Category Archives: spinach

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: Edamame & Zucchini Wraps

Recently, during a flying trip,  I picked up some wraps from Starbucks as snacks. I wasn’t sure if I would have time to halt for lunch and seeing them on the menu, I knew they were perfect snack to fill in until the next meal. And I was right. They were delicious!

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Since then, I have been itching to make them at home. And here’s how I made mine.

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Ingredients:

Sun dried tomato, jalapeno and garlic hummus (BTW Starbucks used Edamame hummus & garlic and herb cheese spread)
1 Spinach tortilla
a handful of edamame, shelled (optional)
2-3 mini zucchini, sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced or chapped
a handful of spinach leaves

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To make wraps, lay out a tortilla. Generously apply 1-2 tbsp of hummus. Layer thinly sliced zucchini, red bell peppers, edamame (optional) and spinach. Drizzle some lemon juice. Roll into a wrap and slice into two or three mini wraps.

Delicious! I think the hummus makes the difference 🙂

wrap2See Also:

Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus

Spinach and Yogurt Stew (Challa Pulusu)

It is very common to make a curry-like stew with vegetables and tamarind juice (or yogurt) in Southern India. While you can make this one with spinach leaves only, more commonly my mother would add bottle gourd, pumpkin and tomato. Occasionally I like to add other vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash or even green beans sometimes.

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Here’s how we typically made it at home:

Ingredients:
3 cups buttermilk (I used Kefir 1% buttermilk)
1 cup of cubed bottle gourd and butternut squash (or pumpkin)
2 cups chopped spinach
1 large tomato chopped
1 jalapeno sliced
a few curry leaves
chopped cilantro to garnish
1 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 whole dry red chilli
a small piece of ginger minced
1 tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
2 tbsp chick pea flour
salt to taste

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I typically steam the vegetables (cubed bottle gourd, and pumpkin) in the pressure cooker. But you can also cook them stove top with a little water.

Meanwhile, heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, add turmeric and asafoetida, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chilli and lightly fry for a few seconds. Add ginger, curry leaves and sliced jalapeno and fry for a few seconds. Add chopped spinach and continue frying for a few minutes. Add steamed vegetables, chopped tomato and continue cooking. Add salt to taste.

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Meanwhile, in a pan, mix chick pea flour and butter milk. This prevents the butter milk from cracking when boiled with the vegetables.

Add the butter milk mixture to the vegetables. Continue boiling for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with some chopped cilantro. Optionally add some coconut flakes.

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Serve warm with some rice and dal. I usually love to eat mine with Chinese Okra and dal.

Add a teaspoon of ghee…  Heavenly!

Enjoy!

Can’t get enough of Quinoa

Quinoa and Corn Salad

Another good one for that quick office lunch!

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Ingredients:
1.5 cups of Quinoa (any kind)
1 bag of frozen southwest blend (corn, black beans, onions and peppers)
15-20 sliced cherry tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced spinach
1-2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
salt and pepper to taste
some paprika (optional)

Cook Quinoa as per directions and set aside. Meanwhile, rinse southwest blend vegetables and steam for 10-15 minutes.

Toss all ingredients and serve chilled. Makes 4-6 servings.

Mango and Avocado Salad

This simple salad was inspired from these really fresh, colorful and locally grown tomatoes.

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Ingredients:
1 mango chopped
1/2 avocado chopped
3-4 tomatoes chopped
1-2 tbsp feta cheese
baby spinach (optional)

Dressing:
1-2 tbsp mango juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and fresh ground pepper

Toss all vegetables and fruit (except the spinach) in a large bowl. Whisk all dressing ingredients and drizzle as much as needed before serving. Can serve over a bed of baby spinach greens.

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A. Soup. A. Week. Lebanese Lentil Soup

Busy week … and no time for A. Soup. A. Week.

This is one of the first soups I made when I got the home-made soup frenzy..

You know when I decided canned/bottled/boxed stuff is not so good for you because of all the other stuff in it. When I realized it is so easy and tasty to make your own soups… from fresh, local, unadulterated produce 🙂

You can check out the recipe here.

Lebanese Lentil Soup

This is so yummy I never tire of it. It is the perfect antidote for a cold winter’s day!

Enjoy and have a exciting weekend!

Chickpeas with Spinach (Chole)

Chole is a very popular North Indian dish that is usually a very spicy curry made from chickpeas (channa). It is usually paired with bhature (fried bread). Chole can also be eaten with naan, roti and other types of bread and even with basmathi rice. There are many different ways to cook it. Traditionally it is cooked with onions and tomatoes and steeped in spices such as amchur (mango powder), anardhana (pomegrante powder) and garam masala.

Ingredients:
1 cup dry chickpeas (or use canned)
1-2 cups of chopped spinach
1 medium white or yellow onion chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp amchur (mango powder)
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional)
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

If using raw beans, soak in water for 12 to 24 hrs. Boil the chickpeas in 2 cups of water until cooked. I usually prefer to cook them in a pressure cooker. Set aside.

Using a mini chopper or a mortar and pestle grind the garlic and ginger to a paste.

Heat a little oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and turmeric. Once the cumin seeds turn lightly brown add chopped onion and ginger-garlic paste and fry till lightly brown. Add chopped spinach and tomato and continue cooking for 5 min. Add the spices and salt to taste. Add the cooked chickpeas along with any left over water. Add more water as necessary and continue cooking on medium low flame for another 20 minutes until all the spices are infused and all the vegetables are cooked and soften.

Garnish with some cilantro and serve hot with bhature, roti, naan or basmati rice.