Me, Myself & Avocado

MSB the other morning at Ripponlea Food & Wine made me think about avocado and how delicious it is…

I had my own generous serving of avocado, and then my acquaintance very kindly gave me his share too – not that I am complaining in the slightest – avocado is full of good monounsaturated fats and also really high in dietary fibre (who would have thought?!), and excellent for your cardiovascular health. BUT on this particular morning I was conscious of my energy intake for the day, (ie: oh god how many calories are in that?!) which is not the norm usually but was on my mind for some reason.

avo toast

So I was reading a journal article about the health benefits of avocado, because I was conscious that while very nutritious, they are pretty energy dense, so just something to be careful of if you’re watching your weight. Half an avocado has around 140 calories, and lets face it, when you go out for brekkie you usually get a bit more than half an avo! However, this thorough review mentioned a number of studies that have shown avocados to be helpful in a weight management diet plan. (Note: not as an additional fat source but as a replacement for something like margarine and oil) So swap your buttered toast for avocado on toast and happy days!

I guess it all balances out in the end, since avos are sitting pretty at $3.5 each these days I haven’t actually bought one in a looong time, so I’m happy to splurge when I’m out for brekkie! They will happily remain on my plate 🙂

 


 

A few of my favourite [avocado] things:

Avocado on toast with lemon and cracked pepper

Slice in half and scoop out the seed, pour in some balsamic vinegar and eat as is!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse – try it!!

Avocado and vegemite on toast with a poached egg


 

 

And then there is the momentous occasion when you find out you’ve picked the PERFECT AVOCADO. Like this one.

 

perfect avo

It’s always a gamble. You stand in Safeway giving each one a little squeeze. get through the tray, go back a second time, finally pick one. think about it a bit more. put it in your basket. get home, hold your breath and slice it in half. I’ve had a run of bad luck recently with mine being black on the inside 😦 But when you get it right it makes the tension alllll worth it.

 

avo smile

And just in case you didn’t believe me, avocado on toast has literally taken the breakfast world by storm. The Urbanlist has even got a Top 10 ranking! Check it out.

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My Kale Romance

Ever since I can remember I used to have a problem with green leafy vegetables. Throw anything at me and I would eat it, but the green leafy stuff I just couldn’t do. It was a textural thing I think. The thought of putting a big bunch of salad leaves in my mouth still turns me off a bit..especially that ‘gourmet salad mix’ with the red lettuce leaves..that one’s the worst 😦

It was a shame really, because the first thing that comes to mind when we think of ‘health food’ is green veggies. And rightly so. They are definitely full of the good stuff. So my not eating them probably didn’t do me any favours…..Our green leafy friends do all sorts of things..they provide us with fiber, folate, fat soluble vitamins A, E and K and can also be a good source of Calcium and iron. Fiber provides the roughage in our diet that keeps our digestive system happy and also fills us up. Folate is needed for cell growth and development and is especially important during pregnancy as it reduces the risk of neural tube defects. And for those of us who are not eating red meat, green leafy veggies are a really important source of iron! Combine with a source of vitamin C and even better, so throw some red capsicum into the mix too 🙂

I could continue raving about them but I’m sure you get the point?!

Then one day I discovered rocket/roquette/arugula/whatever and my world was turned upside down (this also coincided with the Green Smoothie Discovery – but that’s another for another day). I loved the stuff! I like the peppery taste and it must be because the leaves are a bit finer so it doesn’t give me that horrible soggy texture thing going on in my mouth.. Anyway I used to eat bags of the stuff..take a look at my mega sized salad bowl that I would eat out of at work (I was the running joke come lunch time.)

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Fast forward to 2014 and I have ventured out into bigger and bigger things (sorry rocket). Kale! I really dislike following trends..especially nutrition trends..and I know kale is one of those super foods at the moment, but I honestly think it is fantastic. Again, it’s the textural thing. You can cook it and it doesn’t break down or go soggy. I usually just stir fry it for a few minutes until it turns bright green and then throw it into a salad, or you can bake the leaves and make kale chips, or you can shred it finely and put it into a soup, the possibilities are endless! Can you tell I’m in love?

Here is a really simple, tasty recipe that I’ve found on Taste.

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Roast Pumpkin & Kale Salad

500g pumpkin, diced

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS minced ginger

1/2 tsp sea salt

1tsp cumin

1 bunch kale, shredded, stalks removed

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Toss the pumpkin in the oil, salt, ginger and cumin, place in a roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes on 180C or until golden and tender.

Use cooking oil spray to oil a deep frying pan to lightly cook the kale until leaves turn bright green.

Don’t skip toasting the pumpkin seeds, it makes the flavour a million times better! Place them in a dry frying pan and toast until lightly golden, watch they don’t burn.

Toss the roasted pumpkin, kale, quinoa and pumpkin seeds in a big salad bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil and add S & P to taste.

Makes around 3 large or 4 small serves