Monthly Archives

October 2016

Yummy Things

Avocado Is The New Butter

avocado-1461159087PA9Avocados are one of my favorite foods and I could literally eat them at every meal. They’re not only delicious, but they also have a ton of health benefits too. I think they’re great in salads, on a burger, in an omelet or in a sandwich.

I’ve always loved to smear avocado on toast, which is a healthier alternative to butter, but until recently, my little trick never had a name. The chefs now call this creation “avocado toast” and it has gone mainstream. Whether you prepare the avocado toast plain or with added toppings, it will taste delicious especially if you’re an avocado fan like me. I’ve seen it on breakfast and lunch menus all over LA and each chef has their own version. Le Pain Quotidien, Rose Cafe in Venice, CA and Groundworks in Santa Monica are all a sure bet. Even the brand new vegan restaurant on the 3rd floor of the Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills store has avocado toast on their menu.

Thankfully, avocado toast is very easy to make and oh so yummy. I mean….you have bread, yum. You have toast, yum and you have avocado, yum. How can you beat that? Below are a few suggestions and tips to help make your creation the absolute best. 

The quality of the bread you choose is really important because it’s the foundation of your avocado toast. I suggest you buy a crusty bread like a hearty multi-grain, farmer’s market sourdough or a french baguette. If you can get this cut thick at a bakery – even better.

bread-selection

I’ve learned that after toasting the bread, it’s super tasty if you rub a peeled garlic clove over the top. All it needs is 2 gentle swipes and a sprinkle of salt on top. Next, get your avocado, cut it in half and remove the pit.

Here’s a Tip: I’ve found the best way to remove the pit is by sticking the point of a sharp knife inside the pit. Make sure it’s in there securely and then pull the pit out using the knife that is still stuck inside it. You’ll find that the pit will come out of a ripe avocado easily. Lastly, I use a spoon to scoop out all of the avocado and start smashing it in a bowl or on a plate.

plain-avocado-toast

Here is a recap of the steps to making delicious avocado toast:

  1. Toast the thick bread
  2. Rub a peeled garlic clove on it. (just a few gentle swipes – don’t overdo it) *This is optional if you’re not a garlic lover
  3. Drizzle olive oil on the bread
  4. Sprinkle some salt on top
  5. Smash (Mash) the avocado
  6. Sprinkle a little salt on the avocado
  7. Add anything else you’d like (see below)
  8. Drizzle the top with a little more olive oil
  9. Be creative and try other combinations – this is your toast!

avocado-toast

Here are some of my favorite twists and toppings:

A little bit of fresh lemon juice and cracked pepper.

A fried or poached egg.

Sliced tomatoes or cucumber.

A sprinkle of red pepper flakes, sesame seeds.  

Smoked salmon and purple onions.

At your next brunch party, you might want to think about having an avocado toast bar, kind of like a salad bar where you can add different toppings on it. If you like avocados as much as I do, you’re gonna get hooked just like me.

 

 

Follow @LemonadeToLace on Instagram to see this and more of Barbara’s favorite things. Use #L2L to show off your avocado toast creations!

 

 

 

Yummy Things

Superfood Alert!

acai-bowl

Superfood Alert!

People living here in LA grab onto food fads (not just fashion fads) at lightning speed. Seriously folks, it seems that every week there’s a new healthy “must try” spot or product popping up in my little Santa Monica world.

In Texas, my peeps didn’t talk about cleanses, juicing, gluten-free or vegan diets or the Vitamix blender. I honestly had to do some homework and learn what all this talk was about upon moving here. And just when I thought I had a grasp on it – the new rage of “bowls” and “superfoods” popped up. Time to do homework again…

Below is the scoop on bee pollen, hemp seeds and chia seeds: the superfoods (as they are called) which are appearing on menus at health food cafes, smoothie joints and juice bars. These vegetarian superfoods are being offered as healthy “extras” to add a nutritional boost to whatever your little heart desires. They are especially popular with people on a plant based diet and when you read the info below, you’ll see why.

Bee Pollen

Pollen is the seed of male flowers and it’s collected by young bees as their main food supply. By weight, bee pollen is richer in proteins and amino acids than any animal source out there which is probably why we’ve been hearing a lot of hype about it. Here’s the deal: it contains 22 amino acids which is more than that in beef, eggs or cheese of equal weight. Amazing!

It’s also loaded with all kinds of vitamins including b-complex and folic acid. The other cool thing I learned about bee pollen is that it’s been used as an effective treatment for seasonal allergies and supposedly helps boost energy and vitality. An easy way to add it into your diet is to sprinkle it on a bowl of yogurt, oatmeal or fruit or you can even add it to your morning smoothies.

Hemp Seeds

I never dreamed that hemp seeds would be considered a superfood but guess what…they are. They are offered as an addition to any juice or item on the menu at one of my favorite spots on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica called Beaming. And mind you, I’m not a full-on health nut but I love their smoothies and bowls. Hemp seeds are an amazing source of protein, fiber and healthy fats in the form of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.  Like bee pollen, they make a healthy and beautiful addition to any smoothie bowl or yogurt parfait. You should try it the next time you make a smoothie.

Chia Seeds

And last but not least, we have chia seeds. You’re probably asking yourself what’s the big deal with this superfood? Well, these little seeds happen to be the second highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids right behind flax seeds. The difference is that they don’t need to be ground up like flax to be good for you. They’re incredibly high in fiber and loaded with many cool antioxidants, too. Chia seeds are flavorless so they can easily be added to any dish. A fun way to enjoy them is by using them to create a sweet treat like chia seed pudding because they turn any liquid into gelatin.

The next time you’re at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or your neighborhood smoothie joint, check to see if they have these superfoods and add one of them to your next bowl of yogurt or your smoothie and think of it as your healthy “plus one”. And you know what I say: bring it on.