FOODventures

toast + avocado = beautiful

I’m trying super hard to be healthier but the trying is not in what to eat – I actually love healthy food, all the veggies and fruits and oats and all those things – LOVE THEM. However, it’s the NOT eating of things that I find really difficult. There are some brownies on the kitchen counter right now calling my name and it’s taking everything I’ve got not to eat them. SO, I’m going to talk about my favourite healthy lunches in an attempt to distract myself from chocolatey fudgey caramely goodness in the kitchen.

Avocado toast. My favourite things – bread and avocados, together as one. They are just so perfect, and together nothing short of awesome. Designer toasts seem to be a thing lately too, I’ve seen avocado toast in various cafes around town for upwards of £5 which is ridiculous (…although I am totally guilty of buying some, on several occasions because I love it that much) amongst other fancy toasts like banana, peanut butter and and honey or strawberry and nutella and other such nice toast related combinations. But the best is avocado, it’s great for lunch, dinner or a very large snack (seriously, it’s surprisingly filling.) It’s delicious, creamy AND it’s good for you filled with all sorts of healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and other such health related things.

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Listen, I know it’s super easy to make toast and this isn’t really a recipe, but I thought I’d share one of my favourite things to eat. I love making mine from a big fat grande mange baguette (sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t, I won’t lie this time it was bought from the bakery up the road, more on bread another day maybe) sprinkle a bit of olive oil on it and whack it on the pan to toast up. WAY better than the toaster, especially if this is for lunch or dinner.

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What makes this really sing is adding some nice spices to it – my favourite is dukkah (pictured in pot) a middle eastern blend of spices and roasted chickpeas in this one but of course, like many things, there are plenty of variations. I imagine sumac would be super on this as well!

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I’ve made this many ways, not just with tomato but always with avocado, in fact yesterday, I had just this but with tuna and roasted pepper and it was seriously sexy. So use your imagination, this is nothing more than some lunchtime suggestion and clearly is open to all sorts of combinations, I mean it’s toast after all, you can do anything with toast (isn’t that just great?! Toast is so good.) Happy eating homies!

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FOODventures

Ch-ch-chickpeas

Today I decided to make some crispy chickpeas, a favourite snack AND it’s healthy (a rarity for me snack wise…or in general). They’re nice and versatile and you can flavour them any which way you damn well please, which is fun. They even beat crisps. Sometimes.

I’m boring (or classic?) though and just went with a chilli/garlic/salt combo. You can use the canned – it’s faster and less time consuming, but I prefer to have the dried ones just because I feel they taste a bit nicer and weirdly, I like the process of it.

Soak overnight

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Rinse, boil for an hour and then (you can skip the first two with canned!) layout on the pan – put on chosen spices, olive oil and salt.

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Whack it in the oven on 120 for about 45 mins until nice and browned (I like mine properly charred, but as with most things, it’s up to taste – the important thing is that they get CRUNCHY. AND SEXY. If you use the nice golden ones a guide that’s the ideal colour for optimum crunch, any less and it’ll be too soft.

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Munch away homies!

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FOODventures, TRAVELventures

In which I wax lyrical once more about Barcelona

I’m a little bit in love/obsessed with Barcelona. I keep going back and I keep needing to go back. Thankfully, I do have friends there making it way too easy to go back on a whim or maybe it’s simply the pull of the blue and orange tones of that beaut of a city that is just too much. Or maybe it’s the way of life? Beach, food, music and friends, how can anyone say no?

I will move there, soon enough I’ll go there for a weekend and just decide to stay – it’s not unheard of…

ANYWAYS.

I was naughty…I didn’t take as many pictures of food as I had intended. In fact, I only really took a picture of one of my meals…it was damn good too. I think for the most part it was a sudden onset of shyness in being in such local places, and also in large part to a deep impatience to eat what’s in front of me. You know…don’t let your food get cold and all…important stuff.

Since there are not many pictures of food, I’ll just have to describe it because guys, you need to go. And you need to eat.

DO IT.

EL MUNDIAL

El Mundial for proper tapas and Catalan feel – it was my favourite of the trip too, I had aubregine chips with honey and they were just heaven in my mouth, along with some grilled clams in a white wine sauce type thing where the juices were just so good and thank god for bread to soak up! It was just super, I ate there three times in a week. Also get the pimentos de padron – they are lovely and salty and wonderful – you can get this anywhere and even do them at home (we found some in Waitrose – from Spain and it’s a a favourite snack in Casa Reyes) but it’s worth ordering, along with some chipirones – crunchy squid bits. Don’t be intimidated by the tentacles. DO IT. Its a narrow place with a long bar and marble tables to the side and genuinely just looks old school, reminded me of the kind of places my family used to drag me to as a kid. Quite frankly the opening hours are seemingly sporadic, I walked by it daily (often a few times a day since my friend lives next door) and sometimes it was open, and sometimes it was not, but maybe it was me who was sporadically walking by.

Plaza Sant Agusti Vell, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

MOSQUITO
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Not spanish tapas BUT still a great place is Mosquito which does “exotic tapas” so dumplings and other delicious asian food like Pho and crispy friend duck amongst other things. The beautiful dumplings and amazing crispy duck breast with plum sauce were my favourite. So much so that I’m thinking about it right now and I actually physically miss it. If you do go, get the duck – it’s the 2nd option that’s 7.60 because they don’t specify it just says duck 1 and duck 2 (or if you get the catalan menu like my friend and I did and had to decipher what the hell was what -we learned that duck is Anec, so get the anec) Below is the menu in Catalan: feel free to just order the same, it was sexy.

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Also get the coconut tapioca for dessert, it was grand. There’s a great array of craft beer as well which is so nice to see – craft beer revolution is world wide, HOORAY. There’s always a queue as well but it goes quickly and its vastly worth it. Seriously. GO.

Carrer dels Carders, 46, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

ESPAI MESCLADIS
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Espai Mescladis is lovely for lunch – I had a great lentil soup and a chicken empanada and some artesian beer but what’s best is the actual space, it’s mostly inside a courtyard and good atmosphere – takes ages to order though so don’t go hungry. My lunch didn’t photograph well and I was pretty hungry, so again, apologies for lack of food pictures. However, the food is not the only attraction – it’s just such a lovely space worthy of just a glass of artesian cola or a coffee and a good book (I sat there for hours, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves).

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Carrer dels Carders, 35, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

LA CANDELA
La Candela was also very lovely for a sit down dinner or lunch, I had a great white bean and tuna thing but their menu changes daily – they have a cute little narrow place but also some tables outside and the staff are pretty nice. I took my laptop there to work a few days and it became a firm favourite .
Placa de Sant Pere, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

LA XANPANERIYA
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I’ve already told you about this. But to reiterate.

GO THERE, EAT THINGS & DRINK CAVA.
Carrer de la Reina Cristina

A little photo diary from the rest of my trip…because Barcelona is beautiful and I can’t get enough of it.

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