Apple Pear Cucumber Salad

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BM # 70

Week 2, Day 2

Theme : Fruit based Recipes 

Whenever there is an excess of fruits, especially apples, it gets added to almost anything at home. I make chili with apples, I know a friend who make sambar with apples and though it sounds really weird, they do taste pretty decent. An unexpected bit of sweetness in the middle of a savory dish.

I add them on a regular basis to all my salads. My oft repeated salad has apples and tomatoes as the main components. Add one more veggie or a fruit, top with any salad dressing and you’re done! But this recipe is a little different from my usual take as I didn’t go for my standard mayo-mustard dressing. This one is the olive oil- lemon juice kind. The flavors all complemented each other well and the salad friendly kid was indeed happy!

This post goes to Blogging Marathon# 70. Check out this page to see posts from other participating bloggers.

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Recipe Source: Food.com

Serves : 1

Ingredients :

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 medium pear
  • 1/2 of a medium cucumber
  • 1/2 of a medium sweet onion

Dressing:

  • 2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (adjust according to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dill leaves (I didn’t have any)

Method:

  1. Prepare the dressing by mixing everything together.
  2. Slice the apples, pears and onions into thin slices. Cut the cucumber into circles.
  3. Toss with the dressing in a big bowl and serve. Done!
  4. I added about 1/2 teaspoon Kale chips for garnish, but it definitely wasn’t a good idea.

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Kosambari/ Kosumalli

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Some of my staple recipes come from my sister-in-law. My regular pulao is her take on the dish. I still remember her pasta salad, which I used to make regularly for a long time.

Another recipe which comes out perfect from her kitchen is this – Kosumalli. This one doesn’t have many fans in my place, my raw food hating husband stays away from it, but my enthusiasm makes up for others lack of it. The softness of cucumber, the bite from the coconut, crunchiness of carrots and dal, the slightly tangy touch of lemon and the wonderful aroma of the seasoning….mmm…oh,YUM!

Try this simple recipe if you are a fan of crunchy, raw food. I know I am!

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Recipe source: My Sister in law

Serves : 2 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Moong dal, soaked for 2-3 hours
  • 1/4 cup cucumbers, peeled and chopped very fine
  • 2 tablespoon carrots, grated or chopped very fine
  • 1 teaspoon coriander leaves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coconut, grated
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • salt, lemon juice as needed

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the moong dal for 2-3 hours at least.
  2. Once they are soaked enough and not tough inside, prepare the vegetables.
  3. Peel and chop the cucumber finely. Grate the carrot.
  4. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a pan and add one teaspoon mustard seeds and a sliced green chili to it. After the mustard seeds is done popping, add it to the moong dal.
  5. Now add the vegetables, moong dal with tadka, coriander leaves, grated coconut and salt & lemon juice for seasoning. Mix well so that everything combines evenly.
  6. Serve as a side dish to serve with rice.

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Everyday, everything salad

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My son tolerates pasta, dislikes dosa/chapati and hates rice! That list strikes out all the items I know to cook. But thankfully, he likes salads. And luckily, I know the easiest salad recipe in the world (in my world, at least!).

I got this recipe from a friend of mine. You can adapt it according to what you have in your fridge. I always have apples, tomatoes and cucumbers in fridge, so these are the key ingredients for me. If you have lettuce or salad greens, the salad gets even more interesting. The quantity and the proportion is all left to your taste and what’s available in your refrigerator.

If you add some cooked beans (red kidney, chick pea or black beans), then you can graduate the salad into a meal. And that’s what I usually do.

For seasoning, a little mayonnaise mixed with 2 teaspoons of yogurt is what my friend recommends. After coming to US, I have started stocking up of various salad seasonings. I use any of those for convenience. Add salt and pepper and that’s it. Your meal is ready.

The recipe below is just a guide line as to what can go into the salad. These are my preferences and I have used these in many combinations according to what’s there on the fridge.

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BM Theme : Salads

Recipe source: My friend Swapna 

Ingredients:

Choice of Fruit – 1 cup altogether ; pick one at least

  • apple
  • grapes
  • pomegranate
  • pear
  • orange
  • plum
  • strawberries or blueberries
  • NO mangoes, NO bananas

Choice of vegetable – (pick 2 at least) 1 cup altogether

  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • capsicum
  • lettuce or salad greens
  • corn
  • cauliflower (steamed or microwaved)
  • avocado
  • NO carrot, NO cabbage

Choice of protein -pick 1 (optional) 

  • 1/2 cup cooked beans – any variety (chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans etc), canned is fine
  • 1 boiled egg, cut into small pieces
  • handful of cheese like feta
  • handful of sprouts (steamed)

Choice of dry fruits/nuts – pick 1 handful, Optional 

  • toasted peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, cashew nuts or almonds
  • raisins, cranberries, apricot

Choice of dressing – pick one and season with salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise mixed with 1 teaspoon yogurt
  • honey mustard and mayonnaise
  • any ready made salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Method: 

  1. Choose at least 1 fruit and 2 vegetables and cut them into small pieces.
  2. Pick a protein to make it a meal.
  3. Add a handful of toasted nuts or dry fruits. Optional.
  4. Make your dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the salad, toss well and serve.
  5. My regular salad would have an apple, handful of grapes, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 medium cucumber and 1/3 cup of thawed corn. I go on and add a boiled egg or 1/2 cup of canned beans if its a meal. I add pistachios or cashews or raisins (my pantry staples) when in mood. I like the combination of mayonnaise and honey mustard for dressing. Another favorite is mayo+yogurt+ salt n pepper. This quantity is sufficient for one.

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Tortellini Salad

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My son’s resistance against food is growing everyday and meal times are war zones in our place. I still have the upper hand in everyday battles, but slowly I can sense defeat.

My tactics include diverting him and feeding him when he is really hungry – like right after he comes from school. But God knows how long I can keep that up. The minute he sees a bowl of rice, he starts howling. The problem is, with rice being the predominant grain in our cuisine, it would be a huge problem if he turns his back on it.

I have right now cut a deal with him – he has to have a typical Indian meal once a day and in return, lunch and dinner would be his choice. Funny thing is, it’s always been that way – just that he never realized it ;-). Good for me!

Salads are his choice for dinner many a days. I am happy because of the amount of vegetables I can feed him and he is happy that there is no rice in the plate. A perfect win-win situation!

Read on for this recipe.

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BM theme : Salads

recipe adapted from all recipes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet tortellini ( or 2 cups cooked pasta of your choice)
  • 1 cup sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

salad dressing*:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning ( I didn’t have any, so skipped it)
  • salt and pepper

* Alternative dressing would be 2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixed with any other salad dressing and seasoned with salt and pepper

Method:

  1. For the dressing, mix everything listed and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta or tortellini per the package instructions.
  3. Slice the olives and artichoke hearts and halve the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Drain the pasta and let it cool. Once cool mix everything and add the dressing.
  5. Check the seasonings and adjust per taste. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 58