Friday, April 28, 2017

Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces because it elevates anything into a "fancy" dish. Pesto comes from the Italian word, pestare (to grind, pound) and technically refers to anything that is pounded.
Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Pesto has been around since the Roman times and medieval times, although although we traditionally think of Genoese pesto, where basil is the main ingredient, doesn't come around until the mid 1800s. (source)
Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Pesto is classically made with basil, garlic, cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts, but I've seen variations with every possible green leaf and every nut. One fun fact about pine nuts is that it can give you Pine Nut Syndrome or "pine mouth" - in which eating pine nuts can cause taste disturbances (a bitter metallic taste), lasting from days to weeks afterwards.

In fact, there's lots of science journals describing and documenting Pine Nut Syndrome, like Pine mouth (pine nut) syndrome: description of the toxidrome, preliminary case definition, and best evidence regarding an apparent etiology and "Pine mouth" syndrome: cacogeusia following ingestion of pine nuts (genus: pinus). An emerging problem?.

Food science - that's a pretty fun research area where I'd be happy to volunteer as a subject.
Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Today I'm sharing a homemade pesto recipe, which is now feasible thanks to my mini food processor, B's Christmas gift for me. Making fresh basil is so much better than the store bought kind. Personally, I like mixing half the basil with half spinach for a milder taste, plus it makes the basil stretch further for budget conscious people. Pesto recipe is adapted from Simply Recipes

Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
I'm also posting a recipe for Avocado Toast - one of those trendy Pinterest recipes that actually tastes as good as it looks. It's fast, easy, and nutritious. I've also partnered with Cook the Stone to show tips on timing the ripe avocado to make the perfect avocado toast. There's a lot of variations but I kept it classic with a sunny side up egg, tomato, and freshly made pesto to top off the avocado toast.  

Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg


Ingredients
2 slices whole grain bread
olive oil
1 small ripe avocado
pesto, homemade (recipe below) or from jar
1 egg
3-4 cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the bread slices and toast in toaster oven until golden brown. With a fork, mark your avocado then spread it on top of your toast. Top the avocado with your pesto. Cut your tomatoes in half and set aside.

In a medium hot skillet, lightly grease the pan with olive oil. Crack open your eggs, keeping egg yolk intact,  Fry on medium low for about 4-6 minutes. When cooked to desired doneness, place egg on top of your toast. Top with cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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Homemade Pesto


Ingredients
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups spinach
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup pine nuts (or any toasted nuts such as walnuts, almonds, etc)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
optional: 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Directions
Plae your basil, spinach, olive oil, nuts, and garlic in food processor and pulse until blended. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed. Stir in freshly ground black pepper to taste. If you're ready to use the pesto, mix in the cheese. (Otherwise I leave the cheese out so it preserves longer and wait to add it.) Store in a glass jar or container in the fridge. Spread on toast, mix with pasta, top on your eggs, use in pizza, etc. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Green Smoothie Bowl with Strawberry and Coconut

Hello everyone, I've been quiet on the blog for a while, but I'm done with my US Medical Licensing Examination Step 3! It's a wonderful feeling to be done, as Step studying has been one of those tasks on my to-do list that's always there in the background, whispering "you should be studying instead of Pinteresting and baking..."
Avocado Green Smoothie Bowl with Strawberry and Coconut | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Supposedly Step 3 matters the least out of the USMLEs, but the premed / med student habits ingrained me in me decided it was time to buckle down for studying. It's amazing how much ob-gyn, pediatrics, and surgery you forget when you don't use it. Fortunately the bulk of the exam is Internal Medicine (we are the most important field in my humble opinion!)
Avocado Green Smoothie Bowl with Strawberry and Coconut | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
The test is 16 hrs over two days - the first day is only multiple choice, and the second has some multiple choice then a section on "clinical simulation cases". The multiple choice wasn't too bad, but the cases are definitely the most nerve-wracking part of the test. On a computer interface, you evaluate a patient, order labs, triage, diagnose, treat, follow up and counsel ... all under a ticking clock. The cases will respond based on your orders, so if the patient isn't getting better, you need to figure out what you're doing wrong fast!
Avocado Green Smoothie Bowl with Strawberry and Coconut | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
A few updates from the last post, in which a series of frustrating events recently happened. I found a lovely new apartment that's a bit further but reasonably priced; in fact I'm upgrading to a 1 bedroom and it has a giant kitchen with an island! I'll be moving next month and look forward to more baking and cooking in this new space.

Also, B and I had our vacation block (yay!) and we went to the Caribbean, which I'll be sharing more later. While I spent the first half of vacation time studying and taking my Step 3 exams, and had to come back early from vacation to cover for a medical ICU shift, it was wonderful to have a week of rest. Time (and sleep) heals everything.
Avocado Green Smoothie Bowl with Strawberry and Coconut | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Here's a green smoothie bowl, made with creamy avocados and sweet strawberries plus a coconut and cacao nib crunch. This is a great and quick power breakfast, whether you're taking a 16 hour exam or about to lounge on the beach.

Green Smoothie Bowl with Strawberry and Coconut


Ingredients
1/2 avocado
1 cup spinach
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup ice, additional for thickening
white sugar, to taste
Toppings: cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, fresh strawberries

Instructions
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add ice or avocado (to thicken) or almond milk (to thin) to desired consistency. Pour your green smoothie into a bowl. Top with cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, and sliced fresh strawberries. Enjoy!
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