A three course meal


When I’m off on one of those week days, the sudden urge to make a three course meal grips me. It was one of those Wednesdays! And to add to it, I’d just shopped at Big Bazaar – discovered that onions were just Rs 40 a kilo!! and brought enough fruits and veggies to fill a supermarket.

Vegetable-celery and oat soup, Broken wheat pasta salad with tri-coloured peppers and garlic-balsamic dressing and foccacia

Here we go…
Vegetable-celery-oat soup
Yes, its oats and no, you don’t have to go ‘yeeeeeeeuuuuck’! Just trust me on this one 🙂
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup of celery leaves, chopped roughly
1/2 cup of spinach leaves, chopped roughly
2 pieces of coriander root – this adds a wonderful aroma to the soup
3 stalks of celery, only the stem finely chopped
1/2 cup of quick-cooking oats
1 tsp of vegetable stock powder
Salt to taste
Bring 3 cups of water to boil, add the carrots, tomatoes and the stock powder. Add the celery and coriander roots. In the end, add the spinach and celery leaves. Allow this to simmer and add some salt. Turn off the flame and add the oats. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes. Remove the coriander root and keep aside. 
Allow the mixture to cool and blend into a smooth, thick paste in the mixie. Here, you will see how the oats act like a thickening agent and give a wonderful, velvety texture to the soup. Simmer the soup just before serving and add the corn kernels. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot.
Broken wheat pasta salad with tri-coloured peppers and garlic-balsamic dressing
2 cups of pasta, use any kind – I used all the left overs I had!
1 each of red, yellow and green bell peppers, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
A handful of spinach leaves, roughly torn
1 cup iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
1/4 cup black olives, chopped
Salt to taste
For the dressing
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
– Mix all these and keep in the fridge
Boil the pasta as per the instructions, rinse under cold water and allow to cool. In a big bowl, mix all the vegetables and the pasta together. Add the balsamic-garlic dressing just before serving. Toss it well, check seasoning and serve.
Foccacia
This is a recipe that I found on a website three years ago and it turned out so well that I didn’t want to tweak it. All I do is change the toppings each time I make it…

Directions:

Prep Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 1/2 hrs

  1. 1 Proof the yeast in the warm water and sugar for about 10 min, until foamy. In mixer bowl, combine the flour, semolina, salt, and garlic and parmesan if adding (or other ingredients you would like inside the dough). Add the olive oil to the yeast water and pour into the flour mixture. Mix with the dough hook until a smooth dough forms. It will be sticky.
  2. 2 Heavily flour a smooth suface such as a cutting board. Pour dough onto the suface, and roll dough around a bit to coat the outside with flour, then place into a large oiled bowl. Cover, and let rise until doubled.
  3. 3 When doubled, dump the dough out onto your floured surface again and coat a large knife with oil, cut the dough into 2 equal portions. Fold each dough piece into a rectangle shape the best you can, it doesn’t have to be perfect, then place seam side down onto each baking sheet. Let the dough rest for a few minutes. Then with well oiled fingers spread the dough out, it may not fill the entire pan, don’t spread it too thin. Brush the tops with olive oil and add your favorite toppings. Let rise again until doubled. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.


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