Friday, March 9, 2012

Fresh Avocado Salad

On a gray, murky day like today, when I’m trapped inside an office for 9 hours, there’s a good chance that any of the following could happen:

- I succumb to the Winter Blues & conk out at my desk

- I attempt to fight the Winter Blues with coffee, overcaffeinate myself, and subsequently chuck a stapler at a coworker due to Print Errors at the copier

- I pass out while working on invoicing & wake up to discover I accidentally emailed an itemized Excel spreadsheet detailing costs for operating a food blog to my boss

…or, I can stop after one cup of coffee, avoid printing anything all day, and make myself a bright, happy, delicious lunch that is so bursting with color that I think I’m in Playa del Carmen rather than Missouri.


And that’s what I opted for today.

This is one of my favorite lunch options—although I don’t make it too often because there’s so much avocado in it…not that I don’t LOVE avocado (because I SOOOOOOO do), but you can have too much of a good thing, especially when that good thing is the 13 grams of fat that accompanies half of an avocado.  Granted—it’s mostly unsaturated fats which works wonders for your cholesterol, and our creamy green friend is chockablock full of vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, K, and even a healthy dose of fiber.  And they have a NuVal score of 89 (which is definitely better than the “Angry Birds” gummy snacks that I’m currently snacking on while typing this blog).  This is almost a bit like a deconstructed guacamole—since I love the creamy & acidic flavors associated with guac, but I don’t love the texture.

Ingredients: (makes one salad)

1/2 avocado, cubed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

About 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered

juice of 1/2 lime

dash of cracked black pepper (or Cajun seasoning, whatever’s handy)

NOTE: Sometimes I add diced purple onion or a wee bit of garlic powder when I make this—entirely up to you.



Toss all of the ingredients together.  Nom to your heart’s content.


I’m sure this goes without saying, but I’m a fan of fresh produce, and I’m a fan of jamming as much (natural) color into your food as possible (again, unlike these gummies sitting next to me…I know, I’m such a hypocrite).  And while this particular mix is a bit high on the fat content, it’s full of texture and the richness of the avocado is really filling & satisfying. And at under 180 calories, it’s a really reasonable, decadent side dish for a quick lunch.  (Another note:  Once I’ve juiced the lime, I throw the lime half in with a big glass of water—there’s usually just enough juice left in the wedge to give a nice hint of flavor to an otherwise boring cup o’ eau.)

I try to keep my meals at about 400 calories each (with 2-3 100-calorie snacks scattered between meals).  With the above salad, I had 3 oz of venison summer sausage (150 calories, 15g protein, 1.5g fat) and a 2% milk mozzarella string cheese (50 calories, 6g protein, 15% daily calcium).  If I had wanted a more substantial protein portion of my meal, or a starch, it would be very easy to only use 1/4 of an avocado, add 1/2 – 1 cup of mixed greens & the juice of a whole lime, and this salad would drop to about 100 calories. There’s so much flavor in the cilantro & lime juice that no real “salad dressing” is needed.



Calories 179.2

  Total Fat 13.4 g

  Saturated Fat 1.8 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 8.5 g

  Cholesterol 0.0 mg

  Sodium 7.3 mg

  Potassium 880.8 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 15.9 g

  Dietary Fiber 8.0 g

  Sugars 5.1 g

  Protein 3.4 g

  Vitamin A 34.2 %

  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

  Vitamin B-6 13.0 %

  Vitamin C 63.6 %

  Vitamin D 0.0 %

  Vitamin E 6.6 %

  Calcium 1.7 %

  Copper 8.4 %

  Folate 20.7 %

  Iron 3.7 %

  Magnesium 16.7 %

  Manganese 7.4 %

  Niacin 18.7 %

  Pantothenic Acid  13.4 %

  Phosphorus  4.9 %

  Riboflavin 8.1 %

  Selenium 0.5 %

  Thiamin 4.9 %

  Zinc 4.4 %

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