Here is the first of my acid watcher friendly recipes.
Sundal is a super nutritious snack made with boiled chickpeas which we grew up on in my hometown of Chennai. I remember when I was young, we would go to Marina beach and there would be vendors selling “Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal” (coconut, mango , chickpeas) that they would carry in these large stainless steel tins. There was nothing quite like enjoying sundal sitting beachside, smelling the salty air with family and good friends in the good old days of Madras.
You can use any kind of dried beans to make sundal. I used chickpeas and corn in this recipe because it was what I had on hand but just use what you have. You can add things like shredded coconut, mango and so on. All the ingredients listed below are available at any Indian grocery store. I buy a bunch of packets of curry leaves and put them in the freezer. Click here to print recipe
This is a great summer dish when you can get your hands on really great quality tomatoes. My mother in law Atsuko used to make this simple tomato pasta salad really often which was really refreshing and a hit with kids and adults alike.
The better the quality of your tomatoes – the better this dish will taste. You will have to adjust the quantity of tomatoes according to the type you use. I usually use heirlooms or new jersey tomatoes but you can also use super sweet cherry tomatoes, plum or Roma.
You can choose any kind of pasta though I prefer the the shorter tubular ones, farfalle or fusilli. Always use a good quality EVOO – I personally love Brightland.
It’s grilling season and as exciting as all the meats are to cook – for me there’s nothing tastier than throwing a whole lot of farm fresh veggies on the grill. This mix of seasonal greens served as a perfect accompaniment to our bbq pork.
The fresher your vegetables, the less intervention they need. Just a brush of olive oil and some salt and pepper. I served them with a homemade ramp chimichurri but you really don’t need a sauce to go with these.Just putting those grill marks and some char on those veggies takes them to the next level.
I chose a combination of ramps, scallions, asparagus and zucchini- as that was part of my veggie haul from Union Square GreenMarket and The Queens County Farm.
Asparagus is abundant in spring time and here is a yummy way to use it.
I love working with puff pastry because it is so forgiving that you can pretty much put anything on it and it tastes so good. I try and stock up on my puff pastry whenever Trader Joes has it (usually around thanksgiving time). Their puff pastry is affordable and doesn’t have all the extra fillers that some of the more popular brands have. I do love Dufour though – they are really pricey but are the best.
My tart has onions, mushrooms and asparagus. I had some ricotta lying in the fridge and used it as a thin layer on the base but this is really not necessary as the caramelized onions makes for a nice creamy bottom. You can however add any kind of cheese to this tart – goat cheese, Boursin , ricotta etc. if you wish. I will say that it was a bit of a struggle cutting the tart once cooked with the long spears of asparagus – so the next time around I might just chop it down into 1” pieces and sprinkle on top – it just won’t look as pretty!
The warm weather is finally here and I love this shrimp salad recipe which is great for any meal. This is another one of those recipes that you can improvise on with whatever you have in your fridge. You definitely need cucumbers and onions and if you have nothing beyond that it’s perfectly fine. Add anything such as carrots, jicama, radish etc. – anything with a nice crunchy texture. You could also throw in snap peas, asparagus etc. though you would have to par boil and chop them.
I used my mandolin to slice the cucumbers and onions nice and thin but you could also just cut them into thin matchsticks.
An added flavor bonus is if you have Ikari Oil Free Perilla Dressing or any kind of Perilla (shiso) dressing – add a little bit to this salad – it really enhances the taste.
I like to serve this salad on a nice slice of bread on top of a layer of sliced avocado. You could even serve with crispy lettuce if you want to skip the bread.
I love Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook called Plenty. He celebrates the vibrancy of vegetables in multiple ways in his recipes.
This is a wonderful eggplant dip recipe – basically a baba ganoush that is really easy to make. It can be served with anything from raw vegetables to pita chips. I bake the eggplants in my oven at 350 F for about 1/2 an hour until its softened and then peel the skin and set aside. It’s just too messy doing it stove top but that does give you the best flavor. I also cant always get my hands on fresh pomegranate but that makes such a difference to this dish. Roasted pine nuts serve as a fine substitute.
Here is a gorgeous twist on a traditional raita. I had made a spicy rice and needed something to go with it. I found some pureed beets in my fridge and decided to experiment with them. The results were really delicious! Beets take quite a long time to cook – make sure when you are boiling them that they are cooked through. The next time around I might just boil and grate them versus pureeing for more texture.
I added ingredients I had lying around ( I have a lot of kale thanks to my farmer freind Peter) but you can substitute it with spinach or any leafy green. I also decided to top it with some lightly toasted nuts and hemp seeds last minute and it made such a difference to the taste. Use any nuts you have – if they are larger nuts like almond or walnuts – chop them down.
This is a wonderful one pot dish. It can be a meal in itself served with a green salad or a great side to complement other dishes. I used crimini mushrooms but you can use any of your favorites and can even combine a few varieties. Shiitake tends to cook down a lot so if you are using them just increase the quantity. The recipe calls for broth – either veg or chicken, which gives it more depth but you can always use water too. I had some chives on hand to garnish with but you can add herbs such as parsley, cilantro or scallions instead. I love eating this rice with some fried onions and chili flakes.