Lentil & Avocado Salad with Radish Leaf Dressing (v)

Since I really started taking into consideration the amount of sugar that I was inadvertently eating, one of the things that I have cut out of my diet is ready prepared salad dressings. I thought that I was being careful by choosing the low fat varieties but, as it with so many “healthy” alternatives, the fat is replaced by sugar or sugar substitutes to make them so tasty. But, I love a salad dressing, I think it really makes the leaves, nuts, meats and fruits come together so I have been experimenting over the last few days with some of my own dressings (or adapting the good ideas of others).

This week in my Thursday vegetable box there was a recipe card for a dressing made using radish leaves. I have never considered using the leaves of radishes for anything other than adding to Colin and Bob’s (the family gineau pigs) daily salad bowl along with the carrot tops and celery ends and I was quite skeptical about it. I need not have been. As a cross between a pesto and a dressing it is quite delicious and so very versatile.

RadishFor the dressing

  • A handful of radish leaves, washed to remove any grit or dirt
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • A clove of garlic
  • A good glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • A handful of pine nuts
  • Some water to loosen

Add all the ingredients apart from the water to a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. A little a time add some water to loosen the mixture so it has a more runny consistency.

For the salad

  • A ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
  • Ten or so radishes, thinly sliced
  • A can (400g) of green lentils, drained

Pop all the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour over the dressing, fold all the ingredients together carefully before serving.

Delicious with buttered new potatoes and grilled chicken.

Lentil & Avocado Salad with Radish Leaf Dressing

Adapted from an Abel & Cole recipe (abelandcole.co.uk)

Chocolate Avocado Mousse (v)

We have been having some, let’s say, issues at home recently surrounding behaviour. My son can be a contrary, bad tempered little so-and-so when he wants and has a fairly lively temper on him for which I am constantly seeking answers (more on that later). Yesterday, after a particularly fractious afternoon, I came across a post on a message board about additives in food and how they can affect children’s behaviour.  I realise that I am probably clutching at straws and that his behaviour stems from something other than his nutritional intake but when I started to think about it, I realised that over a three day period he had eaten and drunk a fair amount of rubbish.

And so, last night I went through the cupboards and disposed of the huge bucket of Haribo that he has steadily been working down since Halloween, the cans of fizzy pop and the biscuits (more my issue than his but if he can’t have sweets then I shouldn’t be indulging my biscuit habit) and started to think about alternatives that we could have for desserts and treats.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

I was sceptical to say the least when I decided to have a whirl at making a chocolate mousse made from avocados. I love avocados, give me a good dollop of guacamole any day, but for dessert????? It just sounded wrong.

But, as we soon discovered after lunch this morning, it was me rather than the avocado that was wrong.

It is a more unusual taste to mass produced mousse but I have probably had my palate  spoiled by chocolate “flavour” Angel Delight and pots of Aero and should have never expected a similarity. The texture is light but not as aerated and the flavour much more intense. You actually have to eat it rather than just being able to swallow it without really noticing it was ever there.

We enjoyed it with strawberries to dip in as they mellowed the flavour and made the mousse go further. This recipe makes just a small bowl, but it is more than enough for four people with fruit accompaniments.

  • One avocado
  • One tablespoon of good quality cocoa powder
  • One tablespoon of honey
  • Two tablespoons of water
  • Fruit to serve

Scoop the flesh from the avocado and put it in a blender. Add the cocoa powder, honey and one tablespoon of water. Give it a good whizz until it is smooth. Using a knife scrape the mixture back in to the middle of the blender and whizz it again ensuring that all the avocado has been processed. Add the remaining water if the mixture needs loosening.

Scrape the mousse in to a small bowl and refrigerate for an hour before giving to the chief  taster for approval.

Chief Taster