Red Bean Paneer Ginger Pomegranate Salad

Rajma, paneer, ginger pomegranate Salad

Rajma, paneer, ginger pomegranate Salad

Sometime back, dishing up a salad was just tossing cucumbers and tomatoes generously sprinkled with lime and chaat masala. Not anymore. Not when I strive to eat huge big bowls of raw eats and wrack my brain to include assorted new vegetables and some form of protein. Most of the times I am successful and there have been times when I have been horribly let down. But lets not talk about the dampeners. I am here to give you a wonderful protein rich salad recipe that I concocted on a whim!

Protein rich!

Protein rich!

I used red kidney beans. Soaked them well for over 5/6 hours, and boiled in a pot full of salted water, they added body to the salad bowl. The nutty soft texture from the beans laced with crunchy raw veggies makes for a succulent combination.

Boiled and ready

Boiled and ready

A handful of these red pearly shiny fruit elevates the acidic salty salad to another level. Always add a citrus fruit. Some fruit, any fruit – orange segments, berries, kiwis, apples, cherries etc. The list is huge. But for now, pomegranates it is.

These pearls add the required sweet and tartness

These pearls add the required sweet and tartness

Beans are slow to digest and if not boiled or chewed well, they can cause a lot of heartburn, acidity and stomach ache. So I added julienne ginger pickled in salt and lime juice as a bit of garnishing. Ginger aids in digestion and helps in absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients. Ginger is highly pungent so a little bit is enough for your salad bowl. Feel free to skip it if you can’t tolerate the sharpness.

pickled ginger

pickled ginger

Mint!! Who doesn’t love mint! Its refreshing. Its aromatic. Its healthy. So, I added loads 🙂

lots of it!!

lots of it!!

The Recipe: For two people –

Ingredients

1 cup boiled red kidney beans or rajma

1/2 cup diced cottage cheese or paneer

1 cucumber, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 tomato, diced

2 tsp ginger julienne – soaked in little lime and salt for 30 minutes.

1/2 cup pomegranate

3 tbsp mint leaves, chopped

For the vinaigrette – mix 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp honey, salt and pepper to taste.

Optional: 1 tsp more oil to sauté the cheese if you do not like it as is.

Method

Saute the paneer/cottage cheese if required. Mix all said ingredients except the vinaigrette. chill for 30 minutes. Pour the limey dressing over it. Toss. Chill for another 10 minutes.

Serve.

lemony dressing

lemony dressing

I like the paneer as it is, but I know many who don’t. A bit of sautéing or grilling does the trick to include it in your salads.

She takes a bite

She takes a bite

When I sit with my bowl of raw veggies, I fish for my favourites and relish the juices from the marinated fruits and vegetables. Flavors like these make me go back every single night to these huge enticing bowls. So yumm!

I am taking this to Angie Weekly Potluck party – Friday Fiesta #30!

Greek Salad, Improvised!

Greek Salad - my take :)

Greek Salad – my take 🙂

While the world trips on quinoa and chia and gluten free and muesli and sunflower seeds and what not, I stare at my pantry and realise I am yet to go there and do that. So, whats stopping me?

The availability? Naah.. big huge supermarkets in one of the biggest cosmopolitan city of India, can’t make that excuse!

Recipes? I am a food blogger!! I have blogger friends dishing out super food made with super ingredients and fantastic recipes.. for God’s sake, I can’t run with that either!

Sigh.. so what is it. Friends, I am just lazy. Terribly lazy and the fact that I think I get enough nutrition from what we eat on a regular basis is a huge hindrance to my foray into this new health food world.

Walnuts for that extra crunch

Walnuts for that extra crunch

I plan to change all that. Buying a small pack is all that it’ll take to throw me into the bandwagon and then I know I will be hooked for a long time to come.
But for now that can wait, because with the most basic ingredients available in any kitchen I made a fairly popular though simple robust tasty salad. The recipe is so straight that I could have easily tweeted or instagrammed it, but no. This needs to be chronologized. It deserves a post. 🙂

Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette

Greek salad is a very rustic summer salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, a bit of feta and some kalamata olives. Dressing is of vinegar-olive oil seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano. Now this is a basic Greek salad formula. What I did, I improvised it, added some more weight to it.. 😉

The vinaigrette was spiced and flavoured with minced green chilies and coriander leaves. Feta was replaced by regular paneer or cottage cheese. Broken bits of walnut added the much required crunch and yes.. that’s pretty much it.

my instagram upload

my instagram upload

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, take firm red ripe ones
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • Few lettuce leaves
  • Whole pitted olives – as many as you like or skip it altogether
  • 1/4 cup crumbled paneer or cottage cheese or feta
  • 2 tbsp of broken walnut or pine nuts or almonds or peanuts

For the Spicy Vinaigrette –

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 green chill minced
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves minced

Method

To make the dressing – mix all the ingredients of the vinaigrette and whisk thoroughly. Keep aside. In a big salad bowl, take all your vegetables, except the nuts. Mix. Pour the dressing over it. Gently mix. Refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, top with toasted nuts.

Goodness in a bowl

Goodness in a bowl

Note: You can skip/avoid any ingredient you don’t like. I did that to olives. Yeh.. not a big olive fan!

Note: Feta is creamier and softer, but our very Indian Malai paneer proves to be a good match to it. Try it.

Note: Use green chilies according to its level of heat and your own discretion

Of forks, ladles and spoons...

Of forks, ladles and spoons…

The very lovely Angie has been hosting a virtual potluck bloggers party and in spite of being invited long back, I am attending the festivities now! This post is being linked to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #23.

I have been instagrammed!!
Very recently I signed up for an instagram account: namrata_mft. If you would like a peek into my daily life, add me!

-Namrata