Quinoa with green gram and cheddar salad

Ever since I learned about the rich benefits of quinoa and green gram, these two are sort of quintessential to me. There is some interesting advantages as well if you have these two already cooked  and kept in the refrigerator. Ideas are awash. It allows you to fix something in a jiffy.  So, based on the availability of the ingredients you could tap in your imagination to come up with some ideas to fill the bowl 🙂

This time though quarter portion of cheddar in the refrigerator was the guest star. I wanted something different. My mind was very much fixated on contrast and cubes of cheddar roughly on the top. As I started to incorporate things, thai chili came in mind to spice it up. Hmmm, the flavor was amazing. I enjoyed a good meal !

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Preparation of quinoa is simple. Soak quinoa for 5-10 minutes. Rinse and drain the water off. Boil one & half cups of water for one cup of quinoa. When it boils, add salt to taste and 1 tsp of oil to it. Add quinoa to it. Cover the lid and cook until it’s tender and sort of fluffy with no hint of water. Any leftover goes in the refrigerator for the later use.

Preparation of green gram is simple as well. You could follow the same method as of quinoa. But it takes bit more time than the quinoa. If you pressure cook it, then takes only less time. Keep your instincts handy here.

1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
1 cup of cooked quinoa
1 cup of cooked green gram
1/4 cup minced carrots
1 English cucumber, diced
1/4 red onions, minced
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
2 Thai chilies, minced
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp horseradish paste
1 tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste

In a big bowl, add all the ingredients except the cheddar. Gently combine well. Refrigerate it. When it’s ready to serve, add the cubed cheddar and enjoy!

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A slice of pizza for everyone!

IMG_5494-02Well, I’ve been baking pizza since quite a long time. But, recently I noticed that even though I click pictures of almost everything I cook and bake, I haven’t had clicked the most recurring item and one of the all time favorites of my kids yet. Each time I wish I had the margin to grab my camera and click few images of pizza I fresh baked at home. But it never happened until now…As it comes out of the oven, the delicious aroma seeping through attracts everyone to create some sort of cute chaos in the kitchen! It’s rather flattering to see their excitement, of course!

I had my share of failures as well. It wasn’t any easy to get a good grip on the intricacies of preparing pizza dough. Progression from hard dough to smooth to touch airy and well textured dough was rather rewarding.

Well, that doesn’t mean I’m a pro or even act like one….am still a curious child. I still peak through the rising dough every now and then. The puffy edges, the bubbling and the crispy random cheese at the sides and the finished look as they appear sort of burnt all over still amazes me…IMG_5494-02Anyways, this time though, folks were pre-occupied and were indulged in their respective activities, and that gave me enough time to do my job! They got the pizza, I got the photos, and my blog got the fodder!IMG_5486-05Well, to begin with, I decided to bake my household favorite – meat lovers pizza. Don’t sweat yet, there aren’t many meats in my pizza. I just wrote the way I say it to my boys. I’ve used only bacon and combination of cheese such as; Mozzarella, Cheddar and Monterey Jack. I’m glad that I can at least skip few of those expensive trips to the pizzerias and mimic the same at my home 🙂

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp dried yeast

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp semolina

Salt to taste

Mix the yeast and sugar in a cup of warm water. The temperature of the water should be neither lukewarm nor very warm. Rather it should stay in between. Leave the mixture aside until it’s frothy and increases the volume. If in case, the rising doesn’t happen, start over the process again using good active yeast.

In a large bowl, combine together the flour and salt. Sprinkle oil over. Add the yeast mixture and start the action. Knead well – extremely well till you get a smooth and nice stretchy dough. Transfer the dough to a large and lightly oiled bowl. Cover it. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The idea is to allow the dough rise and double the size. Once it’s doubled, punch the air out and from this point on, the dough is ready and it’s all yours to roll and rock!