Minted pea and avocado dip

We've been wondering about whether to try planting an avocado tree in our garden.....We both love avocados, and there is a variety that grows in our area....but I just worry about what we will do if we get a big crop of avocados.

With most fruit or vegetables, there are ways to preserve them and keep enjoying a bumper crop for months ahead, but I don't know of anyway to preserve avocados.  Do you?

Anyhow, while we make our decision, I made a lovely minted pea and avocado dip for our friends coming around this evening.

Here's the recipe:
1 avocado
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
2 brazil nuts
handful fresh mint leaves
juice of a lime
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 - 2 tablespoons water

If using frozen peas, rinse them in water to defrost them.

Add all the ingredients, except the water to a food processor and process until smooth. Check the consistency - as this will vary depending on how juicy the lime is - and add water until you get a smooth dip consistency that you like.

Serve on toast or on crackers or as a dip.

You can see in an earlier photo that I made some homemade fat free potato chips/crisps to go with it.  Just sliced potato, crispened in the microwave.

Chilled Pea and mint soup

It's hot here! In the 90's so I've been trying a few new chilled soups.

Here's a particularly "green" one!  Chilled Pea and Mint Soup. The color is quite shocking don't you think?

Made with fresh English peas and mint from the garden.

Did you know mint is a good antacid, so helps with digestion (and relieves flatulence!)? Try chewing on a leaf after your meal.  It also helps with morning sickness.

I had a bowl of the soup with some of my almond and flax flatbread.  Yum!

Did you know that mint has a square stem?  Other plant families have square stems, but not many...and not all plants in the mint family have square stems - but it is still a useful family "trait"! Other herbs and plants in the same family include basil, bee balm, catmint, chia seeds, lavender, lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme!  It seems like a diverse group of herbs/plants rather than a family,  but if you look at their flowers and how their leaves are arranged, you can see the similarities. 

Tomorrow in my food as medicine class we are making two other chilled soups so I'll see if I remember my camera and take some snaps to show you. 

Are you keeping cool or do you live somewhere where you need to still keep warm?
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Vibrant Quinoa Salad

I made this lovely green quinoa salad for some friends last week, when they visited for lunch.

It is very easy to make and seems so perfect for springtime with the lovely green colors.  It tastes nice and fresh with the lemon juice and mint.

Give it a try and let me know what you think:

1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
4 scallions/spring onions, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup frozen green garbanzos
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 bunch mint, chopped
1/4 cucumber, diced

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve to remove the bitter coating.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the quinoa.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. When its cooked, the quinoa should still have a little crunch.  Rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.  Place in a large bowl.
  3. Put the green garbanzo beans and peas in boiling water and cook briefly for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.  Add to the quinoa.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well. Serve.
  5. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Can be made in advance.
You can obviously add whatever vegetables you like to this dish. I like the green garbanzo beans - as they are new in the stores here, so its good to find a nice dish for them...but you could use sugar snaps or edamame or another vegetables instead.  You could also try celery, or green pumpkin seeds or green pistachios.

The dish provides a good protein source and calcium from the quinoa, and plenty of different phytonutrients from the vegetables and lemon.  The cumin is rich in phytoestrogens and may help with osteoporosis and diabetes.

Black cumin coleslaw

I make a lot of coleslaw at home. We both really enjoy it - especially the crunch of the cabbage and all the other vegetables.  Rarely a week goes by without me making some version or another.  Here is this week's:

In this last batch I added a new ingredient - black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa).  I've just come across black cumin as I've been researching for my class on spices next week. It's a yummy spice - not related to cumin to cumin at all. It went well with the coleslaw.  I'll be writing more about it in the next few days as it has lots of healing properties.

As well as cabbage and black cumin there was also carrots, celery, chives, dried montmorency cherries, mint and sun-dried tomatoes. The dressing was an eggless vegan mayonnaise with lots of fresh lemon juice added.

Sadly today the mint had gone a bit brown, so I pulled all that out - note to self to not add mint if I'm not eating it all in one day! But I'll definitely be adding black cumin seeds to the recipe on a regular basis.

Do you make your own slaw? What is your favorite ingredient?