Creamy Avocado Dip

Man is this post overdue! The past month went by in a flash, but not without some great memories: bike riding around one of the world’s greenest cities (Copenhagen), lunch at the world’s best restaurant (Noma), catching up with the best of friends (Stockholm), exploring one of the greatest capitals (Washington), and running a 10K PB through the Rockies (Banff).

Needless to say, I haven’t had much time in the kitchen, so Just Indulgence has been rather neglected. But I’m back home and back at it with a phenomenal recipe: creamy avocado dip!

I was not expecting this dip of a few veggies, avocados and greek yogurt to come out so decadent, but after tasting the spatula I was honestly torn between jumping for joy and going in for a re-dip. So huge thanks to Dave’s mom, Janis, for the recipe book that inspired such a beautiful creation.

I cut recipe’s salt in half and replaced the sour cream with non-fat greek yogurt, which couldn’t be a better substitute  – you cannot tell the difference! Plus it dilutes the heavy avocado calories and adds a punch of protein. Serve over rice cakes, on a sandwich, with veggies and pita chips or basically anywhere you’d throw traditional guacamole and you’ll honestly never go back!

A little tip to keep the avocado from going grey: save the pits and plop them into the finished dip. I have no idea how it works, but it’ll sure save the ascetics of your dip!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup 0% fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled

DIRECTIONS

  • Toss shallot, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice and salt into a food processor and blend well.
  • Add greek yogurt and blend until smooth.
  • Add avocados and blend until smooth.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving and then enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Per tbsp: 19 calories, 1 g carbs, 2 g fat, 1g protein, 1 g fibre

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Miso-Glazed Salmon

I came across a package of miso in the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t leave without it. Miso is one of my favorite restaurant flavours, plus it benefits from various enzymes, probiotics and vitamins, so I figure I had better explore its wonders in my own kitchen.

This salmon came out perfectly and was so easy to make that I would do it every night from now on but sadly that wouldn’t do much for this blog…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb (450 g) wild salmon
  • 2 tbsp light miso paste
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger root
  • 1.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 5 drops hot pepper sauce
  • pepper to taste
  • pinch sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

  • Place salmon fillet on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Mix remaining ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a small bowl.
  • Brush salmon with light layer of glaze.
  • Broil on high for 8 minutes.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds, serve with rice and steamed Chinese broccoli or bok choy, and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 200 calories, 4 g carbs, 9 g fat (the healthy kind!), 23 g protein, 1 g fibre

Chicken Feta Fajita Salad

Hot summer days call for light summer salads! We were totally craving Mexican food yesterday to go along with all the heat, but figured we’d replace the carbs from the fajita tortilla shells with a couple of Coronas 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chicken breasts (450 g)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 10 drops tabasco sauce
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 60 g light feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime

DIRECTIONS

  • Slice chicken into long strips.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large frying pan.
  • Add chicken strips and stir until all sides are cooked, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add in chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, pepper and tabasco.
  • Add bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Stir and cook until vegetables soften. Remove from heat.
  • Divide baby spinach among serving plates and top with chicken and veggies, followed by avocado, feta and cilantro.
  • Serve with lime wedge on the side and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 386 calories, 18 g carbs (4 g sugar), 14 g fat, 43 g protein, 8 g fibre , 334 mg sodium

Jerk Chicken Mango Salad

I went over to my girlfriend Afshaan’s last night to plan her baby shower (baby due late August!) but naturally we ended up more focused on the food we were going to eat right then than the party we should have been planning… guess we’ll just have to get together for another girls night!

Afshaan mentioned she had had an awesome jerk chicken salad with mango and coconut at a restaurant in the city, so we took that as inspiration for this spicy and coconutty-sweet salad.

All I knew about jerk spice was that it was made up of a plethora of spices, so we just threw whatever sounded good into a bowl with a little white vinegar and olive oil and voila, jerk spice! It actually turned out REALLY tasty. I must say, we impressed ourselves.

The salad dressing was even more delicious and simply coconut milk, lemon juice, chives, red chili flakes, salt and pepper. Easy to whip up and only 30 calories per tbsp!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups spring mix salad greens (or spinach would be great too!)
  • 12 baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tbs crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbsp craisins
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 small mango, cut into bitesize pieces

Jerk Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad Dressing

  • 2 tsp coconut milk
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all jerk spice ingredients together in a small bowl. Lay 1 tsp of sauce on baking sheet and place chicken breast over top. Pour remaining jerk sauce over chicken. Bake for 28 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Mix all salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Lay lettuce mix over serving plates followed by carrots, craisins, mango and feta. Top with salad dressing.
  • Remove cooked chicken from oven. Slice, lay over salad, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 395 calories, 36 g carbs, 15 g fat, 36 g protein, 7 g fibre

Pork Tenderloin Gumbo

Gumbo is pretty healthy as it is, with all those onions, tomatos and other stewed veggies, but I figured why not make it even healthier?! So I cut the sausage and substituted it for some lean pork tenderloin! Though one serving is only 337 calories, I couldn’t even finish my plate with all the spice, super filling veggies and lean protein. Super comforting and super healthy – this is my kind of meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in large pot. Add pork and stir until cooked on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, celery, onions and garlic. Stir until veggies soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, oregano, chilis, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sweet potatoes and zucchini and simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once sweet potatoes are soft, remove from heat, stir in cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 337 calories, 39 g carbs, 6 g fat, 32 g protein, 8 g fibre

Broccoli Apple Grapefruit Salad

I wanted a super light and juicy salad to accompany the dense savoury crispy garlic mint pressed tofu I made for dinner tonight. This salad worked great, beautifully contrasting the garlic and mint flavour with one of dill and mustard.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups broccoli, bite-size pieces
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill

DIRECTIONS

  • Microwave broccoli on high for 3 minutes. Chill in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  • Combine olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Mix well.
  • Toss broccoli, apple and grapefruit in dressing.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Makes 2 large servings.

Per serving: 202 calories, 30 g carbs, 10 g fat, 5 g protein, 7 g fibre

Crispy Garlic Mint Pressed Tofu

This was my first time pressing tofu, and wow, am I glad I did! It’s a keeper and has a solid place in my repertoire for when vegetarian friends come for dinner. I know some people aren’t a big fan of tofu’s spongy wet texture, so this is a great way to get away from that while still being able to enjoy the benefits of this inexpensive and lean source of protein. I’d almost describe the pressed tofu as having a chicken texture, in fact it quite looks like a thin strip of chicken when you cut into it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh mint

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut tofu crosswise into 4 slabs. Firmly blot each slab between paper towel to remove excess water.
  • To make marinade, combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Cover tofu on all sides with marinade and place on a plate. Cover with plastic and let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  • Heat large frying pan on medium-high heat.
  • Remove tofu from marinade and press off excess liquid with paper towels. Reserve marinade.
  • Arrange tofu flat in frying pan. Cover tofu with another frying pan, weighing upper pan down with a full kettle or large can of tomato sauce or beans.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5 until well browned.
  • Flip tofu, press and cook until browned, about 7 minutes.
  • Place tofu on serving dish. Pour remaining marinade into pan, heat briefly and use it to garnish tofu.
  • Serve over rice, quinoa or another grain and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 330 calories, 6 g carbs (1 g sugar), 26 g fat (4 g saturated), 22 g protein, 1 g fibre

Fennel, Cannellini Bean & Prosciutto Salad

I got a reservation at Noma!!! I cannot believe my luck! Noma in Copenhagen is, for the 3rd year in a row, rated the #1 restaurant in the world.

Dave and I are taking a trip to Copenhagen and Stockholm in September, so naturally we had to do a bit of research on the food we’ll be exploring over there. We marked our calendars for June 11th, 2012, reservation day for the month of September at Noma. We weren’t expecting success as an estimated 20,000 people try to get a reservation on reservation day, and we only have a 4-day window in town, but somehow, at 2 AM (10 AM Copenhagen time), after 7 minutes of Chrome browser refreshes we got through to find but a single time slot left that works for us! Lunch date at Noma on September 4th!

So because I was feeling so stoked all day, I thought I’d keep the mood light and fresh with a delicate summer salad for dinner. Fennel, cannellini beans, peas, carrots, egg and prosciutto made for a playful combination of flavours and an extraordinarily satisfying salad, packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 handful fresh dill, loosely chopped
  • 4 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (or white/brown sugar)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices lean prosciutto

DIRECTIONS

  • Discard tough outer layer of fennel and slice thinly. Submerge fennel in an ice bath and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook eggs for 9 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and plunge into cold water.
  • Meanwhile, blanche peas and carrots in another pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and plunge into cold water.
  • Combine fennel, peas, carrots and beans in a large bowl.
  • To assemble dressing, mix lemon juice, dill, mustard, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a small dish.
  • Toss fennel salad with dressing.
  • Warm a drizzle of olive oil in large frying pan and cook prosciutto until crispy.
  • Arrange salad on serving plate, garnishing with quartered egg and prosciutto.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 480 calories, 50 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 17 g fat, 31 g protein, 16 g fibre

And what to do with the fennel tops you now have lying around? Pop them in a vase and you have an instant green centrepiece!