Monday, January 12, 2015

Quinoa with shrimp, sugar snap peas and edamame

New years has started with salads for lunch and this one I particularly like. Light, refreshing, savory and easy is how I would define this salad. Crunchy sugar snap peas, creamy edamame, succulent shrimps and the spicy cashews with the fresh mint laced through and a drizzle of lemon juice for that extra zing is truly delicious. I used Trader Joes Thai chili lime cashews. If you are unable to find these, any salted cashews would be good.

Quinoa salad with shrimp, sugar snap peas and edamame
1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
6 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, topped and tailed
1/2 cup shelled frozen edamame
1/4 cup Thai chili lime cashews, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, rolled and cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

  1. Cook the quinoa with 1 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Switch off the heat and leave covered for another 5 minutes, after which fluff with a fork and transfer to the serving dish.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, in another pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and the thawed edamame and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately add  to the quinoa. 
  3. In another pan, heat the olive oil and add the sliced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook for another 30 seconds till the shrimp begins to turn pink. Add 3 tablespoons of water, reduce heat and cover and cook for another two to three minutes till the shrimp is fully cooked. Remove from the heat - chop into 3/4th inch pieces and add it to the quinoa with the sauce and garlic from the pan. Drizzle the lemon juice and toss well. 
  4. Finally add the mint leaves and chopped cashew and give it a final mix.
Serves 2

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Grapefruit salad with cranberries and pumpkin seeds

Pink grapefruit is absolutely delicious at this time of the year and it is great in a salad. The sweet dried cranberries add a nice chewy texture and salted toasted pumpkin seeds give the salad a light crunch. The dressing is the best part - I used pistachio oil and if you have toasted pistachios, it would make a great substitute for the pumpkin seeds as the flavors would be enhanced by the pistachio oil.

Grapefruit salad with cranberries and pumpkin seeds
1 large pink grapefruit
3 cups of organic mixed baby greens
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted salted pumpkin seeds or  shelled, toasted and salted pistachios
1 1/2 tablespoons pistachio oil
1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Segment the grapefruit using the first method from Wikihow. It is fool proof and will yield you these beautiful segments. Break the segments into halves to make sure they are bite sized pieces. Place the grapefruit in the salad bowl. Add the dried cranberries to the bowl. 
  2. Wash and spin dry the mixed greens and keep aside.
  3. Make dressing with the balsamic vinegar and pistachio vinegar. Season to taste.
  4. Now add the greens to the salad bowl and drizzle the dressing on top. Toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds or pistachios if using.
Serves 2