Zesty Tomato and Pepper Soup, and The F Word

Tomato and Pepper Soup

Tomato and Pepper Soup

I haven’t been able to bring myself to say the F word since August.

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October 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . 5:2 Diet, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. 6 comments.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

carrot and coriander soup

This is a lusciously hearty, enthusiastically spiced, cheerfully vivid soup that belies the fact that it’s pretty lightweight, too, at 50 calories a cup. (more…)

October 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Asian, Autumn, Intermittent Fasting, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Courgette, Mint and Ginger Soup (aka Zucchini Soup)

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Such a wonderful, easy soup to make, and, at 36 calories a cup, you can have someone else watch your waist for you 🙂

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September 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . 5:2 Diet, Autumn, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Sambal Brussels Sprouts

Though strawberries and cream are extremely Wimbledon (and there were plenty of both in the fridge), I had a hankering for a curry yesterday after watching Serena Williams blast away her finals nemesis and win her 5th championship trophy – and this was the veggie half of what resulted. (I’ll post the Murg Makhani chicken recipe soon, promise!) (more…)

July 8, 2012. Tags: , , . Asian, Condiments and Sauces, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Noodles with Vegetables and Lemongrass-Peanut Dressing

Another favorite of the kids (and us, too). This is a dish that can be purely vegetarian, or fishyterian. We go meatless 3 or 4 times a week and I find these are the meals the kids can demolish in minutes, possibly due to the lack of chewing?! They’re perfectly content with wholegrain pasta with a homemade tomato sauce, into which I bung a few other veggies too, plus lots of cheese, or wholegrain chapati (an Indian flatbread) and dhal and chickpeas with tomato, or noodles done any style, like this one with Asian spicing.  Of course I couldn’t hold back and added chillis to the peanut sauce, but you don’t have to. And yes, the entire family gobbled it up!

Those with nut allergies may easily substitute the peanut content for a few tablespoons of sunbutter or no-nut pea butter.

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April 14, 2010. Tags: , , . Asian, Dinners, Kids Cuisine, Mains, Sauces and Dressings, Vegetables, Vegetarian. 5 comments.

Beet and Rocket Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

A week into the New Year and I’m keeping to the salad theme, woo hoo! This doesn’t mean I’m only eating salads or shunning the odd square (or nine) of chocolate as I try to shed a few holiday-feasting pounds. The key components of my fitness and food regimen for 2010 are regular exercise and moderate avoidance of naughty things (hence the lack of baked goods so far). Oh, and not forgetting eating for my size, rather than for a 6-foot tall woman pregnant with triplets.

Having forced gently persuaded one of my sons to resolve to widen his repertoire of fruit and vegetables, while narrowing the one for candy and cookies, I decided it’s only fair I should conquer some food fears myself. There are very few things I don’t eat, apart from pork and shellfish (for nominal kosher reasons. It helps that I was deathly allergic to shellfish as a child).

Top of that No list is beetroot.

A bit of a surprise considering the strong beet presence in both my husband’s Jewish background (borscht) and my Indian one (it’s turned into a curry with coconut, mmm. Gotta try that, maybe it would be pink?). (more…)

January 8, 2010. Tags: . Salads, Superfood, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian. 3 comments.

Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pecans, Lime and Rosemary

Brought this over to Deb and David’s for Thanksgiving, where there was such an amazing spread of beautiful dishes and a majestic queen of a turkey.

I came up the recipe a day earlier, determined not to look at existing recipes because, let’s face it, I have never had a brussels sprouts dish that I enjoyed.

The sprouts have been sliced purely for aesthetic reasons, and were bought for the same reason – I spotted them sprouting fetchingly out of a long stalk at Trader Joe’s. (more…)

November 29, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Festive, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian, winter. 1 comment.

Melon Soup (Recession-Friendly)

So I copped out on the chicken soup and matzo balls this year. What can I say, it’s a recession and I couldn’t countenance wasting an entire carcass for what would have been, no doubt, a tasty soup. Besides, the butcher was long on non-kosher sausages and short on chicken bones. Instead, I reproduced a soup I came up with a few weeks earlier when I found myself with two voluptuous melons fast ripening and fast stinking up my kitchen – this is what melons do if you haven’t room in your fridge for them – and had to find a non-wasteful way of using them up. (more…)

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , . Autumn, Festive, Jewish, Passover, Rosh Hashana, Soups, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This salad is inspired by one that a friend brought over to a potluck dinner party recently. I was wowed by the bite, colour and tanginess of it, and its fiberful promises. As I guessed at the basic ingredients and remembered only three (corn, beans, lime juice), I have ended up throwing in additional ingredients which seem to work well together. The salad would go beautifully with grilled fish. Enjoy!

  • black beans, 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • corn on cob, 2, microwaved 1m10s each and decobbed
  • large tomatoes, 2, chopped in tiny cubes
  • red pepper, 1, cubed similarly
  • english cucumber, 1/2, cubed tinily
  • shallot or red onion, 1, chopped finely

Dressing:

  • chilli, 1 or 2, green, chopped finely
  • garlic cloves, 3, chopped finely
  • lime juice, squeezed out of 2 limes
  • brown sugar, 3/4 tbsp
  • olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • cilantro/coriander leaves, 1 handful, chopped
  • mint, handful, chopped
  • salt and pepper, as needed

  1. Combine all the veg and beans together in a bowl
  2. Whisk salad dressing with a balloon whisk and pour over the salad
  3. Give it a good grind of salt and pepper, throw in the herbs and toss
  4. Perfect for a barbecue or as a summer meal accompaniment

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

August 10, 2009. Tags: . Salads, Sauces and Dressings, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

The Mango: Moist, Majestic and Morish


Mangoes featured very strongly in the early days of Richard’s and my romance, the buds of which were planted in India, from where the fruit originates. Indeed, we all have a soft spot for the fruit and are thrilled that it’s back in season again.

When I grew up in my grandmother’s home in Malaysia, she had a massive, enormously fertile mango tree right in front of her house. Its branches hung low and gracefully, providing welcome shade and coolness, and inviting my brothers and I to clamber upon them and give them the adoration they deserved. As if we didn’t spend enough time there, my grandfather tied a plank swing seat to one of its branches (the kind that would give anyone at Health & Safety a heart attack), and thus were spent the remaining hours of our carefree, childish days.

In the heat of the tropical summer, the tree would be heavily pregnant with fruit, leaving us awash in mangoes for months. My grandmother would give away as many as she could to the delighted neighbours, who were also the recipients of all the other fruit, veg and herbs that grew in Gran’s garden – soursop, jackfruit, coconut, plantain, bananas, papayas, Lady’s fingers (okra), basil, curry leaves, tomatoes.

While she had dozens of recipes for the bananas, plantain and coconut, the mangoes we ate fresh, and immediately. It didn’t make sense to adorn or dilute a fruit so voluptuous, so complete in colour, taste and perfume.

Having said that, my younger son loves homemade mango smoothies or mango lassis nearly as much as he loves the fresh fruit.

My favourite mango is the Alphonso, which is grown mainly in Western India. There’s no match for the perfect sweet yet tangy and firm flesh of this cultivar, along with its citrusy mango aroma and intense yellow-orange colour.

As I have yet to find these mangoes in north America, I am eternally grateful to Costco for regularly bringing in Champagne mangoes from Mexico. The taste isn’t as explosive, but the colour and texture are there, along with the lack of fibrosity that separates a good mango from its lesser brethren. It might behoove you to know the average Champagne mango packs a modest 80 calories, with lots of Vitamin A, C and folate too!

How to cut the mango? This could require a video (another blog entry, another day). Take the fruit and, keeping in mind it has a large seed in the middle, cut a semi-circle off each side. With your knife, make hatches and cross-hatch them so you have little square or diamond shaped segments of flesh (see photos). Hold each half and invert them by pushing the skin upwards. To eat, use a spoon and scoop the squares off. Or just dive in, face first!

For more mango recipes, click here and here.



(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

June 5, 2009. Tags: , . Asian, Kids Cuisine, Musings, Nutrition, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian. 6 comments.

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