I was really trying NOT to make a sweet post this time. I’ve been eating far too much butter and sugar lately and the results are quite evident. 2 inches on my waistline and 4 kgs overweight :(( U know, they should’ve put a warning … “Food blogging can be hazardous to health – Blog at you own risk !!!” Looks like I’m going to be off sweets for a while now … lets just see how long that lasts 😀
If u guys remember i was supposed to be store cleaning n all as i was leaving. Well my trip got postponed by a few days 🙁 but yes the cleaning still goes on. Looks like i will be able to use all my stocks after all . My red radishes too are ready just in time for me to start picking and consuming. I thought I’ll miss them all together , but i was fortunate enough to get the first harvest. I had planted them 40 days ago and according to the instructions they came out just in time. At least the first batch did. I still have a some in the soil n they have a few more days before they are ready. At the moment I’m trying to think as healthy as possible, so soups n salads for a while … atleast till my tummy tones down a bit.
Here are 2 wonderful dishes from my kitchen, easy, healthy and of course they use a lot of my remaining ingredients.

Red Raddish, Roasted Red Pepper, Butter Bean and Feta Cheese Salad


1 large red pepper roasted and cleaned and thinly sliced
100 gms feta cheese broken into pieces
handful of black olives
i can butter beans washed and drained
1 bag mixed salad leaves
couple of radishes thinly sliced

For the dressing keep it very simple

salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
juice of 1 whole lime

Now you don’t really need instructions for this. Just place it all together nicely, dress it with salt, pepper and lime juice, drizzle olive oil all over, toss it and dive in. The sweetness of the peppers, the creaminess of the beans, the sharp saltiness of the feta cheese and olives and the crunchy n refreshing salad leaves really makes this one hellva salad … good source of protein and filling too !

Asparagus and Pea soup with Basil Pesto and Pine nuts


1 packet Maggi asparagus soup ( yes i do keep them…just for emergencies)
2 handfuls frozen peas
1 clove garlic grated
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
300ml chicken stock
grated Parmesan for garnish
few toasted pine nuts for garnish
home made basil pesto
Lemon wedges to serve

To start the soup, u’ll need to heat in a saucepan 1 tbsp olive oil. Fry the garlic till fragrant, add the peas and stir well, cook for 2 mins and add the chicken stock and mix in the soup packet. Whisk till well combined and bring to a boil and simmer for 15 mins. With a hand blender, blend to a chunky consistency and add the seasonings. Turn off the heat, serve in a bowl and add a dollop of freshly homemade pesto, grate some Parmesan and squeeze some lime. The lemon really lifts the soup up and brings it a zingy freshness. Together with the pollenta, and some more pesto to go around, its difficult not to fall in love with this combination.

Char Grilled Pollenta

3 cups water
1 cup pollenta
60 gms unsalted butter
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt n freshly ground pepper

To make the pollenta, place the water in a large saucepan and bring to boil on high heat. Slowly add the pollenta whisking continuously, until well combined. Reduce the heat to slow and stir with wooden spoon for 2-3 mins until it comes away from the sides of the pan. Stir thru the butter and Parmesan. Spoon into a baking dish/tin, flatten out smoothly and chill in fridge for 30 mins till well set. Cut in squares and grill on hot griddle pan or around 4 mins or crispy.

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Comment :

noreply@blogger.com (Asha)

Hello Kate Kajal!!;D
More sweets are coming for Diwali and Thanksgiving and Xmas unfortunately!!!
Love red radishes, I grew some this Summer,got to wait until next spring now. All the dishes look great, specially Asparagus soup. could use some now, it’s burr.. here now!:))

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Hii Asha , that was quick honey 🙂
N i know …trying not to think about all those sweets n festivals 😛 , will be going to Bombay for Diwali before i head off to HK so u can imagine :))
Growing red radishes is so easy… no hassle at all. It was my first time …n think i’ll be always growing them now.
The soup was delicious … 🙂 Wish i could share it with you .

noreply@blogger.com (Deborah)

I haven’t had radishes in a long time-this looks like a perfect way to have them!

noreply@blogger.com (maninas: food matters)

Love the idea of serving pea soup with polenta!

noreply@blogger.com (maybahay)

i missed checking your blog for a couple of days and now i’m feasting my eyes on all these gorgeous things you’ve made. wish i could taste them.
a belated congratulations, too, on the newspaper write up. i missed the photo, maybe next time

noreply@blogger.com (Anh)

Kate, I am trying to eat healthier, too! I mean with all the festivals coming I need to get real fit and watch what I eat!

noreply@blogger.com (Extempore)

Oh but both look so delicious! Pls to suggest an alternative for Feta Cheese. It’s prohibitively expensive here in India. 🙁

I’m sorry I couldn’t chat that day but the laptop was infected a lot of scanning was going on… tried to type back but gtalk kept crashing. :(( Just FYI but I cut out the interview and kept it. I saw the screenshot on Flickr before you made the announcement, love! Congratulations!

noreply@blogger.com (Larissa)

That soup looks wonderful…thanks for the recipe idea!

noreply@blogger.com (chefledarney)

Another great creation. Have to say I admire you for growing your own produce. I miss that the most of living in Canada. Especially this time of year when the yearly harvest would feed our family and friends on Thanksgiving.

ps love the butter beans

noreply@blogger.com (The Food Traveller)

Again lovely! This time on the italian side but with a twist. One try the unhealthy fried polenta as well!

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Deborah, they are a really interesting option in a salad.

Maninas , it makes it more fun.

Maybahay …hey its never too late rite …I’m glad your eyes are enjoying the feast .. trust me u are safer that way 🙂
And thanks … maybe u will see my pic nest time.

Anh … yeah pls do …its bloody tough to loose it …. i’ve started with 60 mins cardio everyday … have to prepare myself for the comming festive days.

N … i guess fresh paneer.It would be creamier and blander compared to Feta, but thats the only thing i can think of. It is healthy, high on protein but not as salty. Should still work fine.U dont have to follow the exact recipe, just have to make sure the flavours go well together.
And hey no sweat abt that, i was sure u would’ve seen it in the papers.Thanks so much 🙂

Larissa , hope u like it.

Nolan, i would never give up the opportunity of growing my own produce, here in Africa i have a huge garden where as in HK i have just a window sill, and with that weather it wont even grow my basil plant. Dunno where i got this passion from but i simply adore seeing my vegetables growing and the satisfaction from pulling them out and walking into my kitchen and cooking them. Still more to come- some Mulberries and some French Beans 🙂 I would love to come see your place in Canada, u’ve mentioned earlier abt how ur folks would grow things n how’ve grown up being a part of that. Theres always something magical when u see your parents do something religiously for years together and how u want to follow their traditions and footsteps and do the same thing.I do hope u go back soon to enjoy that.

Francesco … hehe i don’t know much but i try 🙂 … could’nt resist the 1 cup Parmesan in the pollenta …i just love my cheese.
Sorry couldn’t put up the meme in this post , i was ready before. I promise it’ll be up in the next one.Cheers.

noreply@blogger.com (sagari)

wow salad looks sooo colorfull and grilled polenta looks very beautiful

noreply@blogger.com (Lydia)

Both of these salads look absolutely lovely!

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Sagari & Lydia ..thank you 🙂

noreply@blogger.com (Nora B.)

Hi Kate, all of it looks so fresh and delicious. AND healthy 🙂 Glad that you got a chance to reap the fruits (in this case the veg) of your labour before you leave.

Thanks for the grilled polenta recipe. I’ve been looking for one like this since that time when I posted about the grilled kangaroo.

noreply@blogger.com (M&Ms...)

Oh Kate – you’re right, those sweets + blogging – so dangerous! Got a post on that coming up soon.
Love the Polenta idea!

noreply@blogger.com (Hillary)

That soup is such a beautiful green color, and it seems to go perfectly with the charred polenta. And not to mention that feta, radish, etc. salad ! What a beautiful meal!

noreply@blogger.com (Nabeela)

I understand your sudden healthy binge….it happens to me too!
You’re so lucky to have radishes from your own garden…and I’m surprised to learn Maggi carries asparagus soup too. Gotta check it out sometime.
P.S: Lovely photos and I love the soup bowl!

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Nora .. oh yes , i’m glad i could use those. And yum i still remember your kangaroo …its looked so fab 😛

M&M ..cant wait to see urs 🙂

Hillary thanks … its was a lovely meal.

Nabeela … hehe yeah , it comes in phases:) … Just saw it here infact.It was imported from lebanon so maybe its still a new thing.
Thanks …glad u like the photography … i love taking pictures 🙂

noreply@blogger.com (Proud Italian Cook)

kate, I’m actually making grilled polenta this Friday in an appetizer for some friends who are coming over, I will be using your recipe! Thanks!

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

proud italian cook , seems like this recipe was just in time 😛 i do hope u use it. Love your raviolis.

noreply@blogger.com (myfrenchkitchen)

Your salad looks absolutely delicious…I know exactly what you mean by the foodblogging-thing!And the soup looks so healthy and fresh tasting with the polenta and pesto…wonderful combination. A lovely menu this for guests…just finish off for dessert with a plate of sliced marinated sanguine oranges!
ronell

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Ronell , the dessert idea sounds perfect too 🙂 maybe my guests would be floored by this lovely menu :)Thanks.

noreply@blogger.com (Kalva)

Hey kajal,
Your name says you are Indian, are you! I see your pictures regularly at tastespotting and used to wonder how fantastic they were. Awesome place you have here. And your desserts are really simply superb!! Keep it up girl!!

noreply@blogger.com (Chubbypanda)

How about some radish sweets? =D

noreply@blogger.com (Mango Power Girl)

Wow! you’re growing radishes…they look great & the salad is just wonderful with all the different textures. I can’t believe we’re all eating Maggi products at the same time (check out Cofee & Vanilla too!)…we found some masala noodles- yum! Hmm! Polenta…I’ve soo been thinking about making it…thanks for the reminder 😉 What a nice way to eat healthy!!

noreply@blogger.com (The Culinary Chase)

Nothing like fresh out of the garden! The salad looks great! Cheers! Heather

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Kalva ..yes i’m very much Indian 🙂 its my lovely friend Mo who should get the credit for putting up my pics there. Thanks for dropping by .

Chubbypanda ..hehe yes i gave that a thought as well, had a bite of the radishes , found them a bit strong and then scrapped the plan 🙂

Mo … yeah i am 🙂 and i have so many now i dunno what to d to them. Maybe i’ll pickle some but then again … i wont be there to eat them 🙁 … yeah i read Margots post on maggie as well.
And make some pollenta and put it up on ur blog 🙂

Heather … yes… “nothing like fresh frm the garden” :)) *Kambei*

noreply@blogger.com (Oh for the love of food!)

Hi there Kate! Thanks for dropping by my blog. Your recipes and photographs are fabulous, especially the ones on sweets. Unfortunately with the festive season coming up, I think your quest to make less sweets will be futile- you can always give them away as Gifts! ;o)

noreply@blogger.com (Kelly-Jane)

Lovely savoury dishes 🙂

My friend has a blog, and her by line is ‘Blogging Makes You Fat’, and I thought it was funny before I started blogging!!

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

For the love of food …thanks …n i know its bloody difficult to keep away. I’m already thinking my new sweet post 🙂

Kelly-Jane …hahaha… she knew what she was talking about 😛

noreply@blogger.com (Rachel)

Ha..you arent the only one !!! I have put on inches tooat the most obvious spots…..with all the addiction to baking…in the process of which i am slurping on the left over cream et al…

this spread is a nice healthy spread..definitely need to start getting healthy pretty fast 🙂

noreply@blogger.com (Rosa's Yummy Yums)

Yes, blogging about food can be very hazardous to health ;-P!!!
I love your lovely recipes and wonderful presentation! That salad looks extremely good and I really like the way you shaped the polenta.

Cheers,

Rosa

noreply@blogger.com (Coffee & Vanilla)

I love this salad, radish is one of my favourite things, I have some in the fridge now, but unfortunately not enough for salad. I’m planning to make this recipe soon.
Margot

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Rachel …oh dont u just hate that ! i’m just back from the gym and i’m crying !

rosa…:P thanks so much …much appreciated.

Margot …aw …just slice them and tuck them in a sandwich ..i think that would do justice to the radishes.

noreply@blogger.com (Cenk)

Haha! Blog at your own risk. Loved that phrase. So true. I liked the soup picture a lot by the way…

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Cenk … 😛 its the truth !
thanks …it tasted gr8 too 🙂

noreply@blogger.com (Alita)

I was right! you cook fantastic things! And these healthier opitions are yumilicious! Every one of them 🙂

noreply@blogger.com (Zen Chef)

Oh my god this is sooo cute!
You will see me a lot around here…i love your blog!
😉

noreply@blogger.com (Kate / Kajal)

Alita …hehe thanks…its nice to know u even gave it a thought.

Zen Chef …well its going to be lovely having you around here.Thanks so much.

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