17 February 2008

Soup, salad and some indulgence

Weekday lunches, are something the other half and I look forward to. On weekdays, lunch is the most relaxed and 'No-don't'-free meal. By the time the OH comes home for lunch, the littlest one is fed and watered, and not very likely to be noisy. If we're very lucky, she might even be asleep, and we might even have a 'real' conversation.

Lunch is one meal where I can try something different, and not worry about whether it would suit little palates. Lunch is when I can really experiment. And try to make something elaborate or fancy. Or in other words, food that makes the other-half take skeptical or even outright suspicious looks or sniffs.

And since I'm focusing on eating healthy, I thought of making a soup and salad lunch.

I'd bookmarked this recipe from the FatFree Vegan Kitchen. As usual, I didn't have half the ingredients in hand, didn't have the enthusiasm to trudge through gale and snow to a store, and decided to make do with what I had. I garnished this soup with fresh roasted and crushed coriander seeds. That acted as a thickener, and gave the soup a lovely spicy boost.

Lentil and Vegetable soup
serves 2

1/4 cup lentils (whole masur dal)
1 carrot (peeled and sliced thick)
1 medium potato (peeled and cubed)
1/4 cup cauliflower florets
1 large onion (sliced fine)
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 large tomato (chopped fine)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
salt to taste

Wash lentils, and soak for 30 minutes.
In a pressure cooker, cook lentils. carrots, onions, potato, cauliflower, salt, turmeric and pepper with 4 cups water, for about 7 minutes.
Roast coriander seeds till fragrant, and crush to a coarse powder.
Add chopped tomato to the lentil mix, and simmer for for 10 minutes or till the tomato is cooked through.
Season with coriander powder and adjust salt if needed.
Serve hot.

After the soup was done, I wanted to try something new. I thought I'd try my hand at a terrine. The rice was rather dry. Next time I would like to toss some cottage cheese with the rice, and see if that would make it less dry.

Potato and Rice Terrine
serves 2

1 large Potato (Peeled and sliced)
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup vegetable stock

Heat oven to 180ºC.
Line 2 ramekins with Baking parchment.
Warm vegetable stock (about 40ºC)
Soak potato slices in vegetable stock for 15-20 minutes.
Remove slices from stock. Reserve stock.
Arrange a few slices of potato in the bottom of each ramekin. (reserve 2 large potato slices for later use)
Fill each ramekin with cooked rice.
Cover ramekins with baking parchment, and bake for about 20 minutes.
Drizzle reserved stock over the rice in both ramekins.
Cover with reserved potato slice.
Cover ramekins again with baking parchment, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Invert over a plate and serve hot.

And now that our lunch was so wonderfully healthy, I just had to add some indulgence.

No-fuss Mango Dessert
serves 2

1 cup + 2 tbsp mango pulp
1/2 cup low fat Mascarpone cheese
Sugar to taste (optional)

Whisk Mascarpone, 1 cup mango pulp and sugar (if using) till smooth and the mixture starts to thicken.
Divide equally into dessert bowls.
Top with reserved mango pulp.
Chill for an hour.
Serve cold.


Madhumita. said...

And you're back - with a bang! Rocking recipe for mango dessert - what a brilliant idea to use mascarpone instead of boring cream. Ok, I simply must eat this like maybe tonight :D

TBC said...

I love mascarpone cheese...makes everything taste so much better!

Alpa said...

lovely soup, terrine and dessert! wow, how long does it take to make all these wonderful things for lunch?

Suganya said...

Potato terrine sounds easy and fun. You can send yr tater creations to Potato Feast and Ode to Potato - 2 potato events in the blogosphere.

Vidya said...

@Madhumita: Thanks, Madhu,. See, I kept up my promise to get off my rear end and blog more frequently

@TBC: I find that Mascarpone goes well with quite a lot of fruit and is an easy way to whip up a quick dessert

@alpa: would you believe me if I said it took about 2 hours, or even lesser??

@Suganya: Thanks for the heads up. I'll do just that!

vimmi said...

Wow the potato dish looks yummy. And why not indulge once in a while.

Cynthia said...

So can I invite myself to lunch? :)