February 28, 2015

Strawberry Mango Salad with Balsamic Dressing

For this month's International Food Challenge, we are going to explore the Bordeaux cuisine from France. Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwest France. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century. Bordeaux is also an upscale place- a city for luxury shopping, drinking, and eating. It sits in the center of the world famous wine region that bears its name and thus tourists come here come to eat, drink, experience wine, and be merry. 
Strawberry Mango Salad with Balsamic Dressing
Saraswathi, our host, gave us some delicious bakes from Bordeaux to try. But I'm neck deep into baking other things, so I decided to make this colorful and refreshing Strawberry-Mango Salad.
Winter has been terrible this year, especially this month. This February is going down as one of the coldest February in the recorded history (or so we have been told). So when I saw this salad with summer fruits, strawberry & mango, it made me think of the warm weather and the colorful produce it's going to bring.
Strawberry Mango Salad with Balsamic Dressing
I wasn't sure if I would get good mangoes, but luckily I found some good quality mangoes in Whole Foods (and to top it off, they were on sale -- yippee!!). So the salad, even though not very seasonal for this time of the year, tasted pretty good. I'm definitely going to make it again when both strawberries & mangoes are in season.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes:
Ingredients: Makes 2 Servings
For the Salad:
Strawberries - 8~10
Mango - 1 medium, peeled, seeded and cubed
Mixed greens - 2cups
Sweetened Dried Cranberries - 3tbsp
Red Onion - 1 small, thinly sliced
Slivered Almonds - 3tbsp, lightly toasted

For the Dressing:
Balsamic Vinegar - 2tsp
Sugar - 1tbsp
Oil - 2tbsp
Salt & Pepper - to taste

  • Make the Dressing: Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar with lid. Shake vigorously to mix. Alternately whisk all the ingredients until combined.
  • Make the Salad: In a large bowl, mix all the salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing, toss gently and sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately.
Strawberry Mango Salad with Balsamic Dressing

February 27, 2015

Thai Vegetable Red Curry (Vegan Recipe)

Today's dish is a spicy, creamy & slightly sweet Thai red curry made with vegetables. I always have Thai curry pastes, both red and green, in the refrigerator to make quick curries, rice or even noodles. Make sure to check the ingredients on the store bought Thai curry pastes because some might have fish sauce or other seafood related ingredients in them. Even better, use the recipe for the curry paste at the end of the post for your very own homemade version.
Thai Vegetable Red Curry (Vegan Recipe)
This recipe is adapted from 'Buddha's Table: Thai feasting Vegetarian Style' cookbook. I used the veggies listed in the recipe, but any vegetable can be added to this curry. Potato, mushroom, zucchini, baby corn, carrots are all good in here. It is great when served with some steamed jasmine rice.

February 26, 2015

Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)

Blogging Marathon# 49: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Afghani Carrot Halwa
I'm ending this month's marathon on a sweet note with this rich and decadent 'Carrot Halwa' that I bookmarked from 'The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian' cookbook by Sally Butcher. Halwa is very similar to our very own Carrot Halwa with a few additional ingredients like ricotta cheese and powdered milk.
Afghani Carrot Halwa (Carrot and Ricotta Halva)
This is one of the recipes that caught my attention as soon as I saw it in the cookbook. I was looking for an opportunity to make this dessert ever since. Carrot halwa is one of my husband's favorite and with him travelling, I didn't want to make this dish just for myself. So finally made it as soon as he got back.

February 25, 2015

Afghani Bolani (Potato Stuffed Afghani Flat bread)

Blogging Marathon# 49: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Afghani Bolani
For day 2 of this week's marathon,  I made a stuffed flatbread from Afghanistan called Bolani. This recipe has been on my to-make list ever since I saw a bunch of my fellow bloggers make it for the A-Z International marathon.
Afghani Bolani (Potato Stuffed Afghani Flat bread)
Bolani also spelled as Bulani or Boulanee is filled bread in Persian. Afghani bolani is a stuffed flatbread that is either baked or fried. It has a thin crust and can be stuffed with any veggie like potato, pumpkin, spinach, lentils or chives. It is served with either plain yogurt or mint yogurt. Since my husband doens't eat yogurt, I made him a simple tomato chutney.

February 24, 2015

Black & Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Blogging Marathon# 49: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Black & Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
My theme for the final week of this month's marathon is 'Bookmarked Recipes'. Like all of you, I have a ton of bookmarked recipes and find every opportunity to try those out. So when we have it as a theme in Blogging marathon, I make sure I make the most out of it.
Black & Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
So for the first day, I have an interesting salad with black rice, wild rice and butternut squash. This is a colorful and healthy salad that is very filling and can be served as a light meal or as a side dish to a bigger meal.

February 20, 2015

Vegetarian Three Bean Stew with Roasted Potatoes

This winter doesn't seem to end any time soon. The temps have been hovering below freezing and it feels like a deep freezer when we step outside. I am sick of wearing all the layers and I feel bad for the kids who have to lug around their heavy book bag in addition to 3~4 layers of clothing. My son said he felt like a brick with all the layers. The weather man said it's going to be red hot over the weekend -- predicted temps are in lower 40's and he thinks that it is going to feel hot like summer.
Anyway our woes with winter will probably continue for a few more weeks. In the mean time, I made this hearty vegetarian 3 bean stew to warm me up. I tasted this dish at Medieval Times last year and it has stuck with me ever since.
Vegetarian Three Bean Stew with Roasted Potatoes
Medieval Times is a place where you step back into Medieval times with epic battles, jousting tournaments along with a royal dinner. We have a location very close to our house and we had a chance to visit it last spring. My son had a great time there. I wasn't much into the battle but I enjoyed my vegetarian feast for sure.

February 19, 2015

Zucchini Paratha

Blogging Marathon# 49: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: One Vegetable - 3 Dishes
Dish: Bread - Zucchini Paratha
For the third day of this week's blogging marathon, I wanted to make a bread with Zucchini. I have tried quite a few bread recipes with zucchini, like this sweet carrot-zucchini bread, this everyday sourdough bread and this double chocolate bread. I wasn't in a mood to bake anything or make any sweet dish, so tried making parathas with zucchini.
Zucchini Paratha
I kept the paratha recipe simple with just grated zucchini and few spices because I was serving them with a spicy side dish. But you can add more spices and serve it with some yogurt and pickle.

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