Don’t make the mistake of thinking avocados are fattening! The often over-looked avocado is a delicious, creamy superfood that’s simply too health-boosting to skip. Avocados contain a myriad of healthy fats and nutrients including oleic acid, lutein, folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione. They can help protect your body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases. Avocados taste great and are easily integrated into any meal – or even a fruit smoothie. Add a half an avocado to smoothies to add creamy texture and a powerful nutritional boost, or enjoy an avocado half as a nutritious “side” to your morning omelette instead of toast.
It’s avocado season right now so take advantage of the cheap prices at your local fruit and veg shops. Here’s a delicious recipe we can’t wait to try:
Avocado, Pumpkin, Haloumi and Quinoa Salad
Courtesy of Nadia Lim – www.nadia.co.nz
Prep Time: 20-25 mins
Cook Time: 20-25 mins
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon runny honey
500g peeled pumpkin, cut into 2-3cm chunks
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
Flesh of 2 firm ripe avocadoes, sliced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
6-8 medjool dates, stone removed, chopped
Handful of baby rocket or spinach leaves
¾ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
200-250g haloumi cheese, sliced 0.5cm thick
2 grilled chicken breasts (optional), sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon liquid honey
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200degC.
Line an oven tray with baking paper.
Toss pumpkin with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey in prepared tray. Roast until slightly caramelised, 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Combine quinoa and stock/water (with a pinch of salt) in a medium-size pot and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce to lowest heat to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to steam, still covered, for 10 minutes.
Fluff up quinoa grains with a fork and toss with roast pumpkin and remaining quinoa salad ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a fry pan on medium heat and cook haloumi slices for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown, and melted on the inside. Mix all dressing ingredients together and toss with quinoa salad. To serve, divide quinoa salad between bowls and top with slices of cooked haloumi and grilled chicken breast if using.
For more great avocado recipes and to learn more about the nutritional content click here http://www.nzavocado.co.nz/online/recipes.csn