Category Archives: sides

Best of 2015

I had a lot of fun in 2015 trying new recipes from around the world. There are many keepers in the list that i cooked over and over again, and I expect, will continue to do so.

Here are some of my most favorite recipes…

bajji2

APPETIZERS & SNACKS

Baked Bajji

Baked Vada

qd3

GRAINS:

Quinoa Dosa

One-pot Mexican Quinoa

Mango Poha

Quinoa Vangi Bath

Cranberry Poha

cauli_kale_chickpe2

BEANS & LENTILS

Cauliflower, Kale, Chickpea  Curry Pot

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices

kumquat2

JAMS & JELLIES

Anise Flavored Kumquat Marmalade

hummus1

DIPS & SAUCES

Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus

wrap3

WRAPS & SANDWICHES

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

ztgratin

CASSEROLE

Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Gratin

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

cherry5

DESSERTS

Pumpkin Payasam

Cherry Swirl with Dark Chocolate & Cherry Bits

Baklava

air20152

BREADS, COOKIES & CAKES

Farro and Sun-dried Tomato Foccacia

Cherry and Cardamon Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Airplane Cookies

wmcooler2

JUICES & SMOOTHIES

Watermelon Cooler

tomatoYogurt2

CURRIES & MORE

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Onion

CherrySalad

SALADS

Cherry and Avocado Salad

BS1

SIDES

Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

mgs

SOUPS

Vibrant Beets Soup

Mediterranean Grain Soup

IMG_3241

WHAT’S POPULAR WITH YOU?

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth Dosa

Spicy Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Valor Papdi Bean

Baked Bajji

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

Quinoa Upma

Mango Carrot Muffins

chickpea_brusselssprouts

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Cranberry Poha

Revamping an old recipe with new ingredients

cranpoha2

Ingredients:

1 cup poha
1/2 onion sliced thin
1 small potato cut into small pieces
1 jalapeno sliced
1-2 tsp oil
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dry red chilli
1/2 cup cranberries
a handful of cashews or peanuts
few curry leaves
salt to taste

In a pan, heat the oil. Add channa dal, urad dal, red chilli,  cashews or peanuts (or both), and mustard seeds and fry till lightly golden. Add curry leaves and jalapeno and fry for a few seconds. Add onion, and potato and fry on medium low mixing as necessary to prevent sticking, until onion are translucent and golden and potatoes crispy. Rinse and process the cranberries in a food processor until chopped fine. Add to the pan and fry for a few seconds.

Meanwhile rinse poha in some cold water. Don’t leave it in too long, or it will get soft and mushy. Rinse, and squeeze out the water and add to the pan above. Mix well. Season with salt and leave for 1-2 minutes.

cranpoha1

Serve warm with a cup of tea.

Maple Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries

I love to try new recipes with Brussels Sprouts. I recently tried this one with some alterations, of course, and it was not bad.

bs

Ingredients:

48 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
3-4 tbsp coconut oil
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries
orange rind from one orange
salt and fresh ground pepper
Juice of one orange

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss Brussels sprouts with coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Drizzle orange juice. Roast from 10-15 minutes. Toss midstream.

brussels2

Continue to roast for another 15 minutes. I like crispy and browned Brussels sprouts, so I left them on an additional 10-15 minutes. Add in pecans and cranberries and continue to roast for another 5-10 minutes.

Drizzle some orange or  lemon juice.

Serve warm.

Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I ate at BJ’s for the first time, while I was visiting Daytona Beach recently. I shared some Roasted Brussels Sprouts with a fellow student and they were so good, I wanted to try to make them,  the first chance I got. Here’s my variation of this side dish.

BS1

Ingredients:

1 lb Brussels Sprouts, rinsed and sliced in half
1 tbsp Olive Oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to season

Dressing:

2 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lime juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees,

Rinse and slice the Brussels Sprouts. Drizzle some olive oil, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Roast the Brussels Sprouts for 45 minutes to an hour.

bs2

Meanwhile mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Drizzle the dressing before serving. I think BJ’s also deep fries the roasted Brussels Sprouts briefly before serving, which I didn’t do.

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Tomato is one of my favorite vegetables/fruits. I always have several different varieties of tomatoes in my refrigerator on any given day: tomatoes on the vine, roma, mini heirloom (my current favorite), yellow tomatoes, green tomatoes to name a few.

st1

In South India, chutneys with a given vegetable are popular: such as eggplant, tomato, bottlegourd, snake gourd etc. So too are stews in yogurt sauce such as eggplant, tomato, bottlegourd, snake gourd and more. Do you notice a pattern?
tomatoYogurt

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes on a vine
a dash of turmeric
a touch of asafoetida
salt to taste
2 cups yogurt (or I like to use yogurt and buttermilk combination)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
a few curry leaves
1 sliced jalapeno
a little chopped  cilantro for garnishing

IMG_3684

Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped tomato and cook for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked and the moisture evaporates. Transfer to a bowl. Add yogurt and mix well.

tom1

Add 1 tsp oil to a pan. Add turmeric, asafoetida, channa dal, urad dal, mustard, cumin and fenugreek seed. Fry till lightly golden. Add curry leaves and jalapeno and fry lightly. Add to the bowl with tomato and yogurt. Mix well. Season with salt and garnish with chopped cilantro.

tomatoYogurt2

Refreshing with rice or with some roti.

See Also:

Spinach and Yogurt Stew
Snake Gourd and Yogurt Stew

Eggplant Involtini

Mediterranean in May

I’ve had the book: Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean for a while, but haven’t cooked any recipes from it at all. In order to get fit and follow a Mediterranean diet, I am planning to try out recipes from this book during the month of May. I plan to adapt the recipes to my personal liking, so they will most likely never follow the original to a T. Also I might cut back the quantity to make only 1-2 servings.

Involtini in Italy means thin slices that are rolled with a filling. It can be slices of beef, pork or chicken. For a vegetarian, eggplant will do nicely 🙂

IMG_5771

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/8 fresh parsley
a few chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1 tbsp plumped raisins
1/8 cup orange juice
1 garlic clove
salt to season

Preheat the broiler.

Thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Lay out on a clean towel, sprinkle with salt and let stand to allow juices to drain. Rinse the eggplant slices under cold water, pat dry and brush with olive oil on both sides. Broil about 3 minutes each side until slightly charred.

Meanwhile, mix bread crumbs, parsley,  nuts, raisins and garlic. Add orange juice, drizzle some olive oil and mix well.

Layout each slice of broiled eggplant on a flat surface, place 1/2 tbsp of filling on one end of the slice. Roll the slice, and place on a warm serving plate. Repeat for other eggplant slices.

Goes well as a side or an appetizer.

Adapted from the book Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean.

Sun-dried Tomato & Jalapeno Hummus

One of my favorite combinations is Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno: be it for bread or hummus. And of course you can’t find this in the grocery store. So I decided to make my own.

hummus1

Ingredients:

2/3 cup dry chickpeas
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1-2 jalapenos
2-3 garlic cloves
3-4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
salt to taste
a few crushed peppers to sprinkle

Soak the chickpeas overnight or for 10 -12hours in twice the amount of water. Rinse and cover with 1.5 times water and steam in a pressure cooker. I typically use twice the amount of water, but this time decided to reduce the amount, so I don’t need to throw any left over water away. You can also cook the chickpeas stove top until the chickpeas soften. Remove and let cool.

To make hummus, add cooked chickpeas, sun dried tomato, jalapeno and garlic to a food processor. Add  the left over water from the the cooked chickpeas as needed and pulse till the ingredients are processed to a smooth paste.

Season with salt,  drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and pulse lightly.

hummus2

Sprinkle some red crushed pepper (optional) and serve with some crackers or make some healthy wraps.