What is a super nutritious healthy meal that is simple to prepare and will help keep me slim?

Rice, avocado and salad! That may sound boring, but there is endless variation in this wonderful meal, and it is absolutely slimming. It’s kept me a lean, mean 120 lbs for nearly twenty years, and I’m about to turn 40! I have eaten this for breakfast, lunch or dinner so many thousands of times… always satisfying, very simple.

There are so many different kinds of rice — brown, red, black, wild, basmati. I like to mix it up or sometimes use a combination of the above. To keep things simple, I cook the rice plain in a big batch so I have some to use throughout the week. A rice cooker could help make things even easier if you have a hard time watching the stove. If you use a rice cooker, get one with a stainless steel bowl.

Next comes the avocado. Ripe avocados feel like a cold stick of butter. Helpful hint: don’t press your fingers into an avocado to test its ripeness. This will bruise it and give it nasty brown spots once it finally does ripen. Rather, feel the avocado in your whole hand with gentle pressure. If it’s hard as a rock there’s absolutely no give. However, I like to buy them rock hard and wait for that perfect “just barely ripe” moment and then put them in the fridge, where they will keep for a week or more ready for action. I use about 1/2 an avocado in a single meal for myself.

And finally, the salad (and dressing). Start with a big handful of mixed greens if you’re in no mood to prep lettuce. Spinach, cabbage, and kale are good, but should be avoided if you have thyroid issues. Sometimes I just drizzle a little olive oil, lemon juice or white wine vinegar, salt and pepper over the greens and call it a day — other days I feel like adding extra veggies and toppings. My favorite salad veggies are cucumbers, celery, cherry tomatoes, green onions (or shaved red onion), carrots. Chop, slice, shred, or shave to create easy to chew texture for a mouth adventure!

Always, I add fresh herbs: parsley, basil, mint or cilantro, or my very special favorite: shiso leaf. Humble flat leaf parsley always elevates any meal. Just a few leaves do so much.

When I have extra energy, I add fun stuff to the salad — things like olives, artichoke hearts, pickled ginger, pine nuts, sprouted or toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chopped macadamia nuts, leftover kale chip crumbs or toasted ezekiel bread crumbs, toasted dulse or nori seaweed…

Good salad dressings are so hard to come by. Maybe you have a favorite, or can make a recipe ahead of time to use throughout the week. I usually just drizzle a little of this and that. Olive and/or flax oil, toasted sesame oil, tamari, and a squeeze of lemon always tastes great.

Usually I just put tamari on the rice. Sometimes Sriracha hot sauce and coconut oil.

Sometimes I’ll eat this with a few sheets of nori on the side. I’ll tear off a section of nori and put little spoonfuls of the rice, avocado and salad (once it all gets mixed up in my bowl) onto it like an impromptu sushi taco.

Yum yum