Chilled Cucumber Avacodo soup with mint and cilantro

We have had some really hot days of summer. Your body then craves some cooling foods like cucumber, yoghurt, kefir and lots of raw cooling vegetable salads. In this soup the airy cool cucumber is combined and balanced with the dense, velvety texture of Omega rich Avocado, a perfect marriage of colour, taste and texture !!!!  Off course the addition of cooling herbs like mint and cilantro is the cherry on the cake ( soup !!! ). Hope you will love this soup as much as my family did.

Ingredients

4  dill cucumbers peeled or a peeled large English cucumber

1 ripe avocado peeled and seed removed

1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro 

8-10 leaves of mint

salt to taste

1/2 jalepeno

3/4 cup of water

tabasco to taste

 

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Method

1 .Blend  all the above ingredients except few leaves of mint and tabasco.

2. The soup will have some texture to it.

3. Chill for few hours and garnish with mint and serve.

4. Enjoy this beautiful, vibrant, refreshing delicious soup on a hot summer day.

Variation – you may add a dollop of greek yoghurt or natural home made yoghurt before serving.

Hawaii Gold Ripe Minty Papaya Salad

 ALOHA !!!  Its been a long time since I connected with you all. I spent last week in Hawaii with my family enjoying the warm beautiful weather and wonderful and warmer Hawaiian people. And yes who can forget the lip smacking delicious tropical fruits and vegetables. I was not only tempted to try all these delicious, flavourful foods but wanted to experiment with these foods while there. The recipe today is the first one of the few that I tried making there. Off course we will not find the rich golden Hawaiian papaya here but the other locally available papayas will be good substitutes. Hope you will enjoy this as much as we all did.

 

Ingredients

1 Hawaii gold ripe papaya

3-4 tbsp. chopped mint

1 jalepeno finely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

a pinch rock salt to taste

 

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METHOD

1. Peel and cut the papaya into small cubes after removing the seeds.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, toss carefully so tht papaya  does not get  mushy  and serve on a bed of greens.

3. Enjoy this refreshing sweet  delicious dessert any time of the day.

 

 

 

Zen like Aragula and lima bean soup

Hello  everybody better weather is  finally here days are finally warmer and longer. Your body is naturally craving lighter, brighter and flavourful foods. My husband now loves soups and it is a perfect opportunity for me to also use lots of my favourite leafy greens which not only just make the food more nutritious but also enhance the flavour.

I came up with  this soup recipe because I wanted something simple, hearty and off course flavourful without using too many ingredients. The lima beans are beautiful white buttery beans with inherent sweetness, I decided to combine them with bright green antixidant, mineral rich and pungent aragula leaves creating a pefect marriage of substance and flavour. To this add one red pepper and one red tomato for colour and flavour and not to forget the fresh garlic from my garden and Voila!!! a delicious, colourful and flavourful minimalist soup is born.  

Ingredients

1 cups lima beans soaked for few hours and boiled

2 cups washed aragula finely chopped

1 red pepper finely chopped

2 – 3 fresh garlic greens finely chopped or 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil or ghee

1 hot house or plum tomato chopped

salt to taste

crushed black pepper to taste

 

Method

1.Boil the soaked beans in a pressure cooker or cook in a pot till soft.

2. In 1 tbsp. of oil saute’  the pepper  for few minutes and then add fresh garlic, chopped aragula and tomato and let it cook for few minutes

 3.Once the tomatoes are little soft add the cooked lima beans, salt and 1 1/2 cups of water and let it come to a boil.

4. Serve with crusty bread or crackers. ENJOY!!! a simple,delicious light soup.

 

 

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Quinoa spinach tortilla / paratha Easy breezy gluten free and a true GREENS + GRAINS offering

 So guys here it is because of the phenomenal number of views for the quinoa chapati recipe, another variation for the same but this time with spinach making it healthier and Greeener!!!! Truely a  ” green grain ” recipe. A meal in itself you will find the results of this cooking endeavour lip smacking delicious, and yes you can subsitute quinoa flour with wheat !!!

    INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cup quinoa flour

  •  water ( add slowly till the dough starts to come together and then forms into a smooth ball)
  • 1 tbsp. amaranth
  • little quinoa flour or even arrowroot flour to roll the chapatis
  • Little ghee or butter to apply on the chapatis and also knead the dough
  • 2 – 3 cups of spinach 
  • 1′ piece of peeled ginger
  • 1 green chilli
  • salt to taste

Tools

  • Rolling pin
  • Marble or wooden board
  • Cast iron or non stick skillet

 

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Method

  1. Mix the salt into the flour.
  2. In a blender without using any additional ( spinach is anyway very moist and when you wash it, it tends to hold more water ) try to grind or puree the spinach with ginger and the green chilli. put aside
  3. Now slowly add the pureed spinach and knead the dough. You may add a tbsp. oil so that the chapati/ paratha are soft.
  4. Soon the dough starts to take shape and come together, as the quinoa flour is sticky compared to wheat flour, lot of dough will be sticking to your hands.
  5. At this stage use a little oil to grease your palm and knead the dough, this will help some dough to come off your palm. For the remaining dough sticking on to your palm use a butter knife to scrape it.
  6. Now use a little more oil and the knead the dough a little more and form it into a smooth glistening ball .Do not leave the dough for more than 10-15 minutes as the moisture from  makes it wet and sticky. (if that happens use some dry flour to soak up the extra moisture)
  7. Divide this dough into 6 – 8 balls of equal size. Meanwhile heat a seasoned cast iron griddle or nonstick skillet.
  8. Roll the ball between both your palms and make a smooth ball.
  9. Roll the ball in dry flour and with a rolling pin carefully roll it out an inch or two and carefully peel it off the board and roll it in the dry flour again. Use a spatula to peel it off the board as it may break  but wil get better with practice.
  10. Carefully continue to roll and repeat the above step till you have a circle of 4-5 inch in diameter ( with practice you can make a bigger circle without it breaking apart ) of even thickness.
  11. Carefully peel it off the board and place it on the heated skillet on medium heat.
  12. This spinach tortilla / paratha will be thicker than the chapati and WILL take few minutes longer to cook because of its thickness but believe me the result justifies the time spent!!!
  13. Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to press the thicker edges so that they are well cooked.
  14. Turn it few times at regular intervals, apply little ghee on both sides and press the edges so that there are no uncooked areas left, also ensuring that it does not become crisp and stays soft. You will see nice brown spots now and rest of the paratha with a golden hue.
  15. Do not let these instructions overwhelm you, with practice you wil get finger licking results!!! Patience has never had a sweeter reward or should I say SAVOURY reward!!!!
  16. Brush the tortilla with little ghee on both sides wrap it in clean cheese cloth and keep in a covered glass dish or steel container so that they stay soft.
  17. Serve with plain yoghurt spiced with black pepper and ground roasted cumin powder and ENJOY!!!!

CURRIED DELICIOUS SCRAMBLED TOFU OR PANEER with MORINGA leaves

Hello everybody, we all thought spring was here for good and the fresh green leaves of sorrel and shoots of organic garlic was a sight to behold but the pleasure was short lived as we had temperatures of – 11 degrees Celsius and freezing rain. Well can’t let that dampen our spirits, and it will soon be spring ( hopefully !!!! )

You know I love to use different leafy greens in my cooking, no greens no life !! that is my philosphy. sometimes when I am pressed for time I like to whip up quickly Scrambled Paneer ( Indian cottage cheese) / Tofu dish. It is quick, easy and extremely nutritious and off course not to forget a family favourite. I generally use of lots of cilantro and fenugreek leaves but this time I have used fresh moringa leaves which are not just  healthy but a powerhouse of nutrition. The tree because of its different and varied uses and superfood properties is popularly known as Tree of life. 

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 This vegetable is also called the tree of life because it has life sustaining properties, grows even in drought prone areas. These leaves are not difficult to separate from the stems, though it would take 15- 20 minutes to remove the twigs from the leaves. Growing up I remember my mother talking about these leaves. We ate the flowers, the pods (drumsticks) but not the leaves (which are also readily available). These leaves are available in Sri Lankan stores in North America.They look like Methi(fenugreek leaves ) but are not bitter and are lot more coarse in texture than spinach and methi.
So please do not feel overwhelmed by this vegetable. Get out of the comfort zone of the familiar and ordinary and try something new!!!

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 Ingredients

1 lb. of paneer or firm tofu

2 cups of moringa leaves cleaned and finely chopped ( may subsitute with chopped spinach, aragula,watercress)

1 medium sized red onion finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

1/2 tsp.turmeric powder or curry powder

1/2 tsp. red chilli powder or cayenne pepper

1 tbsp. of oil or ghee

salt to taste

 

Method

1. Saute’ the onion and chopped moringa leaves  in heated oil for few minutes till onion is  translucent and the greens are glistening ( 4 – 5 minutes ).

2. Add the finely chopped tomato to it and wait few minutes for the tomato to be cooked .

3. Meanwhile crumble the paneer or tofu  with your hand making sure no big pieces remain.

4. Add the turmeric and the red chilli powder and salt to the onion mix well and then add the crumbled panner . Mix well and cook on medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes till the flavours of different ingredients have blended and the paneer is cooked through ( does not need to browned ).

5. Enjoy !!! Serve with chapati or use as a filling for a wrap.

 

 

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Edamame and Shitake Mushroom salad with Sumac and jalepeno peppers

As a family we love pan asian cuisine, it seems so much healthier and includes many different kinds of my favourite leafy greens. One of our favourite appetizers is salted Edamame. It is healthy, quick and delicious.

I had been thinking of making edamame salad but could not come up with the right combination of ingredients and herbs and suddenly yesterday it struck me why not combine it with shitake’ mushrooms and basil and because all three have sweetish after taste  why not add some jalepeno pepper to balance that and yes some sour sumac to give it some middle eastern touch. Voilla that did it !!!! The melange’ of flavours is unique with ingredients from different regions but somehow works. The key is to let the flavours seep in. The salad tasted great the next day or atleast after sitting for 8 – 10 hours.

Ingredient

2 -3 cups Edamame pods blanched

4-5 shitake mushrooms washed and sliced

1 roma tomato finely chopped

2 tbsp. of finely chopped basil

Salad Dressing

1tsp. powdered sumac

juice of half a lime

1 tsp. walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. crushed black pepper

1/2 jalepeno finely chopped

salt to taste

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Method

1.Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and put aside.

2.. Blanch the edamame pods for 10 minutes in boiling water so they are tender crisp.

3. Once cool take out the seeds and put in a bowl.

4. Heat 1/2 tsp. of oil or ghee and saute’ the mushrooms so they are fragrant and  golden brown.

5.Mix the dressing with the edamame, tomato and grilled mushrooms and basil.

6. Toss well and let sit for 6-8 hours and enjoy a protein rich colourful salad.

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Love, Life and Happiness – Heart Healthy Leafy greens and Strawberry Salad with Almonds and Hemp hearts

Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world as a day when you express love for your loved ones, be it a man’s romantic love for a woman, mother’s selfless love for her child, or your love for your best friend. Some people argue why do we need a designated day dedicated to expressing our love for the people we care for deeply in various relationships.

My personal view is that everyday we need to live and celebrate our life to the fullest, cherish and treasure our relationships.

In honour of the Valentine’s  Day which was celebrated yesterday or if you treat everyday as a special day this heart healthy ( no heart no love!!! ) salad is for you. It is a simple, beautiful lip smacking salad loved by one and all. Hope you will love it as much as we did.  

This salad uses strawberries which have been long associated with love, greens which signify life ( hence the name Greenzgrains for this blog, no greens no life!!!! )  topped with hemp hearts and slivered almonds full of omega 3’s vital for the optimum functioning of the heart. 

Ingredients

2 cups of organic mixed salad greens

5 – 6 strawberries sliced

2 tablespoons sliced and peeled almonds

2 tablesoons hemp hearts

Dressing

1 1/2 tsp. good quality balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. maple syrup

pinch of salt or a herbal salt – optional

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Method

1. Mix the dressing thoroughly and put aside.

2. In a salad bowl toss the greens with the dressng.

3. Arrange the greens in a tray, top with strawberries

4. Sprinkle the hemp hearts  and the almonds on top. Because of the dressing the    nuts and seeds will stick to the greens.

5. Serve fresh and Enjoy !!!!