An unexpected match: Cabbage & Quinoa

As I was walking home from office today, I started thinking about what should I cook for dinner tonight.

My thought process: So, I have one whole cabbage in my fridge. I don’t think there is any other vegetable left. I am leaving for Switzerland tomorrow, which means I have to pack tonight and have no spare time to go buy vegetables and the last thing I want to do is waste any vegetable. That means – lets get creative in the kitchen!

After a couple of web searches, I stumbled upon this recipe of cabbage and quinoa, modified it a bit and just slowly went through the cooking process to get to this surprisingly delicious meal! It is going to be my go-to under 15min Wholesome dinner recipe!

Recipe:

Prep Time: 5min, Cooking time: 10min | Makes 4 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, washed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 whole cabbage, finely cut length wise
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 10-20 almonds, halved
  • 1 can / 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more as needed)

Process

  • Prep Quinoa: In a deep pan, add 1 tbsp oil, garlic and tomato paste. Stir it for a minute and add water. Once the water gets to a gentle boil, add quinoa and cover pan with the lid on medium flame. Let it cook for 10-15min till all the water has evaporated. Turn off the flame and leave the pan covered for another 5min. Quinoa should be nice and fluffy now!
  • Prep the mix: In the second pan, add 1 tbsp oil and the chillis. Add almonds and stir till they are golden. Add turmeric and cabbage with some salt. Cook cabbage till it is mildly wilted.  Add chickpeas and mix it all together for another 2min and turn off the heat
  • Mix it all up: add quinoa to the cabbage, mix it up, add lemon juice and mix it up again, before taking a huge first bite into your mouth 🙂

 

Cheers to Unexpected discoveries!

Those tiny little Chia Seeds

Its summer time! Long days and hot weather here in Shanghai has kept me indoors, which has lead to a lot of reading lately. I am trying to average a sustainable pace of one book a month, squeezing in half an hour every night before I go to sleep and weekend mornings. Now after finishing every book if I can take away just even one thing which I remember for more than a couple of days, one thing that shifts the way I think, one think that is inspiring, that’s when I feel the book has jumped on my 5Star reading category.

Last week I finished reading “Born to Run”. Its a fantastically informative, even seemingly fiction like tale of these secluded ultra marathoners from South America, who ditch NIKEs, run in mere sandals, while beating some of the fastest runners on the planet a race deep down in the canyons of “”

The book shifted my perspective on the history of human running, calling out that “Humans are born to be super long distance runners. Before hunting tools were invented, we would run an animal to death for food”, But the biggest thing I took away was this magic potion that our gang of secret runners in South America were drinking.

Described in the book as “a gooyee thing” that the author hesitated but then gulped down in the middle of his 20+ mile run, giving him instant energy, more than any other energy bar he has ever had! Further investigation by the author reveals that made as a concoction of honey, lime, chia seeds and water, this is what the local runners were swearing by as a pre and during run drink of choice…

Intrigued as I had never heard of this chia seed drink before, I did my own research and then experimented on myself. I have been soaking and drinking this potion everyday when I get back from work and voila. This thing is great! Loaded with Vitamin C, Glucose, protein, this is a power packed drink that gets made in seconds! Why is this such a secret recipe! I am going to taste test this with as many people as I can and couldn’t wait to write about it!

Give it a shot! Mix one tea spoon chia seeds in one cup of water, let it soak for a 1-4hrs, add a juice of one lime and 1 table spoon honey. Give it a BIG mix and serve!

 

Cheers to Great things that come in small tiny packets!

Mushroom on Avocado toast!

Sunday morning breakfasts are meant for hearty, filling and colorful meals, the ones whose mere thought can make you roll out of the bed and head to the kitchen. Better still if it can fulfill my three cooking filters – readily available ingredients, under 30min prep time and colorfully healthy.

One of my favorite go to is Mushroom on Avocado Toast. Its the perfect example of “sum of parts can be bigger than the whole”.

Mushroom on Avocado Toast Recipe

Makes: 4 toasts | Prep Time:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Avocados
  • ~30 button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, per taste
  • 1tbsp chopper Cilantro
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1tbsp half lemon

Recipe:

  • Avocado Guacamole: Split avocados into half along the longer side and remove the big seed. Make a couple of slits and scoop avocado chunks into a bowl. Add in lemon juice, salt and red pepper flake and mix it all together. Taste and adjust spices as needed
  • Saute Mushroom: Clean mushrooms with a clean cloth and trim the end stems as needed. Cut each of them into 4-5 lengthwise pieces. In the meantime heat oil in the pan and add the mushrooms into it. Cook uncovered on medium heat as the mushroom loose water. Let it cook till most of the water evaporates. Add in salt, pepper, cheese and cilantro. Saute for 1-2 minutes and bring it off the heat.
  • Putting it all together: On lightly toasted bread, put first a layer of avocado guacamole and top it with mushrooms. Make a fold and take a BIG bite. voila!
  • Accompaniments: Have a juice / smoothie to complete the meal

Cheers to bright Sunday breakfasts!