Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Avocado Beans Salad in Lettuce Cups

With the heat wave that most part of the country has been experiencing, slaving over a hot stove is not something anyone would enjoy. That's when I resort to a light, summer meal which requires little or no cooking and this recipe here is a perfect fit. Light, yet filling and so very refreshing... A friend of mine made this during a get-together and it is something I enjoyed so decided to recreate it at home.

Any kind of beans will work but I used a can of black beans I had at home. Sweet kernels of corn would be a great addition to this but I didn't have any when I made this. Play around with the ingredients to suit your taste buds... you can even add some mint chutney to the avocado bean salad for a variation... the options are endless.


AVOCADO BEAN SALAD in LETTUCE CUPS




Ingredients:


Avocados - 2, ripe, scoop the inside flesh after cutting into two
Black beans - 1 can, drained and rinsed with water
Red Bell Pepper - half, chopped finely
Red Onion - half of a medium one, peeled and chopped finely
Corn Kernels - from one cob (that has been cooked till soft with a bit of salt)

Tomato - 1 small, chopped finely
Spring Onion - 1, chopped
Green chillies - 2, minced (optional, esp. when serving to children)
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon Juice - from one half of a lemon
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, chopped

To Serve:

Iceberg Lettuce - separated to form the cups (just before serving- keep chilled)
Sour Cream

Method:

1) In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Refrigerate this for 30 mins to an hour to allow the flavours to marry.



2) When ready to serve, arrange lettuce cups, put abt 2 spoons of the avocado bean salad and top with a dollop of sour cream. Roll up and eat!



We enjoyed that with a cool Mango Panna cotta for dessert.




Here are some more recipes that require no cooking:




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thai Sticky Rice with Mango Ver 2.0

I know I've posted this yummy dessert earlier but this is a more authentic version and I've used actual sticky rice here as opposed to the regular rice I used earlier and followed a slightly different method. Now that I know how to get good mangoes here in the US, I've made this dessert several times this summer and were able to enjoy this creamy, luscious vegan dessert.

The recipe is adapted from the thaifood website but with some modifications made by me.


STICKY RICE WITH MANGOES


Ingredients:
Sweet Rice/Sticky Rice - 1 cup

Mangoes - 2, ripe, peeled and cut (ensure they are wrinkled and very soft)
Brown Sugar - 1/3 cup
Coconut milk - 1 can (make sure it's good quality e.g Chao Koh)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cornstarch - 2 tsp dissolved in some cold water


Method:


1) Soak the rice for about 30 mins to an hour. Drain and steam cook this rice for about 15-20 minutes on a medium flame or till translucent and cooked through. Transfer rice to a bowl with a tight lid and keep covered.


2) Meanwhile, combine coconut milk, sugar, salt on a medium flame until all the sugar dissolves and the mixture is scalding (not boiling but almost there).


3) Reserve about 1/3 of this sauce and pour the remaining into the bowl with rice. Stir to combine, cover and keep aside for about 30 minutes for it to absorb the flavours (no need to refrigerate).


4) To the remaining sauce, add the dissolved cornstarch and boil on low heat to thicken slightly.


5) When ready to serve, place a scoop of rice, with the mango slices and drizzle some of the coconut sauce on top. You can also sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds for garnish.




Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mango Cream Pie



It's good to be back after a break and I hope you all are having a fun and enjoyable summer.


We've been busy with the move the past several weeks and that would explain why I was missing from the blogosphere. To add on, I've been having carpal tunnel like symptoms so have been trying to stay away from the computer as much as I can. I have been cooking quite a bit though and this recipe is a perfect treat for summers... light, airy, sweet, fruity & cool. It's also eggless and this is a dessert I made to share with my neighbours who loved it.


I used mangoes here since I had a big crate of them (yes, I've finally figured out the kind of mangoes one should buy - the yellow ones that are marked "ataulfo" and you know they are ripe when the skin is not smooth but wrinkled and are very soft to the touch). You could use other fruits such as strawberries too to make this pie.


MANGO CREAM PIE:


Ingredients:
Low fat Cream Cheese (Neufachtel) - 8 oz (1 pack)
Confectioners Sugar (powdered) - 3/4 cup
Cool whip tub - 1 8oz (or freshly whipped cream about 2 to 3 cups)
Mangoes - 2 to 3 ripe ones, peeled & sliced thinly
Pie Crust/Graham Cracker crust - 1 nine inch (I used storebought but you could make it at home just as easily).

Method:
1) Beat softened cream cheese and confectioners sugar for a few mins.
2) Preheate oven to 400F and bake the pie crust (as per directions since it depends on the crust). For the store bought one that I used, i pricked it with a fork and baked for 10 mins until golden. Allow to cool completely.
3) First put half of the cream cheese mixture.
4) Next layer the mango slices, then top with half of the whipped topping.
5) Now add another layer of mangoes, then remaining half of the cream cheese mixture.. it will be difficult to spread on the cool whip portion so drop it in different places and swirl it in as uniformly as possible.
6) Add the next layer of mango slices. Finally top with the remaining cool whip and if there are a few fruit slices left, decorate the top... I didn't - hence the lone mint leaf :)


7) Chill this for atleast 4 hours and then slice and dig in for a light, cool, summer dessert that is eggless too.