Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Avocado and sprouted green mung bean salad

A high protein salad for weekend brunches. Serve with Pita bread and soup for a full meal!

You will need sprouted mung beans, lightly steamed: To sprout mung beans, soak a cupful overnight in water, and then place them is a strainer lined with a wet cheese cloth. Cover the mung beans with the cheese cloth and let them sprout over the next eight hours or so.

Date and Tamarind spread/chutney: Easily made at home. Soak pitted chopped dates and pitted tamarind in a ratio of 10 dates to a small piece of tamarind in a saucepan with water. Cook, on medium heat, and simmer until a thick slush of dates and tamarind is left behind in the saucepan. Add some jaggery or brown sugar to taste (you won't need much, since the dates are sweet), rock salt, cumin powder and chili powder to taste. Strain the slush and voila! The spread is ready. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Multi-grain crackers made with Pita bread
1 large avocado, chopped
Chopped, seeded tomatoes
1/8 cup chopped red onion (optional)
Mung beans, sprouted, steamed
Date and Tamarind spread

To prepare the salad, place the mung beans, avocado, tomatoes and onions in a bowl. Crush some chips or place them whole on the vegetables. Sprinkle salt to taste. Garnish with the spread and serve!

Mushroom Curry in Cashew Gravy

Mushrooms are a rich source of many nutrients and lend themselves to curries easily. Here is a recipe for a mushroom curry in a rich cashew gravy that works well when served with rice or breads like Naan, Pita, Lavash, and Roti! My cousin loves this curry and I hope you do too!

To serve a table set for two, you will need:

1 packet of mushrooms, washed, and diced lengthwise or in quarters.
2 tsp of ginger-garlic paste (fresh works best, made with a fine grater)
2 tsp of curry powder
1/4 cup ground cashews
1/4 cup yogurt, whisked
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, washed, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
Oil to saute
1 small onion, chopped
1 or 2 tomatoes, washed, seeded, diced
1/4 tsp of turmeric, 1/4 tsp of red chili powder (optional)
Salt to taste, 1/2 tsp sugar

Sputter cumin seeds in the heated oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onions, and let them turn a golden brown. Now add the curry powder, turmeric and ginger-garlic paste . Fry for about 30 seconds and add the diced tomatoes and mushrooms. Cover and cook until mushrooms are just cooked, do not add water, since mushrooms tend to sweat as they cook. Now add the ground cashews and about 1/8-1/4 cup water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Season with salt, sugar and red chili powder and turn the stove off. After the curry cools slightly, add the whisked yogurt, garnish with cilantro and serve!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hearty Cabbage and Potato Soup

Cabbage, aah, not much that you can do with this really healthy, good to eat vegetable right? There's curries, there's coleslaw, there's soup....ahem, did you say soup? Yes, I did!

Try this winning combination of cabbage and potato in a rustic soup. You won't be disappointed.

You will need:

2 carrots, washed and diced.
1/2 cup of cooked rice.
1/4 to 1/2 cup cabbage, washed, shredded.
6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped.
1/2 onion, finely diced.
2 Yukon gold potatoes, washed, peeled, and diced.
1 tsp of California style sweet paprika.
Black pepper and salt to taste.
Olive oil 1 tabsp and butter 1tbsp to saute the onion.
Crushed Thyme, 1 tsp to garnish.

In a saucepan, heat the oil and butter together. Saute the onions and garlic until a mild golden brown. Now, add the potatoes, carrots and cabbage and stir for a minute or so. Add paprika, black pepper and salt. Pour enough water to cook the vegetable, covered. I normally do about 2 cups of water. After a rolling boil, cook until potatoes are just about done. Now add the rice and bring to a rolling boil. Turn of the stove and let the flavors seep into the broth. Garnish with the crushed thyme and serve warm with rustic bread. Serves two. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Versatile Weekly Menus

Wondering what to cook everyday? You are not alone really, all of us, often wonder if we are balancing our meals well. So I decided to post a weekly menu that helps me immensely. Alter the protein and vegetables based on your preferences! Protein can be included in every meal in various forms, by including nuts, legumes, whole grains like amaranth and buckwheat, and of course dairy and eggs!

Here goes!

Zucchini and Red Lentil Dal

Zucchini and Red Lentil Dal

Most people think of Zucchini as a vegetable to roast or add to pasta or to make fritters with. But Zucchini is also a very versatile vegetable that can be grated and added to cakes, and yes, dal! My aunt gave me this idea, and I tweaked the recipe to work with my taste preferences and spice levels. My friends wanted this recipe, so here it is.

To prepare this nutrition packed dal you will need:
1 cup red lentils (raw), washed, soaked, and cooked (almost)
1 medium sized zucchini, washed, grated
½ large yellow onion, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded, diced
1 bay leaf
1 large stick of cinnamon
3 tbsp of oil (rice bran, olive, canola)
½ tsp of turmeric
1 tsp garam masala (brands include McCormick, Aachi, Penzys)
1 tsp of garlic paste (I make this fresh)
Salt to taste, dash of red chili powder depending on personal spice levels!
¼ tsp sugar (this enhances the flavor of the garam masala)


Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and sauté the onion until golden and translucent. Immediately add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Now add the garlic paste and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Now, add the turmeric stir and add the grated zucchini. Sauté until the zucchini just cooks, and then add the tomato. Cook for a minute and then add the dal. Always stir in the cooked dal, and then add a small amount of water to give the mixture a gentle boil. Finally, add salt to taste, chili powder, and the sugar. Serve hot with rice and a good amount of ghee!