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.
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
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
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.
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.
For plating, transfer quinoa salad into the outer skins of avocados and place these boats with guacamole.
This recipe takes less than 10 minutes if you have all the vegetables chopped and ready. So if you are pressed for time or want to make a quick dinner all you need is to chop the veggies ahead of time or you can buy the chopped frozen vegetables from the supermarket. You can thrown in pretty much any veggie and improvise this recipe.
Firstly chop onion, tomato, jalapeno, green beans, carrots about 1/2 an inch and try to chop them evenly so they cook evenly.
Take a non stick saute pan and keep it on low flame. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and then add cumin seeds. Wait for the cumin seeds to get toasted and splutter. Now add the chopped onion, tomato, jalapeno and vegetables along with salt to taste, garlic powder and curry powder. Mix well and saute for about 2 -3 minutes.
Now add 1 cup of whole wheat CousCous and 1 1/2 cups of water.
Mix well and keep covered for about 5 more minutes till couscous absorbs all the water. Fluff cooked CouCous with a fork and serve with Tzatziki on the side.
I also make a chilled Raita with onions, cucumbers and green chillies to be served along with this salad.
I must say that this is one of the best way and form I have consumed beets! My daughter ate a whole bowl of this salad so for all those moms
struggling to get all the good stuff with nutrients in your child, this might be a dish you wanna try! Beets belong to root vegetable family and are super rich in antioxidants and nutrients.
This dish took me less than 2 minutes to plate once the beets were cooked. Cooking beets takes a while but trust me this dish is so worth it!
Ingredients:(Serving Size for 2)
Beets- 2 or 3 beets
Goat cheese crumbled- 1/4 cup
Sunflower seeds- 1/4 cup
Red Onion- 1/2
Salt to taste
Cooking the beets: There are 2 ways to cook the beets. You can peel the skin dice them evenly and roast it in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
You can use a pressure cooker. I love cooking a lot of my veggies in my cooker since its faster and cooks evenly. Peel the skin of the beets, dice the beets evenly and transfer them to a container with water. Cook the beets in a cooker. It takes me about 15- 20 minutes to cook them in a pressure cooker.
I transfer the cooked beets in a bowl and add the crumbled goat cheese and mix it up. Then I add salt to taste, drizzle some olive oil and leave it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Prior to serving, mix some sunflower seeds and serve as a cold salad.
Benjamin and Rebecca are this wonderful sweet couple who got in touch with me since they had received a gift certificate for a Private Cooking Class with Curryliciousme from Ben’s parents. As always, I exchanged a couple of emails to get to know their preferences- what actually were their favorites and what they did not care for much. After a few exchange of emails, I gathered that Becca was in Hyderabad, India for a few months for studies and that they both loved Indian food!!!
I cannot tell you how adventurous the both of them are! So we came up with a menu – an authentic Indian menu with an appetizer, Kadai paneer, Peas Pilaf and Dal/ Lentil Soup for main course and a sweet vermicelli pudding with raisins and cardamom(sweet heaven!)
They arrived at 1:30pm as we had discussed. We introduced ourselves and I made sure they were comfortable and felt at home:) I had everything ready and organized including the recipes printed out, all the ingredients measured out for ease and pots and pans for them to cook, Chef knives, chopping boards and so forth. Before every cooking class, I always like to see what each person is comfortable doing and assign them tasks accordingly. The main goal here is not to freak them out but for them to enjoy the complete experience and have fun with it. I am a happy girl if I hear from them a week later that they recreated something and came out awesome.
That is the confidence I want to give them and a wonderful fun cooking experience that does not frighten one to take risks and try new food!
Becca wanted to do the appetizer round so we let her be in charge of that and she did an excellent job. We made a chickpea salad with grated coconut, cumin and cilantro.
Then Ben was interested in making the Kadai Paneer so he started chopping some onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and bell peppers. Me and Becca started working on the lentils on the side. It was so much fun. Just peeking at what each one’s doing, chatting, laughing, sharing experiences, food stories:)))
The reason we always start lentils early is since they take a long time to cook. So we toasted the lentils with a bunch of spices, ginger, garlic, onion and tomatoes and added water and let it cook covered for sometime stirring intermittently.
By then Ben had started to work on the Kadai Paneer. He had a hot pan of oil with some cumin, garam masala, lemon pepper, garlic powder, cayenne along with chopped onions, green chili, onions and tomatoes. Once that was cooked Ben transferred it to a blender and put it aside. Then Becca started chopping the Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer into cubes and tossed them in butter to get all the sides browned up a little. Ben loved to crush some fresh coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle:) Then we added some oil on another heated pan, added some more chopped onions, bell peppers and tomatoes and let them cook the crushed coriander seeds and some dried fenugreek leaves.
We added the brown paneer cubes to the pan and transferred the blended mixture as well and let it cook for few minutes. We added salt as per taste and they simply loved it!!!! By then, the dal was ready as well.
We also cooked some hot peas pilaf in my traditional cooker that my mom had passed over to me from India. Ben and Becca were very excited to cook in a traditional cooker and Ben almost was surprised to hear the whistle that the cooker made!!! I had given them some taster samples of the hot peas pilaf with kadai paneer and dal and they enjoyed every bite of it. I also packed them “dibbas” or boxes with all the food they made:) so they can have it for dinner later today evening.
For dessert we also made a pudding with vermicelli, clarified butter, raisins and cardamom. I hope they enjoyed it!!!
Looking forward to many more cooking experiences with wonderful people like Ben and Becca….. and they have promised to be back soon:)