Tag 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!

Rosemary Scented Vegetable Phyllo Tart

One reason, I was excited to try this recipe was that it used all my favorite vegetables, was egg less and used less cheese.

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I only made 1/4 of the recipe. The book Vegetarian Times cooks Mediterranean has many healthy recipes, but one downside is that there are only a few photographs of the final product. I don’t know if what I made looks anything close to what it is supposed to look like. I only have to go with the final taste and whether I like it or not. This one was a little difficult, since I was using phyllo sheets and I wasn’t sure how to fold or create a tart.   Methinks pastry sheets might have been good here? The end product was delicious, although I am not sure it looked good and professional. A photograph in the book would have been good!

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Either way, I  had used only a quarter of the phyllo sheets to make Baklava, so I could keep the rest to try other fun recipes from the book.

Ingredients:

2 oz of dry, sun-dried tomatoes (I think I used a little more)
1-2 tbsp milk (add as needed)
5 oz of fresh spinach (or frozen)
1.5 oz goat cheese (I used feta instead)
1/4 phyllo sheets
1/8 cup fresh rosemary
1 scallion, trimmed and minced
1 medium zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced (I didn’t have any)
1-2 roasted peppers, cut long
3-4 oz marinated artichokes
a few basil leaves
pine nuts (I didn’t use any)
white wine (I didn’t use any)
1 garlic clove
olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

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Soak sun dried tomatoes in boiling water for 7-10 minutes. Slice thinly.

I used fresh red pepper. So I sliced them thinly, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Process spinach,milk, cheese, garlic, scallion, rosemary, salt and pepper until smooth. If mixture is too dry, add more milk.

Place a skillet on the stove, add olive oil, white wine (I used white wine vinegar instead :-)), salt and pepper and saute on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to paper towels. Add onions to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Add mushrooms if using and saute for 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to dry.

Line a deep dish pan with phyllo sheets. I used quartered sheets, so I layered them to complete the corners of the circular dish. Brush each sheet lightly with olive oil. Continue piling until all sheets are gone. Fold down the edges over the dish. Spread the spinach mixture over the crust. Add sauted zucchini, onions, mushrooms if using, roasted peppers, sheaun dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. Bake for 15 minutes. If the crust is browning, turn the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, else continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes until the phyllo is golden and crisp.

Sprinkle with fresh basil, and pine nuts. Tuck in some fresh sprigs of rosemary and serve warm.

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Makes about 3-4 helpings.

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

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!

Creamy Swiss Chard Soup

This one is adapted from the book Twenty One Day Tummy Diet.

SwissChardJPGIngredients:
1 bunch white Swiss chard chopped
5 oz baby spinach chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 cup chopped green onions or chives
2.5 cups water or broth
2 tbsp 1/3 fat cream cheese
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
drizzle of lemon juice (optional)

Heat the oil in large pan or dutch oven. Add chopped red bell pepper and green onions and fry for 5-6 minutes. Add Swiss Chard, and spinach and continue frying for another minute. Add water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the greens are wilted. Add almond butter and cream cheese and continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Cool. Using an immersion blender lightly blend the soup into puree or leave some chunks like I do. You can also transfer some to a food processor and blend. Makes about 2 servings.

I drizzled some lemon juice and enjoyed on a frigidly cold day for lunch!

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!

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.