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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?)

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

olive oil
lemon juice
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.

What’s in my lunch box?

Mediterranean Spinach Farro Salad

I came across farro a while ago and bought some at the local Whole Foods store and even dug around online for some healthy and tasty recipes. That was then. The bought farro sat in a bottle on the shelf for a few months, until this week 🙂

By chance I came across this fun recipe at Williams Sonoma and for a change I had all the ingredients and it’s what was for lunch today. Here is my adapted version of it:

2 cups of baby spinach
1-2 radishes sliced thin
1/4 cup farro cooked
1/4 yellow pepper sliced
1/4 cucumber peeled and sliced
6-8 cherry tomatoes
1-2 tbsp capers
feta cheese
some walnuts (optional)

1/2 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper

Bring 1/2 cup water to boil and add the farro. Reduce heat, cover and cook the farro until the grains soften and all the water evaporates. Add more water if necessary to cook the farro. The farro can be cooked the previous day (which I did) and refrigerated. Set aside.

Whisk the lemon juice and oil with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl mix all the salad vegetables and cooked farro. Top with walnuts and feta cheese. Drizzle with dressing before serving.

Turned out pretty good. Farro is quite chewy and filling. Next time I think I will also add some raisins or dried  cranberries.

Banana Coconut Muffins

It’s been a while since I baked muffins. With a surprise party lined up tomorrow for my co-worker seems it is the perfect time to try these banana coconut muffins from Fresh Tastes Blog!

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 eggs (as always I used the organic egg whites)
1/2 cup coconut (I used unsweetened shredded)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil (I ended up using canola)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp flaxmeal and/or hemp (optional)
3-4 ripe bananas

Mix the flour, coconut, and baking powder. Add oil to brown sugar and mix well. Add the eggs and whip together. Smash the banana and whip. Add the dried ingredients and mix well.

Lightly grease cup cake tray and fill each cup with 3/4 batter. Bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degrees pre-heated oven.


Egglant Curry

4-5 Chinese Eggplant
1 cup cashews
5-6 garlic cloves
a pinch of Turmeric
a pinch of Asafoetida
Salt to taste
1 tsp tamarind powder or dried mango powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1-2 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste

Cut the long eggplant into two inch pieces. In a pan add oil, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and fry the eggplant till it is almost cooked. Take it out and in the same pan add curry leaves, green chilli cut long , garlic cut into long pieces, smashed garlic, add more oil if necessary and fry for a bit.  Add 1/2 cup whole cashew halves and half cup cashew powder, chilli powder, coriander powder ( 1 spoon ) and ground tamarind or dry mango powder. Add back the almost cooked egg plant into it let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with some fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice.


A recipe by Shahna Kothapally.


Bhel: A little of this and a little of that


1 bowl Poha (puffed rice) 
1 cup Sev
1/4 Potato (boiled & peeled)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1/2 medium tomato (chopped)
1-2 tbsp tamarind chutney
1-2 tbsp mint chutney
Optional: grated carrot or beets

In a bowl mix the poha, sev with a touch of salt, sugar and paprika. Toss in the chopped onions, tomatoes and diced potato. Add the mint chutney and tamarind chutney. Mix well and serve immediately.

Enjoy as an afternoon snack on a lazy Sunday afternoon with some chai 🙂

See also:

Mint Chutney
Tamarind date chutney