plane for the extent of a full workday, with nowhere to go.
Within an hour, we’d eaten all the leftover wedding cookies we’d saved for the trip. Within two hours, the sandwich was gone, too.
There was still lots of talking – and reading, and sleeping – but in a place where blessedly no one knew us, we were free to be quiet and calm and to rest. It was a long trip but it was a good one, and both of us were day-before-Christmas excited about the place we were traveling to see.
Then, we arrived. We were in Hawaii.
We walked off the plane into an alien time zone where it was still day, as well as 40 degrees hotter, where we had a certain window of time to trek across the airport.
And that is the right word for it, trek, because moving from the mainland arrivals to the inter-island jet planes was a long journey through terminals and trams, pulling suitcases down sidewalks in the sun in order to catch our flight to Kauai.
Halfway through, I lunged into a bathroom where I ripped off my Chicago-friendly jeans and gym shoes and sweater (and jacket!!) in favor of a sundress and flip-flops.
We made it to our plane, we boarded again, we flew over oceans as blue-green as jade or turquoise, and we walked off our plane to a sleepy airport where our next stop was finding a rental car.
When the nice attendant offered us an upgrade on our car to a convertible jeep, the sheer exhaustion of social overstimulation, lack of sleep, long plane rides, and hunger took over, I panicked and I heard myself saying things like, “Tim! I can’t drive a convertible jeep! It’s too big! And it costs more!”
An hour or so later, when we got out of that jeep to run into a Wal-Mart for water, I broke down sobbing.
It was hours later when we arrived at our condo, after a grocery run and after feeling our way through dark roads in a rainstorm. Our friends and family back in Chicago were already long past tucked in for the night. After we pulled all our stuff inside, as tired as we were hungry, hunger still somehow won out.
There in the condo kitchen, with avocados we’d just bought at the island grocery store and kitchen utensils that my friends kept in their rental space, we made a big bowl of guacamole, the way Tim had been making it since I’d met him: with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and plenty of lime juice and salt.
Served with chips, it was the first meal we made together as a married couple. Beautiful in contrast with the realities of stress, responsibility, and occasional fear that we faced, it was symbolic of many meals to come.
A marriage takes work, and kindness. Relationships are built on these small, easily forgettable moments:
The times when your husband is willing to drive you through a rainstorm (something he will keep doing for you in years to come). The way you share a car together, listen to each other’s stories and care about each other’s hurts. The quiet moments when you make guacamole for each other, one of you toasting chips while the other mixes ingredients in a bowl.
This version is a little different, made with fresh fruit and roasted root vegetables. There’s nothing tricky about this recipe besides the beets, which you’ll need to roast ahead of time, or buy pre-roasted.
If you use red beets, your guacamole may turn out a little brown. If this turns you off, just use golden! My favorite option is a mix of the two.
I love the combination of flavors in this recipe. It’s creamy avocado goodness mixed with that pure beet flavor, plus the sharp, sweet crunch of apples. So addictive and so good, fresh and bright, vibrantly colorful, and perfect for summer.
Make a batch at home, and share it with someone you love.Print
With sweet roasted beets and the sharp crunch of apple, this rainbow guacamole is seriously addicting and perfect for summer entertaining.
- 3 ripe avocados
- ½ cup diced red onion, diced (about ½ large)
- ½ cup diced roasted red beets, (about 1 medium)
- ½ cup diced roasted golden beets (about 1 medium)
- ½ cup diced crisp apple (about ½ large, unpeeled)
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh cilantro or mint, to taste
- Mash the avocado. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir well to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
- Category: Guacamole
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Dips and Spreads
Keywords: guacamole, beets, apples, dip
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Roast Beets
Note: you can skip this step by purchasing pre-cooked beets, like these that are available on Amazon.
If you haven’t purchased pre-roasted beets, preheat your oven to 400°F.
If the beets still have leafy greens attached, cut off the green tops. Save them for another use, like making sauteed greens. Scrub beets thoroughly, and then wrap them in aluminum foil.
Place the wrapped package on a rimmed baking sheet and then place it in the preheated oven.
Roast for 40-50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Check beets every 20 minutes to make sure they aren’t drying out. If they start to look dry, pour a teaspoon of water over each beet before re-wrapping.
Remove cooked beets from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Using a paper towel, scrub off the skins and set cooked the beets aside.
Step 2 – Chop Produce and Measure Ingredients
Chop the onion, apple, and beets. Chop the fresh herbs, if you are using any.
Peel, remove the seeds, and mash the avocados.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients.
Step 3 – Combine and Serve
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to mix well.
Serve immediately with tortilla chips (we recommend making your own!).
A Tip for Keeping Your Guac Fresh
Okay, stay with me as this may sound strange. The best way I’ve found to keep guacamole fresh for snacking the next day is a combination of water and plastic wrap – I promise it doesn’t get watered down.
Once you’re done enjoying your dip for the day, smooth the surface with a spatula, and drizzle the top with about ½ an inch of water, about 2-3 tablespoons depending on the size of your container.
Cover with plastic wrap and gently press so that the wrap is directly on the surface of the guacaHOrizonmole. Store in the fridge until the next day.
When it’s time to eat, simply give the guac a good stir and enjoy!
Do you have tips for keeping guacamole fresh? What are some of your favorite travel memories that revolved around a simple meal? Share in the comments below, and don’t forget to give this recipe a rating if you loved it!
Chips aren’t the only appropriate accompaniment to this veggie-packed dip. Here are some of our favorite Tex-Mex recipes that would taste even better with a side of rainbow guacamole:
- One-Pan Tex-Mex Skillet
- Chipotle Mushroom Nachos
- Slow-Cooked Black Beans and Poblano Pepper Baked Taquitos
- Spicy Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 18, 2014. Last updated: January 22, 2020 at 12:43 pm. With additional writing and editing by Kelli McGrane and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
The written contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.