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As you might have noticed, I am getting into salads and healthy eating since the start of this year. Though my New Year resolution every year is this huge struggle to cook and eat stuff that does my body good, it is a never-ending tug-of-war between the mind and the heart to actually make it happen. I am really excited to share with you this deliciously fresh and nutritious salad from How Sweet Eats, which is now my regular pick on days when I have to go 100% vegetarian.

SUMMER CHICKPEA SALAD

Ingredients:

For the Chickpea Salad

3 cups boiled chickpeas

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

1 large English cucumber, chopped

1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 lime, juiced and zested

Method:

  • In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil, cucumber and sprouts.

  • Toss with salt and pepper. In saucepan, add oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest.

  • Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.

  • Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap.

  • Refrigerate salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. This salad tastes better as it sits.

  • Serve with toasted baguettes spread with coconut oil or whipped feta. Makes 4 servings.

Summer Chickpea Salad with Vinaigrette

Envi ene bon ti salade melanz? While the average Mauritian is not a huge fruit eater, he/she will hardly ever say no to a freshly prepared fruit salad topped with tamarind sauce and disel pima/ chili salt. A colourful meli-melo of tropical fruits including mangoes and pineapple, our traditional fruit salad is not a homemade entity but derives its popularity from the road side sellers who usually extend their fares to markets and beaches on Sundays and holidays.

It will not be an uncommon sight if you come across one today on our crowded public beaches, which are always so on the eve and the day of a public holiday. And as we are celebrating our Independence Day today, there is, I’m sure, no better occasion to do a post on something we can proudly call as our ‘national’ salad. As the official celebrations unfold this afternoon in Champ de Mars in the attendance of eminent personalities, many will undoubtedly gather in more informal surroundings with the same feeling of being fier d’etre mauricien/ proud to be a Mauritian.

MAURITIAN FRUIT SALAD

Ingredients:

2 semi ripe mangoes

1 medium pineapple

1 small cucumber

10 jamalacs/ love apples

1 carambole/ star fruit

2-3 dried red chilies

1 teaspoon kitchen salt

3 tablespoons tamarind

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Method:

  • Peel mangoes, pineapple and cucumber. Cut each fruit into bite size pieces or chop into thick slices.

  • Cut the jamalacs into halves and slice the carambole thinly. Place all chopped fruit in a large bowl.

  • Crush the dried chilies and salt together in a grinder or in a mortar until it turns into a fine powder.

  • Remove any seeds from the tamarind and soak the pulp in 2 tablespoons warm water for 5 minutes.

  • Combine the tamarind pulp with 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Add more water and grind together.

  • It should form a sauce of slow dripping consistency. Toss this dressing over the bowl of fruit salad.

  • Mix till well combined and leave to stand at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.

  • Top with extra tamarind and serve in plastic cups along with extra salt and chili powder. Serves 4.

Mauritian Fruit Salad

The habit of making lazy lunches on weekdays is kinda setting in. Pasta salad is one such dish I keep repeating if I can’t be bothered to cook something more elaborate. Plus they are really forgiving; throw in anything you feel like in a bowl of cooked pasta. Season & toss and you have an instant meal that you’ll wolf down just as fast.

For salads, short or decorative shaped pasta is best. Macaroni, farfalle, penne rigate and coquillage are good options. In this post I’m using Panzani‘s cute spiral shaped torti.  It’s the only brand of pasta I’ve ever used and gives pretty consistent results.

You should definitely top it with some grated parmesan if you love cheese [like me]. The family is not fond of anything that smells of cooked cheese so I tend to keep those recipes for days when I’m home alone. Not that I mind 😉

PASTA SALAD

  

Ingredients:

3 cups uncooked pasta

1 cup chicken, diced

2 medium carrots

1 handful french beans

1/4 cup sweet corn kernel, drained

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 red onion, diced

2 large eggs

12 large prawns, deveined

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

Salt & Pepper, to taste

 

Method:

  • Prepare chicken by rubbing it in a mixture of salt, pepper, sweet paprika and lemon juice. Let it stand for about 1 hour.
  • Dice carrot into 1/2 cm cubes and chop french beans into slivers. Stir fry french beans over low heat until tender.

 

  • You can also cook them along with the carrots if you dnt like your veggies raw. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Cook chicken in a large pan in its own steam for abt 30 mins.

  

  • Next fry the eggs and cut them into strips. Stir fry prawns.
  • Bring water to boil in large pan. Throw in pasta and 2tsp salt.
  • Cook over medium heat until al dente for about 5-7 minutes.

 

  • Drain and toss with 1 tbs oil and 1 tbs dark mushroom sauce.
  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and season with salt & pepper.  Garnish with spring onion and serve right away.

 

For the rich buttery pound cake below, I halved the recipe from my food processor cookbook and added some tutti fruitti instead of raisins. You might notice that they barely show up on the pics as I only had half of what the recipe calls for. I served half of it for afternoon tea and saved the rest for guests who were to show up later that afternoon. Hmm, it could well have been a cake of halves!

TUTTI FRUITI CAKE

  

Ingredients:

125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 2/3 cup cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

75 ml milk

100g tutti fruiti

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 160 oC. Grease and line a 7×3 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat to a fluffy consistency.

 

  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
  • Carefully fold dry ingredients into egg mixture with a spatula alternating with milk till well combined but do not overmix.
  • Stir in tutti fruiti before you spoon batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 40 mins until skewer comes out clean from centre.
  • Cool completely and dust with icing sugar if desired.

Note: The drink featured on the Tutti Fruiti cake pics is a mug of Vico’s 3 in 1 cereal drink with oat, soya and malt.

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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