100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free (with Substitutions), Mains, Recipes, Vegan

Day 54 – Black Bean Pasta with Smokey Avocado Sauce

Day54

I am sure some of you may be thinking I have gone a bit crazy with this one . . .

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first of  the recipe, from Treehugger,using these type of Mexican flavors in a pasta dish, but my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try it. I have to admit I was pleasently surprised. Not only did the grilled avocado make a delicious creamy Alfredo-like sauce (yet without any dairy) the Mexican flavors worked with the pasta better than I expected them to. I am really keen to try playing twith the idea of an avocado pasta sauce again, but next time with more Italian flavors added in.

This dish is completely Vegan, dairy free, and can easily be made gluten free by substituting a gluten-free pasta.

Black Bean Pasta with Smokey Avocado Sauce

adapted from: Treehugger

MAKES: 2 large servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 serrano chili or medium heat chilli, chopped finely
  • 250g of pasta (Linguine or Fettuccine)

Cut an avocado in half and brush with olive oil. and grill the halves flesh side down until the fruit is nicely charred. Scoop out the warm grilled flesh and put it in a food processor adding 1/2 cup cilantro, the lime juice, salt and cayenne, and one garlic clove. Process to make a purée, and then slowly stream in 1/4 cup olive oil and continue processing until the sauce emulsifies and has a creamy consistency. Taste and add more lime juice, salt or cayenne if necessary, and then set aside.

In a separate bowl mix black beans with finely diced red onion and serrano chile. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice, another 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Stir gently and let sit to meld the flavors.

Cook linguine or other pasta until pasta is al dente. Drain and add avocado puree and mix until well incorporated. Spoon bean mixture over the pasta, dress with a bit more cilantro and serve immediately while still warm.

ENJOY!!

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Food, Uncategorized

Storing Avocado . . .

Avocado are one of the best and most versatile fruits produced by mother nature. I will happily sit eating an avocado directly out of its shell, but I hate it when an avocado goes brown on me in the refrigerator. They are usually so expensive to buy and they always seem to go brown exactly when you were planning on using it to finish off a salad or meal.

Jerry James Stone, one of my favorite food bloggers, has recently posted this easy tip for storing a cut avocado in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

I am definitely going to be giving this one a try . . . THANKS JERRY!!

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Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan

Simple Raw Veggie Salad with Dill Dressing

dill dressing

This side salad is perfect for when you need something fresh and lite to go with you main meal.  I made it to go with the Creamy Leek and Brussels Sprout Soup in my Day 4 post, and the the crisp sweetness of the raw vegetables and fragrant dill nicely balance the creaminess and subtle spice of the soup.

I used cucumber, red capsicum, yellow capsicum, and avocado, but realistically that was just because those were the vegetables in my fridge. You can use any combination of vegetables you feel will go well together. Besides anything topped with this Dill Dressing will taste brilliant.

This does not take long at all to throw together, and can vary infinitely. You can also substitute other fresh herbs for the dill to make different types of dressing.

Simple Raw Salad with Dill Dressing

INGREDIENTS

for the salad

  • any assortment of raw vegetables (I used cucumber, red capsicum, yellow capsicum, and avocado)

for the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (if you do not have white wine vinegar, you can use 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or other fresh herb (you can also use dried herbs but it does not taste quite as nice)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot (you can substitute minced garlic if you do not happen to have a shallot around)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves. Add dill, mustard and shallot and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly, until dressing is smooth and emulsified.  You can also use an immersion/stick blender to emulsify the dressing, which will take less time. Place all ingredients into the tall plastic cup that comes with most immersion/stick blenders, and whizz until dressing takes on a creamy white look. Pour dressing over salad and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated.

Additional Notes

Salad will keep, dressed and refrigerated, for up to 6 hours. For longer storage, keep chopped and assembled salad ingredients covered in the refrigerator up to 1 day ahead and toss with dressing just before serving.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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