Tag Archives: avocado

Happy National Nutrition Month

It’s finally March which means it is National Nutrition Month. Double hooray because it also means we are closer to spring. The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is Eat Right Bite by Bite.

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That’s easy to say, but is it easy to practice? It takes a little thought and planning, but it can be pretty easy. Healthy food also doesn’t have to be time consuming. I am a big fan of Gretchen Rubin’s books and podcast. She suggests that you time activities, especially if it is something you don’t like to do. Then you know exactly how long it takes. I like to apply this practice to making a healthful breakfast or lunch. It can seem really overwhelming and like it would take too much time. But when I stop and actually do it, it only takes a few minutes.

Today’s example is a spin on avocado toast. I’m calling it omelet avocado toast as it has some of my favorite omelet ingredients. To really speed this up, you can cook up lots of veggies one day and store them in the fridge for subsequent mornings. Then you just need to heat them up with your eggs. The more variety of colors of vegetables the better! You can cook your eggs however you’d like. I’m on a poached egg kick, but this is great with scrambled or fried eggs as well. Enjoy!

Omelet Avocado Toast (Serves 1)

Omelet Avocado Toast

1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
½ avocado, mashed
¼ green bell pepper, diced
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
½ tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped zucchini
1 egg

1. Heat a small pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Lightly cook pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, and tomato until desired softness (usually about 5-7 minutes).

2. Cook eggs as desired.

3. Top toast with avocado, vegetables, and egg.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 325
Protein: 13 g
Fat: 21 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 186 mg
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sodium: 223 mg

Recipe notes: As I mentioned above, you could easily make a large batch of veggies one day. Then heat them up with eggs to make toast, an actual omelet, scramble, or whatever variation you like to keep it interesting. Mix up the veggies to what you like.

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Salsa and Egg Avocado Toast

What is your opinion on hard-boiled eggs? Growing up, I never cared for them much. In college, I rediscovered them somehow and was hooked. My husband won’t touch them. My kids were mildly interested when we were dyeing our Easter eggs, but quickly lost interest.

If you are in the positive camp but are looking for some more “creative” ideas, look no further. I love this avocado toast. It is great for a quick breakfast or lunch. Go peel some colorful eggs and enjoy!

Salsa and Egg Avocado Toast (Serves 1*)

Salsa and Egg Avocado Toast

2 slices whole wheat bread
1 avocado, smashed
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 ounce cheddar cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons salsa

1. Toast bread to desired degree of doneness.
2. Spread avocado over toast. Top with egg, cheese, and salsa.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 755
Protein: 32 gm
Fat: 52 gm
Saturated Fat: 13 gm
Cholesterol: 401 gm
Carbohydrates: 47 gm
Fiber: 18 gm
Sodium: 861 mg

Recipe Notes: This makes a BIG serving. I would likely recommend starting with just one toast. But I HATE recipes that use up half of something (like an avocado) that doesn’t save particularly well. And the size of cheese is really easy to use up pre-sliced sandwich cheese. So I know the nutrition looks a bit crazy – mostly due to the avocado. Just take a deep breath and remember avocados have healthy fats.

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The skinny on fats

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Earlier this year, a study challenged the long-held belief that eating a diet low in saturated fats was bad. Combining the results of many previous studies, it concluded that low consumption of saturated fats and high consumption of polyunsaturated fats (the current diet recommended by the American Heart Association) did not actually lower risk of heart disease. How can that be?

First, the article was not done very well and has drawn a lot of criticism. The details are very technical and beyond the purpose of this blog. We will just leave it with the opinion that their conclusions may not be the most accurate.

But the results do remind us to look more closely at individual food choices when replacing saturated fat. Research has documented that replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates is not beneficial to health, but replacing them with mono- or polyunsaturated fats is. So, we don’t necessarily need to eat a diet lower in total fat. We need to eat a diet with a different mix of fats.

How do we do that?

-Replace butter or margarine with oils when possible. Olive oil, canola oil, and other vegetable oils are a better choice.

-Nuts can be a good choice of healthy fats. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts all seem to be heart healthy.

-Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats. They also are great sources of fiber, antioxidants, and plant sterols which can also be beneficial for heart health.

-While eating carbohydrates is ok, try to keep it in control. I like to think of dividing the plate into quarters and keeping carbohydrates to one quarter of the plate.

The bottom line is fat in general is not as bad as we used to think. The most important thing is keeping the proportion of types of fats in balance.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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Chips and Dip

Football season is here.  My husband is in heaven for the next few months.  Like all sports, I prefer watching football in person than on the television.  But some good snacks always make me more inclined to watch a game.

Chips and dip are a classic game day snack, but both can be overloaded with fat and salt.  Here are some homemade versions that won’t break your calorie bank.  You can feel good about the veggies in the salsa and guacamole.  And yes, avocados are high in fat.  But the monounsaturated fats in avocados can actually be beneficial to your health – when eaten in moderation and replacing saturated fats.  So eat that guacamole, especially if you are replacing a cheese sauce.

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Baked Tortilla Chips (Serves 5)

5 fajita-size whole-wheat flour tortillas or 10 small corn tortillas
Cooking spray
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Spray both sides of tortillas lightly with cooking spray. Stack tortillas and cut into sixths (flour tortillas) or fourths (corn tortillas). Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle with salt.

3. Bake for 5-7 minutes, watching to make sure they don’t burn. Once they look lightly “toasted”, flip over and bake for 2 minutes more. Serve with chips and salsa.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 132
Protein: 4
Fat: 4.5 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 241 mg

Source: adapted from online

Easy Pico de Gallo (Serves 4-5)

6 roma tomatoes, diced
¼ medium red onion, diced small
½ jalapeño, membranes and seeds removed, diced small
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Allow to sit in refrigerator for a couple hours for best flavor.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 34
Protein: 1.5 g
Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 8 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 126 mg

Source: adapted from family recipe

Guacamole (Serves 4-5)

3 large avocados, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup pico de gallo or salsa
pinch of salt

1. Mash avocados with 1 tablespoon of lime juice. (A pastry blender works well here.) Stir in remaining tablespoon of lime juice, pico de gallo, and salt. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 195
Protein: 2.5 g
Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sodium: 44 mg

Source: adapted from family recipe

Recipe Notes: Using flour tortillas provides a little different taste than normal tortilla chips – a cross between tortilla chips and pita chips. Adjust the amount of onion and jalapeño in the pico de gallo to your preference. Raw red onion can become very powerful as it sits, so keep that in mind. You could use raw garlic, but I actually prefer powder here, as it can mix into more of the salsa than chunks of minced garlic.

Low iodine adjustment: Use non-iodized salt. You can make homemade tortillas or use salt-free tortillas.

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