Category Archives: avocado

Paleo Parfait with Warm Strawberry Compote

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I am on day 1 of the 21 day sugar detox today so it is quite ironic  that I am posting this recipe. However, I didn’t want to keep it from you any longer as it is a delicious dessert! This may be more suitable for the hot months so if you’re in the northern hemisphere this is for you but it is yummy enough to eat now, even if you’re in the rainy, grey and cold Sydney, Australia like me!

I made this dessert a few months ago because  I wanted something sweet that was still full of goodness and vitality. I love a decadent dessert every now and then but I know I often regret it as most desserts are loaded with processed sugar, dairy and/or wheat, which leave me feeling bloated and irritable for a few days afterwards. It is great to be able have a treat that is decadent and delicious but still nourishes your body, which this dessert provides. It is truly heaven on a plate AND it is a 100% clean Paleo treat. No dairy, processed sugar, gluten or grains in this frozen rectangle of deliciousness!

Recipe

Ingredients

For the mousse:

2 medium sized avocados, flesh removed

1/3 cup raw cacao + 3-4 tbsp. extra to taste

5 fresh medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. natural vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut milk + a little extra if needed.

1 pinch of Celtic sea salt

For the strawberry compote:

1 punnet strawberries

2 tbsp. of water

1 tbsp. of maple syrup

Method

1. Line a metal loaf tin with plastic wrap, using enough to have the plastic hanging over the edges (you will fold these over the top of the mouse latter).

2.Place avocados into a food processor and pulse to puree.

3. Add cacao, dates, vanilla, salt and maple syrup, 1/2 of the coconut milk and pulse on high to combine. Turn it off, taste it and look to see if it needs more coconut milk. Avocado size, your taste and climate all play a part in how much coconut milk is needed. You don’t want it to get too runny or be too thick and dry so use your own judgement if you feel you need more or less of it. You want it to by a light and fluffy mousse like consistency. If it needs more coconut milk, turn on the food processor again and while it is running pour in the remaining coconut milk and any extra if needed. If you like it sweeter adjust the sweetness with extra maple syrup.

4. Pour the mousse into the lined loaf tin and smooth the top down then cover with the excess plastic from the edges to make it an even shape.

5. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until frozen. Over night is best.

6. Just before serving, place all the ingredients for the strawberries into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer on low heat. If liquid evaporates add another tbsp. of water. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes until strawberries heated through and you have some syrup at the bottom of the saucepan. Set aside while you prepare the frozen mousse.

7. Take the parfait out of the freezer and turn out of the tin. You may need to pour some warm water on the bottom of the tin to help it come out. Remove the plastic and working quickly slice the frozen mousse into 2 centimetre sized slices. Place one slice per plate and serve topped with strawberry compote and a drizzle of the compote syrup.

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Fast Food

Do you struggle to find the time or the desire to cook every night? I know I do. Eating out or ordering take away is becoming more and more common and I can see why. With the many and increasing demands on our time it is so much easier to ‘out source’ this extra ‘thing’ to do. Don’t get me wrong, eating out is great and is a favourite past time of mine and takeaway has its place too but do this every day/night and you may be getting less of the nutrients you need and more of the ones you don’t.

At the start of the year, with a new job that took up more of my time,  I got into a habit of ordering home delivery, buying takeaway or eating out. This went against my knowledge and belief in eating whole and nutritious food but I was just so time poor that I wanted something quick and easy that tasted good. Exhausted from work I didn’t want to spend my time cooking, let alone cleaning!

After a few months of this I noticed I often felt bloated, woke up at night extremly thirsty and my apetite seemed to be controled more by the highs and lows from sugar and ceffeine and addiction to salt than actual hunger. Realising how my diet had changed I decided I needed to get back to what I knew was right for my body. So how to do this? Of course I had to cut out the takeaway and reduce the dining out but I also needed to add more of the good stuff! I was still time poor so I needed a plan to ensure I ate as much whole and nutritious food as possible.

This is what I did:
1. Quick dinner options in the freezer: fish, soups, stews, frozen vegetables, wheet free bread.
– I will cook up a large portion of soup or stew on a day off and freeeze it.
2. Easy protein in fridge or freezer: Tinned tuna, silken tofu, tempe, smoked salmon, cheese, yoghurt, nuts.
3. Bring salad ingredients and protein options to work
4. Save leftovers from dinner for lunch or breakfast on the weekend
5. Excerise 4-6 times per week (and plan for this so it happens)
6. Buy my lunch only once a week. This may be a salad and chicken roll, tabouli and tuna or a home made lentil soup form the my local IGA.
7. I also cut out dessert as I found this bloated me

Soups and sandwiches are a quick and convenient way to get a variety of foods in one meal. I make stock on the weekends and freeze, so I always have some at hand.

SALMON AND AVOCADO SANDWICH
This is simple as you can get. Make it with your kids too and you have an activity for the weekend.
Ingredients
small handful of italian salad mix
1/2 avocado sliced
1/2 smoked fillet of salmon flaked
2 slices of your choice of wheet free bread (I like chia bread or wheet free quinoa bread)
Wholegrain mustard
lemon wedges

Method
Spread both slices of bread with mustard.
Place avocado on one side and mash down with a fork.
Top with more mustard if desired (I like mine strong).
Place salmon on top, a squeeze of lemon and top with salad leaves.
Top with last piece of bread, cut in half and enjoy.
Nom Nom!

Click here for a great recipe for gluten free bread from Teresa Cutter – The Healthy Chef

CHEAP AND EASY LENTIL SOUP
A staple in my freezer this is great for a weeknight meal.

Ingredients

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, trimmed and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 Swede, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup red lentils
2 x 400g can diced tomatoes
6-8 Cups of vegetable stock
4 tbsp ground cumin

For serving:

100g goat’s cheese or plain yoghurt
¼ chopped fresh chives
lemon
yoghurt

Method
Place all soup ingredients into a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, adding more stock if it becomes to thick.
Serve sprinkled with chives and goat’s cheese, a dollop of yoghurt or lemon juice and parsley.

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