Aloo Keema (Curried Ground Beef with Potatoes)

>> Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

1 pound lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, sliced   
3-4 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon garlic/ginger paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 whole cloves
sea salt to taste
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3-4 red potatoes, cut into small cubes (See note)
1 green chili for garnish (optional)
small handful of cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions:
Heat oil in a non-stick heavy saucepan over medium, add onion and fry until they are lightly golden brown.  Add meat and garlic/ginger paste and cook, stirring frequently, to break up the lumps and to allow the meat to almost dry.  Add all spices (from red chili powder to sea salt) and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Then add potatoes and blend well.  Reduce the heat and cook until potatoes are tendered.  Toss a green chili (optional) in a pan and cook for 1-2 minutes and then garnish with cilantro leaves.  Serve with naans (flatbreads) or rice.  Enjoy! 

Note: You can substitute peas or mixed vegetables for potatoes

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Random Quote of the Day

"Everything in the universe is a pitcher brimming with wisdom and beauty."

Rumi

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Soft Pretzels

>> Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Adapted from Sugarlaws

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoon organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup hot water
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) for brushing
garlic-salt or/and cinnamon-sugar for sprinkle

Directions:
Dissolve yeast into water with a pinch of sugar, let stand 10 minutes, until the mixture is creamy colored.  Mix the yeast mixture with flour, sugar, salt and canola oil, and knead until combined well, about 5 minutes.  Let the dough rise in a ziplock until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When the dough has risen, pinch off a handful and roll it out into a long strand, approximately 12 inches.  Set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough, about 6 times. Once all the strands are rolled out, twist it into a pretzel shape and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or cooking spray.  Repeat with the rest of the strands.  Dissolve baking soda into hot water and stir until dissolved.  Quickly dip each rolled pretzel into the mixture and place it back on the baking sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes, until golden brown.  Brush them lightly with EVOO and sprinkle 3 each with garlic-salt and 3 each with cinnamon-sugar.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

The Lorax - Dr. Seuss

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Salsa Broccoli-Mushroom Omelette

>> Monday, March 29, 2010

 
Recipe by Food Connection

1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
4 large cage-free eggs, beaten
1/4 cup organic milk
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
2-3 scallions, chopped
1-2 tablespoon salsa
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

Directions:
Heat EVOO in a large non-stick frying pan over medium, toss broccoli florets and mushrooms and saute until they are softened and set aside.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, tomato, scallions, salsa, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper in a medium mixing bowl and add the sauteed broccoli and mushroom to the egg mixture and mix well.  Reduce the heat and pour the egg mixture evenly into the same frying pan and cover lid.  Allow to cook for 1-2 minute or until the edges start to separate from the pan, lifting and tilting pan to allow liquid to flow under the cooked eggs. Then flip over and cook until set.  This recipe serves 2-3 persons.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."

Henry Ford

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Pumpkin Spiced Apple-Peanut Butter Pancakes

>> Friday, March 26, 2010



Recipe by Food Connection

1 cup organic pancake mix
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon natural unsalted peanut butter
canola oil or cooking spray for light coating
1 organic Fuji apple, chopped
maple syrup and butter (optional) for topping

Directions:
Combine pancake mix, milk, pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl and stir until the lumps are disappeared.  Add peanut butter and blend smoothly.  Heat a large nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium and add a little oil to coat.  Pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter and sprinkle each with apple.  Cook until the edges start to look a little dry (or you can peek underneath for a light brown color) and then flip.  Repeat with remaining mixture.  Serve hot with butter(optional) and maple syrup.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives."
 
Euripides

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Moroccan Chicken Patty Twice-Baked Potato

>> Thursday, March 25, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

I had some leftover Moroccan Spiced Chicken Patties to use up, so I decided to whip up some Chicken Patty Twice-Baked Potatoes.

4 medium Russet potatoes
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
leftover Morrocan Spiced Chicken Patties, chopped (click the link for the recipe)
1 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup light sour cream
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 cup shredded light Mexican blend cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Scrub potatoes well under running water and pat dry.  Rub the potatoes lightly with EVOO and season them with sea salt.  Poke them all over with a fork.  Place potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until they are tendered.  Allow to cool enough to touch.  Saute the mushrooms until they are softened and set aside.  Cut baked potatoes into half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp carefully, leaving a thin shell.  Place the potato shells on the baking sheet.  Combine pulp, sour cream, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper in a mixing bowl and mash well.  Add scallions and sauteed mushrooms to potato mixture and fold.  Spoon the mixture into each potato shell and top the chopped chicken patties on the baked potato and then sprinkle with cheese and repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Bake them for another 10 or until the cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow." 

Unknown


This quote is for my wonderful Mom & Dad. 
Happy Anniversary! Thank you for your love and guidance throughout the years.  I love you!

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Moroccan Spiced Chicken Patties with English Cucumber Yogurt

>> Wednesday, March 24, 2010



Recipe by Food Connection

The spice blend is used extensively in Moroccan cooking.  I have all of the spices on hand in my spice cabinet.  The grilled chicken patties came out great and flavorful.  

Ras El Hanout (Moroccan Spice Blend)
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon turmeric
1-2 teaspoon oregano 
1-2 teaspoon red chili powder (more or less depending on your taste)
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4-1 teaspoon ground cloves

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until combined well an set aside. If leftover spice mixture, store in an airtight container.

Chicken Patties
1 pounds ground chicken
1 freshly lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-4 scallions, chopped
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Naans (flatbreads)

English Cucumber Yogurt
fat free plain yogurt
English cucumber, chopped
tomato, chopped
dried dill
ground garlic
freshly lemon or lime juice
sea salt to taste (optional)

Directions:
Combine the ground chicken, Moroccan Spice Blend(adjust seasoning according to your taste), lemon juice, garlic, scallions, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper in a medium mixing bowl and mix thoroughly so ingredients are evenly distributed through the chicken meat.  Divide the chicken mixture into regular-size patties. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or more (this step is necessary to firm the patties so they hold their shape while cooking---no egg to bind them in this recipe).  Preheat the grill over medium.  Drizzle the patties with EVOO and grill them for 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.  Meanwhile, whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl to blend well and set aside.  Remove the patties from the grill and place them on each naan (flatbread)and serve with English cucumber yogurt.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Money can't buy happiness, but it makes misery much more tolerable."

Scott C. Smith

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Unique PBJ & Banana Bread

>> Tuesday, March 23, 2010



1 cup unbleached all purpose flour 
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 to 1/2 cup organic sugar (depending on your taste)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup fat free or 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-natural organic peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 medium banana, mashed
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup jam of your choice (See note)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush a loaf pan with canola oil.  Stir all the dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl.  Combine all the wet ingredients (milk through canola oil) in a medium bowl and stir to mix well.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine until just moistened.  Pour the batter in a loaf.  Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of bread comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  Enjoy!

Note:  Oops! I made a little mistake...I poured all of the batter!  I should have poured half the batter into a loaf pan and spread a layer of jam over the top of the batter. Then pour the remaining batter on top of the jam. This bread without a jam came out great though. 

Guess...next time I will have to remember to use a jam when making another batch.

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Random Quote of the Day

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Abraham Lincoln

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Spiced Banana Lassi

>> Monday, March 22, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

1-2 banana
1 cup organic fat free plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or to taste

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a blender to puree until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and sprinkle the top with a pinch of pumpkin pie spice.  Serve chilled.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."
 
Socrates

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Spicy Mixed Vegetables Curry

>> Friday, March 19, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

2-3 tablespoons canola oil
2-3 cups organic mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, corns, and lima beans)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or crushed red pepper (more or less depending on your taste)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspooon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
sea salt to taste
small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions:
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium, combine all the ingredients (mixed vegetables to salt) and cook for 20 minutes and stir gently(be careful not to break up pieces).  When the cooking is done, garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships."
 

Helen Keller

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Eggplant "French" Fries

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010


Adapted from The Hungry Mouse

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into "french fries" strips
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
canola oil for frying

Directions:
Combine flour, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, and freshly cracked pepper in a large bowl and mix well.   Set aside.  Cut the eggplant into the strips and toss in the flour mixture to coat well.  Heat 1/2 cup canola oil in a large heavy pan over medium, shake off the eggplant strips excess and place handful of floured strips into the oiled frying pan (make sure not to overcrowd) to cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Drained them on paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle them with sea salt.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant fries.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Genius ain't anything more than elegant common sense."

Josh Billings

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Lentil Curry (Masoor-Moong Daal)

>> Wednesday, March 17, 2010


 Recipe by Food Connection

1/2 cup masoor daal (de-skinned split red lentils)
1/2 cup moong daal (de-skinned split yellow lentils) 
4-5 cups of water
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 teaspoon ginger paste or fresh ginger root, chopped
sea salt to taste

Tarka (Tempering)
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 green chili, slit in the middle, for garnish (optional)
small handful of cilantro leaves for garnish
pinch of garam masala for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Wash masoor/moong daal few times until the water runs clear.  In a heavy saucepan, add daal, 4-5 cups of water, ginger, red chili powder, turmeric, and sea salt.  Bring it to a boil over medium-high, then reduce the heat to low until daal is done.  Add more water, if needed, to adjust consistency. The consistency should be slightly thick---not too thick or too thin.  When the daal is done, reduce the heat to VERY low.  

TARKA---Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over medium, fry the garlic until lightly golden brown and add the cumin seeds and green chili (optional) to fry for 5-8 seconds.  Then pour the fried garlic/cumin seeds immediately over the daal and blend well.  Garnish with cilantro leaves and garam masala (optional) and serve with white rice OR naans (flatbreads).  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Watch your thoughts, they become words
Watch your words, they become actions
Watch your actions, they become habits
Watch your habits, they become character
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

Unknown

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Bitter Melon Fry (Karela Ki Subzi)

>> Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

5-6 medium karelas (bitter melons)
3-4 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
sea salt to taste
small handful of cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions:
Scrap the rough outer of karelas(bitter melons) lightly with a peeler and cut the ends.  Cut lengthwise into halves and scooped out the seeds in each karela (reserve seeds if you want to eat).  Slice them into 1/2 inch and soak them in salt water for several hours or overnight (best result) to remove the bitterness.  Drain and squeeze out water and pat dry with a paper towel.  Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium, add the onions and fry until they are lightly translucent and remove the fried onions with slotted spoon and set aside.  Add the karelas (bitter melons) and fry (add oil if needed) until lightly browned and crisp.  Add the spices, karela seeds, and fried onions, and 1-2 tablespoon of water to soften karelas and simmer it to low for 3-5 minutes to blend well.  Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with naans (flatbreads) and plain yogurt.  This recipe serves 2-3 persons. Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."

John Barrymore

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Potato & Mushroom Gratin

>> Monday, March 15, 2010



6-8 Yukon potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/8 inch thick (I used a mandolin--GREAT KITCHEN GADGET)
1 cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced to make approx. 4 cups

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Coat the oven-safe dish with EVOO.  Bring the potatoes, milk, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper to a boil in a saucepan, stirring frequently, and leave it at a simmer, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Melt the butter, EVOO, and minced garlic in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened.  Pour the mushrooms and their garlicky juices into the pan of potatoes, stir to mix, and pour straight into the oven-safe dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until piping hot and crisp on top.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces--just good food from fresh ingredients."

Julia Child

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Happy Birthday to Me!

>> Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today is my special day...................... :-)


yeah yeah....
Happy Birthday to me!!!!!
Happy Birthday to meeee, meeeee!!!!!
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappppppy Birrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrthdaaaaaaaaaaaaaay tooooo me!!!!
Oh lalalalalala.....happy birthday to me! :-) let the party begins......

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Pakistani-Style Fruit Salad

>> Friday, March 12, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

This is a great way to use up excess fruit to throw in this very simple and nice fruit salad that anyone can make for a yummy and healthy snack. 

apples, chopped
mandrin oranges with light syrup
bananas, chopped
dried raspberries
golden raisins
lemon juice
sugar (optional)
chaat masala (See note)

Directions:
Put all the apples, mandarin orange (reserved light syrup), and bananas together in a medium bowl.  Add dried raspberries and dried golden to the fruit bowl.  Sprinkle chaat masala, light syrup, lemon juice, sugar(optional) according to taste.  Toss well until the ingredients are mixed and serve chill.   Enjoy! 

Notes: you can find chaat masala at any Indian/Pakistani grocery stores.

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Random Quote of the Day

"To believe is to know you believe, and to know you believe is not to believe."


Jean-Paul Sartre

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Baked Panko Chicken Fingers

>> Thursday, March 11, 2010


Adapted from Love and Olive Oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups panko 
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
light mayonnaise
honey
mustard
lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it with EVOO.  Set aside.  Season the flour with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.  Lightly beat the eggs in another shallow dish.  In a third shallow dish, combine the panko with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, red chili powder, salt, and pepper.  If using chicken breasts, prepare by putting one breast in between 2 layers of plastic wrap.  Pound to an even thickness of 1/2 inch.  Remove plastic and cut into strips.  Dredge tenders in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess flour.  Dip the floured chicken tenders into the egg and then coat the chicken tenders with the panko mixture.  Arrange on baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining strips.  Bake chicken tenders for 15 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once part way through cook time.  

To prepare honey-mustard dip, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to blend smoothly.  Make sure no mayonnaise "lumps" should be visible in the mixture.  Serve with chicken fingers for dipping.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intellingent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded."   

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Perfectly Grilled Veggie Pizza

>> Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

1 pound store-bought pizza dough(I used Trader Joe's) or homemade pizza dough
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
roasted tomato marinara sauce
yellow onions, sliced
baby bella mushrooms, sliced
broccoli florets, chopped
shredded light mozzarella
Italian seasoning
sea salt to taste

Directions:
Heat the EVOO in a non-stick skillet over medium-high, saute the onions until they begin to carmelize.  Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, and then seasoning and salt to taste.  Remove from the stove and set aside.  Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the broccoli florets and cook until slightly tendered(approx. 2 minutes).  Drain and rinse under cold running water, and then drain again and set aside.  

Let the dough rest for 20 minutes on floured surface at room temperature before rolling out.  When you are ready to grill, preheat to medium and brush the racks with oil.  Have all of the toppings ready near the grill.  Roll the dough on the floured sheet of parchment paper into whatever shape & size of pizza you desire.  Brush the top side of dough with a little bit of EVOO and transfer to the grill.  Flip the oiled dough onto the grill, pull off the parchment paper, and let the crust cook for 2 minutes or until the bottom is browned (you will notice the dough will puff slightly).  Flip the crust over and IMMEDIATELY brush the grilled side with a little bit of EVOO and spread sauce, mushrooms, onions, broccoli florets, and mozzarella cheese or any toppings of your choice on top.  Shut your grill until cheese is melted (make sure to watch carefully to avoid burning) and serve.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

Winston Churchill

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Egg Salad Croissant with Tangy Mustard

>> Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recipe by Food Connection

I wanted a quick and simple meal.  I looked through the refrigerator to see what I had to throw simple things together to make this great tasting recipe.

large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and coarsely chopped
croissants
celery, finely chopped
carrots, julienne
green onion, finely chopped
lemon juice
cilantro leaves, chopped
dried dill
paprika
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Trader Joe's egg-less mayonnaise-more or less depending on your preference (I used a very little amount-approx. 1-2 tablespoons)
mustard
Romaine lettuce for garnish

Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add eggs and cook for 12 minutes.  Pour off hot water(be careful) and rinse eggs with cold running water to cool. Peel eggs and roughly chop.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine celery, carrots, green onion, lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, dried dill, paprika, salt, and pepper, cilantro leaves. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, if needed.  Add remaining ingredients. Gently fold in eggs.  Toast the croissants lightly and slice in half.  Spread the egg salad over each croissant and garnish with lettuce.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"The unreal is more powerful than the real, because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it.  Because it's only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last.  Stone crumbles.  Wood rots.  People, well, they die.  But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on."

Chuck Palahnuik

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Ta-Da!!!

>> Monday, March 8, 2010

My blog has a new look! 

Thank you for your continued support and happy blogging!
Sadia

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Random Quote of the Day

"If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude."

Maya Angelou

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Curried Okra (Bhindi Ki Subzi)

>> Friday, March 5, 2010


Recipe by Food Connection

1-1 1/2 lbs. okra, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, sliced
3-4 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon red chili powder or crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon garam masala 
sea salt to taste
one small tomato, chopped
small handful of finely chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium, add the onion and fry until they are lightly golden brown.  Remove the fried onions and set aside.  Add the okras in the same pan, fry them until the sliminess is gone and start to brown lightly (do not let it burn).  Reduce heat to low, add red chili powder or crushed red pepper, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin seeds, garam masala, and sea salt to the okras and cook for 5-8 minutes. Add tomato and fried onions to the cooked okras, and increase the heat to medium-low, stir well and cook or additional 5 minutes to allow all the flavors blend well.  Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.  Serve with naans (flatbreads) or rice. This recipe serves 2-4 persons.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” 

Confucius

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White Lentils (Maash Ki Daal)

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

Recipe by Food Connection

1 cup urad daal (white lentils)
2 cup water
2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, chopped
1 teaspoon red chili pepper or crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
sea salt to taste
3-4 tablespoons canola oil
half of small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
small handful of cilantro leaves for garnish
1 green chili for garnish (optional)
pinch of garam masala for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Wash urad daal few times until the water runs clear.  In a non-stick saucepan, add daal, water, ginger, red chili powder (or crushed red pepper), turmeric, sea salt.  Bring it to a boil over medium-high, then reduce the heat to low.  Cover and cook until the daal is tendered.  Test by rubbing daal between finger and thumb.  If it is still hard, simmer a little longer.  Mixture should be dry, but add a small amount of water, if necessary, to finish cooking daal.  Remove from the stove. Set aside.  Heat oil in a frying pan over medium, saute the onion until lightly golden brown and add the cumin seeds to fry for 5 seconds.  Pour the fried onion/cumin seeds immediately over the daal (Do not mix).  Sprinkle with cilantro leaves, green chili (optional), and garam masala (optional).  Serve with naans (flatbreads) and plain yogurt.  The recipe serves 2-3 persons.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

We all have our time machines.  Some take us back, they're called memories.  Some take us forward, they're called dreams."


Jeremy Irons

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Wild Salmon Pasta with Spinach & Leek Pesto

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inspired by Closet Cooking

2 wild salmon fillets
1 package of penne pasta

Pesto
1 cup fresh leek, chopped
1-2 cup fresh spinach
lemon juice plus zest to taste
small handful of toasted almonds
1/4-1/3 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano or parmesan (optional)

Directons
Salmon
Preheat the oven to 400 degree. Season salmon with drizzles of EVOO and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, on a foiled baking sheet.  Bake until salmon is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the oven and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Flake into bite size pieces with a fork. Set aside.  

Pesto
Cook the penne pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and return it to the pot.  Meanwhile, place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until well blended, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary.  Add the pesto to the hot pasta and toss to coat evenly, add a little of water if necessary to keep moist.  Add the flaky salmon, then toss together and serve. Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Some cause happiness wherever they go, others, whenever they go."

Oscar Wilde

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Random Quote of the Day

>> Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right"

Henry Ford

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Greek Chicken Souvlaki Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette


I did not give exact measurements for this recipe, but I had to taste the marinade as I added ingredients and adjusted it before I tossed chicken in the marinade.   Believe me, this recipe came out FANTASTIC!  The recipe goes with the Greek salad & lemon vinaigrette (see recipe below).

Chicken Souvlaki 
skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
fat free plain yogurt
approx. 1/2 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
fresh lemon juice (I used a juicer)
oregano
minced garlic
sea salt and freshly crackled pepper to taste
metal skewers (Note:  If you don't have metal skewers, substitute the wooden ones.  Be sure to soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning.)
Salad & Dressing (see recipes below) 

Greek Salad 

Dressing
EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 fresh lemon juice plus zest
oregano
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon organic sugar
sea salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste 
Salad
Romaine lettuce
yellow onion, thinly sliced
cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced (preferably English cucumber)
cherry tomato, chopped
Kalamata olives
feta cheese (optional)

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients in a large resealable zip-lock bag and refrigerate marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Preheat the grill over medium.  Using metal skewers (See note), grease the skewers, thread strips of chicken on each skewer, and place the skewers on the hot grill and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked nicely. Remove the skewers from the grill and place on a platter. Whisk EVOO in a medium bowl, lemon juice and zest, oregano, garlic, and sugar until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.  Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Serve chicken with salad.  Enjoy!

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Random Quote of the Day

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."

 Mark Twain

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Spicy Asian-Style Chicken Burgers with Sweet Chili Sauce

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

No picture taken when I made this recipe 2 months ago...next time. 

Inspired by Once Upon a Plate 

Chicken Patties
1 pound ground chicken  
2-3 tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 tablespoons panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 medium size apple, peeled and diced  (preferably organic Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, finely grated
freshly crackled pepper 
2 teaspoons pepper hot sauce (more if you like spicy)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon scallions, sliced (white and green parts)
2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
Spicy Mayo Spread (See the recipe below)
Cole slaw for garnish (optional)
Sweet Chili Sauce to taste for garnish (It's a MUST or the burgers won't be tasty without the sauce)

Spicy Mayo Spread
1/2 cup light mayonnaise, mixed with 1 teaspoon hot sauce.

Directions:
Add the ground chicken in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly so ingredients are evenly distributed through the meat.  Divide the mixture into 4 regular-size patties.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or more (this step is necessary to firm the patties so they hold their shape while cooking---no egg to bind them in this recipe)  

Preheat a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add EVOO and add patties to hot oil (don't crowd). Cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side (depending upon how thick the burgers are), turning once, until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Transfer them to a plate and keep warm by tenting with foil.

To assemble, toast buns halves until golden.  Spread the spicy mayo over toasted bun bottoms.  Place a pattie over spicy mayo; top with cole slaw (optional) and sweet chili sauce.  Repeat with the remaining patties and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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