I grew up in Southern California. I had access to gorgeous Haas avocadoes; there were family members with avocado trees. There was always Mexican food accented with tender and sweet avocados and perfectly seasoned guacamole. I never ate them. I thought I didn't like avocados. I kick myself now for the years of enjoyment I missed.

Many foods have been eliminated from my diet as a result of Celiac, but I have also discovered and enjoy so many new flavors that I probably come out ahead. Of course I would be glad to have the convenience of eating in a restaurant or at a friend’s house without worry. But I have always enjoyed cooking and food experimentation and my Celiac diagnosis has actually facilitated it. I don’t feel guilty buying a new type of gourmet cheese or a buttery piece of Chilean Sea Bass.

Avocadoes are just one example of a food I hadn’t fully explored until recently. Now I can’t imagine life without the Chicken soup accented with avocados at RICE, or the fig and avocado salsa I learned to make in one of my cooking classes. Below is the makings of the salad that I ate almost on a daily basis this summer:

Mixed Green Salad (serves 2)
Mesclun greens
1 medium diced tomato
1 medium cucumber sliced
½ ripe Haas avocado diced
¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
¼ cup crumbled low fat goat cheese
Chopped cilantro to taste (I like a lot of cilantro)
Season with salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
Serve with a balsamic vinaigrette

Play with the portions and ingredients. If you hate cilantro (people tend to feel strongly about this herb) try it with basil or cut it out altogether. The key is finding a few ingredients that you can easily throw together and that you love eating. It's such a waste to buy ingredients and then have them spoil in the fridge.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I can't get enough of this salad! It is the best mix of flavors, especially for someone who loves cilantro and avocatos. I recently served it at a dinner party where a friend who normally avoids all things green -- because "salads are for rabbits" -- devoured 3 servings!