Chickpea and foxtail millet salad

foxtail millet salad

Most people want the food they cooked to be polished off that very meal. But I love it when that doesn’t happen so I have leftovers to work with. Like when I made the chicken and chickpea stew with foxtail millet. The leftovers – chickpeas and foxtail millet – were turned into a bowl of salad for dinner the next night. I also threw in some cherry tomatoes, basil, coriander and even shredded coconut. With a quick dressing with balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon and mustard, dinner was ready in minutes.

Yield:

1 bowl of salad

Time:

10 mins at leisure

Ingredients:

Cooked chickpeas – 1 cup

Cooked foxtail millet – 1/2 cup

Shredded coconut – 1/4 cup

Basil, coriander leaves – handful chopped

Cherry tomatoes – 4-5 halved

Cucumber – 1/2 cup chopped

Dressing:

Balsamic vinegar – 2 tbsp

Honey – 1 tsp

Lemon juice – 1/2 lemon

Mustard paste/sauce – 1 tsp

Method:

Whisk all the ingredients of the dressing and keep aside.

Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour dressing over it.

Note:

Tweak this any way you want. The idea is to use up leftovers along with any scraps from the fridge to make a meal. You could replace the millet with brown rice or any other cooked grains. Or even omit it. You can also add cooked chicken to this salad, and more greens if you have.

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Lazy chicken curry with ginger, garlic and coconut milk

easy chicken curry

It’s that time of the month when the bank account runs dry and so does enthusiasm. Maybe they’re connected in some way. This is when I forage my fridge for leftovers and other ingredients to cook a decent meal. This time around I had ginger, garlic, green chillies coconut milk, tomatoes and apples. I kept the tomatoes and apples aside and went on to make some chicken curry with the rest. I got boneless chicken for this, of course.

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This curry has basic ingredients but tasted pretty good. It works well if you’re in a hurry or if you’re new to cooking. Especially with chicken. Feel free to tweak it by adding other spices like cumin, pepper, etc.

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken – 500 gm cut into pieces

Onion – 1 chopped

Ginger – 1 inch piece or more

Garlic – 5 cloves

Green chilli – 2-3

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Coriander leaves for garnish

Salt to taste

Oil to cook

Method:

Saute onion in some oil till translucent.

In the meanwhile blitz together the ginger, garlic and green chillies till they form a coarse paste.

Add the ginger, garlic and chilli mixture to the onions.

Saute for another 3 mins.

Tip the chicken pieces in and stir them around.

Add the rest of the ingredients with a splash of water.

Cover and cook on low flame for 15 mins or till done. Cooking time depends on the size of the chicken pieces. If they’re small let it cook for 10 mins. Always check by cutting open the biggest piece.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with rice or roti.

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Breakfast pita pockets with Peri Peri hummus and eggs

breakfast pita pockets

These are the result of leftover hummus from the previous day. There was pita bread and eggs as well. So breakfast seemed like the ideal makeover for these leftovers. Hummus has become so popular today that most restaurants are serving it with chicken, veggies and more. I made a hummus a couple of ways – beetroot and Peri Peri. Peri Peri is easy. Just swirl regular hummus with some of the sauce and you have Peri Peri hummus. It’s easily spreadable inside pita and with some eggs, it makes for a great breakfast!

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Chilli honey noodles – with leftover noodles

Chilli honey noodles recipe

chilli honey noodles

Yesterday’s lunch was noodles with green curry and it was fabulous, if I say so myself. But as always I had some leftover cooked noodles that I wanted to use for dinner so it doesn’t go to sleep overnight in the fridge. I quickly made a chilli honey paste and stir fried the noodles in it with some sesame oil. You could add leftover chicken and veggies to make an even bigger and heartier meal out of it. This chilli honey paste though is the best. It’s sure to work great with all kinds of stir frys as well.

Yield: These were from leftover noodles and I could make one portion

Ingredients:

Cooked noodles – One portion/serving

Chilli honey paste – 2 tsp

Sesame oil – 2 tsp

Regular oil – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Veggies and egg – Optional

Method:

Heat the oils and cook out the paste in them for about 2-3 mins.

Toss the noodles in and stir around till all of them have a been painted with the chilli paste. You won’t miss it since it takes on a lovely colour.

At this point you can add veggies and cooked chicken if you’d like. I just added a finely sliced capsicum for crunch.

I also added a fried egg on top while serving because it goes so well with the spicy noodles.

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Amaranth and basil pesto with cashew nuts

For twenty rupees I got myself a relatively big bunch of amaranth leaves. No, inspiration didn’t hit me like a wave or anything to make pesto out of it. It was only because I didn’t know what else to do with leftover leaves after making upkari out of most of them. This amaranth and basil pesto though turned out to be pretty damn good – texture and taste wise. I didn’t add any cheese though, because I didn’t have any.

Ingredients:

Amaranth leaves – 2 cups chopped

Basil leaves – 1 cup

Cashew nuts – handful

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Salt to taste

Method:

Blitz all ingredients in a blender till smooth or rough paste.

amaranth basil pesto

Toss pasta in it or even as a sandwich spread.

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Chicken stew with ginger – with leftovers

chicken stew
Recipe for chicken stew with ginger
I’m leaving for Bangalore in two days and it was time to empty out the perishables in the fridge. That included – marinated chicken, open pack of coconut milk, ginger and coriander leaves. I didn’t have enough ingredients for a curry, but I sure have enough for a stew.  This one turned out pretty good. Fragrant with ginger and turmeric and fresh with the coriander, this took me 10 mins to whip up at the end of the day for dinner.

chicken stew

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken – 1 breast cut into cubes

Coconut milk – 100 ml (I had half an open pack)

Turmeric powder – Almost 1 tsp

Ginger – 2 inch piece sliced

Paprika/chilli powder, salt, ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp each to marinate the chicken in

Coriander leaves – handful chopped

Olive oil – 1 tbsp

Optional – chopped vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and the likes

Method:

Heat the oil in a pan and saute chicken in it for 3-4 minutes.

Add ginger and a splash of water (about half a glass) and let the chicken cook for another 3 minutes on low flame.

Add coconut milk, turmeric, any vegetables you have and salt.

Cook for another 2 minutes or till the chicken is done and tender. It shouldn’t take long since the pieces are small.

Take off heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

Note: You can add cumin seeds or any other spices you’d like while the chicken cooks.

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Breakfast sandwich with leftover salad

Recipe for breakfast sandwich

breakfast sandwich

I overeat. And that’s because I overcook. There are always leftovers, which gives me the chance to use them wisely and make something new for the next day. Like the post before this one, where I made a salad. A large one. Leftovers went into and omlette which in turn went into a sandwich. You could do it with leftovers from any salad, chicken dish or even with leftover sabzi.  Just don’t add any gravy in your eggs! You could, but I’m not responsible for the consequences!

breakfast sandwich

Beat 2 – 3 eggs till nice and fluffy. Add the salad (without the dressing, of course) leftovers and mix.

In a greased and hot pan, pour the eggs over and let it cook.

Sprinkle – salt, pepper, seasonings, dried herbs if you’d like.

Flip if you want your omlette completely cooked on both sides, or fold and take it off the heat if you like it slightly under.

Take a slice of bread and use either cheese spread or butter. Place half the omlette over it.

Place a slice of cheese on the omlette. I used mozzarella. You could use any other.

Top this with fresh greens like rocket, basil, spring onions or any other kinds.

Place another slice of bread over this and use a sandwich grill or just brown both sides on a nonstick pan with some butter. I used a waffle maker though. The sandwich turned out nice and crisp.

Nothing like a filling breakfast to kickstart the day. And what better way to use leftovers!

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Chickpeas and couscous salad

I absolutely love working with leftovers and giving them a makeover. I never throw away any leftovers from previous night’s dinner, lunch or any meal. It’s easy to work with them because they’re already cooked – all you need to do is assemble them well. This time I had couscous, chickpeas, flatmate’s tandoori chicken, grilled fish.

All I did was add olives, raw mango bits and mix it all up. Then I popped it into the microwave and then just drizzled lemon juice on top of it. There you go! Easy peasy salad that filled me right up. It was also a great pre workout meal.

chickpeas salad
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Fried rice with chicken, raw mango and basil

fried rice

I’ve decided to call myself “The Queen of Leftovers”. The pan grilled chicken from last Sunday, went into a Chicken fried rice with raw mango and basil on Monday. It tasted better than the grilled chicken dish itself. The best part about leftovers is that you can turn into a great rice dish or an omlette, or maybe something more.

Ingredients:
Leftover chicken – Shredded
Cooked rice – 2 cups
Raw mango – 1/2 mango grated
Onions – 1 medium, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
Fish sauce – 2 tbsp
Oyster sauce – 1 tbsp

Method:
1. Heat oil, tip in the onions and ginger garlic paste, and let them change colour.
2. Add the chicken, raw mango and basil leaves and saute for a minute or two.
3. Add cooked rice and mix well.
4. Add fish sauce, oyster sauce and mix well.
5. Take off heat and serve.

The fish sauce and oyster sauce are optional. You could go with soy or any other sauce as well. If you have other vegetables like beans, carrots, peppers, mushrooms – toss them in too.

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