It’s almost Christmas (as I’ve said, I know, but I’m so excited). Which means delicious food circling and lots of opportunities to show off some (healthy) cooking! These recipes are not just exclusively for Christmas though so keep a note of them for future opportunities to use them! They’re great for dinner parties, appetisers or just a healthy dinner!
A big health food in my house is avocado. We love them! They’re in season May through to August (but you can still get some now) and are brilliant sources of good fats (poly- and monounsaturated fats) which when eaten instead of saturated fats can help lower cholesterol. Some avoid avocado because they are high in fat and therefor calories, but again, good fats. They are very easy to chop up and throw in a salad, put on some ryvita or crispbread or whip up some guacamole! Here are some recipes below my family enjoy.
1/3 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1/2 red onion
1 clove of garlic
3 cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
- Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor until to the desired consistency.
- Add salt, pepper, more chili to taste.
- Store in an airtight container, keeps for roughly 3 days (ensure to leave the avocado pip in with the guacamole to prevent browning)
Avocado Salad Dressing
1/2 tablespoon honey
2- 3 drops of Tabasco
Handful of coriander
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon of cider or sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
Juice from 1 lime
3/4 cup of water
Salt and pepper
- Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a smooth, creamy texture.
- Season as required to your own personal taste, add more Tabasco if you like the kick.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for around an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
- This will keep for around 3-5 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.
Caeser Salad Dressing-this is a great, healthier alternative to a mayonnaise based dressing, you can also use fat-free natural or greek yoghurt (about 5 tablespoons)
2 tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
- Blend the avocado in a food processor until smooth.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients except the olive oil.
- Add the olive oil last and stir briefly.
- Season if desired.
- This will store in an airtight container for about 3 days in the fridge.
50g pine nuts
150ml balasmic dressing
200ml extra virgin olive oil
As much rocket as you like
Salt and pepper
- Wash the rocket thoroughly and pat dry, lay out on a large, flat plate.
- Toast your pine nuts by laying them on a frying pan (no oil) on a medium-high heat until they start to brown (some may have black patches, that’s fine) remove from the heat and allow to cool in a dish.
- Mix the balsamic and olive oil together, we place it in a glass bottle with an unpeeled clove of garlic, salt and pepper and shake thoroughly (you can store it in this bottle in the fridge for salads too).
- Peel and slice the avocado, best to cut the avocado in half, remove the pip then slice length ways to keep the curved shape in each slice.
- Scatter the avocado across the rocket, tear the parmaham and scatter it too then sprinkle over the pine nuts.
- Drizzle some of the dressing (not all of it) over the plate and allow others to add more dressing if desired (remember that dressing can be used for all salads).
- Best eaten then and there, but will keep in the fridge for a day or 2, make sure to keep the avocado pip and pop it on the plate/in the container when you store it.
- Start cooking your wholewheat pasta, it takes slightly longer than normal pasta, best give it around 12 minutes, at around minute 9 or 10 throw in the peas to the water.
- If you’re having chicken cook it now any way you wish and slice it into manageable chunks, if your prawns are raw cook them now.
- Chop the garlic and onion and put in a food processor with the avocado, chili powder, olive oil,salt and pepper and blitz until you get a smooth, creamy sauce.
- Once your pasta and chicken/prawns are ready, drain the pasta and throw in the chicken/prawns and stir in the avocado sauce (I do this in the pot the pasta was cooked in to heat the sauce up a bit)
- For vegetarians you could try adding tofu or quorn (never tested this myself).
Guaranteed the Parmaham, Avocado and Balsamic salad will make an appearance in my household over the festive period (or at least a variation of it). Give them go and always be willing to tweak them as you see fit (and healthy).