Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fruit Salad

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Whatever season we may be in fruits are always refreshing to enjoy.To me the melon varieties are the most refreshing with their high water content.Here I have used small cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.Kids can cut them out by themselves with a little help from the elders.Its a fun project to do and makes a great salad for parties.
Half a Cantaloupe
Half a Watermelon-Small
10 mint leaves
Juice of one lemon
A good spoonful of honey
Few pinches of salt and sugar
Small sized cookie cutters

Wash the fruits and cut then in half.Scoop the seeds off the cantaloupe.Then slice the half in circles.Using small sized cookie cutters cut out fruit shapes and place them in a bowl.In another small bowl,mix to blend well lemon juice,finely chopped mint leaves,honey,salt,sugar.Pour over the fruits and mix gently to coat.Set aside for a few hours before being served.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beetroot Stir Fry

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Like a lot of other vegetables beetroot with its natural bright color is very nutritious.I picked up some fresh beetroot from the grocery store,they seemed quite irresistible,to a beetroot lover like me.Here I have made a very simple beetroot stir fry that goes along well as a side dish or just mixed with some plain rice.

Ingredients - Serves 2
2 beetroots peeled and chopped/grated
1 small onion finely chopped
3-4 hot green chillies finely chopped
2 cloves garlic grated
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tbsp oil
Salt as per taste

Add salt to the beetroot and steam till it turns soft and set aside.Heat oil in a pan add urad dal,mustard and cumin seeds when the mustard seeds pop add curry leaves,green chillies,onions,garlic,turmeric,salt for the onions and stir fry till onions turn golden.Add beetroot and stir.Cover for a few mins and stir to blend well.Add 3 tbsp shredded coconut if preferred.If you grate the beetroot skip the steaming part.Enjoy with some rice.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunflower Nutella Chocolates

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I like to use sunflower seeds quite a bit into my cooking.I like their subtle flavor and they come with the added benefit of being healthy.It works quite well for me.I had previously made sunflower ladoos with the seeds.This time around I added the seeds to Nutella and it was pleasantly delicious,with a nice crunch from the seeds.These chocolates can be easily put together and made ahead of time,makes for a great sweet treat or gift.

Ingredients -Makes 10 Chocolates
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds-Raw and Hulled
4 tbsp Nutella
1 cup brown candy melts
Assorted nuts and coconut

In a pan roast the sunflower seeds and set aside to cool.When cooled powder them in a coffee grinder to a fine coarse consistency.Transfer to a bowl add 3 tbsp nutella then add 1/2 tbsp at a time and gently fold in and knead to form a firm dough.Scoop a bit,roll them into spheres(you can put a nut in the middle and then roll if preferred).You can also roll them in chopped nuts or coconut if liked.Refrigerate the spheres for about 30 mins.Place the candy melts in a bowl and microwave for a minute to minute and a half,mix with a spoon well.When it cools just a bit,gently dip the spheres into the candy melt-you could use two spoons to coat-once its coated well,place it on a wax paper and allow to cool.When cooled well,refrigerate in a container.Enjoy chilled.
Note:Melt half cup white chocolate in the microwave and use a fork to drizzle.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jumbo Pasta Shells with Tofu Stuffing

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Ah!Pastas,I like them soo very much.There are so many different varieties to choose,from the really small ones like orzo,star,tube,abcd pastas to these huge jumbo pasta shells.Love cooking with them very much.Here is a jumbo pasta recipe where I stuffed them with tofu and some vegetables.Tofu's beautiful delicate flavor blends well with the flavors of garlic,tomato,herbs and cheese.A simple pasta recipe that goes perfectly well with garlic bread.

Ingredients  Serves-3
12 jumbo pasta shells
1 pack firm tofu
1 small crown broccoli-optional
1 medium zucchini-optional
2 fistful fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp oil
2.5 cups shredded cheese or as preferred
1.5 cups tomato based pasta sauce
Garlic powder as per taste
Salt as per taste

Cook the pasta shells,drain the water and set aside.Slide tofu in a cup for about 15mins,pat dry well with a dry towel and crumble.Pulse broccoli and zucchini.Stir fry tofu with 1/2 tbsp oil and transfer into a bowl,then stir fry the veggies along with salt(use any excess water from crumbled tofu) in a pan adding 1/2 tbsp oil,then combine with tofu to blend well and set the mixture aside.In the same pan add 2 tbsp oil and add the pasta sauce,chopped basil leaves,salt(if the sauce has no salt) and cook for a few mins then add half of the sauce to the tofu mixture,mix to blend well.Scoop the tofu mixture into the shells.Add the rest of the sauce,sprinkle garlic powder and cheese on top of the pasta.Broil in a preheated oven at 350*F till the cheese melts.Enjoy hot with garlic bread.
Note:Alternatively you could just heat them in smaller portions in the microwave till the cheese melts.

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