Red and White Quinoa Salad with Spicy Dijon Vinaigrette

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Red and White Quinoa Salad

Love-hate relationships…..everyone has them, mine is with food!!!! I love food but the scale hates me when I indulge in that love!!!! I have struggled with my weight all my life and I have found that it has gotten harder the older I get. Over the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that it’s a life style change but its hard to maintain it………temptation lurks around every corner!!! I have found that a small changes like no sugar, reducing your carb intake, eating less for dinner make a huge difference!!! I have taken to eating mostly salads for dinner or soups depending on weather and I have a cheat day when I can indulge, though reasonably. It’s going slow but I’m keeping it off so I’ll take it!!!

Most of the time, my salads are greens tossed with a dressing though I do experiment with the dressings. Once in a while I will make a salad with a grain for variety. I have developed a liking for quinoa, though it’s now so ridiculously expensive that I only make it occasionally!!!! Quinoa is the latest super grain…..cultivated by the Incas in the Andes in South America. It’s high in protein and is gluten free. It is high in iron, manganese, vitamin B2, fiber and lysine, which helps in tissue repair!! I find that when cooked well, it tastes great. There is one thing to remember……it is not a low calorie food, it contains the same amount of calories as brown rice so portions do matter!!!!

This is my simple quinoa salad…nothing fancy just a simple vinaigrette, quinoa and some veggies, that’s it but it packs a flavor punch!!!

Red and White Quinoa Salad

Red and White Quinoa Salad with Spicy Dijon Vinaigrette

 

½ cup White Quinoa

½ cup Red Quinoa

¼ cup Red Onion, finely chopped

¼ cup frozen Corn, defrosted and drained

¼ cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved

¼ cup Cilantro, finely chopped

2 tbsp. reduced sugar Dried Cranberries

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. Sriracha Sauce

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

To cook the quinoa, add 2 cups of water and the quinoa to a saucepan. Cook according to the package instructions.

To make the dressing, place the mustard, honey, sriracha, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a jar. Shake well till emulsified. Set aside.

Toss the quinoa with all the other ingredients and the dressing.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is off toNo Croutons Requiredat Tinned Tomatoes andDish it out – Whole Grainsat Kachuss Delights.

no+croutons+requiredDishItOut2

Sweet Potato and Methi ( Fenugreek Leaves) Cutlet

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IMG_2148The twins’ birthday is coming up soon and I have been scouring recipes to figure out what I am going to make when the family and family friends come over to celebrate. No……….this particular recipe is not what I’m going to make or post but I came across the recipe and realized that I had written a post about it and completely forgotten to post it!!!! It was a blow to my ego……..I consider myself very organized and generally put together!!!!

Anyway, I have ,recently become a fan of sweet potatoes after disliking it my entire childhood. I am constantly trying to find new ways to make and eat them!!! I love cutlets or veggie patties and here is my version of a sweet potato cutlet. Picture it, if you will…….sweet, creamy sweet potatoes with bitter methi/fenugreek leaves, crunchy panko breadcrumbs, tangy amchur, the liquorice flavor from Fennel seeds………..yes, it is as tasty as it sounds!!! I did add a little mashed red potato for heft and ginger for warmth…….the ever present cayenne, green chilies and cilantro also made their presence felt. You can cook these till golden brown, on a sauté pan but I belong to the “ don’t put in unnecessary work if you don’t have to “ school so I lined them up like soldiers on a baking tray, popped them into the oven, turned them once and voila, out popped crunchy, crispy, soft and creamy in the middle sweet potato cutlets.

I use them as the patty for burgers or sometimes I just put them in a pita with tamarind and green chutney and eat it as a sandwich. Now not everyone has access to methi leaves……kale is a pretty decent substitute, though you do have to use less. The beauty of this dish lies in the contrast between the sweetness of the potatoes and the bitterness of the greens!! The more bitter the greens, the better the dish. I have made this with arugula and that came out pretty fantastic too…….I know that not many cooks cook arugula…….most of the recipes call for it raw but it holds up well during cooking. If you do not have or cannot find amchur, do not fret…..the juice of a lime will work just as well. You can also use normal breadcrumbs but I find that the longer, lighter flake of panko makes for a better cutlet………to be honest I have made these with normal breadcrumbs when I was too lazy to go out and buy panko ………it didn’t make an iota of difference in my capacity to devour these!!!

Sweet Potato and Methi Cutlet

 

SWEET POTATO AND METHI (FENUGREEK LEAVES) CUTLET

 

1 large Sweet Potato or 2 small ones

1 small Red Potato

¾ cup Methi( fenugreek) leaves/ kale/arugula, washed, stems removed and finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped Onions

1 Green Chili, finely chopped

½ tbsp. Ginger finely chopped

½ tsp. Amchur ( dry mango powder) or the juice of ½  Lime

½ tsp. Fennel Seeds

½ tsp. ground Cumin

¼ tsp. Cayenne

¼ cup finely chopped Cilantro leaves

¼ - ½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Salt

1 tbsp. Oil
Cook the sweet potatoes and red potato in their jackets till tender but they should still hold their shape.

(I generally use the pressure cooker for this but if you don’t have one, you can peel them, cut them into cubes and cook them. Make sure that all the water has been removed. You don’t want them mushy!!)

Either mash them using your hands or a ricer. Add the other ingredients except the breadcrumbs and mix well.

Form patties and place in the refrigerator to set.

Pre heat the oven to 375 F.

Dredge the patties in the breadcrumbs making sure they adhere on all sides and then place on a foil lined, greased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, turning once until they are crisp, crunchy and golden brown…….well as golden brown as orange sweet potatoes can be.

This is off to “the Vegetable Palette” and “Eat your Greens” at Allotment 2 Kitchen – A seasonal Table.  Its also making its way to “Kids Delight- Healthy Snacks” at Tamalapaku and “What’s with my cuppa?” at UK Rasoi.

 

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