Ahhh, the avocado

There has been a lot of hype lately about the wonders of the avocado. And I have to say, I have definitely jumped on that bandwagon! I am slightly obsessed with avocados. It is such a versatile fruit that can be eaten by itself, added to a sandwich to kick it up a notch, mashed into tasty guacamole or added to so many different dishes.

Theses little green fruits are filled with fiber, potassium, vitamins, and folic acid. You probably already know they’re a great source of healthy fat and fiber, but what else do you know about the awesome avocado? Here are a few things I learned today through our workplace wellness program…

Avocado fun facts:

* Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamins E and K, B vitamins, and folic acid.
* They have more potassium than bananas, and they also contain vitamin A, magnesium, and Beta-cryptoxanthin, which may reduce the risk of arthritis.
* About 75% of an avocado’s calories come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat.
* Avocados act as “nutrient boosters,” enabling our bodies to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients in foods that are eaten with avocados.

How to eat an avocado:

* Avocados must be mature to ripen properly. Once picked, they ripen in a few days at room temperature (or faster if stored with other fruits such as apples or bananas).
* A ripe avocado has a soft texture (like a cross between a hard-boiled egg yolk and butter) that makes it great for spreading on breads and sandwiches. It’s also yummy in guacamole, salads, burgers, eggs and omelets, and sushi rolls.

Here is a great site to learn how to pick a ripe avocado, how to cut, slice, peel and pit it, and some other great avocado facts:

So, with creamy smoothness of an avocado on my mind, I made an easy, healthy tuna sandwich with avocado and sautéed veggies for lunch. I’m pretty sure I made everyone at the office jealous while I ate my yummy lunch at my desk. 🙂

Easy Healthy Tuna Sandwich with Avocado and Feta

Tuna Avocado Sandwich

Tuna Avocado Sandwich

2 slices Whole Wheat Bread
1/2 can Albacore Tuna in water, drained
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 celery stick, chopped
1 tsp Lt. Mayo
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 Tbsp Lt. Feta crumbles

Mix tuna, red pepper, celery, mayo, lemon juice, salt & pepper together. Lay sliced avocado onto one slice of bread, top with tuna mixture, feta, and other slice of bread. Cut in half and enjoy!

Healthy Chicken Chimichangas

Jeff and I both enjoy a deep love of Mexican food. So, I try to make something with a mexi twist at least once a week. The recipe I made Friday night is one of our favorites, with some twists to “health-ify” it.

I made this from start to finish after work on Friday but you could definitely make the chicken mixture the night before and just warm it up to cut down on the preparation time. I also cut up some fresh yellow and green zucchinis, green beans, a little onion and garlic and sauteed them for a healthy side-dish.

All in all, AMAZING Mexican night at our house! 🙂

Healthy Chicken Chimichangas
Serves: 6 – 8

Healthy Chicken Chimichangas

Healthy Chicken Chimichangas

1 lb chicken breasts
1/2 med onion, chopped
1/2 cup green or red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups natural beef gravy (or 2 packets beef gravy mix)
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
Tabasco to taste
1 can black beans, drained and crushed
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monty Jack cheese, grated
6-8 large whole wheat tortillas

Preheat oven to 350.
Heat oil on med heat in large non-stick pan. Add onion, green/red pepper & carrots. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until onion is opaque. Add minced garlic and rinsed chicken breasts. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 15-20 minutes, flipping chicken once.
While chicken is cooking, heat gravy ( or mix gravy packets according to directions). Add 3/4 of the tomato sauce & half of spices to the gravy.
Once chicken is done, remove from pan, shred or thinly slice, and return to pan. (I added a little chicken broth to keep it moist at this stage) Add crushed black beans, mix well. Add remaining tomato sauce and other half of spices.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture into tortilla shells, roll up (folding the ends) & put into a greased 9″ x 18″ pan. Pour gravy over the top & add grated cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.


Thought of the day…

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain