Everyday Simple Recipes, Salads

Spinach Salad

Spinach saladSpinach is one of the healthiest vegetables and ranked number one in nutrient richness. It is full of minerals and vitamins and provides anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties. Spinach helps keep bones healthy. A lot of nutrients and vitamins are lost during cooking. Raw consumption provides you with all the benefits that this miracle leaf can offer you. I could go on endlessly about the benefits of spinach consumption, but before you frown, let me give you the recipe to this simple salad. It is as easy as tossing some lemon juice, olive oil, nuts, and some cheese into your cleaned spinach leaves – an amazing way of satisfying the body’s need for green leafy vegetables.

Ingredients:
Spinach – a bunch
Walnuts – 10-12
Cashewnuts – 10-12
Cheese cube – 1 inch cube (optional)
Lemon – 1
Olive oil – 2 tbsp

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Serves: 2

Method:

It is very important to wash the spinach thoroughly before consumption. Soak the leaves in clean water for at least 15 minutes and rinse. Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly, drain, and dry. Use your hands to tear the spinach leaves into smaller pieces as desired (I did not use a knife because chopping into smaller pieces would mean loss of nutrients).

tear spinach leaves into smaller pieces

Add walnuts, cashewnuts, lemon juice, and olive oil. I added pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds also.

add nuts

Add grated cheese.

add grated cheese

mix the ingredientsI did not add salt to this salad because I loved the as-is taste. Mix the ingredients to coat evenly. The cheese, nuts, and the lemon give this salad a tangy and nutty flavor. You could even try orange juice instead of lemon.

Eating your greens raw is an acquired taste. I developed the taste for this salad with time. Including this salad in your diet couple of times a week is immensely beneficial. If you are unable to eat your spinach raw, you could lightly cook the leaf and add it to your pasta or add the spinach puree to your chapathi dough.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Tiffin

Mango Cheese Sandwich

Its summer! Here is a quick breakfast sandwich to make the most out of your mango picks. Works well with kids of all ages.

Mango cheese sandwich

IngredientsIngredients:
Ripe mango – 1
Bread slices (regular/whole wheat/multigrain)- 4
Cheese slices – 2
Amul salted butter – 1 tbsp

Method:
Wash, peel, and cut the mango into thin, flat slices. Keep aside.

Method

Place an iron skillet on fire. Maintain fire in medium. Apply some butter on the skillet and place the bread slices. Roast only one side until light brown and crisp. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate. With the buttered crisp side of the bread facing up, place a cheese slice and layer mango slices liberally. Make sure that the mango/cheese touches the crusty side of the bread. Cover with a bread slice with buttered side facing the mango slices. Press the sandwich gently and cut it into two triangles or as desired. You can also leave the sandwich open face. You can add some black pepper for the zing if you don’t mind it crowding the mango experience.

Open face mango cheese sandwich
This must be served immediately. Toast only one side so that the side that you bite into is soft. As you dig more, you meet the crust and the sweet and salty mango cheese combination.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish

Basil Walnut Pesto Pasta

Easy-to-make basil walnut pesto pasta.Basil Walnut Pesto Pasta
IngredientsIngredients:
To make Basil Pesto
Fresh basil leaves – Medium sized cup (15-20 leaves)
Garlic – 5-6 pods
Walnuts – 1 cup (10-12 pieces)

For Pasta
Cheese – 1 cube
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Pepper
Salt
Spaghetti/penne or any pasta of your choice

Method:
Cook spaghetti (or the pasta of your choice) in saucepan of boiling salted water as per the instructions in the packet. Drain and keep aside.

Grind garlic, basil leaves, and walnuts to make a coarse paste. Keep a few basil leaves aside for garnishing.

Grind

Heat olive oil in a pan and add the coarsely ground pesto paste. Sauté for a minute or two.

Sauté

Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Add salt and pepper.

basil pesto pasta

Turn off the fire and add cheese and basil leaves. Serve hot.

Pasta

P.S.: If you feel that the pesto paste that you made is too much for the pasta, you can keep a little aside and use it as a sandwich spread after adding some olive oil.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Snacks, Tiffin

Sesame Cheese Toast

A wedding that I attended recently had a good spread of starters and cocktails. Among the more predictable paneer tikka fare, there was an interesting crispy fried bread geneously sprinkled with sesame seeds. Though I like to pretend that I am only into health food and never indulge in greasy snacks, I let my guard down and relished a couple of these crunchy delights.

Here I present my own less sinful version of what I tasted at the wedding. A quick fix breakfast or snack, an easy dish to make.

Ingredients:
Bread (Multigrain/White) – 2 pieces
Butter/Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Dry herbs (Basil/pasta herb mix) – ½ tsp
Cheese (slices or spreadable) – 2 slices/1 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tsp

Method:
sprinkle sesame seeds and herbs

If you are using square shaped bread slices, cut it into smaller rectangular or triangular pieces. This is optional and just for ease of eating. Spread/place the cheese spread/slice on bread (I used Amul’s Garlic Cheese Spread). On this sprinkle sesame seeds, and mixed herbs (I used pasta herb mix. Basil is also a good choice). I did not use any salt as I used garlic cheese spread which had little bit of salt. You could choose to sprinkle salt as per your taste. Brush olive oil on the free side (the side without toppings).

Since I do not have an oven, I toasted this in a pan on low heat. Toast only the free side to make it brown. Serve as snack by itself or with vegetables. You wont realize how many of them you will gobble along with hot tea or coffee.

Instead of cheese, you can spread mashed potatoes. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium. Multigrain bread and olive oil up the health quotient.

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