Thursday, December 10, 2009

Entertaining Made Simple And Delicious With California Avocados

(NAPSI)-Hosting a get-together is a great way to enjoy the warm days of summer with friends and family. When it comes to your menu, be sure to take advantage of the seasonal fruits and vegetables available during the summer--they can add a great fresh flair to your meals.

California avocados are just one of the many fruits that are in season and available now. This locally grown fruit is a perfect addition for relaxed summer meals, as it can add a creamy texture and delectable flavor to a variety of dishes such as grilled meats, salads and sandwiches.

While well-known for their exceptional flavor, California avocados have a nutrient punch. Naturally sodium and cholesterol free, one-fifth of a medium avocado, or about one ounce, has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 beneficial nutrients to the diet. So you can feel good about incorporating this fruit into your meals.

For a simple and fresh summer dish, try this recipe for Couscous with California Avocado, Mango and Shrimp. For other recipes that feature fresh California avocados, visit the California Avocado Commission Web site at

Couscous with California Avocado, Mango and Shrimp

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 48 minutes


24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Tbsp. seafood grill seasoning

Olive oil, optional

2 cups water

1 (10-oz.) box plain couscous

1 Tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. salt

2 ripe, fresh California avocados, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes*

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal

1 cup cooked edamame (shelled soybeans)

2 cups Mango-Lime Dressing (see make-ahead recipe below)


1. Toss shrimp with seasoning. Barbecue or sauté in olive oil for about 3 minutes, turning over once. Remove to plate; set aside.

2. In a 2-quart pan, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous, oil and salt. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. In a bowl, combine avocado and lemon juice; set aside.

4. Remove lid from pan and fluff couscous; cool. Pour couscous into a large mixing bowl. Add avocado, mango, onions and edamame.

5. Pour dressing over salad, as needed. Toss to coat.

6. Serve onto plates and top with cooked shrimp.

Mango-Lime Dressing


1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. ground white pepper

¼ tsp. ground cumin

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh mint leaves

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro leaves


1. In a food processor, add mango, juice, oil, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and cumin. Purée, using the pulse button; set aside.

2. Mix mint and cilantro into dressing immediately before using.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 270; Total Fat 16 g (Sat 2 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2 g, Mono 11 g); Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 560 mg; Total Carbohydrates 25 g; Dietary Fiber 5 g; Protein 9 g

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

California avocados are just one of the many fruits that are in season and available now.

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