MultiGrain Veggie Open Faced Sandwich

Life is super darn busy with 2 little boys keeping me on my toes all from dawn to dusk. I have no time to sit and sip a cup of tea or watch my favorite cooking programs or read a book. Nevertheless it has been very rewarding and thankful for my little ones and my life in general. Life has changed for the better in every possible way but some basic necessities always remain and one critical thing is food. My older son tells me that he wants to eat this, eat that and it actually makes me want to make for him and when he says “Yummy Yummy hai” in Hindi, my hearts melts and pounds with immense joy. For the most part he eats whatever I serve him at times he asks for something different which makes me come up with something easy and cheesy for him and one such recipe is this sandwich. It’s a great way to add multigrain, vegetables and calcium (cheese) all in one sandwich.

Preparing Open Faced Sandwich


Ingredients:
1 zucchini grated
1 green pepper diced
1 roasted pepper in jar or homemade
1/4 cabbage thinly sliced
Butter
Whole grain bread
1 small garlic clove minced (optional)
Cheese of your choice
1 tsp olive oil
Salt per taste
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ready to be baked ~ Open Faced Sandwich


Directions:
Heat oil and sauté zucchini, cabbage, bell pepper and garlic. When the vegetables are almost cooked, add salt and pepper, let it cool. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Apply butter on each slice of bread. Place some vegetable mixture, then some roasted peppers cut thinly on top. Sprinkle some shredded cheese. I used my favorite fontina cheese. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and place the bread and bake it for about 3 minutes or until the cheese melts and corners of the bread are golden brown. If you want the cheese to be brown, you can broil it for a minute or less.

Fresh, Hot from the Oven ~ MultiGrain Vegetable Open Faced Sandwich


NOTE: If you do not have roasted peppers in the jar, you can use fresh peppers or even substitute with grated carrots while cooking other vegetables. You can also add red pepper flakes or jalapenos for extra kick if you like.

Posted in Main Course, MultiGrain Veggie Sandwich | Tagged | 6 Comments

Sprouted Methi Salad

Going, going, gone! Haven’t we all heard this phrase? We often use this when things move so fast, time flies, within a blink of an eye things ended etc. Similarly I can’t believe it myself that my little is growing, growing and he is 5 months old already! I must say that this has been the best phase of my life; watch him grow and spend time with him. With warm sunny afternoons and slightly cool evenings, I take a stroll my kids around the block and my husband joins us should he come home early, This is the simplest yet the best time we spend together. I think we are experienced and panic less for things and handle everything way better when we have a second child. I guess that’s why we are able to manage time better as well. At least this has been experience so far and I take advantage of the fresh crisp summer vegetables in my salads. Check out this crispy, crunchy, lemony and a little bitter salad from sprouted methi (fenugreek seeds) and methi also helps in lowering high blood pressure (Google to read plenty of articles on this).

Fresh, Crispy, Colorful Summer Salad



Ingredients:

1 tbsp Methi
1/4 cup Napa Cabbage
1 Tomato diced
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 lime or lemon juice
Salt per taste
1 tsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper

Sprouted Methi Salad with grilled Asparagus


Directions:
Soak methi seeds overnight in water. In the morning drain the water and cover it with a lid which has hole(s). Keep it aside in a warm place. By evening the methi sprouts if it’s a good hot day. Blanch broccoli in lightly salted water until slightly tender, remove, let it cool. Thinly cut the cabbage and mix it with all the vegetable. Add salt, lemon juice, pepper as per taste and drizzle olive oil, toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve as is or as I took advantage of the summer vegetables, grill asparagus by marinating it with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Sprouted Methi Salad perfect for any day


NOTE: If the weather is not warm, turn on oven to about 300F degrees, turn it off and then place the methi inside for sprouting. Check until evening if sprouting has started, if not, very lightly sprinkle water, again on/off oven and keep it until sprouting.

Posted in Salads, Sprouted Methi Salad | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Homemade Satthu

Hello spring where are you? Yes, I keep asking this since there are thunder storms with heavy down pour every day. It was an unusual winter with completely dry days and nature fooled us all including the trees to bloom with flowers of bright yellow, white, orange and many more when there was just a few days of sunshine. Oh well, mother nature is so unpredictable and so powerful. Seasons change makes my little one who turned two months sleeps even longer! He loves to sleep bundled up tightly in his swaddle and it surely is such a joy to watch him. This also gives me extra time to make something for the sweet tooth; something that is fast, easy and satisfying not to mention it brings back memories when it was always there in our kitchen growing up. Here I am sharing this recipe with you so you can build memories with your family too.

Ingredients:
1 cup roasted channa dal powdered
1/2 cup powdered sugar or per taste
1 cardamom pod powdered
2 tbsp ghee
Edible silver for decoration (optional)

Directions:
Heat ghee in a kadai then add the channa powder, stir until you get the aroma. Now add the powdered sugar, taste and adjust. Then add the cardamom, mix well. While it is warm, roll into small balls, stick edible silver. Let it cool before storing in an airtight container.

Homemade Satthu


NOTE:The roasted channa dal is the one used in making coconut chutney

Super easy, delicious and satisfying ~ Satthu

Posted in Desserts, Homemade Satthu | Tagged | 18 Comments

Tomato Mint Pulao

Time is ticking and I just have a handful of hours to kill before the big day arrives, I am still trying to cook and enjoy foods that I like. I know it sounds crazy but I somehow have been enjoying this journey this time a lot more than the first time. May be it is because of the fact that I am more experienced and know what to expect and hence more prepared. And who knows, this might be the last addition to my family, so I decided to enjoy as much as I can and I truly believe everything is in the mindset, of course taking into consideration my body limitations and listen to it for any signs. Added to this excitement are the warmer days and longer sunshine which makes it even more cheerful. I don’t spend too much cooking but still something fast, yet delicious and use the ingredients I have in my pantry all year around. One such recipe is this simple yet super duper delicious one pot meal, rather one cooker meal that cooks in minutes and can satisfy any finicky eater.

One pot meal ~ Tomato Mint Pulao


Ingredients:
1 cup basmati rice
1 medium onion cut lengthwise
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 medium tomato diced
A few sprigs of fresh or dry mint leaves
2 bay leaves
1/2 cinnamon stick
3 – 4 cloves
A few cloves of garlic
1 cardamom’s seeds powdered
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 jalapeno cut in round or per taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp of red chili powder or per taste
Salt as per taste

Super delicious ~ Tomato Mint Pulao



Directions:

Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker, add mustard seeds, let it splutter. Then add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves followed by onions and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the tomato paste, sauté for a minute then add the diced tomatoes. Add other spices, rice and mix well. Now add water which measures a little less than twice the amount of rice. Add the cardamom powder and all the chopped mint leaves, about 1/4 cup, taste and adjust for seasonings. Bring it to a boil, reduce the flame to medium, give it one pressure and immediately turn it off. Try to release the pressure after sometime slowly but be careful. This ensures the rice grains are separate and not mushy at all. Fluff it with a fork after sometime and once it is completely cool. Do not over mix it. Tastes too good with those whole garlic cloves and all the spices if served as is or even with a side of raita. Enjoy!

Super Easy One Pot Meal ~ Tomato Mint Pulao

Posted in Main Course, Tomato Mint Pulao | Tagged | 8 Comments

Eggless Vanilla Chocolate Cake

Can’t believe just a handful of days to go and my life is going to be busier and change for the better with my new bundle of joy! Added to this joy, the weather is certainly like winter. Just a week ago I had experienced such cold rainy days and now its warmer days with sun beautifully shining through the sky. I could continue my walks before my final due date with my 3 yr old in his bike up to the park. I must say, I am enjoying these last few days of pregnancy although I get tired as evening approaches. I have enough enthusiasm and energy that I decided to bake a cake and treat myself before I will be tied up and have restrictions in my diet. Yes, in Indian culture we do follow some diet restrictions once the baby is born for a certain period. Nevertheless, I appreciate all those cultural significance and customs that has been handed over by generations. This recipe is a simple twist to any regular white cake but its gives such a pizazz.

Eggless Vanilla Chocolate Ready


Recipe:
1&1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Vanilla Chocolate Cake just baked


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a small baking pan (9 x 12) with oil or Baking spray such as PAM. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring together until well combined. Remove about 1/4th portion of the mixture and add about 1 tbsp of cocoa powder and mix well. Add more if needed. Pour 1/2 of the non-cocoa mixture in the baking pan, followed by carefully pouring the cocoa mixture, then again the non-cocoa mixture. Bake in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the center of the cake when pricked with a tooth pick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy it as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

A slice of heaven ~ Eggless Vanilla Chocolate Cake



TIP:
If you make a bigger batch, you can have more alternating layers of white and chocolate cake which will be more prettier.

Posted in Desserts, Eggless Vanilla Chocolate Cake | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Instant Oatmeal Idlis

The weather is getting chillier by the day, with pouring rain and my delivery date ain’t far either. Getting to do things and moving around in itself is becoming a challenge. Walking is good during pregnancy but I only do so when weather permits. So just eating and sitting will do no good for any of us, forget about eating fried food. So, I wanted to incorporate something healthy, quick and tasty all in one. Now, I am becoming ambitious! Seriously, ambitious! But my sister came to my rescue and suggested making recipes which most of have in our pantry and understanding my limited mobility and not to mention the tiredness that comes with it. I bet you, this is one of the best recipes I have ever made. It is really easy to put together, the texture was superb, taste was unbeatable and super healthy. Now, can I ask for anything more? Try it for yourself and let me know.

Oatmeal Idlis ~ Super Soft and Super Tasty


Recipe: (Makes approx. 16)

1 & 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup sooji
3/4 cup plain beaten yogurt or thick buttermilk
1/4 cup of finely chopped vegetables of your choice
1 tsp grated ginger
1 finely chopped green chili or per taste
Salt per taste
Some Finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp of Fruit Salt (Eno) or Baking Soda

For Tempering:
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
A pinch of hing (optional)

Oatmeal Idlis ~ Super Delicious


Directions:

In a vessel, dry roast oats and sooji together until you get the aroma and the color turns just a little brown on a medium low flame. Keep aside. Mix all the ingredients including the tempered. Adjust seasonings. The consistency of the batter must be like idli batter or a little thick waffle or pancake batter. Grease idli plates, pour a ladle into each greased idli plate, and steam it for about 15 minutes. Take it out, let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing, else it will stick. Serve as is or with any chutney you prefer. I had dhania chutney and it was just fantastic.

Oatmeal Idlis ~ Super Soft, Super Tasty & Super Healthy


NOTE: I used chopped carrots only but I have used even finely chopped string beans, peas, even spinach.
Also, if you do not have idli plates, just use a cake pan and steam it. The shape will not be round unless you want to use a cookie cutter but the taste is not compromised at all.
If the instant oatmeal is too big, you can powder it a little in your blender without water

Posted in Breakfast, Grains, Instant Oatmeal Idlis, Oatmeal | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Polenta Sandwiches

I have been making a lot of comfort foods due to long cold winter days so I thought I of adding a few non-Indian comfort foods too as soon as I saw my favorite chef and food network star Giada De Laurentiis polenta preparation on TV and immediately fell in love with it. I just added my twist to it after I have seen several versions of polenta being served in various restaurants and events. Polenta could be eaten in many ways – by having different toppings, layered, with sauce etc. Nevertheless, the simple plain polenta is satisfying by itself. Try it and see it for yourself.

Polenta Sandwiches with Fresh Crisp Salad


Ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 1/2 cup thawed spinach or 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Pesto Sauce
- Sun dried tomato pesto or pasta sauce
- Roasted Red bell pepper in the jar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- Salt per taste

Directions:

Bring about 2 cups of water, 1 tbsp butter, and some salt as per taste to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the polenta thickens for about 5 minutes. Now, pour the cooked polenta into a greased 9 by 9-inch baking pan, spreading so that it is 1/3-inch thick. Cover and let stand at room temperature until set for about 15 minutes. Cut the polenta into small squares as you desire. Arrange the polenta squares on a platter.
Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic, then the spinach, sprinkle a little water and let it cook for about 3 – 5 mins until wilted. Add some salt and pepper and check for seasonings. Keep it aside to cool. Now spread some pesto sauce on the polenta square, arrange a piece of roasted red bell pepper, then some spinach. Spread some sun-dried tomato pesto or pasta sauce on another polenta square and cover the spinach with this other polenta square like a sandwich, sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy with a side of fresh crisp salad.

Satisfying and Comforting ~ Polenta Sandwiches


NOTE: Make sure to squeeze all the water if frozen spinach is used. To make your own roasted red bell pepper, you can find my recipe here – How To – Roasted Bell Pepper. There are tons of recipe available for pesto. If you don’t want to use it, you can simply use the pasta sauce or sun-dried tomato pesto on both the polenta.

Posted in Main Courses, Polenta Squares | Tagged , , | 8 Comments