Tag Archives: avocado

Totes Amaze-Bowl!

At this time of year, thanks to marketing hype and the stigma that Christmas has to be “over-the-top”, it can be tempting to over-complicate things. This Amaze-bowl is super quick, easy and nourishing. A satisfying, yet light combo of “on-hand” ingredients.

I made these babies last night for a pre-Christmas drinks and dinner catch up that we had with a close  family friend. She loved it … especially the macadamia butter element!

I think we forget how beautiful simple ingredients are and just need a reminder to get creative with our serving suggestions. Plus everything can be prepared ahead of time so you can pull it all together at the last minute … no stress and no fuss (winning!!!)

Amaze-Bowl (serves 3)

1 metric cup of rice (I used Jasmine but feel free to use your favourite rice variety)

300g pumpkin, de-seeded and chopped into medium-sized chunks (make sure you have 9 even sized chunks … 3 pieces per person)

Drizzle of macadamia or olive oil, for roasting (plus sea salt and pepper to taste)

1 medium avocado

Dulse, coconut shreds and chia seeds to sprinkle (feel free to change things up and use other fun sprinkle options; sunflower seeds or pepitas, flaked almonds, black sesame seeds, fresh or dried herbs etc.)

Salted Macadamia Butter (original version)

Fermented Veggies of choice (3 spoonfuls serves 3) – I used Kimchi because that’s what I had on hand but my fave options normally involve a sauerkraut with some red cabbage or beetroot for the vibrant pink colour. Bottom line: use your fave fermented veg!

Method

Place pumpkin on a lined baking tray (bleach-free baking paper if possible – I love “if you care”) and toss in coconut oil … season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes (or until golden brown) in a 170 degree C (fan-forced) oven. Remove and cool.

Meanwhile, cook rice via absorption method on the stovetop in filtered water. Once the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the water, divide among 3 cute serving bowls (option … cook rice the day before and cool down in fridge for 24 hours to cultivate gut-loving resistant starch … stirring some coconut oil or coconut cream into rice before refrigeration makes it even tastier and more nutritious).

Place 3 chunks of pumpkin per person on top of the rice (keep it to one neat section to allow room for other elements). Place one spoonful per person of macadamia butter next to pumpkin. Divide avocado into 3 portions and sit next to macadamia butter. Finally, add spoonful of Kimchi (or fermented veggies of choice) in between avocado and pumpkin, finishing with your sprinkle options.

Enjoy lovely ones and feel free to modify serving suggestions to suit what you like and/or have available; swap pumpkin for a roast veggie medley or some simple sweet spud, add some salad greens in place of avocado, use a different nut or seed butter or some cashew “cheese” in place of macadamia option. You could even make this post-Christmas with leftover roast veggies, salads and add some leftover turkey, prawns, fish, ham etc. … I reckon some chopped up mango and a squeeze of lime juice would make for an epic “summer special”

Japanese Brown Rice Salad

This super-simple salad is a flavour-bomb and a refreshing accompaniment to a sustainably-sourced protein; think homemade organic chicken skewers or crispy-skinned sardines. It also works as a beautiful light meal – maybe add some extra nuts/seeds, avocado and some of your fave roast veggies for bulk and extra satisfaction (you will notice this makes it a beautiful vegetarian/vegan option – and remember you don’t have to label yourself as a strict animal-product-abstainer to enjoy a flesh-free fare … heck I don’t call myself a “vegan” but I sure love me a veggie-packed and meat-free meal).

I love having ingredients like, coconut aminos and coconut vinegar on hand. Coconut amino is a soy-sauce replacement made from fermented coconut nectar, onion, garlic, chilli and sea salt – it seriously is the bomb-diggity. Coconut vinegar is just fermented coconut nectar and is a wonderful change of pace from the beloved Apple Cider Vinegar (it still benefits digestion – try a teaspoon or two in water before a meal or use it as part of the meal as a digestive aid). Both are available at most good health food stores, some supermarkets and (of course) online.

Feel free to play with this recipe … I know I will be in the future. Here are some fun suggested swaps;

Brown Rice for … Japanese Sushi Rice, Jasmine Rice, Cauliflower or Broccoli “rice” or even Quinoa or Buckwheat if that’s more your thing (you can soak the grain in water for 12 hours before cooking and rinse well if you struggle to digest grains due to the phytic acid content – this process will break the acid down and leave you with a much gentler product)

Coconut Aminos for … Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce), bearing in mind that for those with pre-exsisting hormonal issues, soy can act as an oestrogen-mimicker in the body, meaning that it binds to our oestrogen-receptor-binding-sites and thus stop our natural oestrogen molecules from eliciting their normal effects. A little bit of soy here and there for most people is no big deal and on the contrary can impart some benefit, but this is a good caution to be aware of … you know me, all about the education.

Coconut Vinegar for … Apple Cider Vinegar, I’ve even seen a new funky-looking product at the health food store called “Kiwi vinegar” which is made from fermented kiwi juice. Then there’s always the opportunity to use sauerkraut juice for that same sour taste and some gut-loving probiotic bacteria (and the benefits of cabbage juice which is beautiful for liver health). If you don’t fancy a tangy salad, maybe use a drizzle of olive oil instead, omit coconut aminos and add in plenty of freshly chopped herbs

Carrot and Cucumber for … roasted sweet potato and/or butternut pumpkin cubes, and/or roasted zucchini, plus some diced snow peas, steamed broccoli or Brussel sprouts, red onion etc.. Basically whatever veggie combos tickle your fancy. We aren’t usually cucumber fans around here, but we served this batch of salad with spicy chicken tikka skewers (marinade made with a base of coconut yoghurt) and so the cucumber was cooling on the palate. That being said, I reckon I’d like this even better without the cucumber and maybe some extra avo 

Avocado for … What are you a crazy person … no one in their right mind swaps out avocado for ANYTHING!!! No, no, no just kidding lovely ones, I’d never judge your food preferences. If you aren’t an avo fan, you could get a similar creamy texture by making up the salad as normal, only omitting the avo and then serving with a dollop of cashew butter or cashew cheese (or nut/seed butter of choice). If you’re going with the olive oil version, hummus dolloped on top would be unreal!

Dulse, Ginger and Chia Seeds for … The dulse adds an earthy, saltiness but can easily be omitted or replaced with a pinch of sea salt. The Ginger really is pretty special with the coconut aminos, but minced garlic would be epic in the olive oil dressed modification. Chia seeds are just there for protein, minerals and omega-3, so feel free to swap to Flax Seeds, Inca Inchi Seeds or even some Toasted Pepitas for an extra crunch and cool green colour

Handful of Cashews – Any other nuts you like … macadamias, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts etc. 

And now for the original recipe in case you are the opposite to me and can actually stick to recipes as they are (how DO you do it?)

Japanese Brown Rice Salad

2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice (organic if possible)

4 Tablespoons coconut aminos

1 teaspoon coconut vinegar

3/4 large or 1 small cucumber, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced (if organic don’t worry about peeling)

1 teaspoon each of dulse flakes, minced ginger and chia seeds

1-2 Handfuls raw cashews

Method

Toast cashews in a frying pan over a medium-low heat until golden brown and you can smell a nice toasted-nut aroma

Toss rice in aminos and vinegar, coat well

Add veggies, pulse, ginger , toasted cashews and chia seeds and again, toss well

Gently fold through avocado cubes, or alternative, serve with avocado slices neatly arranged on top of the salad mound – if you do this garnish with fresh herbs of choice and some extra toasted cashews (it will look fancy schmancy!)