Corn- Pomegranate Kosambari


Kosambari is a super healthy South Indian side dish that usually uses a raw vegetable (such as cucumber/carrot) and a lentil (moong or chana daal) as it’s main ingredients. It is that crunchy and perfect balance of salt, sour and spice often coming from lemon juice and slit green chillies. Try this unconventional version without the lentil, but with plenty of colored vegetables ( loaded with the much hyped about anti-oxidants), corn for the crunch, pepper for the spice, raw mango for the sour and yes, to a add a twist, pomegranate kernels for sweet! The secret to the whole recipe is chopping all the veggies as tiny and uniform as you can. Considering how healthy and tasty it is, you won’t guilt yourself going for the seconds on this one.

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Ingredients:

Red, yellow and orange peppers – Finely evenly chopped to corn kernel size

Corn- 1 cup ( Thaw the frozen corn for an hour)

Pomegranate kernels – 1 cup

Raw mango – ½ cup finely chopped

Cilantro, shredded coconut , mustard seeds and oil for garnishing ( optional)

Salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper powder ½ tbsp.

Toss in all the diced veggies, pomegranate seeds, corn and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Splutter ½ tbsp of mustard seeds in ½ tbsp. of oil, Add salt, pepper powder and additional fresh lemon juice if needed. Enjoy your full week’s worth of antioxidants!!

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Rainbow Salad


What color is your food? Mine’s multi color, just like a rainbow today:)

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Heard on NPR yesterday about a study that showed that women who ate colored fruits and vegetables had a lower risk of heart disease as pigmented fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals and anti oxidants. That was inspiration enough to chop up those tri colored peppers that were sitting in my refrigerator, toss it in with some spring mix, red onions, baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. Also threw in some almonds to add a nutty taste and dried cranberries to give a hint of sweet/tanginess. You can dress it up with some rice vinegar, EVOO and fresh ground pepper and drizzle some shredded mozzarella over it!.

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Pear and walnut salad


One of the best things about living in California is the access to fresh produce all through the year! I love going to the farmer’s market every Sunday. Just looking at all the fresh vegetables and fruits makes me a happy soul 🙂 and the best part is you can sample stuff before you buy them. That is how I stumbled upon two ingredients for making a great salad. I bought a bottle each of Meyer lemon infused olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Next was the quest for a good salads recipe to use these ingredients! My new found interest,  pinterest had just the recipe I was looking for, pear and walnut salad.  After I made the salad I realized that adding some feta cheese would have made a world of difference to the salad.

Ingredients

Mixed spring greens – 1 bag

Red pear 1 thinly sliced

Red onion – Half, thinly sliced

Toasted walnuts 1 cup

Dried cranberries 1/2 cup

Olive oil 2 tablespoons

Balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons

Freshly ground pepper 1 tea spoon

Salt to taste

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Add the onions, pear, walnuts, cranberries and spring greens into a big mixing bowl.

Into a separate bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk the mixture thoroughly.

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Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss well.

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Strawberry and baby spinach salad


Its summer time everywhere although in California the weather is pleasant and there is still a chill in the air. One of the ways to beat the heat is to eating a cool, refreshing salad.  What better way to make this than picking up fresh produce from the farmers market.  The cool thing about shopping at the farmers market is they give handouts of recipes based on the produce of the season. I picked up this recipe and the ingredients along with what goes into the salad and added few ingredients of my own and the result was a very delicious salad!

Ingredients :

3-4 packed cups of baby spinach (washed and dried)

8-10 strawberries, cut into quarters

Handful of mint leaves, chopped finely

2-3 tablespoons toasted and slivered almonds

1 handful of raisins

1 tbsp honey

Parmesan shavings(optional)

Juice of 1 lime/lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Salt to taste

Whisk together the olive oil, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper. Taste to make sure the dressing has the right amount of salt and pepper.  In a big salad bowl, add the spinach, mint leaves, strawberries, almonds and raisins. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Add Parmesan shavings for garnish. I didn’t have any at home and so I left it out. Serve the salad immediately.

Mixed greens salad with lemon dressing


I was looking for a very simple salad dressing recipe which was healthy and didn’t have things like mayo, vinegar etc. Something you can quickly whip up at home with minimum ingredients. I then saw this simple salad dressing on Giada’s show on food network. She made a salad of English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, dill and Feta cheese and this yummy lemon and olive oil dressing. I have adapted the same recipe for the dressing but with different veggies.

The photo doesn’t do too much justice to the recipe as it was taken with my phone camera 🙂

Ingredients : Serves 2

Store bought mixed greens like baby spinach, arugula, water cress.  1/2 a pack

Sunflowers seeds or pine nuts 1-2 tablespoons

Dried cranberries 1 tablespoon

Lemon rind 1/2 teaspoon (Use a lemon and not a lime)

1/2 of a juice of lemon

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 red pepper cut into thin strips

1/2 yellow pepper cut into thin strips

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Grate the lemon till you get 1/2 teaspoon of lemon rind into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon. Add salt and pepper.

Add the olive oil while whisking the mixture.

Just before serving, mix the greens, peppers, cranberries and seeds and pour the vinaigrette on top and toss the salad well.

Carrot and Tomato Salad/ Kosambri


Blogging after a long hiatus..life can get very busy sometimes! I was craving for something nice and simple which could serve as a side for lunch and as a snack. Thats when I got reminded of this kosambri that amma makes all the time. Kosambri in kannada is nothing but a salad usually with some soaked dal like chana or moong. But this one is a very simple recipe and perfect for a summer day!

Ingredients : Serves 2

2 medium-sized carrots, grated.

1 large ripe tomato.

2 dried red chillies

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2-3 table spoons chopped cilantro/ coriander

Mix the grated carrots, tomato, lemon juice, salt and coriander in a big bowl. Heat the oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and the red chillies. Break the chillies into half or quarters. This gets the seeds out and adds heat to the dish. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add this to the salad, mix well and server immediately.

Note : If you want to make this ahead of time, do not add salt and lemon juice. Add the two just before serving, as the salt tends to separate all the juices from the vegetables.

Avocadoh!


I had always known avocado as butterfruit. Even though i had never tasted it i knew i wouldn’t like it. I had seen avacado only in “juice shops” in India and thought it would just be a vegetably juice. All this changed one day when the family was on vacation to a homestay in Coorg. I had this amazing salad which was smooth textured and melted in my mouth. I asked the hostess of the homestay what it was and she graciously shared the recipe! Excited about a new find, i emailed my sis about this incredible salad that i had eaten. She replied saying what i had eaten was guacamole and butterfruit was the same as avocado and she made it at home all the time in the US!

I then that tried butterfruit milkshake..oh i cannot begin to describe that rich buttery smooth texture of the shake and the amazing color of it! 🙂 It became my favorite evening snack at office.

Having come to the US and to the tex-mex land no less, i have eaten avocado and guacamole in a lot of forms. The guacamole has its own variations here ranging from just mashed avocado to the most flavorful ones you can ever find. I have my own favorite version of it here.

Ingredients :

2 avocadoes

1 tomato

1 onion

Juice of one lemon

1 Jalapeno, de-seeded and

finely chopped

salt to taste

I learned the art of cutting an avacado from a lot of cooking shows on TV. You slice right down till the middle of the fruit and holding it in your hand you twist the fruit side ways where the cut is. One half comes away clean. Using a knifescoop the seed out of the other half.

Mash the avocado in a bowl. Finely chop the onion and tomatoes. Add all the ingredients to the avocado and mix well.

Enjoy it with your favorite tortilla or corn chips or eat it with rotis/chapathis like i did!