The summer fresh bounty of fruits and vegetables in our part of the country leaves me drooling on so many fronts – the colors, the smells, the textures and most of all the possibilities for creating countless combinations of dishes that play magic on the tongue.
This week, two such ingredients created magic for me – apricots and Aleppo pepper. Here’s what I pulled together to assemble a plate of the most amazing, melt in your mouth salad.
2 small apricots, pitted and sliced
4 small tomatoes, sliced
4 balls of bocconcini, sliced,
4 basil leaves shredded
A couple of turns of freshly ground salt
A heaped tsp of Aleppo pepper
I grilled the apricots and tomatoes and arranged them on a plate along with the sliced bocconcini. I spread the basil leaves over the assembled veggies and cheese. The final touch was a couple of turns of really good salt and a sprinkling of my new culinary find….Aleppo pepper.
I recently read somewhere that some creative soul had tried to toast sliced sweet potatoes for breakfast and the outcome was amazing! I chuckled about this to a friend and she goes, “I’m going to try waffling the sweet potato”….just inserting the slices into a waffle iron and letting the iron do its magic.
Well, that was just the push I needed to do this in my own kitchen. I greased a waffle iron and waffled my sweet potatoes in there. Unlike a regular waffle, I repeated the process a few times to get the right level of browning. What came out simply melted in my mouth with just a little bit of butter on top. To make it a complete breakfast, I added in a soft-boiled egg and a sliced avocado.
Take a look pre and post and do let me know if you’ve tried this!
Got to be honest. With a little bit of travel and a whole lot of good food and dessert, I wanted something light but nutritious for breakfast. Something really easy to prepare that would look awesome and be good post a workout. Well, here’s what I had in my fridge!
I hard-boiled the egg and sliced it. I sliced the tomato 3/4 of the way down. I sliced the avocado. I inserted the sliced egg and avocado into the folds of the tomato, drizzled the assembled dish with some extra virgin olive oil, did a few turns of freshly ground salt, pepper and presto! Breakfast was ready.
Today’s grocery trip to Trader Joe’s led to an unexpected discovery. Black bean pasta made only with black bean flour! As soon as I got home, you can guess what I did….I went to the fridge and peeked in to see what could be made ASAP with this black bean pasta. Out came the ingredients and a beautiful, yummy, Mexican inspired black bean pasta salad emerged. We think it looks beautiful and tastes yummy! Would love to hear your thoughts. Here’s how it all came together.
First, the ingredients:
I gathered what’s featured in the picture below along with two limes, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Follow the instructions on the packet and cook the pasta till done (al dente). Cook the yam in the microwave for four minutes (till firm but done). Chop the cooked yam into small pieces and do the same with the rest of the vegetables as shown below:
Put the cooked pasta in a bowl and toss with olive oil so the pasta does not appear to stick. Now add all the chopped vegetables, squeeze the juice from two limes and add a liberal dose of freshly ground salt and pepper! Divide into four servings and enjoy!
As I stand in front of my fridge eyeing the fruit options to have as a pre-workout snack, the jalapenos, mint and orange grab my attention. I quickly pull them out along with a red onion from the pantry, some salt, pepper and olive oil and assemble the salad pictured above!
The instructions are so simple.
Peel the skin off an orange and slice into thin rounds.
Peel the onion and cut about a 1/4 of the onion into thin slices.
Chop half a jalapeno into thin slices.
Chop a tbsp or two of mint leaves finely.
Arrange the oranges, onion and jalapeno on a plate. Garnish with mint leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper and douse some extra virgin olive oil on top.
Savor every bite
PS. If headed to the gym, follow-up with mouth wash! That red onion can be potent:)
Last year, I was introduced by a mutual friend to a guy who was as obsessed with creating and eating good food as I was. So it was natural that when this guy started a food blog, I turned to it for inspiration. Recently, the team behind this food blog breakingnaan.com wrote about their success pairing fettuccini with fenugreek leaves (a leafy vegetable widely available at Indian grocery stores). The minute I read this, I started thinking about my favorite Indian dish on cold winter days…aaloo methi or potatoes with fenugreek leaves. And then the light bulb went off! I could create an Italian version of this dish by pairing gnocchi with fenugreek leaves!
Here’s how you can create this dinner in under 30 minutes. Start with the ingredients below.
Clean the fenugreek leaves well to remove all sand and grit and chop finely.
Cook the gnocchi according to the directions on the package.
Heat some olive oil, add a teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes and two cloves of crushed garlic.
When the garlic sizzles, add the fenugreek leaves and cook for about five minutes till the leaves are wilted.
Now add the cooked gnocchi to the fenugreek leaves and toss till the gnocchi are coated with the leaves (about a minute).
Grate some fresh parmesan cheese over the dish and serve hot!
Presto! Here’s the finished dish! We did not have a morsel left over:)