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?

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    Tricolored Baked Rice Casserole

    Representing the Indian Flag

    Representing the Indian Flag

    “Are you ever going to post the tricolour rice or no?”, She seemed nettled.
    “Er.. but it’s so late, I could tell you now, on the phone” I sputtered.
    “No, no time! Put it up and I will catch it in between work’ And she bangs the phone.

    My sister – younger, smarter and definitely more headstrong than I have ever been, always gets her work done, somehow! No one says no to her, she makes sure of that. She thinks its her tenacious personality that gets it done when in real we do what she says because we love her. But we let her think otherwise ;).

    Indian Independence Day was on August 15th. And I am 12 days late. But like the sister exhorts – Tis better to be late than not post at all. So I put this up now. For one, because she badgered me for a detailed recipe. And for the fact that this one is worth posting!

    Creamy healthy and totally delicious

    Creamy healthy and totally delicious

    So like how it happens every morning of 15th August, we were getting ready for our National Flag hoisting. The child was excited. More so, because she was going to sing a very patriotic song. She had been rehearsing for the past 10 days and had held captive any audience she could find to practise her crooning.

    'Aao Bacho Tumhe Dikhaayen'

    ‘Aao Bacho Tumhe Dikhaayen’

    In between adjusting a tricolour sash, combing her hair, sticking various tricolored pictures on her skirt, she spoke persistently and tirelessly. Of matters mundane and routine. And then suddenly she squealed in delight, turned to me and said.. why don’t you make some lunch which is tricolour. I will call Saancha and Sanjana and you can take pictures too for your blog. Now, the picture bit was her act of luring me to make something fancy.

    Our lunch was patriotic indeed but in return I got her to get rid of all the gaudy stickers she piled on her skirt 😉

    Yumm

    Yumm

    Rice enveloped in creamy white sauce, dotted with carrot and beans, topped with an orange tomato marinara and a spicy spinach coriander puree, and finished with soft cheese – whats not to like in this! It is creamy soft pillowy flavourful and a delight in every bite. Worth a try, anytime!

    Enjoy it with some fresh baked bread

    Enjoy it with some fresh baked bread

    The recipe –

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice, boiled al dente. Brown Rice works beautifully, but I was going tricolour remember, so I chose to stick to white.
  • 1/2 cup minced carrot-beans and a few peas
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • green chill sauce – optional.
  • 4 tbsp grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • For the Orange Marinara: 3 medium-sized tomatoes, blanched whole in hot water. 5/6 pods of garlic, 3 whole red chilies or kashmiri red chilies, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp oregano. 1 tsp olive oil.

    For the Spinach Puree: 1 big bunch of spinach leaves, washed-blanched. 3 green chilies, a tiny piece of ginger, a pinch of sugar and salt.

    Method

    For the Rice:
    Heat butter in a wok, stir fry the vegetables till almost done. Add flour. Saute it as it coats the veggies. Pour milk, mix till the milk thickens. Add boiled rice, salt, pepper, green chill sauce if using. The white sauce will envelope the rice.This taste good as it is!

    For the Spinach Puree:
    Grind blanched spinach, along with salt, sugar, green chilies and ginger till smooth. You can adjust the quantity of the green chilies according to your taste. Keep aside.

    For the Orange Marinara:
    In a wok, heat oil, sauté garlic and red chilli. Add coarsely smashed blanched tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Cook covered on low heat till oil leaves sides. cool the mixture and grind to a fine orange paste. This marinara can be stored in the refrigerator for 3/4 days and is used as pizza toppings or in pastas/noodles or rice.

    Assembling:

    In a butter greased baking dish or casserole, make alternate layers of marinara, rice and spinach puree. Finally garnish with grated cheese. Bake at 200 C for 15 minutes or till the cheese melts and golden dots appear.

    Note: I didn’t do the traditional layering coz I wanted the tricolour pattern, I lay the rice and then poured the sauces to replicate the Indian National Flag.

    flavors all

    flavors all

    Ludicrous interpretation of the colours made me go wide-eyed with shock though amidst peals of incessant laughter. The girls all had appalling insight on this subject! The sublimity of the beautiful colours on our flag was then preached and lectured while their plates were licked clean!

    Courage, Peace and Prosperity

    Courage, Peace and Prosperity

    I am taking this to Angie’s 31st Friday Fiesta! Do pop over to see some delicious recipes!

    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!

    Vermicelli Noodles

    Milee started primary 2 weeks back. With this new academic year comes brand new fundamental changes in our daily schedule. Apart from “waking up before the sun” there are more pressing matters to be dealt with. What do I put in her lunch box? The pre primary phase of her school pampered us mothers by “compulsory” providing them with snacks, but now the dream period seems to be done. They pass the batons to us, and what do we do?
    We rack our puny brains to fill awesomeness(read: yumm yet healthy) in tiny tiffins so that the persnickety remains satiated and filled. Phew! A towering task.

    Yet, the food must be made, the box packed, the child gratified.

    Vegetable Vermicelli Noodles

    Vegetable Vermicelli Noodles

    Here I have this delicious sly camouflaged snack, which will fill the box as well as Mr/Miss Picky’s tummy.
    Roasted semolina vermicelli is sautéed with veggies in chinese style, with minimal sauces but huge flavors from garlic and scallions leaves. A nutritious close cousin of our very dear traditional noodles.
    So, I have whole grain from semolina, all great nutrients from the host of fresh vegetables in it and ofcourse yummness certified from Miss Milee. Yay! got one more dish in my what-to-give-in-her-lunch-box list!

    Awesome alternative to Refined flour noodles

    Awesome alternative to Refined flour noodles

    I know, not all kids eat all their greens. So play around with the vegetables. Customize the recipe according to your child’s favorites. Use more of what he likes, a little lesser of what he grimaces at. Peas and Corn are a no-no for mine, but I indulge her fussines by not hounding her dish with the forbidden eats… but adding a little bit nonetheless.

    Nutritious

    Nutritious

    Recipe:

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup roasted semolina vermicelli, I used MTR’s
    • 1 onion, sliced thinly
    • 2 tbsp colored peppers, sliced
    • 1/2 cup of veggies, sliced thin. I used cabbage,carrot and beans
    • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
    • 1-2 green chilies, sliced length wise – use accordingly
    • 1 spoon oil
    • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tsp vinegar
    • salt to taste
    • pepper powder to taste
    • 1 tbsp spring onion greens

    Method

    First, boil the vermicelli like how you would do it with noodles. That is in a pot of boiling water, throw in salt and little oil and put the vermicelli in. Since it is roasted, this process hardly takes time, so keep an eye. Once almost done, cover the pot with a lid. Keep aside.

    In a wok, heat the oil up and like traditional noodles we proceed. Saute ginger garlic paste, green chili and onions. Then thow in the colored peppers. Saute. Once done, add the sliced veggies and salt. Sprinkle a few drops of water. Stir fry on high. Once 3/4th done, add the sauces and pepper powder. Mix well. To this add the strained vermicelli, and onion greens. Turn the flame on high, toss.

    Serve hot or if you intend to pack in your little one’s box, slightly cool the mock noodles and shut tight.

    Quick Tasty Bite

    Quick Tasty Bite

    They resemble and taste a lot like the usual fare, but this version with “sevviyan”(vermicelli) is healthier and guilt free. So pile on in those tiffin boxes and be mighty pleased when it returns empty.

    Scrumptious Snack

    Scrumptious Snack

    Mix Veggie Cheese Stir Fry

    Time for some simple stir fry to have with your daily bread. I have used paneer(cottage cheese). Addition of mushroom enhances the taste. But since I did not have any of the delicious fungii, I made do with all that I had.

    Veggie cottage cheese stir fry

    Veggie cottage cheese stir fry

    Ingredients

    • 1 big onion, sliced thinly
    • 1 cup colorful bell peppers, julienned
    • ½ cup baby corn, julienned
    • 1 carrot, julienned
    • ½ cup paneer, cut thinly, lengthwise
    • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2-3 green chilies
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • ½ tsp turmeric powder(haldi)
    • ½ tsp red chili powder
    • 1 tsp coriander powder(dhania)
    • ½ tsp dry mango powder(amchur)
    • salt to taste
    • 2 tbsp oil

    Method

    Parboil the julienned carrots and babycorn. Keep aside. In a pan, heat oil. Once hot, sauté the garlic, onions and green chilies. Throw in the bowl full of colored bell peppers. Sauté on high. Once ¾ th done, add the parboiled carrots and babycorn, along with tomatoes. Sprinkle the turmeric, red chili, coriander powder and salt. Once the veggies are almost done, put in the paneer and mango powder. Give it a final mix. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with phulkas/chappathis/rotis.

    Veggies with a little bite.

    Veggies with a little bite.

    This stir fry veggie fills your bowl with bright colors and your palette with fabulous flavors and your body with vigor. Tastes great with any type of bread or rice.

    Bite into freshness and health.

    Bite into freshness and health.