Recipe: Leafy Greens tossed in a Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Dressing

Hello lovely readers!

I’d like to begin by thanking you all for the kind and encouraging words you write to me as feedback or as comments on my posts. I hope to continue bringing a smile to your faces always 🙂 As a way of saying thank you I’ve decided to post a recipe to a salad that I threw together very recently.

I hosted an extremely intimate dinner for my friends very recently and could only make do with the items in my fridge (owing to the crazy Mumbai city monsoons that did not allow me to step out of the house). Luckily, Mum and I had stocked up on vegetables in the fridge so that was a saviour. A bunch of leafy greens, some olives, roasted vegetables and a balsamic-honey dressing tossed together and voila! You’ve got yourself a heathy side dish with absolutely no compromise on taste. A salad was also on the menu because of a fitness enthusiast friend, so really, I owe this to him!

Ingredients:

1 packet rocket leaves (washed and dried)

1 packet baby spinach (washed and dried)

1/2 yellow zucchini, sliced

1/4th eggplant, sliced

2-3 tbsp sunflower seeds

Handful of black olives

For the dressing:

1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tbsp olive oil

3/4 tbsp honey

1 tsp sesame seeds

Method:

1. Place the zucchini and eggplant slices in a baking tray. Pour olive oil on top, mix well and put into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 20-25 minutes. Allow them to cool once done.

2. In a bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil and sesame seeds. Mix well and set aside in the fridge.

3. Place the rocket leaves and baby spinach on a serving dish. Toss in the roasted zucchini, eggplant slices, olives and sunflower seeds and leave in the fridge until serving time.

4. Drizzle the dressing over only before serving. You do not want to serve wilted greens.

5. You’ve got yourself a happy audience 🙂

Quick Tips:

You can also consider add caramelised onions, toasted walnuts or pine nuts.

Do give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out! Write to me at chaicakekitsch@gmail.com.

P.S. My apologies that there isn’t an actual photograph, it was devoured before I could take one!

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This image has been used only for representational purposes. It has borrowed from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-butternut-squash-salad-with-warm-cider-vinaigrette-recipe.html

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Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms – Recipe

When you’re a Masters’ student living away from home and have to juggle studying, doing your laundry, cooking, socialising, etc., there are days when you simply cannot be bothered to cook yourself a meal with a million different ingredients. The Lord knows how many times I’ve turned to quinoa or couscous for a quick, healthy meal between classes or before a night out.  This was one of my favourite recipes. I also ate it quite recently whilst on my trip to Greece.

Portobello mushrooms are available easily at Pali market and can also be ordered online at India Mart.

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Ingredients:

4 portobello mushrooms (cleaned)
1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup water
8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup diced mixed bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tsp pistachio
Goat’s cheese

Method

1. Bring the water to boil in a pot. Add the quinoa and then turn the heat down to a low flame. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Be sure that it does not get too dry. Let it cool.

2. Place the mushrooms in a baking tray, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees) for 10 minutes (180 degrees). Ensure that all the excess water has been drained.

3. In a bowl, combine the quinoa, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. You may also tear up some rocket leaves at this point and add them to the mixture.

4. Divide the mixture equally into each mushroom. Add the cheese and pistachios on top.

All done 🙂

Tip

1. You can serve the mushrooms on a bed of rocket leaves if you wish to better your presentation.
2. You can replace the balsamic vinegar with pesto sauce (I refer to Jamie Oliver’s recipe). This is delicious too!