Monday, July 23, 2012

I LOVE Avocados: Want some recipes?


I LOVE Avocados!!! Did I write that again? I guess so, but it is so true. I have been in love with them ever since I remember. My abuelita used to put them in everything! growing up we truly ate avocados every single day - I can believe how lucky we were and how much we took these lovely fruit for granted! Avocados are so special, creamy and smooth, almost buttery in taste and consistency - they really lend themselves to so many applications in the kitchen.

I did not realized how lucky we were until I moved out of Venezuela and I could not find avocados in the store all the times, and when I did, they were horrible: hard and tasteless. That was a few years ago. Recently, I have  been able to find Avocados from Mexico and I have been extremely happy with them. They ripe perfectly and they taste as good as I remember y childhood avocados.

Did you know that Mexico is the only place in the whole world in where the avocados trees give fruit 4 times a year? Imagine that! and believe me an avocado tree can give you hundreds of avocados in one go. How cool is that? I would love to live in a nice warm place in where I could have an avocado tree in my backyard.


A few weeks ago I promise to cook a Venezuelan lunch to some friends of mine at work. I chose to make Reina Pepeadas! You are probably asking: what is that? They are my favorite ever Arepas! Reina Pepeadas are Arepas filled with an Avocado and Chicken Salad. They are very traditional in my lovely Caracas. My abuelit used to make me this areas almost every weekend as she knew Iiked them so much. Now I also know it was because it was a sure way to get me all the great nutrients and healthy fats that avocados have (believe or not I did not use to eat much as a kid).

I went to the store bought some Avocados from Mexico and a few other ingredients and got cooking! 

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • Chicken (6 pieces breast and thighs)
  • 1 or 2 tbsp of very finely chopped onion
  • 2 or 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard (Dijon or brown preferred)
  • Lime juice (1 lime)
  • Cilantro and queso fresco as garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter

Boil chicken until done and set aside to cool down.
In the mean time, make the arepas (click here for recipe)
When the chicken is cold – shred it and put on a mixing bowl. Add chopped avocados (including the pits – it keeps the avocados from going brown), onions, and mix. Add mayonnaise with a touch of mustard until you get the right consistency (like potato salad). Add salt and pepper to taste and the lemon juice.
When arepas are ready, cut them like if you were making a pocket on a pita bread. Spread butter on the inside of the arepa, fill with the chicken mix and sparkle some cilantro or fresh crumbled white cheese (queso fresco) if you want.

I promise you you will be liking your fingers!!!

If you are still hungry for avocados, you can also try the following:

Simple Avocado and Palmito salad: Just take a couple of Avocados from Mexico, cut them into slices and serve in a plate with a few chopped palmettos. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. That is it!

Guasacaca: This is the Venezuelan version of a Guacamole - I took the classic Venezuelan recipe and gave it my own twist.  (click here for recipe)





Let me know if you like the recipes! For more recipes you can visit the Avocados from Mexico Fan Recipe pages - They are full of wonderful recipes created by fans in both English and Spanish.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

You Can Dukan Fast Food: Boston Market!! Perfect for PP days.



There was no debate in my mind when it came to choose my second favorite fast food restaurant for the Dukan Diet: Boston Market! This restaurant has been a family favorite for years. When my mother or auntie come visit we need to go to Boston Market at least once during their visit. Why? There is only one answer for this - Because of the BEST rotisserie chicken in America! I cannot get enough of it!

So particularly during the "only protein" days (PP days) Boston Market is my preferred choice, as you can order a quarter or even a half chicken and be completely satisfied without braking your diet! You cannot do this at many places out there.

So what do I order here:

Photo from www.bostonmarket.com


On PP days my favorite is a quarter chicken dark meat - if I am really hungry I order the half chicken. If I am with the kids I go for the whole chicken. Your best bet is to remove the skin - you will save a lot of fat and calories - However, this is full disclosure right? I do LOVE the skin of this chicken and I savor every single bite of it!

  • Quarter dark chicken - 390 calories - only 1g of carbs
  • Quarter dark chicken skinless - 280 calories - 1g of carbs
Other options are white meat chicken - it is actually leaner then the dark meat, however in my opinion the breast can be a bit dry. You can ask for turkey breast and beef brisket - no sauces for any of these options.

If you are on a PV day and are allowed vegetables, then you can have sides. Your options are:

Photo from www.bostonmarket.com

  • Steamed Vegetables - 80 calories - 8 g of carbohydrates
  • 1/2 Cesar Salad - no croutons, no sauce, no chicken - 90 calories - 4g of carbohydrates
You can check the nutritional info of all Boston Market meals by clicking here

So next PP day, head to Boston Market and enjoy eating out!!
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