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Penne with Roasted Vegetables and California Avocados

Contributed by: NAPSA

Fresh California Avocados Transform Ordinary Meals Into Gourmet (NAPSA) - Adding one well-chosen ingredient can turn an ordinary meal into an extraordinary one. So why not add a casual sense of elegance to your next meal by incorporating creamy, fresh California avocados? The nutty, creamy flavor of avocados is a delicious complement to many everyday foods, such as salads, sandwiches and pasta.

Penne with Roasted Vegetables and California Avocados
Adding a gourmet touch to your meals doesn't have to mean that you will be stuck in the kitchen all night. Fresh California avocados are easy to work with and require very little preparation. Most recipes simply call for fresh diced or mashed avocados.

Avocados provide more than 25 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. When used instead of other fats, avocados can be a satisfying addition to a calorie-reduced diet.

So when planning your next meal, bring a satisfying addition to the table by incorporating delicious avocados in your dishes. Some easy ways to use this tasty fruit in your meals include:

  • Topping off sandwiches or burgers with slices of fresh California avocados

  • Dressing meats, fish or salads with a chunky avocado salsa

  • Garnishing tacos, enchiladas and burritos with homemade guacamole

  • Adding fresh, diced avocados to pasta and rice creations.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced, separated
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 8 oz penne pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cooked and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup salt-reduced, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 ripe California avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into 16 slices

Directions:

In a large roasting pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, combine all vegetables.

In a small bowl, blend 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Pour over vegetables and toss to coat.

Roast in preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring twice.

Remove vegetables from oven and pour on remaining 1 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl, toss together cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, chicken and chicken broth.

Portion into 8 pasta bowls.

Place two avocado slices and fresh basil leaf on each plate. Serve.

For more delicious recipes, visit the California Avocado Commission Web site at www.avocado.org.

Serving Size: Makes 8 Servings


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