Avocado On Toast Yummy

I never knew what to do with avocado, I knew I loved the taste when I had it prepared by others but I had no idea how I liked it best. So it came down to trial and error, this is my favourite way to eat them.

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Avocado On Toast 

1 ripe avocado

you can tell a ripe avocado by gently squeezing the outer skin, if there is a little give it is ready to eat.

lemon juice

salt

freshly ground black pepper

Cut through the avocado so it is in half, you will have to cut around the stone but a ripe avocado if you twist the two halves will separate beautifully. Scoop the middle of the avocado out with a spoon and place in a bowl.

Whilst you toast the bread add a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, not too much as it will become too sloppy. Then add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mash with a fork and spread on freshly toasted bread. It makes a delicious and healthy snack or meal.

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A Recommendation

I haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks as I have started a new job which is keeping me very busy and as a result e have been sticking to tried and tested easy meals in the evening.

Last night however we pushed the boat out and stopped for Tapas at a restaurant in Leicester called Las Iguanas. This is the email I sent them this morning

“Thank you for a great experience last night. We found your staff extremely helpful especially the blonde barman, didn’t get his name unfortunately. He did however go above and beyond in his customer service suggesting dishes I could eat as I am seriously allergic to dairy. It’s brilliant to find somewhere I can safely go for a meal or snack without having an allergic reaction to a hidden ingredient. Keep up the good work I will certainly be singing your praises to everyone.”

It is the first restaurant my husband took me to on our first date 4 years ago so it is lovely to know we can eat there safely. 

If you have a favourite restaurant then push a little and see if they can accommodate your allergies, you never know you maybe as wonderfully surprised as we were 

Hhhmmm Reheat That Chilli Well Or Else!!!

After chilli con carne the other night we had 2 generous portions left which we nicely packaged up an put in the fridge. One was to be my lunch the other my husband was taking to work for his lunch.

I put mine in the microwave and blasted it for 3 minutes and then another 3 minutes. I have always had a fear of food poisoning since becoming a Mum and so although sometime I may over heat something I’d rather do that than poison the whole family.

Hubby took his portion to work. He blasted it for about a minute and a half and then another minute and a half. Move forward 3 hours, we have just settled down for a quiet evening and up jumps Hubby and rushes off to the bathroom, he then spent every 20 minutes up and down until this morning.

The culprit….Red Kidney Beans….ImageNow how you may be thinking can a humble bean cause so much distress. Well…

as this article from The Independent show http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/food-for-thought-are-uncooked-red-kidney-beans-poisonous-1069434.html kidney beans need to be cooked and reheated properly due to high levels of  the protein haemagglutinin. hemagglutinin, which is an antibody that causes red blood cells to clump. When ingested in high amounts, the hemagglutinins in these beans may trigger diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. This substance is inactivated when beans are cooked, so the only danger lies in eating raw beans. When consuming red kidney beans, ensure that beans are properly prepared.

So people if you decide to make our very awesome chilli just remember if you reheat the left overs ensure the food is piping hot.

Rice -Just How Do You Cook It?

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Everyone I speak to has a different way of cooking rice, and I have to admit it has taken several years of trial and error to get it right.

I usually use half a glass of dry rice per person, the sort of tumbler you would pour whiskey into, always good to have a dual purpose for everything you own 😉

The rice should be rinsed under a cold running tap until all the excess starch is removed, this can take some time but it really is worth it.

When the rice is in the saucepan cover it to about an inch above the rice with cold water. Then put on the stove with a lid on. 

As soon as the rice starts to boil turn off the heat and place a towel or tea-towel under the lid of the saucepan, so it is draped. Leave for about 10 minutes and when you come to serve you will have perfectly fluffy rice.

If you have any special tips for rice let me know I’d love to learn some more.

Chilli Con Carne The Gracey Way

Now one of the things I like to do when cooking is take a recipe that is either meat based or vegetarian based and change it to fit the changing moods of my family. Chilli Con Carne is one of those dishes. The basic recipe is the same but you either add tonnes of veg or minced beef to change it from veggie to meat loving.

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Chilli Con Carne The Gracey Way

5 tbsp veg oil

1 or 2 large onions (depends how much you like onion, we happen to love onion)

2 to 3 dried chillies crushed (for the veggie version you may want to reduce the chilli as it can become too spicy when just veggies are cooked as they absorb lots of heat. Add a small amount taste and then adjust to what your family prefers)

3 cloves garlic

1lb mince beef, for veggie version add aubergine, carrot, celery, bell peppers anything that takes your fancy, mushrooms are good as they give a meaty texture

 (again for veggie version add a)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cumin, I crush these in the pestle and mortar with the chillies

2 400g canned of chopped tomatoes

2 small squares of high cocoa dark chocolate

2 400g tins of kidney beans

3 cubes of sugar

1 beef or veggie stock cube

1 glass red wine

In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onions. As these get to a clear glossy consistency. Chopped the garlic really well and mix it with the raw mince. Then add the mince beef and the garlic if you are cooking with meat or just the garlic if you are veggie.

Cook until the mince is browned, add chilli powder, cinnamon and cumin. Cook for about a minute. Add sugar and chocolate, as chocolate starts to melt add the tomatoes, kidney beans, wine, half a tin of water (use an empty tomato tin) and stock cube.

Bring to a simmer, lower heat, put on lid and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Longer if you can resist the need to eat it as soon as the smell starts to drift from the kitchen.

Serve with rice. Kids may like a few tortilla chips to dip in theirs.

Indulgent Lunch – Black Pudding and Egg Salad

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Some days when I have some time to myself at home I often fancy an indulgent lunch rather than a plain ole salad. This is one of my favourites, the eggs can be poached or fried as long as the yolk is runny.

Black Pudding and Egg Salad

2 eggs

couple of slices black pudding

cucumber

lettuce

tomato

spring onion

any other salad veg you fancy

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Make a huge bowl of salad and dress it in balsamic and olive oil. Fry or poach your eggs keeping them runny. The black pudding can be grilled or fried.

When you cut the eggs the warm yolk will smother the salad it is indulgent and comforting. Now for a large cup of coffee and I am one happy camper 🙂