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Healthy Grain Bowls, Mediterranean Style, with Avocado Tzatziki

California Avocados 101 + a Greek Salad Bowl with Avocado Tzatziki DressingThese healthy grain bowls, inspired by my trip to a California avocado farm, are prefect for a family friendly vegetarian dinner. Whole grain, gluten free sorghum serves as the base, add your favorite Mediterranean inspired toppings, and drizzle the yummiest Avocado Tzatziki on top for a quick, easy, nourishing meal!

Thanks to the California Avocado Commission, I got to take part in a fabulous weekend filled with “all things avocado” 

And, since I couldn’t pack you in my suitcase, and take you there with me, I thought it would be fun to share some photos from my trip along with a little “California Avocados 101”, plus my hands down, new dinner favorite, these Healthy Grain Bowls, Mediterranean Style, with Avocado Tzatziki, that you can make with your own California Avocados, now that they’re in season!

Huge thanks to the California Avocado Commission for sponsoring this fabulous trip. All my travel expenses and meals were paid for, however I didn’t receive any payment for attending, nor was I compensated to write this post. As always, all thought and opinions are 100% my own.

California Avocados 101

After a delicious avocado dinner Friday night at Salt, followed by an avocado packed breakfast at our hotel, The Four Seasons in Westlake Village early Saturday morning, we hopped in to a bus and headed North to Ventura for our first stop on the tour, Brokaw Nursery

How a avocado grows healthy and strong...at Brokay Nursery in Ventura California.It was fascinating learning how the nutritious and delicious avocado gets a healthy start in life! Did you know that avocado trees were first planted in Ventura County in 1871? I sure didn’t! And, I also didn’t know that you could graft a clipping from a disease resistant rootstock avocado tree on to a seedling started from an avocado seed to create a healthy disease-resistant tree.

You can see the stages of the avocado from seedling to tree in the photo above, along with a couple of Brokaws’ long-time employees both grafting the seedlings on to the seeds, then planting them in the field where the young avocado trees hang out before they go to the avocado grove, which is where we headed next…

Happiness in hanging out in a California Avocado grove!Happiness is hanging out in a California Avocado grove!

Our stop at Rancho Rodoro to learn about the life of a mature avocado tree {and the life of an awesome avocado farmer, Randy Axell and his equally awesome wife} was one of the highlights of my weekend. Although I have seen avocado trees growing, I don’t think I had ever been to a large avocado grove before. There was such a beauty and peacefulness walking around the Axell family avocado farm, I really didn’t want to leave.

We learned all about Randy’s high tech tool’s {his smart phone} for monitoring the moisture level in his grove to make sure his trees receive the right amount of water {water conservation efforts are already in place}, what happens when a freeze is expected {giant fans that warm up the air surrounding the trees!}, and, my favorite part, the correct way to pick an avocado.

I might have gotten just a little bit carried away with picking all the delicious Hass {rhymes with another word for your derriere} avocados growing on Randy’s farm.

Just call me the avocado bag lady…

Learning all about growing California avocados and picking them fresh off the tree at Rancho Rodoro in Santa Paula, California. We were also treated to an amazing lunch in Randy’s eclectic barn, catered by the super talented Chef Pink of Bacon and Brine. Oh my goodness. Yum!!! The pulled pork topped with apple slaw and sliced avocados was delicious. As was the Key Lime pie made with, you guessed it, avocados.

But my favorite part of the meal was the super simple avocado gazpacho Chef Pink whipped up with avocados, onion, cucumber, a little lemon juice, sea salt to taste, and flowering corriander on top. Simply divine!

After all that hard work picking {and eating!} avocados, it was time for a quick siesta on the bus as we made our way to the last stop of the day, Mission Produce
Mission Produce avocado packing plant in Oxnard California.Founded in 1983, Mission Produce has a sparkling, new, state-of-the-art avocado packinghouse in Oxnard, California. Depending upon when you are reading this, it may, or may not, be the largest avocado packing house in the world!

It was fascinating to tour the facility and follow the avocados along the conveyer belt as they got scrubbed, sorted, and packed for travels throughout California and all around the world! Note: if you’re ever visiting Oxnard, you can pick up some of the smaller {but equally delicious} avocados from Mission Produce that didn’t make the cut in to the packing boxes and bags, and bring them home at a deep discount!

And, as if my bag of hand picked avocados wasn’t enough, I also got to take home a bag of avocados packed at Mission Produce. Swoon…

California Avocado Nutrition Talk by Katie Ferraro, RDLast but not least, before our farewell avocadolicious dinner, we ended the amazing weekend with a little California Avocado nutrition 101 led by rockstar dietitian Katie Ferraro {in the cute California avocado apron!}. I thought I knew a lot about the nutritional benefits of avocados, but I learned something new that I thought I would share with you…

Have you ever noticed the darker green flesh close right by the skin when you cut open a Hass avocado? Well, it’s actually a rich source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin so make sure you get all the flesh when you’re scooping out your avocados, as lutein and zeaxanthin may help protect both your eyes and your skin. Pretty cool, huh?!

And if you needed me to give you one more reason to eat a California avocado today, how about making up a batch of this Creamy Dreamy Avocado Tzatziki to drizzle on top of these delicious, Mediterranean inspired healthy grain bowls!

So healthy, delicious, and easy to make! Creamy Dreamy Avocado Tzatziki.

Healthy Grain Bowls

Healthy Grain Bowls, Mediterranean Style, with Avocado Tzatziki

These healthy grain bowls are prefect for a family friendly vegetarian dinner. Whole grain, gluten free sorghum serves as the base, add your favorite Mediterranean inspired toppings, and drizzle the yummiest Avocado Tzatziki on top for a quick and easy meal!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 bowls

Ingredients

Avocado Tzatziki

  • 1 ripe medium California avocado such as the Hass variety, peel and seed removed
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped

DIY Greek Salad Bowl

  • 2 cups baby spinach or other leafy greens
  • 2 cups sorghum cooked
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • Assorted veggies i.e. grape tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, bell peppers, pepperocinis
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • Avocado Tzatziki recipe above

Instructions

  • To make the Avocado Tzatziki, combine avocado, Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice garlic, and sea salt in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Spoon in to a serving bowl and stir in chopped dill. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To make the DIY Greek Salad bowls, set out all the remaining ingredients in individual serving bowls, and let everyone assemble their own. Top with Avocado Tzatziki before serving.

Notes

Use your favorite gluten free whole grain, such as quinoa or rice, in place of the sorghum if desired.
Vegan option: Omit feta cheese, and use non-dairy yogurt.
Low FODMAP option: Omit garlic from Tzatziki, or add garlic oil; omit hummus, or use low FODMAP hummus; serve with your favorite low FODMAP veggies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 522mg | Potassium: 486mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1850IU | Vitamin C: 65.2mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 1.6mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Entree
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Diet Gluten Free, Low FODMAP Option, Vegan Option, Vegetarian
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Tried this recipe?Mention @thespicyrd or tag #thespicyrd ~ I love seeing my recipes that you recreate!

[clickToTweet tweet=”These healthy grain bowls w/ gluten free sorghum & creamy avocado tzatziki, are prefect for a nourishing family friendly vegetarian dinner! #glutenfree #MeatlessMonday” quote=”These healthy grain bowls w/ gluten free sorghum & creamy avocado tzatziki, are prefect for a nourishing family friendly vegetarian dinner!”]

 

Healthy Grain Bowls

And before I go, a quick story about these delicious Mediterranean inspired healthy grain bowls with avocado tzatziki…

Before I served it, Mr. Spicy and my sweet SiSi {Big Tex was at a friend’s house that evening} were both grumbling about “DIY Salad Bowls” for dinner, but they both LOVED every last little bite, so much so that this will be making many repeats on our regular dinner line up.

The best part is that it’s a super flexible meal, so feel free to use whatever grains, veggies, etc, to make it all your own, and use up any leftovers in the fridge. Win, win!

P.S. Want more avocado deliciousness? Here are a few more recipes I’ve made with California Avocados. Enjoy!!

Avocado Smash l Avocado, chickpeas, & veggiesAvocado “Smash” Wrapped or Naked!

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Lemony Avocado Pesto Raw Zucchini Noodles with Lemony Avocado Pesto

Avocado Chicken Salad with Asian Citrus DressingAvocado Chicken Salad with Asian Citrus Dressing

Farmers Market BLT & Avocado Chopped Pizza SaladFarmer’s Market BLT and Avocado Chopped Salad Pizza

Grasshopper Pie ShotsGrasshopper Pie Shots

Let’s Chat!

Have you ever been to an avocado nursery, farm, or packing plant before? Did you learn anything new about avocados today? What would you top these healthy grain bowls with???

10 thoughts on “Healthy Grain Bowls, Mediterranean Style, with Avocado Tzatziki”

  1. I’ve never been to an avocado grove before~it sounds fun! These healthy grain bowls sound amazing, and so does the avocado tzatziki!

  2. I feel very hard done by if I can’t have at least a little wedge of avocado every day, so I am VERY jealous that you live in avocado country. I live in kale country! Anyway, this sounds like it was a fascinating and delicious day. In one shot I think you might have had three large bags about your person? And then you added more avocados at Mission Produce? Avocado bag lady, indeed. I like your style.:-) And your scrummy, yummy cooling recipe (s). Fabulous!

  3. Adding avocado to tzatziki is such a wonderful idea. I can’t wait to try this!
    Also, I’m super jealous of your trip! It looks like it was an amazing time.

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