Easy Mixed Vegetables & Greens Curry

Green Curry

This is a family friendly recipe that we’ve enjoyed for many years. Quick, easy & nutritious, it was given to me by my friend Akhila. We did some measuring of ingredients over lunch and some girl talk last week – it’s good to have girlfriends who’ll cook for you and let you vent all afternoon :). Thanks Akhila.

Green Curry

Easy Mixed Vegetables & Greens Curry

(Serves 4-5)

  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 small cinnamon stick (broken)
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 medium potato (washed and diced into small pieces)
  • 1/3 cup peas / lima beans
  • 3-4 firm small eggplants (chopped medium size) – You can use the long indian variety too, but it does get a little mushy
  • 4 cups chopped green beans (about large pea size pieces)
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves (washed, drained & roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  1. In a wide heavy bottom pan, heat oil over medium-high flame and add the cinnamon & cloves. Saute for a few seconds.
  2. Add onions and fry till just starting to brown.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook till soft – about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add green beans and saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes & lima beans and saute for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add eggplant, chilli powder & salt and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Mix in the spinach & dill, add water sparingly and cook covered till all the vegetables are done.
  8. Serve with rice or flatbread like naan / roti / chapatis.

Pressure Cooker Method

  1. Follow steps 1-3 as above.
  2. Add all the vegetables, salt & chilli powder and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach & dill, and 1/2 cup water and mix well.
  4. Cover pressure cooker lid and cook on medium for just 1 whistle.

Spicy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing

For someone who loves to drown their salad with ranch dressing and cannot stand vinaigrettes, finding a recipe for a thicker dressing that wasn’t too tart/sweet/unhealthy has been a challenge. Playing around with ingredients a few days ago, I finally made something that was fresh, packs a bite and is full of fresh healthy whole ingredients. Serve with Naan Pizzas (recipe here) for al fresco dining on summer nights.

Naan Pizza

Cilantro Lime Dressing

The dressing is really simple to make.

  • ! medium bunch cilantro (rinsed, drained & chopped)
  • 1 small garlic clove (washed & peeled)
  • tiny piece ginger (washed & peeled)
  • 1-2 green chillies (to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin (jeera)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a small blender jar and adjust taste to liking, adding more oil by the tbsp if dressing is too thick.

The salad shown in the photo has arugula, red onion, tomato, cucumber, carrots & red pepper. Use any combination of veggies and protein – top with chickpeas, tofu, paneer, grilled chicken, red meat, etc.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

My cousin had eaten these rotis at a friend’s house and she shared the idea for this recipe with me a while back. I finally decided to give it a try and luckily my proportions worked the first time around. We liked these rotis so much that I had to go to bed with a ‘light dinner’ because my husband and teenager decided to have some of my share too. I even made an extra batch of the dough since I had all the ingredients and utensils out. They were soft & pliable, and as it had spices mixed in, a pat of butter/ghee, or a cup of yougrt was all that was necessary as an accompaniment. I definitely see myself making this not only for meals at home, but also for short trips so I can avoid all the temptations at the rest area and fast food joints (am I the only one who can’t resist fries and pastries at rest areas?!?!).

Also check out the recipe for Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti.

Oats & Palak Roti

(Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

(makes 8 rotis, 6-7 inch wide)

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (make a powder in the blender)
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 big onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 cups spinach leaves (washed, drained and chopped fine)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2-3 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 2  – 2 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

1) Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl using only 1/2 cup water.

2) Knead well and sprinkle few drops of water only if necessary. The onion will release moisture and the dough will come together just fine with half cup water.

3) The mixture will be sticky at this point; cover and set aside for about an hour.

NOTE: If using a food processor (my preferred method), add all ingredients into the bowl and attach the lid. While machine is running, slowly drizzle the water through the feeder and run it till the dough comes together. Remove to a bowl and shape. Cover and set aside for about an hour.

4) The dough must now be soft and pliable. Divide into 8 balls.

5) Heat a heavy griddle on medium-low flame.

6) Pat each dough ball into thin discs on a lightly greased silicone sheet or heavy duty foil sheet.

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

7) Lightly grease the griddle and invert the roti with the foil onto it.

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

8) After few seconds, gently peel off the foil or silicone sheet and increase heat to medium-high.

9) Cook roti on both sides for 2-3 minutes till done, drizzling a few drops of oil on each side if necessary.

10) Serve hot.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: I mixed the dough the night before and used it in the morning, and it worked just fine. I even half cook each roti and cool completely on a rack. Then refrigirate in a freezer bag / air tight container till ready to eat. Finish cooking with a few drops of oil when ready to serve. This technique has made weekend brunch time so much easier – I get to relax with my tea and still serve a tasty & nutritious meal :)).

Apple & Beets Salad

Apple Beets Salad

I want to say that I’m trying to eat healthy, nourish my body, and detox from all the medication I took last week to get over the flu. The reality is that I couldn’t stand to look at that lone foil-wrapped roasted beet in the fridge anymore. I had seen so many recipes for salads with apples and beets, and decided to give it a try. Totally worth it!! I want to stress the fact that there really is no ‘recipe’; just a guide or idea for a salad combination. Use whatever sounds good to you ( or follow what you read below :)).

Apple Beets Salad Closeup

Apple & Beets Salad

(Serves 1)

  • 1 cup cleaned spinach leaves (or salad greens of choice)
  • 1 medium beetroot (washed, trimmed & grated)**
  • 1 medium apple of choice (washed, cored & grated)
  • 1tsp honey or agave syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • roasted sunflower seeds (or any other nuts for crunch)
  • golden raisins (optional)

1) Whisk honey, lemon juice & apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Add salt & pepper if you like.

2) Gently mix apples & beets in another bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Gently toss to coat.

3) Plate spinach and top with the apple-beet mixture, nuts & raisins. (If you want to skip washing another bowl, just whisk the dressing in a large bowl, and add veggies and toss together till well combined.)

**NOTE: I cannot tell you how many times I have brought beets home from the store with grand plans of eating healthy veggies, and it has gone in the trash after weeks of sitting in the refrigerator. I finally came across roasted beets and it has been an interesting option. I used roasted beets in this recipe, but you may use raw if you like.

Tri-colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

Tri-Colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

How’s everybody doing after Thanksgiving holidays? We just got back Sunday night from a 5-day  family reunion that involved excessive amounts of food, wine, gossip, and couch time. I don’t think I can eat anymore junk for a few more days. This afternoon, I realized that my fridge and freezer were almost empty, and the only things in the vegetable crisper were 4 oranges, a handful of pomegranate seeds, and the last handful of organic spinach. Lunch had to be a salad and a cup of Brown Lentil Coconut Soup that I had frozen a few weeks ago. As I put all the fruits & veggies on the countertop, the colors struck me and I got thinking about how Vitamin C in citrus helps with iron absorption from spinach. Pomegranates are also considered a super food, rich in immune-boosting and anti-oxidant properties. The salad came together with simple ingredients that almost every kitchen will have. I must say, for someone who is a salad-hating carb junkie, this one was DELICIOUS!!

The ‘recipe’ really is made to taste and I didn’t measure anything. All measurements below are approximate; taste and adjust as you like.

Tri-Colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

Tri-Colored Antioxidant Rich Salad

(Serves 1)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pre-washed organic spinach
  • 1 orange (peeled & sliced)
  • handful pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds / chopped nuts of your choice
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt *
  • dash of pepper (optional)

1) Spread spinach on a plate.

2) Top with the orange slices.

3) In a small bowl, use a small whisk or fork and mix together honey, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper for a few seconds till it is well incorporated.

4) Pour over the spinach and oranges.

5) Top with pomegranate seeds and nuts. Enjoy!

*Adding a pinch of salt to the dressing brings out the sweetness, and makes you use less honey. Of course, if you prefer not to, then by all means leave it out.

Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti

Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti

 

 

Cottage Cheese is a calcium rich protein powerhouse, and spinach, as we all know, is one of the wonder-foods packed with iron and fiber. I have tasted methi masala rotis before, and had heard of using cottage cheese to make rotis soft. When I came across a recipe for spinach cheese parathas at Saffron Hut, I wanted to try them. I changed the recipe to make just rotis without the stuffing. I was surprised at how nicely they fluffed up while cooking, and they kept beautifully for a few days in the refrigerator. Reheating was as easy as putting them on a hot griddle for a few minutes each side. This breakfast is on regular rotation in my family.

Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti

(8-10 rotis)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves (packed)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • few spoons oil to cook rotis

1) In a large food processor bowl, add cottage cheese, spinach, chilli, cumin & turmeric powders and salt. Puree till well mixed.

Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti

 

2) Add the whole wheat flour and pulse few times till a dough forms. DO NOT ADD WATER.

Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti

3) Set aside covered in a bowl for 10 minutes. Check to see if the dough is too dry or soft, and add cottage cheese or flour as needed. Set aside covered for another  15-20 minutes.

4) Knead lightly and form into 8-10 balls.

Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti

5) Roll out into thin rotis and cook on a hot griddle, brushing with some oil on both sides.

Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti

6) Serve with some yogurt or a pat of butter.

Baked Parmesan Spinach Balls

Baked Parmesan Spinach Balls

(Photo credit: Karan – 9 years old)

I have served this appetizer about a dozen times, and it is always a hit. Can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer; just take out and bake before serving. (See NOTE at end of post about stuffing mix and eggs.)

Baked Parmesan Spinach Balls

(Makes about 40 balls)

  • 2 (10 oz) packets frozen chopped spinach (thaw & drain well)
  • 1 (6 oz) stuffing mix – about 2 1/2 cups, any flavor
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 3/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350*

2) Thaw and squeeze out water from the spinach and place in a large bowl.

3) Add stuffing mix, eggs, cheese, butter, salt and peppers. Mix well but gently.

4) Measure out tablespoons full of mix and shape into balls (I use a small ice-cream scoop).

5) Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

6) Alternately, you can freeze the spinach balls uncooked – cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for several hours. Once frozen, you can remove the balls and store in a ziplock bag till ready to use.

Bake frozen spinach balls 12-14 minutes at 350*

NOTE: I’m assuming that the boxed stuffing mix can be substituted with homemade coarse bread crumbs and seasonings. I have previously successfully substituted ground flax seeds for eggs when using as a binding agent (1 Tbsp flax seed powder and 3 Tbsp water – stir well and set aside for a few minutes; then mix in.) I plan on using these substitutions the next time I make this dish, and will update the post on whether it was a success. If you beat me to it, please leave a comment on how it turned out.