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Lentil quinoa salad

11 Jul

My friends and people who know me, know that I tend to eat things that are not very common and popular (I am talking about this corner of the earth) and that my hobbies have included not so popular/common choices  (like dj-ing, aerial yoga, baking etc).

Baking has been the most popular, I think, and has devotees (as they get to eat loads of sweets) and also because the cooking part is usually with more “experimental” and “uncommon” ingredients (again, for the Greek standards).

In general, I have  very boring and plain meals, most of them comprise of plain salad greens (no fancy croutons or dressings), boiled vegetables, legumes and grains (if Mr. Dietitian allows me). Also, most of my meals are consumed in the office, so I need to prepare meals (at least a day before, or longer) that can be easily packed, transferred and consumed among people (so, no smelly or garlicky food for me).

I’ve drifted here a lot…. Those “uncommon” or experimental ingredients mentioned above are usually found in Asian stores or stores that carry healthy/bio foods and products. One such ingredient is quinoa which is widely popular (not so much in Greece though, but it’s becoming used more and more lately). I must have discovered it in one of my trips to Germany (I usually bring back local/unknown food stuff when I travel), but they do sell it here as well now. Dear judge G_ of course won’t go near stuff like that (usually healthy stuff), even if I try to bribe him with money or anything else.

I think he fears for his life or something and doesn’t trust me (or my food choices). It just happened though, that  I made this at some get together with friends (mostly cause I wanted to eat it and bring some of the leftovers to the office) and he decided that this salad is  “f****** amazing”. Small victories, my friends, small victories!!!! I wanted to crack open the champagne, but I restrained myself (I didn’t even have to sneak it into a recipe, nor did I “advertise” this salad to him).

Anyways…. If you have eaten quinoa, you know what to expect. If not, I hope that I might have convinced you to try it, if not, you might acquire a taste for it at some point in this life.

I made it and served in my balcony (did I mention the nearly 40C/104F weather?) drizzled with balsamic glaze,  a sprinkle of my favorite spices mix called  Toque Iberico (found in supermarkets in Spain and in my house-seriously if you ever go to Spain, look for it) and some extra lime.

A few words about the recipe:

  • I’ve used the white quinoa variety, but you might be lucky enough to find the black or red one (or get the package that has all of them – super yummy and crunchy, my favorite)
  • if you don’t want to use quinoa, or can’t find it, you can substitute it with cous cous (I’d prefer the bulgur one, but I guess the Israeli one will work perfectly)
  • you can add ingredients of your preference (like zucchini, avocado, spring onions, feta cheese, mushrooms etc)
  • can be eaten as a side dish or main course

Lentil quinoa salad

recipe adapted from Food Network

Ingredients

1 cup (170gr) quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups water
½ cup (88gr) lentils (uncooked)
8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 peppers
4-5 tBsps finely chopped parsley (or fresh coriander if you prefer)

for the vinaigrette (I haven’t written quantities, it’s up to you how much you will use)
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, mustard,  lime zest
salt, pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder

Directions

Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a small pot with a lid, simmer it with 2 cups of water (or less if you prefer it al dente) . Quinoa should be tender enough to eat, but with a little “pop” upon biting.

Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a saucepan, simmer the lentils in water until they are tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse so that they cool down (it will stop them from getting softer).

In a small jar throw the wet ingredients of the vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, lime juice, mustard,  lime zest), place the lid and shake gently so that they blend.

Salad assembly: in a container with a lid, mix the quinoa, lentil, peppers, cherry tomatoes, parsley,  the dry spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, chilli flakes -to taste, according to personal preference) and pour the vinegrette (you might need to shake it a bit before pouring). Place the lid of the container and gently again shake it (up-down & left -right) so that they ingredients blend together.

You can serve it immediately or put it in the fridge for a couple of hours so that it chills and the aromas of the herbs and spices blend together.

If you like, you can drizzle some balsamic glaze before serving.

Spinach Burgers

13 Jun

In case you are wondering, I am not one of those eccentric ladies who only eat one color of food. If you think so though, I know that I can’t do much to change it, as the only food I have posted here is green.


As I’ve mentioned before, I am on a diet. The cakes and cookies I’ve been making are part of my evil plan to fatten everyone around me, so that I will look leaner and more restrained. I am kidding…. when I was a kid I was quite “plump” and whenever something sweet entered the house, my mom made sure to get rid of it as soon as possible.  Truth is, I don’t have much of  a sweet tooth, I’d rather eat a huge bowl of pop corn than ice cream (I can’t just have one cracker or one crisp, if the bag open it has to go or be eaten). But since I’ve have the tendency to put on weight, there goes this recipe… (with a little cheese on top)

If you are not interested in something healthy and low-cal, please come back in a couple days, I’ll make it up to you, I promise.

A few words about the recipe: Continue reading

Farfalle with zucchini and eggplant chips

17 May

According to a Smiths song, “some girls are bigger than others”, but these girls occasionally decide or have to go on a diet, when things have gone too far, especially around this time of the year, before the summer and after Easter, and various occasions when eating was too much. My friend Th. was right when he was saying “a moment of the lips, forever on the hips”, but who knew better?

But, what can you eat to make up? Mosses; Lawn? And for how long can you get by on a minimal low fat, low cal, low everything diet? Especially when someone (don’t want to name any names, but it starts with G_) eats a pile of spaghetti, with 2 kilos of grated parmesan, bacon and a dash of cream, and when a zucchini or a cauliflower gets near him, he reacts like a cat with water.  Not to mention about those (rhetorical) question, like “how can you eat that (zucchini, cauliflower etc)”? You are just trying to be patient and get those kilos off and swear that next time you will not let it get out of control.

The only thing you can do is prepare something like this, a“light” pasta dish and forget about dieting for a little bit.

A few words about the recipe:

  • It is not a glamorous, or sexy plate, but it will serve its cause
  • It is a variation of a recipe my cousin from Italy gave me, with zucchini and carrot, but because I’m not a big fan of carrot I have not used any)
  •  The quantities are for one person, roughly estimated according to my taste and you can adapt it to suit yours.
  • I haven’t used any olive oil as I used some to make the chips, but feel free to use as much as you like
  • If you make the eggplant chips, you might as well make some more and keep them in the fridge to eat some other day (you can drizzle the slices with balsamic vinegar) . Continue reading
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