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Tomato and Avocado Toast with Balsamic Syrup

Avocado Toast

 

Avocados.

Hard to believe there was a time I didn’t like them.  When I was younger they seemed weirdly textured, even more weirdly colored, and devoid of taste.  At that time the avocado hadn’t achieved the status it has today, being used primarily for guacamole and not much else.  Even then, the guacamole served in most restaurants was slimy-not the chunky, complex versions of today.

I just finished reading several reviews of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s all Easy:  Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.  Apparently, it’s a visually beautifully book with overly simple recipes-good for some, but not necessarily for experienced cooks.  Although I haven’t check it out firsthand, one particular reviewer stated they were disappointed to find  several pages  solely dedicated to making avocado toast.  Don’t get me wrong-I like Gwyneth more than the internet does on most days.  I own one of her previous cookbooks, It’s all Good, and I’ve even made a few things from it (it’s been a while, though); however, I acquired the book primarily for the stunning photography by Ditte Isager.

The real question is this:  Do we really need a recipe for avocado toast?

I make avocado toast a lot.  Like, A WHOLE LOT. It’s filling, good for you, and, as with eggs, it can be dressed up pretty nicely and stand in for any meal.    This variation elevates the toast by the addition of tomatoes and an easy to make balsamic syrup that can also be used with other dishes, such as grilled vegetables and salad dressings.

Just for laughs…a love letter to Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxurious cookbook sweaters

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Tomato and Avocado Balsamic Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces multigrain bread, toasted to preference
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the balsamic syrup: Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until it is reduced to 3-4 Tablespoons. Keep an eye on it-once it starts reducing it cooks fast and I have burned it a time or two. Remove from heat and pour in a small bowl or dish to cool while you assemble your toast.

Layer each piece of toast with avocado and a pinch of red pepper. You can slice the avocado if you want it to be pretty, or simply mash and spread with a fork impatiently like me. Top with tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar over the toast. Enjoy perfection!

http://fiercelyfresh.com/2016/05/tomato-and-avocado-toast-with-balsamic-syrup/

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Date and Banana Smoothie and a New Series: Healthy Snacks

 

banana date smoothie

Snacking is everything.

It’s the thing we associate with socializing and movie-watching.  It keeps us going until the next meal.  It sustains us on road trips, airplanes, and really looooong days at work.

I had a conversation with a coworker about healthy snacking the other day.  She admitted to being stumped sometimes as to what to give her kids.  She wanted options that are easy, filling, lower in sugar, easy for small hands to hold, and lunch-packable….pretty much what most grown-ups want, too (except for maybe the small hands part).  I had several posts planned ahead and realized that they fit into the category of healthy snacks.  A series is born.  For the next few weeks, I will be featuring snacks than can be thrown together quickly (some might even pass for a meal in a bind).

Dates are something I usually have on hand in my pantry.  They can be chopped up to make granola barsthese date nut bites, or this brussel sprout salad.  The trick to making this smoothie, well…smooth is to use really fresh dates (which can usually be found in the produce section or dried fruit section of your grocery store).  If your dates are a bit old, you can revive them by placing them in a shallow bowl and covering them with water for 30 minutes.

 

 

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Banana Date Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cup ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. If too thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.

Makes 2 shakes.

http://fiercelyfresh.com/2014/05/date-and-banana-smoothie-and-a-new-series-healthy-snacks/

Date Banana Smoothie

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