Saturday, January 11, 2020

Artichoke & White Bean Salad

Turn frozen artichoke hearts into this fabulous salad that can be served warm, cool, or cold with just a few ingredients. You may use canned beans also; about 2 standard cans should do it. 

Ingredients:

1 cup Great Northern Beans
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
1 Lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp Olive oil
1/2 medium Onion, diced
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Ripe Tomatoes, diced
2 (9 oz) pckges frozen Artichoke Hearts
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp Salt, to taste
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives
8-10 fresh Basil leaves, torn
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Method:

Prepare the beans: sort, soak overnight, and rinse the beans. Cook in water to cover until soft but not mushy. Drain the beans while still warm and add the garlic, shallot, salt and pepper, and lemon to taste. 

Heat oil with the garlic and onions; when they soften and become translucent, add tomatoes, artichoke, lemon and a sprinkle of water. Cook covered for about 5-7 minutes until artichokes are done. Remove from heat, stir in  the rest of the ingredients - olives, basil, and pepper to taste.

Pour the artichoke salad into a large platter or shallow bowl and pour the marinated beans over. 

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!!



Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Waldorf Salad With Balsamic Dressing

Irresistible and treat-filled Waldorf Salad has so many colorful and favorite components – crisp apples, juicy grapes, tangy 'cheese', and sweet crisp walnuts – all topped with a delicious balsamic dressing! I love this type of salad which makes a filling meal - perfect for a lovely lunch to linger over with company or by oneself.

NOTES: The cheese and walnuts maybe prepared at home ahead of time or purchased.

4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Dressing
2-3 Tbsp olive oil 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp sugar or Maple Syrup to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt, to taste

Salad
1 block (14-16 oz) Extra-firm Tofu, diced or coarsely chopped
1 Apple, diced
1/2 cup seedless red grapes, quartered
1/2 cup celery,  diced
6-7 cups Spinach OR mixed Baby Salad Greens
1/2 cup toasted/glazed walnuts
1/4 cup crumbled Vegan Gorgonzola cheese

METHOD:

Dressing: whisk mustard, oil and vinegar together. Add remaining ingredients, and whisk until combined. Taste and adjust the ingredients and seasonings until just right. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing maybe made a couple of days ahead.

Salad: gently toss tofu, grapes, apple, and celery together; add enough dressing (about half) to moisten. Chill until ready to serve.

Toss together the spinach or salad greens and required amount of dressing and divide among 4 plates. Divide the tofu mixture and place on top of the greens. Drizzle any leftover dressing over the salad.

Sprinkle with walnuts and Gorgonzola, and serve immediately. 

Enjoy!!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Spicy Mango-Cucumber Salad W/Lime Dressing

Spicy Mango-Cucumber Salad W/Lime Dressing is a refreshing side salad or can be paired with your favorite chips or tortillas instead of or in addition to the regular tomato salsa for a lovely starter.  Serve this delicious salad any way you like with any meal. Simple and simply delicious!

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

1 large ripe but firm Mango, peeled and diced
1-2 green Onions, thinly sliced 
1 English Cucumber or about 3 small Persian type, diced
A little Salt
1 Shallot OR 1/2 small Red Onion, thinly sliced
4-5 Tbsp Cilantro leaves

Dressing:
1-2 cloves Garlic
1 fresh red Thai Chile OR 1/2-1 Serrano/Jalapeño Chile, minced
a generous pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp Jaggery (Indian brown sugar)
1 large fresh Lime,  juiced - divided

METHOD:

Make the dressing: 
Carefully mash garlic and chiles with the salt into a coarse paste using the mortar and pestle. Avoid getting splattered with the juices. Add jaggery and mash until it is incorporated and dissolves. Add  about 3-4 Tablespoons of the lime juice and mix well. 

Make the Salad:
Combine the mango, cucumber, green onions and cilantro in a bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Taste and add more salt, lime, jaggery, etc to taste.

Serve immediately or reserve for up to 30 minutes in the fridge. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Qinoa Bowl With Marinated Tofu & Spicy Chickpeas

This protein-packed Quinoa Bowl is so full of tasty ingredients that each bite is a treat! Marinated Tofu and the Seasoned Chickpeas could stand alone as starters, snacks or side dishes; so I often double the quantities so there is plenty for extras and for another recipe.

This recipe is great for batch cooking; make the components in double or triple quantities as desired so you can mix and match for a few meals. The tofu, chickpeas, and roasted veggies maybe added to pasta or salads to change them up.

NOTES:

Instead of the quinoa, other favorite grains like farro, brown and wild rice, millet, or a combination of grains maybe used.

Marinate Tofu and Chickpeas at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours ahead. If marinating more than 30 minutes to 1 hour, reserve them in the fridge until needed.

4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Marinated Tofu:
½ teaspoon Chinese type sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha type hot sauce
2  tsp thyme
1  tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
½ tsp Garlic, minced (optional)
8 oz tofu

Seasoned Chickpeas:
1 1/2 cups cooked Chickpeas (1 standard can)
1 Tsp Oil
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper, freshly ground
½ -1 tsp Red Chile powder
½ tsp Garlic minced (optional)

Roasted Vegetables:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
2 Carrots, cut into bite-size cubes
1 Large Onion, diced
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced (optional)
1 Tsp oil (optional)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Fresh or dried herbs

For the Bowl:
1 cup dry quinoa or other grains
2 cups Spinach, Arugula, or other favorite greens
1 Small Avocado, peeled and diced
1 Lemon, juiced

Garnishes:
4 Green Onions, thinly sliced including green part
1 Handful Fresh Coriander/Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 Lemon cut in wedges

METHOD:

TOFU: Drain tofu well and wrap in paper towels and place a heavy weight on top for about 30 minutes. Combine the marinade ingredients for tofu in a small bowl and whisk to mix well. Cut the tofu into cubes, batons, or slabs, mix well with the marinade to coat. Place tofu a resealable plastic bag or other container along with all the marinade; let marinate.

When ready to bake, place on one side of the prepared baking sheet. 

CHICKPEAS: Combine all the ingredients under "Seasoned Chickpeas" and mix gently but well; let marinate. Transfer the chickpeas to another rimmed baking sheet; spread into an even single layer.

Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up  or with a little oil.

ROASTED VEGETABLES: 
Combine sweet potato, carrots, onion, and garlic if using with oil, salt, and pepper; place on half of a baking sheet with the tofu. Sprinkle the herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, etc) on top.

Bake the sweet potatoes, tofu and chickpeas for 20-25 minutes shaking and turning the veggies and tofu once half way through baking using a thin metal spatula. Keep the veggies and tofu separate; do not mix while turning. By keeping them separate, you can decide on their usage and arrangement for serving later.

Alternately, tofu, sweet potatoes and chickpeas may be cooked in a skillet; cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until done.

QUINOA OR GRAINS: Cook the quinoa or the grains of your choice according to package directions and keep warm.

ASSEMBLY: When ready to serve, Divide the greens, quinoa, carrots, chickpeas, and tofu among four large bowls. Add avocado on top and drizzle with lemon juice. 

Sprinkle each bowl with sliced green onions and coriander/cilantro; pass the lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Alternately, set out all the components for a buffet style meal.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Stuffed Karela (Bittermelon With Onion-Tomato Filling)

My friend EJ loves Indian food including karela or bittermelon! She asked for a good recipe for stuffed karela. Since we enjoyed the Karela Atho so much, I thought it might be fun to make it into Stuffed Karela for EJ with a few minor changes!

NOTES: I find that leaving the stem ends of the veggies intact keeps them from falling apart while cooking. Trim off only any excess or discolored stems leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch of the stem intact. Indian or Asian karela may be used to make this dish.

Zucchinis may be used instead of karela. Prepare the zucchini by trimming the blossom ends, and make a slit along the length without cutting through. Remove some of the center carefully with a little spoon or a melon baller; just enough to hold the stuffing. Save the the removed portion, chop and add to the onion mixture.

4 Servings

Ingredients

4 medium Karela
1/2 tsp Salt + 1/2 tsp Sambar/Rasam powder
1 Tbsp oil for cooking the stuffed veggies
2-3 Green Onions, with long leaves for tying the karela

Filling:
1/4 cup White/Tan Sesame seeds
1/3 cup Peanuts
1 pinch Cumin Seeds
1 large Onion
1-2 tsp grated Ginger
2 large Tomatoes
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp ground Coriander seeds
1-2 tsp Sambar or Rasam Powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Coconut Sugar, jaggery, or Brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh Coriander/Cilantro, chopped 

2 Tbsp fresh Coriander/Cilantro, chopped for Garnish

METHOD:

Prepare Karela and green onions:
Karela: Prepare the karela by trimming blossom ends and making a slit along the length, taking care not to cut through. With your fingers or a spoon, remove the seeds and the soft innards; discard the seeds and innards. Rub the 1/2 teaspoon salt and sambar/rasam powder mixture inside each of the veggies; I find that this step seasons the veggies nicely. Steam or microwave the karela or just until softened; about  5-7 minutes for steaming or about one to two minutes for the microwave. Set aside to cool until ready to stuff.

Green Onions: Start a small pot of water to boil; turn off when boiled. Have an ice bath ready: a small bowl filled with water and some ice cubes. Separate the leaves from the green onions and dunk them in boiling water for just a minute. Remove and plunge into iced water. Take them out and keep on a paper/kitchen towel. 

Filling:
Dry roast the peanuts if raw and the sesame seeds separately; set aside to cool. Pound the sesame seeds first using a mortar and pestle; when the sesame is coarsely ground, add the peanuts and pound a bit more to crush them well. If made ahead, keep in an airtight jar or container until needed.

Heat a skillet. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and beginning to brown a little. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander, and Sambar or Rasam powders. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften. Stir in the jaggery and cook for a minute to combine well. Add salt to taste,  peanuts, sesame, and coriander leaves, then turn off the heat and set aside until cool.

Assembly and finishing:
Stuff the prepared karela with the onion-tomato mixture; use one of the green onion leaves to wrap and tie them to keep the stuffing in while cooking. I seldom do the tying as I do not mind some of the stuffing escaping into the pan.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a cast-iron or non-stick skillet. Place the stuffed veggies in the skillet in a single layer and cook over low to medium heat, turning to cook all sides until lightly browned and veggies are tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary to avoid burning the veggies.

Let rest for 5 minutes, and sprinkle the rest of the coriander/cilantro.

Serve hot with some plain dal and rice, grains, or roti.

Enjoy!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Coleslaw 2 Ways - Cabbage Salad With Creamy OR Lemony Dressing

Coleslaw With Creamy OR Lemony Dressing is a delicious way to include nutritious cabbage in your diet. I love anti-oxidant and anthocyanin rich red cabbage for this recipe; green cabbage or a combination of red and green cabbages would be fine too. Both the lemony and creamy dressings to choose from - are utterly delicious.

NOTES:

6 cups of cabbage might seem like a lot; when salt is added it wilts and reduces to a much smaller amount!

Salting the cabbage is an important step as it removes excess moisture from the cabbage and eliminates a soggy and watery slaw.

The optional nuts/seeds boost nutrition and add a nice crunch. You may use one kind only or a combination.

4-6 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
2 cups Carrots, shredded
3-4 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
2 Green Onions, finely chopped

Creamy Mayo Dressing:
1 clove Garlic, mashed
1/2- 3/4 cup Vegan Mayo
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup/Sugar
Salt & Freshly ground Pepper to taste

Lemon dressing
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 Tbsp  olive oil
1 Tbsp prepared Mustard
2 -3 Tbsp fresh Lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt

Optional Topping:
Assorted Seeds: Pumpkin, Sunflower, Sesame, etc
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, or pecans, chopped

METHOD:

Optional Nuts and Seeds:
Measure out your seeds and/or nuts into a small skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and lightly toasted. Pour the toasted seeds/nuts into a bowl/plate and let cool.

Slaw:
In a medium serving bowl, combine the prepared cabbage and onion with the salt and sugar and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Gently squeeze out the accumulated juices and save to add to vegetable broth or in another recipe. It is not necessary to squeeze the cabbage dry though. This step removes excess moisture from the cabbage and eliminates a soggy and watery slaw. Add carrots, green onions, and parsley. Set aside.

Dressing: Choose Mayo or Lemon dressing:
In a small bowl, combine the  ingredients for the dressing you are using and whisk until thoroughly blended.Taste and adjust lemon, salt and pepper, etc.

Assembly:
Add enough of the dressing to the slaw and toss until all of the ingredients are coated in dressing. Taste and add an additional dressing or seasonings. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to marinate for several hours or overnight.

Stir well before serving. Taste the salad for seasonings. Serve cold with the nuts/seeds sprinkled on top.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Fresh & Tangy Cucumber Salad With Chili-Lime Dressing

Fresh and Tangy Cucumber Salad With Chili-Lime Dressing is so delicious that even those who are not salad afficionados will enjoy it. The dressing adds sweetness, tartness, and heat; combined with crunchy fresh cucumbers, it is a match made in foodie heaven!

Cucumber Salad With Chili-Lime Dressing
Fresh and Tangy Cucumber Salad maybe served with any meal or enjoyed as a refreshing starter or snack. I love to offer it especially with Asian/Indian themed meals.

NOTES:

Use the greenhouse grown English type, Japanese , Armenian or the smaller Persian cucumbers. Regular cucumbers release a lot of moisture; but if only the regular types are available, remove the core and seeds and use. 

Fresh red chilies add a lovely flavor to the salad; if not available, soften dried chiles in warm water or use a little ground cayenne.

The salad maybe served with or without the nut/seeds.

2-4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Dressing:
1 clove fresh Garlic
1-2 pinches Salt
1 Tbsp Jaggery or Brown Sugar
3-4 ripe fresh Red Chilies
2-3 Tbsp fresh Coriander/Cilantro
1 Lime or Lemon, juiced

Salad:
1 Large or 4-5 small Cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 Shallot, thinly sliced

Toppings:
1 Tbsp toasted Sesame Seeds, crushed
1/4 cup roasted Peanuts, crushed
2 Green Onions, finely sliced

METHOD:

Pound and mash the garlic with the salt using a mortar and pestle; add jaggery and mash together. Stir in chilies  and Cilantro, mash a little. Add lime or lemon juice to taste.  

Combine cucumbers and shallots in a large bowl and slightly crush with the pestle with a couple smashes. Pour the dressing over the veggies. Taste and adjust salt, jaggery and lime/lemon.

Sprinkle the toppings over the salad and serve immediately.

Enjoy!!
Cucumber Salad With Chili-Lime Dressing