Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples

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.

A human hand uses a homemade tortilla chip to scoop up some rainbow guacamole from a white serving dish.

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 the relief when my friend Becky stepped in.

When we stepped out of the church, greeting people for the first time as man and wife, there was a frantic 15 minutes pulling together family for pictures and my 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 new terms like husband and wife, 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, driving them to the tent in my parents’ backyard.

Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples 3

We were surrounded by people and handshakes and warm wishes, tables of cookies and cake and presents, but by the time we drove away in our changed clothes and 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 nonstop lack of it. We were strapped into a plane for the extent of a full workday, with nowhere to go but the lavatory at the back of the plane.

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.

Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples foodloveswriting.com.jpg

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 our 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 and pulling suitcases down sidewalks in the sun—in order to catch our flight to Kauai.

Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples 2

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 topaz, and we walked off our plane to a sleepy airport where our next stop was finding a rental car.

When the nice man, or maybe it was a woman, I can’t remember now, offered us an upgrade on our car to a convertible jeep, the sheer exhaustion of social over stimulation, 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 passed tucked in for the night. After we pulled all our stuff inside, as tired as we were hungry, hunger still somehow won out.

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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, jalapeños and plenty of lime juice and salt.

Alongside chips, it was the first meal we made together in marriage and, because it was beauty alongside other realities of stress and responsibility and fear, sort of symbolic of all the ones to come.

I read an article today from The Atlantic, which cites kindness as the thing that makes marriages last and as something we should think of as a muscle, something that needs practice and exercise to grow, and I thought about my life with Tim and I thought about our honeymoon guacamole and I thought how, really, when you get right down to it, relationships are built on these small, easily forgettable moments:

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The way your husband is willing to drive you through a rainstorm (and how he will keep doing that for you in years to come); the way you share a car together; the way you listen to each other’s stories and care about each other’s hurts; the way you make guacamole for each other, one of you toasting chips and one of you mixing ingredients in a bowl.

There’s nothing tricky about this recipe besides the beets, which you’ll need to roast ahead of time or buy preroasted (like they’re available at Trader Joe’s!). Also, if you use red beets like we did, your guacamole will look a little brown, and if this turns you off, just use golden!

oh oh and taste! I love this combination. It’s creamy avocado goodness mixed with that pure beet flavor mixed with the sharp, sweet crunch of apples. So addictive and so good, fresh and bright and perfect for summer.

A human hand uses a homemade tortilla chip to scoop up some rainbow guacamole from a white serving dish. Close up

Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x


Creamy avocado goodness mixed with that pure beet flavor mixed with the sharp, sweet crunch of apples. So addictive and so good, fresh and bright and perfect for summer.



  • 3 avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion (from about 1/3 to 1/2 a large one)
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red beets (from about 1 small)
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted golden beets (from about 1 small)
  • 1/2 cup diced unpeeled Red Delicious apple
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional herbs, to taste: coriander, fresh cilantro, fresh mint


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing together well. Adjust salt, pepper and optional herbs to taste.
  2. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips (we like to make our own from sprouted corn tortillas brushed with coconut oil, salted and baked until crisp).
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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.

24 thoughts on “Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples”

  1. choosing kindness — this is something i have to work on, everyday, but mostly because of dw. i am struck sometimes when i have an impulse to make an offhand, mean remark, even to dw, and i have to consciously temper myself. i think this is something that i will have to work on for the rest of my days, with, hopefully, dw by my side.

    guacamole in general is delightful, adding sweetness and crunch like beets + apples is great. my fave combo is with mango + pomegranates.

    • You said this so well, Lan, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your honesty. I feel the same way. It’s amazing how marriage (or any close relationship really) is a mirror that shows you yourself. I’m amazed how often I have the impulse to say something sharp, too, and it’s more and more obvious the more I grow. But man, what a gift to have a person who grows and learns with you! what a huge, huge gift.

  2. I love this story and it makes me want two things: To go to Hawaii and to make and eat this guacamole with my love. 🙂

  3. Those small, forgettable moments…so beautiful and so true. I am so very glad I found your blog. Not only are your recipes and pictures gorgeous but your writing transports. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Ah, such a lovely post. I really like the idea of kindness as a muscle, that you have to keep flexing and building up. You’re so right that it’s these little moments that make life so beautiful.

  5. Such beautiful writing. I loved reading this post! And I definitely want to try this guac. I’ve been making guacamole with radishes lately and I’m obsessed!

    • Aw, thanks, friend! And you’ve got to try this… just like I’ve got to try it with radishes! Brilliant!

  6. Shanna, I loved this post. It’s these posts – that reach deep down and talk about intimacy and tiny details that may otherwise escape most people’s views – that really resonate with me. Thanks for reminding us that kindness is what is needed to make any relationship last, and more importantly, that kindness is a muscle the we need to keep on using and practicing with. Thanks also for sharing a glimpse into your marriage life, so happy for you and Tim, really!

    sending love,

    • These are the kinds of posts that mean the most to me, too, F, and I wish I could write them more often! Thank you!

  7. You’re a wonderful story teller, Shanna! It was so fun to read about this special moment from your life, and, of course, this recipe sounds fabulous. 🙂

  8. The best advice I got before we got married was “Be kind to one another.” How quickly I needed that advice and how well it’s served me! When Brad and I got married, we always said we wanted to give one another our best selves. None of that smiling at people at work or in the grocery store and then coming home and being crabby to one another. Five years in, it’s still a muscle that needs to be flexed every day. I’m so thankful for this reminder!

    I’m also now craving guacamole, so thanks for that. 🙂

    • And here you are being kind to me in a comment, even knowing how I was the very opposite of kind a few days ago. You’re a good friend. I’m glad I know you.

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