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Herbed White Beans Hummus

May 26, 2011

I have been following Dr Fuhrman’s diet for a few weeks now and have been enjoying healthy eating.   Today for dinner I made White Beans Hummus lettuce wraps and they were delicious.  I love hummus and can have it every day of the week but this is a great variation for a change. I love the addition of fresh herbs in this recipe.  This recipe is straight out of Dr Fuhrman’s recipe list with slight modifications.  Original recipe also calls for a Tsp of Dijon Mustard and does not include garlic. Also since I am watching my calories especially from fat I did not add olive oil to my portion.

Ingredients

1 Can 15 oz White Beans

1 Tbsp Tahini (Sesame Paste)

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Tsp Lemon Juice (or to taste)

1 Tsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp Water

Salt to Taste

1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Basil

1 Tsp Finely Chopped Thyme

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch or two Red Pepper Flakes  

Method

  1. Drain and rinse White Beans.  
  2. In a food processer, grind Beans, Tahini, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Red Wine Vinegar, Salt and Water to paste.
  3. Add Basil and Thyme and pulse a few times. Do not over process.  You want herbs to be visible. 
  4. Transfer it to a serving bowl and drizzle some Olive Oil on top and sprinkle Red Pepper Flakes.

Can be served as dip for veggies/pita bread or use it as spread for sandwich or wraps.  I made lettuce wraps with this hummus, some fresh veggies and a blend of wild rice.   To my surprise, they were extremely scrumptious and of course healthy!

 

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Roasted Tomato and Vegetable Soup

May 17, 2011

So… I have been on my weight loss mission for over a week now and the results so far:  4 down, many more to go.    Of course I have been exercising and eating healthy.     Feeling muscles that I did not know exist and salads & smoothies are my best friends these days. The keys to sticking to healthy eathing are varity and creativity.  Don’t want to get bord eating same things and need to jazz dises with fresh herbs and spice.  Having said that,  I stood in front of my fridge full of colorful veggies and fruits wondering what I will have for dinner.   Looked at a carton of cherry tomatoes and wheels started turning and an idea of Roasted Tomato Soup was conceived.   I checked the crispers and found veggies that I could throw in.   What better way to warm up on this cold, rainy, and windy day than a bowl of Roasted Tomato and  Vegetable Soup?   Healthy, Satisfying, and Delicious!

Ingredients

25 Cherry Tomatoes (you can substitute about 4-5 Plum Tomatoes)

1 Medium Onion

4-6 Cloves Garlic1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil   

3 Cups of Vegetable Stock

1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Zucchini (roughly half a zucchini)

1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Celery (about 2 stalks)

¼ Cup Finely Chopped Carrots

1 Cup Chopped Kale

½ Avocados

½ Cup Black Beans

5 Leaves of Fresh Basil Thinly Sliced

½ Tsp Black Pepper

Salt to Taste

 

Method

  1.  Preheat Over  on 400 F
  2. Line baking tray with a piece of foil
  3. Wash, dry and place tomatoes on baking tray
  4. Rough Chop Onion and add to baking tray
  5. Add Cloves of Garlic to baking tray with skin on
  6. Roast Tomatoes, Onion, and Garlic for about 20 -25 minutes.
  7. Change temperature Setting to Broil and roast for 5 more minutes or until tomatoes and Onion Caramelize.  Watch closely to avoid burning.
  8. Chop all the vegetable.
  9. Once Tomatoes, Onion and Garlic are roasted,   let them cool and carefully peel Garlic skin off.
  10. Transfer it to a cooking pot with all the liquid that is released.
  11. Add, Vegetable Stock, quarter of an Avocado, and ¼ Cup Black Beans to the pot.
  12. With a hand blender, blend everything together until smooth.
  13. Turn the flame and bring it to boil. 
  14. Add Carrots, Celery and remaining Black Beans.
  15. Simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.
  16. Add Zucchini, Avocado, Basil and Kale and simmer for five more minutes.

I am trying to avoid fat calories so i did not but you can top it with cheese (Cheddar or Parmigiano Reggiano ) and Serve it with your choice of bread. 

Aloo Matar–Curried Potatoes and Peas

May 12, 2011

A fresh bag of peas is calling my name as I open the fridge.    Whenever is see fresh peas in grocery store I always get it.  Matar Bangan (Peas and eggplant) subzi Guajarati style is a family favorite (which I will save for a later post).  But to break away from same old, I decided to make Aloo Matar (Potatoes and Peas)North Indian style.   Aloo Matar is fairly simple, quick and child friendly recipe.   So here is how Curried Potatoes and Peas are made.

 

 

 

Ingredients

2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Peas

2 Large Potatoes

2 Roma Tomatoes

1 Medium Onion

½ inch Piece Ginger

2-3 Cloves of Garlic

1 Tsp Cumin Seeds

1 Tsp Turmeric

1 Tsp Red Chili Powder

2 Tsp Coriander Powder

¼ Tsp Garam Masala

¼ Tsp Aamchur Powder (dried Mango Powder)

¼ Cup Milk

1 Tsp Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)

2 Tbsp Oil

Salt to Taste

Pinch of Asafetida

 

 

 

Method

  1.  Peel, wash, and dice potatoes in to Medium pieces.
  2. Crush Ginger and Garlic to make a coarse paste
  3. In a pan/Kadhai heat oil until cumin seeds splutters.  You can test by adding few to oil.
  4. Once oil is hot enough, add Cumin Seeds and Asafetida.
  5. Add Onion and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add Tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Add Turmeric, Red Chili Powder, Garam Masala, Coriander Powder, Aamchur Powder and Salt.
  8. Cook Tomatoes and Onion until Tomatoes break down and mixture is pasty.
  9. Add Peas and Potatoes and 2 -2/12 Cup Water.
  10. Bring it to boil then cover and cook on medium flame until everything is cooked.
  11. Take Kasuri Methi in your palm and crumble it with your fingers to make it finer.
  12. Add Milk and Kasuri Methi.
  13. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium flame. 
  14. Garnish with Fresh Coriander leaves.

Serve hot with your choice of flat bread (Roti, Paratha, Naan or Puri) and also pairs well with hot seaming rice.

Ragada Patties

May 10, 2011

 

Hope everyone had a fabulous Mother’s Day.    It is nice that we dedicate a day in a year to honor and appreciate our Mothers, but a day is not enough.  We should be thankful and appreciate our Mothers everyday of our lives for their Selfless nurturing, unconditional love, forgiveness for our mistakes, wearing many hats to make it all work for us and understanding the words we sometimes do not speak.   Savor every moment with her and cherish every memory.    

I lost my mother to a hard fought battle against Pulmonary Fibrosis less than a year ago. But she is alive within me as I am only a reflection of her.     She has taught me to be who I am today.    My culinary zeal is also one the of many things I have inherited from her.   Throughout her live she had demonstrated to be tough and meet life challenges eye to eye.  She never lost her sparkle and zest for life even during a vicious fight against Pulmonary Fibrosis.    

I miss her dearly, but her life altering guidance, love, memories, teachings, and perspectives will live within me till deaths do as apart.  

Happy Mother Day All ! But A day is not enough to delicate to our moms.  

When mom was around we usually went out for dinner because my mom and I were always cooking, so that was our way of taking a break from kitchen.  But this Mothers Day, I cooked at home in a long time and of course one of my mom’s favorite.  Sunday’s lunch was all about Chaat, especially Ragada Patties.  

Chaat is the most popular street food in India.  There is never a trip to India that does not include eating Chaat on road side Stalls…there is nothing like it.   Chaat is made from savory snacks, piled on with pieces of potatoes, onions, and Chutneys.  However, it is not limited to these ingredients as it has many versions.     I have prepared Ragada Patties, a favorite home made chaat. Ragada Patties has  2 main components:  Ragada which is Peas Stew and Pattie that is made from potatoes, herbs, and spices.  So in a bowl of Peas Stew, Patties are place and topped with Sev, Diced onions, Coriander and Tamarind Chutneys, and Yogurt.   Yum Yum Yum!!! It is warm, sweet, tangy, and spicy with creamy yogurt.   Your taste buds will come alive with a just spoonful of Chaat. 

 

 

 

Here are the Items needed to put Ragada Patties together:

 

Click on the item to view the recipe.

  • Ragada— Dried Green or Yellow Peas Stew (scroll Down for recipe)
  • Aloo Tikki—Boild Potatoes Patties
  • Coriander Chutney –Coriander Sauce
  • Tamarind Date Chutney– Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Chopped Onions
  • Yogurt-Beat it with whisk/fork and add little water or milk to make it slightly runny.
  • Sev/Basen Bujia- Crispy Gram Flour Noodles (widely available in any Indian Store which is what I have used.)
  • Clopped Coriander leaves

 I made both Chutneys at home but they are available in any Indian grocery store if you don’t not want go through the trouble.  

 

 

Ragada  Ingredients

1 Cup Green or yellow dried Peas Soaked overnight

1 Medium Onion Finely Copped

1 Inch Piece Cinnamon

3-4 Cloves

5 Curry Leaves

1/8 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/8 Tsp Ground Clove

¼ Tsp Garam Masala

½ Tsp Mustard Seeds

1 Tsp Turmeric

1 Tsp Red Chili Powder

2 Tbsp Oil

2 Whole Red Chilies

Salt to Taste

Pinch of Asafetida

 

 

Method

  1. Cook Peas by boiling or in a pressure cooker.   Smash peas with back of spoon to break them down a little.
  2. In Kadhai or sauce pan heat oil.  Test by adding a few mustard seed. If they pop right away, oil is hot enough.
  3. Add Mustard Seed, Whole Red Chilies, Asafetida, Cinnamon Piece, Cloves, and Curry Leaves and roast for 30-50 Seconds.    Please keep in mind that Cloves tend to pop and sometimes flys out of pan so keep a dish hand to cove as everything is being roasted.
  4. Add chopped Onion and cook for 3 minutes. 
  5. Add Garam Masala, Turmeric, Red Chili Powder, and Salt. Mix well and cook for another minute or two.
  6. Add Peas and 2- 3 Cups of water.
  7. Bring to it to boil and simmer until half the water evaporates.
  8. Add Ground Cinnamon and Clove.
  9. Do a taste test and adjust seasoning if necessary. 
  10. Ragada or Peas Stew is read.

Serving Ragada Patties

In a serving plate or bowl pour some Ragada and place 2 Patties on top. Mount that will handful of Sev followed by Coriander and Tamarind Chutneys.  Finish it off with some of diced onion, yogurt and fresh chopped Coriader Leaves.

 

Tamarind Honey/Date Chutney

May 10, 2011

Tamarind Date Chutney is a Sweet and Sour sauce made of Tamarind and Date puree with a few dried spices.  This chutney is what gives chaat its tangy taste and this sticky sauce makes chaats finger licking good!   In this recipe I am substituting honey for date puree as I realized that I ran out of Dates.   You can even use brown sugar for sweetness.    Measurements in this recipe are guidelines, so you can adjust according to your taste.

If you decide to make this with dates, take about 10 -15 dates (small verity or about 10 big ones), remove Pits, and soak them in a cup of warm water for about half an hour.   Puree them in a food process and strain the pulp. Do not add too much water.  Use back of spoon to help you strain the pulp if strainer is clogged.   If you want to save yourself this trouble you can buy jars of date and tamarind pulp from an Indian grocery store.

 

 

Ingredients

3 Tbsp Tamarind Pulp (I use store bought Pulp)

6 Tbsp Honey (Or date pulp)

¼ Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/8 Tsp Ground Clove

1/8 Tsp Black Salt

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

¼ Tsp Salt

2-3 Tbsp Water

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until well incorporated and adjust taste if necessary.  Tangy Chutney is ready…

Coriander Chutney

May 10, 2011

Chutneys are blend of different spices and herbs, and they can be spicy, sweet, sour, and  everything in between.  Coriander Chutney is so versatile.  It can be served as dipping sauce, dressing for a chaat, spread for a sandwich and much more.    In some households, it is part of everyday menu.   So here is simple recipe for Coriander Chutney.

 Ingredients

2 Cup Roughly Clopped Coriander

2 Green Chili

1 Inch Piece Ginger

2 Cloves Garlic

¼ Of an Onion

3 Tsp Raw Sesame Seeds

1 Tsp Cumin Seeds

2 Tbs Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Sugar

Salt to Taste

 

Method

Grind all above ingredients except salt with about ¼ cup water.  Add more water to grind if necessary.     Add salt to taste and water to adjust consistence to your liking.  You can substitute raw peanuts for Sesame seeds.

Aloo Tikki

May 10, 2011

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

4 Potatoes (Medium to Large)

1 Tbsp Ginger Chili Paste (1 Chili + Inch Piece Ginger)

1 Tbsp Coriander Leaves

½ Tsp Garam Masala

½ Tsp Ammchur Powder

Salt to Taste

Oil Pan Fry

 

Method

  1.  Cook Potatoes until well done.  I cook them in microwave.  To cook by microwave, peel, clean, rough chop, and cook in a covered bowl on 6-7 minutes or until done.  Time will vary depending on your microwave.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash Potatoes and add all other ingredients except oil.
  3. Mix well and do taste test.  If necessary, adjust seasonings.
  4. Take a hand full of mixture in your hand, from a ball, and press it down between palms to flatten it lightly.  Flatten Potato Patti should be about 1/3 – ¼ inch thick.
  5. Repeat until all mixture is finished.
  6. Heat a pan on medium heat. 
  7. Once hot, spread oil on one surface of the Patti and place on pan oily surface touching pan.
  8. Let it cook until a golden brown crust forms. 
  9. Now oil surface facing up and flip to cook on the other side until golden brown.
  10. Patties are done.

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