The #1 Can’t-Miss Food to Invite to Your Next Girl’s Night Out

You just wrapped up another hectic week, your husband is out with his buddies, and the kids are off at sleepovers.  You’re free!

Did someone say “Girl’s Night?!” So who are you going to invite?

Make sure avocado is at the top of your list.  I’m ashamed to admit that I snubbed my new BFF for years.  As a carb addict and constant dieter, I was on the low-fat bandwagon that left so many of us overweight, constantly hungry, and reaching for the bag of M & M’s to curb the latest carb craving.

After adopting my Paleo Plus diet (more about that later), creamy and nutrient-rich avocado is now a staple at my house.  Here are 3 reasons you should consider inviting it to your next Bunko game with the girls.

#1:  Avocado is a team player.

Not only does it bring lots of goodness to the table all on its own, but avocado also helps your body absorb more of the fat-soluble nutrients found in the foods you’re serving alongside it.  Pair it with dark leafy greens, tomatoes, and red peppers so your body can get the full benefit of all the antioxidants those powerhouse veggies contain.

tomato, avocado, broccoli sprout toast

#2:  Avocado never shows up empty handed.

Unlike many of the party foods we eat, avocado isn’t full of empty calories.  With almost 20 essential nutrients, a 1-cup serving of avocado offers more potassium than a banana.  Made up primarily of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and loaded with 10 grams of fiber, avocado leaves you feeling full and satisfied.

 #3:  Avocado gets along well with others.

With its mild flavor and creamy texture, avocado is one versatile fruit.  It can be used in place of mayo on a sandwich, sliced and layered on a salad, or blended into a smoothie.  Avocado is also the perfect addition to one of my favorite party dishes: Spicy Shrimp and Citrus Lettuce Wraps.  It’s especially delicious when paired with the spicy chipotle flavor of the shrimp and the sweetness of the orange.  The easy-prep version of this recipe can be found in my guide, The No-Cook Contessa’s 5-Day Quick and Easy Menu Plan, but if you have the time, try the grilled version – it’s my favorite.

shrimp & citrus lettuce wraps - no-cook version

For your next Girl’s Night Out, introduce avocado, your new best friend.  She’s sure to be loved by all!

Leave a comment below and share your favorite way to enjoy avocado.

Spicy Shrimp and Citrus Lettuce Wraps

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

    For the Wraps:
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon of pureed chipotles in adobo sauce, adjusted to taste
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeno, diced, adjust to taste
  • 2 oranges, reserve ½ an orange for dressing
  • ½ bunch cilantro, optional
  • 1 head of Boston or romaine lettuce for wraps
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • For the Dressing
  • 1 lime or ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon honey, optional
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

    For the Dressing:
  1. Zest one orange. Set aside for garnish.
  2. Cut the orange in half and juice one half for the dressing and reserve the remaining half to chop and add to the wrap ingredients.
  3. Combine the juice with the remaining dressing ingredients in a small glass jar.
  4. Shake vigorously to combine.
  5. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
  6. For the Wraps:
  7. Heat a sauté or grill pan over medium high heat.
  8. Add the olive oil and then the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Cook for app. 2 -3 minutes per side or until opaque.
  10. Cool slightly while chopping your jalapeno, tomatoes, and oranges.
  11. Toss these ingredients with the shrimp in a bowl with half the dressing.
  12. Layer on your lettuce wraps and top with the avocado.
  13. Drizzle with remaining dressing to taste and sprinkle with cilantro if desired.

Notes

Tip: If you can't find pureed chipotles at your grocers, buy a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and pulse in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour the remaining sauce in a freezer-safe plastic storage bag and press flat. Lay flat in your freezer until frozen. This will allow you to break off additional sauce later and use as needed in other recipes.

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