Baby Spinach, Apple and Nuts Salad

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The season of festivity is over and its time to get back to the grind – eating clean, eating fresh and enjoying the best winter produce in your town. And thats why I say The New Year Salad Magic is here! I remember a few years back I always made resolutions of quitting sugar, eating healthy, eating more salads with the start of the new year. Obviously these resolutions worked for a few weeks and then I went back to the old way of living – cheating, cheating and more cheating! However having made no resolutions of quitting anything in the recent times, I feel I have started eating healthier and tastier food. This Baby Spinach, Apple and Nuts Salad is just a testimony to that.

Lush green and absolutely delicious, this salad makes you fall in love with it. The beautiful blend of flavors – earthy, fresh, nutty, zingy and sweet is what makes this salad complete. The lovely earthy essence of the baby spinach leaves, the tart granny smith apples, the spiced nuts and seeds, the sweet cranberries and the creamy goats cheese, all blend in wonderfully to boast of this cozy and comforting salad. Whisk together a basic homemade dressing and you are done.

So get back to the kitchen, toss up some deliciousness for your family because this salad definitely screams winter yumness to me!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (for 2 – 3 people)

  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/2 medium sized granny smith apple, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 12 – 15 walnuts, broken into 2 pieces each
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2  tbsp melon seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (you can use 1/2 tbsp lemon juice if you like less tangy)
  • 5 – 6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • pinch of dried garlic powder (you can used 1 – 2 cloves of crushed garlic)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl whisk 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and lemon until well incorporated. Add chopped basil leaves, garlic powder, salt and black pepper and whisk it and keep aside (preferably in the fridge until ready to use).
  • Put a saucepan on low – medium heat. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add paprika and saute for 5 – 6 seconds. Add walnuts and melon seeds and saute for 30 – 40 seconds until the nuts and seeds is coated with paprika.
  • Once done remove it from the heat and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix baby spinach, apple slices, onion slices, paprika coated nuts and seeds, dried cranberries and the salad dressing kept it in the fridge.
  • Toss it gently together using a salad spoon. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with crumbled goats cheese and serve immediately!

Voila!

Goodness Salad

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My simple salad is calling me yet again! This salad has everything I love – fresh produce, colorful ingredients and a sweet zippy dressing. I often end up making salads at home because I am cognizant of the ingredients that go into it, about its freshness and quality. Being allergic to a few cut vegetables, I refrain from ordering salads at restaurants, until I am extremely craving for one (and also ready to face the repercussions).

This quick salad makes you land in a win -win situation because is healthy and amazingly delicious.  Vibrantly flavoured, each element in this dish has immense character. The smokiness from the beets and corn, the creaminess from hung yogurt, the freshness from the microgrees (my new love) and those salted caramel walnuts – enough said! All of this with a honey mustard dressing, it can’t get any better.

Easy and yummy – welcome to my version of healthy eating!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 2 large beet
  • 20 pieces walnuts
  • 1 large corn cob
  • 3 cups microgreens, nicely cleaned
  • 1/3 cup hung curd
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chopped basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to  taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 220C for atleast 10 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a beets and wash and scrub it with water to remove all the dirt. Pat dry it using a kitchen towel.
  • Place the beets in a foil, coat the beets generously with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt. Cover it tightly with aluminium foil and put it in the oven to roast for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Meanwhile char grill the corn on the flame. Take a sharp knife and remove the corn kernels from the cob and keep aside.
  • Take a saucepan and put the sugar and let it melt. Once it starts to melt add the walnuts and 1/2 tsp salt and using a spatula start coating the walnuts and turn off the heat. Take the walnuts off the pan and keep aside.
  • Add the remaining salt to the hung curd and mix it and keep aside.

For the dressing:

  • Take honey, mustard, lemon juice and

Citrus Summer Salad

 

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Summer is the time when market is full of vibrant produce, great flavors and then the kitchen is brimming with freshness. Yes, its unbearably hot but these handful of things makes summers worthwhile. And when you can make a bright and cheerful salad in almost no time, you have got your cure to beat the heat! This Citrus Salad is soul soothing and bursting with flavors. This salad wins hands down in my list of summer recipes.

The salad has simple and bold flavors leaving you absolutely refreshed. The sweet -tangy oranges, the fresh and zingy grapefruit slices, the salty feta cubes, slightly roasted beets and olives makes this salad all peppy and full of goodness. The honey-lemon vinaigrette makes it all irresistible. Every bite has loads of punch and zing to it making you feel rejuvenated to face the heat again!

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RECIPE

METHOD: (For 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 1 medium sized grapefruit
  • I large orange
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1/4 cup green whole olives
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped into thin slivers lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp of feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly crushed black pepper, to taste

 

METHOD:

For the salad:

  • Put the orange and grapefruit in the fridge for about 15 – 20 minutes until they are firm. This helps to cut circular rings easily.
  • Once of the fridge, cut circular rings (as shown in the pricture), remove the seeds gently and trim the skin of the fruits without deforming the circular structure.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C for 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, scrub the beets to remove any dirt and pat dry it.
  • Now generously coat the beets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover it tightly with a foil and put it in a baking tray into the oven for atleast 30 minutes. (If you want completely roasted beets, then roast for 45- 50 minutes or until tender)
  • Once roasted, cut into chunks and keep aside.
  • Now in a serving tray/platter first plate the citrus fruits, then the roasted beets and then randomly plate feta cheese, slivered basil leaves, olives and pomegranate seeds.

For the dressing:

  • Combine olive oil, honey and lemon juice in a bowl using wire whisk until just combined
  • Now add the remaining ingredients and whisk it until just combined. Store it in the fridge until just ready to use.

Drizzle the dressing onto the salad and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Summer Pasta Salad

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Lets talk salad! A summer pasta salad is indeed a bowl of comforting stuff to beat the heat wave. The fresh and flavorful kick of the salad makes it a quintessential summer dream meal! Beautifully cooked pasta, some fresh summer veggies and a bold dressing and you are good to go!

As soon as I enter the grocery store next to my house, I am awe struck with the freshness of the produce and ideas keep striking at lightening speed. This summer salad is a celebration of the clean and simple ingredients. The cherry tomatoes provides burst of freshness to the salad, the roasted peppers adds the extra oomph to it. The creamy dressing is jam packed with flavor and brings together the entire dish.

Yes, the salad is yummy and you can get on your own adventure ride by tossing in different veggies because its all abut what delights you!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 1 – 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 160 grams boiled pasta ( I used Farfelle)
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper
  • 12 pieces cherry tomatoes, cut lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds, for garnishing

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise ( I used store bought mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp white vingear
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • crushed black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

For the salad:

  • Brush the yellow pepper with vegetable oil generously. Place it on a gas stove on medium flame.
  • Keep rotating the sides every 30 – 40 seconds so that it chars evenly.
  • Once charred, place the pepper in cold water, remove the skin, de-seed it and cut it lengthwise into strips.
  • Meanwhile place the broccoli florets in a pot of boiling water with salt for 2 minutes.
  • Once done run it under ice cold water and keep aside.

For the dressing:

  • Take mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, honey and vinegar in a bowl and combine it using a wire whisk.
  • Transfer it into an air tight container. Add extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic in the container. Close the lid and shake it hard until all the ingredients are well combined.

To assemble:

  • Take all the veggies and herbs in a bowl. Drizzle it with the salad dressing.
  • Toss the entire salad using the salad spoon so that each pasta is well coated.
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.

Enjoy!

Mango Black Rice Salad with Lemon – Ginger Vinaigrette

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Summer + funky salad + mangoes = PERFECT MEAL!

This power salad is a best way to eat healthy and enjoy the gorgeousness of the fruit of the season – Mango. Packed with black rice, fresh fruits, vibrant vegetables, herbs and nuts, this is pure happiness in a bowl. While I enjoy eating healthy food, flavor fatigue strikes in soon. It is important to keep experimenting with flavors, different ingredients and to appreciate the produce of that season. Black rice salad have now become a regular weeknight dinner for me where I can throw in different veggies and fruits in a bowl, drizzle a different dressing and your meal is sorted almost instantaneously. Among the different salads that I have been eating lately, this is my favourite.

Bursting with different flavors and textures, the plethora of color is this dish makes you want to dive into it right there. The earthy rice combined with the lush green broccoli, the sweet mangoes and mild flavor of the shallots compliments each other beautifully well. All this when combined with a ginger scented vinaigrette makes you fall head over heal in love with this dish. Easy to make, easy to assemble and a complete meal to beat this heat!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 1- 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 120 grams uncooked rice, soaked in water for atleast 8 hours
  • 1 cup diced mangoes (I used alphanso mangoes)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched in salt water until slightly soft
  • 1/4 cup shallots, julienne
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 2 tbsp almond slivers, lightly toasted

For the dressing:

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tbsp agave nectar (you can use honey)
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • Take a saucepan with water and bring it to boil. Now add the soaked black rice with a bit of salt and let the rice cook on medium flame until all the water has bbeen absorbed.
  • Meanwhile using a wire whisk combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and agave nectar until well incorporated.
  • Add the freshly grated ginger, dried mint, garlic, salt and pepper and stir it. Transfer this dressing to a jar and put it in the fridge until you serve the salad.
  • Once the rice has been cooked, take a salad bowl and toss in the cooked rice, diced mangoes, blacked broccoli, shallots, torn basil leaves and half of the slivered toasted almonds.
  • Drizzle with a generous amount of the salad dressing (right before serving). Combine well and serve the salad topped with the remaining toasted almonds.

Enjoy and stay healthy!

 

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

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STRAWBERRIES – yes I am completely smitten by this gorgeous fruit. When the stores are full of  fresh and juicy strawberries, you can’t stop thinking of the multitude of recipes that you can end up making. From desserts to smoothies, jams to salads, strawberries is the star of the dish where ever you add them. So don’t be surprised if my recent posts have lots and I really mean lots of strawberries in it.

Strawberry Avocado Salad is a classic salad which is highly nutritious and yummy. This is a must try recipe when the fruit is in its best form. While the avocados add the creamy texture to the salad, the strawberries shine brightly adding the tanginess and sweetness to the salad. And by now you might have figured out how I love balsamic in my dishes so here we have honey balsamic vinaigrette to get the salad all together.

So when strawberry is in season and you are trying to eat right, eat healthy – this salad is not to be missed. Yes, healthy can be definitely delicious!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 15 strawberries, cut lengthwise
  • 1 avocado, diced into cubes
  • 10 almonds, cut into slices
  • 6 big spinach leaves, washed and pat dried
  • 1/4 cup dill leaves, for garnishing

For the dressing:

  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
  • freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 150 C for atleast 10 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toast the almond slices for 8 minutes or until light golden.
  • Once toasted keep it aside for final assembly.
  • Meanwhile take balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard and olive oil in a bowl and using he wire whisk, keep whisking until well incorporated.
  • Now add the  crushed garlic clove, red chili flakes, salt and pepper and whisk it again and transfer it to a container.Place the lid and keep it in the refrigerator until you will serve the salad.
  • Now to assemble the salad, place the spinach leaves on the bottom of the serving plate. You can choose to chop the leaves lengthwise for ease of eating also.
  • Now randomly place the strawberries and avocado cubes on top of the spinach leaves.
  • Now garnish with the toasted almonds and dill leaves.
  • Right before serving drizzle a generous amount of the vinaigrette, toss the salad ingredients and enjoy!

Thai Glass Noodle Salad

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I am feeling so pumped up while writing this blog post, probably because it’s been a tad bit long that I wrote something all you food enthusiasts. I hope this recipe is worth the wait. After a month of festivities, eating sweets (read as putting on those extra kilos and fat everywhere) and enjoying time with family, its time to eat healthy and ofcourse yummilicious food to be able to gear up again for Christmas and New Year.

Thai Glass noodle salad is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. While the vibrant colors are so appealing to your eyes, the textures are manifold, making you go for another bite. It’s kind of unfair to have Thai food without fish sauce, but who cares! Being a vegetarian you can definitely savor such bold flavors with tweaks here and there. This salad is about the array of fresh produce and the bold dressing that lingers on your taste buds.

The dish is brimming with a bouquet of flavors – sweet, sour, spicy, earthy! While the fresh veggies add crispiness to the dish, the aromatic herbs add in the earthiness. The peanuts add the crunch to the dish, it is the dressing that ties together the whole dish. It adds the punch factor to the entire salad.

So just when you are hungry, chop the veggies up, whisk a sweet-tangy dressing and in no time your Thai Glass Noodle salad will be ready. Bon Appétit!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 3 -4 people)

For the salad:

  •  1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium onion, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tomato, deseeded and cut lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 100 grams glass noodle
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, roasted and crushed
  • 1 red chili, for garnishing
  • 8 mint leaves, for garnishing

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp jaggery powder (you can use sugar)
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped (you can use 1 tbsp red chili flakes instead)
  • salt, to taste

METHOD:

  • Boil a larger pot of water. Once its boiled, take it off the heat and add the glass noodle in it.
  • Make sure its submerged completely. Stir it once or twice so that everything strand is well submerged.
  • Cover the pot for 5 minutes and let the noodles cook in residual heat or until tender. Please follow the package instructions for any  different cooking instruction.
  • Drain the cooked noodles and run it under cold water and set aside.
  • Meanwhile for the dressing, combine lemon juice, sesame oil and jaggery powder and whisk well.
  • Add the remaining ingredients for the dressing and give the dressing a good whisk and set aside.
  • In a salad bowl mix the noodles, all the veggies, all the herbs and half of the roasted peanuts and mix well.
  • Drizzle the salad dressing and mix well.
  • Garnish with the remaining roasted peanuts, mint leaves and red chili and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Rainbow Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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The start of October means the start of festivals all across India. There is an aura of happiness and wafting aroma of excellent food everywhere. I indulge to my hearts content, however I try to reset my day by eating something healthy, atleast one meal a day. The idea of eating healthy and delicious food got me to make this Rainbow Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. It was inspired by a salad I ate at Yoga Cafe in Mumbai – simply soul satisfying!

This Rainbow Salad is indeed a treasure trove of the freshest fruits and vegetables that I picked up from a local grocery store. The vibrant colors and textures of the ingredients, makes it a picturesque plate of food where you want to dig in. The crispiness from the home grown lettuce leaves to the fresh explosion of pomegranate pearls and orange segments is blissful. The alfalfa sprouts ornate the dish beautifully and add a nice earthy feeling to it. While the tomatoes add the juiceness to the dish, the smokiness comes from the char grilled peppers. Assimilating these ingredients might be time consuming at times however the outcome is great too. The feta cheese (one of my favorite cheese) adds the creaminess to the powerhouse salad and all this is well brought together with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Remember to drizzle the dressing right before you eat it.

Yes, I am a salad person but I get bored eating the same salads again and again. However this is one salad where you can experiment with different ingredients – add some, delete some and never get bored. Eat this colorful salad, eat healthy, stay healthy!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 25 grams of Alfalfa sprouts
  • 10 – 11 pieces lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6 orange segments, deseeded
  • 1 medium sized red pepper
  • 1 big tomato, deseeded and cut lengthwise
  • 40 grams feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 10 pieces toasted walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • For the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a glass jar/container. Shake well and keep it in the refrigerator for atleast 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile brush the red pepper generously with olive oil and keep it on a naked flame so that it chars. Turn the side every 2 minutes to get a even char on the red pepper.
  • Once its grilled, put it in a bowl with cold water. Peel the skin and cut it into thin strips and keep aside.
  • Take a bowl or a platter, place the lettuce leaves. Randomly place half the grilled peppers and tomatoes on the leaves.
  • Now scatter the alfalfa sprouts and the remaining tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds, orange segments and feta cheese cubes.
  • Right before eating drizzle the vinaigrette, toss it and enjoy the salad.

Stay healthy, stay happy!

 

 

 

Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

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Thinking of eating something healthy and super delicious – these Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps is the way to go. Its such a fun way to eat your salad – deconstructed and then you reconstruct the way you want it. You end up being content in every bite you take.

While I was in the US, I often craved for Indo – Chinese food that I have grown up eating back in Kolkata. There were a couple of restaurants that transported you back to India and could genuinely satiate your cravings. Weekends came and these places were buzzing with Indians and I often used to be one in the crowd. However, when I went to the much loved P.F.Chang’s, it introduced me to a whole new spectacle of Chinese food (though still not authentic, but definitely delicious). I tried the lettuce wraps and completely enamored by it.

Recently, I bought some fresh water chestnuts from the grocery store ad I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate it by making lettuce wraps. Its healthy and yummy food – al rolled into one bite. It boasts of bold flavors and hence addictive. The flavorful filling compliments the freshness of the lettuce and the crunchiness from the roasted peanuts.

Why wait – toss up the filling in a lip smacking sauce and enjoy these easy to make wraps with your friends and family!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For  4- 6 people)

  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 250 gms extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups fresh water chest nuts, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp red chili sauce
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 10 – 12 romaine lettuce leaves/ iceberg lettuce leaves
  • grated carrots, for garnishing
  • roasted peanuts, for garnishing
  • Salt, to taste

METHOD:

  • In a bowl combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, red chili sauce,  vinegar and sesame oil and set aside.
  • Take the tofu slab and squeeze out excess water using a kitchen towel. Once the excess water has been squeezed out, finely chop the tofu.
  • In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Once heated add the red chili flakes and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chopped tofu and let it cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Keep breaking the tofu pieces randomly as it is cooking.
  • Next add in both the mushrooms and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Make sure that the water has evaporated completely.
  • Add ginger and garlic and let the mixture cook for a minute. At this point add the chopped water chestnuts and green onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • The tofu should be golden brown on its edges. Once this happens add the sauce mixture set aside.
  • Add salt (make sure to add less salt, since the sauce mixture is quite salty) and let the whole mixture cook until you hear bubbling sounds from the sauce.
  • Once the mixture is cooked , take it off the flame and keep it aside to be served in a bowl.
  • While the mixture is cooking, take the lettuce leaves and put it in a covered bowl with ice cubes for atleast 15 minutes so that the leaves are crunchy.
  • Take the lettuce leaves, pat dry it, fill the filling and serve as shown in the pic.

Enjoy and Stay Healthy!

Pearl Barley Salad with Lemon- Honey Vinaigrette

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This oh-so-delicious salad is wholesome and packed with so much flavor. It’s become my absolute favorite since it requires nothing exotic. Its full of ingredients that is always available in our pantry.  The crunch from the veggies, the freshness from the fruits and the zing from the vinaigrette makes you want to go back for more.

Certain ingredients have such strong memories (not good ones!) attached to them that it becomes so difficult to get over it. One such ingredient is pearl barley. As a kid my mum used to give me barley water since it boosted your immunity and kept fever at bay. I hated the sight of it. And suddenly times have changed. Being a mum myself, I wanted to introduce barley to my son but definitely not the way I had it. I wanted it to be more interesting, colorful and appealing. I was contemplating between a barley soup versus barley salad. Seeing a whole array of fresh produce in my fridge I had to toss up a salad. My husband, my lil one and me – we all loved it. I keep making iterations to this recipe and its simply amazing. Its vibrant, its fresh and its delicious.

So when you face time crunch and yet want to eat something interesting, this is the recipe to fall upon. Be healthy, be happy – keep enjoying this salad!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 raw mango, diced into small cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 large tomato, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberry, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 3 orange segments for garnishing (optional)

For the dressing:

  • juice of 1 1/2 medium sized lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • In a glass jar/bottle combine lemon juice, olive oil, honey, dried mint, lemon zest, salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Put the lid and give it a good shake until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Place it in the fridge for atleast 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, take a cooking brush and brush olive oil on the red bell pepper. Put it to roast on the gas flame.
  • Make sure all the sides are well charred. Once that is done, remove it from the flame and put it in a bowl filled with ice water.
  • Deseed it, remove the skin partially and chop it into small cubes, similar to how the other ingredients have been chopped.
  • In a bowl combine diced raw mango, red bell pepper, tomatoes, basil leaves, cranberry and 1/2 toasted pine nuts and keep aside.
  • Take the serving plate, put a generous amount of pearl barley in the center. Place the vegetable and fruit mixture on top. Garnish it with toasted pine nuts.
  • Just before serving, take out the dressing from the fridge, give it a good shake and drizzle it over the salad and dig in!

Enjoy!