Avocado and Alfalfa Sprouts on Seven Grain Bread
In Arizona, sometime in the late seventies the popular food frenzy was all about ‘health food’.
Spooned up in tablespoons daily was unfiltered apple cider vinegar chased with a shot of pure clover honey.
Grape Nuts cereal lined bowls with small amounts of cold milk and a broader range of vegetables nearby the locale of the university became available through a newly formed food ‘cooperative.’
Among some college agribusiness majors was the goal of employment upon graduation and affording a full year’s subscription to the Rodale magazine, which was incidentally published in Pennsylvania.
Nutrition and fitness were where it was at. Jogging, biking, the emergence of exercise facilities and lots of power granola bars reminiscent of a scene from the movie ‘Mean Girls’ where Miss size 4 blossoms into a voluptuous size 8 thinking that nutritional bars meant non- caloric, or at least per the newly coined term ‘low cal.’
Out went the shredded beef chimichangas topped with sour cream and guacamole except for the monthly patronage between friends along with pitcher size Margaritas at the popular Willie and Guillermos Mexican restaurant.
Out went the Patty Melts, out went homemade Fried Tortilla Chips at the Top Shelf, but never, ever, would it be considered to cut out the Lunt Avenue Marble Clubs’ famed fried zucchini with dip, ranch style dip that is. Besides what else could be eaten while listening to the replica tunes of Fleetwood Mac whose band singer sounded like Stevie Nicks herself?
Likely the inspiration of combining freshly grown healthy produce between uncommon ingredients arrived via neighboring California even before Alice Waters became a known household name.
Whichever way, shortly before the apple cider vinegar, honey and Grape nuts scene small health food restaurants emerged. How well these restaurants fared or how long they lasted I cannot recall but certainly they were a first introductory to eating healthy new flavor combinations.
My friend Debby identified the first local health foods restaurant dishing up these new ingredient combinations, which in part may have been her open mind in trying new things and the other part that it was located right next door to the Baskin Robbins ice cream shop. Nevertheless, it was the Avocado and Alfalfa sprout sandwich that caught our attention and became our quick favorite.
Interestingly, arriving to the Philadelphia area in the early eighties, merely finding an avocado meant going to a gourmet market, paying a premium price, and then waiting for days to achieve full ripeness.
Bread was available in the form of hoagie and kaiser rolls, fresh Jewish Rye, and sliced Stroehman’s or Wonder white bread. Along the east coast pocket, few knew there was much else to be had, certainly not grain breads.
A couple of prized premium priced avocados also meant no consideration to preparing anything other than homemade guacamole, certainly not a sandwich.
Its been some time now that the once conceived ‘health foods’ of the time have now transitioned to commonly fresh ingredients obtained at any local grocer and fortunately today there is the luxury of regularly preparing from among these healthy, unique combined sandwiches and reminiscing of good times past while enjoying the healthy, tasty Avocado and Alfalfa Sprouts on Seven Grain Bread.