Salads….bringing colors on the table

springThis is the time of the year when you feel like spending more time outside  to cheer for  the dispersal of bright colors spread by mother earth   and to feel the gentle air encrusted with warm sun rays after days of harsh and frigid air. rose
Every day, we both made sure to keep our afternoons free, to spend some time amidst these spirited blooms. But every time I raise my phone to click a photo, he got angry and starts fighting with me.   I think he feel embarrassed by my this activity or might feel neglected.spring
As I share these pictures, a memory of my past surfaced before my eyes –
Mine was a short distance school which I covered by walking. Every day on my way home,  I passed through many sprawling bungalows,  but, there was one at the end of the street, whose gate was always flung open wide  unlike others, who kept their big doors closed,not letting anybody peep into their garden or in their houses.springEvery day, while coming home, I used to part away from my gang to stop at their gate to watch the most amazing flowers they have planted in their garden.  At times, the  desire to own at least one piece was so strong that by avoiding the watchful eyes of the guard,  I even plucked one or two from their garden and run away hiding that tender thing in my bag.spring
Over the years, when so much have changed, my this habit too have changed, now  I found more pleasure in watching  instead of  harming these sweet little creatures of God.poppy

vegetables and fruit
After filling my eyes to the fullest, it was the time to bring on the colors on the table.  Recently I added many salads to our menu which required nothing fancy and can make your heart sing and your skin glow.  orangeZuccini and beetroot salad with thai dressing

Zucchini and beetroot salad with Thai dressing
Ingredients
• Grapes – a few
• Orange, peeled – 1
• Carrot, julienne – 1
• Zucchini, julienne – 1/2 small
• Beetroot, grated – 1 tbsp
• Roasted walnuts, chopped – 2 tbsp
• Cabbage, finely shredded – 1/8 cup
• Red onion, sliced – 1
• Red bell pepper, sliced – 1/4
For Thai dressing
• Vinegar – 1 tsp
• Lime juice – ½ tsp
• Garlic, crushed – 2 cloves
• Honey – 1 tbsp
• Ginger, minced – ¼ tsp
• Roots of cilantro leaves, chopped – ¼ tsp
• Pepper to taste
• Coriander powder – 1/3 tsp
• Chilly sauce – 1/3 tsp
• Salt to taste
• Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Method
Mix all the ingredients of dressing in one bowl and the salad ingredients in another bowl.  Add the dressing in your salad according to your taste.spring salad with chickpeas

My son’s favorite.

Spring Salad with chickpeas
Ingredients
• English cucumber, cubed – 1
• Red onion, chopped -1
• Tomato, chopped – 1
• Boiled chickpeas – 1 cup
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Red radish, cut into cubes – 2, 3
Method
Mix all the ingredients and serve.warm red kidney bean salad with mushroom

My favorite
Beans and Mushroom Salad

Recipe minimally adapted from 101 cookbooks
Ingredients
• Red kidney beans, boiled – 1 cup
• Button mushroom, sliced – 10
• Small red onion, chopped finely
• Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Chopped roasted almonds- 2 tbsp
• Chopped coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
• Sprouted methi or any micro greens – a few, optional
Method
In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and salt, and cook, stirring a few times along the way, until the mushrooms take on color and release their water. About 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and gently fold the beans and all other ingredients (except micro greens). Add the green before servingenglish cucumber panzanella
English cucumber Panzanella – A traditional Italian bread salad, can be eaten as an accompaniment or by itself.
Recipe adapted from Goodfood Magazine, October 2014

Ingredients
• Ripe tomatoes, chopped – 400gms
• Salt – ½ tsp
• Pepper a pinch
• Garlic – 1 clove, crushed
• Olives, chopped – 1 tbsp
• English cucumber, diced – 1
• Red onion – 1 small, very thinly sliced
• Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp
• Vinegar – 1 tbsp
• Dry oregano – 1 tsp
Method
Place tomatoes in a bowl. Season well and add the garlic, olives, cucumber and onion and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile tear small pieces of any old bread preferably cibatta and place in a large serving bowl.Drizzle with half the olive oil, half the vinegar and add some seasoning.
When ready to serve, pour over the tomatoes and drizzle over the remaining oil and vinegar. Serve immediately.warm methi and moong dal salad

My mom-in-law’s favorite

Warm methi (fenugreek) and moong dal salad
Recipe adapted from Goodfood magazine, August 2014
Ingredients
• Water – 2 cups
• Soaked moong dal – ¼ cup
• Olive oil – 1 tsp
• Garlic cloves – 4 chopped
• Green chilies, according to taste
• Red pepper, diced – ¼
• Methi leaves or fenugreek leaves – 2 cups
• Roasted peanuts, crushed – ¼ cup
• Spring onion, sliced – 1
• Flaked almonds – 2 tbsp
• Pomegranate kernels – 2 tbsp
• Raw mango, chopped – 2 tbsp
• Chaat masala – 1 tsp
• Lemon juice – 1 tsp
• Salt – 1 tsp

Method
Fill a medium sized saucepan with water. Add soaked dal and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until the dal is just cooked and whole, not mashed. Drain and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, chillies and pepper and sauté for 1 -2 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add peanuts, onion, almonds, raw mango, pomegranate, chaat masala, lemon juice, and salt. Mix everything together and serve immediately.

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