Quinoa Salad Boats with Guacamole

Quinoa Salad Boats with Guacamole

Quinoa is one of the most healthy grains in this world 🙂

Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

I love this salad on any given day and the best thing is my kids eat it all up when I serve with a creamy guacamole.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa

5 Cloves of chopped garlic

1 can of black beans

1 small onion chopped

1 jalapeno chopped -optional

1/2 cup chopped zucchini

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt to taste

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cayenne

Evoo

For Guacamole:

1/2 onion chopped

1 avocado mashed up (save the outer skin of the avocados)

lemon juice from 1 lemon

Cilantro for garnish

salt to taste

Preparation:

For Avocado Salad Boats:

This is such a forgiving recipe that you can add any veggies you like to it. Take a pan and add 1 tsp of EVOO and transfer the chopped garlic, onion, jalapeno and zucchini. Mix well and saute with salt, turmeric and curry powder. Add in the rinsed black beans and mix well for about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup quinoa and toast for 3-4 minutes and mix. Now add 1 cup of water to the pan with all the ingredients and let it cook uncovered for about 10 minutes till all water evaporates. If quinoa seems uncooked, add another 1/2 cup water and let it cook uncovered. You want to cover it for the last 3 minutes with a lid so the quinoa turns out fluffy. Keep aside.

Cooked Quinoa with black beans, jalapenos, onions and zucchini

For Guacamole:

Take a bowl. Add mashed guacamole with salt and lemon juice and mix well to a creamy pulp. Then transfer chopped onions, salt to taste and garnish with Cilantro.

Plating:

For plating, transfer quinoa salad into the outer skins of avocados and place these boats with guacamole.

Asparagus soup

Asparagus soup

One of my favorite soups growing up was Asparagus soup. Growing up in India, Asparagus soup was only served in one upscale restaurant in town and so I had to earn my trip to that restaurant to order it.

When I moved to the US several years back, I was so happy and surprised that Asparagus was so easily available in the markets. Thus began my journey of making Asparagus soup at home.

Again, a very easy quick meal that you can whip up for the family.

Ingredients:

Asparagus- a bunch chopped up till the ends (where the hard part begins- discard the hard ends)

Garlic cloves-5

1/4 cup of sweet peas

1 large onion chopped roughly

Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

Cayenne powder depending on spice level

Salt to taste

Vegetable Broth or Water- 1/2 cup

Any oil

1 Tsp of sunflower seeds for garnish.

Preparation:

Place a pot under medium flame. Add oil, then garlic, chopped up onions and Asparagus and saute for 5 minutes.

Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, and cayenne depending on your spice level.

Add 1/4 cup sweet peas and mix well. Sweet Peas offers a very green and sweet flavor to the dish. I add sweet peas to keep the green color as opposed to blanching.

Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water. Keep covered and cook for about 2-3 minutes .

Now transfer the contents to a blender and blend it to a smooth consistency.

Garnish with sunflower seeds.

Enjoy!

Make Home Made Gnocchi in 20 minutes?

Credits to this Video goes to my beautiful daughter Ananya Vikram .

I have been getting so many requests from people for short food videos with recipes and finally I decided to give it a shot! I was hesitant only due to the amount of time and effort it takes to put together one of these videos:)

Looking at the bigger picture during lockdown days, I want to be able to contribute to my community and give back even if it is in the most tiniest way possible. So here goes my quick video on how you can cook absolutely pillow soft delicious homemade gnocchi in less than 20 minutes. My recipe is very easy and uses very limited basic pantry items to prepare the Gnocchi.

You may use any sauce with the homemade Gnocchi and it tastes delicious. In this video, I have a basil pesto white sauce combo that my kids love to eat so I have used that. But you can use something as simple as butter and cheese to a marinara or a white sauce depending on your family s preference.

Ingredients for Gnocchi:

1 Large potato

1 Egg whisked well

1/4 cup All Purpose Flour

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons of Semolina Flour/ Corn Flour/ AP Flour to roll out dough

Baking pan

Pot of boiling water

For the Sauce:

2 Tablespoons Basil Pesto Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Bechamel or White Sauce

Salt and Pepper

Parmesan Cheese for garnish

1 Teaspoon of EVOO

Preparation:

Microwave the potato for 5 minutes in a bowl covered to cook it completely. I prefer a microwave since it gives me a dry dough or a mash versus a potato steamed with lot of moisture in it.

Peel and Mash the potato well in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1 egg that is whisked well to the dough and mix well.

Add 1/4 cup of AP Flour and mix and knead well to form a dough .

Take a baking pan sprinkled evenly with Semolina or Corn Flour. If you do not have either of these you may use All Purpose/ AP Flour.

Oil both the palms of your hands so the dough does not get sticky.

Roll out and spread the dough in the pan. The Semolina flour helps the dough not to stick to the pan and makes it easy to work with.

Cut the dough into 4 strips and chop these strips into small even pieces.

Take a pot of water and place it in medium flame and keep covered till it boils. Add salt to the boiling water.

Now take small pieces of the chopped dough and press down using a fork to give it some ridges. This step is so the sauces gets into the ridges and helps the gnocchi soak up the sauce it is cooked in.

Toss them in the pot of salted boiling water and cook for about a minute or two until the gnocchi rises up to the top of the pot. Now remove the gnocchi floating on top with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. Keep aside.

For the sauce, take a pan, add 2 teaspoons of EVOO, salt and pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons of Basil Pesto Sauce and 1 tablespoon of bechamel or white sauce. Mix well and add 1/4 cup of water and wait till the sauce simmers. You may use any sauce to cook your homemade gnocchi with.

Gently place the cooked gnocchi in the sauce when it simmers and cook for about 2 minutes before turning off the flame.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese -optional. You may use basil or pine nuts if you have some for the garnish too.

Bon Appetit!

Credits to this Video goes to my beautiful daughter Ananya Vikram .

Inspired by BIBIMBAP!

Inspired by BIBIMBAP!

My kids love breakfast in the morning and look forward to it every morning during these lock down days. It is challenging to get creative at times and so just came up with a breakfast dish very high in protein and good saturated fats (avocados) . This dish was inspired by a korean dish called BIBIMBAP. It is very easy to make. I saute some garlic, onions, red bell pepper, jalapeno’s and black beans with salt and turmeric. My kids love a half fried egg so place that on top with some melted pepper jack cheese and some sour cream and avocados on the side.

My version of meat is Jackfruit!

My version of meat is Jackfruit!

I have been trying to clean out my freezer during lock down times with limited supply in the fridge. Guess what I came across- FROZEN JACKFRUIT!!! Jackfruit was something I always enjoyed eating growing up in Kerala, southern part of India and so it made me all nostalgic when I saw it in the freezer. For people unfamilar with this fruit, Jackfruit is an exotic fruit grown in tropical regions of the world. It is native to South India. It is part of the Moraceae plant family, which also includes fig, mulberry and breadfruit.

I was completely clueless as to how to cook this as I wanted my entire family to enjoy a meal out of this exotic fruit. I decided to make a rice dish with this fruit with a lot of flavors and spices. When I tell you guys, this is my new found meat substitute. The reason I say it is because at the end of it, when I savored the dish, cooked jackfruit had such a meaty texture and was so satisfying so this calls for a great substitute for people who want to stay vegetarian and not miss the meat!

Jackfruit is high in fiber and Vitamin C. It has small amounts of antioxidants, minerals and is an excellent source of Potassium as well.

So I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think:

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice-2 cups

Water- 5 cups

Salt to taste

Bayleaf (2), Cardamom (3), a piece of cinnamon, 1 tsp of Caraway seeds(optional)

For Jackfruit Marinade:

2 Cups yogurt

Salt to taste

Chilli or Cayenne powder 1 tsp

Turmeric powder 1 tsp

Curry powder or Garam Masala powder 1 tsp

Ghee or clarified butter 1 tsp

1/2 tsp Saffron soaked in hot water and 1 tsp milk

fried crispy onions for garnish

cilantro for garnish

cashewnuts for garnish

Preparation:

Cook 2 cups of Basmati rice in 5 cups of water along with bayleaf, cinnamon, cardamom, caraway seeds and keep covered till the rice is cooked almost 3/4 th s. You want the rice to be crispy at this point not completely cooked since we are going to cook the rice towards the end after we mix it with the jackfruit marinade. Keep aside.

Take a pan and make sure you thaw out jackfruit well in advance and pat dry with paper towel to remove any moisture. Saute the jackfruit with any oil. I personally prefer coconut oil so saute in coconut oil with some salt to taste till it turns golden brown. This happens when your flame is under medium to high. Set aside.

Saute’d Jackfruit in marinade

Take a heavy bottom pan under low flame, add 2 cups of yogurt and add salt, chilli powder, turmeric. curry powder and mix well. Toss in the jackfruit and mix well. Now layer the rice on top in batches and mix and once it is completely mixed. Add in the saffron soaked in hotwater and milk on top. Keep covered for about 20 minutes under very low flame. This help in a slow cook process and enables all the flavors to infuse in the rice.

Saffron soaked in hot water and milk

Garnish with cilantro, fried onions and cashewnuts. If you dont have jackfruit, substitute the same with boiled eggs and comes out pretty good as well.