Tag Archives: kidney beans

Quinoa, The Mexican Way

Quinoa, The Mexican Way

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Quinoa, The Mexican Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel as if I am on a mission going around the world the quinoa way. Having made it Italian and Indian style, today we head to Mexico.

Idea for this recipe came to me as I had an unused jar of Discovery chipotle paste in my cupboard. I decided to make use of it in this quick and delicious quinoa recipe.

Ideally, should have used green pepper and sweetcorn kernels. However, since I had eaten sweetcorn just the other day, I decided to use yellow pepper and courgette instead (I think courgette is called calabacitas in Mexico).

Wanted to garnish with some diced avocado and a dollop of mild yoghurt (instead of sour cream) but the avocados I have at the moment are unripe (seen in photo above) so had to pass.

Nevertheless, this recipe is delicious as is.

dig into a comforting bowl of smokey, spicy, cheesy quinoa with kidney beans and vegetables

Since courgette is a delicate vegetable and I didn’t want it overly mushy, I cooked quinoa separately and added it towards the end rather than cook everything together.

If you don’t have chipotle paste, you can use Mexican seasoning instead.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 Cup boiled kidney beans

1 Courgette

1 Yellow Pepper

10-12 Cherry tomato

2 Onions

1 Head of garlic

2-3 Fresh chillies

1 Stock cube (I used chicken)

1 Tablespoon chipotle paste or Mexican seasoning

1 Tablespoon grated sharp cheese (I used Cheddar)

1-2 Teaspoons oil

Handful of fresh coriander (including stalk if tender)

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, cook the quinoa. Bring 1.5 cups of water to boil.
  2. Add the stock cube and quinoa, lower the heat, cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Take the cook quinoa off the burner and let it rest.
  4. Rinse the kidney beans and add them to the cooked quinoa.
  5. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  6. Peel and chop the garlic.
  7. Wash the cherry tomato.
  8. Wash, top, tail and dice the courgette.
  9. Wash and slice the chilli.
  10. Wash and leave the coriander to dry on some kitchen towel.
  11. Heat the oil in a pan. When it turns hot, lower the heat and add the onion, garlic, chilli and salt to taste. Mix well.
  12. Cover and cook for 4 minutes.
  13. Uncover and add the cherry tomato. Mix well.
  14. Cover and cook for 4 minutes.
  15. Uncover and throw in the chopped courgette along with the chipotle paste/seasoning. Mix well.
  16. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
  17. Uncover and add the cooked quinoa and kidney beans.
  18. Mix thoroughly and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
  19. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  20. Take off the burner and let it rest for 5 more minutes.
  21. When you take the lid off, you will see that the cheese has melted beautifully.
  22. Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

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Three Bean Salad in a Herby Dressing

Three Bean Salad in a Herby Dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whenever I visit my parents, they stock up on all my favourite foods. From healthy fruits and nuts to way-too-indulgent desserts and everything in-between, I am spoilt for choice.

One food item which invariably makes an appearance on the list is a tub of Marks & Spencer three bean salad. I am sure that there are plenty of very good variations out there but the Marks one has to be my favourite and my parents know it so make sure it is there to greet me on arrival!

Whenever I think of three bean salad, I think of that particular one and all the good family times associated with it.

certain foods have a way of evoking strong memories, a bit like people I suppose

This is my kooky version of the popular bean salad which can be had on the side or as a main course with some rustic bread.

Instead of the conventional vinegar dressing, I made some herb dressing with a hint of garlic which pairs very well with the beans and vegetables.

Also given my recent love for toasted seeds, I have added some sunflower and pumpkin seeds for texture and aroma.

This salad recipe is very adjustable. For instance, I used kidney bean, chickpea and cannellini bean but feel free to use whichever beans you fancy.

Same goes for the pepper. I used the yellow variety but you can use red or green, there is no right or wrong way.

Having said that, one ingredient which is a must for this is some good quality vinegar. I used cider vinegar; you can try it with simple white vinegar or red or white wine vinegar or even sherry vinegar.

Refrigerate any leftover salad, it will taste delicious the next day.

Ingredients for the Herby Dressing

1 Cup fresh coriander leaves and stalk (if tender)

1 Cup fresh mint

2 Tablespoons fresh dill

2-3 Garlic cloves

2 Tablespoons vinegar

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Wash the coriander, mint and dill leaves.
  2. Peel the cloves of garlic.
  3. Bung all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor.
  4. Once blended, remove to an air tight container and set aside.

Ingredients for Salad

2 Cups mixed beans of your choice, boiled

1 Yellow pepper

2 Onions

100 Grams french beans

1 Large carrot

Handful of fresh dill

2 Tablespoons toasted seeds of your choice

Herby dressing as given above

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Firstly, you want to marinate the beans and onions in the dressing so that they can absorb the flavour. For this, peel, wash and very finely chop the onions.
  2. Add the herby dressing to the boiled beans and chopped onions and set aside for a couple of hours.
  3. When you are ready to make the salad, wash, de-core, de-seed and finely slice the pepper.
  4. Wash and coarsely grate the carrot.
  5. Top, tail and wash the french beans (snap into two if too long) and steam them till just tender.
  6. Chop and wash the fresh dill leaves.
  7. In a big mixing bowl, combine the beans and onion in herby dressing with the sliced pepper, grated carrots, steamed french beans, chopped dill and toasted seeds.
  8. Mix thoroughly so that all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
  9. Have it as is or chill for a while before serving.

Note:

  1. During the last mixing stage, if you find the quantity of dressing insufficient for the salad, whisk together some olive oil with mustard and pour this over the salad.

 

Amaranth Seed, Kidney Bean & Green Pea Cakes

Amaranth Seed, Kidney Bean & Green Pea Cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, apologies for no proper, plated photo. These cakes had been waiting patiently to be served and by the time their turn came, it was all too hurried so there was no real opportunity. I am new to food blogging and am still trying to get to grips with cooking, serving and photographing, all simultaneously!

Yesterday morning, I had boiled amaranth seeds to make these cakes and then came upon this article in Mumbai Boss which extols their virtues; talk about serendipity!

Amaranth Seeds, Kidney Beans & Green PeasMy original plan was to make fish cakes using these seeds (substituting the traditional mashed potatoes). But I decided to use kidney beans instead.

The end result – most delicious cakes which are very similar to fish cakes in texture, requiring surprisingly very little oil and totally moreish.

amaranth seeds may be tiny but they can hold their own against other ingredients

This recipe does require a bit of patience and advance planning if you are going to soak and boil kidney beans.

Amaranth seeds, kidney beans, green peas and spring onions bound together by semolina are very delicate to handle and as you are shallow frying these cakes, you may start wondering if they will ever form a nice crust. But as I discovered, patience pays and if you let them cook for a long time, they will become nice and crunchy on the outside while remaining moist on the inside.

This is the second time I have used amaranth seeds in this way. And am feeling much more confident about how to use them in the future.

The following makes about 15 to 18 cakes depending on their size.

Ingredients

1 Cup amaranth seeds

1 Cup kidney beans

1 Cup green peas

1 Large bunch spring onions (about 10 bulbs)

2-3 Red chillies (adjust quantity according to taste)

1 Tablespoon sumac* (adjust quantity according to taste)

1 Vegetable stock cube

3 Cups water

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Semolina to dust the cakes (approximately 1/2 cup but you may need more so keep it handy)

Method

  1. First, prep the kidney beans (if using canned, ignore this step). Soak them for 10 to 12 hours and then boil them in some salted water till they are very soft.
  2. Next, cook the amaranth seeds. I used this website as a guide as to how much water I should use. The ratio of 1:3 (1 part amaranth seeds, 3 parts water) works perfectly. So, put the amaranth seeds in a saucepan along with the stock cube and 3 cups of water. Cover, bring to boil, lower heat and let the seeds cook for 30 minutes. You don’t need to stir. Once the seeds are cooked, take them off the heat.
  3. Wash and steam the green peas till tender.
  4. Wash and finely dice the spring onions. For this recipe, you only take the white bulb, not the green stalk.
  5. Finely chop the red chillies.
  6. Pour the semolina in a flat plate.
  7. In a big mixing bowl, tip in the boiled kidney beans, amaranth seeds, green peas, chopped spring onion, chillies, sumac and salt to taste. Bring everything together using your hands (it is easier than a spoon).
  8. Grease you palms with a few drops of oil and make small cakes of the mixture. Place these cakes in the plate which has semolina. Turn each cake so that it is completely covered in semolina.
  9. Once you have shaped all the cakes, put them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  10. When you are ready to cook the cakes, remove them from the refrigerator. Dust them with more semolina if you feel the need. I did this and they formed a nice crust.
  11. Take a frying pan and grease it with a little bit of oil. You will need to use your judgement as to how much oil you require. I used half a tablespoon and it was more than enough.
  12. Heat the oiled frying pan. Once it is hot, very gently place the cakes making sure that they do not touch each other. You will need the space in between them to flip them over.
  13. Let the cakes cook on low heat for about 10 minutes before turning them over with a palette knife or a spatula.
  14. Cook the other side for 10 minutes. Once again flip them over.
  15. Continue cooking each side for 10 minutes till you can see and feel the crust form. Any bits of semolina in the pan will also turn dark brown (as you can see from my photo above).
  16. Once the cakes are cooked and the outside is firm and crunchy, transfer them to a serving plate.
  17. Serve with tomato ketchup or hot sauce.

Note:

  1. If you don’t have sumac, you can use the juice of one lime or lemon instead.
  2. The uncooked cakes are very soft so be very gentle as to how you handle them when placing them on the frying pan and during cooking (when turning them over).
  3. Don’t worry if they break a bit. Once they form the crust, they will become firm.
  4. I found the second dusting of semolina (after taking them out of the refrigerator and putting them in a frying pan) helped.

 

Warm Salad of Barley, Beans & Vegetables in Garlicky Dressing

Warm Salad of Barley, Beans and Vegetables in Garlicky Dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

today’s salad is very comforting and flexible

Barley, beans and vegetables enveloped in a garlicky tahini and yoghurt dressing provides a very comforting one pot meal.

Ingredients for Warm Salad of Barley, Beans and Vegetables in Garlicky DressingFlexibility is offered by way of additions, deductions and substitutions.

My recipe involves unhulled barley, kidney beans, broccoli, yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes and onions.

You can use chickpea, broad bean, cannellini or any other variety of beans you have handy. I used raw kidney beans which were soaked and cooked before being added. You can use canned beans if it is easier.

Similarly, you can use hulled, pot or pearl barley. Even quinoa or other grains would work well.

As for vegetables, the possibilities are endless. Use whatever is seasonal, fresh and cheap. Most vegetables would make a suitable match for the dressing.

Ingredients for the Garlicky Dressing

100 Grams plain yoghurt

1 Tablespoon tahini

1 Pod garlic

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Whisk the yoghurt and tahini till they are blended.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and salt to the yoghurt and tahini mixture.
  4. Mix well and refrigerate.

Ingredients for the Salad

250 Grams brocolli

10 Cherry tomatoes

1 Yellow pepper

3 small onions

3 – 4 tablespoons cooked beans

2 – 3 tablespoons cooked barley

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 2 limes or lemons

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and chop the broccoli into medium size pieces.
  2. Wash, de-seed, de-core and chop the pepper into medium size pieces.
  3. Wash the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Peel, wash and halve the onions.
  5. Put all the vegetables, beans and barley in a container which has tight fitting lid.
  6. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pour this marinade over the vegetable-bean mixture.
  7. Mix well, cover and let this sit for 4 to 5 hours.
  8. When you are ready to cook, heat a wide based non-stick frying pan.
  9. When it is hot, add the vegetable-bean mixture along with marinade juices.
  10. Cook on high heat for 7 to 10 minutes till the vegetables are cooked through.
  11. Take off the heat and after about 5 minutes, add the garlicky dressing.
  12. Mix well ensuring that the dressing coats all the vegetables, beans and barley.
  13. Serve while it is still warm.

I had soaked and boiled the unhulled barley in a pressure cooker. Drank the barley water!

Cooked Unhulled Barley  Barley Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The garlicky dressing is very simple to make and would make a yummy dip.

Garlicky Dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Couscous Salad the Kooky Way

Couscous the Kooky Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s post is the result of a homemade salad dressing which I wanted to finish. Was trying to think of ways in which it could be used to create a warm dish and this couscous salad is the result.

couscous recipe
couscous recipe (Photo credit: ukcider)

The salad dressing recipe is my sister’s, the kidney beans give this dish a Mexican touch and the vegetable base and seasoning are Mediterranean.

a bit of a kooky recipe with multiple influences

You can adapt this warm salad to whatever you have lying around in terms of vegetables, protein (beans or poultry) and dressing; it is totally flexible.

Ingredients for my Sister’s Signature Salad Dressing

1 Tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colman’s original English mustard)

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in a screw top glass jar.
  2. Shake well till amalgamated.
  3. Will stay good in a refrigerator or in a cool environment for up to a week.

Ingredients for Couscous Salad

1/2 cup boiled kidney beans

1/2 cup cooked couscous*

2 Onions, finely chopped

1 Courgette

1 Yellow pepper

3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds, toasted

One tablespoon anchovies in olive oil*

One tablespoon Laura Santini Taste #5 Umami Paste (optional)*

One tablespoon crumbly, piquant cheese (I used Manchego)

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to “marinade” the salad base. Add salad dressing to the boiled kidney beans and finely chopped onions. Cover tightly and keep for 4 to 5 hours. Do this in advance so that the flavours develop.
  2. When you are ready to prepare the salad, wash and chop the courgette and yellow pepper in medium sized chunks.
  3. Heat oil, add the courgette and pepper chunks along with a bit of salt, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Throw in the chopped parsley and seasoning of choice. Mix well, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. By the end of this cooking time, the vegetables should be cooked but still have a bite to them. You don’t want them too soft or mushy.
  5. Leave them covered while you prepare the couscous according to instructions on the packet.
  6. Now add the vegetables, couscous, toasted seeds and crumbly cheese to the onion and kidney bean mixture.
  7. Mix well and serve.

Note:

  1. Cook the couscous according to packet instructions. You can add a stock cube to the boiling water for a bit of flavour if you like. I didn’t because I had boiled the kidney beans in chicken stock.
  2. You can use plain olive oil or flavoured oil to cook the vegetables.
  3. The choice of seasoning is entirely yours. I used umami paste since I thought it would go well with the other Mediterranean flavours.

a few drops of hot sauce over the salad takes it to another level