Spinach meets Chutney meets Curry.


Who needs a quick dinner? Well, I did….and I often do. Just like most of you, I don’t have all the time in the world to be the goddess (or god) I’d like to be in the kitchen and since my new schedule has me busy a few nights a week (teachin yoga, not out partying-in case you were wondering) I’ve had to whip out some of favorite recipes that are “feasible in minutes.”(I love the word feasible). So limpy wilted greens got a makeover today.

Salads are simple, and that’s a WIN in my book. In case you haven’t met me, I don’t preach to the choir here but THIS salad did kind of rock and blow my belly up with fiber. I know the word salad sends the thoughts to 1) ugh, lettuce for dinner? or 2) YES, I love salad and anything beyond iceberg lettuce rocks.

Of course tossing in cupcake pieces wouldn’t be wise, but perhaps more veggies. Yes? It’s all about the add-ins anyway. Start with your base, then load that bad boy up with color, flavor, and texture.

Don’t worry, this is not a popeye salad with some fake italian or thousand island dressing on it.

What is thousand island dressing anyway?

So this particular salad has a unique twist to it. I used “chutney.”

What the heck is chutney you ask?

Well, it’s (pronounced: chut-nee) and according to the Food Lover’s Companion (total must have for the food geek), it originates from the East Indian word Chatni, and is a spicy condiment that contains fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices.

It’s texture ranges from chunky to smooth and the degrees of spiciness also range from mild (you sweat a tad bit) to hot (you likely lose weight from eating it-joking, but you catch my drift). It’s used as an accompaniment to curry dishes but can also be used as a spread or served with cheese. Mmmm, cheese.

Buying: You can find it in the condiment section or ethnic food section of your grocery store. Open it, then refrigerate it.

Anyway here it is…it’s simple, palatable and filling. Maybe a little spicy. What more do you need?

RECIPE

Spinach salad with Curry Chutney Dressing

Serves: 2-4

Time: Like 5 minutes…seriously. (You could do a few push-ups and lunges in that time).

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (5 oz.) of fresh Spinach (or any other green)
  • Baby Bella mushrooms (optional, I had some on hand)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chicpeas
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (optional, totally forgot to do this!)

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • Tabasco sauce ( to taste-optional)
  • 2/3 cup peanuts (toasted is always better)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (optional, or raisins)
  • 1/4 cup chutney (you could make your own-I’d decrease the amount of sugar)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or less)
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • couple teaspoons of a sweetener (optional-honey, sugar, maple syrup)

The process:

  • Chop the scallions then set aside.
  • Toast the peanut for ~5 minutes in a skillet on medium heat ( do not burn!)
  • Combine all the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl (except spinach, mushrooms and chicpeas).
  • Mix it all up.

I'd lick that spoon...yup.

  • Then toss it all with the salad greens (cause they’re now in love)

SERVE and ENJOY!

-Jen

I’m kinda genius thoughts:

  • Mix your greens up. Got kale on hand? Use that too!
  • Add other goodies to the salad, try other dried fruits like turkish apricots, or fresh fruits like Anjou Pears.
  • Serve this salad alongside the Morroccan Millet stew for a very colorful meal.
  • BONUS READ: We all love Dr. Oz, well I think most people at least trust him. So here’s an article about the benefits of curry and the link to Alzheimer’s. So add curry dishes 1-2 times/week and you’re doing the bod some good.

Have you used Chutney? Got a favorite use for spinach?

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Arugula Pesto + Brussel Sprout Shreds

It’s like this, you’re either going to reckon this is the oddest food combo and not sure what to think about it (well a twinkie stuffed with meat would be pretty odd)

OR

you’re going to love it and go buy some brussels immediately (brussel haters might even try it!)

(I love how spellcheck doesn’t know what to do with the word twinkie. I think it’s cause it’s an unidentified object). Just sayin.

Anyhoo, I love me some brussel sprout heads and they’re the underdog during this time of the year, I mean you never hear somebody saying (unless you’re me of course) I can’t wait to shovel those brussel sprouts into my mouth. People don’t usually overeat them either. Well,  I’ve overeaten these little bad boys of health. Not pretty. Soooo, don’t do that.

I’ve always wanted to mess around with the sprouts beyond the usual roasting (p.s. roasting is good too, check out this post for a few options). Why not make a happy combo with my two favorite greens? I have been pondering (favorite big word) the thought of shredding the sprouts forever but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them from there.

So, enter a pile of goodness where veggies are the rockstars and the soba noodles are just the backup singers. (Never had Soba? The Kitchn did a good job describing the difference between the Japanese noodles). 

p.s. This recipe is so meant to be played with (like play-dough or silly puddy).

RECIPE

Arugula Pesto & Brussel Sprout Shreds

Serves: (depends on how many soba noodles you make-safely serves 2).

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Food processsor

Ingredients:

  • 6 or more garlic cloves (heck, the more the merrier)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 bundle (1 oz.) uncooked soba noodles

For the sprouts:

  • 6 oz bag of whole, uncooked sprouts
  • olive oil (to taste)
  • pepper (optional)

DO IT:

Pre-Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Shred brussel sprouts in food processor. Set aside.

    Love me some shreds!

  1. Place whole garlic cloves (unpeeled) on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes. At the same time place 1/2 cup of walnuts on another cookie sheet and roast for 6-7 minutes (nuts are not to be neglected, watch em so they don’t burn!).
  2. Remove both from oven and set aside.

Brussel Sprouts: 

  1. Place on a cookie sheet (once shredded) or jelly roll pan and toss with olive oil and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes to start. Toss halfway through. Add on another 5-10 minutes or so if they haven’t quite cooked. Once done, set aside. (I kept mine in the oven while making the pesto).

I just love this pic of the soba noodles.

For the Noodles:

While the brussels are roastin, place 6 cups of water on the stove and heat on high til it’s boiling. Add the soba noodles and cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. Drain.

For the Pesto: (which can be made in advance).

  1. Add walnuts, arugula, garlic and salt to food processor and whirl it all up til a nice pesto-ey pile forms. As processor is processing, add olive oil.
  2. Scrape the sides and bunch it all up in a bowl, then add parmesan cheese and mix to combine. (take a whiff of the utter goodness).

For the finale:

Plate some noodles on something pretty, add some pesto and twirl with a fork to combine, (alternatively you can just add the pesto and soba noodles in a bowl and combine all like one big happy family) then toss some brussels on top and perhaps a bit more parmesan cheese (truffle oil anyone? just a smidge-omg).

ENJOY!

-Jen

Genius Thoughts (I can’t stop myself):

  • Use that pesto as a pizza topper (do I even need to tell you to add it to the squash pizza?)
  • Use the pesto as a veggie dip.
  • Use the brussels as a side dish (p.s. they’re fun to eat-but you might find some in your hair later). I might even toss some maple syrup on them next time if I serve alone.
  • Try other nuts. Pine Nuts are a traditional pesto maker, almonds or papitas would be fun! Mix your greens and try spinach, maybe a little fresh basil or cilantro (just watch the bitterness factor).

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TELL ME

Are you a fan of pesto? Are you a fan of brussel sprouts? What’s your favorite way to use either?