Tag Archives: Yellow Pepper

Colourful Sprouted Moong Bean Salad

Colourful Sprouted Moong Bean Salad

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Colourful Sprouted Moong Bean Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a colourful salad which combines the raw and the cooked, offering different textures with a bit of zing

You don’t need me to tell you how healthy sprouted moong beans are.

They are more nutritious uncooked but although I am a bit of a kooky health freak, the thought of chomping through a bowl of raw moong sprouts is not exactly appetising or appealing to me!

So I made up this recipe which combines the goodness of sprouts with other vegetables for a really flavourful, refreshing salad.

Purple cabbage, white onion, yellow sweetcorn, orange carrot, green moong sprouts and mint – only red seems to be missing!

Remember my purple cabbage and onion mixture from Mackerel Salad? That has been sitting subconsciously in my mind ever since and so I decided to use it as a base.

This is good to eat on its own (I had a plate full for dinner) or you can serve it as part of a meal.

The roasted seeds and fresh mint make all the difference so please don’t skip them.

Ingredients

1 Cup finely shredded purple cabbage

2 White onion

100 Grams sweetcorn

1 Large carrot

1 Cup sprouted moong beans

1 Cup fresh mint leaves

2 Tablespoons sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon strong, smooth mustard

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, you need to prepare the cabbage-onion mixture.
  2. Peel, wash and finely slice the onions in half moon rings.
  3. Separate the onion rings.
  4. Combine the shredded purple cabbage and onion rings in a bowl.
  5. Add the cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and toss well. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside to marinade for 4 to 5 hours.
  6. By the end of the marination time, the cabbage and onions will have softened and the onions taken on purple tinge from the cabbage.
  7. Dry roast the seeds till they release a nice, toasty aroma. Transfer to a plate and let them cool down.
  8. Wash the mint leaves and dry them on a kitchen towel.
  9. Wash and steam the sweetcorn kernels and set aside.
  10. Wash and coarsely grate the carrot and set aside.
  11. Wash the sprouted moong beans and set aside.
  12. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, mustard, juice of lime/lemon and salt to taste.
  13. In a salad bowl, add the cabbage-onion mixture, steamed sweetcorn kernels, coarsely grated carrot, sprouted moong beans and mint leaves.
  14. Pour the dressing and toss thoroughly.
  15. Sprinkle the toasted seeds and mix once more.
  16. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Note:

  1. I didn’t add any freshly ground black pepper to the dressing because I didn’t feel the need for it. It is purely personal preference, you can add a pinch if you like.

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Guilt Free Pasta Salad

Guilt Free Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Guilt Free Pasta Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that summer is upon us, my mind and stomach are turning towards luscious mangoes, juicy watermelon and cooling, fuss-free salads.

Here’s a pasta salad I made for last night’s dinner.

impromptu, good-for-you, balanced recipe of carbs, protein, dairy and vegetables

A little bit of pasta can go a long way if you load it up with vegetables. By this, I mean that you get the satisfaction of having had pasta while bulking it with all the good stuff.

You can use penne, farfale or any other chunky pasta of your choice.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup uncooked pasta

1 Chicken or vegetable stock cube

2-3 Tablespoons low fat, mild yoghurt

2-3 Cloves garlic

1 Teaspoon smooth mustard

1 Tablespoon hot sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil

100 Grams broccoli

1/2 Cup mixed sprout

7-8 Cherry tomato

1 Yellow pepper

1 Small cucumber

1 Small bunch spring onion

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 Cup fresh parsley

Method

  1. Boil the pasta with a pinch of salt and the stock cube according to instructions on the packet. Drain and put in a big bowl.
  2. Peel and grate the garlic.
  3. To make the salad dressing, whisk together yoghurt, mustard, hot sauce, grated garlic, olive oil and salt to taste. Refrigerate till ready to use.
  4. Wash and finely chop the spring onion. Add it to the pasta bowl.
  5. Wash and halve the cherry tomato and throw them in the pasta bowl.
  6. Char-grill the pepper on the burner and let it cool down. Cover and keep aside, the steam helps loosen the skin.
  7.  Once the pepper has cooled, remove the charred bits. Cut in half, remove the core and the stem and slice it. Add to the pasta bowl.
  8. Wash and dice the cucumber and add to the pasta bowl.
  9. Wash and chop the broccoli.
  10. Wash the sprouts.
  11. Steam the broccoli and sprouts till tender but still with a bite (approximately 7 to 8 minutes). Add to the pasta bowl.
  12. Wash and chop the parsley and add to the pasta bowl.
  13. Now toss everything together, add the salad dressing and toss once again.
  14. Drizzle with the cider vinegar, mix well and serve.

Note:

  1. You can use any hot sauce of your choice.
  2. Use a strong mustard for a bit of zing.
  3. You can peel the cucumber if you wish, I prefer it with the skin on.
  4. If you like garlicky dressing, increase the number of garlic cloves.
  5. I have a double-decker steamer so saved time by boiling the pasta and steaming the broccoli and sprouts simultaneously.

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.

Non-dairy Creamy Pasta with Oats, Mushroom & Avocado

Non-dairy Creamy Pasta with Oats, Mushroom & Avocado

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Non-dairy Creamy Pasta with Oats, Mushroom & Avocado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haven’t had pasta for quite a while and fancied a comforting bowl of creamy macaroni with mushrooms.

The earlier me would have made it with the classic béchamel sauce but the kooky me of today will not consider that option.

So I was wondering how to make a creamy sauce without butter, milk and flour and hit upon two healthy alternatives to get the velvety texture: instant oats and avocado.

Non-dairy Creamy Pasta with Oats, Mushroom and AvocadoTo bump up the nutritional value, I threw in a yellow pepper and some cherry tomato.

even for those on a low carb diet, pasta with oats, mushroom, avocado, pepper and tomato is a nourishing dish

One cup of béchamel sauce has approximately 280 calories. Ouch!

Creamy oats and avocado help make the sauce luscious and rich without the calories of a conventional white sauce. Sure, avocado is calorific but it has good calories and is very low in saturated fat (the same can’t be said about béchamel sauce which is high in saturated fat).

I cooked this pasta using the absorption method to avoid unnecessary washing-up. Absorption method involves cooking the pasta along with sauce rather than boiling it separately and adding it at the end. The other advantage of cooking this way is that it makes the sauce quite creamy.

The best part is that when you are eating this, you don’t even realise that it has oats in it. So this one’s for keeps.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup dried pasta (short variety like macaroni or penne or farfale)

2-3 Tablespoons instant/quick cooking oats

1 Small, ripe avocado

200 Grams button mushroom

1 Yellow Pepper

10-12 Cherry tomato

1 Onion

1 Pod garlic

1 Stock cube (vegetable or chicken)

1-2 Tablespoons hot sauce (optional)

1-2 Teaspoons olive oil

Salt to taste

Grated parmesan to serve

Method

  1. Wash and chop the yellow pepper.
  2. Wash/wipe and halve the mushroom.
  3. Wash the cherry tomato.
  4. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  5. Peel and chop the garlic.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan.
  7. Lower the heat and add the onion, garlic and salt to taste.
  8. Stir, cover and let this cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Uncover and throw in the pepper and cherry tomato.
  10. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  11. Uncover and add the dry pasta. Stir for a couple of minutes.
  12. Next, add the mushroom, oats, hot sauce (if using) and stock cube.
  13. Add 2.5 cups of water, mix thoroughly and turn the heat to high.
  14. Once it starts boiling, lover the heat, cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
  15. While it is cooking, peel and finely dice the avocado.
  16. After 12 minutes (or once the pasta is cooked), add the diced avocado, stir, cover and cook for 1 minute.
  17. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  18. Transfer to a pasta bowl and sprinkle the grated parmesan.
  19. Enjoy hot.

Note:

  1. Hot sauce is optional but it gives the dish a nice lift. I used my homemade one but you can use bottled sauce.

Quinoa With Pepper & Pistachio

Quinoa With Pepper & Pistachio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love quinoa for its sheer versatility and ease of cooking. From salad and stuffing to soup, sauté and one-pot meal, all can welcome quinoa with open arms!

quinoa is my go-to mate when I want to rustle up a fuss-free, quick dinner

Ingredients for Quinoa With Pepper & PistachioToday’s quinoa recipe is one I made up as I went along. The original idea was to add some fresh peas (they are in season and I have plenty to get through so look out for green pea recipes in coming days!) but this would have become too much so I dropped the idea.

Here are the key ingredients: pepper, pistachio, parsley, tomato, onion, chilli and anchovy.

I also added a bit of cheese and finished off the dish with toasted pistachio and a sprinkling of sumac.

Anchovy and sumac are optional. I included them for a bit of flavour.

I added the parsley to the vegetables because I wanted toasted pistachio to be the start texture provider, not uncooked parsley. You can add this herb add the end if you prefer.

the combination of cooked quinoa and toasted nuts is spot on

Ingredients

3/4 Cup uncooked quinoa

1 Pepper

2 Onions

2 Tomatoes

2 Chillies

A small bunch of parsley

1 Tablespoon pistachio

1 Tablespoon hard cheese of your choice

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon anchovy (optional)

A pinch of sumac (optional)

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First we need to toast the pistachio. Halve them and put them in a (preferably non-stick) frying pan. Place the pan on low heat and let the nuts toast for about 5 to 7 minutes. At the end, you will start getting a nice roasted aroma which is when you can take them off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Do not brown the pistachio.
  2. Now, prep the vegetables. Wash, core, de-seed and chop the pepper.
  3. Peel, wash and dice the onion.
  4. Wash and finely chop the tomato.
  5. Wash and chop the parsley.
  6. Wash and slice the chilli.
  7. Crumble or roughly chop the cheese.
  8. Heat the frying pan in which you had toasted the pistachio.
  9. Add the oil and anchovies (if using) and lower the heat.
  10. Add the onions and chillies along with some salt. Stir around a bit, cover and let the onions cook for about 5 minutes.
  11. Next, add the pepper, tomatoes and parsley. Once again cover and let the vegetables cook for 5 more minutes.
  12. Rinse and add the quinoa to the vegetable base along with one-and-three-quarter cups of water.
  13. Mix well, cover and let the quinoa cook for 20 minutes.
  14. Uncover, add the cheese, mix well, cover and cook for further 5 minutes.
  15. Take the pan off the heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  16. Uncover, sprinkle the toasted pistachio. Also add some sumac if using.
  17. Mix well and serve.

Here are the pistachio being toasted. Keep moving them around the pan so as not to burn or brown them.

Toasting Pistachio for Quinoa With Pepper & Pistachio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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