February 1, 2015

Greening my way into a new year…

It’s been a while I know…I took a break from blogging and I apologise if you have missed a little green eating inspiration in between posts. It would only be reasonable to explain what I’ve been doing in my time; some rewarding work like volunteering in the Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden program at one of our local schools – really super fun group of kids! There has also been a couple of  surgeries here and there to recover from, and escaping up the coast for Christmas and New Year was a much needed holiday for all of us after an eventful year.  I realised when whipping up a tenth bowl of guacamole over this break that there is so much green to write about now! I hope you have all enjoyed lots of green in your life over this time. You might also remember my last post was Ottolenghi’s Pistachio soup. I have since discovered that it is apparently the new nut of 2015 if you follow food trends so why not give this recipe a go!

Summer has been generally good rest and recuperation, with lots of beach time and easy green foods.

I would have to say that the green dish of the season for our family was guacamole!

Avocados have been a star performer throughout these last couple of months, excellent quality and good prices. I have been making numerous bowls of creamy, chunky, spicy, tangy guacamole and although this dish is best made according to each individual’s tastes, here is my recipe which I think is well-suited to kid’s and easy to spice up after the kid’s have had their fix.

Guacamole is also an extremely versatile dish to enjoy on your own at home, entertaining with friends or feeding a crowd of hungry kids knowing you are going to inject some goodness into them quite happily. I’ve served it as a chunky style dip with cucumber and other crudities, in soft shell tacos with crumbed fish and chicken, in salads, oozing out of burgers, as a side with eggs and corn fritters for breakfast and sandwiches with smoked salmon (don’t mind if I do) and if there is any left my 18 month old is happy to steal a large spoon and go for it while no one is looking…I wish I had a video to show you but he’s too quick!

Avocado is food in itself genius because it provides you with so many essential nutrients. To name a few; Vitamin B5, protein (all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein), potassium, Vitamin C, good fats like Omega-3 and a super fibre source too.

Avocados contribute massively to a healthy immune system, are an anti-inflammatory food and good for the heart and inhibiting cholesterol so including them daily in your diet is sound advice.

I have also discovered that while my mechanical ailments like my back are healing, avocados act as an aid to pain relief and promote the repair of cartilage.

To me, avocados have always been this super magical fruit that provides so many health benefits and let’s face it, most would agree they are delicious!

Guacamole

Guacamole

Ingredients:

7-8 ripe avocados (ensure when choosing that you give a gentle press near the stem tip and if it gives a little it’s perfectly ripe). It is also better to buy them firmer if unsure and they will ripen after a couple of days rather than the other way around to prevent picking a brown one.

1/2 spanish red onion

1-2 small red chillies, stems and seeds removed

2 large ripe tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed

2 Tablespoons of lime juice

2 Tablespoons of fresh coriander / cilantro (can include leaves and stems)

Sea salt and black pepper

Optional: Ground cumin and coriander

Method:

1. In a small blender, combine tomatoes, red onion, chilli, fresh coriander and 1 tablespoon of lime juice until finely minced.

2. Peel avocados, removing stone and in a large bowl mash with a fork or potato masher to a chunky consistency and add tablespoon of lime juice.

3. Stir in a tablespoon of the tomato mix one by one and taste so it’s mild enough for children. Season with salt and pepper. Note: I like to then place a portion in a separate bowl for kids and then continue adding the tomato mix to the adults for more heat.

4. Add a teaspoon of ground cumin and coriander if you like a bit more kick and garnish with more fresh coriander.

Enjoy!

Oh and if you’d like the recipe for these potato nests I made recently when entertaining it can be found by searching ‘potato nests’ (leave kale out if preferred).

Suggestion: This topping included a small dollop of guacamole, tiny spoonful of sour cream, sprinkle of finely chopped red capiscum, tomato and chilli with some coriander to garnish on top.

Potato nests with guacamole and salsa

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