Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 10 of '10

2011 is upon us! The new dawn also brought with her the 5000th visitor to my blog! Yay!

Now with the obligatory look back at the year that was:

1. Farmer's Markets    
Finally having a Farmer's Market in Mumbai for locally sourced, certified organic produce. Here's a roundup of all the stuff I bought this year. For those of you who still haven't got their arses down to the market or have been living under a rock and haven't heard about the farmers market, click here.              

2. Home Made Sun Dried Tomatoes
What started off on a lazy Saturday on a whim, turned out, by far, to be the biggest hit on my blog (700 hits and counting). Who knew so many people were interested in little pieces of sun drenched fruit?! Here's the recipe.

3. Baking 
2010 was the year I finally got around to baking stuff. Nothing majorly great - and not without minor incidents - but I am very proud of my rather good looking olive and onion crackers.
Here's the recipe

 4. Glorious Beets
2010 was the year I came to appreciate beets in all their glory. I had them marinated, curried, in burgers, and in salads.

5. Quinoa
Quinoa was a new discovery for me. No one around me has even heard of this wonder grain. I thoroughly enjoyed my lemon and pea quinoa pilaf. But my favorite way of cooking it was my quinolicious salad. Here's the recipe.

6. Salads Galore
When I started off with this whole raw business, I used to almost fear salads - seemed too complicated. I stuck to my blended juices and smoothies. Now it seems more a hassle to get out my blender and make a drink for myself than to chop up some veggies and make a salad. There are over 20 salads to choose from so far. My absolute favorite has been:
a) Zesty spinach salad. Here's the recipe.
b) Strawberry Lettuce Salad. Here's the recipe

7. Seasonings
Raw food doesn't have to be bland as a cardboard! Let your imagination run wild! If nothing else, use lime/lemon and black pepper to perk up even the most mundane of salads. I loved my carrot sambal and my carrot and cabbage salad with coriander and cumin dressing. Here's the recipe.

8. M & Ms (Maple & Miso)
Maple and Miso - both completely alien foods to India. One of the first recipes I made was my asparagus and miso soup. Here's the recipe.
I absolutely LOVE maple syrup! I loved my lettuce salad with mulberry and maple dressing:
And finally, I combined maple and miso to make my sweet and sour bean sprout salad. Here's the recipe.
9. Sweet Potato Chips
Baked sweet potato chips with chilli and garlic - what's not to love?! Here's the recipe.

10. Something Sweet
And for dessert, why not try a vegan strawberry sorbet? Better yet - I adore my date, walnut and orange zest balls. Here's the recipe.

What I Want Now: Green Tomato and Jalepeno Jam

A delightful green tomato and jalepeno chutney mined from Closet Cooking:

Yum! And on that note - here's wishing everyone a happy and peaceful year ahead!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Lettuce, Apple, and Cucumber Salad

Inspired by my salad yesterday, today, too, I made a salad with hitherto unused ingredients - apples and cucumbers. You can prevent apples from going brown after you cut them by rubbing some lemon/lime juice on them.

Lettuce, Apple, and Cucumber Salad

  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped finely
  • 1/2 a large apple, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, sliced (skin on)
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, chopped
  • Handful of mint
  • Tablespoon of olive oil
  • Juice of two limes
  • Handful of fennel leaves
  • Handful of walnuts
To make:
  • Chop and mix all the veggies.
  • Juice the two limes - The juice of one of them will be poured over the chopped apples to prevent them from going brown.
  • The juice of the other lime will be combined with the olive oil to make a dressing.
  • Pour over the salad.
  • Garnish with walnuts, mint and fennel leaves.
Lettuce, Apple, and Cucumber Salad on Foodista

Subway Fix

Finally, a Subway sandwich that actually looks like the one on their posters!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Peas, Lettuce, and Fennel Salad

If you have been on my blog long enough, you’ll notice I rarely make a green salad – by habit, I must add some color by way of fruits or red peppers at the very least. Today, I decided to give my daily dose of peppers a rest. And used green peas, instead!

  • 1 cup green peas (frozen is fine)
  • 2-3 cups of chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped pak choi leaves
  • ½ cup of shaven fennel bulb (with leaves)
  • 10 green olives
  • 5-10 walnuts
  • Dash of olive oil
  • Juice of one lime

To make: 
  • Combine the peas, lettuce, pak choi, and fennel.
  • Make a dressing of olive oil and the lime juice.
  • Pour over the salad. Let it rest for 2-4 hours.
  • Add the walnuts on top for crunch.

Peas, Lettuce, and Fennel Salad on Foodista

What I Want Now: Ginger Candy

Crystallized ginger - so easy to make and I'd imagine it'd taste great.

Photo and recipe courtesy the Healthy Green Kitchen:

Beet and Bean Sprouts Burger

Milk solids. Two words that are increasingly cropping up on things I have bought. Two words that are making me question how I can in good faith call myself “100% vegan”?! A miniscule amount of milk isn’t the greatest sin in the world, but still.

First my cracker biscuits and now my store bought burger buns contain milk solids. What does ‘milk solids’ even mean?! And why the heck is it mindlessly added to everything? As a former non-vegetarian, I am just not used to scrutinizing food labels – It may be unhealthy, but there’s nothing on those food labels that would make me stop and go “Oh, I can’t buy this. This contains XXX”. That habit of mindlessly picking up stuff that I think should and ought to be vegan will have to be seriously managed.

But I believe in learning my lesson and moving on. I just don’t see the point of just throwing away a perfectly good burger bun that I already wasted my money on. I’ll eat it now, but will never buy the same brand again, and examine all burger bun food labels now that I am aware there might be milk solids. After all, this is a journey and I’m still learning – only about 3 months since going completely vegan. At least I do not consciously crave more obvious no-go items like meat and milk.

Anyhoo…there are a ton of vegan burgers that mimic various meats. I especially liked this burger recipe that uses beets to mimic meat. It looks great, but there is so much effort involved with making stock and cooking and grinding up various nuts and seeds. So, my version – not nearly as pretty or great tasting, for sure – uses beets and bean sprouts. You just grind it all up and deep fry the pattie. However, you do need some sort of flour or beans to hold the whole thing together because beets will start to shed water, and you – like me – risk having a runny pattie.

Beet and Bean Sprouts Burger


For the pattie:

  • 1 beet
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • ½ cup fried onions
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Handful of coriander
  • Corn starch or plain flour (if needed)
  • Dash of semolina
Other trimmings:
  • Burger bun
  • Green chutney (coriander and chillies with some coconut)
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Lettuce, finely chopped
  • Jalepeno peppers
To make:

  • In a blender, blend together all the ingredients except corn starch/ plain flour.
  • Make a pattie. If it’s too runny, add some corn starch or some sort of flour.
  • Let the pattie rest in the fridge for 4-8 hours so that the wateriness goes away.
  • Coat the pattie in semolina (or bread crumbs if you have them).
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.
To assemble:

  • Cut the burger bun and gently toast it on both sides.
  • I added a green coriander and chilli chutney to my buns, and added tomato, lettuce, jalepenos.
  • Vegan Beet and Sprouts Burger on Foodista

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Strawberry Lettuce Salad

For lunch today, a delightful sweet salad consisting of strawberries and lettuce, with maple adding to the sweetness.
Lettuce isn’t just a sweet and crunchy vegetable that makes salads appetizing, or the mandatory greens you add atop your burger! It’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods around, according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Nutrient density can also be understood as the ratio of the nutrient composition of a given food to the nutrient requirements of the human body. This, according to the eBook 'Profoundly Raw'. OK, as you see from the chart below, it’s nowhere close to the heavy weights kale and spinach, but would you rather eat a kilo of kale or lettuce?

Strawberry Lettuce Salad


  • 10-12 strawberries
  • 2-3 cups of lettuce
  • 10-12 green olives
  • 1 cup of green pepper
  • ½ cup of red pepper
  • Tablespoon of maple syrup
To make:

  • Tear up the lettuce - I used iceberg – into bite sized chunks.
  • Chop up the peppers into little squares, and the strawberries you can leave whole or slice in half, depending on the size.
  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Pour the maple syrup on top right before you want to eat the salad or the lettuce will start to wilt away.

 Strawberry Lettuce Salad on Foodista


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