When you think of eating out in Washington, DC, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a ‘power lunch’ at a steakhouse on Capitol Hill. A power lunch is a working lunch at which people of influence discuss work or other important issues.
My idea of a power lunch isn’t sitting around schmoozing Senators and Congressmen, though. To me, it’s a nutritious meal that will give me sustained energy to keep me going for the rest of the day. This concept was my inspiration for this post, in which I was challenged to create a recipe that embodies the spirit of my hometown. The catch? It must include avocados, which isn’t much of a stretch, considering how much I love ’em! I eat at least one avocado every day. An avocado a day keeps the doctor away. That’s my motto.
Why do I love avocados?
They’re delicious. Avocados can be eaten at every meal – diced up with eggs for breakfast, atop a salad for lunch, or sliced over a steak for dinner. Don’t discount them as a dessert, either. Avocado ice cream is yummy, or blend up an avocado and an apple for a sweet mousse. Consider adding a few slices to a smoothie for an incredible creaminess. Honestly, I’m happy eating the avocado right out of the skin! I just sprinkle a little salt on it, maybe a squeeze of lime, and grab a spoon!
They’re nutritious. Avocados digest quickly and easily, have a variety of different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, are a good source of protein and fiber, and have even more potassium than bananas! Plus, avocados have the mono- and polyunsaturated “good” fats that are recommended as part of a healthy diet. Replace the “bad” fats with it; instead of spreading butter on your morning toast, try avocado.
My recipe: Avocado, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Reduction
An insalata Caprese is a classic salad, so this isn’t a unique recipe, but avocado adds a delicious twist! The measurements don’t matter so much. Just eyeball it.
2 avocados from Mexico, diced
2 pounds of heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 pound of fresh Buffalo mozzarella, diced
bunch of fresh basil, julienned
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
I like to dice the avocado, tomatoes, and mozzarella, as it makes it easy to eat. Bite-size. I toss it all with the basil in a big bowl, and drizzle just a bit of olive oil over it. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Spoon this mixture onto some crostini, and it could be a twist on traditional bruschetta.
*A balsamic reduction may sound fancy, but it’s actually really easy to make and is so flavorful! Just pour a cup of balsamic vinegar into a small pan and heat it on low until it’s reduced to about a third cup. It’ll be thick and syrupy; let it cool and store it in the fridge, though you’ll have to let it come to room temperature before using.
How to store avocados
I usually can’t find ripe avocados at the grocery store, but once I get home I store them in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process. What can I say? I’m impatient. Once they’re ripe enough, you can refrigerate them (for up to a week) to slow down the ripening.
The “Big Hit” Contest
The Avocado League is featuring hometown recipes from a variety of big cities across the nation. The Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA) will choose 8 bloggers – one from each featured hometown – with the best recipe as members of the Avocado League, with public voting of their dishes to take place in late September. Also, any consumer can submit their avocado recipe and may be featured on www.theamazingavocado.com as an “all-star” recipe!
I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. Photo of avocado courtesy of Andrea Pacheco.