Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easiest pickled Radishes ever, makes for delicious and tangy side


It is Thanksgiving already, truly grateful for my family and friends, and many countless blessings showered.
 Radishes are in season during the cold weather. Growing up my grandmom would make pickled Radishes all through the winter season. It was relished along with hot rice or soft roties. She made them everyday when in season. Making them brought back so many memories of her and my childhood, the power of food.
Today's version of mine is slightly enhanced from what I was used to growing up.

Ingredients
2~3 cups of cubed Radish
2~3 Thai chilies sliced thinly
1 tsp grated ginger (optionally)
2 tbsp of fresh mint chopped finely
2 tbsp of corriander chopped finely
2 tspn of lemon jest
2 tbsp of freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
salt according to taste

Process

1. Mix lemon juice and all the ingredients except for radish and mix well.
2. Add cubed radishes and toss well.
3. Store in a air tight container, works best when marinated for atleast 2 days 
4. With weather being so cold, I left radishes to be marinated at room temperature.
5. If you live in warm weather marinate in an air tight container in a refrigerator
6. You might have to adjust for salt once radishes are marinated

Serve as side with Roti's or hot rice with ghee. Spicy, tangy, flavorful and of course delicious.


Happy Thanksgiving All !!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Spicy Mexican Dirty Rice - Loaded With Vegetables

Spicy Mexican Dirty Rice -  Loaded With Vegetables
Eating healthy is life style and a choice. In fact eating healthy is hard and take quite an effort. From shopping for fresh vegetables to cooking fresh food is work. As tedious as it seems once you are committed to eating healthy there is no going back. It's worth the effort as they say..

Last few weeks have been crazy and the next few weeks will not differ much. Tried this recipe few weeks and everyone at home loved it and this has become quite a staple at home. This recipe can customized to your taste, add as many vegetables you like to your hearts content. Recently started cooking brown rice at home more frequently and brown rice is perfect for it makes for excellent texture and taste.

Ingredients



1 carrot sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper
2-3 Picante peppers
1 Onion sliced thin
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 cup of green onion chopped
1/2 cup of cooked beans ( I used pinto beans from the can)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional, substitute with nuts of your choice almonds, peanuts pecans) finely chopped
tbsp of Olive oil
1 cup brown rice
salt according to taste
pepper according to taste
2 tbsp Mexican seasoning (I use Taco seasoning McCormick, recipe for the same can be found here)
Process
1. Cut all vegetables same size into thin strips

3. Add 1/2 tbsp of oil and bring to heat, add crushed garlic and toss till garlic is cooked. Now add rice and mix well. Add water according to instructions and allow to cook.


3. Stir fry all the vegetables and keep aside



4. Head a pan, add all the stir fried vegetables and saute for a min


5. Add cooked rice, green onions, taco seasoning, nuts and cilantro. Toss till rice and vegetables are well coated, check and adjust for salt.

Remove from heat and serve hot, you can add as many vegetables such a Broccoli, Spinach, sprouts and nuts like almonds, walnuts and pinenuts to your heart content. You can also substitute rice with oaks soaked in water for about half hour.

Makes for healthy, guilt free, delicous  and a complete meal.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Good Bye Summer- Ode To The Fruit Of Summer - Tomatoes- Easy and Delicious Sandwiches

Good Bye Summer- Ode To The King Of Summer - Tomatoes- Easy and Delicious Sandwiches
Heirloom Tomatoes from the neighborhood farmers market


The crisp air and cool winds in the evening, the change of colors on the trees, short days and longer nights sure are an indication on an end of summer and natures way of slowing down and prepping for winter. If I have to pick a favorite season I probably would choose fall, everything seems so balanced, so colorful and not to mention the weather.

This year has been quite hectic, if I have  to give a theme for the year gone by I would call it "CHANGE". Experienced changed in multiple facets, I am not complaining, I love change especially the good ones but the emotions that I go through, the highs, the lows and all that in-between is what makes life interesting and a reason to wake up in the morning. I see no slowing down as the year winds down but I sure want to savor the last of summer and the bounty it has to offer and soak in the beautiful autumn sunsets and gorgeous change of landscape.


We are blessed here in the sun soaked Silicon Valley, a walk to the farmers markets inspires so much creativity and a change to create something different. This week the regular store where I buy produce from indicated that heirloom tomatoes he had for sale were the last of the season, sad need to wait couple of quarters before I get my hands on them again. I love heirloom variety, once you get used to them there is no going back. The character, flavors and the colors are so unique and addictive.

Picked up California Whole wheat Black bread from  Beckmanns Bakery at the farmers market.

California style open sandwich

Ingredients ~ makes for 1

1 slice of Black bread toasted ( use textured bread instead of regular bread made from enriched flour)
1 tbsp of goat cheese, I use TJ's herd and cheese
1/4 cup of sprouts ( I use green gram, any sprouts would work)
1/4 cup cucumber finely diced
1/4 cup tomatoes diced into cubes

1. Spread the goat cheese on the toast
2. Layer the sandwich first with sprouts, then cucumber and later tomatoes
3. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly grated pepper and garnish with mint leaves.

Spicy Sandwich with Picante Peppers and Sriracha sauce

Ingredients ~ Serves 1

1 California black bread toasted
3 Picante pepper - roasted
2 tbsp choice of shredded cheese
1 tbsp organic mayonnaise
fresh tomatoes sliced about three of them
cucumber sliced thinly about 3~4
salt, pepper and about a tbsp of sriracha sauce


Process
1. Roast picante pepper ( these pepper are absolutely delicious, sweet and not spicy at all, yet have a strong Jalepeno flavor and aroma). I place them directly on the stove top and let it roast for about 2 minutes on each side. You can shallow fry or broil in the oven
2. Spread Mayo on the sandwich
3. Layer tomatoes and cucumber
4. sprinkle grated cheese of your choice
5. Add sea salt, pepper and a generous dose of Sriracha sauce

Bite into this delicious sandwich and you can't stop at one, guaranteed.


Sourdough Bruschetta with caramelized Onions, Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar
Sourdough Bread From Beckmanns Bakery

Ingredients makes for 1

1 slice of Sourdough toasted
1/2 Onion sliced thinly
1/2 cup tomatoes diced
2 tbsp of Goat cheese
tbsp of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper according to taste
Process
1. Butter the toasted sourdough
2. Heat a pan, allow to get medium hot
3. Add tbsp of oil, salt and 1/4 tspn of sugar
4. Add sliced onions and allow then to saute without mixing/tossing  them for 2 ~ 3minutes, this allows for a beautiful caramelization. Now after 3 minutes turn around and toss till onions are coated on all sides.
5. Spread the sourdough bread with goat cheese
6. Layer with tomatoes
7. Now add caramelized onions
8. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper
9. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the open sandwich and relish


All the three sandwiched make for an appetizer, keep toasted bread, the topping and allow your guests to create their own sandwiches.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Masala Oats Upma ~ Curried Oats ~ Protein Packed

Masala Oats Upma ~ Curried Oats ~ Protein Packed
Oats is definitely an acquired taste, not something that I was used to growing up. During my routine visit to Doctor she did reinforce asking me to eat more Oats, especially steel cut. I have tried eating Oats with fruit, yogurt, just plain. I could not get used to the taste and the glutton after taste. So I had to Indianize Oats and was inspired by an Indian cooking show. Today's recipe is customized to be protein rich, you can create your own version with many of your pantry staples.
Ingredients
1 cup Steel cut Oats ~ Soaked for about  a minimu 30 min( I did soak them in the morning for use in the night)
1/2 cup Blanced Almonds
1/2 cup Sprouted Channa
1/2 cup Sprouted whole Urad dal
(You can add any sprouts of your choice)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup Tomato diced
1/2 mixed greens ( Cilantro, Spinach, Methi, Kale what ever greens you have at home)
Couple of sprigs of Mint (optional)
1/2 cup Roasted unsalted peanuts finely chopped for garnish

1 Tbsp Jeera (Cumin)
1 Tbsp Mustard seeds
1 Tbsp Urad dal
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped green chilies ( adjust according to your taste)
1 Tbsp finely chopped Garlic
1 Tbsp Garam Masala
1 Tbsp Jeera Powder
1 Tbsp Dhania Powder
1 Tbsp Tumeric
10 ~ 15 Curry leaves
1/4 Tspn Sugar
juice of one medium sized lemon
Salt according to taste
1 Tbsp of Olive oil

Process
1. Heat tbsp of oil in a pan, add cumin, mustard, urad dal
2. When mustard seeds begin to pop add ginger, green chilies, curry leaves, mint and tumeric
3.  Saute for a minute and then add sprouted beans and 1/4 cup of water a pinch of salt and allow to cook covered for about a minute or two
4. Add onions, greens to sprouts and mix well, fry till onions turn translucent
5. Drain Oats completely and add the above mixture
6. Add Cumin, Garam masala and Dhania powder
7. Add pinch of paprika or chili powder and adjust for salt
8. Add chopped tomatoes and almonds
9. Now add sugar and lemon juice mix well  and cook covered for about a minute or two

Remove from heat and garnish with crushed roasted peanuts and corriander and serve hot

Upma can be relished with raita or ketchup. Best eaten when hot
Oats definitely keep you full for a long and curb your hunger pangs. The fact that its filled with protein, fiber and is less on calories, this recipe is a sure keeper. I guarantee even the worst of Oats critics will ask for extra serving once they taste the curried version.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grilled Nectarines - With Honey, Vanilla &Berries - Must Try On Your Next Camping Trip - Has Summer Written All Over It

Grilled Nectarines - With Honey, Vanilla & Berries 
It is a long weekend for me this week, have our company shutting down couple of days and I took few days off making it the perfect 4th of July week. It's really been a while since I took a day off and had a "staycation". Spending the day at home with no agenda seems like such a luxury. Kids and I have enjoyed our outings, lunches and a movie. Hoping this week goes a little slower and last a little longer.
Stone fruit are abundant in the market, picked at their prime these stone fruit taste like sugar sweet, fleshy and delicious.Made grilled peaches for Mother's day barbecue few days back repeated the same with Nectarines today.

Absolutely simple, can be prepped ahead making it a perfect and healthy choice for BBQ's or camping. No hassle of clean up and can be customized according to ones taste.  

Makes for about 8 grilled Nectarines halves or 4 whole Nectarines
Ingredients
4 Nectarines well ripen, not to soft not to hard
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
tbsp of good Vanilla essence
1/2 tbsp of grate ginger optional
tbsp of lemon zest
few sprigs of mint
few berries like blueberries, strawberries or blackberries

1. In a microwaveable bowl add butter, sugar, Vanilla, ginger and lemon zest and mix well
2. Microwave on high for about two minutes checking in between
3. Remove from microwave and mix till sugar and butter are completely melted and mixed. Keep aside.


4. Clean and cut Nectarines into half, remove seed and lather butter sugar mixture, place berries in the middle and glaze with sugar butter solution. Add spring of mint and fresh lemon zest.
5. Wrap Nectarines in a aluminium foil and place in on the BBQ grill, fire pit or grill in an oven on medium heat for about 3~5 minutes

6. Remove from heat and when you open the aluminum pouch, you will be treated for some delicious caramel and grilled Nectarine.

7. Nectarines turns soft and creamy, a scoop of Vanilla ice cream would be a great compliment.

8. Optionally you can add fresh berries instead of grilling if you wish you. Since the fruit is in season and is very sweet few drop of lemon juice will also enhance the flavor.
9. You can ask your guests to create their own version by having various kind of toppings, also by making variations to the butter sugar mixture by adding various other flavorings.
Throw them into the campfire, wait for few minutes under the stars and in the company of your loved ones and cherish these delicious goodness.

This recipe can be made from Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Apples or even plums.

Stay safe and happy Fourth of July !!!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spicy Hara Bhara Paneer Kababs - Spicy Paneer Kababs - Perfect for Summer Barbecues

Spicy Hara Bhara Paneer Kababs 


The wait is over and summer vacations are officially on. When I dreamt of summer vacations I envisioned  schedule free days, no mad rush in the morning, no carpools and picks up to worry about kind of summer,was I in for a surprise or what ? summer vacations are turning out to be more stressful than imagined for the lack of routine. My childhood summers were spent carefree, the day school ended was the last time we looked at our books, off we were to grandparents home for close to two months. What followed was sheer fun, playing with cousins, sleeping on the terrace  under the open sky counting stars and looking for constellations, listening to uncles and grandmom's stories, eating mangoes to hearts content and just living a life of child. I so wish my kids experienced the same. The reality of today's summer is very brutal especially for kids in US as they get to higher grades. Summers for kids here especially in Bayarea is about taking courses in Math, computer sciences, etc.. to get to advance placements. The rush and the rat race for kids is really sad, sometimes I wonder what are we teaching kids when they can't think and act independent and enjoy some downtime and may be do nothing for a change.
Anyways planning to take sometime off work and spend time with kids and visit few places before the end of summer. Last weekend we celebrated Father's day barbecue at a dear friends home, and my soul sister made Paneer kakab's for BBQ and boy were they delicious. I brought home some leftovers and had to share the recipe with my dear readers so here goes the recipe for Hara Bhara Paneer Kabab's
Ingredients this makes for  marinate for about 10~12 kabab's

Marinate

1/2 cup Cilantro
1/2 cup Mint
1/2 cup Green chilies
1 cup Yogurt
1/4 cup Cream ( Optional, makes vegetable and meat tender)
1 tbsp of Pepper
1 tbsp of Red Chili powder
1 tbsp of Garam Masala
1 tbsp of fresh ginger & garlic paste
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
and salt according to taste
Paneer cubed about 2 inches
grape tomatoes
Green, Yellow and Red peppers
Sweet green chilies
1 onion cut into thick big chunks

Process
1. Grind green chilies, corriander and mint into a fine paste
2. Take yogurt in a bowl and add the above mixture and all the dry ingredients
3. Mix well till all the ingredients are well mixed
4. Now prick Paneer, pepper and chilies with a fork, this allows for the marinate to seep in and absorb the flavors
5. Add tomatoes and toss till all the vegetables are well coated
6. Transfer the contents into a ziploc bag and allow to marinate for atleast 2~3 hours, the longer the better.
7. I used mini skewers for today recipe, remove contents from the ziploc and stack paneer, tomatoe, peppers, onions and chilies in your desired order.
8. I use my trusted Cuisinart grill to sear, few minutes on all the sides and wallah delicious Kababs are ready to be savored.
Since its the season of Asparagus, got few tender ones from the farmers market and grilled the same. Just sprinkle some sea salt ,pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and you can't stop at one.
Any one looking to buy an indoor grill/griddle I recommend Cuisinart  griddler, makes for one excellent grill without the hassle of clean up and did I mention its very portable.



So here is hoping for a relaxing summer and wishing all of you the same. Hope you unwind and relax with friends and family grilling and just plain doing nothing :) 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Protein Rich Super Healthy - Spinach, Mint, Cilantro, Avocado & Paneer Parata

Spinach, Mint, Cilantro, Avocado & Paneer Parata 

Tried out this new recipe today and I had to post it on the blog. It's been quite hectic at home and work, I cannot wait for summer vacations to start.
Farmers market are abundant with fresh produce. Picked up Avocado's, baby spinach and fresh cilantro last week.

Ingredients makes for about 10 parata's
2 cups of washed spinach
1 cup cilantro/coriander
1 ripe Avocado cut into cubes
1/2 cup fresh mint
1 green chili
2 cups grated paneer
2~3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 tbsp of garam masala
2 tbsp of flax seed (optional)
pinch of chaat masala
tbsp of tumeric optional
tbsp of cumin seeds
salt according to taste
1. Wash all the greens and pat dry
2. Chop all greens and chili finely in a food processor, remove from the food processor and grated paneer and  mashed Avocado and mix well.
3. Now add all the dry ingredients
 5. Add flour and mix well. Spinach and Avocado leaves a lot of water so there might be no need to add any more, but if the consistency of the dough is not soft add water and adjust accordingly.
6. Take a small portion of the dough, roll into a ball and flatten using a rolling pin.
7. Heads up, this can be messy if the consistency of the dough is not right. Add flour if you see the roti sticking to the rolling pin.
8. Warm both side of the roti/parata on a tava/pan, add a little oil to crisp the edges.
9. Remove from heat and serve hot with Raita/pickle and a dollop of butter

 Healthy dinner/lunch option. Parata's come out extremely soft and best when eaten piping hot
Have a good rest of the week everyone.

 
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