Tag Archives: green leafy vegetable

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.

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Red Kidney Bean and Quinoa Soup

The  inspiration for this soup came from here. It was that time of the month to clean up the fridge, and fall (and winter) are perfect time to cook up new soups. Sipping warm spicy soup on a cold winter’s day is so soothing. It is the perfect lunch time meal with some rustic piece of bread.  And this one you can make as colorful as you like!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup rainbow quinoa (cooked per directions)
1 cup kidney beans (dry or use canned if you must)
tri-color peppers sliced
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves chopped
1 small zucchini sliced
2 carrots sliced
2-3 celery sticks sliced
1-2 tomatoes (or use canned if you must) chopped
1 cup fresh spinach chopped
some fresh basil chopped
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
3-4 cups water or broth
juice of 1 lemon
salt and black pepper to taste
red crushed pepper

If using dry kidney beans, soak overnight or for 8-10 hrs. Rinse and cook kidney beans in two cups of water. I usually cook mine in a pressure cooker. Set aside.

Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Lightly fry onion and garlic. Add rest of the vegetables except spinach and lightly cook. Add broth or water and bring to boil. Reduce flame to medium low and continue cooking. Add bay leaves, chopped basil, thyme, red crushed pepper, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked kidney beans and cook on medium low for 30-40 minutes. Add  spinach and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile bring 1 cup water to boil in a separate pan. Add rainbow quinoa and cook. Add the cooked quinoa to the soup and serve hot.

Refreshing Greek Salad

This recipe is adapted from the White Jacket Required book by Jenna Weber of Eat Live Run.

Ingredients:
1/2 cucumber peeled and chopped
1/4 red onion sliced
6-8 kalamata olives
4-6 artichoke hearts
cherry tomatoes sliced
2-3 basil leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
1-2 cups spinach (optional)

Mix all ingredients except the spinach. Set aside in the refrigerator for an hour to chill and marinate.

Serve on a bed of spinach. Refreshing!

A little of this and a little of that

It was clean up time again. The refrigerator was cluttered with half a bell pepper here, some zucchini there, a bunch of beans, a small floret of broccoli, some cauliflower and other remnants of vegetables I had used the last few days. Perfect time to weed out of the refrigerator and transform the left over vegetables into an ingredient for a stew or soup with my favorite choice of beans. I go through this at least once a month. It is a perfect precursor to clean the refrigerator to make room for  some fresh and vibrant produce to inspire new cooking ideas.

Nothing new here…

I pulled my 13 bean soup mix, some fresh kale and herbs from the garden and tossed all vegetables in a huge bowl with some spices and lemon juice.

Lunch was a delicious hearty 13 bean and vegetable soup. Perfect for a fall day.

Hope you are off to good fall season!

Green!

It’s always a pleasure to step out into my garden and pick my greens fresh from the plant. Last time I was in Chicago, in addition to the Cabbage Uttapam recipe, I came away with saplings for Gongura or Red Sorrel Leaves. One of my favorite green leafy vegetables that is scarce to find here. My friend Anu had sowed the seeds in two raised beds. All had sprouted and looked fresh and healthy. She was gracious enough to share a few saplings of amaranth and red sorrel leaves. I am equally amazed that they survived my 4-week absence!

Stepping outdoors I saw these fresh greens and my mind was on Gongura Pappu or Red Sorrel Leaves Dal. My mother always made it with a lot of garlic and it was always tasty and  refreshing! Dal in South India is always made with Toor Dal and tamarind. If the vegetable is tart, there is no need to add tamarind such as with mango and sorrel leaves. Also sometimes adding tomato will suffice such as with spinach and methi.

Here’s how I make mine…

Ingredients:
1 cup  Toor dal
1/2 bunch red sorrel leaves or as needed/available
1 whole garlic peeled and sliced (if cloves are big or use whole)
2-3 dry red chilli leaves
1 green jalapeno
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
touch of turmeric
touch of asafoetida
curry leaves
ginger (chopped)
cilantro
salt to taste

I always pre-cook my dal in a pressure cooker with 2 cups water.

In a large bowl, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add turmeric, asafoetida, cumin and mustard seeds and peeled garlic cloves. Once the garlic is lightly brown, add curry leaf, chopped ginger, sliced jalapeno and chopped sorrel leaves and fry for 5 minutes. Add the cooked dal and cook on low flame adding water as necessary for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and red chilli powder and mix well.

Top with chopped cilantro and serve hot with sona masuri rice and ghee!

Fun with Fava

Each visit to Whole Foods I look for new ingredients to bring back to try. Beans and grains are always foremost on my mind. Being vegetarian I tend to get my protein from dairy and beans. I have never worked with fava beans, raw or dried. Period. In my mind, what I planned for it was some sort of stew possibly Morrocan. With that in mind I picked some fresh mint (unfortunately my mint perished as I was out of town for 4 weeks :-(). Fortunately kale, basil and parsley have revived since I started watering them again. So here’s what I did with my fava beans.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup fava beans
1/4 cup adzuki beans
1/4 cup lentils
broccoli florets
1-2 carrots
1-2 tomatoes
1 zucchini
1 onion
2-3 garlic cloves
mint
kale
parsley
cinnamon
ground cumin
black pepper
crushed pepper
salt to taste

Soak the beans overnight in some water. I usually like to cook my beans in a pressure cooker first. This expedites the cooking of the stew in the next step. In a large dish add the chopped vegetables and leafy greens, top with cooked beans and 4-6 cups of water and spices. Bring to a boil, lower the flame and cook for an hour or two until the flavors are infused and everything is cooked.

Top with sour cream when serving.

Fig Spinach Salad

I have never used fresh figs in my cooking other than eating them as fruit. Seeing fresh figs in the produce aisle at Whole Foods I brought some home. As I scoured the web for easy, fun recipes, this one was perfect since I had all the ingredients. Best of all it used spinach greens (remember my 1lb spinach box?)

Ingredients:
2 cups baby spinach
6-8 figs sliced into wedges
sliced red onion
sliced red bell pepper
feta cheese
pecans and sliced almonds

Dressing:
olive oil
lemon juice
honey
minced garlic or I used some garlic oil
fresh ground pepper

Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl. Whisk equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil with garlic and a tsp of honey. Top salad with pecans, feta cheese and drizzle dressing over salad before serving.

Note to self: I think next time I will skip the honey in the dressing. Figs are inherently very sweet so a tangy flavor to the dressing will provide better taste to the palate.