Category Archives: Grains

Quick Lunch Series: Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

For a while Trader Joes had this delightful item on there ready to eat item list. I picked it up a few times and it tasted delicious and was great for those times when I needed to carry lunch and had nothing planned. Sadly, it disappeared from the stores  at the local store in recent times.

Source: Whats good at Trader Joes

This past week I decided to make some at home and here’s how I made mine.

Ingredients:

1 cup rainbow quinoa
1/4  cup french lentils
1 cup cauliflower florets cut small
1/2 diced red bell pepper
1/4 red onion, chopped fine (can also use green onions)
1 tsp curry powder
dash of garlic and ginger powder
salt and pepper to taste
dash of paprika
1-2 tsp coconut oil
cilantro to garnish
healthy dose of lemon juice

Soak lentils overnight or for 8 hours.

Bring two and half cups of water to boil. Add quinoa and lentils. Reduce flame and continue cooking for about 20 minuted or until cooked, adding additional water as needed.

Meanwhile, place a pan on the stove, add oil, and add  onions, cauliflower and red bell pepper. Toss in spices and fry  on medium high.  Alternately, you can roast the vegetables in an oven.

When the quinoa is almost cooked, add the sauted vegetables and continue cooking. Add lemon juice generously. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.

Makes 3-4 servings for that home-office lunch

What can go wrong with quinoa, lentils and cauliflower?  All in all a delightful lunch. Either at home or in the office really. Bought at TJ or made at home.

Southwestern Blend Casserole

This is perfect for that office day meal. I made it entirely stove top but you can also bake in the oven.

Ingredients:

1 frozen bag of Southwest blend (onion, corn, black bean, and bell pepper)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup enchilada sauce
1-2 garlic cloves
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili lime
cheese (mozzarella or pepper jack)
salt to taste

Place a pan on the stove. Add oil and minced garlic and fry lightly. Add cumin, chili lime and salt to taste. Mix well. Add the southwest blend and continue frying lightly. Add quinoa and a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce flame and let simmer until the quinoa is cooked. Add water as necessary.

Add  enchilada sauce and mix well. Sprinkle cheese. Cover and cook on medium until the cheese melts. Makes 2-3 servings.

Top with some sliced cherry tomatoes, cilantro and crispy jalapenos.

 

Quick Lunch Series: Curried Quinoa, Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Bowl

This recipe is loosely base on this one.

Ingredients:

1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 chopped onion
1 bag Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup quinoa
salt and fresh ground pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used lite)
coconut oil
red pepper flakes
curry powder
cardamon powder
Turmeric
Ginger
lemon juice
kale or other greens (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Trim and rinse cauliflower florets. Toss in oil, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes in an oven safe bowl.

Trim and slice Brussels sprouts. Toss in oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to an oven safe bowl

Bake for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp coconut oil, add onion and cook until translucent about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, curry powder, ginger and cardamon powder and fry for an additional 30 seconds. Add coconut milk, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup quinoa. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Season with salt.

Fluff the quinoa, top with roasted cauliflower, and  Brussels sprouts. Top with green onions, drizzle lemon juice and toss in some greens such as green onions and chopped kale!

Perfect for a guilt free, week day, office meal!

Fun with Chia

Since I discovered Chia pudding last fall,  it has soon become one of my favorite breakfast items. It’s healthy, easy and delicious, so what’s not to like?

My basic recipe is given below along with some topping choices I have tried.

Servings: 2

Prep time 5 minutes. Total Time: 2-4 hours or overnight.

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1-2 tsp maple syrup
dash of lemon juice (optional)
toppings as desired, see below for some I have tried.

Mix all three ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Refrigerate. Mix after two hours again.

Serve with fresh fruit and nuts.

blueberrybananachia

Fresh blueberries, banana and walnuts chia.

kumquatchia

Home made granola, kumquat and roasted pumpkin seeds.

chia3

Cherry almond delight or add some dark chocolate chips and make it a Cherry Garcia!

chia4

Berry walnut crunch

chia5

Tropical paradise with mango, coconut and pistachio

Best of 2016

I slacked off in 2016. But that is understandable. My schedule was so busy, that I had less time to try new recipes. I did try some new, retried several old, and tasty recipes!

Here are some favorite recipes from 2016.

In January, I  kicked off the year,  with some another fun Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens recipes. This one is a keeper!

bepcollard2

I even tried two roll recipes: Jalapeno, Scallion and Garlic  and Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno. Both were so delicious, that I continued to make them throughout the year!

rolls2

I attempted the 21-day beach body diet in early 2016, and here’s my version of Bulghur Wheat Upma, designed to meet the container requirement (Disclaimer: I am not a certified Beach Body coach, so use at your own discretion!)

bgupma

Another fun recipe in February from the beach body diet was the Brown Rice Paella.

paella

March was all about Cauliflower Nirvana. Period!

cauli1

Come April, I put all else aside for a two week vacation down under. What an incredible trip!

syd2

isen5

May is always, typically about Cherries.

CherrySalad

I also experimented with other recipes like Mango Coconut Scones

mango3

And learnt to make Bagels… Sun Dried Tomato and Jalapeno bagels, of course 🙂

bagel2

Summertime, to beat the heat, I experimented with many Popsicle recipes, many of them with mango or cherries: my two favorite fruits.

pw2

I maintained a scant patio garden this summer, which was plagued by over zealous squirrels. The most exciting vegetable from my patio garden this year  was zucchini!

August was about Savory Sun-dried Tomato Kalamata Olive and Jalapeno bread.

bread2

Two fun recipes from September included, plunging into Cauliflower Rice and Stir Fried Vegetables.

friedrice

And these delicious Cherry Friands!

cf

And another variation of the Quinoa Bisibele Bath.

qbbb2

October, I found Mango Chia Pudding, and it was terrific. It has fast become my go-to breakfast items!

mangochia

November was incredibly busy. Come December, I did try the Tian.

tian2

But, December is all about the holidays… about Airplane Cookies!

cookie1

cookie2

Have a very Happy New Year!

Hope to see you back here next year!

Mango Chia Pudding

Lately, I have been enjoying chia pudding for breakfast. My favorite combination is using mango!

mangochia

Ingredients:

1 cup lite coconut milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1 mango

In a bowl, mix the coconut milk and chia seeds thoroughly.

Peel and dice the mango. Place roughly half in a food processor and blend to a pulp. Transfer the pulp to the milk mixture. Add maple syrup and mix well. Top with the rest of the diced mango.

Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the next morning for breakfast!

Makes 3-4 servings.

Quick Lunch Series: Quinoa Bisibele Bath

I’ve been meaning to try this for a while, and finally cooked it this weekend. It is perfect for an office day meal. I do love one pot meals!

qbbb

I swapped in  Quinoa, instead of rice, as has been the norm lately in my routine.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup white Quinoa
1/3 cup Toor dal (Pigeon Pea)
1 small white or yellow onion cut into 1in pieces
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 Chayote squash, peeled and cut into 1in pieces (typically bottle guard is used, but I often substitute with Chayote Squash)
1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
2/3 rd cup tamarind juice
1.5 cups water
1 tsp oil
a dash of turmeric
a dash of asaphoetida
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
2-3 tsp Bisibele powder, I typically use the MTR variety
2-3 tbsp fresh (or dry) grated coconut
a few curry leaves
cilantro to garnish
coconut slices to garnish
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp ghee (optional)

I like to use a pressure pan to cook this. Heat oil in the pressure pan, add turmeric, asaphoetida, cumin, mustard and dry red chillies and fry for a minute till lightly brown. Add onions, jalapeno,  curry leaves and squash and fry lightly. Add tomatoes and mix well.

Rinse and add Quinoa and toor dal and mix well. Add bisibele bath powder, salt and coconut powder and mix well. Add water and tamarind juice and mix well. Close pressure cooker lid and let simmer on medium low for 2-3 whistles. What makes this dish especially yummy is to add 2-3 tbsp of ghee!

qbbb2

Let cool, before opening the pressure pan. Garnish with cilantro and coconut slices and serve warm.

Makes 3 servings.

Mediterranean in May

Fun recipes from last May…

foccacia2

Farro & Sun Dried Tomato Foccacia

egI2

Eggplant and Tomato Gratinvt4Rosemary Scented Vegetable Phyllo Tart

st3

Stuffed Tomato

mgs

Mediterranean Grain Soup

baklava

Baklava

ztgratin

Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

Fun with Amaranth

Amaranth leaves are found  in abundance in the Tropics and growing up, I loved dal, tamarind stews, and yogurt stews made with them. It was only a few years ago, I started to use Amaranth grain or flour.

al2

Amaranth is not really a grain, but a seed. It is highly nutritious, packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

IMG_2264

Here are some delicious recipes with this seed, flour or leaves that I posted previously:

Amaranth Grain Uttappam

w2

Amaranth Leaves cooked two ways

al3

Amaranth Dosa

IMG_4033

Amaranth Orange Cardamon Loaf

Amaranth Pumpkin Loaf

Amaranth Upma

The last few years I have been trying to grow Amaranth and Red Sorrel leaves in my patio garden, and it is challenging as well as highly rewarding!

Links:

Green
Patio Garden: Slow & Steady
Amaranth Plant
Amaranth Grain Nutrition
Health Benefits of Amaranth

Bulgur Wheat Upma

I thought I will finish the list and add the Bulgur wheat upma as well. I decided to measure carefully and make this following the 21-day fix container method.

bgupma2

Ingredients:

1/4 cup bulgur wheat
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, chopped fine or grated
1 small potato, chopped
8-10 mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 small jalapeno, chopped
1 tsp oil
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
8 cashews
a few curry leaves

In a small pan heat oil. Add cashews, dals, mustard seeds and let cook for a minute until lightly browned. Add jalapeno and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Add onions and potatoes and continue frying for 1-2 minutes.

Add carrots and tomatoes and mix well and continue frying for another minute. Add 1.5 cups water and salt to taste and bring to boil. Reduce flame and let simmer for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables soften.

Add bulgur wheat and mix well. Continue cooking until cooked and all the moisture evaporates.  I like to increase the flame to medium heat, add a little ghee and cook for a minute or two to let the bottom brown a little.  That’s the tasty part 🙂

bgupma

Serve warm. Makes 1 serving.

I am not a 21-day fix expert, but I count this as 2 Greens, 1 Yellow,  1 Blue  and 1 tsp.

See Also:

Amaranth Upma
Millet & Beets Upma
Pearl Couscous Upma
Pearl Tapioca Upma
Red Rice Poha Upma
Quinoa Upma
Upma & Pesarattu