Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lettuce Wraps with Peppers spicy and everyones favorite at home

Lettuce Wraps with Peppers 

One you make a choice to eat healthy and make it a life style change it's hard to eat food that's mono colored. Healthy eating to me means having fresh, organic as much as possible, and multitude of colors on your plate and preferably in their original recognizable shape . I cringe when I have to make meals with just one ingredient. Prefer to include greens, some healthy portion of nuts, spices and tons of vegetables.

Lettuce wraps are a favorite at home. Had it first time at P.F. Chang's and since then keep going back just for wraps. Inspired by P.F. Chang's  here is my version. P.S I am really particular about cutting vegetables to a specific and uniform size ALWAYS, I am obsessed that way :). Feel free to cut the veggies to suit your taste.

2 medium sized Yellow, Red, Orange peppers each chopped extremely fine
1/2 cup of Chestnuts, skip if you cannot find it
1/2 cup walnuts
2 shallots substitute with medium sized red onion
1 Jalapeño
1/4 cup mixed greens corriander & mint 
fresh butter lettuce 

For Dressing
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup chili sauce
3 tbsp of garlic olive oil/ use olive oil if you can't find flavored oil
2 tbsp of spicy mustard
1 tsp of brown sugar/sugar
salt according to taste
fresh pepper
chili pepper flakes according to taste

1. Seperate lettuce leaves and wash and allow to dry
2. Cut all the vegetables finely including chestnuts
3. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add the diced vegetables, including chestnuts, salt and pepper and sauté  for a minute or two till they get caramelized. Keep aside to cool

4. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing

5. Layer lettuce leaves and scoop a big portion of vegetables and pour over the dressing
6. Sprinkle with lemon juice and chopped walnuts and serve
It's like a party in your mouth, such layers of flavors from spicy, sweet and sour. Nuts give an additional texture to wraps. Make it a weeknight dinner and allow for kids to serve the way the like. Makes for a fun dinner/ snack.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sweet Cherry Tomato, Watercress & Shallots Salad - Ode To Summer

Sweet Cherry Tomato, Watercress & Shallots Salad - Ode To Summer

Summer is gone, I can feel the change of season. The chill in the air, falling of leaves, shorter days are all tell tell sign of the change. This Summer was relaxing, fun, and most importantly spent time with my parents. There is no better feeling in the world then being a child again.  Spent my Summer with kids in India, kids visited both maternal and paternal grandparents, spent time with their cousins, we did some travel, I did a whole lot shopping and we ate to heart contents. Loved every minute of vacation and now its back to the grind, As much as I crib about the "grind" there is something very good about the predictability of the day, the daily discipline and the oh so hectic weekends. Life in the grind is not so bad after all.
Summer and Tomatoes are synonymous in my mind, as the season progresses the quality of the fruit gets better. Was given a bowl of these cherry tomatoes and sweet were they. It would be a crime to make anything of them except a simple salad, so simple salad it is ..

1 cup of ripe cherry tomatoes
1 shallot diced finely
1/4 cup of Watercress

2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp of fine olive oil
2 tbsp of vinegar - I used honey vinegar which is epic
pinch of sea salt
fresh pepper according to taste
1.Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and keep aside
2. Clean and cut tomatoes in half
3. Toss shallots and vinegar and pour over tomatoes and mix well
4. Now mix in the watercress and give it one gentle toss.
Serve cold or at room temperature
A rustic bread with tomato salad seems like a company made in heaven.
so here's to a summer gone by, thankful for all the memories and happy times. Time to soak in  my favorite season Fall.

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