Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! So yesterday my friend, who is visiting from New Zealand, and I went on a day-trip adventure to the pristine rainforest district of Brunei. We took a 45-minute boat ride from the city centre to the small town of Bangar in Temburong where we then travelled about 20 minutes by car to the Freme Rainforest Lodge where we had some local delights for our morning tea before setting off again on a 45-minute longboat ride to the Ulu National Park.

We climbed almost a thousand steps to get to the forest floor of the canopy walk, and then scaled a total of about 60m to the highest tower above the tallest trees of the luscious green rainforest. Even with multiple layers of sunblock, we were red from the scorching sun and we definitely worked our calves and derrières as we felt our legs shake when climbing back down to head to the mini waterfall for a nice cooling dip. The water was refreshingly blue but had fishes that weren’t afraid to nibble on you. They were the fish spa kind of fishes that really just wanted to nibble on your dead skin, but the fishes were much bigger that the little ones that you find at fish spas, so their bite was a little more scary.

Ulu Temburong National Park Adventures

After we cooled down, we headed back out on a longboat to the starting point of our kayak ride. On the way back down the crystal clear waters we spotted two freshwater crocodiles by the riverbanks – and apparently that didn’t seem to make us second guess our kayak ride back to the lodge. After our relaxing (or should I say, workout for our arms), kayak down the river, we got changed into dry clothes and had our late lunch. We were supposed to go zip-lining after but because it started to pour, we weren’t allowed to. Such a bummer though because apparently it hadn’t rained in Temburong for the past week, and it decided to as we were about to do our final activity before heading back to the main city. All-in-all it was a fun-filled day of nature and adventure – things that we both enjoy.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this little adventure for everyone before I dive right into tonight’s recipe for a lovely green smoothie bowl to match our little nature adventure from yesterday. You can switch out the low-fat milk to almond milk or coconut water, and the honey for agave nectar or maple syrup for a vegan alternative.

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 tbsp honey

Toppings

  • Bananas – loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6
  • Chia Seeds – contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
  • Goji Berries – excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients that help boost the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation
  • Granolacontains vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, including, but not limited to, dietary fibres, sodium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C & E, niacin, iron, and thiamin
  • Kiwis – loaded with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium
  • Raspberriesgood source of vitamin C, E, K, manganese, dietary fibre, copper pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium

METHOD

  1. Blend the spinach, milk, banana, avocado, and honey until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with the raspberries, kiwi slices, chia seeds, granola, goji berries, and banana slices. Enjoy for breakfast or a power-boosting afternoon snack!

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

As I have mentioned in last week’s post, whipping up a smoothie bowl is a great opportunity to get creative and top them with whatever you have lying around in your pantry and/or fridge. Top them with your favourite fruits, seeds, nuts, and grains!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that January flew by that quickly! We’re already into the second month of the new year but I feel as if though the year has just started! It’s going to be a short month too since it’s February. Anyway, when I got up this morning, I came across a photo on Instagram with the caption:

“Did y’all make New Year Resolutions? How’s it going so far? If you got lazy, you can always start back up today.”

We’re all human, and we all fall into that trap of not keeping our resolutions, but it is indeed never too late to start back up today… Or tomorrow. As long as you are determined to continue going, you will probably reach your end goal. One of my resolutions is to get fit and eat healthy, and I can honestly say that I haven’t been keeping up with this for the past 2 weeks. I’ve been busy with deadlines and helping out in a 5-day event that ended on the weekend, that I have completely ignored exercising and eating right. I am now determined to get back on track, but I feel a sore throat coming down so who knows when I’ll be able to get back on track – but I ain’t giving up that’s for sure.

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Tonight, I want to share an experimental recipe that I whipped up a few weeks ago. I rarely cook with quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah), and the sole reason for that is because it is very expensive – the bag of 280g (just a little bit under 2 cups) I bought already set me back $12.80. If we take a second to overlook the cost of quinoa, it is actually very beneficial to our health. It is incredibly nutritious as its fibre content is much higher than most grains. It is also very high in protein, containing the essential amino acids that we need . Quinoa contains a great amount of minerals – minerals that we other do not get enough of, especially magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you would like to read up more on the health benefits of quinoa, click here.

I usually cannot go with a meal if it doesn’t have some sort of meat on the plate – which is why I decided to match this salad with another hit of protein from pan-searing a nice slab of rump steak. I was kind of going for medium-rare, but I think the beef turned out to be a bit more towards the rarer side of medium-rare. Nonetheless, it was delicious indeed (my mom seared the meat a little longer after cutting these few slices). You can pair it with any other meats if you wish, or have it completely vegetarian or vegan; whatever tickles your fancy.

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g rump steak
  • 250g green beans, ends trimmed
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 cups chicken stock*
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup wild rocket leaves
  • 1 red capsicum
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil fry pan-searing

For the dressing

  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

*You can make you own stock by boiling chicken carcasses for about half an hour, together with whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Or you can use the store bought ones, again, whatever tickles your fancy.

METHOD

  1. Bring the quinoa and chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat down to low, cover, and then simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. While the quinoa is simmering away, blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 5-6 minutes. Once done, transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This ensures that you’ll have nice and crisp green beans in your salad. Drain and then add to the large mixing bowl.
  3. Season the beef with some ground salt and black pepper. Bring a large frying pan with olive oil to a heat over high, until it starts to smoke. Add your steak and sear for about 2-3 minutes per side for rare, 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, 4-5 minutes for medium-well, or 5+ minutes per side for well done. Once done, set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. While the beef is resting, you can move on to roasting the capsicum. Rub the red capsicum with a little bit of oil and place directly on open flame of gas stove. Rotate occasionally so that the red capsicum blisters and chars on all sides. Once done, set aside to cool down. Peel the skin off and cut into strips once it has cooled down enough to handle. Add to the large mixing bowl together with the rocket leaves and feta cheese.
  5. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, oil, and paprika in a small bowl until well combined. Add to the large mixing bowl and toss the salad around until well coated and combined.
  6. Serve the salad topped with a few slices of the rump steak. Enjoy!

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

ps: do not be deceived by the portion of this dish. I just used an oversized dish to plate it up. This kept me quite full for a few hours and I didn’t even finish everything on the plate!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com