Gado Gado with i2cook’s spicy peanut butter

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Gado gado is a wholesome and delicious Indonesian salad. This salad is filled with all the essential nutrients and what makes it so delicious is the peanut sauce, which is truly a winning combination. Gado gado is a combination of slightly boiled or steamed vegetables,  raw vegetables and hard boiled egg. Nearly any combination of raw and cooked vegetables, along with rice or thin noodles, if you like, can be used. Gado gado, is true to its name which means “potpourri”. Do not confuse the peanut sauce with satay sauce. This salad can be made vegan by negating the eggs.

For the peanut sauce, we are using i2cook’s spicy peanut butter which is a versatile product and goes extremely well with south-east Asian or South Indian dishes.

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Ingredients:

Inspired by Jamie Oliver

2 medium sliced boiled potatoes

10-12 beans boiled and cut into halves

2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into slices

carrot, raddish & cucumber sliced as per preference

8-10 tofu slices

fresh coriander leaves or micro-greens for garnish

Ingredients for the peanut sauce:

100gms i2cook spicy peanut butter

25gms i2cook coconut sugar or palm sugar

1 garlic clove

1/2 juice of lemon juice

1 tbs soy sauce

1/2 tbs tamarind paste

Note: spicy peanut butter will not require any addition of extra spice.

(all the ingredients used in this salad are all organic except the eggs which are free-range)

Procedure:

Start with prepping up with all the ingredients. Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes in salt water. Hard-boil eggs, cut the tofu into slices (with some salt) and pan fry them in a little peanut oil until golden brown. Boil the beans in salt water for about 5 minutes and immediately transfer into ice water to retain that gorgeous green colour. Use strips of carrot and slice some cucumber and radish for that extra crunch.

Put all the ingredients for peanut sauce in a blender with 1 tbs of water and blend it until smooth. Check for seasoning.

Layer the vegetables starting first with potato and other ingredients on a serving plate or bowl and drizzle with the most amazing peanut sauce.

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Cooking with locally produced spirulina pasta

spirulina pasta

When I first came across organic spirulina pasta, I was a bit hesitant. Yes, I know that  spirulina is good for your health, but my concern was the taste.

Spirulina pasta is a mix of both wheat & spirulina. Perfectly mixed to give you the correct taste of the spirulina without overpowering the spaghetti. The boiling instructions are clear on the packaging material. This pasta is not gluten free. Spirulina helps to fight against cancer, liver infection or allergic reactions.

Spirulina spaghetti can be cooked with any sauce of your choice. I’ve cooked this pasta with pesto sauce, tomato pasta sauce, roasted bell pepper dip or just olive oil, garlic & sun dried tomatoes – making it a perfect summer treat!

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Simple pasta garnished with some Auroville parmesan cheese

I’ve personally met Anandi, who started KOFPU (Kottakarai Organic Food Processing Unit)  and creates some amazing products. She is a warm person and welcomes you with her contagious smile. She also runs a raw vegan restaurant in Auroville, dishing out  some of the best vegan smoothies and raw chocolate bars.

At i2cook.com we also stock  KOFPU’sorganic products like cashew butter, black sesame butter, neem leaf powder etc. We also stock locally produced cheese from Auroville like parmesan, feta, etc. Now, here is the best part :)… i2cook.com  delivers all these products at your doorstep all across India.

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Spirulina spagetti mixed with roasted bell pepper dip


Summer Salad – Avocado and Bacon Salad with Tomato Dressing

 Salads can serve as a meal and are the best bet during summers. What better way to use seasonal fruits and veggies to supplement your diet.

I love avocados and that the fruit camouflages really well when added in a salad or sandwich or in rice paper rolls. As a kid, I would see some of them mix sugar with their avocado mix to have it plain. I detested it! However, I liked it when my mother would mix avocado with other fruits to give the fruits a creamy coating. How I miss it now!

The addition of bacon to give it a crunch. However, the vegetarians can negate it. The original recipe also calls for some cheese. Avoid using feta, it’s flavour conflicts with bacon. You don’t want anything messing around with your bacon ;).

Ingredients for salad

10-15 medium sized salad leaves (rocket, lettuce)washed and pat dried or dried in a salad spinner

2 -4 crispy bacon strips, torn in bits

1/2 avocado, cut in strips

few raw red onion rings

mozzarella or amul cheese for garnish (optional)

Ingredients for dressing

3 medium sized tomatoes, lightly cooked, de-seeded and  skinned

1 garlic clove

1tsp red wine vinegar

1/2tbs olive oil

pepper & salt to taste

Grind all the ingredients for the dressing and refrigerate.

Break salad leaves and arrange them at the bottom of the salad plate or bowl. Add avocado, onion, bacon and garnish with bacon bits. Add the chilled dressing just before serving. The remaining dressing can be refrigerated for a week. Serve with some bread slashed with some butter or just dip into the dressing. Serves one.


Spinach, Strawberry & Ricotta Cheese Salad

Strawberries are in season!!!  I love strawberries for it’s sweet flavour and  it’s gorgeous colour .You will definitely be seeing a lot more posts from me this strawberry season.
Since they are very perishable, strawberries should not be washed until right before eating or using in a recipe. Do not remove their caps and stems until after you have gently washed the berries under cold running water and patted them dry. This will prevent them from absorbing excess water, which can degrade strawberries’ texture and flavour.
This salad is the easiest salad that I’ve ever tried and it’s not only tasty but also gorgeous looking too.

20 big sized leaves, washed, patted dry
20 pieces strawberries cut in halves (fresh or frozen)
 ricotta cheese for garnish (I used home-made)

for the dressing
2tbs olive oil
1tbs red wine vinegar
1tsp lime juice
2tbs honey
1tsp cinnamon powder
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and refrigerate it for an hour before serving.
Break  spinach leaves into desired sizes and place them in a serving plate or a salad bowl. Arrange the strawberries and  ricotta cheese on the bed of spinach if using individual plates or just toss all of them together in a salad bowl. Drizzle it with the prepared dressing and serve at room temperature. Serves 2.

My tastebuds: It’s a great combination and the flavours blend in perfectly. A must try this strawberry season!

Tip: Dry cottage cheese may be substituted for ricotta, but the flavour will be milder and a bit saltier. You may wish to smooth the cottage cheese by putting it through a blender with 1tbs skim milk.

This is my submission to this week’s Souper Sundays, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen, to Gulten-Free Holiday, hosted by The Whole Gang, to this month’s Only Greens, hosted by Sara’s Corner and Foodelicious and to Hearth and Soul, hosted by Girlichef.


Mixed Salad with Peanut Dressing

I’m not a big fan of peanut butter and this is not the famous Indonesian salad, Gado Gado. My visit to the Farmers Market on Sunday, motivated me to prepare a pest-free salad. I do give some credit to the lady selling salad at a food counter in the Farmers Market for cropping the peanut dressing idea……
I’ve used peanuts before in a dry powdered form; but never have I used it as a paste. Though I have tasted peanut chutney  and raita made of chutney, which is mostly coconut and mint based, common in South India; but never have I thought of using it in a salad.
There are no restrictions on what kind of veggies you would like to use…go ahead and use anything that you like or prefer.

2 cups of finely chopped Purple cabbage
1 cup of finely chopped red pepper
1 cup boiled of sweet potato, cut into pieces(optional)
1 cup boiled sweet corn
4-5 stems boiled asparagus, chopped into big pieces
1/2 fresh mint leaves

for the dressing
4tbs roasted peanuts (with or without skin)
1tbs soy sauce
1tbs tahini
1tbs honey
1tbs sesame oil
1tsp chilli flakes
1tbs red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender into a fine paste. Take all the veggies in a bowl and mix with the prepared dressing. Keep some dressing aside to use while serving. Serve cold or at room temperature, topped with the remaining dressing. Serves 2.

My tastebuds: I liked the crunchiness and the nice saucy mixture to the salad. Although, a rare combination which was never tried or tasted by me.

This is my submission to this week’s Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen and to Heart n Soul, hosted by Girlichef.


Cinnamon Spiced Chickpea & Sweet Potato Salad

Cooking for me has always been rejuvenating and especially when I’m mixing and trying something completely new and different. Kitchen is a space where I get lost into different flavours. I started cooking at an age of 11 and even till today I’ve always enjoyed every bit of it. I’m sure everyone of us have that private space to rejuvenate 🙂
Indian salads are very limited and I guess we  tend to concentrate more on the mains.Chopping of some cucumbers and onions is the last minute thingy, just to include some greens in the diet.
I’ve always enjoyed making salads and that’s why  I try to mix and match different flavours and these healthy experiments are worth a try to include in your daily diet.

2 cups chickpeas, boiled or canned
2 cups  sweet potato, cut into cubes
1 tomato, cut into thin slices
7-8 basil leaves
2tbs olive oil

for dressing
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp wasabi paste
1tsp red wine vinegar
1tbs olive oil
2tbs tahini (home-made)
salt to taste

Grill the tomato pieces in oven, griller or pan. I grilled the tomatoes in a pan with 1tbs of olive oil. Grill on both sides and set aside to cool.
For the sweet potato, place the sweet potato cubes into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for five minutes. Drain and dry well. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the potato cubes and sauté on all sides until golden-brown. Allow it to cool.
Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Mix chickpea, sweet potato and basil  with the prepared dressing. Allow the salad to set for half an hour before serving.
Decorate the salad with grilled tomatoes and serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 2 as a meal.

My Taste buds: My favourite combination of tahini and cinnamon makes it a combo again. Although wasabi seems to be lost in the mingle and you feel that you did taste it. Overall a successful experiment.

This is my submission to My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and The Well-Seasoned Cook, to SOS Challenge – sweet potato, hosted by Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Affairs of Living, to Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen and to Thanksgiving dishes hosted by gluten free easily.Sweet Potato on FoodistaSweet Potato


Japanese Tofu Salad (Shiraae)

There are times when you want to eat lite after all the binging you have been doing on weekends.Here is a one meal with all the nutrients that you would require. Shiraae is an easy to prepare Japanese salad with mashed tofu; seasoned with sesame paste.I have used substitutes to bring the salad as close to the original.

100gms firm tofu
2 cups diced carrots
1/2 cup peas
1 cup boiled spinach, cut 1 inch in size
1 cup chopped mushroom (optional)
1/2 cup dashi (I used dried mushroom available in India)
1tbs mirin (I substituted it with some rice vinegar and white wine)
2tps Soy sauce
1tsp demerara sugar
for seasoning
2tbs roasted white sesame seeds (I used home-made tahini)
1tbs soy sauce
1tsp demerara sugar

Lightly boil the tofu. Allow it to cool and drain the water out. Mash  tofu and let it sit in a strainer for about 15mins; until water is all drained out.
Put dashi,mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a pan and bring it to boil. Add carrots and peas and simmer on medium heat until the carrots are soft.
Grind sesame and add soy sauce and sugar and mix well.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve at room temperature.Serves 4.
(Recipe source: about.com)

This is my submission to this month’s destination Japan, hosted by  My Kitchen, My World, to SOS Challenge – Sesame, hosted by Diet, Dessert & Dogs and Affairs of Living, to My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Dil Se..and The Well-Seasoned Cook, to Souper Sundays, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen and to Tasty Tofu Treats, hosted by Seduce Your Tastebuds.