Tag Archives: vegetables

A day in the garden

It’s been a warm, moist week here in the ‘Burgh, most of which we’ve spent at work.

Today when we went out to see what the garden has been doing, we were amazed at the development that’s happened.

The butter lettuce is flourishing.

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The kale and romaine are almost uncontained.

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And look little broccoli!

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We had a lovely lunch with our first harvest.

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Kruti’s Kitchen: Black quinoa salad with fresh chevre, avocado and corn with cilantro-lime dressing

Today’s recipe comes to us courtesy of my old friend Kruti. Recently married and about to receive her medical degree (while keeping up a crazy dancing schedule), Kruti rightfully posted a celebratory message today declaring this particular culinary adventure a success. I haven’t tried it yet myself, but I trust that she would have done a fantastic job.
I’ve kept the recipe in her words, as she sent it to me. I hope it gives you a sense of the fun-loving girl she is! 🙂
As always, suggestions and input please!

Black quinoa salad with fresh chevre, avocado, corn + cilantro-lime dressing

FOR THE SALAD:
– 1 cup cooked quinoa
– 1 oz. goat cheese (can use feta if goat cheese is not available)
– 1 avocado
– 2 husks of fresh corn (frozen variety A-okay too :))
– 1 tomato
– 2 tbsp olive oilFOR THE DRESSING:
– cilantro
– 1 lime
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp saltDirections: After cooking the quinoa, set aside to cool. Meanwhile, peel the corn and cook on high heat in 2 tbsp olive oil until the corn starts to get a grilled appearance. Set aside to cool as well. Dice the tomatoes. Mix in corn and tomatoes with the quinoa and refrigerate. Right before you are ready to eat, top with freshly cut avocado, crumbles of chevre, and the dressing. Add a voila for yumminess:)!

Dresssing: Pulse some cilantro, lime, sugar, and salt in a food processor and add olive oil while pulsing. Season to taste!

My Very First Quinoa Bowl!

I’ve been hearing a lot about quinoa lately. It seems to be all the rage with everyone from hippie health freaks to Indian aunties who want to keep their husbands from getting diabetes. It’s being used as a replacement for rice, oats, millet, you name it. My dad’s been recommending quinoa to me for a while, telling me that it’s the secret to getting through my increasingly never-ending days, but I haven’t really known how to get started using it.

Heidi over at 101 cookbooks has several recipes up that I’ve never tried, so today seemed to be a good day to get started on my own quinoa adventure. I bought quinoa at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago, but it’s been sitting in my pantry, forlorn and sad-looking. My refrigerator is home to a bag of yellowing brussels sprouts and borderline wrinkled grape tomatoes, so it was time to give them all a chance at life. My inspiration came from this recipe, but I didn’t have several ingredients that I would have loved to include, like tofu and baby bella mushrooms. In the end it turned out to be quite simple, a quick mix of brussels sprouts, roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and pesto stirred into a fresh, hot pot of quinoa. Since Chicago is still freezing (what is going ON?), this was a lovely one-pot lunch that warmed me up and filled me up at one go. I’m ready to hit my long day of work now, satisfied that I’ve done my part towards being healthier!

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked quinoa
8-10 small brussels sprouts
grape tomatoes – you can use however many you want
1-2 tablespoons pesto – here’s a recipe in case you don’t have store-bought
a handful of pine nuts
a pinch of sea salt
a teaspoon of brown sugar
a splash of olive oil
Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Slice the grape tomatoes and Brussels sprouts in half.

3. Stir together a splash of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a teaspoon of brown sugar and pour the mixture onto the tomatoes.

4. Gently toss the tomatoes in the mixture and arrange them cut-side-up in a baking dish.

Aren't they cute all lined up?

5. Do the same with the Brussels sprouts and arrange them in another baking dish.

6. You can throw in the pine nuts along with the Brussels sprouts.

7. Bake everything in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the tomatoes are well roasted and the Brussels sprouts are golden brown.

Ready to pop into your mouth!

8. Stir everything but the tomatoes into the quinoa along with a spoonful of pesto and a pinch of salt.

9. Transfer the whole dish into a plate and top with the tomatoes.

10. Enjoy!

Balsamic Glazed Mushrooms

Here’s another recipe exchange find – courtesy of my old friend Hima.

These look like they could be incredibly versatile  – write in with your tweaks and modifications, folks!

Ingredients:

4 or 5 large portabella mushrooms
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt
pepper
rosemary
other spices of your liking

Method

1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Lay the mushrooms gills down and brush the tops with salt, pepper and the olive oil.

3. Flip over, and do the same but this time brush balsamic vinegar on them.

4. Take rosemary (dry or fresh) and dust over the gills of the mushrooms,

n.b. *the dry rosemary is more potent than the fresh*
5. Season to taste.
6. Put them in an oven for about 20 minutes at 300 degrees until they’re tender.
7. Serve w/ a dollop of Goat Cheese in the middle.
Hima’s serving suggestion:
“You can either slice them and serve them on a salad, on a sandwich or eat them alone.  I usually end up making these with a small side of wheat pasta tossed with olive oil and some fresh diced tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and parmesan.  It takes no time to prepare and it’s a super easy clean up.”
Readers: any other serving suggestions? what other spices and herbs would you try?

Sultana’s Kitchen, Installment 1 – Paneer Tikka

So it’s been about a year and a half since the last time I posted here. Things have been nuts, with exams and life, and getting things back on track. A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I got together for a study group. The study group turned into a cooking party soon enough, and the results were simply fabulous. The meal consisted of paneer tikka, chili gobi (cauliflower for you non-hindi-speakers) and a simple fried rice – the only time I have ever genuinely liked fried rice.

I”ll start with the paneer tikka recipe and we’ll go from there. I never actually knew that paneer tikka could be so easy. It’s one of those things that’s only served in fancy restaurants, so I really didn’t know that making it at home would be such a piece of cake. My chum Sultana is one of those rare specimens that is skilled at everything she does. Her knowledge of culinary arts rivals her knowledge of clinical methods and current affairs, which makes her quite a source of company. This is her recipe for paneer tikka. Hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

This is going to be a bit vague as far as proportions go, but I think it’s more a matter of preferences than rigid rules.

Ingredients

64 oz. firm or extra firm paneer

Marinade:
Half a tub of yogurt

olive or canola oil

If you have a grinder:

dried red chilis (2-5 depending on how spicy you like your food)

a 3-inch piece of ginger root

6-8 cloves of garlic

If you don’t have a grinder:

chili powder (to taste)

2-3 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste (available at an Indian store)

a pinch of kasuri methi (available at an Indian store)

a pinch of curry powder (available at an indian store)

a pinch of garam masala (available at an indian store)

Green chilis

chili flakes

Salt to taste (preferably rock salt)
To serve with:
1 big capsicum (bell pepper) or 2 smaller ones

2 beefsteak tomatoes

1 yellow onion

Method:

1. Cut the paneer into thin squares. They should have enough surface area that grilling them will be easy, but they should be thin enough that the marinade will soak in properly.
2. Combine all the ingredients of the marinade together thoroughly, making sure that they are blended properly. If desired they can be whipped together.
3. Lay the paneer slices out in a shallow baking dish, covering completely with the marinade. Alternatively, they can be placed in a big ziploc bag after covering with the marinade.
4. Cover with an airtight seal and place them in the refrigerator overnight.
5. The paneer can be cooked in two ways. It can either be grilled or it can be cooked in a frying pan with a little oil, whichever you are comfortable with.
6. Both sides of each piece should be evenly browned, forming a rich golden crust. Make sure it’s cooked long enough without burning it.
7. Finally, if you’re using a grill, you can grill the vegetables on there as well. Otherwise, cut each into lengthwise pieces and roast for about 7-10 minutes in the oven.
8. Serve the paneer hot with the roasted vegetables as a side dish with roti (Indian flatbread) or rice.
9. Enjoy!

p.s. I would like to see how this would turn out with tofu to replace the paneer for a healthier option. If anyone tries it out, let me know!