Let me start by saying that I clearly have some work to do on my food photography skills. For now I’m going to blame the lighting and my phone’s camera.
For my first recipe, I would like to share my favorite warm weather food. When I first decided that I wanted to take control of my life (and my weight) in the summer of 2010, which is also when I started running, I dabbled in eating raw. While it was not something I could stick to on an every meal basis, I did end up with some pretty great tasting and filling standbys. This is one of them. There is no set recipe because I make several variations depending what kinds of fillers I have on hand, but the staples are always avocado, romaine lettuce (or some other leafy variation like Boston), cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms.
1 whole avocado
Handful of cherry tomatoes
2 fresh whole white mushrooms (or a handful of pre-sliced)
4 thick slices of cucumber
1 thick slice of red onion
3 leaves of romaine or Boston lettuce
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice open avocado and remove pit. Slice both avocado halves into sections while still in skin, then remove with a spoon (if your avocado is very ripe, you can also do a mashed version rather than cubed avocado). Slice each cherry tomato in half and then cut each half two more times, in alternating (cross) directions to form small pieces. Add tomatoes (and juice) to avocado. Cut each cucumber slice into small wedges (I usually do each slice into 4-8 sections, depending on thickness) and add to mixture. Roughly chop red onion and mushroom into small pieces and add to mixture.
At this point you can add salt and pepper to taste, if you would like, though if your ingredients are fresh and flavorful you likely will not need it. Mix all ingredients until evenly incorporated and spoon mixture into lettuce leaves. This mixture will fill approximately three leaves, depending on how full you like your wraps and the size of your leaves.
That’s it! No cooking (which means no added heat to your kitchen in the summer), very little cleanup, and you have a delicious and filling meal. I have been known to slice up a banana and some raspberries in a bowl for dessert to accompany this meal, but it is great as is. Following this recipe you end up with approximately 300 calories, most of which come from the avocado.
While avocados are somewhat high in calories and fat, the fat they provide is the “good” kind that helps lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol. They also provide a host of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B, K, and E and more potassium than a banana! The best part, in my opinion, is that the creaminess in avocado helps me to not miss having cheese with my meal. As a cheese lover, that is saying a lot.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutrition or fitness expert. I aim to acquire a nutrition and fitness certification in the near future, but the information I provide here is not meant to be expert advice. The purpose of this blog is to share my own experiences as well as research I find related to the field.