Coconut & peanut butter smoothie

I got pretty creative with my smoothies recently! Today the end result was coconut-banana-peanut butter smoothie. And it was gooood. I found it to be a perfect nutritious addition to my breakfast (one could treat such smoothie as breakfast as such)

I buy Alpro Almond Original drink ( I call it milk) for my avocado smoothie but recently I picked up a Coconut one. It tastes like watery alcohol-free Malibu, very “coconuty” but not so heavy (and gorgeous) like the real coconut milk. It worked out perfectly with a banana, some desiccated coconut and a spoonful of peanut butter.
  • a glass of Alpro Coconut Original drink
  • a banana
  • 1 tbs peanut butter 
  • 1 tsp of desiccated coconut
Blitz everything in a blender. If you prefer it to be really creamy and smooth skip the desiccated coconut and chose “smooth” instead of “crunchy” peanut butter. I liked the crunchiness and coconut bits in the smoothie.

Coconut & peanut butter smoothie

Guacamole

My avocado love affair – continued!

I don’t remember the first time I tasted guacamole, but I do remember the moment when I was told how to make a proper one. I met a lovely Mexican girl from Guadalajara during one of New Year’s Eve parties, where she prepared absolutely amazing guacamole. She told me that the key ingredient (apart from the ripe avocado!!!) is lime juice.

Avocado seems to be a very sensitive (or should I say temperamental?) fruit that is unripe on one day and gets bad the next day. I tend to buy it at a reliable source (for me that would be Fallon & Byrne in Dublin) and eat within a couple of days. For guacamole, avocado has to be ripe enough so that it can be crushed with a fork – no blenders and food processors!!!

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados (preferably hass variety)
  • 1 vine tomato (or 5-8 cherry tomatoes) finely chopped
  • half a small onion finely chopped 
  • juice of half a lime
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • chili & coriander optional 

Crush the avocado with a fork, chop onion, tomatoes, chili and coriander (if using) and add to avocados. Squeeze juice of half a lime and season with salt and pepper. I like it salty, but it’s up to personal preferences. It’s very easy to make, mess free and so delicious! Serve it with nachos (baked with cheese for few minutes if you don’t count calories!)

It’s a perfect snack for a party and it’s easy to half/double/triple in size!

I don’t think I’ll ever make a good picture of guacamole… even though it looks beautifully colourful in real life, for some reasons it does not looks good on camera!

Thai curry straight from Thailand

Two months ago, in September, my husband and I had our third wedding anniversary, which we happened to spend with a bucket of buffalo chicken wings in a shabby motel somewhere on the road to Las Vegas. We made up for it the very next day in a luxurious hotel where we had a fancy dinner in a Thai restaurant.

We were lucky enough to be able to spend our actual honeymoon in Thailand, on Koh Samui. One day during our stay, the hotel was organising a cooking lesson – I didn’t have to be asked twice whether or not I want to attend it!

Each participant prepared a four course meal that was later shared with a partner. I can tell you that the portions were so generous that we couldn’t even eat half of it (and it’s not because it was uneatable. Or so I hope)

The meals were as follows:

  • Sesame and Prawns Toasts
  • Spicy Prawn Soup – Tom Yum Kung
  • Chicken in Red Curry – Kaeng Phed Kai
  • Bananas in Coconut Cream – Kluai Buat Chi

Today, I wish to share with you the Red Curry recipe that I’ve been making ever since at home

Chicken in Red Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs of red curry paste (but fresh home-made one is preferable!)
  • 1 & half cup(400ml) of coconut cream (I use coconut milk instead)
  • 50g Thai baby eggplant (I can’t get it in Dublin so I use small chopped courgette or eggplant)
  • half a bunch of Thai basil leaves
  • 2 tsp  palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200g chicken fillets, sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • red chilis, sliced (amount depends on how hot you like it)
  • 1 tbs fish sauce

Preparation

  • Fry the curry paste in oil until fragrant, reduce heat and add 1/2 a cup of can coconut cream, a little at a time, stirring until the coconut cream begins to have an oily sheen
  • Add the rest of coconut cream and the sugar. Add fish sauce to taste, and heat. When boiling, add the eggplant, kaffir lime leaves and cook a short time
  • Add slices of chicken and cook a short time
  • Add basil, red chilies and remove from heat
  • Serve with basmati or jasmine rice

I can get most of the ingredients in Dublin (dried kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce is available for example in Tesco) and some are only available in Asian stores. It is easy though to find replacement and use brown sugar instead of palm sugar and our good old European sweet basil instead of the Thai variety. I don’t use coconut cream as I find it perfectly fine, although slightly more runny/watery, with coconut milk. I also like to add a bit or sweet & sour kick to it by adding fresh pineapple

It is a very easy and quick recipe and always tastes delicious. Any suggestion on how to make it even better?

During our cooking class we got a recipe for a home made red curry paste, which is not so complicated at all and most ingredients are easily available. I won’t publish it here as I can’t make out my scribbles and I am not sure about the proportions of the ingredients…

Avocado Smoothie

I’m crazy about avocados. I can eat it straight from the shell, spread it on a piece of toast with some sea salt and caraway, not to mention my absolute favourite – THE GUACAMOLE. No need for nachos.

I haven’t tried to make the avocado deserts yet, even though I have an extremely sweet tooth… the closest I got to it was an avocado smoothie. A must, if you haven’t done it yet!

The first time I came across an avocado smoothie was a couple of months ago, during my first (and hopefully not last) trip to California. Our first morning in San Francisco, being completely jet lagged and stiff after the long flight, we went for a very early run. On the way back we ventured into Dolores Park Cafe for breakfast. I ordered the avocado smoothie as an addition to my granola & fresh fruit breakfast, which probably was the last healthy option during our two-week trip…

The San Francisco avocado smoothie was very simple and mighty delicious: avocado, milk (almond or soy milk optional), honey and vanilla yogurt. The one I do now at home is slightly different but also delicious. Most importantly soooo simple and hassle free.

Avocado smoothie:

  • 1 small ripe avocado (preferably hass variety)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup and a half of almond milk
  • 1 cup of raw baby spinach (not too much or it won’t be so smooth)
  • 2 dates
  • honey to taste (if you use it)

Just blitz everything in a blender

Makes 2 servings

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Pure goodness

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My home-made smoothie

I was delighted to see an avocado smoothie  in a newly opened Juice bar/Coffee shop in Dublin last month. It was an ultimate one (when it comes to healthiness!) and I’ll definitely come back for more (Alchemy Juice Co. in BT2 on Grafton Street). Yum.

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The Ultimate “GREEN BRUTE” smoothie

Baking day

Being stuck at home for a couple of days I used my spare time (in between working from home) at some baking. I ended up with very nice ‘power cookies’ made of oats, nuts, coconut, sultanas and a banana, and vanilla buns. The latter were not so nice but it was purely due to me not being a very good baker, especially when it involves yeast and growing stuff. I found both recipes on a  newly discovered blog “What should I eat for breakfast today” by Marta, in which I fell in love with instantly. You’ll find the recipes (in Polish) here and here. I’ll be definitely trying out some more recipes from the blog. Banana bread with Nutella anyone?

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Sultanas and vanilla buns & awesome vegan power bar

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