Avocado Pasta Salad

Its hard to believe that its only the first month of Spring right now. We’ve had a few scorchers already and its starting to feel like Summer is long to be a long and hot one. While I enjoy the extra daylight and the bounty of fruit, veg and flowers and beautiful beach days that summer brings, I cannot cope with HOT days. Last weekend was one such scorcher, thanks to the second heatwave of the season. I don’t know about you, but on such days, I cannot even think of putting the stove or the oven on, much less standing near it. I think I see a lot of salads and sandwiches for lunch this Summer.

I tried out this amazing Avocado Pasta Salad over the weekend and it was a big hit. There is a little stove time involved to boil the pasta and to fry the bacon, but the end result is so good, I’d say it was well worth it. I can’t wait for the next potluck or picnic, because I know that this salad will make an appearance.

The dressing is an avocado based one and is super easy to make. If you have an immersion blender, you life will be even easier. If not, just use your regular blender and you’ll be sorted. Basically all the ingredients for the dressing get blitzed together and ta-da …. you have yourself a salad dressing. I love recipes that are as easy as this. The ingredient list for the salad is just an approximation of what I used. Feel free to adjust as needed.

Avocado Pasta Salad
Serves 4 (as Main Course)
Adapted from: Spend with Pennies

2 cups uncooked Macaroni
1/4 onion, finely chopped (use a sweeter onion if you can’t stand the heat from a raw onion. You can also use a couple of spring onions, finely sliced)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup boiled / roast chicken, shredded
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 avocado, diced
4 rashers of bacon, fried till crisp and chopped / crumbled
1/4-1/3 capsicum (I used green because thats all I had. You can use red or yellow too, or even a combination of them.)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

For the dressing – 
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (use the leaves and the stalks)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Boil the pasta till al dente, following the package instructions. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta down. Drain and set aside.

Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling, salted water till it is a vibrant green, about 30 seconds to a minute, depending on how crunchy you like your broccoli. Immediately drain and immerse the broccoli in ice cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Drain and keep aside.

In the same pot of boiling water, boil your sweet corn kernels till done. Drain and set aside.

Get your salad ingredients ready.

For the dressing, simply blitz all the ingredients together.

Toss the salad in the dressing and refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy!!!

Pin now and try later!!!

Avocado Toast two ways for breakfast

I have to admit, I joined the Avocado Toast movement much later than I should have. No, no, I didn’t wait till yesterday. I’ve had a few orders of these at cafes around the city. And finally, I got around to trying them out at home.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m totally smitten with avocado. I can eat them plain, maybe topped with a tiny sprinkling of salt and a squeeze of lime. I love the way an avocado lends itself to so many recipes and uses. It is creamy, picks up flavors so well and can cool down an otherwise spiced up meal. I have tried a chunky guacamole before and I can just eat that stuff by the spoonful. Throw in a few tortilla chips and I can have a party for one (**wink, wink). I have also attempted a quick and easy Chocolate Avocado Mousse – so very delicious and it makes a perfect eggless mousse option. I can’t wait to try out many more recipes using avocado. What is your favorite way to enjoy an avocado? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to try it out too.
Now, onto the Avocado toast I made for breakfast over the weekend. Since this was a first attempt for me, I decided to keep it simple. I’ve seen some pretty extravagant avocado toast options around and maybe someday I will try them out too. But there’s nothing wrong with simple. And simple and yummy makes it even better. So if you love ordering avocado toast at a cafe, I urge you to get into the kitchen and try whipping some up yourself. You will save yourself a heap of cash (which means more avocado for you.) The Lord knows these little green gems cost an arm. Speaking of which, if you find yourself around a Harris Farm Markets outlet, check out their Imperfect Picks range. They have mini avocados for $7.99 a kilo, when I saw them last. A lot of fruit and veg is discarded because of ridiculous aesthetic standards maintained by large supermarket chains and anything that doesn’t meet those specifications usually ends up in a landfill. These minis are so tasty but would typically be discarded because of their size. And how wrong is that. I love the Imperfect Picks range and urge you to support them too if you have the option. 
Back to the avocado toast. I made two options for hubby and me. One savory and one sweet. It made for a very satisfying breakfast and couldn’t have been simpler to put together. Our savory one had a fried egg on top and our sweet one had some banana and maple syrup. There are no strict quantities for this recipe, so feel free to have some fun with it.
Avocado Toast with Egg
1 slice of bread, toasted to your liking
1/2 small avocado or 1/4 large
1 egg, fried to your liking (you could also use a poached or a boiled egg, if you prefer)
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Cut the avocado in half and discard the seed. 
Scoop out the flesh and roughly mash it up with a fork.
Spread the avocado over the toast.
Top that with an egg. I used a fried egg, sunny side up.
Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top.
Enjoy!!!
Avocado Toast with Banana, Maple Syrup and Sunflower Seeds

1 slice of bread, toasted to your liking
1/2 small avocado or 1/4 large
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
Maple syrup, to drizzle over, to taste
Cinnamon powder
Cut the avocado in half and discard the seed. 
Scoop out the flesh and roughly mash it up with a fork.
Spread the avocado over the toast.
Top that with the banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, the sunflower seeds and lastly, a drizzle of maple syrup.
Enjoy!!!
Note: I haven’t been compensated by Harris Farm Markets for this post. The opinions stated here are my own and I’ve shared it with you because I strongly believe we can cut down waste as a society by just being more aware.