I was recently invited to the International Culinary Center to learn more about the health benefits of Hass avocados and recipes using them from Julia Nordgren, who’s a physician, trained chef, wife and mother of two (this is the part where I momentarily feel like I’ve done nothing in my life).
It was easy to see her passion for food and nutrition as she demonstrated some easy meals. She taught us about the big misconception of fats (and aversion of it) when we diet. Healthy fats, like the ones you find in avocado, are important to have in your diet because it helps you absorb vitamins, help you stay satiated, keep your skin healthy, etc (the fats that you want to avoid, she added, are saturated fats like what you find in sugary, processed foods).
Nutrition lesson aside, she prepared a delicious Smoky Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. She emphasized trying to squeeze in as much fruits and veggies in your meals, and this plant-packed meal has 15 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fiber.
Smoky Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
(serves 4; prep time 10 minutes; total time: 30 minutes)
3 tsp olive oil
½ small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp of smoked paprika
1 ½ cups quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and cubes
2 tsp lime juice
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup small white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby spinach
1) Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium heat until soft (about 3-4 minutes)
2) Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add smoked paprika. Stir and cook for 1 more minute. Add rinsed quinoa and stir to combine.
3) Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
4) Sprinkle the cubed avocado with lime juice and pinch of kosher salt. Mix gently and set aside.
5) In a separate sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Add white beans and spinach. Cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through and spinach is wilted.
6) Add the quinoa pilaf, stir to combine, and then spoon into serving bowls.
7) Top each bowl with a generous spoonful of cubed avocado.
You can even put this in a wheat tortilla to make a breakfast burrito. I’ll put that addendum in the next post. For more avocado recipes, visit http://www.avocadocentral.com/avocado-recipes. Enjoy!