Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Baked Avocado Fries with Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa

baked avocado fries with spicy roasted tomato salsa

Baked Avocado Fries may sound like the strangest thing but I promise that once you try them, you'll be hooked! They're the perfect "junk" food (with a healthy twist of course!) for enjoying alongside the World Cup... or not, if you prefer your food without a side of the offside rule. Even my usually cynical boyfriend and dad love these! They taste seriously indulgent and are crispy on the outside, encasing creamy avocado and are perfectly accompanied by the spicy roasted tomato salsa.

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, good source of fibre, promotes healthy skin

Serves 1, or 2 as a snack
Enjoy immediately

Ingredients:
For the salsa:
4 tomatoes (275g), cut into 1/6ths
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic, peeled but left whole
1 red chilli, roughly chopped (de-seed to reduce the heat)
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper
Few sprigs fresh coriander (or substitute with flat leaf parsley if you're not a fan!)

For the fries:
1 large ripe but firm avocado, peeled, stoned and chopped into thick "fries"
2 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour
Sea salt & black pepper
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp olive oil
5 tbsp polenta
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Method:
1) Make the salsa in advance. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic and chilli in a roasting tin. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the salt & pepper, making sure that all of the ingredients are evenly coated. Roast for 30- 40 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
3) Prepare the avocado fries. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or baking paper.
4) Place three bowls in a row. In bowl one, place the chickpea flour and season with salt & pepper. Mix together with a fork. In bowl two, whisk together the almond milk and olive oil. In bowl three, combine the polenta, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper.
5) Dip the avocado "fries", one at a time, into each of the bowls, starting with bowl one with the chickpea flour, followed by the milk mixture and finishing with the polenta combination. Place the prepared avocado "fries" on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes (until golden), turning halfway through the cooking time.
6) While the "fries" are cooking, place the cooled salsa ingredients into a food processor along with the coriander. Whizz together to combine and then pour into a serving dish.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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Monday, 18 June 2018

Gazpacho

gazpacho

Time to fess up... I never actually used to like gazpacho. Don't get me wrong, all of the ingredients appealed to me but I simply couldn't get my head around the concept of "cold soup". Of course, the climate in Andalusia, Spain where gazpacho hails from, is somewhat warmer than where I grew up so perhaps that had something to do with my failure to grasp the concept too. I started playing around with recipes for it when my boyfriend told me how much he enjoys gazpacho and in turn, it led me to rediscover the soup. For obvious reasons, this version omits the bread and optional egg, which some classic recipes include but you won't miss them as this gazpacho is so packed full of fresh flavours and goodness. My boyfriend has stated that this is one of his favourites of all of my recipes and I must say that I love serving it for a light lunch, starter or dinner on a hot day. I hope that you will try it whether you're a long time fan of gazpacho or need convincing, as I did! Now we just have to cross fingers for sun!

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, promotes healthy skin, good source of antioxidants 

Serves 3
Serve chilled

Ingredients:
550g tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped into small pieces
1/2 cucumber (approx 250g), roughly chopped into small pieces
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped into small pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + a little extra for drizzling
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:
1) Place the tomatoes in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. (This step will make it easier to peel the skins off the tomatoes.) Peel the skins from the tomatoes and place in a blender.
2) Add the red pepper, cucumber (leaving 1/4 to one side for later) and red onion to the blender and blitz until blended together.
3) Add the garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and salt & pepper and blend until smooth.
4) Refrigerate to chill until needed. To serve, sprinkle with the remaining cucumber as "croutons" and drizzle with a little of the olive oil.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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Friday, 15 June 2018

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

strawberry and banana smoothie

I regularly reach for smoothies as a quick breakfast at this time of year and whilst I have my go-to recipes which I can make practically without thinking, it's also nice to switch things up & experiment with new flavours. This is the latest version I've been making, which incorporates a tablespoon of my Almond and Coconut Butter along with a little coconut oil, which combined with the strawberries and bananas simply tastes like summer!

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, beneficial for bone health, good source of antioxidants

Serves 1
Enjoy immediately

Ingredients:
1 & 1/4 cups almond milk (I always use unsweetened)
1 cup strawberries & banana, chopped (I used frozen)
1 tbsp Almond and Coconut Butter (recipe here or use almond butter)
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Method:
1) Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Mac' and "Cheese"

mac and cheese

Whenever I'm asked what my essential piece of kitchen equipment is, I answer a food processor. In reality, I love my kitchen gadgets and there are others which some may consider non-essential but which I use so regularly that it's hard to contemplate being in the kitchen without them (my citrus rasp is up there on the list of "can't-live-withouts"!). That said, a food processor really will make this way of eating an absolute breeze. It's hard to imagine being without one. I love the versatility of what can be created using a food processor. Aside from handy time savers such as grater attachments, the standard blade makes light work of creating raw desserts & treats, energy balls, pestos, dressings, hummus and other dips, falafels and burgers, and pasta sauces such as this vegan friendly "cheese" sauce.

This Mac' and Cheese is creamy, flavourful and indulgent. I've always thought of Mac' and Cheese as the ultimate comfort food- perhaps in part because of its nostalgic quality. This is no exception- although it has added feel good factor thanks to the inclusion of B12 rich nutritional yeast. What's more, it packs in a hidden vegetable through the butternut squash but I sometimes add a handful or two of spinach to up my intake (the lemon juice in the sauce will help in the absorption of iron from the spinach too). Normally, I'm all for mindful eating but this dish begs to be eaten slovenly in comfy clothes whilst having a relaxing evening!

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, beneficial for digestive health, beneficial for bone health

Serves 2
Enjoy immediately

Ingredients:
75g cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight and drained & rinsed
125g butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
250g brown rice macaroni or penne pasta
1 clove garlic
6 tbsp almond milk (I always use unsweetened)
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp turmeric
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Sweet paprika

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Place the butternut squash in a roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes.
3) Boil the pasta in a large saucepan as per the packet instructions. Drain and return to the saucepan.
4) While the pasta is cooking, whizz together the cashews, butternut squash, garlic, almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, turmeric and salt & pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
5) Pour the "cheese" sauce over the pasta and stir to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle with a little paprika to serve.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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Monday, 11 June 2018

Choco' Nut Smoothie

choco' nut smoothie

This has been my go-to energy boosting smoothie lately. It tastes so indulgent and is perfect for satisfying sweet cravings.

Three great health benefits: boosts mood, energy boosting, beneficial for heart health

Serves 1
Enjoy immediately

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
300ml almond milk
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
1 tsp maple syrup
Dash sea salt

Method:
1) Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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Friday, 8 June 2018

Broad Bean and Spinach Falafel

broad bean and spinach falafel

I adore falafel but because I eat them quite regularly, sometimes I like to switch up the recipe to keep things interesting. In this version, I've swapped the traditional chickpeas for broad beans and added spinach & parsley. They taste fresh & green- just like they look! The texture is soft, spongey and satisfying, making for the ideal lunch or dinner. I love serving these with minted coconut yoghurt which balances the slightly bitter "green" taste.

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, good source of fibre, anti-inflammatory.

Makes 7-8
Enjoy hot or cold

Ingredients:
375g frozen baby broad beans
1 tbsp olive oil
80g spinach
3-4 sprigs parsley
2 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper

Method:
1) Place the broad beans in a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
2) Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and grease a baking tray with the olive oil.
3) Place the broad beans in a food processor along with the spinach, parsley, gram flour, garlic, cumin and salt & pepper. Whizz until smooth.
4) Shape into domed balls, approximately the size of golf balls and place on the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy hot or cold.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
Photo credit: with thanks to www.tiffany-matthews.com 
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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Almond and Coconut Butter

almond and coconut butter

I like making my own nut butters but it's actually been a while since I last created a recipe for one. I decided to add coconut to the classic almond nut butter to give a summery twist. This tastes incredible on its own or with raspberry chia jam on top of toast, waffles, smoothie bowls, pancakes or porridge but for an added sense of indulgence, I also like to add a sprinkle of cacao nibs when using it.

Three great health benefits: promotes healthy skin, beneficial for bone health, energy boosting. 

Makes 1 jar
Keeps for a couple of weeks refrigerated in a jar or airtight container

Ingredients:
2 cups almonds
1 cup coconut flakes
Large pinch sea salt

Method:
1) Place the almonds in a food processor and whizz for approximately 1 minute, until they resemble crumbs.
2) Add the coconut flakes and salt and whizz until smooth, creamy and glossy. The time this takes will depend upon the power of your food processor and may require patience (mine took approx 10 minutes). It's important to pause every minute or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl and also to prevent the motor from overheating.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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Monday, 4 June 2018

Carrot and Sweet Potato Korma

carrot and sweet potato korma

I've posted quite a few curry recipes now but I wanted to create a milder version for those who can't tolerate spice. Personally, I rarely opt for korma (growing up with a South American mother has given me a pretty high spice tolerance!) but this particular recipe was inspired by my PT & friend, Alice, who doesn't like spicy foods but told me that she wants to be more adventurous in the kitchen. I hope that this will inspire Alice and others alike to try out this healthy twist on the classic Korma which tastes fragrant & flavourful (& even if you're a spice fiend like me, it's so yummy & easy to make that it's worth giving a try!). I like to serve this with quinoa as a lighter option than rice because it already contains carbs with the sweet potato.

Three great health benefits: promotes healthy skin, boosts immunity, anti-inflammatory 


Serves 2-3
Enjoy immediately


Ingredients: 
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp hot chilli powder
3 carrots, chopped (200g)
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bitesized pieces (325g)
1 x 400ml can coconut milk 
3 tbsp desiccated coconut (I always use unsweetened)
3 tbsp ground almonds
Sea salt & black pepper
2 tsp flaked almonds

Method: 
1) Warm the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat on the hob. Add the onion and lightly fry for a few minutes until softened. 
2) Next, add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly.
3) Stir in the spices (turmeric, garam masala, cumin, ground coriander and chilli) and cook for a further minute.
4) Add the carrot and sweet potato and stir, ensuring that they are covered in the spice mixture. 
5) Add the coconut milk and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, before adding the desiccated coconut & ground almonds. Season with salt & pepper. Stir and simmer for a further 5- 10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds to serve.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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Friday, 1 June 2018

Warm Aubergine Salad

warm aubergine salad
I love aubergines and generally always have one or two in the fridge, especially at this time of year when they are in season. I've previously raved about their versatility. This extends to their inclusion in salads too where their "meatiness" makes for a more substantial and satisfying dish, with this flavour-packed warm salad being the perfect example. I've included an easy dressing which incorporates cashew butter- it's ideal for those times when you crave a creamy dressing but don't want to wait for cashew nuts to soak.

Three great health benefits: beneficial for brain health, good source of fibre, boosts immunity.

Serves 1 as a main dish
Enjoy immediately

Ingredients:
1 aubergine (mine weighed 300g), chopped into bitesized cubes
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
2 handfuls rocket
1/4 cup walnut pieces
3 tbsp pomegranate seeds

For the salad dressing:
1 tbsp smooth cashew butter
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sea salt and black pepper

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Place the aubergine in a roasting tin and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil, ensuring that all of the aubergine pieces are evenly coated. Roast for 20 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, make the salad dressing by whisking together the cashew butter, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt & pepper. This will make more dressing than you need but you can keep the excess in an airtight container in the fridge.
4) Place the rocket in a serving dish or bowl and top with the warm aubergine, walnut and pomegranate. Drizzle with the dressing. Enjoy immediately.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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