Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 255 - Bulghur salad with a pomegranate balsamic dressing

I'm on a mission to cut down on white rice and its been good so far (unless its a bowl of yogurt rice in which case, all bets are off!). Today's lunch was a Bulghur wheat salad with some pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar which I picked up from my local grocery. The Bulghur itself is one of those quick cooking packages from Trader Joe's,

You need:
1  1/2 cups quick cooking bulghur wheat
3 cups  water
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 head broccoli florets
1/2 cups shallots sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes diced (I used an assortment of the tiny tomatoes)
Salt to taste
sprinkle of Allepo pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup toasted walnuts broken

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons Pomegranate Balsamic vinegar
1/4  cup EVOO
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
sprinkle of dried oregano

Add the bulghur wheat to the water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and allow to cook until the water gets absorbed. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and set aside to cool.
In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the garlic and the shallots, Once the shallots turn translucent, add the broccoli and saute until the vegetable turns a bright green. stir in the chilli pepper flakes, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Fold  the sauteed broccoli mixture into the cooked bulghur, and add in the tomatoes and walnuts. Drizzle the dressing over as per taste and serve at room temperature

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 254 - Spiced Corn cups

This was not my recipe.. Just a delicious snack that I was pampered with by my Aunt Lakshmi in Bangalore. Simply put, I was so focused on scarfing these down, I don't really remember the recipe when she told me about it. All I do know is that they kept disappearing faster than she could make them!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 253 - Cranberry & Orange rice noodles

Not much of a photograph to speak out. Made supper in a tearing hurry before starting my chauffeuring tasks of getting my 8 year old to his martial arts class. If I'd waited to come back, the natural light would be gone, and that was a no no. This was a quick semi home made supper, a variation of the traditional lemon rice. I used rice noodles in lieu of rice and along with the lime, added a generous sprinkling of orange zest to the seasoning. The (not so)  secret ingredient that made this dish unique? Cranberries, specifically orange spiked cranberries that I'd made last year by oven drying this fabulous home made cranberry sauce from David Leite's blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 252 - Fregola Stir Fry

I love fregola / Israeli cous cous for its delightful texture. This caviar like pasta resembles tapioca without the chewy stickiness. Since I'm on a mission to minimize rice from my diet, I've stocked up on all sorts of different ingredients to incorporate into healthy dishes
Today it was a quick hack, since I spent my afternoon glued to the live blogging from Cupertino about the new Apple releases. Managed to grab a pack of Fregola (I can't tell the difference between Fregola & Israeli cous cous) from Trader Joe's, toasted it  and cooked it to perfection. In the meantime grabbed a couple of bell peppers  and pepitas, and came up with this rather delightful tasting dish, Thanks to a complete failure of nomenclature imagination, I shall just label this as 'stir-fry'!

You need:
1 packet (1 1/3rd cup) of Fregola / Israeli cous cous
2 cups boiling water
2 + 1 table spoon olive oil
1 small red onion, diced or sliced thin (I did not add this as I discovered I had none at the last minute)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 small bell peppers diced
a handful of pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Cilantro for garnish

In a saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the fregola, gently toast until it turns a light brown. Carefully pour  the boiling water over the fregola stir and allow to cook on gentle heat until the liquid is absorbed (~10 - 12 minutes)

In the meantime, Heat the remaining oil in  a skillet and saute the onions until translucent. You may add the pumpkin seeds along with the onions so that they toast up a bit. Stir in the  the garam masala followed by the peppers & peas, Saute until the vegetables are soft. Add the salt followed by the cooked Fregola,  taste and adjust for seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with lime and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day 251 - Quinoa & Beluga Lentil Salad

Trying to minimize white rice from the daily diet is harder than one thinks. For one, the pearly whites are so accessible and the devious temptation in the form of shorter cooking times is often hard to resist. But its well worth the effort to make a hearty protein rich dish like this quinoa and Beluga lentil salad. Yes it does take some time (~15 minutes) to cook the lentils and quinoa separately, but those minutes are well spent prepping the vegetables that are tossed in almost equal volume.

You need:
2 cup cooked Quinoa (I used a blend of tri colored quinoa)
2 cup cooked whole Beluga lentils (or whole plain Masoor dal)
1 diced Zucchini (I ran it through a spiralizer and made them into a spagetti
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 large tomato finely chopped
1 small bell pepper diced.
1 small cucumber diced (after removing the central seedy core)

Toss all the ingredients together and fold to combine.

For the Dressing:

Juice of 1 orange + 1 teaspoon of the orange zest.
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup EVOO
a sprinkle of Dried Herbs (I used Oregano)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mint leaves, either cut into a chiffonade or torn

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bottle and shake until it forms a cloudy emulsion. Pour over the salad and  fold to incorporate. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Garnish with mint & serve chilled or at room temperature

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