Avocado Toast is becoming a popular thing these days. I love avocados and I try to incorporate them into as many meals as possible. Here is a recipe I found for avocado toast. I added a few things for my own spin on it.
One 8-ounce ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices whole grain or whole wheat bread
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, softened
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Mash the avocado with a fork in a shallow bowl until chunky. Season with fine salt and black pepper. * – I also added lemon zest
Toast the bread until browned and crisp. Lightly rub 1 side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic until fragrant; discard the garlic. Lightly brush the toasts with oil, and season with fine salt and pepper. Divide the mashed avocado evenly among the toasts, and top with more flaky sea salt, more black pepper and red pepper flakes if using. * – I added a layer of sliced radishes for more crunch and topped it with scrambles eggs and chives.
This was the perfect Yelp Elite to start off the new year. Especially after two months of holiday parties. Fresh Millions is a fast-casual “eat healthy” concept food chain that has endless combinations available from their menu. They offer lunch or dinner entrées that include made-to-order gourmet salads with a variety of mix-ins, hot bowls, soups, and grilled paninis. They first opened in 2015 and locations have been popping up all over the Valley since then. People love choices these days and Fresh Millions allows you to choose what you want on your entrée. You basically order on one side of the stainless-steel counter, pick your toppings, pay at the other side of the counter and take your food to a table. For bowls, you choose your base (brown rice, noodles, spinach, romaine, etc), a protein (chicken, shrimp, steak, tofu), a sauce (basil pesto, Thai peanut, green curry, etc) and four mix-ins. You can even go half-and-half base and do rice and romaine/spinach. The cooks will mix and sauté up your creation and you can watch the magic happen right over the counter as they are an open kitchen. For the little ones, they have a healthy fresh kids’ menu. If you are in a hurry and don’t want typical unhealthy greasy fast food, this is the place to go.
We had a Yelp Elite event at Fresh Millions to celebrate their grand opening location in Gilbert. I love these events that introduce me to new places around the Valley. I also love getting more acquainted with my fellow Yelp Elites as these are the people with the most knowledge of where the best eats are in the Valley. We were given sandwich and salad samples and able to create our bowl. For dessert, we had a table full of yummy cookies to choose from. This was a fun event and I look forward to a return visit.
Flats Handcrafted Flatbreads is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Their signature sign and closeness to Centennial Olympic park draws you in if you are a pedestrian passing by. Chef Robert Puerto opened this handcrafted flatbread restaurant and artisan juice bar in downtown Atlanta last year. They have several choices of healthy, handmade panninis and flatbreads to choose from. Some of them have their own unique name (like Italian Stallion, Casablanca or Ole Faithful). Flats is also a juice bar and they have a variety of juice blends consisting of simple ingredients. I came here early and had an Egg Delicious flat that was pretty good. One thing I like about his place is that they have a partnership with JDRF. I’m always a big fan of restaurants that give back to the community.
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive or canola oil
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
6 green leaf lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Put beans in a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Add egg, yellow onion, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well to combine then shape into 6 patties.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to buns, top with lettuce, tomatoes and red onions and serve.
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8×8-inch baking dish; set aside.
Put quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold running water until water runs clear; drain well.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and quinoa. Stir in spinach then pour mixture into the prepared dish. Cover tightly with foil then jiggle dish gently from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle top evenly with cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more. Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.
Açaí Bowls have become the newest hip thing. We have a lot of places here in Arizona that serve them. I use Sambazon frozen Açaí to make my Açaí Bowls. I usually find it at Sprouts or Whole Foods. Açaí is a berry that grows on a species of palm trees in South America that contains powerful antioxidants and healthy omegas. Here’s the recipe found on the back of the Sambazon package for a traditional bowl.
2 Sambazon Original Smoothie Packs
Dash of Lime Juice
1/8 c Apple Juice
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Scoop into a bowl and top with granola and banana slices.
Pita Jungle has been serving up healthy and fresh food since it’s first location opened in 1994. Their wood-fired pizzas and pita sandwiches contain some of their popular selections. I’ve been eating here since my days at ASU going to the Apache location for lunch. The Mediterranean Roasted Chicken (Shawarma) and Beef Gyro are probably my 2 favorite items along with some hummus and their amazing iced tea. I had a fun night here with my friend Sarah at the Phoenix location in the arts district.