Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spagetti With Brussel Sprouts & Beans & To The World Of Explorers And Adventurers

Spagetti With Brussel Sprouts & Beans - Simple, Easy & Delicious


Fall my favorite season of the year is here, air is crisp and chill, leaves are turning color, days are getting shorter yet life seems to be getting busier. Hard to believe we are at the tail end of the year.
 
Last few weeks/weekends have been very hectic, there were classes I attended, courses I had to complete all this definitely took a toll but also squeezed in a weekend with friends to San Luis
Obispo a beautiful coastal town, which was a total blast. Chatted not stopped, hiked over the dunes to catch the waves, cooked and ate to hearts content and played cards till the wee hours. Friends sure are a blessing and I am thankful for my bounty.


Last week my eight year old and I were reading book together, I love when I cuddle up with the little one, he is a curious kid and loves to listen putting his head on my lap. These moments I cherish I wonder if he would be the same five years from now and still think it’s cool to listen to amma read with his head on my lap, wishful thinking I guess. But the end result of the book reading got me thinking ,it’s a book about extra ordinary adventurers and explorers for kids, has two page stories about greatest explorers starting from Hercules to as latest as Mae Jemison.
We read about 5th century Chinese explorer Hoei-shin who some argue was the first to discover America, as we were into the story I was thinking what is it in a person that pushes them to thread waters never threaded, discover places never explored, lead rather that follow given the perils and uncertainty of the surroundings. In an age of GPS and information overload where every turn is monitored and every move is directed and every action is predicted how do we keep with spirit of adventure, more importantly how do we nurture this spirit in kids. I grew up in a society with boundaries drawn, and I often see myself behaving the same with kids, like my parents I have their best intentions at heart. I want my kids to draw their own boundaries want them define their dream on their own yet fear giving them that freedom. Parenting I guess is a lesson you read and practice every day of your life till your last breath.

Taking about kids, Spaghetti is their absolute favorite, feed them any time of the day and they will eat without complaints. My recipe is very simple and I usually add whatever vegetables are available fresh in season and this time on it is Brussels sprouts and yellow beans.

Makes for about 3~4 servings
Takes 20 min

Ingredients
3~4 cups of Spaghetti cooked according to instructions
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
4~5 juiciest and ripest you can find, diced into cubes
½ tspn red pepper flakes
2 tbsp of Olive oil
1 cup of roasted Brussels sprouts and beans (optional)
Few sprigs of fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper according to taste
Process
1. Warm olive oil in a pan and add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds or so and then add crushed pepper flakes
2. Now add diced tomatoes and sauté for about a minute and now add salt and sauté for about a minute of two
3. Add basil leaves,Brussels sprouts and beans and toss well.
4. Add cooked spaghetti and toss till it well coated
5. Adjust for salt and pepper





Remove from heat and serve with grated cheese and a good loaf of bread. Here’s to my kids and for them to always have the spirit of adventure just like the super hero they worship Elon Musk.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spicy Street Taco's - A Yard House Inspiration

Spicy Street Taco's
 
 

One of those days when I am experiencing writer’s block, there is so much to say but words fall short of expression. Last few weeks have been good, kids adjusted well to their new grades, project that I was managing got rolled out, celebrated some special milestones of extended family, slept to heart content over the long weekend, picked up a new book to read. So all in all life is good. But then there are days which I am sure all of us go through that can drive you against the wall screaming, had few of those thrown in last few weeks as well. The end result of the restlessness always boils down to expectations both from me and for me and managing those is always a challenging task and so goes on life managing them :)

Last Friday couple of girl friends and I had a date at Yard House this was my first time and had no expectations as such. Being a sports bar type restaurant I was so sure menu would hardly contain vegetarian options but to my surprise food was DELICIOUS had so many vegetarian and healthy options that came out belly full at the end of the night. I had HONGOS Y RAJAS a street taco made of shiitake mushrooms, roasted pasilla peppers and grilled onions with lemon sriracha aïoli, jack, feta, avocado and red chili threads , boy it tasted good and perfect portion size.

Was so inspired by the dish that when I saw Pasilla peppers in the farmers market I knew I had to make it at home for my family and good friend who was coming over for dinner Sunday night.
So here goes my version of HONGOS Y RAJAS or street taco

Ingredient
Makes for about 8~10 taco
8~10 soft shell taco's
5~6 Pasilla pepper pan roasted and chopped into threads
2 bell peppers sliced thin
1 yellow onion sliced
2 carrots sliced thin
1/2 cup corn
avocado sliced into thin strips
store brought Taco seasoning
salt according to taste
tbsp of olive oil

For Sauce/Aioli
1/2 sriracha sauce
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup store brought canned beans (optional)


For Salsa
1 red onion
1 Jalapeno
2 tomatoes diced into cubes
fresh coriander finely chopped
juice of one lemon
salt according to taste

Process
1. heat a tsp of olive oil in a flat pan, when oil gets warm add onions and saute for 3~4 minutes till they turn golden brown.
2. Add generous portion of taco seasoning and salt and mix well and remove from heat and keep aside
3. Repeat the same process for bell peppers, carrots and peppers and keep aside
4. Prepare the sauce /aioli by blending in all the ingredients together into a fine paste.
5. Mix all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and keep aside.

6. Assemble the taco, first spread a generous portion of the sauce and spread across the taco with a spoon, now ladle peppers,carrots,pasiclla pepper,onions,corn and avocado's
7. Top it with a generous portion of salsa and add choice of cheese and cilantro

Roll up and enjoy a delicious ,healthy and spicy taco with chilled lemonade /beer/wine or any other chilled beverage of your choice.
I would highly recommend Yard House if you are around the area and make sure to have reservations as it can get pretty crowded.

 
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