Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coleslaw Obsession!!

Just a really quick post from me about my latest coleslaw obsession. I'm telling ya, I've probably consumed a small head of cabbage myself this way. I've had it instead of my usual tossed mixed veggie salad lately and it's so delicious!!! My kid just likes to see the food processor go wild shredding cabbage ... haha

I use Bobby Flay's coleslaw dressing (modified somewhat).

What can't you get enough of this summer?


Nutella Brownie Bites- 4 ingredients!










4 ingredients can lead to one perfect little dessert bite.

-  1 cup Nutella
-  10 Tbsp flour
-  2 eggs
 - Crushed almonds or sprinkles to top
(couple pinches of salt)- freebie :)

Mix all of these and spoon into mini muffin pan with pretty liners.

Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes.

Serve at your next party and become everyone's best friend :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fried Mini Idlis






First off, yes these ARE mini idlis, not fried potatoes!

They make a perfect party food or a snack. And if you have extra idli batter on hand, they are super quick to make too. I made them recently for a picnic and they were a big big hit, even with the kids. You can adjust the seasoning to your palette.

Ingredients:

-  Steamed mini idlis, already prepared., cut in half.
-  couple pinches of cayenne pepper
-  1/2 tsp mustard seeds
-  1 tsp urad dal
-  1/4 tsp turmeric
-  5-6 curry leaves
-  1 tsp (non spicy) california chilli powder
-  2 Tbsp canola oil
-  1/2 onion small dice
-  salt to taste

Method:

In a sautee pan, first temper the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves in hot oil.

Next, sautee remaining ingredients over medium high heat tossing occasionally . When everything is combined well and the idlis have browned somewhat, remove from heat and serve.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Spicy Creamy Dip (with a twist)





Here is a super easy yet crowd pleasing dip for a party or a potluck. My husband came up with the combination so he definitely gets all the credit. It's so easy no recipe is needed. It's mayo free, so perfect for summer BBQs! In fact ,it will make a great spread ON your burger!

Mix together the following and chill in the fridge until it's time to serve.

-  1/2 cup jalapeno cream cheese
-  1 cup sour cream
-  2-3 Tbsp hot salsa
-  1/4 cup of finely chopped sundried tomato

Season with salt if needed.

Serve as a dip for crudite or tortilla/pita chips.

Veg Hakka Noodles



Hakka noddles is that popular Indo-Chinese stirfried noodle dish with a spicy kick. I maake it often enough when I have most of the ingredients. You can be relatively flexible with the combination of veggies but you almost definitely need cabbage, scallions, bok choy and .. yes, mushrooms!!  It comes out real easy and only takes a few minutes to prepare. You can easily substitute angel hair pasta if you don't have the actual hakka noodles.

Spice mixture for the sauce: Soy sauce, grated ginger and garlic, rice wine vinegar,  tomato paste, black pepper, sesame oil, chilli flakes.  In a pinch you could add Sriracha sauce and leave out the chilli and garlic individual ingredients.

I don't have exact measurements, I sort of winged it that day. :) Sautee all the vegetables on medium-high heat and then add sauce mixture and toss with cooked noodles.  Top with fresh sprouts if you have them on hand.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Vegetable Chutney



I am probably the worlds biggest fan of chutneys and thogayals.  They are super easy to whip up and  are so forgiving.. any vegetable combination usually can work. This particular one has chayote, roasted red pepper, tomatoes and onion.

Start off by sauteeing veggies over a fairly high heat. You want a bit of char on the veggies as char=flavour. Add in your seasonings like channa dal, urad dal, salt, red chillies, a bit of garlic if you so incline. Add a couple spoons of puli (tamarind paste) I have a homemade thogayal podi made by my mother in law that I use for things like this. SAutee everything for 10 minutes .. move the veggies around the pan often so they don't totally burn. Alternately you could broil veggies in the oven and then blend but I like this method better.

Once everything is semi cooked, transfer to a blender and puree till smooth or semi-smooth. Peanuts are a great addition and gives good body to the chutney. Garnish with scallions and a tadka of curry leaves, urad dal and mustard seeds.

It goes great wtih rice, chappatis or dosa and you get your veggies in. Make it spicy and it will stay for upto a week.

Superbowl Chilli and Quesedillas




We love eating chilli during the fall and winter. I make it quite a bit because I almost always have ingredients on hand.. The colder the weather, the spicier the chilli! They go great with a side of cheese quesedillas. We didn't go to any Superbowl parties this year..  We watched the game upstairs in the recently finished media room put together from start to finish by R himself! Needless to say we also had chips/salsa and beer. 

Ingredients: 

- 1 small can of chipotle roasted tomatoes (or use regular tomatoes and add chipotle peppers)
-  1 can black beans
-  1/2 cup frozen corn
-  1/2 onion chopped
-  2 celery sticks diced
-  2 small carrots diced
-  1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp southwestern chilli powder

Method:

1.  Sautee onions, garlic, chilli powder and oregano and all the vegetables for 5-10 minutes over medium heat
2.  Add chipotle seasoning or chipotle peppers 
3.  Add the can of tomatoes, black beans and about 2 cups of water and bring to simmer.
4.  Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and stir. 
5.  Season with salt as desired.
6.  Ladle into a bowl and garnish with sour cream and cheese. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Asian Noodle Soup


I love soups.

Even more so now because it means the little guy can eat it too!  They are warm, and can be turned into a one pot meal.  This Asian Noodle soup started out by me wanting to make Pho. Somewhere along the way, I couldn't follow the recipe for Pho and it ended up as a noodle soup. Pretty easy but calls for a bunch of ingredients. But it's really yummy and warming on a Fall or Winter day.

Ingredients:

1 T ginger grated
2 cloves garlic minced
Veggies- all chopped about the same size- bok choy, zucchini, carrots, celery, green peas, carrots, baby corn, scallions (chopped fine)
1 cup cooked soba or buckwheat noodles
1Tbsp Soy sauce
Sriracha (As much or as little)...I did a few squirts
1tsp rice wine vinegar
2tsp sesame oil
4 cups low sodium veggie broth
1/2 block tofu cubed.

Method:

1. Stirfry all veggies  and tofu with ginger and garlic and the sesame oil on high heat for 3-4 minutes.. Try and get a nice char on them because char = flavour. Reserve a few scallions for garnish.

2. Add the stock (or water) along with the soy sauce, sriracha. YOu could also add a whole piece of ginger for that extra ginger flavour and then take it out when soup is done cooking.

3. Let it simmer for 10 minutes on low and then add the cooked noodles.

4.  Garnish with scallions and some bean sprouts (I didn't have any sprouts so left them out).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The reason for my sabbattical

As you've probably noticed this blog has been on a sabbatical for quite some time now. Here's why:


So I've had my hands full for some time. Here's hoping the New Year will bring more cooking inspiration to all of us!!

Semiya Payasam




Anyone who knows me well knows that I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I will eat a few select milk based sweets and the occassional cake type dessert.

This is a traditional South Indian milk based dessert that's really easy to make and taste so good. To maximize taste and texture, use whole milk and some evaporated milk. Half and half is even better if you're not very calorie conscious. It takes only 20 minutes or so and you can sweeten is as much as you'd like. Here's my loosey goosey recipe:

Ingredients:

-  1/2 cup dried semiya/vermicelli noodles
-  2 Tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
-   4 cups of whole milk
-  1/2 can of 2% evaporated milk (4oz)
-  1/4 cup sugar (or more)
-  6 strands of saffron
-  1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Method:

1.  In a saucepan, roast the vermicelli noodles in the clarified butter for 5-10 minutes on low medium heat until the noodles turn slightly brown

2.  Add the milk and evaporated milk and saffron to the pan and gently bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and then add the sugar and mix.

3.  Once noodles are cooked, turn off the heat and add vanilla. This is my own twist on the payasam. I've been critiqued a couple times saying it tastes like "cookies" but whatever. I like it and the little dude digs it too.

4. Pour yourself a bowl and enjoy. It tastes best when consumed warm. I once made a huge batch for a party and then actually forgot to serve it for dessert (imagine that..) No REALLY. I FORGOT. It was entirely unintentional. R, Lil D and I proceeded to have it for breakfast for 3 days straight. Not a bad thing. :)
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