Category Archives: Recipes

H’av-ocado

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For those of you that know me you will know I am never far from an avocado… I often have them on my desk, in my handbag or rolling around the kitchen counter. I am currently working on a post about the health benefits of avocado so watch out for that but in the mean time I wanted to share some of my favourite ways of eating avocado.

Firstly, it makes a brilliant breakfast! I love it on toast since the texture of a ripe avocado is buttery and this is why avocado makes an excellent replacement for butter in healthy baking (perfect for dairy-free or vegan cooking). Seasoned with freshly ground salt and pepper, a sprig of basel and a few roasted cherry tomatoes makes a divine and filling breakfast. Another breakfast idea is using a firm avocado slice as a replacement for bread in eggs Benedict which is perfect for those following a gluten-free or Paleo diet. Eggs and avocado is a delicious and nutritious combination!

One of my favourite avocado recipes is avocado stuffed with prawns and this makes a brilliant dinner party starter. I like to add finely chopped tomato and red onion and drizzle with lime juice. Beetroot, salads or rice dishes also make good a stuffing. Another good starter or a light refreshing dinner on a hot summer evening is avocado and cucumber gazpacho – simply blend avocado, cucumber, vegetable stock, onion, garlic, coriander, lemon juice and seasoning and refrigerate for an hour before serving. Cherry tomato or sun-dried tomato and avocado kebabs make a great side dish at a BBQ. If you are not dairy-free, adding feta or mozzarella to these kebabs is a yummy addition.

My inner food obsessed Italian is a lover of pasta and pasta dishes are another great way to use avocados. The softness of ripe avocados is a wonderful alternative to more traditional sauces made with cream and the characteristic soft flavour of avocado goes brilliantly with a wide range of ingredients. One delicious pasta dish combines prawns, pine nuts, lime zest, chilli, and chopped coriander with a creamy avocado sauce. Pancetta, peas and parmesan shavings is another yummy option. If you are gluten free you can use brown rice or quinoa pasta.

Avocados are also a brilliant ingredient in healthy yet deliciously satisfying desserts. I’ve mentioned using avocado in baking but avocados can also be used to make a divine chocolate mousse which combines the creamy rich texture of ripe avocado with the intensely chocolately taste of cacao. Adding coconut oil adds an extra punch of fantastic nutrition. Raw honey, maple syrup or agave can be used to sweeten the mousse. Another good dessert recipe is frozen lime and avocado tartlets which are made by blending ripe avocado, ripe banana and lime juice in a blender until smooth creamy, adding this mixture to pre-baked tartlet cases and freezing for a few hours before serving. These can be served garnished with berries and a sprig of mint. Avocado can also be used to make a healthy and divinely creamy dairy-free ice-cream.

Avocados are also fantastic in smoothies – try blending ripe avocado with coconut milk and adding either cashew or a nut butter for a nutty avocado smoothie, frozen berries or tropical fruits like pineapple and mango for a deliciously sweet and fruity smoothie or cacao for a silky chocolate avocado smoothie.  For more vegetable based smoothies (so lower in sugar) try blending with spinach, cucumber and mint leaves.

Breakfasts, starters, soups, sides, main dishes and desserts. When it comes to the avocado the options are endless… Oh and did I mention that the avocado is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet…? So maybe chuck one in your handbag too…

Breakfast like a Queen…

There is something wonderful about a breakfast – perhaps it is to do with the fact the whole day is stretching ahead of you (although that hopeful joyous feeling really only applies to weekend breakfasts)! In celebration of what a brilliant meal breakfast is I thought I would share my favourite breakfasts with you…

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1) Coconut porridge

The absolute winter warmer – porridge is a wonderful way to stir in and sprinkle on a whole range of wonderful nutrient dense superfoods. I see it as a yummy base for more yumminess! My yummy base is organic oats and coconut milk. Oats are one of the things I choose to buy organic because a packet lasts a fairly long time so even if it is a pound more that is only a pound every couple of months. I add a teaspoon of maca powder for its hormone balancing benefits. I also stir in a teaspoon of coconut oil just before I serve it as this is a brilliant way to get a daily dose of this superfood. Then for the toppings…varying the toppings is a great way to vary your breakfast day to day and toppings are also an excellent way of packing even more of a goodness punch into breakfast. My favourite toppings are nuts and seeds because I love the texture combination. I used flaked toasted almonds, pecan nuts and sunflower seeds. Sometimes I add a squirt of honey (usually if it’s a miserable Monday!). Fresh berries when they are in season and cacao nibs also make a great topping. A sprinkling of cinnamon is lovely too and is a fantastic spice for blood sugar balancing.

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2) Avocado on toast

My deep passionate love affair with avocado blazes on and if I can incorporate it into my breakfast it is always a happy start to the day. Avocado is wonderfully filling so makes a great breakfast to keep you going until lunch. It is also packed full of goodness so perfect for delivering a punch of nutrition to your body first thing in the day. It is the best fruit source for vitamin E and is fantastic for our heart health. I love it mashed on rye toast with a couple of roasted cherry tomatoes, lots of black pepper and a sprig of basil.

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3) The fabulous-for-you full English

I love eggs. I love them poached, scrambled, boiled or fried. They also happen to be brilliant for us and a perfect punch of brilliant quality protein in the morning. Nothing quite screams the weekend like a brunch… I love cooking up a feast on a Sunday morning and my absolute favourite is scrambled egg with roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and avocado. If you are really going for it, try adding a couple of cinnamon dusted sweet potato wedges on the side. Another yummy tip is to stir some fresh pesto into the scrambled egg (pesto is also extremely easy to make if you have a blender and a good can be made without the parmesan if you are avoiding dairy).

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4) Bircher museli

This is a brilliant alternative to porridge in the summer months and a perfect fibre packed breakfast. If you are rushed for time in the morning too or prefer to take your breakfast in to work it is best made the night before ready to be eaten the following day and can easily be transported in to work. The base for bircher museli is a handful of oats but then you can add all sorts and mix things up for variety. Starting with a handful or organic oats I like to grate an apple (keeping the skin on for its fibre and goodness). I then use almond or coconut milk to soak the oats and apple. It is also delicious to stir in a spoonful of coconut yoghurt to make it divinely creamy (and if you’re anything like me, I can’t get enough of coconut flavour) You can then chuck anything you fancy in, berries, nuts, seeds, cacoa nibs, honey… So simple, so full of flavour and so good for you!

Happy breakfasting!!

Getting delicious with Deliciously Ella

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Today I met food blogger and nutrition enthusiast Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella. Ella started her food blog as a way of healing her rare illness, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, which left her bed-bound with stomach problems, heart issues, pain and relentless fatigue. Through eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar and meat Ella overcame her illness and now quite literally glows with good health! Ella is now turning her mind to helping others take control of their health and is blogging her inspiring recipes and running cookery classes and supper clubs.

I spent the morning with Ella blending berries with homemade oat milk, spiralizing courgettes, creating a divine avocado and rocket pesto, stuffing mushrooms and whipping up banana ice-cream with a creamy coconut and cacao sauce. I saw the most vibrant greens and purples that only nature can offer and enjoyed every last drop of the delicious goodness.

What I love about Ella’s cooking is that it is such a celebration of food and flavours. Healthy eating is not about deprivation and going without – in fact, it couldn’t be further from that. It is about appreciating the incredibly varied and delicious foods that nature has given us to both enjoy and heal us. Through changing our mindset we can adore food, adore snacking and adore our bodies all at the same time.

You can find Ella’s blog at http://deliciouslyella.com