Tag Archives: Veggies

Delish green beans with coconut

Many moons ago, when my mom had to leave for India for an extended period of time to care for my grandfather, she wrote down a bunch of recipes of the staple, time honored dishes that my family from Kerala had served for generations in their kitchen. Before I had any money to buy any sort of cookbook, these recipes became my guidepost; a primer that ensured that I would carry on creating the tastes of my mother, grandmothers, aunts and more in my kitchen. Of course, in the rush to give me these recipes, mom sometimes missed writing exact quantities or an ingredient, but they were enough of a foundation to enable me to cook.

Beans Poduthol, also called as Thoran, is a simple dish of whatever veggies are on hand, some oil and spices and lots of freshly grated coconut. It is the kind of dish that is not only super yummy and healthy, but also makes me feel with every spoonful that all will be okay in this world.

Ingredients:

  • A pound of beans, washed, destringed and cut into small pieces
  • A tbsp of oil (traditionally coconut oil is used)
  • A tsp of mustard seeds
  • A tsp of urad dal (skip if you don’t have this, it adds crunch)
  • One or two dried red chili pods broken
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Four tbsps freshly grated coconut
When I copied mom’s recipe into my first attempt at organizing recipes.

How to:

1. Heat oil in a pan.  Fry the mustard seeds, urad dal (if using) and dried chilly pods.  When the mustard seeds start popping, add the beans, turmeric powder, salt and cumin powder and toss well.

2. Cover and cook till the beans are cooked, yet crunchy (about 10-15 minutes).

3. Add the fresh coconut and toss a few times.

Enjoy!

PS. You can prepare cabbage, spinach, carrots, and raw bananas in a similar fashion.

Transforming a head of broccoli into a lovely dish in 15 minutes!

By Lakshmi:

Today I was craving roasted veggies with dinner and as I looked into my trusted resource, a.k.a my fridge, a nice, firm head of broccoli peeped out seemingly to invite itself to its place on the dining table.  So I preheated the oven to 450 degrees, picked up the broccoli, chopped it into florets, and let my mind flip through the possibilities to prepare it.

Step 1:  I tossed the cleaned florets with a tablespoon of olive oil, a crushed garlic clove, a teaspoon of crushed red pepper and some salt on a baking tray and stuck it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Step 2: I mixed a teaspoon of tahini with a couple of tablespoons of yogurt, a pinch of salt and a tsp of berbere spice and created the sauce to drizzle over the roasted veggies.

Step 3: I simply tossed the roasted broccoli into a bowl, drizzled the dressing on top and just dug in!

PS.  You really don’t need to have berbere spice to do this.  You could use a combination of cumin/coriander powder or simply chilly powder or any other spice that could go with yogurt.  If you are vegan, you could skip the yogurt and simply use a teaspoon of peanut butter with a couple of tablespoons of toasted sesame oil and have a lovely dish as well!

 

An empty mason jar provides inspiration for a meal!

By Lakshmi:

I’ve got to admit, I’m a little behind on the mason jar craze.  But when I saw one on clearance (yes, I love bargains!), I picked it up and started thinking of ways to fill it.

Browsing through ideas, I came upon this whole phenomenon of salad in a jar.  What a brilliant way to always have a healthy, go to, ready meal in the fridge!

I watched a few videos, looked at a few recipes and decided to turn to my trusted refrigerator for ingredients to assemble my first salad in a jar.  Since most of the salads I looked at for inspiration appeared to have a bit of a formula, I created a little sheet to serve as a reference.

Salad in a jar

And as you can see from above, the possibilities to have a colorful, interesting, healthy meal are endless.

Here’s what I created with a very light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

image (10)

I have to admit, it was so pretty that I did not have the heart to sink a fork into it.

I’d love to hear about your combinations for jar salads.  Please do write in and let us know of your experiments.  I’ll remember to take more pictures of my creations as well:)