I mentioned in my kale crisps post how I’d been experimenting with different textures, and I wanted to explore that a little bit more in this post. The more posts I do, the more you’ll discover how completely obsessed I am with avocados. As a picky teenager, I used to DETEST the poor avocados; I think I’d had a traumatic experience with a very squishy, tasteless one, and it put me off for a long time. Bleurgh. It took me ages to tentatively climb back on the green bandwagon, and I mainly did it because they look so pretty. Yep. Aesthetically driven idiot. It was an absolute smash. What had I been doing with my life up til then? Why had I spurned the avocados? It hurts me deep down to think of how long I spent without an avocado in my life.
Maybe it’s because they can get a bit of a bad press with people who are dieting. ‘The calories!!! The fat!!!’ is a regular cry of people trying to lose a few pounds – despite the fact that avocados have been regularly tested and found to aid weight loss. So take that, dieters. You’ve got avocado all over your face. Also, yes, they are high calories, but it’s not like eating a cheesecake – avocados are full of excellent health benefits, like helping protect you against cancer, promoting eye health, lowering cholesterol, protecting against heart disease and strokes, as well as being packed full of Vitamin E. Find me the cheesecake that can do that, and I’ll show you an avocado that’s masquerading as a cheesecake. (By the way, I’m pretty sure that could be done…stay posted.)
Finding sources of creaminess is mega important in a vegan diet. If you’re sticking to one, you’ll find that while you feel fantastic after eating so much fruit and veg, you also kind of want something that’s easy to eat. That you don’t have to chew loads and really think about. This pasta dish feels very indulgent, and is actually pretty high in calories comparatively, but it’s fine once in a while. The lime and coarse salt makes me think of various Mexican dishes, and it’s a lovely Summer dish. Also, you’ll feel full for ages, thanks to the avocado and spaghetti. I get my spaghetti from the ‘Free from’ section in Waitrose, and it’s great stuff – it actually tastes like PROPER pasta! By the way, this is a great dish to give to people who are unimpressed by your vegan diet, just to see their faces as they go ‘hey…this actually tastes really good. Um…could I have some?’
Creamy avocado spaghetti
75g gluten free, dairy free spaghetti
1 clove garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Juice of half a lime
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
A few sprigs of basil
1. Boil some salted water and add your pasta. In my experience, most ‘free from’ pasta needs a fair amount of time to cook, so be sure it’s not too al dente. Unless that’s what you’re into.
2. I feel like all the recipes I’m giving you are super duper easy. But hey! Let’s not complain. Peel and dice your avocado, crush your garlic (I tried just chopping, and because I’ve got really good garlic it was waaay too much!), add your olive oil, sprinkle of cayenne, lime juice, basil and salt and combine them. Either use a blender or a hand mixer. It’s cool, man. I don’t judge.
3. Drain your pasta, add the avocado mixture and mix together. Quick, easy, AND delicious!
4. Season with pepper or salt if you need more, and decorate with a couple of basil leaves. Top with vegan parmesan if you please (I did!)
You can omit the cayenne if making it for children or those with a milder palate/use lemon instead of lime/use more olive oil if you want it more ‘liquid’/use coriander instead of basil/forget the pasta and use it as a dip instead/
Nutritional info per serving calories: 444/calories from fat: 155/total fat: 17.2g/saturated fat: 2.8g/cholesterol: omg/total carbohydrates: 62.6g/dietary fiber: 11.7g/protein: 11.1g/
Benefits No cholesterol/low in sugar/high in dietary fibre/full of avocado-y goodness/
But it is fairly high in calories
Recipe adapted from the gorgeous Oh She Glows website.