Avocado Spaghetti

All i can say about this dish is, try it – now!

Ingredients

1 Avocado
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 Cup of Fresh Basil
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
1/2 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes, halved
250 grams spaghetti
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Put a pot of water on to boil and add spaghetti to cook for 8-10 minutes or follow packet instructions.
Using a food processor or Nutribullet, add avocado, garlic, basil, lemon juice and parmesan together and whizz until smooth.
When spaghetti is cooked, drain and return to the pot.
Add the avocado mix and stir until evenly mixed throughout.
Add frozen peas and stir for about a minute or two until the have cooked through.
Toss through the cherry tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve piping hot.
Good isn’t it? Let me know what you think!

This is enough for two people to share but don’t feel too bad if you keep it all for yourself!

 

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Smoothies Any Which Way

Smoothies and Juices are a wonderful way to up your 5-A-Day intake
and for the obsessive compulsive in me;
they’re quick, clean and are a great way to use up any bits of
fruit and veg that are on the way out.
The beauty of the smoothie is that you can pretty much combine any
ingredients you have available and it’s bound to taste delish!
The best formula to use when creating your own recipe
is as follows and this can be interpreted any way you like;

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1 Part Thickener + 1 Part Liquid + 1 Cup Fruit + 1 Part Veg + 1 Part Booster

Here are some examples of each component;

Thickener

Your Smoothie Thickener should fill about ¼ of your cup
Banana
Avocado
Natural or Greek Yoghurt
Mango
Ice Cubes

Liquid

Approx. 250ml
Filtered Water
Coconut Water
Aloe water
Almond Milk
Soy Milk
Coconut Milk

Fruit

About a handful
The list is endless here. You really can use any fruit you like.
My favourites are mixed frozen berries, apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries,
raspberries, mango, frozen or fresh pineapple.

Veg

A good handful
The best veg to use is definitely dark, leafy greens.
They are packed with nutrients and dont take up that much room in your smoothie cup.
My two staples are spinach and kale. You can buy them either fresh or frozen to use.
I will also try to use beetroot wherever I can as it’s such a super Superfood!

Boosters

1 Tablespoon
Almonds
Cashew Nuts
Walnuts
Peanut Butter
Almond Butter
Cashew Butter
Chia Seeds
Flax Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Goji Berries
Coconut Chips
Cacao Nibs
Ginger Root
Honey
Cinnamon Stick
Vanilla Pod
Protein Powder
Lemon Juice
Lime Juice

Green Juices

Green juices have become so popular the last couple of years but they really do have
the right to be the A-List celeb in the Smoothie and Juice community.
They make take a bit of getting used to but they are seriously worth it.
I am a self proclaimed green juice addict but only because
I have personally felt the beneficial effects.
My energy is through the roof (you can ask my poor housemates),
my skin glows more than ever and my (very poor) digestion is improving all the time.
Like smoothies, you can use whatever is lying around in the fridge or the fruit bowl, the greener the better!
1/3 a cup of liquid with 2/3 a cup of greens and an extra booster or two
will combine to make a delish and ridiculously healthy juice.

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Soulful Soup

Soup. The epitome of comfort food. A centrepiece in the Irish family home. You really can’t beat coming home to a steaming bowl of fresh homemade soup. It’s the ideal dish to maximise your veg intake and keep your fridge clean. Almost any combination of vegetables will fuse to create a tasty and fresh pot of homemade goodness for you to enjoy.

The key to a good soup is down to the stock and the seasoning. Using the right balance of each will help you blend together all of your ingredients and drink up your dish down to the last drop. I love the concept of homemade soup as part of a fresh, wholesome diet as you can make it in bulk to freeze off and meal prep and you can keep going back for more without feeling guilty as the core components are water and vegetables. Its Win Win!

With most of my recipes, you will see that I suggest using pretty much whatever is available for general dishes, it’s always fun to experiment. The same definitely goes for soup. Here I just want to share with you some of my favourite soup recipes and hope to inspire you to try your hand with what’s in the vegetable drawer and have some fun with it.

Use my recipes more so as a guideline and don’t be afraid to add a bit more or a bit less of ingredients like garlic, chili, water content depending on how thick / thin you like your soup etc. I often stray from the recipe and am always happy with the end result.

Green Soup

This is my personal favourite at the moment as it is a combination of some top Superfoods and tastes surprisingly amazing.

Ingredients

1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 bag kale leaves
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 brown onion, chopped
2 vegetable stock cubes
Salt & Pepper to season
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
750ml – 1 litre water (may vary)

Method

Heat olive oil on a hot pan and add garlic and onion until it starts to brown.
Add the cooked onion and garlic to a large soup pot and then pop your broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and kale in too.
Crumble in both stock cubes and add some salt and pepper to taste.
Boil the kettle and pour in enough water to just cover your vegetables and stir.
Bring the pot to the boil, stirring occasionally.
Once the soup has been brought to the boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer
for about 10 minutes or until the broccoli and cauliflower have softened.
Whip out your trusty hand blender and get to work blending your vegetables to your desired consistency.
If you prefer a thinner soup, gradually add some more hot water as you blend until your happy with the consistency.
Do a taste test and decide what seasoning you want to add more off, if any.
I’m big on flavour so would likely add some more black pepper and crumbled stock.
Once you’re happy with the taste, let the soup simmer away for another few minute so it has evenly heated through.
Some recipes advise leaving soup to simmer for up to 30 minutes but I like the idea of the vegetables being as fresh as possible so I remove it from the heat and serve once I’m happy with the taster and am sure it’s hot throughout.

Green soup is so nutritious and a nice, hot alternative to a green juice in the colder months. It is packed full of vitamins and minerals and will leave you feeling full and satisfied after a nice big bowl.
Again, don’t be afraid to vary the recipe by adding any other green veg you might like or have on hand. It will taste good and nourish you either way.

soup2

Carrot & Coriander Soup

Ingredients

4 carrots, peeled and chopped
400 grams butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 litre vegetable stock
2 tspn. ground coriander
1 tspn. ground cumin
1 tspn. ground cinnamon
1 tspn. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
Coriander leaves, to serve

Method

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add onion and garlic and stir until they start to brown.
Add ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and stir for about a minute.
Add carrots, butternut squash and stock and bring to the boil.
Once bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes and remove from the heat.
Using your hand blender, whizz your ingredients until you reach the consistency you desire.
Return the pot to the heat and stir in the honey and greek yoghurt.
Cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes adding any extra seasoning you think will work and do a taste test until happy.
Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves on each serving and enjoy!

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Spicy Tomato Soup

Ingredients

6 large tomatoes, chopped
250 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 litre vegetable stock
2 tspn. ground coriander
1 tspn. cayenne pepper
1 tspn. cracked black pepper
1 tspn. sweet paprika
1 tspn. chili flakes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup greek style yoghurt
Basil leaves, to serve
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add onion and garlic and stir until they start to brown.
Add ground coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper and chili flakes and stir for about a minute.
Add your fresh tomatoes and tin of tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.
Once bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes and remove from the heat.
Using your hand blender, mix it all up until you reach the desired thickness
Return the pot to the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt.
Do a taste test and decide if there is anything extra you would like to add with regards to herbs, spices or seasoning.
Once certain that youre the best soup chef ever, serve with a sprinke of fresh basil leaves and a bit more cracked black pepper.

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Pesto Hey Presto!

Pesto is one of those inventions that, to me anyway, is truly life changing.
It’s just so damn good!
A pretty recent foodie phenomenon, this simple mix of ingredients transforms an everyday dish into something elegant and exotic, never mind frickin’ gorgeous.
The best part is, pesto is ridiculously easy to make and here I’m going to share with you some of my favourite pesto flavours.
I use my Nutribullet to make my pesto but you can use a pestle and mortar or a regular food processor or blender either, whatever is available.

Basil Pesto

1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 large knob parmesan
2 clove garlic
Large dash of olive oil
Lemon juice from ½ lemon
Small handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for some crunch
Salt & Pepper to taste

Spinach Pesto

1 cup baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil
1 large knob parmesan
2 clove garlic
Large dash of olive oil
Lemon juice of ½ lemon
Small handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for some crunch
Salt & Pepper to taste

Red Pepper Pesto

4 halved and roasted red peppers
1 cup fresh basil
2 clove garlic
Large dash of olive oil
Lemon juice of ½ lemon
Small handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for some crunch
Salt and Pepper to taste

Literally just throw all of these ingredients into your appliance and whizz it all up until it reaches the consistency you like.
Toss through pasta, zucchini pasta or rice, serve as a dip with fresh bread or crudités or coat a salmon or chicken fillet before baking.
There are so many ways you can utilise pesto so get creative and have some fun with it.