Lemon Cucumber Salad and Summer 2015 Harvest

Have you ever seen or tasted lemon cucumber? This is sure my first time ever…we picked a small plant when we decided to put a small vegetable garden on the rooftop. Since we have never tasted or seen lemon cucumber, we decided to give this plant a try…so after a few weeks we harvested our first crop and made salad with it…so interesting!

The lemon cucumber as the name says it…resembles lemon due to the round shape and yellow color. Lemon cucumbers are sweeter than the regular cucumbers. The skin is a bit hard, therefore it is better peeled.

No recipe…I simply tossed the peeled cut up lemon cucumbers with tomatoes, fresh chopped cilantro, fresh squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper…so refreshing!

Anyway, before I go I would like to share some of my summer harvest before the summer is over…All these vegetables were ”collected” from our rooftop garden.  The vegetables were planted in individual pots and it was very fun seeing them grow from a small plant to fully grown plants loaded with flowers and then seeing the flowers turn into fruits/vegetables…even more exciting when we got to serve the same fruits/vegetables on our dinner table.

Now…take a look of some of my harvest…

I hope this post entice you to try planting some edible vegetables…it is sure a lot of fun!

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Rainbow Carrot Slaw Salad

This is a simple recipe for a very colorful salad using mainly carrots. This salad has great textures, especially when topped with chopped nuts.

This is such a simple, fun and easy recipe for put together…the colors of the rainbow carrots are so “sunny”, and it will make any dinner table look very pretty and “happy”. The flavors of this carrot slaw burst with the tanginess of apple vinegar and the sweetness of the honey. There are many textures, from slightly chewy, crisp to crunch…as you can see and imagine…this rainbow carrot slaw is packed with a lot of pleasant qualities for the taste buds…I sure hope you get to try it…

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1 lb of carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons apple vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Roasted nuts of your preference (almond, walnut or pecan) or mixed nuts

Method:

Combine apple vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. In a large bowl mix the carrots, parsley and cranberries, toss the dressing on it and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if necessary.

Toss in the nuts just before serving.

If you enjoyed this simple carrot slaw recipe…you might want to check on another very simple recipes…Fennel Salad.

 

Did you know that bright orange color of carrots is from beta-carotene? Beta-carotene is then metabolized to vitamin A. Carrots are a great source of a variety of antioxidants, therefore eating carrots might benefit your cardiovascular system as well as anti-cancer benefits.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

 




Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Chia Sprouts

Now that yo have chia seed sprouts what you should do with it? Just toss it in your salad, in between your sandwich or just as a garnishment. I enjoy it in my cucumber and tomato salad.

Oh! Before I forget…I hope all the mom’s out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

 

In this cucumber and tomato salad, I just added fresh squeezed lime juice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper…nothing else…it is simple and so tasty…

 

 

I hope you enjoy this simple salad recipe and this post get you going on sprouting chia seeds

 

Did you know that chia seed gel can be used in food formulation as thickening and emulsifying agent as well as stabilizer in frozen food?

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Stir Fry Wheatberries

This is a simple recipe for an Asian inspired stir-fry wheatberries with eggs and Chinese sausage. Just by substituting rice for wheatberries you will have a healthy version of fried rice.

This is a very simple and fast recipe considering that you have cooked wheatberries. The recipe is similar to the Egg Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage…and it is great as a main dish since it contains veggies and protein.

Wheatberries are wheat, I mean the whole wheat kernel except the hull. I personally like to wash and soak the wheatberries before cooking, usually overnight. Wheatberries are chewy and packed with nutrients and dietary fiber, therefore much healthier than plain rice. So if you like wheatberry it is good to cook a big batch and use throughout the week in salad, soup or stir-fry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 3 Chinese sausages sliced
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables, boiled and drained
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oil, preferably vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Wash and soak the wheatberries overnight.

Place the wheatberries into a medium pan and add 3 to 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the pan. Simmer for approximately 30 to 35 minutes and check the texture of the grains. If the grains still hard cook until they reach a chewy texture.

Once the wheatberries reach the desire consistency, drain the berries and transfer to a bowl. At this point you can use the wheatberries by following the recipe or store in the refrigerator for later use.

In a wok heat the ½ tablespoon of oil and add both onions, until slightly brown. Add the sliced sausage and sauté for a couple of minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside.

In the same wok add remaining oil, and the cooked wheatberries under medium heat. Stir fry until the wheatberries are hot. Pour in the beaten egg and gently stir until all the wheat grains are covered with a thin layer of egg.

Add back the sausage mixture and the vegetables. Stir until the wheatberry mixture is well combined with the sausage and vegetables. Add Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot.

I hope you enjoy this simple and easy recipe using wheatberries. You might want to check here for more Asian Inspired Recipes.

 

Did you know that most of the vitamins from the wheatberries are derived from the bran? Wheatberries are a good source of magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin E.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Zucchini Noodles

This is an Asian inspired recipe for zucchini noddles by simply tossing the noddles with the already made ginger onion sauce. Great as a side dish.

This is a simple and healthy way to serve zucchini…and really taste delicious! Just add the Ginger Green Onion Sauce that I posted a while, which you can find the recipe here and it is ready…Again, this is so easy and simple that I am embarrassed to post it, but hey…I am doing it anyway!

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini (as many as you want)
  • Ginger green onion sauce to taste

Method:

In a medium pot place water and a pinch of salt and bring to boil.

Wash and trim both end of the zucchini. Using a mandolin slice zucchini lengthwise into long, and thin strands.

Separate the zucchini noodles. Add to the boiling water and cook the zucchini for about 1 minute.

Quickly transfer the zucchini strands to a colander. Place the zucchini noodles into a dish and add the ginger green onion sauce. Mix gently and serve hot or warm.

Enjoy using zucchini as noodle? Please check on this recipe, low carb Zucchini Pasta.

 

What is the difference between pasta and noodle? It seems that the term pasta is widely used for Italian-style noodles, while “noodle” includes a more general meaning for Asian products. The word “pasta” come from Italian pasta, which means paste or dough, and the word “noodle” comes from German “nudel”, which means pasta.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Chinese Sausage Fried Rice

This is a very simple and versatile recipe for Asian inspired fried rice.  Instead of sausage you can use bacon, ham or just egg. It is tasty and great as a side dish.

I love rice dish, and this one is so easy and simple to make, particularly if you have leftover rice. I added some Chinese sausage to this rice, but you can add chicken, pork, shrimp or even bacon…whatever your palate calls for. The nice about this stir fried rice is that the rice grains are covered with a thin layer of egg…yum!

This is sure a very simple dish to put together especially during this holiday season, where life seems busier than usual with parties, baking and lots of shopping…so get your ingredients ready and make sure that you make extra for your next day lunch…simply delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 2 cups of cooked rice, preferably long grain
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 3 links Chinese sausages sliced
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables, boiled and drained
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oil, preferably vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

In a wok heat the ½ tablespoon of oil and add both onions, until slightly brown and add the soy sauce. Add the sliced sausage and sauté for a couple of minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside.

In the same wok add remaining oil, and the rice under medium heat. Make sure that all the grains are well separated. Stir fry until the rice is hot. Stir in the beaten egg and gently stir until all the rice grains are covered with a thin layer of egg.

Add back the sausage mixture and the vegetables. Stir until the rice mixture is well combined with the sausage and vegetables. Add Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot.

If you enjoy this simple egg fried rice dish, you might want to check on Kimchi Fried Rice recipe.

 

Did you know that Chinese sausage are slightly sweeter than your usual sausage? They are cured and dried, therefore these sausage can last longer. The ingredients for the Chinese sausage can vary, from chicken, pork, liver, duck, glutinous rice…you name it…or the combination of many ingredients.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Pan Fried Tofu

This is such a simple recipe for pan fried tofu.  Once it is pan fried just dip the tofu in your favorite sauce or make a stir fry with it.

Being raised in an Asian family I grew up eating a lot of tofu, all kind of shape, texture and flavors…you name it I am pretty sure I had it. Here is a very simple, way too simple of a recipe…

Okay…I must admit that this is one of another recipe that it should not be called a recipe…there is really nothing to measure or weight…

You can use this tofu as it is, and eat by simply dipping into your favorite sauce or use in any stir-fry dish…it is delicious and adds an extra texture to it. Once you pan fry the tofu, it will not fall apart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method:

Drain the tofu from its original container and rinse gently.

Cut the tofu into small squares.

Press dry the tofu by placing it in between paper towels.

In a frying pan add the vegetable oil under medium heat and gently place the tofu in the pan. Fry until golden brown and turn it until both sides are golden brown.

Serve warm by dipping into any of your favorite sauce or use in stir-fry dishes.

I made a quick sauce by using light soy sauce and a dash of Sriracha sauce.

If you enjoy cooking with tofu, you might want to check on these simple and easy recipes…Chicken Corn and Tofu Soup or simply salad with Baked Tofu.

 

Did you know what tofu had been used in China for thousands of years and it is a product made by curdling soymilk? Tofu is high in protein, iron and calcium. Soy product contains phytoestrogen, which has similar structure to estrogen, female hormone, and mimics the action of estrogen produced by the body. Therefore women who have or have had estrogen –sensitive breast tumors should restrict their soy intake.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Couscous with Mushroom

This is a side dish recipe made with couscous and cremini mushroom.  It is very easy and fragrant. Great with any poultry or meat dish.

This is a simple and quick couscous recipe. It is easy and great as a side dish to accompany meat or chicken. The couscous is so fragrant with the cremini mushrooms in it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked couscous (follow the instructions form the package)
  • ½ lb cremini mushroom, sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley or cilantro, chopped

Method:

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion with garlic, until slightly golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until all the water from the mushrooms is absorbed.

Add the cooked couscous, mix gently with the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add parsley or cilantro, mix and it is ready to serve.

If you enjoy this simple side dish of couscous with cremini mushroom you might want to check on Sunny Portabella Mushroom or Glutinous Rice with Sausage.

 

Did you know that mushrooms are a type of fungus? Yes, mushrooms are edible fungus and they are packed with copper, selenium and vitamin B2, therefore eating mushrooms is accompanied with many health benefits.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Pickled Cucumber and Carrot

This recipe for is for an Asian inspired pickled cucumber and carrot with a hint of ginger. This dish is very popular and can be served as a side dish, in sandwich and in salad.

I love this pickled cucumber and carrot…it is a nice addition to the table as a side dish and yes, taste delicious in a sandwich as well. There is a nice balance between the tart and sweetness, and the ginger just adds a nice kick to it.

The great thing about this simple way to pickled is that they stay almost forever in the refrigerator…not that it last that long, you know what I mean.

My mom makes this pickled cucumber and carrot very often…and always send a jar to when we go visit her…this time I decided to make my own, and the nice thing is that you can always adjust the ration between the sugar and vinegar, depending on your taste. I am giving you the basic recipe, please feel free to change as your palate desire.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 3 lbs cucumber
  • 1 lb carrot
  • Ginger to taste, I used 1 ½ chunk, cut into thin stripes

Method:

Peel carrot and wash the cucumbers and remove the seeds if necessary.
Cut the carrot and the cucumber into approximately 1 ½ to 2 inch lengths by approximately ¼ inch.

Place the carrot and the cucumber into a bowl and the salt and toss. Set aside for approximately ½ hour to 1 hour.

In the meantime, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and stir well until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the ginger into the vinegar mix. Set aside. Or alternatively you can add the ginger when adding the vinegar by layering with the veggies.

Drain the water from the carrot and cucumber, by removing as much as you can.

In a jar, alternate by adding layers of veggies and then vinegar mix. Make sure that all the veggies are covered by the vinegar mix.

Place the jar in the refrigerator for at least one day before serving. And the longer the cucumber and carrot stay in the refrigerator the tastier they will get.

If you enjoy this simple Asian inspired recipe for pickled cucumber and carrot, you might want to check on Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrot recipe.

 

Did you know that ginger has been used in China for over 2000 years? It is known to help digestion, and treat nausea, stomach upset and even diarrhea.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simple Fennel Salad

This is a very easy and simple salad using just a few ingredients. The fennel is thinly sliced therefore it is light, crunchy and refreshing.

Have you ever used fennel in your cooking?

I have been very skeptical since I do not care for licorice and was always reluctant to buy fennel, but after seeing so many nice recipes using fennel, especially in salad I decided to try when I saw it at Trader Joe’s a package of a couple of plump fennel bulbs. The simple shaved fennel salad recipe from Kitchen Riffs just clicked, when I searched for the recipe, I then realized that I have been contemplating in trying this salad for more than a year.

I followed the recipe as described by John and I must admit, it was so good…light, crunchy, slightly sweet, a touch of anise (not overwhelming)…now I know what I have been missing all this time.

So if you have never tried fennel, I urge you to try…especially that it is such a simple recipe therefore nothing can go wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Wash the fennel and remove the stalks. Use a mandoline to slice the fennel.

Place the shave fennel in a bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (I omitted the salt).

Toss gently and serve.

If you enjoy this simple recipe for fennel salad you might want to check on Zucchini Ribbon Salad recipe.

 

Did you know that fennel belongs to the same family as parsley, carrots, dill and cilantro (or coriander)? Moreover, fennel is a good source of vitamin C and fiber.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!