Friday, 5 April 2013

Food Friday - Stuffed Avocado Three Ways

Avocados get a bad rep when it comes to dieting and weigh loss because of their high calorie and fat counts.  The truth is that the calories and fat in avocados are the “healthy” kind.  Granted, you wouldn’t lose weight quickly on an avocado every day diet, but when I saw the following recipes at Home Made Simple my mouth started to water.  The recipe with Gruyere is obviously going to be a higher calorie choice than the recipe including quinoa, but as a lunch or light dinner, this would be a nice “something different”.  More nutritional information follows the recipes if you want to know more about avocados.

I always shied away from avocado because it was not something I grew up eating.  Quite frankly, I did not know how to pick a “good one”.  So a handy avocado selection tip is to place the avocado in the palm of your hand and squeeze gently.  If it gives a little to your touch, it’s ripe and should be used right away.  If it feels hard, it’s not ripe, so place in a brown paper bag and store in a dark place for two days.  Don’t refrigerate.

And, for goodness sake don’t forget about it … it could turn into something that you don’t want to deal with and will probably put you off avocado forever! (Loud throat clearing noise inserted here) Not that I have ever done that.

Enough blabbering, and on to the recipes –

Baked Stuffed Avocados with Quinoa, Tomatoes and Feta

Serves: 2 – 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes

2 ripe avocados
500 ml (2 cups) cooked quinoa
1 medium-sized tomato, diced
250 ml (1 cup) crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 F)
Slice avocado lengthwise and remove the pit by gently tapping it with a large, sturdy kitchen knife.  When the knife is slightly wedged in, very carefully twist and pull away from the fruit.
With a smaller kitchen knife, carefully make criss-crosses in the avocado flesh, making sure not to break through the skin.
Using a spoon, gently scoop out the avocado flesh and place in medium sized bowl.
Add cooked quinoa and diced tomato to the avocado pieces and gently mix together while preserving the chunks of flesh.  For a creamier consistency, use more pressure when mixing to mash the avocado chunks.
Place hollow avocado shells in baking dish, and carefully fill each with the mixture.
Generously layer crumbled feta cheese over top and place in oven for 10 –12 minutes or until cheese is sufficiently melted.
Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately.
TIP:  If the hollow avocado shells keep falling to the side, simply cut a small slice off the bottom so they will sit flat in the baking dish.

Baked Stuffed Avocados with Onions and Gruyere

Follow the steps above, then use the following add-ins instead of quinoa, tomato and feta.

Sauté 1 diced medium sized sweet onion with 2 pats of butter in a small skillet until translucent.  Add 1 clove of minced garlic and stir frequently for 5 – 8 minutes until mixture is soft and slightly browned.  Add the avocado flesh, mix thoroughly, then spoon into avocado shells.  Place them in a baking dish, top with 375 ml (1 ½ cups) of Gruyere Cheese and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Baked Stuffed Avocados with Sautéed Shrimp and Parmesan

Sauté 1 diced medium sized onion with 2 pats of butter in a small skillet until translucent.  Add 1 clove
of minced garlic and stir frequently 5 – 8 minutes until the mixture is soft and slightly browned.  Add to the avocado flesh, mix thoroughly, then spoon into avocado shells.  Place 4 –5 thawed baby shrimp in each shell, set them in a baking dish and generously sprinkle with 125 ml (1/2 cup) of grated Parmesan Cheese.  Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.


Recipes above from:

Nutritional Information below from:

Even though there are a lot of calories in avocados, they will not harm your diet. Actually, they are quite beneficial. They contain a large supply of healthy fats that your body actually needs. For some reason calories and fats are frowned upon, and most think the less they consume the better off they will be.

So How Many Calories Are in an Avocado?

A serving is 1/2 of an avocado and contains about 153 calories. One medium sized avocado contains roughly about 306 calories, and one large avocado contains about 322 calories.

Ninety-one percent of those calories come from fat. But don’t let that scare you into not eating avocados–a whopping 63 percent of those fat calories come from monounsaturated fats, and 20 percent come from polyunsaturated fats. These are good fats, which your body needs, and they will help to lower your bad cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.

Even though avocados contain a lot of calories, they also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, which will fill you up fast and keep you feeling full. You are better off to eat them rather than other foods with fewer calories because they will help you to reduce your cravings and calories for non-diet friendly foods in the long run.

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