Healthy Alfalfa Sprouts Salad

 

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year. Hope the New Year is filled with joy and love!

I feel so good kick starting the first recipe of the year with this simple and healthy salad. It is so light and delicious that you will not feel that you are eating something so healthy with each bite.

 One of the major goals for me this year is to be fit and healthy. With our hectic lifestyle of balancing life, family, work, homework, extracurricular activities it gets challenging to squeeze in time to exercise and stay fit. So the idea is to incorporate as much of these light foods as possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 I had the opportunity to try out different recipes during the last part of December which are healthy and not time consuming and so I will be posting them as I go along.

 Alfalfa sprouts are readily available in the supermarket and I add them to salads and sandwiches whenever I can. A little goes a long way and they last for a long time in the fridge.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups spring greens  mix( I used the store bought one) [cleaned and coarsely chopped]
  • 3/4 cup of chopped cucumber (seeded)
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup snow peas
  • 1 avocado (peeled and chopped)
  • ¼ cup blueberries (optional)
  • Handful of alfalfa sprouts
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 medium tomato (seeded and chopped) /grape tomato
  • Handful of pepita seeds
  • Bread croutons (optional)

 Dressing: 

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Crushed pepper
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp sugar

Other suggestion: Raspberry vinaigrette/ Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Method: 

  • In a big bowl add the greens and make a bed of it. Next add the chopped veggies, fruits and mix them well.
  • In a small bowl mix the ingredients for dressing, shake well and keep aside.
  • Transfer to serving plates and add the dressing as required. Top with pepita seeds. 

 

Corn flakes Cereal Chivda (Spicy Indian Mixture Recipe)


Chivda is a snack popular in Maharashtra and North Karnataka usually made of flattened rice/poha. The poha is first deep fried and it is then spiced with masala mix and jazzed up with other ingredients like peanuts, raisins, cashews etc. Crispy and delicious it is a wonderful tea time snack or also as an appetizer.

Referred to by different names in India, it is one of the important snacks made during the festival of Diwali. It is simply referred to as Mixture in South India

As I have said in an earlier post, the poha can be substituted with corn poha and made the usual way. You can see the deep fried version of regular poha chivda and Corn Chidva here.

In this version of Chivda/Mixture, I have used the cereal Corn Flakes and dry roasted it along with some masala mix and raisins, peanuts etc. This is quick and low –fat version and does not involve deep frying. I have adapted this from the Veg Inspirations recipe and followed her advice of making roasted curry leaves and red chilli powder for the spice mix. That makes a huge difference to the taste, so do not skip it.

You can make this day ahead and store it in an air tight container.

Recipe Adaptation: Veg Inspirations

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups corn flakes (I used this brand)
  • 1 cup readymade Boondi/sev
  • 3/4 cup peanuts (raw with skin)
  • 1/2 cup raisin (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 green chillies(slit)
  • A pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 4 dry Red chillies [to make powder]
  • 2-3 red chillies (dry for seasoning)
  • 1 tsp Aamchur powder
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat a small pan and roast red chillies and curry leaves in a drop of oil, until the chillies start turning darker and the curry leaves loses its green color and looks dry. Keep aside to cool.
  • Spice mix: After it is cooled, grind it in a dry grinder/spice grinder. Transfer it to a small bowl, add sugar, salt, aamchur (dry mango powder) and mix well. Check for taste, as this has to be pretty strong.
  • Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the hing/asafetida, 2-3 red chillies (broken), green chillies, peanuts, and raisins to this and sauté until the peanuts turns crispy.
  • Note: Make sure it is on medium flame else the peanuts/groundnuts will turn brown.
  • Add the corn flakes cereal to this and stir it well for about 30-40 seconds until the seasonings coats well.
  • Sprinkle the spice mix/ ground spice mixture in small batches and mix well.
  • Add the readymade boondi or sev and mix again. Stir on low flame for about 3-4 minutes until it gets crispy.
  • Allow to cool and transfer to air tight container.

Dali Ambat (Konkani Coconut daal)

Daal is an important part of our everyday meal. Any one type of daal is a regular, be it daali thoy, daal tadka, rasam or sambhar etc and our meal is not complete without it. Now these are all non-coconut, daal rich dishes which does not require grinding. However on occasion I make coconut based daal like Kootu or this Konkani daal curry called Daali Ambat which definitely requires grinding a masala. 

Ambat in Konkani refers to a coconut curry in which the seasoning is made of onions. Daali Ambat is daal based coconut curry in which has seasoning of onions. 

My mom makes this frequently however she does not add any vegetables to the curry, while my ma-in-law makes this by adding plenty of vegetables. Either way it is warm and comforting.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Toor daal
  • 1/2 cup fresh/frozen shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind/ tamarind extract from lemon sized ball (soaked in water)
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch asafetida/hing
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables of choice (potato + carrot +peas+ cauliflower) [optional]

Seasoning

  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2-3 dried red chillies (cut into 2-3 pieces)
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1 Tbsp oil 

Method: 

  • Pressure cook the daal in water for 3 whistles and set aside.
  • Boil the vegetables along with salt in sufficient amount of water separately either in the microwave or the stovetop. Make sure it is not overcooked. Keep aside.
  • In a small pan, heat oil and roast the red chillies and coriander seeds.
  • Now make the coconut masala, by grinding coconut along with roasted red chillies, salt, tamarind, water and roasted coriander seeds. The masala should be made into a very fine paste. Add more water if required.
  • Heat a sauce pan and add the coconut paste, cooked daal together. Boil until the raw smell of coconut is gone. Check for taste and adjust the seasonings if required.
  •  In the meanwhile heat oil in a small pan (use the same one for roasting redchillies and coriander seeds). Add the chopped onion, curry leaves, red chillies and cook unitl the onion turns light brown.
  •  Put this tadka over the boiling daal, switch of the gas and cover with lid. Serve hot with rice or rotis.