Thursday, September 2, 2010

My New Favorite Lunch

Ask my dad what food I have always hated, and he will probably tell you avocados. He is right--I have always hated avocados. When I was a kid, he used to tell me that my tastes would change as I got older. He is right--my tastes have changed. There are lots of foods that I couldn't stand when I was little that I love now, such as salsa, fish, and sour cream (but not together, of course). I am still waiting for that avocado taste bud reformation, though. There is hope for me yet! Back in the late spring, Matt made some guacamole and encouraged me to try it. Because I always make my kids try one bite of everything, I figured I should try the guacamole. And guess what? I liked it! No, that's not right...I loved it.

That began a new era in my life, the Guacamole Age. I can't get enough of the stuff! I started eating it for lunch almost every day. 2 avocados+1 seasoning packet+juice from half a lemon=bliss in a bowl. I quickly learned that there are pros and cons to eating guacamole every day. The pros are: 1. I never had to decide what I wanted for lunch. 2. The Rosacea and Eczema I have struggled with since junior high cleared up. But the con was a definite con...in the form of a larger pants size. So I quit my guacamole habit. All summer long I would gaze longingly at the avocados and guacamole seasoning every time I was in the grocery store. *Sigh* I began wishing for a way to keep eating the stuff without turning into a...well, without having to buy a whole new wardrobe.

When we arrived in Orlando, I found my Weight Watchers cookbook when I was unpacking the kitchen. I began flipping through it, looking for new recipe ideas that are good and healthy. And what do you know, there was a recipe for guacamole!!! The coolest part was that it was only 2 points per serving! I made it, and it was okay. Kinda bland, though. After using the store-bought seasoning, I had gotten used to a richer flavor. So the next time I made it, I did my own spice measurements, and oh wow, was it good! I also added a second avocado, which pops the points up to 3. But it is worth that extra point (if you do WW), and worth the added calories if you are not a WW person. Here is my version of the recipe. By the way, I like it better than the way I was making my guacamole in the spring. It is that good!

Better Guacamole 
(serves 4)

In a blender, puree:
1/2 a red onion
1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained  (great northern beans will work, too)

In a bowl, mash two avocados with a fork to desired consistency. (I like my guacamole a tiny bit chunky)

Add the bean/onion mixture to the avocados and stir until completely mixed.

Add:
3 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Tabasco sauce to taste (depends on how spicy you like you guacamole)
Mix well
At this point, taste it to see if there are enough spices for you. I will often go back and add more cumin, and a bit more salt to perk it up a bit more. 

Add: 
3 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro (or more, if you are like me and love cilantro)
3 grape or plum tomatoes, finely diced

Serve with corn chips or pita chips if you have extra points or calories to blow. Whole grain crackers are a delicious, healthier alternative.
Serve with a platter of fresh veggies for dipping if you want an even healthier meal. We love to dip carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers, celery, and broccoli. Yum, oh yum, oh yum!

Though this recipe requires a little more work than just smashing 2 avocados and mixing in a packet of seasoning, it is well worth the time. It takes about 10 minutes from start until eat. The beans add a wad of non-animal protein, but they are so flavorless that you can't taste them. Even my bean-hating husband agrees that this guacamole is better than the old way. The consistency is also lighter, and the beans make the avocado stretch farther. This recipe is 4 servings, where the old one served 2. Using plain spices instead of a seasoning packet eliminates the preservatives, and makes this recipe gluten-free! Even though avocados are healthy fat, they are still very rich in fat. I eat half the avocado in this recipe than in the old recipe, and I am just as satisfied. And my skin is on its way to happiness again, too! I hope you will be able to use this recipe, and that you enjoy it just as much as we do.

5 comments:

Stef said...

this sounds SO yummy and I am a person that loves avocados enough for me to eat my share AND your share. I've always loved them, but fell in love with them more when I read that eating at least one a week, will help get rid of that flabby baby belly weight. Seems to be working for me! I eat one a day and I've noticed a change in my complexion and stomach weight. I've never made my own guacamole though, so I'll have to try this recipe - thanks!

Tara said...

The first time I remember eating an avocado was during circle time in kindergarten. I remember it just like yesterday...where I was sitting, my teacher peeling it, giving us a small chunk and me thinking "this tastes just like butter." I went home and told my mom all about it. I believe she bought 1 or 2 but I have avoided them since.

Glad you were able to adjust the seasonings yet still make it WW friendly. I'm going to pass and stick with salsa!

Kit said...

Oooo, I just love guacamole! What a great recipe. I will certainly try it. Good ole Weight Watchers, the only way I lost my "baby" fat after my first child. And thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. I wish I could be your children's lunch lady too! Take care, Kit

Jenn said...

YUM!!! I too have started eating avocadoes. I love putting them on everything. Definitely trying this recipe! Thanks!

Jenni said...

That recipe sounds good! I just love avocados AND guacamole! Avocados taste so good on sandwiches...

I am Christine's sister, and have been meaning to stop by and say hello. I also wanted to say thank you for entering the giveaway over at Beautiful Nest! :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings,
Jenni