Pesto Pasta

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Photography and styling by myself

One of my recent food obsessions is pasta, and credit for my obsession goes to my awesome sister for talking about pasta all the time, although a lot of the blame also lies on Clean Eating Goddess who has an incredible variety of delicious pasta recipes up on her site! I simply can’t resist any of her vegetarian pasta options, so today I present to you the greenest pasta I’ve ever enjoyed, the Green Goddess Pasta.

Unfortunately I made a slip up with the amount of sea salt added to the pesto which resulted in a saltier version than I would have otherwise enjoyed. On the bright side however, I now understand what it means when they state “a pinch of salt” in a recipe. It’s literally a pinch. Thankfully it didn’t matter so much because with an awesome recipe and ingredients, the end result more than made up for it compared to my usual average pasta-sauce-straight-out-of-a-jar adventures.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups fresh basil leaves

3 heaped tbsp pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of1 lemon

a pinch of sea salt

500g spinach fettucine

4 tbsp frozen peas (divided in half)

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 ripe avocados

1 tbsp almond flour/powder (for garnish)

Serves 4

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bake the pine nuts at 150 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.

2. Add basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic cloves, lemon juice and salt into a blender. Blend on low speed, slowly incorporating all the olive oil. Blend until a smooth pesto paste is formed.

3. Boil pasta in highly salted water until al dente.

4. Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in the same way as above, and de-seed and mash the two avocados using a fork.

5. Combine pasta, half the pumpkin seeds, peas, pesto and mashed avocados in a pan on med-low heat. Toss until pasta is well coated.

6. Serve while hot. Garnish with the remaining pumpkin seeds and almond powder. Enjoy.

Avcocado Brownie Cake

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Photos by myself

As obsessed with avocados as I am, I simply could not resist trying out this recipe from Clean Eating Goddess as I had never heard of avocados in a dessert before! Then again, Clean Eating Goddess is prone to using all sorts of interesting and unorthodox ingredients (like beans in dessert) in her recipes, and the results are always quite commendable. This one was exceedingly popular among the dark chocolate lovers amongst my friends and family, and I can assure you that any one who loves dark chocolate will not be able to get enough of these! I recently baked one of these as a cake for my cousin’s 21st birthday, simply opting to keep it in its original shape and dusting the top with icing sugar. This is the most decadent chocolate brownie cake you will ever savor, and if you pay attention, you can most definitely taste the zing of cayenne pepper in it. Not to mention the aftertaste of avocado in every bite. Highly recommended for chocoholics.

Ingredients:

2 very ripe avocados
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 100g bar of 70% dark chocolate, substitute with milk chocolate if you prefer
1/2 cup almond flour
1 cup honey
3 eggs
1 tbsp flax seed
3 tbsp almond milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Using a mixer, whip the eggs, almond milk, flax seed and honey in a large bowl until fluffy.

2. Break up the chocolate bar and melt the pieces using a double boiler, or any method you prefer. I used a water bath.

3. Once all the chocolate has melted, pour it into the existing mixture. Add cocoa powder and mix well.

4. Using a spatula or spoon, mix in the almond flour, salt, cayenne pepper, vanilla essence and baking powder.

5. De-seed avocados and blend them till smooth in an electric blender.

6. Fold the blended avocado into the existing mixture using a spoon/spatula.

7. Once everything is well mixed, pour into a 7×9 or 8×8 baking tray lined with parchment paper.

8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and bake for 35 minutes or more, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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