This is one of my favorite salads. It is refreshing in any season and is packed with all kinds of nutrition. It can be a meal in itself served over a bed of lettuce, or make a great filling for wraps and sandwiches. Want to be a bit naughty? Scoop it up with some tortilla chips and you have a fancy appetizer. Or serve it with some grilled tofu.
The mango is the star here and provides a heady sweet flavor. Use any ripe mangoes available. If you can get your hands on a ripe Alphonso or 'hapus', go for it. The recipe is as follows -
2 cans black beans
1 can sweet corn kernels
1 small red onion chopped
1 bunch scallions chopped
1 ripe mango chopped
1 green pepper or capsicum chopped
1 red or yellow pepper chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or coriander
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or pepper sauce like Tabasco
1 garlic clove grated or crushed
1 tsp sugar or honey
salt to taste
1) Rinse the black beans from the can to remove all canning liquid. You can also soak dry beans and pressure cook them. You will need about 3 cups cooked beans.
2) Rinse the corn or defrost it if you are using frozen corn.
3) Chop all vegetables and add to a bowl.
4) Mix the dressing in a small bowl and pour over the veggies and beans.
5) Refrigerate overnight or at least for 4-5 hours until flavors intensify.
6) Serve chilled
This is a great vegan dish that has no added fat. It is so colorful and high in flavor that you will never think you are eating anything 'healthy'. The beans and different veggies provide a wide variety of nutrients. This is an exotic alternative to your store brought salsa that is ready with very little effort.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I know, I know! It's only January and Spring seems far away. But it can't be far behind. And this is a salad or side dish that is sure to perk you up even if there is a raging blizzard outside. It will taste best using fresh English peas and fresh corn on the cob, but you can get away with using frozen stuff too. The star ingredient here is probably the dressing, which is made with fresh squeezed orange juice. Curry powder adds a hint of spice and exotic flavor. This salad is fat free so you can indulge in it upto your heart's content.
The recipe is as follows -
2 cups green peas
2 cups corn kernels
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 orange juiced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup orange segments or pulp
salt to taste
1) If you are using fresh peas or corn, you will need to blanch them first. Boil a pot of water and dunk the peas/corn in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2) Prepare the dressing - Squeeze the orange along with the pulp, mix in lemon/lime juice. Add the salt, pepper and curry powder and crushed garlic. Whisk this and add to the corn and peas.
3) Depending on how juicy your orange is, you may add more orange juice if needed. This salad gets tastier with time.
4) Refrigerate at least overnight for the flavors to develop. Serve as a side dish, or use as filling for sandwiches or wraps.
This is a healthy treat you can indulge in. The citrus dressing takes the ordinary corn and peas to a whole new level. If you love the orange element here, be sure to try my Orange couscous salad.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Hello and wish you all a very Happy New Year. The New Year generally ends a long period of indulgence that starts with Diwali and ends with Christmas. After so much revelry, most of us are tired of eating the heavy food but are also somewhat addicted to it. The New year is always the time for resolutions to stay on plan, eat healthy etc., and whether you follow it for a long term or not, you definitely end up eating some less calories, which can only be good for you.
One way of reducing a lot of calories from your food is fat free cooking. Some plans such as Eat to Live and McDougall advocate cutting out oil and fats from your diets altogether ( ETL does allow you some nuts and seeds daily). I have bought some books on 'zero oil' cooking from chefs such as Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor, but I found that they substituted oil with skim milk or nuts often times. True fat free cooking should have none of the sources of fat. I am not a nutritionist, and not qualified to give anyone advice. So it is up to you if you eat 100% fat free, or eat one dish fat free. You are definitely eating something healthy compared to before.
Stuffed capsicum or stuffed bell peppers have been a favorite in our family for several years. Please do not confuse them with the jumbo peppers stuffed with meat/rice and baked in an oven. This is a purely Indian dish that is generally stir fried in a wok. Potatoes are boiled and mashed along with aromatic spices and stuffed in baby green peppers. These are then stir fried in a wok. This process generally needs a lot of oil, but I managed to make it totally fat free. The trick here is a good non stick pan and a lot of patience. The recipe is as follows -
7-8 baby green peppers
4-5 medium potatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp Dry mango or Amchur
salt to taste
1) Boil, peel and mash potatoes. Add all spices, and mix well. Adjust seasoning. This should be well seasoned.
2) Wash and destem peppers. Remove the seeds and white membranes. If you are lucky, you will get the really small peppers or capsicums. This dish is specifically made with the small sized peppers.
3) stuff the potato mixture in all the peppers. The amount of potatoes needed might vary based on the size of the pepper.
4) Heat a thick bottomed non-stick pan or wok. Add the peppers and do not stir until they get a sear on one side. Turn over gently and sear on the other side.
5) Add a splash or two of water to avoid sticking and cover well. Keep the heat on low and let the peppers steam.
6) Check the water level periodically. After the peppers look almost cooked, remove the cover and heat until the liquid evaporates. Sprinkle some salt on the top of the peppers if needed.
7) The peppers are done when the skins look crumpled and the peppers reduce in size a bit.
8) Serve hot with rotis or rice or just on its own with a salad.
This is a great way to convert a popular favorite into something healthy and is worth a try.