Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer Avocado Penne with Shrimp

One of my best friends recently got me one of these avocado tools as a housewarming gift. It is fun and easy to use (it pits and slices avocado without making a big mess). Needless to say, I have gotten some good use out of it and have been including more avocado in my meals at home.

Avocado Fast Facts: 
-Avocados are fruits! 
-Avocado are nutrient dense foods. They are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamins/minerals. A serving of avocado (1/5 of a whole) provides 50 calories, 5 g fat (.5 saturated), and 2 g of fiber.  
-Avocados are a good source of naturally-occuring phytosterols (to help lower cholesterol)

I plan on entering an avocado recipe contest at the end of the month. For the avocado-lovers out there you are in luck because I will be experimenting with different flavors and recipes and post my favorites.

This recipe is so easy and was on the table in less than 20 minutes. That's faster, cheaper, and way healthier than take-out! The recipe features the avocado in a creamy and insanely fresh "sauce"...no need for heavy cream and butter! After eating a few bites I think that this would be awesome with cilantro, lime, and jalapeƱo for a tex-mex pasta dish. Feel free to toss your favorite summer vegetables in. I used vegetables that were on hand from my garden, but broccoli, zucchini, and asparagus would all be wonderful in it as well.

Summer Avocado Penne with Shrimp
Serves 8 

Ingredients:
1 pound whole wheat penne 
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups summer squash, sliced and halved
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 pound frozen raw shrimp, thawed
2 tomatoes, diced

Sauce: 
1 large avocado
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh basil

Directions: 
1. Cook pasta as directed.
2. Put all ingredients for the sauce in a food processor or blender and blend until well-combined.
3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add summer squash and spices and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the shrimp to the squash and cook until shrimp turns pink. 
5. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well. 
6. Add the shrimp, summer, squash, and tomatoes to the pasta and serve warm. 

Start your meal with a garden salad to increase your vegetable intake and reduce your entree portion without feeling hungry. 

Nutrition Facts:
350 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated) 48 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 20 g protein, 100 mg sodium

What is your favorite way to use avocado?


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