Avocado Blues

Behold: The Avocado.

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This smooth, creamy, fatty (but the good kind of fatty) fruit, used free wheelingly in both sweet and savory applications alike, is coveted by Foodies near and far. The catch? Catching them. Not physically getting your hands on them, of course. Avocados are widely available at your local grocery, don’t ya know. But it’s the trick of catching them when they are edible that’s the real trick. They are plucked from their treetop homes while still green and allowed to ripen as they make their trek to you, the Anxious Heralder of Healthy Fats. So we’re left with a conundrum of culinary proportions: how to tell when the avocado is ripe and ready to rock your palate. Thankfully, the folks of The Great and Powerful Interweb have solved yet another of life’s Great Mysteries. Check this out…

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Yes. Those little molar-wrecking masses on the end of your avocado aren’t just Mother Nature’s sick joke to ruin your day and send you running for the dentist. You can ACTUALLY use them to tell you whether you will encounter perfectly ripe, gloriously green flesh inside of your avocado, or…that other stuff. You know what I’m talking about. The brown, speckled, slimy, “I’m-so-mad-I-spent-$1.49-for-THIS-junk” interior disappointment. The avocado of shame. How can this be? Easy. If you flick off that little button and see a gaping hole of dark brown to blackish material, run away!! But if you see a paler, more green-yellow like eye winking back at you, epic guacamole is in your future.

So now that we at the bakery have found ourselves with an overload of ready-or-not avocados on our hands (that’s the other catch…once they’re ripe, you have to move like a spastic Ninja to make use of them before they turn into the Black Hole Sun of over ripeness we so elegantly illustrated above), we decided it was time to go Mexican. And then we took it even further South and threw in some quinoa because, well, quinoa is delicious. But this post is about avocados, not quinoa. Focus.

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There’s the stuff. For 4 burritos you’ll need approximately 2 cups, cooked. There’s no instruction needed here other than “follow the instructions on the package”…but replace the water you boil the quinoa in with either chicken or veggie stock. Because why WOULDN’T you want to add more flavor EVERY chance you get? And so now we have a pile of avocados, a steaming vat of ancient grain, and a hunger to unite them in some sort of gastronomic marriage. There is only one tie that can bind these two. I give you, the burrito wrap.

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*Swoon*.

Ok so you’ve undoubtedly noticed there is more to this burrito than just avocado and quinoa. How very astute of you. Let’s make it interesting.

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Chicken. Grilled. About 3 ounces per burrito. This one is spiced up very simply with some black pepper and granulated garlic. But you could let you inner over achiever run wild and marinate your chicken in some garlic, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and a splash of olive oil overnight before grilling. We didn’t. And it was still good. Imagine the possibilities.

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Next we shredded the grilled chicken breast into long threads. You can do this with 2 forks, your hands, your teeth…you make the call.

Then it’s on to the seasoning. We used just a squeeze of lime juice, some basic chili powder and salt, to your taste. There are no rules here in our Wonderful World of Burrito Creation. Oh, and toss in some cayenne pepper. A micro-pinch if you’re a lady. A generous pinch if you’re, well…..not 🙂

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Then we piled on some sweet corn kernels, a smattering of black beans, and a bit of shredded cheese, (Manchego would be amazing here, but the cheddar we had on hand did the trick), and a drizzle of chipotle sauce (and since that’s our secret recipe, you’re on your own with that one!) and we arrived at our destination.

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Yum. Lunch special, anyone?

So the next time you’re feeling that familiar pang of buyer’s remorse over your unripe avocados, consider the burrito to be the answer to your frustration AND your hunger for something that magically, perfectly compliments your mid week margarita. And it ‘s a great way to get in some healthy grains and fats, too. And if you’ve missed the window for ripeness on your avos, we suggest just scrapping the whole thing, making yourself a second margarita, and ordering take-out!

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