Channa Almond Pomegranate Mason Jar Salad

Mason Jar Salads - replete with a protein and some fresh veggies

Mason Jar Salads – replete with a protein and some fresh veggies

Being on a salad spree is no fun really. Chomping on plain old carrots, chewing romaine and mindlessly mincing the veggie can be exciting for first few nights, but it sure gets exhausting when you intend to continue the salad sojourn for days to come. I know of this, coz it happened to me. But I want to diligently stick to the fad, so I fish for new ingredients, newer proteins and yet newer ways to eat my greens.

He was heading out. Not one to carry a tiffin, grabbing a sandwich or some street side junk are his usual options. Well, that was not be that day. I was determined to pack his supper.
Wide mouthed glass jars preserving fruit and vegetables seems like an incredible idea. They are air tight. No spill, no soil, no frills. So easy to carry around. And looks pretty cool too. Somewhat amused, somewhat intrigued, somewhat preempted, he took his tiffin 🙂

Toasted almonds - for that extra bite!

Toasted almonds – for that extra bite!

To add a protein to your vegetable bowl is a must. That extra mile on the treadmill is of no use if you don’t support it with a repairing agent. Lean muscles, shiny hair and strong nails give obeisance to exactly this necklace of amino acid. Yea, so all in all, it’s that important.

So I add channa one day, paneer another, Mung sprouts, soya nuggets, boiled peanuts, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, tofu and assorted nuts to give you an idea.

Kale channe or black bengal grams is what I used for this wonder salad. Its nutty. Its wholesome. It adds enough bite to fill your bowl as well as your tummy.

Lime - can't do without it!

Lime – can’t do without it!

Making the vinaigrette is therapeutic – for me. I love whisking lime juice and extra virgin olive oil. Pounding pepper, sprinkling rock salt, crushing garlic – oh yea! Me loves it. I try to stay away from creamy sugary dressings as it annihilates the entire purpose of me chomping on greens.

Good to go :)

Good to go 🙂

The recipe –

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black bengalgrams or kale channe, soaked for at least 7-8 hours
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 big tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, slivered
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate
  • For the dressing – juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper powder and salt to taste.

    Method

    Boil the black bengal grams in a big pot of boiling mildly salted water till they are almost done. Drain and keep aside.

    For the dressing – whisk together all of the mentioned stuff.

    Toss all the salad ingredients except the almonds. Mix in the dressing. Toss well. Refrigerate if required for 30 minutes. While serving garnish with toasted almonds. I love the crunch from the nuts so I add loads!

    The good stuff

    The good stuff

    If setting into jars – pour the vinaigrette first. Then layer with boiled bengalgram, cucumber, pomegranate, tomato, onions, lettuce and lastly toasted almonds.
    the pictures show the channa and almonds finishing on the top as I wanted to photograph them that way 😉

    Make this your dinner

    Make this your dinner

    Angie’s Fiesta Fridays is something that I look forward to every Friday. She holds this virtual potluck party for all of us. Its one post where you get sweet savoury, mains, appetizers n gorgeous desserts all under one roof and not to mention a whole lot of wonderful enthusiastic bloggers too! So I’m taking a salad this time. What are you?

    Advertisements

    Wonder Veggie Kale – in a Stew and a Salad

    I had seen it numerous times. On the net, in newspapers, on other blogs, on tastespotting and other food display sites. But never at my local vegetable market or for that matter in a supermarket too. So, when the most-health-conscious-paleo-obsessed-organic-freak friend of my husband dropped a bunch at our place, I was surprised. And Happy.

    Kale Leaves

    Kale Leaves

    Kale Leaves. The wonder plant. Recently crowned as ‘Queen of Greens’, this gorgeous green is a nutritional powerhouse.

    Glorifying the innumerable benefits, we love Kale as it is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. It is high in Vitamin K, A and C and filled with powerful antioxidants. Being a fabulous anti-inflammatory food, it is also great for cardiovascular support.

    The clincher:
    Can you believe, per calorie kale has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk! Yea. It rendered me speechless too.

    Dal.. Wholesome and Tasty

    Dal.. Wholesome and Tasty

    So, when our dear friend, who, by the way the husband adores and is truly our one stop search for any information on food-health and diet, got us a bunch of Kale greens, I skipped into the kitchen. 🙂

    Dishing out a very Indian Daal/Lentil Stew and a more sophisticated salad was a breeze.

    You treat it as how you would treat any other green like spinach, fenugreek or amaranth. It is happy to be sautéed, baked or slow-cooked in a soup or stew, all of which break down its slightly bitter, tough exterior.

    But kale can also be cajoled into a surprisingly delightful exquisite salad, it just needs a little hands-on tender love to turn it from sturdy to silky. So, when eating raw, you massage the leaves gently to ensure maximum flavour and right texture.

    Kale Pomegranate Toasted Almonds

    Kale Pomegranate Toasted Almonds

    RECIPES

    KALE LENTIL STEW

    Kale Lentil Stew

    Kale Lentil Stew

    I made this in a south Indian style daal/stew, to be eaten with hot steaming rice and some poriyal/kootu.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup toor/arhar daal, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
    • 1 bunch of Kale leaves, washed, chopped
    • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp ginger julienne
    • 1 tbsp ghee or oil, I used ghee
    • 6-7 shallots or pearl onions, sliced thin
    • 1 small tomato, chopped
    • 2-3 green chilies, minced – optional
    • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds and cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 1 tsp red chili powder or as per taste
    • 1 dry red chili
    • salt to taste
    • Chopped coriander leaves to garnish.

    Method

    I used a pressure cooker to boil the lentil. You could do that in a pot too. In the cooker, add soaked toor dal, salt, turmeric, 2 cloves of garlic and little ginger, one green chili and chopped tomato. Whistle for 3-4 counts.

    Now, in a wok, heat 1 tbsp ghee. Crackle cumin and mustard seeds. Throw in the shallots, rest of the garlic, ginger and green chili. Saute till the onions turn pinkish brown. Now, throw in the chopped kale leaves. Sprinkle little salt. Mix well and cook till the leaves are almost done. Takes about 3-4 minutes. Now add the boiled dal. Mix well. give it a boil or two.

    Just before serving, heat another tbsp of ghee, throw in the dried red chili and red chili powder, immediately switch the flame off. This tempering is now poured over the ready daal. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
    Serve hot with rice or chappathis.

    If you would like to enjoy the dal as a soup, cut down the green chilies and ignore the red chili powder. What you then get is a bowl full of lentil-kale highly nutritious soup!

    Tempering of Red chilies and Ghee

    Tempering of Red chilies and Ghee

    KALE POMEGRANATE TOASTED ALMOND SALAD

    Salad

    Salad

    Ingredients

    • 1 bunch fresh kale, washed and chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • sea salt or rock salt according to taste
    • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped or shredded
    • 1 tablespoons seeds of pumpkin and sunflower – optional
    • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
    • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries – optional
    • 3 tbsp toasted almonds, slivered

    Method

    Place your washed chopped kale leaves in a big bowl.

    In a small bowl, combine garlic, pepper, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Mix well to combine and then pour over the kale.

    Massage the leaves gently for 3-4 minutes, until the leaves start to soften and wilt, and no longer tastes bitter when you try it.

    Sprinkle mint, seeds, pomegranate, cranberries and almonds over the top of the kale and serve.

    Note: don’t omit the almonds! They add such crunch to the salad, you will be surprised.

    Note: I omitted the cranberries and seeds, because I didn’t have any in hand, still the salad tasted great.

    Note: Play around with the ingredients, throw in what you have, omit what you don’t. And if you have more ideas, do drop a line.

    Wonder Veggie

    Wonder Veggie

    For those who live in India, you can buy Kale Leaves from the innumerable stores of Godrej’s Nature Basket.

    For a Mocktail and a Salad – Get Guava

    “You got a dozen of guavas?!!”, I asked incredously.
    “They looked sooo good and buying in bulk is any day cheaper…”, mumbled He.
    “What bulk… what do I do with so many! How will we finish, and if they turn a little bit ripe.. no one eats… “..my laments were falling on deaf ears, the Bulk buyer was coolly walking off.

    When we were little, guava was never given its due. We just took it for granted. It was there. Just like that. Like, always. Abundantly available. Delicious. Healthy. Cheap.
    But a few years in a foreign land changed my perspective. Now, I wouldn’t want even one of them going wasted. How ever less we pay, Guava has a priceless tag on it.

    Lemony Guava Mint Cooler

    Lemony Guava Mint Cooler

    Guava Corn Pomegranate Salad

    Guava Corn Pomegranate Salad

    I stare at them. A bag full of fresh firm green guavas. They look good, I admit to myself. But to finish off twelve of them within a day or two is mind you – is not an easy task! In dilemmas like these, I do what I do best – curiously seek new recipes.

    A mocktail and a salad were dished up amidst hectic schedules, annual festive cleaning, dance and swimming lessons. Now will you call my search fruitful? You Will! if you can just lay your hands on some fresh guavas that is ;).

    Indian Avacado

    Fresh Green Almost Unripe Guavas

    Multiple Benefits

    Multiple Benefits

    Ooh! By the way, did you know guavas contain four times more Vitamin C than oranges? I didn’t. And while we’re comparing guavas and oranges, did you know that a guava has 70 times the amount of fiber as an orange? Interesting isn’t it.

    Guava is also rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, E, calcium, copper, folate, manganese, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. They can help your body deal with high blood pressure, constipation, lung congestion, high cholesterol levels, and more. Cool Eh?!

    Allright! Back to business. Time for some super simple recipes:

    Guava Mint Mocktail Recipe

    Serve it chilled

    Serve it chilled

    Makes 2 glasses –

    Ingredients

    • 1 medium sized guava, washed and diced
    • 2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
    • a tiny piece of ginger
    • Juice of 1/2 a lime
    • rock salt to taste
    • 2 tsp sugar or honey, as you wish

    Method

    Throw in all the ingredients in a blender along with a cup of water. Blend well till there are no coarse pieces left. Add more water if necessary. Once done, sieve to remove the guava seeds. Taste, season with more lime juice or salt if necessary.

    Serve with lots of ice.

    Guava Burnt Corn Pomegranate Mint Salad

    To Go Salad

    To Go Salad

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup deseeded, chopped fresh green guavas, or any guava of your choice
    • 1/2 cup corn kernels, I roasted mine on the flame, you could add boiled too
    • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
    • 2 tbsp fresh chopped mint leaves

    For the dressing:

    • Juice of 1 whole lime
    • 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • rock salt to taste
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • red chili flakes to taste

    Method

    In a bowl, mix all the ingredients of the dressing. Whisk well. To the dressing, add guavas, corn kernels and pomegranate seeds along with mint leaves. Mix well.

    Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

    Simple and Refreshing

    Simple and Refreshing

    I could not help myself and post more than one recipe in a single post. Guess old habits die hard. 🙂

    Beetroot Poriyal/Stir Fry

    The one which your mom and grandmom goaded you to eat. The one which your doctor prescribed you when your iron dropped low. The one which health articles glorify n coax to adopt in your diet plan. The one where your friends misled spinning tall tales of cheeks turning red if you eat the root.
    A vegetable that is an antidote for anemia, fatigue, stamina and cancer is naturally a must include in your daily diet.

    That. That plain old humble Beetroot is what we are talking about.

    Beetroot Stir Fry/Poriyal

    Beetroot Stir Fry/Poriyal

    My love for South Indian Stir fries must be familiar to you(no? well.. you know it now 🙂 ). Simply sauteed veggies in minimal oil, seasoned with curry leaves, lentils and garnished with loads of coriander and coconut – I DIGGG!

    If you are not a fan of Beet’s earthy taste, you will be surprised how just 1-2 cloves of garlic and some curry leaves can camouflage the rawness and infuse amazing flavors to the dish.

    Almost a Salad

    Almost a Salad

    This stir fry is very versatile. Husband likes tangy rasam, ghee and soft white rice with it, where as the child relishes the vegetable with her curd-rice. Me? Well, I had mine plain(I’m trying to lose some weight…shhh)

    Grated Beetroot

    Grated Beetroot

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups grated beetroot, depending on the size, you may need 2-3.
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 small tiny piece of ginger, grated
    • 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
    • 4-5 fresh green curry leaves
    • 1 tsp oil
    • 1 tsp urad dal
    • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and mustard seeds mixed
    • 2 tbsp grated coconut, or as much as you desire
    • salt to taste
    • juice of 1/2 a lime
    • coriander leaves to garnish.

    Method

    In a wok, heat oil. Saute the urad dal. Once reddish, splutter the cumin and mustard seeds. Throw in the garlic, ginger, green chili and curry leaves. Fry just for a minute or so. Quickly add the grated beetroot. Add salt. Now stir fry on medium flame for not more than 5 minutes. Switch the flame off. Mix in the coconut and lime juice. Garnish with coriander leaves.

    Thats it.
    Serve hot or cold.

    Enjoy it with rice or rotis or simply as a salad, your call.

    Simple, healthy and delicious

    Simple, healthy and delicious

    Not a fan of garlic? Skip it, and add asafetida/hing when tempering. My mom tells me not to mix garlic and asafetida ever. If you are using garlic, then skip the hing and vice versa. Don’t ask me why though.
    They all(mom’s grandmom’s) have amazing age old tips which work although most refuse to give any proper rhyme or reason.

    Gone in no time!

    Gone in no time!

    Losing weight sure is a monumental task. It makes me think of food all the time.. just so defying the idea of avoiding food… Ah! And they say when you are hungry, everything tastes good.
    So here I polished my bit in no time, so does it mean the saute was actually not that yumm as I believed it to be?
    Well, you try and let me know.

    Carrot Beans Stir fry Salad / Poriyal

    Carrot beans poriyal

    Carrot beans poriyal

    Simple vegetable stir fry seasoned with chana dal and mustard seeds flavored with coconut and coriander is PORIYAL in Tamil. Poriyals can be made with any vegetable of your choice. It is inanely simple to prepare and delicious with hot soft white rice(SIN!!).

    Settled in Mumbai for the past 5 years has not diminished my love for South Indian food. Infact, since I am not in Bangalore anymore where ever increasing in number Darshinis(self service South Indian restaurants) serve awesome authentic Karnataka/Tamil food, I try to make as much of it at home.

    Almost a salad!

    Almost a salad!

    These simple poriyals have fresh diced veggies in minimal spices and oil with just a wee bit of tempering. SO, its almost a salad. Most of the time you will find yourself eating it all by itself sans the sinful rice. Along with a big bowl of lentil soup(Daal), it accomplishes to make a complete meal for those weight watchers.

    Great alternative to those chewy boring salads.

    Great alternative to those chewy boring salads.

    A list of different vegetables that can make a yummy poriyal awaits for you at the end. But for now, its the recipe in queue:

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
    • 1/2 cup chopped french beans
    • 1 spoon oil
    • 2 tbsp channa dal, split bengal gram
    • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
    • 2 pinches asafetida
    • 3-4 curry leaves, torn
    • 2 green chilies, slit lenghtwise – use accordingly
    • 1 tiny piece of ginger, grated
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • salt to taste
    • 2-3 tbsp grated fresh coconut – reduce the quantity if you don’t like the taste
    • 1 tsp lime juice
    • 1 tbsp coriander leaves to garnish

    Method

    In a pan, heat oil. Roast channa dal on medium heat till light brown. Splutter mustard seeds at this stage. Sprinkle asafetida. Next goes in the curry leaves, green chilies and ginger and the diced veggies. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder. Cover and cook till almost done. I like some bite to the veggies, so I leave it at 3/4 th done. But I personally know many who like their vegetables fully cooked. So, your call.

    Once done, sprinkle coconut, lime juice and coriander. Mix well. Turn the flame off.
    Serve with hot rice or chappathis or enjoy them on their own.
    This is one dish that need not be reheated. It tastes yumm even when cold( and I don’t mean, straight out from the fridge).

    Orange and Green... reminds me of our Indian Flag.

    Orange and Green… reminds me of our Indian Flag.

    Note:
    If you want your veggies to reflect the natural bright color, don’t cover and cook. Let the veggies be done without the lid and stir frying in between so as not to burn the contents.
    Chances are your mom would scold you for doing this. The nutrients vanish in thin air .. literally, but when we lidd the contents, the goodness doesnt go away. So they say.

    But, what I do is: When Im having guests over, and if this is on the menu, I let the colors shine, as presentation and colors should appeal to my guests. But when I make it regularly at home, I retain the goodness.
    PS: For the pictures that you see… you know what I did..;)

    I like some crunch!

    I like some crunch!

    Vegetables that you can use:
    1. Single vegetable can be made from using only carrot/beans/beetroot/cabbage/bottle gourd/potato/radishes/pumpkin
    2. Combination of two – carrot-beans / carrot-beets / carrot-cabbage / beans- potato / beans cabbage
    3. Boiled chickpeas can be used, and the dish is called “Sundal”, for this you skip the fried bengal gram.
    4. Boiled peanuts made into a poriyal make a very tasty and healthy snack.

    If you know of any more combinations, do drop me a line.

    Regular fare in any South Indian Home

    Regular fare in any South Indian Home