Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cabbage and Guava Salad

This salad brought me a nice wholesome lunch as well as a renewed belief in mankind. On my way to work, I hauled a rickshaw, asked if the driver would go to Andheri, after having said yes, I stupidly put my bag in the rickshaw and went off to get a pack of cigarettes. When I got back, the rickshaw was gone. I had my purse and cell with me, but my office ID and my lunch was gone. Great way to start the day when you're already running a bit late. Four hours later, I get a call from home saying my bag has been returned! The rickshaw driver drove on halfway before realizing I'd left some stuff in there, and drove all the way back to hand over my bag to the cigarette shop he saw me going into. Phew! I'm not leaving my bag again, thats for sure! But at least good to know not everyone is a crook...
Spicy Cabbage and Guava Salad
Cabbage and Guava Salad

  • About 2 cups of green cabbage
  • 2 guavas
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of dry chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Handful of coriander
    Spicy Cabbage and Guava Salad
    Spicy Cabbage and Guava Salad
    Spicy Cabbage and Guava Salad
    Spicy Cabbage and Guava Salad

What I Want Now: Sautéed Spinach With Silken Tofu

Evan from The Wannabe Chef made a sautéed spinach with silken tofu dish, that just looks so inviting and wholesome! Finally, some good use for my remaining tub of silken tofu. His secret ingredients are nutmeg and cinnamon.

Photo and recipe courtesy of The Wannabe Chef:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Strawberry, Lettuce, Pak Choi, and Pepper Salad

Continuing with my theme of adding fruits to salads, here's a salad with lettuce, pak choi, peppers, strawberries, and basil.
Strawberry, Lettuce, Pak Choi, and Pepper Salad
Strawberry, Lettuce, Pak Choi, and Pepper Salad

  • 15 strawberries
  • 2 cups of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 cup pak choi
  • 3-5 leaves of basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry chilli flakes
To make:
  • Chop the veggies and the strawberries fairly even.
  • Combine the veggies and strawberries.
  • Tear up the basil leaves and add on top.
  • Add the chilli flakes to the olive oil and dress the salad.
  • Strawberry, Lettuce, Pak Choi, and Pepper Salad
    Strawberry, Lettuce, Pak Choi, and Pepper Salad
    Strawberry, Lettuce, Pak Choi, and Pepper Salad
    Strawberry, Lettuce, Pak Choi, and Pepper Salad

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Basil Walnut Pesto Pasta with Peppers and Olives

When you make a fresh batch of pesto, its always best to use it as soon as possible. I made a quick sauce out of mine to go with my whole wheat fusili pasta. I'm a bit iffy about boiled flour-based dishes (noodles, pasta etc), and almost never have them. But since I got a pack of pasta at a discount, why not?!

Basil Walnut Pesto Pasta with Peppers and Olives

  • 1 cup fusili pasta (or any other of your choice)
  • 3 tablespoons of basil and walnut pesto
  • 1 green pepper
  • Handful of black olives
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Teaspoon of olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
To make:
  • Heat a pot of water along with the salt.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta.
  • Cook for 7 minutes, or as per instructions on the pack.
  • Drain the pasta, retaining about 1/2 cup of water to make your sauce.
  • In a pan, add the pesto and 1/2 cup pasta water, to make a sauce.
  • Add the pasta back in the sauce, along with the peppers and olives.
  • Cook for an additional minute and turn off the gas.
  • Drizzle the olive oil on top when you serve.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Basil and Walnut Pesto

A really simple, flavorful pesto made with the freshest of ingredients. That would mean the best olive oil you can afford, and fresher than fresh basil leaves. If you want it really rustic, you need to chop up the basil and walnuts with a mezzaluna. But if you're lazy like me, a blender will do as well. The original recipe calls for pine nuts, but we don't get those around here.
basil, walnut pesto
This one's dedicated to my new celeb crush - David Rocco. <3

Basil and Walnut Pesto
  • 2-3 cups of basil
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
To make:
  • Chop up/Blend the basil, walnuts and garlic till they are still a bit chunky.
  • Add the salt and olive oil over the mixture.
  • Mix well.
And to put the pesto to good use, here's a pasta recipe.

Spinach, Pear, and Cherry Salad

To make prudent use of my expensive cherries, and my organic spinach, here's a dead simple salad that's easy to eat thanks to the fruit and water content. I also cheated a bit and added in a couple of sachets of Domino's oregano+salt seasoning.

Spinach, Pear, and Cherry Salad

  • Couple handfuls of spinach
  • About 10-15 large cherries
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • About a teaspoon of oregano flavored salt
To make:
  • Wash an chop up the spinach, pear, and pepper.
  • Deseed the cheries by chopping them in half.
  • Combine the fruits and veggies.
  • Add the oregano and salt to the olive oil, mix, and drizzle over the salad.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lettuce and Pear Salad with a Quick Raspberry Vinaigrette

Am dealing with quite a bit of a blogging backlog lately - this is my dinner from Saturday night!
We get these yellow pears here, which are white on the inside have a really high water content. So, this time, I decided to have a completely sweet salad with lettuce, pears, and a raspberry vinaigrette.
I happened to have a rasberry preserve, that I liquified to make a dressing for the salad. Of course, if you are fortunate enough to get fresh rasberries, nothing like it!

Lettuce and Pear Salad

  • 2-3 cups of chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of rasberry preserve
To make:
  • Chop the iceberg lettuce into medium sized long strips, and the pear into bite sized chunks.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the rasberry preserve to make it more liquid.
  • Dress the salad with the rasberry dressing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Shopping at the Farmers Market and Nature's Basket

This week's farmer's market at Bandra had its usual carnival atmosphere, with everyone basking in the all-things-organic goodness. While the market covers its bases with vegetables, there are very few fruits there - this week were figs, guavas, papayas and bananas. There were these amazing looking dark green/purple colored long beans, which I had to have, as I have never seen them this colored and this firm.
While the prices are reasonable, or in some cases even lower than regular produce, I do notice that its mostly just the expat crowd or the well-to-do locals who frequent the market. My parents are still perplexed why I have to travel 15 kilometres each way to buy my fruits and veggies, when there is a veggie stall practically at every corner in Mumbai.

The organic cafe had a new addition with Umami serving some lovely panini sandwiches and fruits on skewers.
I had a basil, hummus, grilled peppers and tomato sandwich on organic whole wheat bread, which was very filling. Price: Rs. 100. Not the cheapest sandwich in the world - for that rate, I could have bought an entire loaf of their organic whole wheat bread from them.
I also snagged some pickles/relish made of red and green pepper in a mustard oil base, which smells divine. In the spirit of rotating their menu, my favorite Gujju stall there didnt have any dhoklas this time. But they did have pani puri, laddoos, and chicki.
And some organic liquid jaggery - for when my maple syrup runs out.
There were cosmetics made of bees wax - not vegan, but better than the chemical-laden stuff out there. And organic soaps, soy-based candles, and such. Pretty, but I'm not ready yet to take my veganism to that next level just yet. I love my Maybelline dream mousse blush and mascara too much! :)
As well as the usual stall by Satvika, with food items like honey, ghee, cereals, jams, chocolates, fruit candies. And even a non-alcoholic Christmas punch.
So, I really didnt have that much to buy at Nature's Basket this week - since my kitchen cabinet is pretty full with all the stuff I have gathered over the last 2.5 months of blogging. Just the usual salad ingredients - deep red lettuce this week, some organic strawberries (Rs 70), some Thai brinjal which looks like peas (Rs 20), four boxes of fresh basil (Rs 6 each), and a bag of fusili pasta. Basil's my new favorite ingredient of this year!
And unknown to me, a ridiculously priced box of cherries (Rs 320!!) - which amounted to more than half of my bill at Nature's Basket. I wish they'd label their fruits beforehand, than having the shock of seeing such ridiculous prices in the bill on my way home. :( But they are so delish, why waste my time regretting the buy?!


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