And if I’ve piqued your interest about food made from scratch, take a look around my blog. You’re sure to find recipes to try out.
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.
Pin now and try later!!!
Well, at this time last year, we were in Hong Kong. He was on a work visit and I joined him for a few days, making sure that I’d be there for his birthday. We were living in a serviced apartment with minimal kitchen equipment and I knew that I simply had to make him something. What can one do with some spoons, forks and a butter knife, paired with a hand blender and a few plates? Not much, I tell you. So, off I went to the store and I saw a yummy vanilla and chocolate marbled sponge cake. I picked it and rushed to the dairy section to pick up some whipping cream. Just before he got back from work, I layered the cake and frosted it with some sweetened whipping cream and sliced up a kiwi that we’d picked up before and put on some cinnamon jelly beans. Well, this isn’t my proudest cake moment, but I got to tell you, I was pleased that I could put something together for him. Not to mention all this came together for less than 30 dollars, whereas a store bought cake was nothing less than 200. Yup, I went around and checked, but wasn’t too pleased with what I saw and was extremely skeptical of what it would taste like. So here’s what you get when your cake decorating equipment includes a hand blender, a butter knife and a plate.
This year, we called family over and had one of the most delicious barbecues ever. Usually, my dad handles all the meats, marinades and the grilling as well. This time, he wasn’t around. He was out of the country, working. So I tried my hand at the marinades, while the guys handled the grill. For fear of sounding like my trumpeter was dead (this is something my mum says to me, when I’m not being too humble), I must say, the food was a hit. We had some beef mince puffs to snack on while the grill was in action. We had a large bowl of some really wicked punch (with alcohol, unfortunately that disappeared even before I could get a picture of it. Note to self: We need a lot more punch next time.) We had barbecued pork chops, chicken in a tandoori masala, chicken liver on skewers with onion and capsicum. I wanted to add some freshness and variety to the meal so I decided to whip up a couple of salads. I think I got carried away, because here’s the list of sides we finally ended up with, a creamy mashed potato with crushed black pepper, a corn salsa, a tuna salad, a cole slaw, a cucumber salad with dill yogurt, some roasted bell peppers and pickled jalapeno peppers. All of this was made from scratch, including the mayonnaise used for the salad and the puff pastry used for the puffs. And of course, a huge chocolate cake. My husband is a chocoholic and I whipped up a rustic looking Nigella recipe that he absolutely loves. Here’s a peek at the spread. I will post the recipes to these in the following posts.
|Beef mince puffs|
|Cucumber salad with Dill yogurt|
|Roasted red & yellow bell peppers and pickled jalapeno peppers|
|Creamy mashed potato with crushed black pepper|
And last but not the least, the cake. I had to leave out all sort of jimmies and sprinkles because our nieces aren’t allowed to eat any colored food at the moment.
|Yummy Chocolate Cake|
Keep checking back for the recipes!!!