I get bored very quickly when my diet seems like a rerun of convenience fitness food (broccoli, egg whites, chicken breast, protein shake, apple, almonds. And repeat!). I love trying new foods, even the weirdest kind. Every time I see some new healthy, ridiculously overpriced products at the organic supermarket, I end up buying them. In my quest for new foods, I’m also a big fan of ethnic supermarkets in my Amsterdam neighborhood.
Last week however I didn’t find any brand new products to mix things up, but I tried 5 new unusual recipes using ‘regular’ foods.
Pistachio pudding made of avocados
At first I was a little bit skeptical about using avocados for desserts. But avocado can actually be mixed with sweet ingredients too, particularly if you add some vanilla extract to balance its taste. In a lot of Asian countries, avocado is used more like a fruit than a vegetable.
I found this shake recipe in Oxygen magazine.
This shake tasted surprisingly great and its color made me think of pistachio ice cream, so I tried it another time using less milk and adding pistachio nuts. Although high in fat, this pudding is a very nice healthy substitute for pistachio ice cream.
Ingredients for 2 persons: 2 avocados, pistachio nuts, soy milk, vanilla extract, agave.
After blending everything together: a tasty, creamy, dairy free pistachio pudding.
Chocolate chicken mole
I found this recipe in Oxygen magazine. It is a Mexican sauce made of tomato sauce, dark chocolate, onion, garlic, peanut butter and green chilies.
I didn’t want to ‘waste’ dark chocolate –my favorite ultimate treat– in the sauce, so I used cocoa in place of chocolate. This sauce tasted a bit unusual — I didn’t follow exactly the recipe due to missing ingredients — but was still perfectly eatable for a chocolate addict like me. This “chocolate mole” was a nice new twist on chicken.
Pear soup with blue cheese
There are many French recipes associating pears and roquefort, a strong cheep milk blue cheese: pear and walnut salads with roquefort, pear tarts with roquefort and nuts, etc. This is a savory soup associating the sweetness of pears and the tanginess of a strong blue cheese. It is great as a starter for a fancy dinner for two.
Ingredients for 2 persons: 4 pears, a quarter of a blue cheese, a garlic clove, onion, salt & pepper.
Sauté onion and garlic, add the pears, add some water, blue cheese, puree everything.
I didn’t know zucchini could also be used in sweet recipes such as cakes. Basically you can use any classic family cake recipe and add some steamed puree zucchini. It seems to be a well-known trick among parents to induce their children into eating zucchini. My cake was a bit too moist. You have to take into account that the zucchini will release water in the cake when choosing the quantity of the other ingredients.
Brownies made of black beans
I had already tried Oxygen mag’s black bean brownie recipe on my blog, but this one from busybuthealthy.com turned out way much better. It isn’t as protein-packed as Oxygen mag’s recipe and there is more sugar content using two bananas, but it was totally worth it. It tasted like Starbucks’ brownies without the fat/sugar overload. I didn’t use any stevia as described on busybuthealthy because the two bananas and some agave syrup were enough for me. These brownies tasted nice when slightly undercooked. I’m definitely making them again next saturday.
Any suggestions for more unusual recipes (cakes using beans, savory recipes using fruits, sweet recipes using vegetables)?