Root Vegetable Pasta

This past weekend when we went to Farmer’s Market. My friend and I bought some beets and what we think is turnip (the vendor said it was not turnip and named it, but we could not understand it :D). However, so while wondering how to use them and after some pinterest search… found this Balsamic Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables recipe…. sounded yum…. just needed some parsnip and rutabaga and carrots. So after a visit to the grocery store was ready to roast some root vegetable. Yes root vegetables are better from fall to spring… but I did get the turnip and beet, so might as well try the others.

Root VegetablesThis is my first time trying turnip, parsnip and rutabaga….I was going to try 1 new vegetable a week…. doing 4 this week 😉 Following is the recipe for roasting the root vegetables. Only thing I did different was, cut all into chunks. I had only 2 beets, and used half of the rutabaga

BALSAMIC ROSEMARY ROASTED ROOD VEGETABLES

from Myrecipes

INGREDIENTS: Ready to Roast

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 small beets, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 turnip, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 small rutabaga, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Add parsnip and next 4 ingredients; toss until vegetables are well coated. Add salt and pepper, and toss again. Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables, and bake 15 more minutes or until slightly crisp and golden but tender.

Roasted Root VegetablesThe root vegetables taste yum…. I love the parsnip, turnip and rutabaga. Although the rutabaga’s were a little undercooked… next time I would maybe parboil them or cook them separately. My beets were a little bitter (yikes) I know back in India, we would always boil the beets before we ate them and if not well done they taste bitter….so maybe do the same for beets… parboil them a little or cook them separately. The balsamic caramelizes the vegetables just right…while keeping them crispy and yet flavorful.

So now I have these roasted vegetables… what do i do with them? I decided to make a pasta salad with them 🙂 I love my pastas.

ROOT VEGETABLE PASTA

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

1 cup Roasted Root Vegetables (Balsamic or any other way. Use parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, sweet potato, baby potato, carrots)

Handful of spinach and kale (my local grocery sells baby spinach and baby kale mix, or you can use just spinach)

Pasta of your choice (I used Gluten Free Rotini)

Dressing:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp chilli flake (Omit or lessen the amount if you don’t like heat)

salt, pepper as per taste

Feta Cheese

Method:

1. Make pasta as per your direction. Since I am making 2 servings, I just took 2 handfuls of pasta and put it in boiling water.

2. Mix the dressing ingredients and mix well.

3. When the pasta is done, drain (reserve some liquid just in case if you find the salad a little dry), and add it to the dressing. Toss well. Then add the roasted vegetables and the spinach and kale. Adjust seasoning as per your taste. Top it off with feta cheese and serve.

Roasted Root Vegetable PastaThis recipe is completely as per my taste buds…so you can completely change the recipe. If you roast vegetables without balsamic, then add red wine vinegar… I think it will complement the vegetables well and in that case add some Parmesan cheese.

I love the root vegetables and am thinking of trying them with some Indian spices–tandoori style or curry style!! Will experiment and share soon!! Until then enjoy the veggies and eat better!!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

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Black Pepper Paneer

Paneer aka Indian Cottage cheese is different that the cottage cheese found in U.S. Paneer has a firm shape …like that of tofu…but is creamier than tofu. Paneer is associated with Northern part of India and you can find tonnes of recipes using this 1 ingredient!! I grew up eating paneer…. we ate paneer almost everyday… my dad loves it…..so mom was always making new recipes with it… and hence my sister and I grew loving it too and my husband enjoys it as much =)

Black pepper and Paneer…both are my favorites…. and to find a recipe that has both these ingredients…AWESOME! I just enjoy the flavor and spice that black pepper adds to to any food. So I had to try this recipe and I must say it taste good….soo peppery!!

BPP

So here is the recipe… from Sanjeev Kapoor’s (renowned chef in India) website

BLACK PEPPER PANEER

Ingredients

  • Cottage cheese (paneer) 200 gms
  • Black pepper crushed 1 tablespoon
  • Green chillies 2 tsp
  • 1 Onions large
  • Oil 2tsp
  • Garlic cloves finely chopped 8-10
  • Red chilli paste 2 tsp (I used Sirachi Chilli sauce)
  • Vinegar 2tsp
  • Soy sauce 1tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Green bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Paneer chilli masala 1 tsp (I am not sure what this is… so I just added some Chicken Tikka Masala…easily available in any Indian Grocery)
  • Fresh coriander leaves finely chopped

For garnishing

  • Chaat masala (easily available in Indian Grocery)
  • Crispy fried noodles

Method

1: Roughly chop green chillies. Cut cottage cheese and onions into 1 inch cubes.

2: Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add garlic, green chillies and sauté for half a minute.

3: Add onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add red chilli paste, vinegar, soya sauce, 1 tbsp crushed black pepper, salt and mix well.

4: Add ½ cup water, green capsicum, cottage cheese and cook for 5-7 minutes.

5: Add paneer chilli masala, coriander leaves and mix well. Switch off heat and transfer into a bowl.

6: Sprinkle black pepper powder and chaat masala. Garnish with fried noodles and serve hot.

I did not do the noodle bit…. but sprinkling the chaat masala and that extra pepper is a must… adds the perfect finishing touch!! Yum Yum Yum!! Eat it by itself… eat it with some Naan… make a wrap…. eat it with stir fried rice…. love it!! My do-not-like-much-black-pepper husband liked it too 😉

A delicious quick recipe! Try it and let me know how you like it!!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Tomato-Bean-Pasta Soup

We are bracing for a “possible winter revenge” starting next week… while the weather people are unsure whether we are going to see snow, sleet or rain…. so while we wait for the cold weather… I decided to get on some with cold weather soup. I had pinned this soup a long time …. finally made it. This recipe is from Two Blue Lemons. She has some awesome recipes…. I follow her on FB as well… she not only shared what she makes, but also delicious recipes from other bloggers.

TBPSLook at the color…. I swear I did not do any photoshop 😀 it is the redness from the tomatoes….makes you want to gobble it down in one go. So here is the recipe:

Tomato White Bean Pasta Soup

Recipe from Two Blue Lemons.

Ingredients

olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne pepper (I did not have this so I used pinch of red chili powder)
1 28 oz. can tomatoes for a good cause (I bought crushed tomatoes)
28 oz. vegetable stock (I used 32 oz Swanson 1/3 less Sodium Vegetable stock)
1 can white beans, rinsed (I bought Cannellini Beans)
2 cups kale, chopped
1/3 lb. whole wheat chiocciole pasta (use your favorite GF pasta) (I used shell pasta)
parmesean cheese (optional)

Procedure:

1. Coat the bottom of a soup pan with olive oil, stir in chopeed garlic and onion, let cook until the onion is translucent – 5 minutes.

2. Add chopped carrots, herbs, cayenne, and salt – saute for 15 minutes.

3. Add jar of tomatoes, stock, and kale.

4. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes

5. While the soup is simmering, cook pasta until al dente

6. When the soup has reduced and is the thickness you like, add the pasta and beans, cook together for a few minutes to heat through. Taste and add salt and pepper

Serve with some grated/shaved parmesan cheese. I ate mine with a side of cibbata bread… Yum… The simple ingredients and flavor make this soup delicious. The beans and pasta make it really hearty. Absolutely worth trying and eating over and over.

TBPS1I think the ingredients can be switched out so easily…. you could add spinach, or some other kind of bean, pasta… So next time you get snowed in….or want a nice warm soup….try this delicious warmer! I am on bowl #2 while writing this post (blaming the run this morning for the hunger pang ;D)

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Butter Paneer Masala- Dhaba Style

Paneer is a soft cheese that most Indians like and is found in all Indian restaurants. It is vegetarian’s protein…similar to tofu. This recipe that I am sharing today is from Cooking Shooking It is a blog/website that belongs to a young budding chef…. he makes some delicious recipes….. I have tried one before and this is 2nd dish that I tried today and My husband and I both loved it.

BPMDS

My main reason of trying this recipe… “Dhaba Style” … if you have lived in India or visited…. Dhaba’s are street side mom and pop restaurants that cook food with tonnes of butter and most of the times its family recipes. I have grown up on it and wouldn’t miss a beat to try and cook like them. Second the addition of “Papad”…. I have never heard of mixing papad in vegetable….so I had to give it a shot.

This recipe is definitely a good mix of Indian spice, heat and creaminess…. this young chef knows his way around the kitchen. He also has a You Tube channel where he show cases his recipes. You can find video to make this recipe HERE .

Since it was just me and my husband eating…. I halved this recipe ….after doing so too it made enough for 3 people to eat (according to portions we eat). Also I totally downsized the “Fat” amounts here.

BUTTER PANEER MASALA- DHABA STYLE

(Makes for 5-6 people) (from Cooking Shooking)

Ingredients
  • Tomatoes – 8
  • Paneer – 200 gm
  • Coriander – 2 Tbsp {Chopped}
  • Onions – 3
  • Butter – 3 Tbsp (I used 1 tbsp)
  • Black Cardamom – 2
  • Green Cardamom – 4
  • Bay Leaf – 2
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 Tsp
  • Dry Red Chili – 2
  • Oil – 2 Tbsp (I used 1 tbsp)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1½ Tb
  • Salt – To Taste
  • Kashmiri Red Chili Powder – 2 Tbsp (I did not have this so I just used some a tsp of red chilli powder)
  • Cumin Powder – 1 Tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 Tsp
  • Kasoori Methi – 1 Tsp
  • Cream – 3 Tbsp (I used 2 tbsp…. I could have done with just 1)
  • Green Chili – 2 (Slit)
  • Papad – 1 Small
Instructions
  1. Puree the tomatoes and mince the onions. In a pan, add the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, dried red chilies, bay leaf, and open the cardamoms and add them and then add add ginger garlic paste as well. Let them sizzle.
  2. Add the butter, once it melts well add the minced onions and salt. Stir well and cook in medium flame until light golden. Then add in the tomato pulp. Stir and as it gets a roaring boil cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until it leaves the sides checking every 2-3 minutes to prevent burning.
  3. Add the cumin powder, red chili powder, garam masala and kasoori methi. Crush the kasoori methi in between your hands before adding.
  4. While the spices cook for a minute roast a papad, crush and keep aside.
  5. And, as the spices are cooked add the water depends. I added about 1 cup in total. Followed by chopped coriander and the cubed paneer and cream. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the slit chilies and the papad. After adding the papad I added a 1/4 cup of water as we like a little gravy.
  7. Enjoy it hot!

BPMDS1

It was scrumptious and is all gone already! While the ingredient list looks big….don’t let it scare you….this is one easy recipe that cooks quick, tastes yum and you will want to make it over and over!!

I am not related to this young chef, nor am I getting economic benefits for promoting him… I just feel young talents like him need to be motivated and supported! So do try this recipe and visit this young chef’s blog and You Tube Channel (Both linked above).

Until next time,

Happy Cooking,

Cheers =)

Asparagus-Kale Quinoa Salad

Finally Summer is here :)) 2 months of vacation to rest up, get crafty and experiment in the kitchen 😀 I wil be honest, first day being home after 10 months of routine schedule is weird 😉 But I am looking forward to experimenting some yum foods and desserts in the 2 months!

Since my vaca just started, I am scarce of fresh veggies in my fridge (been lazy) but I did find some Asparagus, Kale, Scallions, and Red Pepper. I know the combination sounds a little crazy….but I promise, the end result turned out yum!! I decided to use Quinoa for grain…. Gluten free, Vegan friendly (if you do not put Parmesan cheese).

ASPARAGUS, KALE QUINOA SALADAKQSalad

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry Quinoa

1 bundle of Asparagus

2 cups packed chopped Kale

3 Scallion Sprigs, chopped

1/2 cup peas

1/2 red pepper, chopped

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar (available at Olive Oil Specialty stores and online)

Olive Oil Spray, Salt, Pepper, Red Chili Flakes, as per taste.

Parmesan Cheese, grated (Optional)

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Cut Asparagus in bite size pieces. Spray with some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 7-10 mins depending on the thickness. (Mine were done in 7 mins).

2. Meanwhile cook Quinoa as per package direction. 1/2 cup dry should make 2 servings of Quinoa.

3. In a pan, spray some olive oil and add the Kale with some salt and pepper. It will wilt. Saute till almost cooked. This will take 7-10 mins as Kale is a tough green. When kale is almost done add peppers, scallions, tomatoes and peas. Add chilli flakes as per your taste and add some salt and pepper (if needed).

4. Mix in the cooked Quinoa and add 1-2 tsp of the Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar. Top it with some grated parmesan. Serve Warm.

AKQSalad1

The colorful combination of vegetables make it an inviting meal. Asparagus and Kale go perfect with Lemon, hence this white balsamic is the perfect flavor for this mix, making it a nice summer salad. It could also be a yum side dish for any Chicken or Fish. If you do not have Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, you could just add good amount of lemon juice. I would not add any vinegar in such case as the White Balsamic has a smooth and sweet taste compared to any other vinegar (Distilled, Red or regular Balsamic) It was easy fairly quick to make and even quicker to gobble it all down 😉

Until next time,

Cheers =)

 

 

Taco with Chicken or Tofu and Bean

Back with a Tofu recipe 🙂 Every time I cook with Tofu… I am amazed how it picks up flavors of seasonings you mix it with. So today I decided to make something I eat at a joint called Barberitos – a southwestern style of Mexican fast food, using fresh veggies and healthy options like grilled chicken, fish, and TOFU. Our local Barberitos owner is just wonderful man and makes his own concoctions at times… like he made chicken curry taco one time-adds his own sauces and makes it taste yum!! So first time I tried Tofu Taco, he spiced it from me… took crumbled taco, added some spices into it and cooked it a little before laying it on the tortilla. So I tried to recreate it today 🙂

Bean & Tofu Taco

BEAN AND TOFU TACO

(Makes 2 tortilla)

Ingredients:

1/4 piece extra firm tofu-dried and crumbled

1/2 can black bean, drained and rinsed

Lettuce chopped (I use romaine-Iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value)

Cheese

Cajun Seasoning, as per taste (you could use taco seasoning)

salt, as per taste

Chili Sauce, as per taste (or could use red chilli flakes or red chilli powder)

Tortillas 2

1 tsp Oil (I used mix of Canola and Safflower oils)

Picco De Gallo (recipe follows).

Materials

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the crumbled tofu and beans.

2. Add the seasonings- cajun, salt and chilli sauce as per your taste. Cook for few minutes till water from tofu evaporates and the mixture is a little dry.

3. Heat a tortilla. Lay 1/2 of the mixture, picco, cheese and lettuce. Fold and ENJOY!!

NOTE: You could make Chicken taco by cooking raw chicken with seasonings and shred to use or use some deli chicken, shred and saute with seasonings.

PICCO DE GALLO

(Enough for 4 tacos)

Ingredients:

1/4 red onion, finely chopped.

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

Cilantro, finely chopped

Jalapeno, as per taste, finely chopped

Salt, as per taste

Lime Juice, as per taste.

Method:

Mix all the ingredients and taste the seasonings. You want to make sure it has right amount of salt and lime juice.

Taco-CnBT1

My pile high taco 😉 Absolutely delicious…. Bean and Tofu together make it filling…. the picco gives burst of freshness (thanks to tomatoes, cilantro, and lime) and lettuce gives the right crunch. Of course I made chicken taco for my husband- shredded some deli buffalo chicken and sauteed it with cajun, salt, and chilli sauce.

Now that stomach and mind are full and happy…. Time to get to some crafting 😉

Until Next time,

Cheers =)

Tofu Scramble, Indian Style!

So Tofu Scramble is not a new or unique idea… but first time I tasted Tofu Scramble was at Brother Juniper’s in Memphis Tennesse. It was also featured on Rachel Ray’s 40$ a day show. Its open only for breakfast and Lunch… but its crowded… a small place with yummy food. They had some good vegetarian options for non egg eaters. The Tofu Scramble my friend ate had pesto and veggies in it and tasted delish.

Tofu Vegi at Brother Juniper's

Tofu Vegi at Brother Juniper’s

At that time we remember talking how we could make it to our taste, add ingredients etc and had decided to try it once we got home… but that never happened. But 2 days ago, I was talking to my sister who mentioned she made some tofu scramble…indian style and it was yum. My sister doesn’t cook often, but when she does… its a lot of experimental, which turns out yum always…. she can cook and is good at it…..she just doesn’t accept it 🙂 So I decided to make some today for myself.

 

Masala Tofu Scramble

Masala Tofu Scramble

MASALA TOFU SCRAMBLE (Serves 1)

1/4 of a pack of Tofu (I used extra firm) – pat dry

1/4 onion, chopped

1/4 tomato (small) chopped

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp each of coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric

salt to taste

chopped green chillis/jalapena (optional)

cilantro finely chopped

1 tsp olive oil.

Method:

1. Heat oil, add the onions and saute till they start getting pink. Add the tomatoes and saute for 1-2 mins.

2. Add the garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, chopped green chillis and saute for 1-2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, crumble the tofu (or you could grate it). Add the cilantro and crumbled tofu to the pan and add salt as per taste. Mix well and saute for another minute or 2.

4. Serve hot with some toast 🙂

NOTE: you can totally adjust the seasonings as per your taste or try some other seasonings.

I love my eggs… but lets face it with all the researches saying not to eat too many yolks (egg whites everyday is not fun for me :P)…. this tofu scramble is perfect in place of eggs. Similar amount of protein, keeps you full and a healthy start to the day or could be filling lunch too.

Until next time,

Cheers =)