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“Cos” We Like It This Way

By Mark Mulcahy

Autumn is in full swing, and you're probably expecting me to wax poetic about Melissa’s organic apples, winter squash, or pomegranates - and of course that would be perfectly timed and quite appropriate. However, I'll have to save that for another day. Today, I’m excited about Organic Romaine Lettuce, Hass Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, and fresh, new crop Organic Walnuts. They are all excellent values right now, and they combine so well for meals during these warm days and cool nights.
Image of Organic Romaine Hearts
Let's start with my favorite lettuce - Romaine! Romaine, also known as cos lettuce, has been around a very long time. Wild lettuce grows across North America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa - but lettuce as we know it today is said to be from India and Central Asia, where it was cultivated as early as 4500 BC. The Egyptians and Romans in particular loved romaine. Egyptian tombs were often stocked with romaine as an offering to the fertility god Min - and the calming, restorative qualities of lettuce were said to have cured the Roman Emperor Augustus of illness. Plus, Romaine may be the most versatile lettuce around. Its strong ribs and hearty leaves give it superior storage ability, and it holds up to heavy salad treatments like Caesar - or, as I'll tell you about in a bit, Romaine tacos.
Image of Organic Avocados
October also usually means good prices on Melissa’s Organic Hass Avocados, which are deliciously creamy and oh-so-good for you. That creamy texture and flavor comes from high oil content - and avocado oil is good for us! It has beneficial monounsaturated (63%) and polyunsaturated (20%) fats—both essential to a heart-healthy diet. Monounsaturated fats are the kind found in olive oil. The body burns them more easily than saturated fat and they help counter the effects of saturated fat. The polyunsaturated fats contain valuable omega fatty acids 3 and 6. They also have 17% saturated fat, but it’s cholesterol-free. Avocados are high in fiber and enzymes, both which facilitate in the breakdown of fats. Plus, they’re rich with protein, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium and iron.
Image of Organic Cherry Tomatoes
Next, we are probably at the end of the really good California Cherry Tomato season - so now is the time to eat ‘em by the handful. Ever wonder why Melissa’s organic cherry tomatoes are so flavorful? The fact is, cherry and grape tomatoes reach higher sugar concentrations than full-size tomatoes, so they taste sweeter.
Image of Organic Walnuts
Lastly, now is the time to be enjoying Organic Walnuts. They are a fresh crop, high in oil and at their peak flavor of the year! They are also so good for your heart and maintaining your weight. One-quarter cup of walnuts, for instance, provides more than 100 percent of the daily-recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats.

Now do you see why I was excited to talk about these autumn favorites? Finally, here’s one more reason: delicious walnut tacos from Marco Borges- author of The 22 Day Revolution.

For the Taco filling you’ll need

2 cups Walnuts
2 heads of Melissa’s Organic Romaine Lettuce
1½ tablespoons Cumin
1 tablespoon Coriander
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Coconut Aminos
Dash Paprika
Dash Garlic Powder
Dash Black Ground Pepper

For the Garnish you’ll need

2 ripe Melissa’s Organic Hass Avocados
½ pint Melissa’s Organic Cherry Tomatoes, each cut in half
½ tablespoon Dried Parsley Flakes
Pinch Black Ground Pepper
Pinch Sea Salt
1 Fresh Lime, squeezed

To make Taco magic

Wash and drain the lettuce and tomatoes and set aside. Combine all taco ingredients in a food processor. Pulse several times until crumbly, making sure not to over blend. Spread the walnut taco “meat” on the romaine leaves in 4 equal servings. Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits. Dice into small, even pieces. Garnish the walnut taco meat with the vegetables, salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Enjoy the season! Have some folks over, dive into Melissa’s produce, and go nuts over these new taco favorites.
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