Friday, October 29, 2010

Fifteen Bean Chili

I adapted this recipe from the Vegetarian Chili Cookbook by Robin Robertson.

Here's how I made it:

1 cup dry "15-bean soup" mixed beans (this mix of 15 beans is available in most grocery stores)
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 cup diced tomatoes - I used canned, fresh will also work
1 tsp red chilli pwd
2 tsp cumin pwd
2 bayleaves
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar
1/2  - 1 tsp finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 veggie burgers ( I used Trader Joes Masala Veggie Burger)

Soak the beans in water for 4 - 6 hrs. Cook per package directions or pressure cook for 3 whistles.

Heat the oil and saute the onions for 5 mins until softened. Add the garlic and saute 2 mins. Add the diced tomatoes, red chilli pwd, cumin pwd, oregano, bay leaves, cooked beans, salt, sugar and about a cup of water. Mix well and simmer for 15 mins. In the meanwhile, cook the veggie burgers per package directions, finely chop them and add to the simmering chili. Cook till desired chili consistency is achieved.

I served the chili with grilled polento (Trader Joe brand) and a side of green salad to round off the meal.

This Fifteen Bean Chili goes to the Legume Love Affair at Divya's Dil Se. This event was started by Susan The Well Seasoned Cook.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Penne Pasta in Lighter Alfredo Sauce

I usually avoided alfredo sauce due to its calorie count. Thats until I came across a Smarter Alfredo Sauce Recipe on the Kraft Foods website. I have adapted that to our taste to come up with this lighter version of alfredo sauce.

Here's how I make this pasta:

2 - 3 cups of cooked whole wheat/whole grain penne rigate

For the sauce -

2 cups vegetable broth
4 tsp plain flour
2 wedges Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb cheese (each wedge had 35 calories)
1 cup veggies - I use chopped broccoli and carrots
Seasonings to taste - salt, pinch of sugar, Mrs. Dash seasoning blend, garlic pwd, fresh/dried basil, fresh/dried oregano, black pepper pwd, pinch of nutmeg or all spice pwd mix (use any or all of these)

Heat the broth on medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to mix it in. Add the cheese wedges. Continue whisking for about 5 mins till it breaks down and dissolves to form a sauce. It will be a pretty thin consistency at this time. Add the seasonings as desired. Add the veggies, mix well. Cook another 5 mins till veggies are semi-cooked. The sauce will have thickened considerably by now. Add the cooked pasta, mix again.

This is how it looks right after adding the pasta. Take it off heat, cover and let it sit for about 20 mins to allow the sauce to develop a creamy consistency and coat the pasta well.

This pasta reheats well so you can make it in advance. Serve with some garlic bread for a complete, satisfying meal.

This Penne Pasta in Lighter Alfredo Sauce goes to the Presto Pasta Night # 187 event at Teczcape. This event was started by Ruth.

If I have leftovers of this pasta from the previous night's dinner, I usually reheat it and pack it in a hot lunchbox for my always does well & is polished off by her. Hence sending this to the Kids Lunchbox event at Taste Buds also.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Candy

No recipe today, just want to share these fun Halloween candies my daughter & I made over the weekend. We used Wilton Chocolate chips (orange, green & brown) and smiling pumpkin moulds. We had great fun doing these, it was pretty quick since the chocolate sets in 5 mins in the fridge. We used plastic candy bags to pour the chocolate into the moulds, so clean-up was pretty quick too.

She took a bunch of these to school today, the rest we are saving for the 31st...maybe.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Green Chutney Sandwich

Every 2 weeks or so when I buy fresh cilantro and mint, I make a small batch (abt 1/2 cup) of green chutney. It comes in very handy for quickly putting together my daughter's lunch box in the morning and she loves her Green Chutney Sandwich. I usually use whole grain or whole wheat bread, remove the crust - her preference, slather one side with the green chutney, the other side with some butter and put some slices of boiled, peeled potato or cucumber. Thats it, lunch box gets ready in a jiffy.

Here's how I make the Green Chutney:

Blend together 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 1/2 a serrano pepper (or to taste), salt to taste, pinch of sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 to 2 tsp roasted ground peanuts (optional) with just 1 or 2 tbsp of water. This chutney can be stored in an airtight box in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Here's my Green Chutney Sandwich with some more veggies (onions, cucumber, tomato and potato) and sprinkled with fresh ground black pepper.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Palak Matki Amti

I adapted this recipe from Aayi's Kitchen. I have made it Shilpa's way many times, only I also add some jaggery, tamarind paste and goda masala. Yesterday I wanted to make it without onions & garlic, hence modified it some more.

Here's how I make it:

For tempering - 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, big pinch of asafotida, 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
1/4 cup chopped onions (if using - I omitted this yesterday)
1 tomato - chopped
1 potato - chopped (optional)
1 cup sprouted & boiled matki (moth beans) - see Note
2 cups chopped spinach
2 tsp Goda Masala
Salt to taste
2 tbsp grated jaggery
1 tsp tamarind paste
For masala paste (without onion version) - Grind together 2 tbsp coconut or 2 tbsp grated carrot, 2 tbsp gram flour, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp roasted coriander seeds, 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds, 2 dry red chillies or to taste, pinch of methi seeds, 1/4 tsp clove pwd, 1/4 tsp cinnamon pwd. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.

Start by making the tempering - heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, when they stop spluttering add the rest of the tempering ingredients. Then add the chopped onions and/or potatoes. Fry till lightly brown. Add the tomatoes, beans, spinach, masala paste, salt, Goda Masala and jaggery. Add water to get desired consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer till potatoes cook. Add the tamarind paste. Adjust seasonings and consistency if required.

Serve with rotis or rice.

Note - In addition to or in place of matki, you can use other beans like sprouted & cooked mung, black chana or canned red beans (drained & rinsed) etc.

Bread snacks for kids

Here are a couple of afternoon snacks I prepare for my 7 yr old daughter when she comes home from school. Both are bread-based and simple. I prepare and leave them in the warm oven before going to bring her. By the time we get back home, they are just the right temperature for her to dig into.

The first one we call Bread Boats.

Scoop out the interiors of hotdog buns/dinner rolls/burger buns. Brush or spray lightly with olive oil. Bake at 400F for 10 mins. In the meanwhile, heat some oil, saute finely chopped onions till soft, add finely chopped tomatoes and some canned beans like black beans (drained and rinsed). Add salt, red chilli pwd, cumin pwd and coriander pwd to taste. Mix well, lightly mash some of the beans and take off heat. Fill this bean mixture in the bread hollows. Dot with either butter or cheese. In the above picture I have used Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb Cheese Wedge. Bake again at 400F for 10 - 15 mins until bread crisps up.

The other after-school snack she likes are Bread Fingers.

For this, toast the bread (I use multi-grain or whole wheat) until lightly browned. Then cut into fingers. I usually remove the crust. In a separate bowl cream together 2 tsp butter, finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots. Season with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash seasoning blend, dried herbs like basil or any other seasonings per choice. Spread this evenly on the bread fingers. Bake at 400F for 10 mins until crisp.

These Bread Boats and Bread Fingers go to the Kids Finger Foods Event at Spice Your Life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Taco Salad in a Tortilla Bowl

A couple weeks back I ate a very tasty and satisfying Taco Salad in a Tortilla Bowl at the Microsoft cafeteria. It had layers of greens, rice and veggies, topped with salsa, guacamole etc. all served in a deep fried tortilla bowl. Since I love making Mexican style dishes at home, I immediately set out to replicate this. For the rice, I borrowed the Mexican Brown Rice with veggies recipe from Kids Lunch Box. I marinated and cooked the veggies in a fajita-style sauce from this recipe from Cooking from A to Z. I baked the tortillas into bowls using the same process as I posted here. It turned out to be such a wonderful and quick meal!

So here's how it all come together:

First, brush tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas) lightly with oil (I used olive oil). Press down gently into oven safe bowls. Bake in a pre-heated 400 F oven for 10 mins till edges brown and tortilla bowls crispen.

Cool the tortilla bowls for a few minutes, then spread a layer of mixed greens/lettuce.

Layer desired quantity of the Mexican Rice over the greens. For the rice, I sauted some onions, garlic, carrots, green and red bell peppers in oil, added chopped tomatoes, handful of spinach, cooked mixture of brown rice plus quinoa, salt, sugar, red chilli pwd, cumin pwd, soy sauce, dried oregano and chopped cilantro (all per taste). Gave the whole thing a good mix till heated thru.

The fajita-style veggies go on top of the rice. For this, I cut some onions, green and red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms into long thin strips. For the marinade, I pretty much followed the recipe linked above, the only addition I made was cumin pwd since I love its flavor. Marinated the veggies for about 2 hrs, then sauted them in a little olive oil in a wok on medium high heat for about 10 mins until just cooked.

Over the veggies go some black beans. I used canned ones, drained and rinsed.

Now just add the toppings per your choice. For myself, it was some chipotle peppers in adobo suace, mild salsa and a big dollop of guacamole (all store-bought). Hubby also had some sour cream. And kiddo had the salsa, guacamole, sour cream and some shredded Mexican cheese blend.

This Taco Salad in a Tortilla Bowl goes to the BB8 - One Dish Meal event at One Hot Stove

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pasta with Loaded Pasta Sauce

This home-made pasta sauce is loaded with veggies and herbs, then blended, making it an ideal way to sneak in many of the daily nutrients required for kids/picky eaters or any one else for that matter.

Here's how I make it:

1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 small clove garlic - minced
1 tbsp chopped green bell pepper
1 tbsp chopped red bell pepper
2 large roma tomatoes - chopped
2 tbsp grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped spinach
handful of chopped basil leaves or 1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/8 tsp sugar or to taste
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper or to taste
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning blend
1 cup cooked pasta

The quantity I have given above is just enough for a child's lunchbox, but can be easily multiplied for a family meal. Increase cooking time as needed and add/subtract the veggies as desired.

Heat the oil and saute the onions until softened. Add the garlic and bell peppers. Saute another 2 - 3 mins. Add the carrots, saute 2 - 3 mins. Add the tomatoes & spinach, cook 5 mins. Add the basil leaves, oregano, salt, sugar, pepper and seasoning. Mix well and take off heat. Cool slightly and blend either smooth or you can leave it slightly chunky.

Cook the paste per package instructions, drain and mix the prepared loaded sauce with the hot paste. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy immediately or pack in a hot thermos style lunch box.

This Pasta with Loaded Pasta Sauce goes to the Kids Lunch Box Treats event at Taste Buds.

This Pasta with Loaded Pasta Sauce also goes to the Presto Pasta Night # 184 event at Cook, Eat. Play, Repeat. This event was started by Ruth.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Masala Roti

I adapted this recipe from Tarla Dalal's food magazine. It makes for a healthy, tasty and mess-free lunch box item for kids and adults alike.

Here's how I make it:

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 heaped tbsp cup gram flour/besan
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup boiled, peeled and grated potato (or used shredded hash brown)
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/4 tsp red chilli pwd or to taste
1/2 tsp amchur pwd
Salt & sugar to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead to a soft pliable dough. No additional oil should be required. Roll out into about 8 - 10 rotis and roast each on a hot griddle with a few drops of oil until brown spots develop on both sides.

To pack for my daughter's lunch box, I just roll them up and wrap them in a foil. She does not need any accompaniments with these rotis. But tomato ketchup, pickles, yogurt or any curry would also work with these.

These Masala Rotis go to the Kids Lunch Box Treats event at Taste Buds.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jhatpat Chana Chaat

I adapted this chaat from Tarla Dalal's food magazine. Here's how I made it:

2 store-bought khakhras - crushed
1 cup canned garbanzo beans - drained and rinsed
1 tomato - chopped
1/2 onion - chopped
Chopped cilantro for garnish
2 - 3 tbsp yogurt - beaten till smooth
Tamarind chutney to taste
Green mint/cilantro/chilli chutney to taste
pinch of chaat masala pwd
pinch of cumin pwd

Arrange the crushed khakhras and garbanzo beans in a bowl and top with the tomatoes, onions, beaten yogurt, chutneys. Sprinkle the chaat masala, cumin pwd and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy immediately.

This Jhatpat Chana Chaat goes to the CWF - LB : Chickpeas event at Nithu's Kitchen.

This event was started by Kiran.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dahi Chutney (Chutney with yogurt)

I usually make this on upaas/vrat days. Here's how I make it:

1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup frozen or fresh shredded coconut
1/2 cup yogurt
1 - 2 green chillies per heat level desired
4 - 5 sprigs of cilantro
Salt & Sugar to taste
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp lemon juice

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. No additional water is needed, unless you want to make a runnier chutney.

We had this chutney with bhajani thalipeeth for breakfast on Saturday.

This Dahi Chutney goes to the CMT - Chutney event at Joy of Cooking.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Methi Mutter Malai

I was never a big fan of this dish, mainly due to the 'malai' part. But a few months back, we had one of those ready-made frozen versions and my daughter loved it. So started my quest to make it at home. I have finally settled on this version that we all love. I keep the fat content kinda lower by using low-fat cottage cheese (not paneer, but the regular cottage cheese from the grocery store) and have adjusted the quantities of the ingredients such that the methi taste of the methi (which I actually love) does not over-power, making it suitable for kids.

Here's how I make it now:

1 cup fresh methi leaves - washed and chopped fine
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 low fat cottage cheese
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of turmeric pwd
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 green chilli (deseed & derib for lower heat)
1 large clove garlic
1 1/2 inch ginger - peeled
1/4 cup cashewnuts
1/4 tsp cardamon pwd
1 inch stick of cinnamon
4 cloves
4-5 sprigs of cilantro
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/8 to 1/4 tsp garam masala pwd

Heat oil and add the cumin seeds and turmeric pwd. Toast on low heat for 2-3 mins. Make a paste of all the ingredients listed above from onion to cilantro as well as the cottage cheese. Add this paste to the oil and fry on medium low heat for 15 mins., stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Then add the chopped methi and about 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook 5 - 7 mins. The methi gets cooked pretty fast. Add more water to get desired consistency (not too runny). Add the frozen peas, salt and sugar. Give it one boil. Add the garam masala and mix well.

Methi Mutter Malai goes well with any kind of Indian bread.
Related Posts with Thumbnails