Avocado Penne

 

There’s truly nothing better than coming home to a nice carby bowl of pure love. Problem is, nobody likes the bloat or general feeling of heaviness that inevitably comes after every pasta fest. For years, I’ve been avoiding that feeling by buying pasta made of alternate whole grains, corn or quinoa which not only leave me feeling incredibly light but full of energy too. My basic principle – if it’s a whole carb product with more fibre and protein than sugar- go for it, if it’s not, you’re better off eating a vegetable. This is why the Barilla+ brand is pure genius! all their pastas taste virtually the same as their white counterparts but with a serious boost of healthy Omega-3’s, protein and fibre and very little sugar or added ingredients.  Their penne are absolutely incredible and they pick up sauce like a boss’. My favorite way to eat them is with an avocado “pesto” that I make with middle eastern spices, lemon, garlic and basil. It’s absolutely delicious and the perfect creamy foil to the slightly chewy penne. In a way, it almost makes you feel as if you’re eating an alfredo, but without the dairy and unnecessary fats. Spicy, Sweet, limey and oh so filling, this avocado bowl is truly a dish of love.

Ingredients: (for 2, or 3 not-s0-hungry people)

1 avocado, very ripe

1/2 lime, squeezed and zested

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup basil leaves

1 large garlic clove

1/3 cup toasted walnuts (in a dry pan on high heat, removing from pan when walnuts start perfuming the air)

2 tsp sumac

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tbsp chilli flakes (or to taste)

2 cups barilla plus penne (http://www.barilla.com/content/product/plus-penne)

How to:

  1. Heat a large pot of water with a pinch of salt and a tsp of oil (too keep the penne from sticking) on high heat until boiling.
  2. Add Penne and cook as says on box (12-15 mins usually)
  3. While Penne cook, make the avocado sauce.
  4. First, blend your toasted walnuts until very fine
  5. Add spices and garlic, then your avocado, basil, oil, lime juice and zest
  6. Pulse until completely smooth and creamy
  7. When your penne are al dente, drain and set aside
  8. In a medium serving bowl, toss together penne and sauce, topping with more spices and zest.
  9. Enjoy!
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Easiest ever tomato sauce

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This recipe is how the mothers in my family have for generations taught their daughters to make tomato sauce. It’s a ridiculously simple recipe and yet somehow magical in it’s ease, making any dish smothered in the sauce a million times tastier and instantly more nuanced in flavor as it’s the perfect combination of salty, sweet and sour. The sauce takes about 20 minutes to make and lasts for a week in the fridge, although in my house it typically doesn’t even last a day – we use it in everything (and on everything). Add a cup of water and a little extra seasoning and you have soup, puree with some oregano and you have pizza sauce. Add some paprika, sumac and cumin and you have the perfect base for Shakshuka or any curry. Unlike most tomato sauces, this one doesn’t simmer on the stovetop for hours on end so it’s perfect for busy, health-conscious people who don’t want to spend their moolah on expensive organic sauces. In the words of Guy Fieri, I bet it would even taste good on a flipflop.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced very fine

1 tbsp raw sugar

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 large can tomato puree

1 tbsp dried basil (or even better, 1/4 cup fresh, packed basil leaves)

salt and pepper to taste

Good e.v.o.o or garlic oil for drizzling

How to:

  1. Heat a saucepan on medium-hot until oil is hot (it should be easy to move the oil around when tilting the pan)
  2. Add garlic and saute for a few seconds, just enough to perfume the oil and for the garlic to be golden
  3. Add tbsp of sugar and stir quickly, letting the garlic mixture caramelize slightly
  4. Drop in cherry tomatoes, squashing slightly with a spatula and stirring to combine
  5. Once tomatoes are sauteed (1-2 minutes),  add tomato puree.
  6. Lower heat to medium (6 out of 10 on my stove) and let cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add basil, salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  8. When serving, drizzle sauce with a little oil for extra flavor and a beautiful shine

Vitamin Bomb Breakfast Bowl

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This is one of my favorite breakfasts, especially after an evening of heavy food and over-indulgence. The combination of apples and carrots reminds me of my childhood and the coconut, pecans and honey give a sweetness and scent reminiscent of fall. Although mostly raw, this simple combination tastes so decadent, if you closed your eyes you’d swear you were eating carrot cake. Topped with plain vanilla yogurt or coconut yogurt (my new favorite thing!) this Vitamin bomb bowl  (so much vitamin A, B, C, fibre and potassium)  is quite possibly the healthiest and most delicious breakfast you could ever make under five minutes. Not to mention, no fancy machinery, juicers, blenders or shakers to clean! only a grater to wash, or rather, nonchalantly rinse. Lazybums, this ones for you!

Ingredients:

1 large carrot

1 large granny smith apple

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

pinch of salt

3 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

3 tbsp pecans, roughly chopped

2 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt

How to:

  1. Shred carrot and apple manually with a stand grater and put in bowl
  2. Add spices, lemon and salt and stir
  3. Add coconut and pecans, stir once more

Serve!

So easy right?