A Mashup between classical creamy coleslaw and Mexican beloved guacamole, with fresh cilantro and lime/lemon. It’s surely The perfect sidedish for BBQ season or taco night!
Super rapid to make in the food processor and ultra healthy, this side dish is perfect for anything grilled on the BBQ this summer! The recipe is basically a standard coleslaw with a little extra fresh cilantro/coriander, lime and creamy avocado. The avocado doesn’t turn brown after marinating because of the acidity from the lime and vinegar.
To mayo or not to mayo a coleslaw?
Well everyone likes a creamy mayo coleslaw… but your heart not so much. This Coleslaw mix got none of the saturated fat from the mayo and only the ‘good type of fat’ from the avocados, which is recommended to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. This avocado dressing is a great alternative to the classic mayo coleslaw plus it’s got this sunny Mexican flavour added to it. How could you resist? Forget about this old outdated version of coleslaw and make this version your new sidekick for this year BBQ season.
*Alternative for the cilantro/coriander haters out there would be to replace the cilantro by some fresh basil leaves!
A colorful and fresh tartare made of lightly spiced tuna, cilantro-lime marinated avocado dices and juicy watermelon for a fresh start this summer!
It’s hot, I don’t know for you but here in Spain it’s just terribly hot outside this summer. No way I’m going to cook anything on the stove for a while… I need freshness, I need light, I need easy-breezy, so no better recipe for hot summer nights than a nice tuna tartare, right?
Better safe than sorry
Tartares, whether it’s beef, salmon, tuna, are so easy to make and frankly super delicious BUT being made with raw meat/fish you need to extra careful with it’s manipulation and make sure it’s the freshest it could be!
Here are my golden rules:
Ask your favorite Fishmonger if he does have a sashimi grade fish, they usually cost a tad more but well worth it!
Come prepared at the FishMonger with a bag that keeps the temperature stable, plus an ice pack if it’s a long way back home.
Buy the fish last minute so it doesn’t warm up while you shop around, buy meat/fish than straight home.
First thing home, obvious one, in the fridge right away!
Before manipulating the fish, CLEAN YOUR HANDS, this is the most important rule of all.
Be sure to have clean cutting mat and knife.
The lime marinade will help disinfect the surface of the fish if there are any pathogens left so give it a good 30 minutes in the fridge to let the marinade make its magic.
Take out the fish from the fridge when ready to serve, don’t let it on the counter too long before serving.
This way you’ll be able to enjoy this fresh summer bite
A tuna story
I usually don’t do personal stories here, but just because this one is close to my heart… My astrological sign is Pisces, I spend my childhood in the pool doing synchronised swimming, then I’ve moved closer to my element by taking diving classes. Today I do love to go diving when the wallet permits it. The last time I went diving was up north of Barcelona, at the far end of the national park Cap Creus, where I’ve add the most magical encounter of my diving career; a magestic tuna looking right at me. He was about 1.5 metres long floating with agility there higher than us in the deep blue sea, looking at me through those big round eyes. He was probably judging us, humans, doing our bubbles and moving quite uneasy underwater… thinking we must not be from around here… I couldn’t believe my eyes, a freakin tuna was looking right at me! I’ve never heard of anyone seeing one while diving, since it’s usually a deep sea fish. That magical moment lasted a second before, I’ve tried to show the fish to my buddy and “poof” he was long gone. You know when you witness such an fantastic thing and you are just so high for hours after that… Since then I’m always thinking of this amazing encounter when I eat tuna… such a beautiful elegant fish under and over water.
So let’s do this tartare!
Tuna, Avocado and Watermelon Tartare
Makes 2 portions | Preparation: 45 minutes | Difficulty: easy
250g fresh tuna cut into small 1 cm cubes
1/4 tbsp wasabi (1cm long from the tube)
1 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 avocado cut into small 1 cm cubes
few leaves of Cilantro finely chopped
1/2 lime juice
salt and pepper
250g watermelon cut into small 1 cm cubes
Start by mixing all the ingredient of the tuna tartare and let marinate in the fridge for 30 to 40 minutes
during that time cut the watermelon and add a sprinkle of salt on it to let the water come out, leave in a sieve
10 minutes before serving make the avocado mix
In the centre of a plate, add a cookie cutter about 10 cm diameter fill with a layer of watermelon, topped with the avocado mix and finally the tuna
Serve with a few black sesame seeds and cilantro leave. Enjoy!
Extra Minty baked Falafel, as its name says, is a super refreshing vegetarian bite. Served with mini pita breads, a low fat extra cucumber tzatziki and some extras of avocado, tomato, lettuce and onion sprouts. A healthy to the core vegetarian dish!
I love making those, they fulfill your needs, plus the extra mint makes them extra flavourful and fresh. On the plus side, they are baked and won’t suck all that oil they do when fried. I like to make my falafels slightly chunkier with pieces of chickpeas, but if you like it finer well simply grind it a tad more, feel free to make it your way. Each time I’ve add a great falafels it would strangely be in a food truck or a fair and usually made with extra fresh herbs (mint or cilantro), I love this bite of freshness through all those other spices. Mint or cilantro or both even is a great green factor to add to your falafels, I believe it really bring them up on the flavour scale.
Chickpeas has been cultivate since 7000 BC, such an old bean! Without saying it’s health properties are as long as they are old. Let’s just name a few; lower bad cholesterol, filled with fibres, minerals, vitamins and proteins, help regulate blood pressure, etc. In other words, chickpeas will bring you to your old days healthy. I, personally, always had a “certain”problem with beans in general, I believe it’s the “sandy” texture that turned me off, but knowing it was a “must have” for my health, I’ve started experimenting more and more with all kinds of beans. It also helps to live in Catalonia, Spain because it’s full of different types here. This recipe for instance was another of those attempt to cut on the meat and fill up my proteins need with beans, now I make those chickpea balls every other week. If you are like me and want to make alternative meals … not facts… to meat dishes this is a great way. Plus, it’s fun to pair it with all kind of sides, sauces and breads.
Falafels goes everywhere and with anything, whether it’s on top of a salad, on rice, in a pita bread or even tortilla bread. My own personal favorite is in small pita breads with lots of veggies. If you want to make your own pitas check out the recipe from a fellow food blogger, Sarah James from Tales From The Kitchen Shed here. As for the sides, I always enjoy to add a plate filled with veggies for this particular extra minty version I’ve added lettuce, tomato, avocado, onions sprout to accompany it. I also enjoy adding an extra sauce, sometimes I simply use a mustard-mango sauce or simple tahini but for this version I’ve used one of my favorite: extra cucumber tzatziki, check my recipe Tzatziki a la Maria-Pia. This sauce is great because it’s low in calories, sodium and fat and extra smooth and flavorful.
So enough bla bla… let’s get to it!
Extra Minty Baked Falafels
Makes about 15 falafels | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes
A twist on the classic Club sandwich, the famous deli favorite from north America. The traditional Club Sandwich it made of 3 levels of toasted white bread, chicken slices, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. This version is made by replacing the bacon with a leaner cured ham slightly cook, just enough to make it crispy. The slices of chicken are replaced by a creamy chicken salad mix which is blended with a touch of mayonnaise, sweet mustard and pickle juice (brine) until smooth and an extra layer of the beloved avocado for a touch of color. The bread is an whole grain square bread, toasted and served with the usual crunchy lettuce and juicy tomato, nothing new there…
This way the Club Sandwich gets a creamier and tastier chicken and smooth avocado contrasted with a crunchy cured ham and lettuce. This sandwich is a nice ensemble of textures, color and taste, hard not to fall for it.
So let’s make this creamy yet crunchy sandwich for lunch!
Avocado Club Sandwich
Makes about 3-4 sandwich
square whole grain bread
crunchy lettuce of your choice
cured ham slices
The chicken salad
chicken leftovers or 2 chicken breast precooked
1 big pickle
5 tbsp of pickle brine
2 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tbsp of sweet mustard (honey or else)
salt and pepper
In the blender, add all the pre cooked chicken salad ingredients and blend until smooth, add more pickle juice if too dry
In a pan add the cured ham slices (prosciutto, serrano, etc.) to a non stick pan and let it cook until crunchy, about 2 minutes
Toast the whole grain bread
Assemble the sandwich with 3 layers of toasted bread, avocado slices, tomato slices, cured ham, chicken salad mix and the crunchy salad
Cut into triangles like a typical Club Sandwich. Enjoy!
Creamy avocado pesto zoodles is the new pasta (well…actually; non pasta) in town. I see them everywhere, for guys out there who didn’t catch the “zoodle” vibe, it’s actually zucchini noodles. There is absolutely no gluten, wheat in them and make a great meal for all, especially for low carb diet or gluten intolerant people. This was my first attempt to do those famous”zoodles”, no need to buy those big spiralizer machine to make them, simply use a cheese grater, it really does the trick. It’s a terribly easy, fast and healthy recipe but also creamy and tasty, the avocado make the dish stand. It give the dish this rich creamy texture, which I believe, complete the dish to perfection.
Most zoodles recipes out there are using a spiralizer machine, which are expensive and quite big, I’ve just used a mandoline with large cheese grater holes, but some mandoline already have those teeth to make perfect juliennes, otherwise use a boxed cheese grater it works fine too. It certainly looks thicker and more “noodles like” (larger than spaghetti) with the machine, but for now, let’s focus on the taste of it.
As for the pesto, it’s a traditional genovese pesto with plenty of basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. Then to make the dish hold up we’ll have an avocado to the mix, which will bring the whole dish to some other level. To prevent the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown, add a squeeze of lime to the pesto. As for the finishing touch, a topping of dried tomatoes and parmesan. You’ll never go back to pasta with this creamy, rich, sunny dish.
Let’s make those zoodles.
Creamy avocado pesto zoodles
Makes 2 portions
2 hand of fresh basil
1 garlic clove
20g of pine nuts
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
*optional dry tomatoes
Cut both ends of the zucchinis
Grate the zucchini completely on its length side
In the blender add the pine nuts, garlic, basil, parmesan to taste and olive oil
Fast blend the first batch, then add the avocado, salt, pepper and lime and blend until it becomes a paste, add a bit of water if too thick
Check the seasoning
Add the zoodles in a pan with a touch of olive oil and salt, just to warm them up, cook high heat for 2 minutes
Add the pesto to the zoodles and mix well
Top with a few thin slices of dry tomatoes and parmesan
Avocado eggs with a sparkle of spicy paprika and crumbled feta on a toasted round grain thin bread is a great way to start the day. If you are searching for a fresh, light bite on your next brunch or even for lunch this is an easy, fast and delicious way to go. The lightly spicy paprika bring an extra dimension to the eggs, just like with deviled eggs, it jazz up the dish. Also freshly cracked black pepper is the best friend of any eggs, an egg without pepper it’s like a plant without water, it won’t bloom.
Since I’ve been living in Spain, I’ve noticed a big difference in the taste of egg yolks. I’ve researched a bit about it on the web and found a few interesting informations about it. In Europe eggs are not washed when picked up, neither they are refrigerated, contrary in North America, eggs are sanitized and cleaned to prevent salmonella on the shell and then refrigerated right away. Salmonella can be lying whether on the shell of the egg or could be already inside the egg, which make the sanitizing not 100% effective. Also some study showed that the sanitizing of the eggs makes the shell weaker and susceptible to bacterias, for this matter the eggs are right away refrigerated in North America. In the UK, the chickens are vaccinated to prevent the salmonella disease but even with all those precautions from America to Europe, salmonella keep ravaging stomachs around the world. So who knows better? Don’t know… all I know is that the running egg yolks do not taste the same in Europe than in North America, must be because of this process they do to them. If someone out there knows more about the subject, let me know please, even search engines cannot help me with this matter.
Let’s make our tasty breakfast!
1 avocado cut into slices
4 half thin round grain breads toasted
1 big tomato in thick slices
Spicy paprika (it’s still mild)
Feta cheese crumbled
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp of vinegar (any kind)
*the fresher the egg, the better the poché
Bring a pot of water to simmer
Add the vinegar
Crack each egg in a mini bowl then add to the simmering water
Let cook 2 minutes and take out with a spoon with holes, touch to check the coccion
Add to paper towel, salt, pepper and reserve
Repeat the process with all the eggs
Slice the avocado and add a squeeze of lime, salt to it
On the toasted bread, add a tomato slice, the avocado, the egg sprinkled with spicy paprika, feta and salt
Summer is here and we yummy new recipes for BBQ season! Who doesn’t like a good hot dog? This version of hot dog is somehow, a little healthier than the usual one. Let me explain here… since the worst part of a traditional hot dog is in the actual Ketchup that tops it, which is filled with sugar, pure candy… I’ve exchange it for a honey mustard. The choice of the sausage and bread is up to you, I’ve chose an organic and larger sausage and a black olive soft baguette. Baguettes are great for hot dog! I always use baguette since there isn’t much healthy choices in hot dog bread varieties where I live…At the bottom of the Hot Dog, I’ve added a bed of those tasty onion sprouts. To finish it of mexican style, if you want to, you can add a few dices of tomatoes in there, then it would become a guacamole hotdog! Delicious idea!
So the main idea here is to show a different way to eat those “typically unhealthy” food and give it a healthier twist. I’ve encountered this recipe a few years ago, in El Salvador, the lady from the hostel, where I was staying at, was simply adding avocado to our hot dogs and I couldn’t believe how great it was, nothing else than a simple avocado makes a huge difference. Let’s just say, hot dog are the heart worst enemy, but this hot dog is an enemy you want to keep close by.
So let’s get sinful!
Avocado Hot Dog
Makes 3 portions
1 black olive soft baguette
3 large sausages (your favorite)
1 tsp honey mustard(or mix up 1 tsp of honey into 1 tbsp of mustard with grains “a l’ancienne”, or a dijon)
1 avocado finely sliced
1 small pack of baby onion sprouts
Simply add the sausage in a pan, low heat, for about 4-5 minutes until cooked through
Assemble the hot dog with the onion sprouts, avocado, sausage and mustard
Serve with diced tomatoes to replace the ketchup. Enjoy!
Shrimp tartar is quite simple to make and taste simply divine, without saying it’s looks irresistible. The base of the dish is similar to a shrimp ceviche, simply needing to marinate the fresh shrimps in lime juice for a couple of hours. The bigger the size of the shrimp the longer you’ll need to marinate it. By definition, tartar means finely cut and raw meat… In restaurants, the eternal favorites are the salmon, tuna or beef tartare. In this shrimp case, I’ve used fresh shrimps. Usually, tartare dishes aren’t marinated in acidic marinade for that long… the shrimps, here, were in lime juice for about 24 hours, but you could easily just marinated them 3 hours. The result would be a softer texture but as delicious… and it’s really important you get really fresh seafood to make this appetizer.
I believe strawberries and avocados are a match made in heaven. First, their colors are the perfect dynamic and appetizing pair and the creamy smooth avocado and the acidic and fruity strawberry pair beautifully.
You can use this as a tapas dish also, simply add the 3 components to a nice presentation spoon or small bowl and voilà! I assure you, there isn’t a better way to start an evening then this!
So let’s get that fresh and light bite going!
Shrimp tartar with strawberries and avocado
makes 4 appetizers / 8 tapas
1 big avocado in small cubes
40 small fresh shrimps
6 strawberries in small cubes
10 chives finely cut
3-4limes(3 1/2 for the marinade and 1/2 for the avocado)
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Clean the shrimps, take the veins out and wash them in cold water
Add the shrimps to a small bowl with the lime juice, salt (enough to barely cover them)
Let marinate in the fridge for 3 hours to 24 hours (longer the tougher the texture)
Cut the avocado, strawberry and chives
Add to the avocado, olive oil, chives, a lime squeeze, salt and pepper and mix
In the center of a plate, add a small cookie cutter (the metal cylinder) add a bottom layer of avocado mix, then the lime marinated shrimps then top with strawberries and a leaf of coriander *optional
Take out the cookie cutter and voilà!
Serve as it is or with a nest of lettuce of your choice. Enjoy!