Avocado Pesto Pasta: The Smart Baby Cookbook – Lauren Cheney

SmartBabyCookbook_cover_SML

Smart Baby Cookbook by Lauren Cheney (Murdoch Books RRP $24.99)

 

AVOCADO PESTO PASTA

A deceptively light and summery pasta, combining a dizzying array of flavours and textures, this dish will be a firm family favourite in no time.” p112

Making time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

180 g (6¼ oz/2 cups) pasta, such as spirals or bowties
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) grape tomatoes, quartered
Basil leaves, to serve
65 g (2½ oz/½ cup) crumbled feta cheese

Avocado, Spinach & Basil Pesto
25 g (1 oz/½ cup) baby spinach leaves
2 avocados, halved
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
50 g (1¾ oz/1 cup) basil leaves
50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons olive oil
25 g (1 oz/¼ cup) grated parmesan cheese

 

Cook the pasta according to the packet directions. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Wilt the spinach leaves by pouring boiling water over them in a bowl and stirring well. Drain and squeeze dry.

Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor and add the spinach, lemon juice, garlic, basil and pine nuts. Process until smooth, drizzling the oil in slowly. Finally, add the grated parmesan.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and toss quickly, then add the pasta, pesto to taste and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a sauce-like consistency. Gently toss until just combined.

Remove baby’s portion before scattering with basil leaves and crumbled feta.

FOR BABY:
Purée to the desired consistency or cut into bite-size pieces to serve as finger food.

ALL GROWN UP:
Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. If you like a bit of heat then add some finely chopped chilli.

SMART TIP
Avocado is nutrient dense with more than 20 minerals and vitamins.

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California ‘Fried’ Chicken Sandwich – Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Fit Food

Ultimate Fit Food

Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Fit Food ($39.99), published by Hachette Australia.

Photographer Jamie Orlando Smith

 

 

California ‘fried’ chicken sandwich

SERVES 4

As a family with four teenage children, we are always looking for healthy ways of preparing not-so-healthy fast food favourites like pizza, burgers and fried chicken. This recipe is brilliant because it looks and tastes like a fried chicken sandwich, with the satisfying crunch from the chicken and the creaminess of the mayo, but is actually made with baked chicken and a yoghurt dressing. The kids love it, we know they’re eating well and everyone’s happy.” p. 224

50g wholemeal flour
200ml buttermilk (or 2 eggs, beaten)
150g puffed rice
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder or granules
4 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried sage
8 mini chicken breast fillets
4 wholemeal buns
1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mexican hot sauce such as Cholula (optional), to serve

FOR THE YOGHURT DRESSING

75ml Greek yoghurt
½ garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp cider vinegar

California "fried" chicken sandwich

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4.
  2. Put the flour, buttermilk and puffed rice into three shallow bowls. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and dried sage to the buttermilk and mix well. Crush the puffed rice with your hands so that the pieces are broken down slightly but not powdered.
  3. Dip a piece of chicken into the flour so that it is completely covered. Remove and shake off any excess, then dip into the buttermilk. Allow any excess buttermilk to drip off, then put the chicken pieces into the puffed rice. Turn over to make sure they are completely coated, then place on a baking tray. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  4. Put the tray into the preheated oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking.
  5. Meanwhile, make the yoghurt dressing; mix together the yoghurt, crushed garlic and vinegar with a little salt and pepper. Taste and add more vinegar if needed.
  6. Slice open the buns and divide the avocado slices between them. Top with shredded iceberg lettuce.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, place on top of the lettuce and spoon over dollops of the yoghurt dressing, as well as a drizzle of hot sauce, if desired. Close the buns and serve immediately.

PER SERVING

KCAL 510

FAT (g) 13.0

SATURATES (g) 4.0

CARBS (g) 67.0

SUGARS (g) 10.0

FIBRE (g) 8.0

PROTEIN (g) 27.0

SALT (g) 1.30

 

 

Fennel and Orange Salad: Neil Perry’s Good Cooking – Neil Perry

neil-perrys-good-cooking-coverImages and recipes from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking by Neil Perry (Murdoch Books) $49.99

Fennel and orange salad

Serves 4

“Use blood oranges when they’re in season or add some shaved raw globe artichokes.” (p.76)

fennel-and-orange-salad

Ingredients

1 large fennel bulb, halved lengthways  and thinly sliced

3 baby red radishes, thinly sliced

2 oranges, rind and white pith removed, sliced into rounds

1 large avocado, quartered and sliced

seeds of 1/2 pomegranate

2 tablespoons dill sprigs (optional)

 

Orange dressing

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

 

Method

 

To make the dressing, whisk the orange and lemon juices together in a small bowl with the olive oil until well combined. Season to taste.

 

Add the fennel, radishes, orange slices, avocado, pomegranate seeds and dill sprigs, if using, to a large bowl. Pour over the dressing and gently toss together to coat. Serve immediately.