Posts tagged ‘Spinach’

Easy gourmet valentine’s salad

Quick MealParty FoodLunch Box MealKid FriendlyFamily Meal

Baby spinach tossed with mandarin oranges,  butter beans (lima beans) and caramelized pecans in a champagne vinaigrette dressing, topped with feta cheese is an easy, yet elegant salad to make.  Also, this recipe features an easy way to caramelize nuts without sugar or having to turn on a stove.

Gourmet salad

Types of food: Side dish/Salad
Makes: 4 Salad servings
How long: 7 mins
Pots and pans: Microwave safe plate, can opener, bowl to mix salad.

4 cups of baby spinach (rinsed, drained and completely devoid of moisture*)
1 cup of canned or fresh mandarin oranges (if using fresh make sure it is peeled, the internal white fiber and skin are removed)
1/2 cup of rinsed and drained butter beans
1/3 cup pecans
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup of feta cheese crumbles
1/3 cup Champagne vinaigrette dressing (available in condiment aisle along with salad dressing)

Valentine day gourmet salad

How to make
In a microwave safe plate spread the pecans in a single layer.  Drizzle honey on top of the pecans and cook in microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute until the nuts get toasted, honey melts and coats the nuts.  Timings may vary for each microwave.  In the mean time assemble the ingredients for the salad.  Toss spinach with mandarin oranges and butter beans. At the time of serving, toss the salad with just enough dressing to make the spinach leaves wet. The key to a well done salad is balance in ingredients and taste.  Dressing being an integral part of a salad, add only a little bit at a time.  Toss the salad completely until it is wet and there is no dressing collected at the bottom of the bowl.  Serve additional dressing on the side. Top with caramelized pecans and feta.

Make it Fast, Fun, and Facile! – Sri

Tips, tricks and alternatives
*Salad greens need to  be washed well unless they are bought pre-washed.  The easier way to clean an dry them would be to fill a big bowl or a clean sink (plugged) with water.  Soak the greens and loosen up the dirt by moving them around in water.  Drain them and squeeze gently.  Either using a salad spinner or a dry clean towel remove the moisture.  If using a kitchen towel spread the greens on kitchen towel and cover with another towel and press the top most towel gently on all sides to absorb moisture on both towels.
Romaine lettuce also works well with this recipe.
If you have left over of this salad drain the salad and get rid of any excess moisture(dressing). Keep the drained salad in the fridge.  Wrap the salad in whole grain tortilla for a healthy snack or break fast next day.  Make sure the salad is devoid of any excess moisture.


February 5, 2009 at 1:42 am 1 comment

Whole wheat penne & grilled tofu pasta

Quick MealLunch Box MealFamily Meal

Whole wheat pastas can add a lot of texture, taste and nutrition to the food. This whole wheat penne pasta recipe is quite light and makes for a perfect lunch pasta. It is almost like a pasta salad and stores well for a lunch box.

Whole wheat penne and tofu pasta

Kind of food: Main course
How long: 20 min
Makes: 8 cups (serves 2 adults)
Pot and Pans: Grill/griddle, Pot, pan.

2 cups dry pasta – Whole wheat penne pasta
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 cups tofu – cubed
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 cup spinach – chopped or baby spinach
1/2 cup onions – chopped (red onions or shallots recommended)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes ( drained from the oil)
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese

Grilled tofu

How to make:
Set  a pot of water, cover and heat it to a boil (as per the instructions on the pasta box). While the water is heating up, set a grill/griddle on high heat. Once the grill is hot, place the tofu cubes and drizzle a little oil and soy sauce. Sear the tofu till its browned on one side, flip them and sear the other side.  Tofu grills very quickly, a minute or two on each side should be sufficient.  Place the dry pasta in the boiling water and cook as per instructions ( about 12 min – set the timer). On a pan or pot heat 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the onions, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and give it a good toss and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper and saute for another 2 min.  Set the pan on very low heat. Drain the pasta and add the pasta to the pan. Turn up the heat and give the mixture a good mix.  Pour the pasta onto a paste bowl or plate. Top with the grilled tofu and grated parmesan cheese.  Serve warm.

Whoe wheat penne pasta
Keep it Smart, Short and Sazzy! – Anu

Tips, tricks and alternatives
You can use a pan to grill the tofu. Its it just quicker to use a cast iron griddle.
You grill a big batch of tofu and store it in the freezer. Simply defrost and warm on a pan before adding to the pasta. When you have some tofu and not sure what to do with it, grill it with soy sauce and store it.

December 30, 2008 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

Spinach and Dal

Toddler FoodParallel ProcessingLunch Box MealKid FriendlyFamily Meal
Spinach is probably not always the most popular on the dining table – with kids and adults. But the nutrition Spinach is no secret and it has be included as often as possible in our diets. Here is an easy way to make our everyday Dal a little bit more nutritious by including spinach in it. With the nutrition from Spinach, the Potato chips can be justified to some extent.

Simple Spinach and Lentils

Simple Spinach and Lentils

Kind of Food:
How long: 20 minutes
Makes: 2 cups
Pots & Pans:Small Pot

1/2 cup Split Mung Dal (yellow lentils) – Soaked in warm water for 20 mins
1 tsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 small red chili (optional – if you need some heat in this dal)
2 cups chopped spinach ( fresh or frozen – thawed, chopped finely)
Salt 1/2 tsp (or to taste)

How to make
Soak the Dal in a cup of warm water before you start the recipe. By the time you do the chopping and prep, it will be about 15 min. So don’t worry if you do not have the time to soak it ahead of time. Place a small pot on medium heat. Place the oil in the pan and heat for about a minute. Add in the mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric and red chili(optional) and wait till the mustard seeds crackle. Add in the chopped spinach. Give it a good toss and saute for 3-4 mins. Add the soaked dal along with the water and add another 1/4 cup of water to it. Cook for about 10 mins on medium heat. Do not cover the dal. Cook till the dal is cooked tender. Add salt. Serve hot with Rice or Roti.

Keep it Smart, Short and Sazzy! – Anu

Tips, Tricks and Alternatives
Can use Methi, Mustard greens, Chard, Swiss Chard, Red Chard, Khel – any greens instead of spinach
Yellow lentils or Mung cook quickly after soaking or directly on the pot. Toor or Channa are not easily cooked without longer soaking or in a pressure cooker
Can use the pressure cook the Dal too or use left over Plain cooked dal

Serving Ideas
Serve with a few potato chips (Its ok! they are getting the spinach in anyways)
Great with just plain rice and Ghee
Serve with Rotis or any kind of bread
Stuff in a tortilla along with rice and make a quick burrito!

November 7, 2008 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

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