- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2006

If you’re watching your fat intake, avocados may be on your banned list. That’s too bad. While it’s true the buttery-tasting fruit is high in fat, it’s a beneficial form of fat. Most of it is monounsaturated, which health experts suggest may help reduce cholesterol levels.

Try a little mashed avocado instead of butter on a sandwich. Puree avocado to use as a replacement for sour cream in a dip. Diced avocado brings rich, delicious taste to a ho-hum bowl of lettuce. When shopping for two, choose an avocado the size of a lemon. Buy two avocados at a time: one that’s ripe and gives to gentle pressure and a second that’s firm to the touch. That way you’ll always have avocados that are ready to eat.

When you include avocado in your menu, you may notice that you’re satisfied with smaller portions, another benefit of the good fat in the fruit.Serve guacamole chicken salad with blue cheese biscuits for a lunch that will satisfy. If keeping your fat intake to a minimum, serve it with a good crusty bread.

Guacamole chicken salad

1 cup cooked, diced chicken breast

2 tablespoons minced chives

1 small avocado, peeled, pitted and finely chopped

1 medium tomato, cored and diced

1 to 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno chili

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste

Combine chicken, chives, avocado, tomato and chili in a salad bowl. Stir together lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a cup. Pour over salad. Stir gently but well. Makes 2 servings.

Note: One teaspoon jalapeno chili is mildly hot; 2 teaspoons will have a bite.

Blue cheese biscuits

1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

7 to 8 tablespoons milk

Stir together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in blue cheese. Add enough milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, to form a sticky dough that holds together.

Drop dough by 4 mounds onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Pat into disks 1-inch high and 3 inches in diameter.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 23 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown and high.

Makes 4 biscuits; 2 to 4 servings.


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