I was looking for something refreshing to go with my Salmon for dinner and looking around my kitchen, the little avocado sitting in my fruit bowl was just screaming out to me….eat me!….eat me! & there you have it, Avocado Salsa!
An 80g portion of avocado counts towards your 5 a day and contains vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for your heart & gut health. These little fruits are a nutrient powerhouse, they contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.
The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, and they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad or a sandwich, like cheese or butter. When you see or hear avocado being used it’s usually on a piece of toast for breakfast, or in a guacamole for a side dish, but the combination of avocado & cucumber is a sure fire winner in my books and served alongside a piece of fresh Salmon, well, what’s not to like!
1 Large Avocado, skin & stone removed then diced
1/2 Cucumber, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Light, to keep it healthier)
Pinch of Salt
Cracked Rainbow Pepper to taste.
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely.
(Optional, sprinkle of dried chilli flakes)
Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.
If making the salad a few hours ahead, combine all ingredients into a bowl (except the salt!). Squeeze lime juice directly over avocados and toss gently to combine.
Cover tightly with cling film, placing it directly over the surface of the salad to keep the air out. Oxygen is what causes avocados to brown.
Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.
Healthier Eating is always at the fore front of my mind and especially this time of year, your body needs those extra nutrients & vitamins to function well and fight of those colds & flu’s. I know a salad doesn’t sound ideal when it’s minus degrees outside but trust me your body will thank you for it. I normally have a warm bowl of porridge in the morning, not only does that heat you up it also keeps you full for longer.
Choosing foods for your lunch or dinner that are rich in vitamin C, such foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits, try adding these to your meals as vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system and energy levels, especially important if you regularly exercise.
During the winter months, we can come into contact with viruses that can cause colds or flu. So, it’s important that our immune system functions normally and zinc contributes to this. Foods such as shellfish, spinach and lentils are good sources of zinc.
Fish such as salmon, tuna & cod as well as milk, eggs and cheese, are a great source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and also contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
Spices like chilli’s are a good source of antioxidants and rich in vitamin A, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium.
This Superfood Salad bowl I have for my lunch, which gives me a good boost for afternoon working. It is rich in nutrients, flavour and vitamins so a good all rounder for the whole family. Serve with some wholewheat crackers for a more filling dish or serve as a side with some fish for dinner.
Serves 4 portions
1 x 400g Tin Mixed Beans
200g Baby Spinach – chopped
2 x Tins of Tuna (or fresh if you can)
100g Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters
1 x Cucumber sliced into quarters
Handful of chopped mix nuts & seeds
3 Tbsps of Sweet Chilli Sauce (more if you want it sweeter)
2 Chillies, Chopped finely (optional)
Chopped fresh Parsley (Optional)
Drain the tin of mixed beans and decant into a large bowl, add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, tuna, chilli’s (if using) and mix through
Pour in the chilli sauce and mix ensuring everything is coated.
Sprinkle Nuts & Seeds (of your choice) and chopped parsley (if using) on top and serve into bowls.
I’ve loads of Beetroot growing in my garden just now and perfect season for it too, so decided on a little treat for lunch today. Certainly beats the Ryvita’s….lol.
Beetroot is packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.
Perfect pairing with Beetroot for me is definitely Stornoway Black Pudding & Goats Cheese, just so yummy! I served with some Homegrown Spinach too.
4 large Beetroots – Cooked and Sliced into bite size chunks
60g Goats Cheese
4 Slices of Black pudding
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
Handful of Spinach – chopped
Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to top
Place Beetroot into a bowl, add balsamic vinegar, salt & mixed herbs and mix through.
Cook Black Pudding in a pan on medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes each side with a little oil. Remove and pat dry, break up into bite size pieces and add to beetroot and mix through.
Chop up the spinach and lay on a plate, top with the beetroot and black pudding then tear the goats cheese over and serve with pumpkin & sunflower seeds.
As you may know I started my very first Raised Vegetable Beds this year, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but as the story goes, we work & we work and never seem to find time to start anything. This was the year that I was finally going to put a plan of action together, ordered my raised beds, got them all painted and treated, filled them up, planted the seeds and waited. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see my first little green shoot pop up.
I love Beetroot, so that was the first seed planted and I am now starting to harvest them. Oh my, freshness, freshness, freshness…..there is nothing better that eating straight from your garden, I harvested some yesterday and decided on a lovely refreshing salad today for my lunch.
How to Roast Beetroot
First wash all the mud etc off of the beets and trim of the stalks & leaves, but keep the leaves aside for later. If not using straight away, store in a perforated plastic bag in the salad bins in your fridge, these will keep for about 2 weeks.
Using Tin foil, place the Beets (with the skin on) on and sprinkle a little olive oil & salt, wrap up into a parcel, not too tightly as you want the steam to help cook the beets, then bake on a tray in centre of your oven at 200 deg for about 45 minutes.
Remove and allow steam to escape from parcel then allow to cool slightly. At this stage, I advise to wear gloves, you WILL get Beetroot stained if you don’t…lol! With gloves on gently rub the skin and you’ll notice it comes away very easily, remove all the skin and slice into wedges or bite sized pieces. Yum!
Using the saved leaves, these can be cooked just like Kale. Bring a pan of water to the boil add a little salt and blanch for a few minutes, remove and drain excess water through a colander/sieve. I love the colour of the water here too.
Place leaves in a bowl with beetroot, squeeze some lemon juice and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar over and mix. Sprinkle over some Goats cheese or Feta cheese and chopped walnuts to serve.
You could also cook some couscous or bulgur wheat to add to make it a more filling bowl.
Since in Lockdown I’ve had the chance to build & plant my first proper Vegetable Beds and today was my first harvest of my Radishes….yummy! There is nothing better than homegrown fresh food. The obvious choice is a salad as radishes are just so refreshing and add that bit of crunch. Did you know you can eat the leaves also? Chop them up add to potatoes or pasta or make a pesto!
Left Over Radish leaves – 2 handfuls approx
1 Garlic Clove
1 tbsp pistachios
30g Grated Cheese (Parmesan)
2 tbsp olive oil – good quality one for best flavour
2 tbsp creme fraiche
Salt & pepper
Thoroughly wash the green leaves and put into a blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth, if too thick add a little more olive oil.
I used mine to make a lovely radish & avocado salad for lunch. I will probably use the rest for some pasta later on in week. Cover and store in fridge for max 3 days.
I do love Lazy Sunday Mornings. I pulled back the curtains and the sun was shining again, lovely! I opted for a fueling healthy breakfast this morning, first time I’ve tried Spinach Pancakes and they were lovely.
Makes 2 Pancakes
30g Gram Flour (chickpea)
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic
2 handfuls of Spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coconut oil for frying.
Add all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) to a blender and mix until smooth. The batter will be watery.
Heat the coconut oil in a fry pan on medium heat
Pour a thin layer of the batter into the pan and swirl, when you start to see it bubble, flip over and cook. The pancake is very light so I would toss rather than using utensils to flip over as it might tear.
To serve, I chopped some avocado, feta cheese, tomatoes and topped with poached eggs. Yummy!
This little dish is so refreshing. It was a lovely sunny day here this weekend so decided I wanted something cool and refreshing & this done just that job. I served with my pulled peanut butter chicken and was delish.
Makes enough for about 4 people or 8 smaller side portions.
1/2 large white cabbage – sliced finely
100g or more of peanuts – chopped
5 spring onions – chopped
3-4 sweet peppers sliced – various colours
1 large handful of coriander – finely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
For the dressing:–
2 tbsp Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sweetener (I used a low calorie option)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Hot Sauce (less or more if you like it spicy or not)
3 tbsp toasted peanut oil
In a bowl mix up the dressing thoroughly until combined.
Place all the slaw vegetables in a bowl and season
Pour over the dressing and mix to combine.
Serve immediately or keep in fridge for up to 1 day.