Tag Archives: food

Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pest-png

With just a food processor, a few common ingredients, and a few minutes, you can make this fabulous Arugula Pesto!

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup walnut halves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 peeled garlic cloves
1 -2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 small organic lemon (optional)
2 cups tightly packed baby arugula (5 ounces)
1/2 – 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS Place all ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until finely chopped.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

A FEW OF THE MANY WAYS YOU CAN USE THIS PESTO…

  • SALAD DRESSING – Bitter arugula pairs well with sweet balsamic vinegar and buttery extra virgin olive oil to make a great salad dressing!

Arugula Pesto Salad Dressing-png

  • STUFFED MUSHROOMS 
Mushroom Caps stuffed with Arugula Pesto mixed with extra Parmesan Cheese and garnished with Parmesan Cheese
Mushroom Caps stuffed with Arugula Pesto mixed with extra Parmesan Cheese and garnished with Parmesan Cheese
  • APPETIZER SALAD – Just spoon Arugula Pesto over sliced tomatoes and avocados! Who knew healthy food could be this amazingly delicious!

Arugula Pesto w Avocado Tom-png

  • DIP –  I like to make an extra lemony version of this pesto and serve it with sliced daikon or fennel.  To make this pesto extra lemony, just add more lemon zest/peel and lemon juice and omit the Parmesan cheese. If you wish, stir in some chopped pistachios for a nice extra flavor layer and crunch.
arugula lemon pesto with sliced daikon
arugula lemon pesto with sliced daikon
  • SOUP – To 1 cup of a chicken, beef, or vegetable broth/stock, add 1/4 cup Arugula Pesto. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, if desired. Note: The soup will have tiny walnut pieces in it, and that’s a bit unusual for a soup, though quite nice, at least to my taste.  If you prefer, you can omit the walnuts in the pesto.

Arugula Pesto w Broth PNG

Cilantro Chutney (cilantro pesto)

Cilantro Chutne-png

Some yeas ago, Edward Hamann, a culinary expert on food from the Asian subcontinent and a wonderful cooking instructor who is now at Sur La Table, taught a small group of us how to make his fabulous Fresh Cilantro Chutney (Dhaniya ki Chatni ).  I started with his amazing recipe, added turmeric, black pepper, and made a few other minor changes, and that’s how this Cilantro Chutney recipe came to be.

This delicious sauce transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary – and it’s easy to make. We love it! For a while this sauce was the new “ketchup” at our house. I served it with everything from scrambled eggs to pan fried fish, and, of course, curries. In fact, it was this Cilantro Chutney that made me want to learn more about herb sauces and led me to create the other herb/vegetable sauces on this blog: Charmoula, Arugula Pesto, and Artichoke Lemon Pesto.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¾ cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves peeled garlic
2 Serrano peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped, including some of the seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ – ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
3 bunches (about 7/8 pound) fresh cilantro, including all but the very ends of the stems

Note: I like to add dry ground or finely chopped fresh turmeric (and freshly ground black pepper) wherever I can get away with it. It’s so healthy! Adding 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric to this recipe does not negatively affect the taste, in fact you hardly even notice the turmeric, so why not add it?!

DIRECTIONS

Food processor

Add all the ingredients to the food processor fitted with the metal blade and process to desired consistency.

Blender

Place the ingredients into a blender – in the order given above — but do not put all of the cilantro into the blender at one time. Blend and then add more cilantro and blend again. If needed, stop the blender; push the cilantro down toward the blade; then place the cover on the blender and blend until a lovely smooth sauce results.

HOW TO STORE

  • Store in the refrigerator for a few days
  • Freeze in 100% food grade silicone muffin pans. When frozen, just pop the frozen “muffins” out, and place them in a plastic freezer bag; store in the  freezer for use anytime.

A FEW OF THE MANY WAYS YOU CAN USE THIS CHUTNEY (SAUCE)… 

  • Use as a condiment to liven up almost everything, including fish, chicken, eggs, or tofu.
  • Use as a hot or cold sauce to go with almost everything.
  • Mix with ripe avocado to make a lovely dip or spread. I just put some of this Cilantro Sauce-avocado mixture on slices of daikon and it was fabulous. The next time I need to bring an appetizer to someone’s party, this is what I plan to bring – it’s delicious and a great conversation starter too!
  • Sauté any vegetable in olive oil and mix some of this sauce in at the end.
  • By the way, I just mixed some of this sauce with some sautéed greens. Superb!
  • Add to soups — bean soups, chicken soups, vegetable soups, fish soups.
  • Add olive oil to make this sauce into a salad dressing!

GET CREATIVE AND INVENT YOUR OWN FRESH HERB CHUTNEY, SAUCE, or PESTO!

How to create fabulous fresh herb sauces or pestos

Enjoy and be healthy!
~Leni

Quick and Delicious Dal

Tandoor Chef’s Dal Rajasthani

I had company coming for dinner the other night, but had no time to cook the chana dal recipe that I had planned to make. So I simply combined a few packages of Tandoori Chef’s Dal Rajasthani with some plain cooked chana dal. Delicious!

Plain Cooked Chana Dal

At the table, each person topped his or her dal with chopped fresh onion, chopped fresh tomato, and chopped fresh cilantro. We also passed the Cilantro  Chutney for those who wanted a bit more spiciness.

Tandoor Chef’s Channa Dal (available at Whole
Foods and some supermarkets in the frozen food section)

Ingredient list:
water, split lentils (moong, toor, channa, urad & masoor dals), onions, diced tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, citric acid, calcium chloride), canola oil, spices, tomato pasts (tomato past, water, salt, citric acid), garlic, sea salt, turmeric, curry leaves, fenugreek leaves, oleoresin of paprika, bay leaves.

Nutrition information, per 5 ounce serving:
6 grams fat
0 grams saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
470 mg sodium
14 g carbohydrate
5 g protein

And…after you mix the Tandoor Chef dal with your plain cooked chana dal, you end up with a delicious dal that’s lower in fat and sodium and has a lower glycemic index than Tandoor Chef’s Rajasthani Dal. So easy! So delicious! And so nutritious!

Enjoy and be healthy!
~Leni