Room to Move- Kheema Samosas
Apricot Chutney

A Feisty Salad for Paper Chef #14


When on a diet one thinks of food more often than usual. This is not helpful. It makes one tend to snack ,as if a little bit of this or that or the other is not going to count. But as any idiot knows ofcourse it does count. I think dieting reduces one to idiocy. Maybe its the lack of glucose feeding the brain.

So I don't diet. I just cut back...just for now.

The need is to see that every little bit counts for something in vitamin and protein and such terms.No useless food can be ingested. I never go as far as counting calories because its too much of a bother. I figure if the amount is half I'm going to get to half my size as well.Oats replaces bread for breakfast, a salad replaces more than half any carbohydrate and my protein is in the form of lentils, yogurt and fish. Butter is out, oil is 1 teaspoon ( and the type of oil is changed frequently for flavour...sesame, mustard, olive or peanut oil)
As the carbohydrate is the one thing I need to substitute, my repertoire of salads is run through in no time and I'm always looking out for alternatives. So the list of ingredients announced by Owen of  Tomatilla's  Paper Chef # 14 (and by the judges at Belly Timber ) spelt salad to me.Yogurt, Quinoa, Cashews and 'Baby anything" ( to celebrate the "infant year")

Quinoa Salad


  • 3 tbs quinoa
  • 1 cup beans, cut into 1/2" pieces and boiled.

  • 1/2 cup baby corn, boiled and cut into 1/2 " pieces.

  • 1/2 cup spring onions chopped fine.
    • 18 cashewnuts roughly chopped.
    • 1 apple , peeled and chopped, .Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over pieces to prevent discolouration.

    • 3 deseeded brown dates sliced fine

    • 1 tbs of raisins
    • Dressing

    • 1 1/2 cup yogurt, thickened .

    • 2 cloves of garlic chopped fine.

    • Salt and Pepper to taste

    Wash quinoa well and soak in water for a day. Drain and let it stand in a covered strainer for a night. Wash well again and cook in double the quantity of water till all the water has been absorbed.( This is not absolutely necessary. I was actually trying to sprout it and then lost my patience. Also I wasn't sure whether this was the way it would sprout!)

    Hang 1 1/2 cups of yogurt for a couple of hours till most of the water has drained out and it has become thick. Makes about 1 1/2 tbs.Add salt, a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and the chopped garlic to the yogurt.

    Boil baby corn and beans. Combine the quinoa with the beans, corn, apple, spring onions, dates and mix well.Add yogurt dressing just before serving.Sprinkle the raisins on top.

    I love quinoa . It is so nutty and gives you something to bite on. Not a slop food. With all its goodness I think of this tiny innocuous "grain" as being a feisty ingredient that raises the quality of almost anything it is added to.

    PS: Uma brought me the quinoa,which is otherwise unavailable in India-she is the selfsame person who brought me an oven thermometer, bless her.)

    PPS: The line up is posted and there are some GOOD recipes up there->