Holy Guacamole!

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Basic recipes are what pull apart the apt from the masters. My better half told me once that he had met someone so bad that could screw up some scrambled eggs. Blimey! They are very easy to spoil! Leaving aside the fact that cooking points for eggs, as for meat, are a very personal choice, it is commonly accepted that scrambled is meant to be creamy, slightly runny and moist. I have can count of one hand the amount of times I have been served truly satisfying scrambled eggs.

For me Guacamole falls on the same category of dips that can change dramatically on the  blink of an eye, however we only have ourselves to blame. The amount of times I have heard ” I don’t put cilantro in mine because I don’t like” or “No jalapeño, too hot” and then when they actually try my guacamole they raise their eyebrows and praise it.

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Of course you like it! It is the real deal, and is delicious, and unless you have a real allergy, there is really no reason to leave any ingredient behind because you see, it is only a matter of how much you put in the mixture that will make you hate it.

If you don’t tolerate hot food, with 2 or 3 slices of pickled jalapeño you will get all the flavour and almost a negligible amount of heat. If you don’t like cilantro, add only a few leaves and chop them incredibly small. Those flavours, when mashed together will give your guacamole and unbeatable taste. You may try it and hate me forever, but I have never (so far) had a complain. I hope you guys won’t be the first ones!

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Ingredients

1 extra large or 2 medium ripe avocados

5 slices of pickled jalapeño 

1 tomato, peeled, deseeded and chopped very finely

1/2 red onion, chopped teeny tiny

4 stalks of cilantro, leaves only, chopped

1 lime (juice)

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground cumin

How to…

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients mash until they resemble a dip. Bear in mind this is a chunky guacamole. If you want it finer, you can put it in the food processor however it affects negatively the texture of the avocado in this instance.

Mole in spanish means to mash, so there you go, the proof is in the pudding as they say 😉

I hope you enjoy it!

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Skinny Savoury Pumpkin Fritters & Avocado Mash

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With Halloween almost upon us, I thought today it would be the best day to share with you a recipe that features (again) the star ingredient of the season, PUMPKIN!!

In this case a delicious one we had a couple of weeks ago for brunch in east London.

Asian style pumpkin fritters with lots of spices and avocado mash.

Great for breakfast or brunch, with healthy fats from the avocado, slow carbs and high in fiber, and if you make them like this, also very low in fat and quite calorie controlled!

This version is vegan but it was quite difficult to pan fry the batter, I think that adding a couple of whisked eggs to the mixture would help with the consistency.

It would also be great with a poached egg on top.

Ingredients (for 2 or 3 people)

350 grams of butternut squash or pumpkin

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of grated ginger

½ onion finely chopped

1 red chili

2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

1 tbsp mustard with seeds

1 tbsp black sesame seeds

2 tbsp oat bran or oat flour

Salt & pepper

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For the avocado mash…

1 avocado

½ lemon

salt

To make these, boil the pumpkin until soft and add all the spices. Mash until everything is blended. Spray a non-sticky pan with extra virgin olive oil and when hot, add a dollop of the mixture, spread to form a 5 cm oblong fritter and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes. With the help of a spatula, turn around and repeat. If your pan is big enough probably worth making 2 or 3 at the time.

It was delicious with a bit of Jalapeno Tabasco sauce too.

While they cook, you can mash in a bowl a whole ripe avocado with a dash of lemon juice and some salt (to your taste). Serve together with a slice of lemon and some salad.

Happy Halloween!

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Smashed Avocado on Toast

dsc_2544Following my avocado madness week, I would like to share with you today another breakfast or brunch option with this green superfood that comes straight from down under. It is a favourite amongst hipsters and other animals in Melbourne and Sydney.

It’s not only very easy but it is filling, packed with healthy fats, vitamin C, protein and super tasty.

As important and the filling, is the base. A good quality bread makes all the difference. You can tell if a café is good by the quality of their toast. You would want to avoid those supermarket industrial breads that have no real nutritional properties and are full of preservatives and sugars. A good old fashioned sourdough or a speciality bread like spelt bread but whatever you choose, make sure is wholegrain.

Wholegrain carbs in general have much higher amount of fibre and retain better the properties that white flours have lost. White flour makes your blood sugar levels pike really fast and this is bad news for your pancreas, that needs to secrete insulin to compensate… this is the kind of thing you want to avoid because your pancreas has the capacity to produce only a certain amount of insulin during your lifetime and spending it like this, can mean that you will have a tired pancreas, or age related diabetes.

Don’t forget that we are what we eat!!

Ingredients (for 2)

1 avocado

50 gr. of Feta or low fat Feta cheese (proper feta is made with goat’s milk)

2 to 4 pieces of toast

1 tspn olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Lemon juice

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Peel off the avocado, remove the seed and place in a bowl. Crumble the cheese on top keeping a bit aside to decorate for serving. Add a little splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Smash it all into a thick coarse paste.

Brush the toasts with olive oil if you want, otherwise just place a full spoon of the mixture on top of the toasted bread forming a think layer and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. You can decorate with some mint if you wish and serve with a wedge of lemon, and salt & pepper to garnish.

The lemon wedge is really important since the juice is what makes all the flavours come to life in your mouth.

Other just as nice versions of this are: add a poached egg or smoked salmon.

Avocado & Tomato on toast

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Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. I don’t mind repeating what hundreds of experts and nutritionist have been saying for years.

I am one of those who are rarely hungry when I wake up, so I do my exercise in the morning before it. Try waking up a little earlier and procrastinating for 30 minutes, and you will surely work out an appetite. Moreover, if you make this a habit, your body will become accustomed to it, and it will start demanding it!

Skipping breakfast makes your body think that no food will be coming your way and it will stop the fat burning process, keeping as much as possible and activating the fat storage when the food becomes available again, this is known as “starvation mode” it is true that it doesn’t kick in properly until more time has passed by, but after the night fasting, it impacts your metabolism. No breakfast, no active burning!

There are few things healthier than an avocado. I thought I hated it for most of my life, thank goodness I came to my senses in Australia, when I fell in love with it, and today, I am sharing with one my favourite avocado breakfast.

Ingredients for 2 people:

1 Avocado

1 Tomato

Lemon juice

Salt

Wholegrain Spelt Bread (or any wholegrain bread)

FullSizeRender2Chop the avocado and the tomato in tiny squares and mix them in a bowl. Cut two thin slices of bread and toast them. Add a little bit of salt and squeeze half a lemon on the bowl, mix well, place on your toast… enjoy.

Option 2: with low fat cream cheese.

You can add some extra protein by layering a bit of cheese to your toast before adding the avocado mixture.