What’s better than the smell of cherry pancakes filling your home a beautiful spring day? (Last week’s springtime produce recipe featured the delicious cherry, which I’m sure you know because you’ve already read it. If not, check it out!) How about taking this love affair with springtime produce to a beautiful picnic in the crisp fresh air? Can you feel the breeze on your skin? Savor every moment! What would be an amazingly refreshing and satisfying dish to accompany you on this savory retreat? It is with great pleasure that this week I introduce you to Ms. Avocado (or Mr., you decide) – love at first sight! (Or should I say bite being that it’s a pretty ugly fruit on the outside!)

Note that I referred to the avocado as a fruit. It’s not a vegetable as some might assume; it is actually part of the berry family. The rich, pale yellow-green flesh of the pear-shaped fruit has a texture likened to a firm ripe banana, smooth and buttery, with a faintly nutty flavor. In addition to its’ mouth-watering taste, it is super healthy too! There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) and avocados naturally contain many of these vitamins. The avocado provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. While it is true that avocados are high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated – the “good” fat that actually can help to lower cholesterol levels.

Now that I’ve gotten you acquainted, let’s make magic happen people and stuff this fruit to the max! That’s right, we’re Slim Pickinizing the plain avocado today…I cannot wait for you to taste them! What’s even better? There’s no messy clean-up required! Simply enjoy this meal…that’s all you have to worry about! What am I waiting for? Sorry! Let’s get going…we’ve got a picnic to cater to.

It’s all here for you and ready to go. Each Alli’s Slim Pickins recipe provides detailed ingredients, nutritional information, and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare each mouth-watering meal! Come on my picnic pals, let’s make it happen.

Over-stuff’d Avocado

1 medium Avocado
3 oz. can tuna, drained
1/4 cup each: green pepper, red onion, cucumber – all diced
1/3 cup nonfat greek yogurt, plain
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp each: sea sal
1 packet sweetener (i.e. Splenda or stevia)
1/4 cup fresh orange sections, diced

How to Prepare
1. Slice avocado in half, lengthwise (be careful of the pit, it’s big!) Split open and remove the bit.
2. Scoop out the center of the avocado, leaving about ¼ inch of the fruit all around, and put the scooped out fruit into a bowl. Set the halves aside.
3. Add tuna, pepper, onion, cucumber yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, salt and sweetener to the bowl with the scooped out avocado. Mix all ingredients until very well blended.
4. Add orange sections and mix gently.
5. Scoop half of the mix into each of the avocado halves.
6. Put in refrigerator for approximately 10 minutes to slightly chill. (Or wait to take them out until you’re ready to leave for your picnic!)7. Grab a spoon and eat up! Yum. Enjoy! 

Per serving (serves 1): 470.5 calories, 32 grams protein, 28.3 grams carbohydrates, 25.5 grams fat (good fat!)

slimpickinslogo.jpgEditor’s Note: If you have any specific requests or would like to share your feedback on the above recipes, please e-mail Allison Frahn at AliFrahn@yahoo.com.

Check out more of Alli’s recipes at: www.AllisonFrahn.com and www.AllisSlimPickins.com