Category Archives: salads

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.

Best of 2015

I had a lot of fun in 2015 trying new recipes from around the world. There are many keepers in the list that i cooked over and over again, and I expect, will continue to do so.

Here are some of my most favorite recipes…

bajji2

APPETIZERS & SNACKS

Baked Bajji

Baked Vada

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GRAINS:

Quinoa Dosa

One-pot Mexican Quinoa

Mango Poha

Quinoa Vangi Bath

Cranberry Poha

cauli_kale_chickpe2

BEANS & LENTILS

Cauliflower, Kale, Chickpea  Curry Pot

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices

kumquat2

JAMS & JELLIES

Anise Flavored Kumquat Marmalade

hummus1

DIPS & SAUCES

Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus

wrap3

WRAPS & SANDWICHES

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

ztgratin

CASSEROLE

Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Gratin

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

cherry5

DESSERTS

Pumpkin Payasam

Cherry Swirl with Dark Chocolate & Cherry Bits

Baklava

air20152

BREADS, COOKIES & CAKES

Farro and Sun-dried Tomato Foccacia

Cherry and Cardamon Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Airplane Cookies

wmcooler2

JUICES & SMOOTHIES

Watermelon Cooler

tomatoYogurt2

CURRIES & MORE

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Onion

CherrySalad

SALADS

Cherry and Avocado Salad

BS1

SIDES

Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

mgs

SOUPS

Vibrant Beets Soup

Mediterranean Grain Soup

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WHAT’S POPULAR WITH YOU?

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth Dosa

Spicy Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Valor Papdi Bean

Baked Bajji

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

Quinoa Upma

Mango Carrot Muffins

chickpea_brusselssprouts

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Quick Lunch Series: Cherry and Avocado Salad

Cherry is the name so far, and I am on a roll snagging cherries from the groceries and trying new recipes while I can before they run out!

Here is an easy recipe for that office day meal.

CherrySalad

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup pitted fresh cherries
1-2 tbsp walnuts ( or use slivered almonds)
1-2 tbsp sliced red onion
1/2 avocado, diced
a few roasted coconut slices

Dressing:

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp while wine vinegar
salt
fresh ground pepper

Layer a bed of spinach. Add sliced and pitted cherries, nuts, red onion and avocado. Top with some roasted coconut slices.

Drizzle dressing as desired before serving or enjoying for a refreshing office day lunch!

Quick Lunch Series: Pear and Fig Salad

I eat a lot of soups and salads for lunch on a week day. The heat is on lately,  and my preference lately has turned to cold salads as opposed to a warm soup.

Pearn

I picked up a box of Organic figs and pears recently from Whole Foods and the one thing that immediately  came to mind was a salad combining the two. As with soups, I eat a lot of salads. But as far as sweet salads go, I make them rarely. My all time favorite salad with fruits has always been the Raspberry Salad.

Figs have a sweet and delicious taste to them. So now and then I make the exception and try a new salad recipe with them.

Pearn3

Ingredients:

2 cups of fresh mixed greens
4-5 figs, washed and sliced
1/2 a green pear washed, and sliced
a handful of whole or chopped pecans (feel free to toast them)
1-2 tbsp sliced red onion
some feta, blue or gorgonzola cheese

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper

Place all salad ingredients in  a large salad bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Toss with the lemon vinaigrette dressing just before serving.

Pearn2

Enjoy!

See Also:

Fig Spinach Salad

 

Roasted Kalettes with Beets and Cranberries

The past few months I have been hearing about Kalettes that are brand new vegetable — a hybrid between kale and Brussels Sprouts. There is some discussion on whether this should be called BrusselKale, Kale Sprouts (that is what Trader Joes is calling them), or Kalletes.  But Kalette seems apt, since the florets look like mini kale bunches. Kalettes are rich in Vitamin C, K and B6.

k3This recipe is adapted from here. There are more recipes posted there if you want to experiment with kalettes.

Ingredients:

1 bag (8 oz) Kalettes
1/2 golden beet sliced
1/2 red beet sliced
1/2 cup cranberries
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves minced
salt and pepper to taste
a little Balsamic vinegar
blue cheese

k1

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss kalettes, beets, walnuts and garlic with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Can also add a few red pepper flakes. Lay out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.

k2Add cranberries and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar and top with blue cheese and serve warm.

k3

Quick Lunch Series: Red Lentil and Cucumber Salad

I came across this on PBS Fresh Tastes recently. Looked delicious and refreshing. It is especially good for a hot, summer day meal.

Still, considering the recent nice weather, it was a perfect lunch on a week day.

I altered it slightly…and made it as follows…

cucu1Ingredients:

1/4 cup red lentils
1/2 cucumber chopped
8-10 sliced cherry tomatoes
1-2 tbsp sliced red onion
1-2 tbsp yogurt
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 jalapeno minced (optional)
some finely chopped cilantro
a touch of cayenne pepper
salt and fresh ground pepper

Rinse and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup water to lentils and cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes. Set aside. I rarely like to toss, the liquid when I cook lentils. Something about tossing away the nutrients with the water. I always cook my lentils with twice the amount of water, so there is nothing left. You can always add more if you think you need to cook your lentils more.

In a large bowl, add yogurt, lemon juice, salt and peppers, minced jalapeno, chopped cucumber and chopped cilantro and mix well. Add sliced cherry tomatoes. Toss in chilled, and  cooked red lentils and serve immediately.

Cucumbers and sliced tomatoes are juicy, so it is best to toss the salad with them, just before serving.

Enjoy!

Mango and Farro Salad

It’s the time of the month, to clean the refrigerator. What better way than to plan new recipes!

I’ve tried a Mango and Spinach Salad and a Mediterranean Spinach Salad. This one is a cross between the two. What better way then to combine/refresh old recipes.

MangoFarroIngredients:

1/2 Mango(Mexican) chopped
1/4 Farro cooked
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper chopped
1/8 Red Onion chopped
1/8 Cucumber chopped
8-10 Cherry Tomatoes sliced or whole
1 cup baby Spinach (Optional)
2-3 tbsp Feta Cheese

Dressing

1-2 tbsp olive oil
Lemon Juice as needed
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Cook the Farro as per directions, and set aside. Typically bring 1/2 cup water to boil. Add farro and cook on medium low until cooked, adding additional water as needed.

When ready to eat, combine all ingredients lightly, toss with dressing and serve on a bed of spinach!

Grilled Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille is by far my favorite one-pot dish. I love the myraids of colors and flavors. There are so many different recipes out there. All of them delicious.

This one is adapted from Marc Matsumoto.

rs2

Ingredients:
1-2 graffiti or Japanese eggplant thinly sliced
8-10 mini zucchini sliced
10-12 cherry tomatoes sliced
1/2 red onion sliced
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Layer sliced vegetables on a flat pan. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Or alternately grill until lightly golden.

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Meanwhile for the dressing, add some olive oil, garlic, thyme,basil and balsamic vinegar and pulse in a food processor.

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Layer the grilled or roasted vegetables on a plate. Drizzle some dressing and serve warm!

rs2 See Also:
Curried Ratatouille
Chickpea Ratatouille

 

 

Quick Lunch Series: Greek Chickpea-Mango Pasta Salad

I normally prefer to use dry beans in my cooking. But this requires plenty of lead time to plan, soak, and cook the beans before you can use them. For this reason, I do keep a few cans of organic beans around. This is especially useful when I am stumped for what to prepare for the next day office lunch. This one is adapted from here. I had no artichoke hearts, instead, I swapped in some mango. Also, I decided to use more chickpeas and less pasta.

photo 3

Ingredients:
1 can garbanzo beans (aka Chickpeas)
1/2 cup whole wheat elbow pasta
1/2 mango chopped
1/2 cup black olives sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese
4-6 sun dried tomatoes sliced
1-2 tbsp sliced red onion (optional)
1 tsp dried oregano
a few red pepper flakes
salt and fresh ground pepper

Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas.

In a large bowl, toss together the chickpeas, pasta, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, mango, olives, artichokes if using, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and fresh ground pepper. Use oil from artichokes or sun dried tomatoes if using oil soaked varieties. Else drizzle some olive oil.

photo 2Chill or serve immediately topped with some fresh feta cheese. Delicious!