Oh dear sweet avocado. I love this little fruit. The Hubs and I have an avocado plant at home (Avi). Avi is 3 years old and grown from seed by his grandmother. We’re hoping by this summer Avi will start producing delicious fruit for us to enjoy! So, allow me to go on a little about this beautiful fruit.
Besides its subtle, sweet flavor and silky texture, one virtue of the avocado is that only one-sixth of it’s fat is saturated, which is a much smaller portion than in meats, butter, cheese or even sour cream. The texture of a ripe avocado is actually a lot like butter. If you have a ripe avocado hanging around and you’re guacamole’d out, try using it instead of butter on your morning toast or bagel with a slice of tomato! You can also try avocado instead of cheese on your lunch sandwich. Try sprouted grains bread with tomato, watercress and avocado (add some turkey if you roll with the animal protein).
Avocado is also fabulous in salads!! My friend Missy (who is raw and fabulous) gave me this kale and avocado salad recipe during my first Vegan challenge, 3 years ago. It blew my taste buds away. Try it!!
a head kale (any variety), shredded
1 cup tomato, diced
1 cup avocado, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenneIn a mixing bowl toss all ingredients together, squeezing as you mix to wilt the kale and cream the avocado. Dig in and squeeze it with your hands…I think food tastes so much better when you play with it first. 😉
Four for Friday. Every Friday I’m going to post four things that I’m loving for the week.
First up is this crazy cute hat. It comes from a pretty amazing woman, Jac at ❤ All Things Bliss ❤ She’s a Vegas chick that is on a one woman mission to share bliss around the word one day at a time. Her energy is infectious….like a bliss disease spreading positivity. The amazing thing about Jac and her bliss movement is it isn’t just online. It’s out there in the real world! (Notice moi, wearing one of her got bliss? hats). You should get a little bliss in your life. Check out her facebook page, follow her blog and get some bliss gear and tag yourself on her map. The world needs more bliss!
Next up is my Mind Body Online Iphone App. I literally check it every. single. day. morning, afternoon and evening trying to figure out where I’m going to sneak my next yoga class in. It has a few bugs, it’s not the most perfect app out there, but it’s the best to find local yoga classes. The one thing that I find frustrating, is studios that don’t use Mind Body software (they’re a yoga studio/spa scheduling software company) don’t come up in the ap. Usually I am not a fan of monopolies, but for the sake of my yoga practice, I wish every studio used this software so my app listings would be complete!
Ok so number three is nothing new. We’ve had a love affair for a few years now. I’ve even introduced him to a few friends of mine. They mostly have a love hate relationship with him, it’s not the passionate love affair that we have. Yep. I’m talking about kale. Kale is one of the most healthy dark-leafy greens around. It’s almost like the super food of the cruciferous veggies. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, E and K, high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc. You may find him bitter, if you’re not used to eating him, but keep trying. You’ll learn to fall madly in love with him, just like me 🙂
Lastly, PINTREST. Don’t tell me you don’t know what it is. It’s vision board crack! I manage two accounts (it’s like having double the addiction), the ADK Jersey Girl pintrest boards (my own personal board) and the LBG pintrest board. When I first signed up for my ADK Jersey Girl account on Pintrest I had two thoughts….”why the hell didn’t I know about you when I was planning my wedding?!!?!!!!” and “wow, dudes actually use this?” While I’m still a little bitter over the lack of pintrest during my wedding planning, from a social networking and marketing perspective, it’s brilliant. If you have a business, you should be on there.
Spring is in the air and I am craving all things GREEN! This morning I had a delicious green smoothie. It was packed with kale, strawberries mango and coconut water. Smoothies give you a nutritional power punch, the veggies are easier to digest and nutrients are absorbed more efficiently. Drinking a smoothie a day can help to shed belly fat and it’s INSTANT energy.
I toss kale into pretty much every smoothie (or juice) I make. It’s one of the most amazing veggies out there. Kale is an amazing green veggie. It’s packed with goodness like vitamin A, Calcium and folic acid. The strawberries and mango gave my smoothie a sweet, tangy kick. A lot of people add water to their smoothies, but I like to go big on nutrition, so I use coconut water. Coconut water is a high in potassium super-hydrator that is said to lower blood pressure. The smoothie was pure morning green goodness.
Today’s green pièce de résistance was dinner, a beautiful spring veggie pesto pasta. The pesto made it delightfully green. It was a co-cook; Hubby made the pesto and I sauteed and tossed. I didn’t think about blogging the recipe until it was finished, sorry about the lack of pictures!
The basil pesto recipe came from simplyrecipes.com:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese (we used Parmesan-Reggiano)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine pine nuts and garlic in the food processor, pulse a few times, then add basil, pulse a little more and then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream with the food processor on. Add grated cheese and pulse again until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is a large recipe, you’ll only need 2-3 tablespoons for the pasta. Save the rest in the fridge. It should keep for up to 4 days. Set the pesto aside, you’ll add it last.
Then I sauteed organic cherry tomatoes (cut in half) and fresh organic green beans with a little EVOO, sea salt and pepper while the pasta was boiling. I try to use gluten free pasta whenever I can sneak it by my husband. Tonight I was successful with quinoa rotini. You should use whatever pasts you love most (though whole wheat, quinoa or rice is definitely healthier than standard white semolina pasta!)
When the pasta was tender (al-dente, not mushy!) I drained and added the pasta to the veggie sauté. Then I spooned in 2-3 tablespoons of the fresh pesto and stirred to coat. You can add more or less, depends on how pesto-ey you like your pasta. We topped it with more Parmesan (a pinch for me a fist-full for Hubby).
This pasta was so green, zesty and delicious! I think I might call it Zesty-Pesty Pasta! You can use just about any veggies that are in season. I just happened to have the cherry tomatoes and green beans in the fridge (and Hubby wouldn’t let me add kale!). Experiment and see what makes your taste buds sing!