Sausage Broccoli Pasta

DSC_8294-Edit-2After my successful attempt at Aglio-e-Olio, I was tempted to explore more sauceless pasta recipes, so here is one of them.

For this you’ll need:

  • 7 ounces Whole Wheat or any other regular pasta
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1½  tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1½  tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup  broccoli sliced into small florets
  • 3 sausages links diced
  • ½  cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley for garnishing
  • Grated parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Boil and drain the pasta as per the instructions on its packet.
  2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on low-medium heat. Add the garlic and the sausages. Saute for 5-7 mins.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cover the pan with a lid for 3-4 mins. Once the mushrooms start shrivelling up, remove the lid.
  4. Add the broccoli, vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste and cook for another few minutes till broccoli becomes slightly soft (Don’t overcook the broccoli).
  5. Finally add the pasta and some parmesan and mix well.  Turn off the heat. Sprinkle some chilli flakes and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. You can also sprinkle some parmesan while serving.

Your yummy sauceless pasta is ready..:)

(You can use Chicken stock instead of  Vegetable stock and you can add veggies as per your preference.)

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4pm Hunger Bug

Tomato-Basil-Cottage Cheese Toast

The healthiest 4PM snack ever.

I had been struggling with my 4pm hunger bug since a very long time and used to end up having crappy junk food.

Finally I came up with this recipe to do justice to my taste buds without having the guilt of consuming unnecessary calories. This recipe is ready in minutes and is also a great snack if you ever have surprise guests over.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Take a few slices of any loaf (preferably rosemary-olive oil or Garlic) and spread cottage cheese generously. I used the unsalted one, so I sprinkled some salt and chili flakes on it.
  3. Put these slices in the oven for 2-3 mins or till you see the cheese melt.
  4. Take them out of the oven and add sliced cherry tomatoes, freshly chopped basil and sprinkle few drops of olive oil(optional).

Enjoy your toast…:)

The tanginess of tomatoes, the punch of freshly chopped basil blended with the soft cheese will take your tastebuds for a roller-coaster ride.

KASHMIRI KOFTE (MEATBALLS)

DSC_6684 Kashmiri kofte…One of my all time favortite dishes, I used to bug my dad every other day to make it for me. He makes it from scratch including the meat balls. I’ve made the mine quite simple by using readymade meatballs, which are very easily available here in the US. I was quite skeptical in using them as I didn’t want to compromise the flavor of the dish but it turned out to be even better and tastier with them (though obviously not as good as my dad’s). You can try making the meat balls too…but when you already have a delicious alternative, I would say use it as it saves a LOT of time. So here is my dad’s secret recipe which am about to share with you, here it goes:

Ingredients:

  • 8-12 meat balls
  • pinch of asafetida(hing)
  • 1-tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2-tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1-tsp ginger paste
  • 6-7 cashews
  • 1-1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1-tsp ground fennel
  • 2-tsp kashmiri lal mirch (red chili powder)
  • salt to taste
  • 4-5 cups water

Method:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan. In a small bowl, take around 2tsp water and dissolve hing and red chili in it. Add this mix to the oil and let it saute for a minute on medium heat.
  2. Add the ginger paste and yogurt and let it cook till the oil separates. In the meanwhile make a paste of the cashews in the mixer by adding very little water.
  3. Add the cashew paste to the pan and then add garam masala and salt. (Add salt carefully since the meatballs are already salted)
  4. When the mix starts turning brown, add meat balls and water and let it cook.
  5. Once the meatballs are slightly cooked add ground fennel and let the gravy simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 mins.
  7. Serve hot with rice.

(NOTE: Please use Kashmiri Lal mirch only, otherwise you wouldn’t get the right flavor and the color.) The magic of this recipe is that it has very few ingredients, but it still bursts with flavor.

Baked Orzo

I have always been tempted to buy Leek, but didn’t know how to cook it. But this time at farmer’s market I could not resist the temptation, so I went ahead and bought a bunch. I browsed some recipes online but finally went ahead with my own. Here it goes:

You need:

1 1/4 cup orzo
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 pound (4 ounces) turkey, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh or frozen carrot & peas
1/2 cup mozzarella
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
salt as per taste
Few grinds fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Fill a medium pan with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the orzo until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add sliced leeks and cook until translucent, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Fold in the turkey, carrot, peas and orzo, stir well, and cook until all the ingredients are warmed through. Fold in the cheese and set aside off the heat to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Fold the orzo mixture into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Scrape the creamy orzo into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned along the edges and the center is set completely. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve hot with freshly toasted Ciabatta. ENJOY!

MY FIRST VALENTINE!


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It was my First Valentine’s Day with my husband this February and I wanted it to be really special for us. So I decided to do something which I had never done before, which was ‘baking a Cake’. ‘Baking’ always scared me as I had never done it before and thought of it as too complicated. But then I gathered some courage, and decided to go for it.

I asked for my husband’s favorite cake recipe from my mom-in-law, which was quick and easy to bake. So here it goes.

Ingredients:

6 oz. powdered sugar / castor sugar
6 oz. unsalted butter
6 oz. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp orange essence [ you can use 1 tsp. lemon juice or vanilla essence ]
1/2 cup of milk
3 eggs

Method:

1. Sieve the flour along with the baking powder & keep it ready. Cream the butter & sugar very well till the mixture is light & creamy.

2. Add the eggs one at a time to sugar mix, beating thoroughly with an electric beater after each addition & if you feel that the mix is curdling then sprinkle a little bit of the flour. Add essence. Mix.

3. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour gradually, a little at a time and then add the milk. Blend the whole thing well. The mixture should be of dropping consistency. If you feel the mix is too thick add 2 tbsp of hot water.

4. Pour into the cake tin – a 6inch one [keep the tin ready before you start – grease & dust it lightly with flour].

5. Bake in a pre-heated oven 350 degree for 30 – 40 mins. Check in 25 mins by putting a knife in the centre, it should come out clean if it’s ready.

6. Remove from oven & let it cool slightly before you take it out of the pan.

The tin that I had was a little too big for the mix that I had prepared and it was too late when i realized that. So it looked like a flat cake but then I was really happy with the taste and a little too proud of my first baking experience…:)

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Hasselback Potato

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 This recipe is my take on the popular Swedish Dish. As my husband is a fitness freak, I had to modify the rich, sinful original recipe to cut down on the calories. I was dreading that the outcome would be disappointing, but to my surprise it turned out pretty good.

Though it isn’t close to the original recipe, hope you enjoy this..:) After-all, cooking is all about being creative.

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You can be innovative by adding strips of ham/bacon in between the slices.