Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Love Avocados Thanks to My 'Buelita

When it comes to our niños, nutrition and education go hand-in-hand. Without proper nutrition, our kids are more likely to struggle academically. Our bodies need the right balance of protein, vitamins, and minerals to perform important functions like the ability to focus, make connections, comprehension, and much, much more.

When I think about nutrition, I typically think of my 'Buelita, who was the best cook that I've ever known. She learned to cook by watching the viejitas cooking in the plazas in Mexico. And when she came to the U.S., she found success by opening her own restaurant in Dallas, Texas.

El Original was one of the city's favorites, and it served traditional Mexican and TexMex dishes. People from all over town came to eat my 'Buelita's exceptional meals, which she prepared with love and happiness. All of her dishes were made from scratch - no canned enchilada sauce ever entered her kitchen. Everyday she scoured the markets for fresh produce, including fresh avocados.

It would not surprise me to learn that my first introduction to aguacates was made by my 'Buelita. I remember that when I was a child, 'Buelita would fill warm corn tortillas with a few slices of aguacates and a pinch of salt. That was my FAVORITE afterschool snack. (And it still is!) That's when my love affair with avocados began.

According to Avocados from Mexico's website, "the world's first avocado was grown and cultivated in Mexico countless generations ago. Thanks to the region's fertile volcanic soil, ideal climate, and centuries of expert cultivation, Mexico remains the source of the world's finest avocados. Today, Mexico is the only place in the world where avocado trees naturally bloom four times a year. Producing a year-round bounty of irresistibly rich and creamy avocados." (Hmmm...I think I need to put together a unit study on avodados, don't you?)

But what makes aguacates a winner in my mother/teacher mind is the fact that they have more than 25 essential nutrients that our bodies need, including folic acid, Vitamin E, Potassium, B vitamins and fiber, and protein not normally found in fruit. AND they have both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and (again) potassium which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

So knowing this and because I have loved this food for so long, I am always trying to find ways to prepare it for my own kids. The Avocados from Mexico site has lots of super delicious recipes in English and Spanish that the public has shared.

But I wanted to share with you one of the lunches that I frequently prepare for my own kids. The chicken and avocados provide an extra boost of protein to keep their energy up throughout the long afternoons. I hope you enjoy!

Chicken Avocado Pasta

2 cups pasta (shells)
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped 
1 avocado, diced
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
salad dressing (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. 
2. Add EVOO (or butter) and stir well.
3. Spoon into bowls and add chicken, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Top with your favorite salad dressing and stir.

Serves 4.

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Avocados from Mexico and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed - and the recipe! - are my own.


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