Monthly Archives: July 2014

Quinoa with Kale and Black Beans


Quinoa is a grain that does not have any smell or flavor.  That’s why dry roasting it gives a nice nutty flavor.  Also when cooking quinoa, I like to add salt since it gets absorbed into quinoa and gives a mild taste.   You can even add any other spices while cooking quinoa


  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 oz baby kale leaves, torn into small pieces, stems discarded
  • 1 small green bell pepper sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 15 oz can black beans (yields a little more than 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon spicy chili paste/sauce
  • Salt to taste


  • Dry roast quinoa lightly and let cool
  • In a covered saucepan add roasted quinoa, salt and water and bring to a rolling boil.  Lower the flame and cover and simmer until all the water are absorbed (about 10-12 minutes)
  • Keep covered and let cool to room temperature
  • Add 2 teaspoons oil to a skillet and once warm add kale and saute on low flame for about 4 minutes.  Set aside
  • Add rest of the oil to the same skillet and add green pepper, and garlic and saute until pepper is cooked but crisp – about 5 minutes
  • Now add corn kernels, black beans, salt and mix well and cook further 3-4 minutes.  If the vegetable mixture gets dry, add a little (1 teaspoon) water at a time
  • Add crushed pepper and chili sauce to the vegetable mix and stir and cook further one minute.
  • Transfer cooked quinoa to the skillet and mix thoroughly with the vegetables.
  • Serve warm
  • Yields: 2 main dishes

Penne with Mushroom and Thyme



  • 4 oz Penne pasta
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 12 oz Portabella mushroom
  • 1 6 oz bag baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil +  extra virgin olive oil for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)
  • salt to taste


  • Cook and drain pasta and set aside
  • Slice onion and garlic thinly
  • Slice mushroom into thick slices
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet and add onion and garlic and saute until translucent.
  • Add mushroom and saute until mushrooms are tender
  • Add spinach and thyme and saute until spinach wilts
  • Add pasta and black pepper and mix thoroughly
  • Before serving sprinkle a little extra virgin olive oil over pasta
  • If preferred sprinkle with cheese
  • Servings: 2 main course

Adapted and modified from better homes and gardens website (

Fiery Red Thai Curry




  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 cup medium thick coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 3/4 cup string beans cut into one inch pieces
  • 8 oz firm tofu cut into half-inch cubes
  • salt to taste


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan and garlic and saute for about 30 seconds or until lightly browned
  • Add curry paste saute for one minute in a very low flame stirring constantly.  If the paste mixture get dry, sprinkle 1 teaspoon water and continue to saute
  • Add brown sugar and cook another 30 seconds
  • Add coconut milk, water, salt, lemon juice, ginger, and soy sauce to the saucepan and cover and cook for 10 minutes
  • Add carrots, string beans, and tofu and mix with the gravy and cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  By this time the gravy should thicken and vegetables should be cooked but crisp
  • Serve warm with Jasmine rice (or any other white rice.  This curry does not go well with brown rice)
  • Yields: 3 servings.

Green Juice


Kale leaves are quite fibrous.  When Kale is juiced, it has to be torn into smaller pieces.  Also depending on the juice machine, it might be difficult to get the juice since it does not produce juice like other fruits.  To get the maximum amount of juice, first I juiced few slices of apples and then added a handful of kale leaves.  Immediately after that again I added apples or oranges.  By doing this the smallest amount of juice produced by kale will be washed into the bowl with other juices.  Always when juicing kale finish with a fruit like apples or oranges that produces high quantity of juice.


  • 2 green apple
  • 1 large orange
  • 4-5 Kale leaves (came out to be 2-3 oz)
  • Few drops of lemon juice


  • Wash and cut apples into thin slices
  • Peel orange and separate them into large segments
  • Wash the Kale leaves and tear them into small pieces
  • Juice each fruit separately into a bowl
  • Add lemon juice
  • Yields: 2 servings

Tropical Pineapple & Coconut Muffins


It’s summer and the warm weather is making me think about all the juicy fresh fruits we get in Sri Lanka.  Pineapple is one of them.  No pineapple will come close to that we get in Sri Lanka – the sweet juicy and strong flavor.  I wanted to make some thing with pineapple and came with an idea of this pineapple recipe.  But unfortunately I have never peeled a fresh pineapple and thought to replace it with canned pineapple.  The muffins turned out really good.


  • 6 oz pineapple
  • 2 oz dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons mango smoothie (you can use the naked mango tango smoothie or odawella brand mango  smoothie)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 8 oz flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup cooking oil such as canola (I prefer canola since it does not have any smell or flavor)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk




  • Cut pineapple into small pieces and squeeze out the juice.
  • Add pineapple chunks and cranberries into a bowl and mix in with rum extract and leave it for about 15 minutes
  • in the mean time pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Line 10 muffin cups of muffin tin with paper cases
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl
  • In a separate bowl beat together butter and sugar and light and creamy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla extract and coconut milk
  • Add pineapple cranberry mixture alternating with flour into the egg mixture and mix until just combined
  • Divide batter between the muffin paper cases
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden on the top
  • Let cool in tin and transfer to a wire rack and cool completely

Yields: 10 muffins.