To say that I overindulged during my recent holiday would be an understatement of epic proportions. I ate and drunk with complete abandon, knowing full well that something must be done to get back on a healthier track once I returned home.
I have been reading on the Whole 30 and Real Food for 100 Days food challenges on Red Online and I almost think I need to set myself something like this in order to realign my eating habits (Pringles and beer are out, sadly). But another part of me knows very well that the more I restrict myself the more I want to eat all the foods I am not supposed to. The real challenge would be to eat healthy and sensibly without making certain food groups the bad guys. Fitting regular exercise in is the key and the hardest thing to achieve as I tend to devote myself to freelance work or blogging in the evenings.
The Vitamix (how I missed it!) is a fantastic ally in creating healthier recipes – a vegetable-packed smoothie is such a good breakfast option and I will be posting more smoothie recipes in the coming weeks. But first I have to share this recipe for Avocado, wild rocket and cashew pesto. Anything with avocado in it gets the thumbs up from me but this pesto is out-of-this-world tasty. It’s also vegan, vegetarian and Paleo depending on how you serve it.
Avocado, wild rocket and cashew pesto
Serves 4, generously
2 ripe but firm avocados
100g | 3.5 (unsalted) cashew nuts
80g | 2.8 oz wild rocket (arugula)
1 lemon, peeled and quartered or more, to taste
2-3 tbsp avocado oil
2 good pinches salt
2 dashes Tabasco
Freshly ground black pepper, to serve
1 tbsp crushed cashews to serve (optional)
1. Soak the cashew nuts in enough water to cover them for an hour. This softens them and creates a creamier pesto but you can skip this step, if you like.
2. Put all the ingredients in the Vitamix, starting with the cashews, followed with the lemon, avocado, oil and finally the rocket and seasonings. Turn the dial to 1 and pulse until the ingredients start to combine. Use the tamper to push the rocket down.
3. Once the ingredients are roughly combined, increase the speed to liquidise the pesto – or turn the dial to the ‘purée’ option.
• This can be served as a dip with crudités or flatbread or used as a sandwich filling.
• Serve with spaghetti (wholewheat preferably) or buckwheat noodles. This tastes really good cold so a good option for pasta salads with orzo.
• Serve with courgetti (zucchini noodles) for a paleo / raw/ vegan / vegetarian option.
• Goes really well with grilled fish and steak as a dressing.
Add 50g (1.7 oz) Parmesan cheese and grate more on top if you serve with pasta.
Replace the lemon with lime for a sharper taste.