Quick Lunch Series: Pear, Pomegranate and Pecan Salad

It’s what’s for lunch

I’ve had a left over pear for sometime and decided to pick some pomegranate seeds this past weekend with a plan to make salad for lunch. An internet search provided many alternatives. I liked the ring of Pear, Pomegranate & Pecan!

This is loosely based on this recipe. Here’s how I made my salad.

Ingredients:
Baby kale (1-2 cups)
Half a pear sliced
pomegranate seeds
pecans
sliced red onion
feta cheese

Dressing:
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar (I didn’t have apple cider vinegar)
Mustard
Minced garlic
salt and pepper
thyme
oregano

Lay out kale at the bottom of the bowl. Layer sliced pear, pomegranate, pecan, onion and feta. Mix dressing ingredients. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!

 

Quick Lunch Series: Mediterranean Bowl

It’s what’s for lunch

I had some parsley I needed to use and several recipes that all looked good. Between one and the other, I ended making a combination recipe that turned out pretty good. Here’s how I made my Mediterranean bowl

Ingredients:

Quinoa: Tricolor quinoa cooked
Vegetables: Cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, red pepper, olives, banana peppers, capers
Dressing: Parsley blended with some olive oil and lemon juice
Toppings: Falafel, hummus, tahini, crispy jalapenos, pita chips, feta crumbles
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa. Mix in the chopped cucumber, tomatoes, and onion. Add in the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for an hour.

If making fresh falafel, can make ahead and warm before eating.  I had some frozen ones ready to eat.

When ready to eat, transfer to a bowl. Top with the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!

See Also:

Baked Falafel
Ultimate Mediterranean Bowl
Quinoa Salad

Repost: Mango and Farro Salad

It’s what’s for lunch!

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.

This time with some avocado!MangoFarro

Continue to read here for the recipe.

Quick Lunch Series: Stir Fried Vegetables

I recently picked up a bag of organic snow peas and immediately thought of stir fried vegetables for lunch. Typically when I cook stir fried vegetables I  use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. It turned out pretty good and this was how I made mine.

Ingredients:

Sauce – soy sauce, honey, finely chopped garlic, finely chopped ginger, roasted sesame seeds, crushed red pepper
Vegetables – snow peas, sliced assorted peppers, broccoli, green onions, sliced carrots. Can also use baby corn and mushrooms
Tofu squares
Sesame oil
Salt to taste

Heat a wok or pan on medium. Add some oil and fry tofu until lightly brown. Set aside.

To the same pan add more oil and stir fry vegetables on medium high for 5-6 minutes, tossing as necessary. Add sauce and the tofu pieces and continue to cook for another minute or two.

Serve warm with some jasmine rice.

Instant Uttapam

Tried this instant version of Uttapam recently and was quite satisfied with the result. Normally I like to plan ahead and soak my grains and beans overnight if I intend to have Uttapam. Having forgotten to do that, I went looking for an instant version and wasn’t disappointed. Here’s how I made mine.

Ingredients:

1 cup Semolina or Rawa
3-4 tbsp Kefir or yogurt
salt to taste
1-2 tsp oil

Toppings – vegetables of your choice. I normally like to use chopped kale, shredded carrot, peas, and sliced heirloom tomatoes, cilantro and some finely sliced jalapeno. Can also add chopped onion.

Mix semolina, yogurt, salt and some water to make batter. Set aside for 30 minutes. When ready to make Uttapam, place a pan on the stove, generously grease with oil. Chop and mix vegetables in batter.  Pour 1/3 or 1/2 the batter and spread out evenly. Cover and cook on medium low until golden. Flip and cook other side. Makes about 2-3  depending on size.

Serve warm with chutney. I usually like mine with peanut or sweet and sour ginger chutney.

Quick Lunch Series: Zoodles

After thinking about it for some time now, I finally cooked Zoodles and really enjoyed it. My original plan was to make roasted vegetable lasagna as I cooked my sauce, but considering the warm weather, I was loathe to turn on the oven. Instead I switched plans and decided to try Zoodles casserole instead. I conveniently had a box of frozen Zoodles ready to use! Here’s how I made my Zoodles.

Ingredients:

Sauce:
5 Roma tomatoes
1/2 onion chopped
3-4 garlic cloves chopped
some fresh basil leaves
olive oil
salt
cayenne pepper

Zoodles:
olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves minced
chopped onion (optional)
Cheese (I used sliced pepper jack)
salt to taste
some fresh basil sliced
1 pack frozen Zoodles (or use 3-4 spiralized zucchini)

For the home made sauce check out the recipe here.

Heat some olive oil in a pan. Add minced garlic and onion if using and fry for a few seconds till lightly golden. Add Zoodles and continue frying. If using frozen, continue frying until all the moisture evaporates. Season with salt and mix well. Spread out the Zoodles around the pan. Add a layer of sauce on top. Sprinkle cheese and continue cooking till the cheese melts and most of the moisture evaporates. Makes about two servings.

Sprinkle some fresh basil and serve warm.

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.

 

Airplane Cookies have Arrived & Departed!

It has been a while since I posted here. Not that I haven’t been cooking new recipes, but just no time to take pictures and post. I hope to start doing this more often as I ramp up my effort to clean eating and fitness in the new year!

As has been the tradition the past few years since I purchased my Airplane Cookie Cutters, I baked Airplane Cookies for the holiday party at work again.  As always  I kept track of recipes that sounded interesting and selected the one I wanted to try.

This year there were two that came close, and I almost thought I would try both. The first one that caught my eye was the Almond and currant Christmas Cookies. They looked delicious! And then there was the Hazelnut, Cocoa Nibs and Cardamon Cookies. Yummy!

I went with the Almond and Currant Christmas Cookies. I made very minor changes to the recipe. The only changes I made were I used only egg whites instead of egg yoke and I replaced currants with dried cherries. You can find the original recipe here.

Overall I was very happy with the result!Happy Holidays!

Quick Lunch Series: Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Since I discovered Cauliflower rice, I have been enjoying trying different recipes. My favorite so far is the Cauliflower Fried Rice I posted previously.

Whenever I bring a bag of Cauliflower rice, I usually try a couple of recipes. This time wasn’t different. This recipe is loosely based on this one.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups of Cauliflower Rice
1/2 cup diced orange and yellow peppers
1-2 tbsp chopped onion
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1 tomato chopped
olive oil
salt to taste
dash of cumin
dash of paprika
lemon juice
chopped cilantro

Saute onion, garlic and jalapeno in a pan till lightly golden. Add tomatoes, salt, paprika and cumin and cook for another few minutes. Add peppers & cauliflower rice and continue cooking on a low flame for 5-10 minutes or longer until cooked, and the moisture evaporates.

Drizzle lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve warm with sliced avocado, sour cream, and pico del gayo.

Perfect for a workday lunch!

Links:

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower rice and Kale soup

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