Thursday, November 15, 2012

Brussel Sprouts Stir-Fry

This is the first time in my life I bought, cooked and ate brussel sprouts. I had heard abt this veggie often enough, so when I saw a bunch at Trader Joe's, I decided to be adventurous and give it a try. Then I looked up some recipes on the web, and settled for a combination of sorts.

Here's how I prepped this Brussel Sprouts Stir Fry:

About 20 - 24 brussel sprouts - washed and quartered
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp panch phoron - this is a mix containing 5 ingredients (mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and kalonji seeds)
1 cloved garlic - minced
Salt, Cumin pwd, coriander pwd, red chilli pwd - all to taste
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Heat the oil in a wok, then add the panch phoron. When they sizzle, add the garlic and fry for a min. Add the brussel sprouts. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 mins., stirring in between. Add the salt, sugar and spices. Cover and cook another 5 to 10 mins, till  the veggie softens. Take off heat and squeeze the lemon juice.

The verdict was overall good - hubby loved it, daughter too; I found it ok, good for a change but wasn't totally in love with it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tostada Pizza

I found this recipe on You Tube and have slightly adapted it. This is a great way to get kids and adults to eat their veggies.

For the base, I have used whole wheat pita bread. Any other flatbread or pizza base will also work.

For the "sauce" - I sauteed some finely chopped onions in little oil, followed by finely chopped green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers. Cooked these till slightly softened, but still crunchy. Then added some chopped garlic and sauteed another 2 mins. Added salsa and canned black beans (drained & rinsed) and some spices - cumin pwd, paprika, onion pwd and garlic pwd. Simmer till slightly thickened and mash with a potato masher. Mashing is optional, you can leave it as chunky as you prefer.

Other toppings I used - shredded Mexican cheese blend, shredded lettuce, crushed corn chips, red chilli flakes

To proceed - spread the sauce on the base and top with cheese. Bake at 400F for 5 to 10 mins till cheese melts and base turns golden brown. Once you get it out of the oven, put the other toppings - lettuce, pepper flakes, corn chips etc.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Healthy Halloween Snacks

Halloween is long gone, I did not get to post these snacks I had made that day...but better late than never. Saw these on the internet, they were so cute and easy. I simply had to make them, though I knew the kids (including my daughter) would go for the candies rather than these "healthy" snacks. But it gave me some satisfaction that they had some healthy stuff inside them before going treat-or-treating and stuffing themselves with the candies.

Carrot Witch Fingers with Sliced Almond Nails stuck on with a dab of cream cheese

Banana and drizzled white chocolate ghosts with raisins for eyes and mouth

Cheese stick Witch fingers with green bell pepper nails

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dahi Bhaath

This is my take on a much-loved recipe. Made this yesterday to have before N's Bharatnatyam performance. She was super excited and I was super nervous as it was my first time with all the traditional hair styling, make-up, jewelry and costume. This is a calming, soothing recipe. Before I get on to that, however, here is a picture of N with her teacher (and her teacher's daughter).

Here's how I made the Dahi Bhaath:

1 cup cooked rice
1 cup yogurt
Tempering - 2 tsp ghee, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp udad dal, 1 green chilli - chopped, 1 dry red chilli - broken, 1/2 tsp grated ginger, few curry leaves
Salt & Sugar to taste
handful of grated carrots, finely chopped cucumber, chopped cilantro

Make the tempering and add to rice. Mix in the yogurt, salt, sugar, grated carrots, cucumbers and cilantro.

Serve with potato chips or papad, pickles etc.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Alu - Methi Subji

This recipe is courtesy of my good friend Sowmya, an excellent home cook and an extremely hospitable person. It can be made with just kasuri methi or fresh methi, I had a bunch of fresh methi on hand, so I used that. Here's how I made it:

1 bag of baby potatoes (contains abt. 20 - 25)
1 bunch fresh methi - only leaves to be used
3 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp turmeric pwd
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp coriander pwd
2 tsp cumin pwd
1 to 2 tsp red chilli pwd
1 tbsp kasoori methi - crushed (increase if not using fresh methi leaves)
Salt and sugar to taste

Boil the potatoes in pressure cooker for 1 or 2 whistles, they should be cooked but remain firm. When cool, peel and keep aside. If potatoes are not baby-sized, you can chop them too.

Heat the oil in a large wok, add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they stop spluttering add the chopped onions and fry till softened. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry another few mins. Then add the methi leaves, cover and cook on medium low heat for 10 mins. You can use a few tbsp water to avoid burning. Then add the kasoori methi, turmeric ,coriander pwd, cumin pwd and red chilli powder. After 5 mins add the boiled and peeled baby potatoes and salt and sugar to taste. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 mins, stirring in between to make sure all potatoes are well coated with the methi-onion-spice mix. Add few drops of oil as they are cooking and let some of the potatoes get slightly golden-brown to give a nice crunch.

Serve warm with rotis or rice.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tortilla Lasagna

This is a kind of fusion recipe that I've adapted from one I came across on Youtube. Makes for an easy and filling meal.

Here's how I made this Tortilla Lasagna:

First for the sauce - Fry 1/2 cup chopped onions in 2 tsp oil till they soften. Add 1 cup of chopped mushrooms and fry on medium high heat till they brown. Add 1 clove of chopped garlic and fry for a min. Add 1 cup frozen or fresh chopped spinach, I've used frozen in the above picture. Fry for 5 mins. Add upto 2 cups of salsa or diced tomatoes or a combination thereof. I've used 1 cup salsa and 1 cup canned diced tomatoes. Add also 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed well. Simmer this sauce for 5 mins. Add additional spices if desired - I like to add a little of onion pwd, garlic pwd and a good amt of cumin pwd and paprika.

To assemble the tortilla lasagna - Lightly grease a round cake pan. Arrange 2 tortillas in the bottom. Spread 1/3 of the sauce, top with some shredded Mexican cheese blend, one tortilla, 1/3 sauce, cheese, another tortilla, remaining sauce, more cheese. Lastly top with 2 more tortillas and some cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 mins until top in slightly browned.

Let cool for 5 mins. Top with finely chopped cilantro and/or green onions, cut into wedges and serve.

This tastes good the next day for lunch box also.
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