Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beans Salad

I have been on a quest to find interesting salad recipes these days. One such recipe was lying right under by nose, in a book called Simply Delicious Vegetarian by Carla Bardi, but I hadn't noticed it until today. I had it for lunch and loved it so much that I had to immediately post it.

Here's how I made it, with a few modifications from the original recipe:

1/2 can cannelini beans - rinsed and drained
1/2 can kidney beans - rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper - thinly sliced
1/4 red onion - thinly sliced
1 tbsp Mrs. Dash's Garlic and Herb seasoning
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 - 3 large handfuls of Spring Mix containing red & green varieties of lettuce, chard, arugula etc.

Toss all the ingredients, except the Spring Mix, in a large bowl. Cover and let it rest for 15 - 30 mins. Serve on a bed of the Spring Mix. I did not add or feel the need to add any additional salt to this.

This Beans Salad goes to My Legume Love Affair being hosted at Monsoon Spice. This event is the brain child of Susan - The Well Seasoned Cook.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Green Beans Salad

I few weeks back on our trip to the local Trader Joe's store, Green Beans Salad samples were being passed out. My daughter loved it so much, she couldn't stop at one. Given that she loved such a healthy, easy dish so much, I simply had to make it at home. I have since made it several times and even given it to her in her lunch box. It turned out especially well when I got a pack of absolutely tender green beans at Costco recently.

Here's how I make it:
Handful of green beans - chopped about 1.5 inch long
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste - TJ sample had lemon pepper, but I have not yet tried it with this. Instead, I use Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning. Any of ur favorite seasoning should work.
Chopped nuts like almonds/walnuts for garnish

Steam the green beans for about 5 mins till slightly tender but still with a bite. Toss with olive oil, salt, seasonings. Garnish with nuts - this was my touch to the salad.

I have not given specific amounts above - you can just eyeball it depending on your preference. Generally, I have made this pretty bland since that's how my daughter likes it. I have myself also been trying to scale down my salt intake and this dish made me realize how with minimal seasonings, the freshness of the vegetable can really stand out.

This Green Beans Salad goes to the Kids Delight event at Spice Your Life.

I am updating this post 9/30 with 2 pictures by my daughter that are on our fridge door.

Shri Ganesh


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quinoa Veggie Soup

This soup is also from an issue of the Vegetarian Times. I have been browsing and trying out a lot of their recipes recently. Here's how I made it:

1/2 cup onion - diced (the original recipe had red onion but I used sweet onion as thats what I had on hand)
1 cup veg. broth
1/4 cup quinoa
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1/2 cup chopped spinach - fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
1/2 cup chopped mixed veggies (again I used a frozen mix)

Coat a saucepan with cooking spray. Heat on medium. Saute the onions for 5 mins till soft. Add the broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Add the quinoa. Cover and simmer on medium for 10 to 15 mins. Then stir in the canned tomatoes, spinach and veggies. Simmer another 10 mins. Season with salt and pepper. I also added a dash of Tabasco hot sauce.

Since this soup is not very liquidy due to the addition of quinoa and veggies, it made for a good lunchbox item for me. It was a good & delicious change from the usual canned soups (Amy's organic ones that I often carry to work) and leftover lunches I have. The flavor somehow got enhanced when I had it for lunch. It struck me that this was the first time I actually cooked something specially for my lunchbox!

The Quinoa Veggie soup goes to the Soup 'n Juice event at Mom's Recipes.

Updating this post to send it to the CWF - WG - Quinoa event at Priya's Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes.

Watermelon juice

Watermelon is such a delicious fruit by itself that it needs no additions or enhancements really. But if ever you are trying to up its oomph factor, give this juice try. Here's how I make it:
2 cups watermelon chunks
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ginger pwd (soonth)
Pinch of salt
Sugar - depending on how sweet the watermelon is. I usually skip this altogether.
Watermelon balls and mint leaves to garnish
Blend all the above except the garnishes till smooth. You can strain it or leave as is. Pour into a glass and garnish with the watermelon balls and mint leaves.
Enjoy chilled!
This Watermelon Juice goes to the Soup 'n Juice event at Mom's Recipes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Curried Cauliflower Soup

This recipe is from the Jan. 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. The combination of cauliflower with apple and curry pwd caught my attention and I decided to give it a try. And I'm glad I did. We all loved the slightly sweet - sour - spicy flavor of this soup.

Here's how I made it:

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 medium tart apple (I used Granny Smith) - peeled cored and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic - finely chopped
1/2 of a cauliflower head - chopped
2 cups veg. broth
2 tsp curry pwd
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil. Saute the onions for 5-7 mins on medium high. Add the apple, garlic & curry pwd. Cook 2 mins. Add the cauliflower and veg. broth. Bring to a simmer. Then cover and cook on medium heat for 20 mins. Cool another 20 mins. Blend till smooth. Reheat and season with salt & pepper.

This Curried Cauliflower Soup goes to the Soup 'n Juice event at Mom's Recipes.

Amrakhand (Mango flavored Shrikhand)

This is a surprisingly easy and delicious Indian sweet dish. Here's how I made this:
1 32oz. box of plain yogurt - I used Taaza brand, regular yogurt available in the local Indian store.
3 cups tinned mango pulp
1/2 tsp cardamon pwd
Nuts like almonds, pistas for garnish
The preparation for this starts a day before actually making & eating it. Empty the yogurt onto to a clean cheesecloth. Tie the ends loosely together, then hang it up to drip in the fridge. Keep a bowl underneath to catch the whey (which can be used later to knead rotis). After about 5 hrs, place the yogurt, which will have thickened quite a bit, along with the cheesecloth its tied in, between several paper towels. Place a heavy weight, such as an iron pan, on top. Leave this in the fridge overnight or for another 5 hrs. The idea is to remove all the whey from the yogurt and get the thickest possible yogurt.
Next morning, combine the thick yogurt with the mango pulp in a food processor. Usually the tinned mango pulp available in the Indian stores is highly sweetened. No additional sugar should be necessary, but you can taste check and decide what suits you. Mix in the cardamon pwd. Garnish with chopped nuts.
Chill and enjoy with hot, hot puris.
This Amrakhand goes to the WYF: Festive Treats events at Simple Indian Food.

Gajar Halwa

I like my Gajar Halwa a little thick, not runny. Here's how I make it.

2 cups shredded carrots

2 tbsp ghee - increase for richer flavor

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup ricotta cheese

Cardamon pwd

Almonds for garnish

Fry the ricotta cheese on medium heat in a non-stick skillet until all the liquid evaporates. It then resemble mawa in taste and texture.

Separately, fry the shredded carrots in the ghee on medium heat for about 10 mins. Add the condensed milk, mix well and allow to cook another 5 mins. Stir in the ricotta cheese "mawa" and cardamon pwd. Take off heat. Garnish with chopped almonds before serving.

I like to eat it hot, but it can be served cold too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Savory Mushroom Loaves

The original recipe for this is from Nita Mehta's Art of Baking book. But there the loaf is made from scratch, using plain flour and potatoes. While I have made it that way in the past, its a bit time-consuming and tedious for lazy me. So when I saw a similar recipe on Tasty Palettes, I decided to combine the two. So just like Suganya, I have also used Pilsbury biscuit dough here for the covering. That made these loaves a breeze to whip up.

Here's how I made the filling:

2 tsp canola/olive oil
1 packet sliced mushrooms
1 onion - chopped fine
1 tomato - chopped fine
1 tsp dhana - jira pwd
1/2 tsp clove pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
Salt to taste

Heat the oil. Fry the onions for 5 mins till soft. Add the mushrooms. Fry on medium high till they dry and brown a bit. Add the tomatoes, salt and spices. Cook 2-3 more minutes. Take off heat and cool slightly before stuffing.

Cooked mushroom filling

Separate out the biscuit dough, roll each out to 1/4 inch thickness. Place 2 - 3 heaped tablespoons of the mushroom fillings on half of the biscuits. Cover with another. You can use a little water/milk to make sure the edges of the 2 biscuits stick together well.

Press the edges with a fork to further seal them. If desired, you can decorate the top with a bit of the biscuit dough, pinched off before rolling it flat in the earlier step.

Bake per directions on the biscuit dough package.
These made 4 super heavy loaves for us.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Moong Dal Kofta Curry

I had found this recipe several years back at Here's how I make it these days:

For the moong dal koftas:

1/2 cup moong dal - soaked for 2 hrs.
2 cups finely chopped mixed veggies like green beans, carrots, cauliflower, peas (all microwaved with 1-2 tsp water for 3-4 mins., boiled potatoes etc.
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp dhana-jira pwd
1/4 tsp red chilli pwd or to taste
1/2 tsp chaat masala

Soaked moong dal. Grind this coarsely with 1-2 tsp water.

Add the veggies and seasonings to the moong dal batter. Put 1 tbsp of the mixed batter into each oiled mould of an appe patra and cook for 5 mins on each side until golden brown.

This will yield about 16 - 20 koftas.

To make the curry:
2 tsp canola oil
1 onion - chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
3 - 4 tomatoes
2 tsp dhana-jira pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded paneer
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp Kitchen King masala
1/2 tsp kasuri methi
Cilantro to garnish
Heat the oil. Fry the onions on medium heat for 5 mins till soft. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry 2 mins. Add the tomatoes. Fry for 5-7 mins till the oil separately. Add the shredded paneer, salt. dhana-jira pwd & red chilli pwd and fry 2 mins. Take off heat and cool slightly. Then grind to a fine paste. Put it back in the kadai and add the garam masala, Kitchen King masala and kasuri methi. Simmer 2-3 mins. Gently drop in the koftas and let it come to a boil. Switch off the heat and serve hot with roti/paratha.
The paneer in the gravy gives it an amazing creaminess.

This Moong Dal Kofta Curry goes to the Side Dish for Chapathi event at Viki's Kitchen.

Bharli Vangi - stuffed baby eggplant subji

This is a family favorite, whenever I make it, I also make double the usual number of rotis as we always end up eating more than our regular quota.
Here's how I make it:

Masala for stuffing inside the baby eggplants -

2 tsp canola oil

1 cup finely chopped onions

2 heaped tbsp of dry shredded unsweetened coconut

1 heaped tbsp of peanut pwd (dana koot)

1 heaped tsp dhana - jira pwd.

2 heaped tsp Maharashtrian Goda Masala

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd or to taste

2 tsp crushed jaggery

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 tsp Salt or to taste

Heat the oil, add the onions and saute 5 mins. Add the coconut and peanut pwds. Saute 2-3 minutes on medium. Add the dhana-jira pwd, goda masala, red chilli pwd. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup of water and the jaggery and tamarind. Stir occasionally till jaggery melts. Add the salt, mix and take off heat. Cool slightly. This masala mix will absorb water the longer it sits. You can add a few more tsps of water later if it thickens.

For the bhaji/subji:

2 tsp oil (usually this bhaji uses more oil, but I limit it to 2 tsp)

12 - 15 baby eggplants

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 medium potato - diced (optional)

Cut off the stems at the top of the eggplants. Cut an X shape on the bottom of each eggplant. It should be a fairly deep cut since it will hold the masala mix. But it should not completely cut the eggplant into 4 pieces. Stuff about 1/2 - 1 tsp of the masala mix in each eggplant. There should be some masala mix remaining after stuffing all the eggplants.

Heat the oil in a wok/kadai. Fry the ginger and garlic pastes for 1 min. Add the potatoes & fry 2-3 mins. Gently place the masala-stuffed eggplant all around the kadai. Add all remaining masala and 1 cup water. Cover and cook on medium low for about 20 mins till the potatoes and eggplants cook well. Like with the masala mix, this bhaji will go on thickening the longer it sits. In that case you can add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup water and reheat before serving.

Enjoy with polis/rotis.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bread - Paneer Pakoda

I'm back after a long break with a simple snack item: Bread - Paneer Pakoda. Its a good item for a rainy day or when you have unexpected company.

Here's how I made it:

4 slices bread - I used whole wheat bread and kept the crust on. Any variety will do and you can cut off the crust if you prefer.

Some green cilantro chutney - I used store bought this time


Paneer - I used store bought and cut it into thin slices

Chaat masala

Slather the green chutney on 2 slices and the ketchup on the other 2 slices of bread. Lay the paneer slice on a chutney-slathered bread, sprinkle with some chaat masala, cover with a ketchup-slathered slice to form a sandwich.

For the batter -

1 cup gram flour (besan)

1/4 cup rice flour

1 tsp salt or to taste

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

Generous pinch of asafotida

Handful of chopped cilantro

Red chilli pwd to taste

Mix all of the above. Add 1.5 - 2 cups water, a little at a time, and stir well to get a smooth batter. Dip the bread - paneer sandwich in the batter and deep fry in moderately hot oil till golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 mins.

My daughter loves these pakodas and so do her little friends.

These bread - paneer pakodas are off to Priya's Sunday Snack event.

Related Posts with Thumbnails