Tag Archives: quick lunch series

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: Roasted Eggplant & Cauliflower

This recipe is adapted from here.

Ingredients:

1 Japanese Eggplant, sliced into wedges

1/2 Cauliflower cut into florets

1-2 tbsp red curry paste

1 cup chickpeas

1-2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small piece of ginger grated

olive oil

salt to taste

a few fresh basil leaves

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

If using dry chickpeas, soak in water overnight and steam. If using canned, rinse and set aside.

Toss eggplant, cauliflower, ginger, garlic, oil, salt and curry paste. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes until lightly brown.

Add chickpeas and mix well. Continue to roast for another 5-10 minutes.

Garnish with basil and serve warm over a bowl of rice. Perfect for that office day meal.

Quick Lunch Series: Cabbage Thai Curry with Brown Rice

Cabbage is such a bland vegetable, that I am constantly looking for new recipes. As I scoured for new ways to cook cabbage this weekend, I came across this one. It seemed perfect for that office day meal with some brown rice, making it hearty, healthy, spicy and most importantly, fulfilling!

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Ingredients:
1/2 green cabbage cut into chunks
1 onion chopped into chunks
1 green pepper cut into chunks
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes sliced
2 lemon grass stalks
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 inch ginger chopped
some fresh basil chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp red curry
1-2 tbsp Thai red chilli oil (option) or use fish oil
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp brown sugar

cab1Combine all ingredients except the tomatoes, and the basil and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-20 minutes until the cabbage softens.

cab2Add sliced tomatoes and basil. Add fish oil or thai red chilli oil as per preference. Cook for another 5 minutes.

cab3Serve warm with some Jasmine rice (white or brown).

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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.

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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!

Quick Lunch Series: Raw Green Mango and Chickpea Salad

Hello Spring!

So… A. Soup. A. Week. is finally over. And I am taking a break from soups to try some new recipes.
Before I move on, my most favorite soups were Raw Green Mango and Red Lentil and Roasted Tomato, Onion and Garlic Soups. They were neck to neck and I have decided they both were clear winners!

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I found fresh raw green mango at the grocery this week and was excited to see baby green mangoes as well. It reminded me of home. This time of the year, there would be plenty of baby green mangoes dropping from the trees in my garden back home. My mother loved to make Mammidi Bhaddalu (baby mango pickles). And that is what I made with them. You can find the recipe here.
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This is one of those quick lunch recipes when you need to pack your lunch box for a work day meal. I wish I had some fresh chickpeas, but canned it is!

Ingredients:
1 can organic chickpeas
1/2 raw green mango sliced fine
1 baby yellow pepper sliced thin
1/8 red onion sliced thin
6-8 cherry tomatoes sliced
1/4 cucumber chopped fine
some shredded carrot
a few mint leaves chopped fine
1-2 tsp of capers
a few pickled or fresh jalapeno sliced

Dressing
1 lemon juice (or unsweetened green mango juice)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper

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Toss everything together and enjoy!