Now that I am digging myself out of the whole “gimme-a-cinnamon-roll-for-breakfast-and-for-second-lunch-and-for-dessert-after-supper-too” stage of pregnancy it is time that I start making real food again for my family. After having Alfie, I started craving not just healthier food, like big leafy salads and fresh summer veggies on the grill, but time spent in my kitchen again, chopping and stirring and creating. We got into a major rut eating around town and getting carry out for those ten months I was growing little bub and it started to take its toll. Not that going out for street tacos three (sometimes four) nights a week is a bad thing! But, still. It came to a point where my body, all our bodies, needed wholesome nourishment and home cooked meals again. And what a perfect time to do so as autumn is upon us.
Being intentional with my time in the kitchen bent over our wood chopping block is my happy place. It always has been. It’s the perfect place for me to slow down and let the day’s crazy just wash off of me. Sometimes I’ll pour a red wine into a small canning jar and sip as I go. Other times, squeeze a big slice of lemon or orange into ice water, drinking as I add this and that to my cast iron pots. Going almost a full year neglecting this happy ritual of mine left a little empty space in my soul, I must admit. It feels really nice to be back at it, coming up with new recipes for my family to enjoy.
Here’s one we all love and something I make quite frequently for the kids come lunchtime. It’s easy to whip up and allows for maximum creativity if you are in the right mood, as you can really spice things up or add whatever is in your fridge to complete this dish. But of course, you an always opt to keep things simple and leave it alone, perhaps with a dusting of parm cheese to taste.
Dried noodles, a cup or so worth
2 ripe avocados
1-2 garlic cloves (depending on how garlicy you like things)
The juice of one lemon, go ahead and add the zest too if you fancy
A few mild garden peppers (I used poblano)
A large handful of basil leaves
A good swirling of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare, cook your noodles until al dente. Set those aside and make your sauce. In a food processor, add all remaining ingredients except for the olive oil. Pulse it well so the garlic and peppers get incorporated, making a smooth puree. Once you’ve hit that stage, start drizzling in the olive oil to make your avocado mixture extra creamy. At this point, you can add as much or as little as you like. I added about a fourth of a cup, or a few good glugs for those who prefer glug measurements. Once whipped to your liking, use a long wooden spoon and mix the avocado spread with your warm noodles. Serve with some fresh grated parmesan cheese on top and eat away!
You can easily add meat to this for protein or even white butter beans to give it more of a hearty note. Some marinated vegetables like artichokes or charred sweet corn, or even a few simple sautéed mushrooms would easily take this to a whole other level of goodness. Just take a peek in your fridge to see what needs to be used up, like that pancetta you cut into for breakfast the other morning, and go from there!