February 13, 2019

Massaged Kale Salad

This Kale salad with curly Kale is an Indianized version with raw onions! The only dressing on this salad is fresh lemon juice. We love salads at home, including my little girl (though kale is not her favorite yet). Kale is one of the healthiest and nutritious foods that is loaded with minerals, vitamin K, vitamin C and anti-oxidants (sourced online). I first tried kale without reading about it and liked it. Then when I read that it is SO healthy, I consciously started buying Kale.
Kale has curly thick leaves and it has this peculiar characteristic unlike all other greens that it does not shrink or wilt too much. Because of which kale stays longer in my refrigerator. I make salads, Indian curries, pastas and again salads with just one buy of this special healthy green. What I mean to say is whenever I make Spinach/Palak, at the end of the dish, I am always left to wonder, is that it?? I cleaned/cut a whole lot of it..where did you vanish?!? Dear kale does not vanish, it is a tough one 😜. For raw salads, therefore, kale needs to be massaged with our fingers to soften them and wilt slightly. Hence, Massaged Kale Salad.
I have an interesting addition to my kale salad which I discovered recently – seasoned Panko – bread crumbs seasoned with Parsley and garlic. Bread crumbs are obviously not new to me. However seasoned ones sure are. They are crisp, light and super flavorful. Add them right before serving the salad for the best crunch. If you mix this Panko in the salad way before serving, it gets soft – no complaints – this way it gives a soft pillowy texture to my kale salad.

Kale – thinly chopped – 1 cup (discard stalks)
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Onion – 1/4th cup chopped
Tomatoes – 1/4th cup – chopped
Crushed Pepper – 1 tsp
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp (or half a lemon)
Seasoned Panko/bread crumbs – 2 tbsp

How I prepare:
  1. Pour olive oil and salt into chopped kale. Massage or rub them with fingers until wilted and reduced in size.
  2. Once soft and silky, add onions, tomatoes, crushed pepper and fresh lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. Add crisp breadcrumbs now and mix for fluffy, pillowy texture OR right before serving to retain the crunch.
Devour massaged Kale salad as a side for pastas, rice, roti, anything actually. Someday I will attempt making a good salad dressing and try it on this salad. Spicy, tangy umm… please give suggestions, if you have any .. need to develop taste for it, no natural incline towards any of the popular ones like honey, vinaigrette, mustard, greek..

February 12, 2019

Cherry Ginger Lemonade

Usually I am someone who goes and buys packaged drinks when I feel like one or have soda (when outside). Whether summer or winter, making juices from scratch is not my forte. Frankly this is my first try and frankly it was neither difficult nor a surprise that it came out fantastic. Well, what can go wrong with juices? 

Since Valentines is around the corner, I saw many contests on Instagram. And that’s how I zeroed in on doing a juice with red color as theme. Which evidently did not work and the juice ended up a much prettier and warm pink😍 So this one may not go into any contests (or may, not sure). I had fun preparing this and surprising my folks too!

Cherry Ginger Lemonade has some prep work to do. Basic recipe is to blend the pitted fresh cherries and boil in water with grated ginger and sugar. Strain the concoction, squeeze fresh lemon juice into it, mix and store! The concoction can be refrigerated for at least a week. 

Whenever you feel like a chilled drink, just add cold water or plain soda into the concoction and enjoy with a book or music. Ice cubes in the pictures worked for the pictures, however I think mixing with chilled water is better. If ginger is not your preferred flavour, just omit it to call it Cherry Lemonade. On the other hand, if you are one of those who vouch for Kombucha and Ginger tea (which sounds better as adrak wali chai) then this Cherry Ginger Lemonade is for you - unquestionably.

Fresh cherries – 13-15
Sugar (or any sweetener) – 1/4th cup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Ginger – 4-5 shreds (less than half inch piece)
Water – 1/4th cup

How I prepare:
  1. Pit the cherries. Blend/grind them. Water is not required.
  2. Transfer the blended cherries into a saucepan and add the water. Add grated ginger and sugar (or any sweetener – brown sugar or jaggery) and boil. We need very less ginger just for the flavour, overpowering ginger flavour is not going to help with the sweetness of the drink. Once boiling, simmer for at least 4-5 minutes. The color of the mixture will deepen. That’s when you switch off the heat.
  3. Strain the mixture. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir. When cool, this concoction is ready for a mocktail or refrigerator (for tomorrow or for the weekend!) or even a cocktail, if that is your preference.
The quantity of sugar is arguable, I have low sweet tolerance 🙊 you may want to add more sweeterners. Please yourself with this refreshing fruity lemonade with a hint of ginger.