I love surprises! And a surprise where I discover that I don’t have to cook after coming home from work sounds delicious to me. I do get such lucky moments occasionally when Swapnil decides to cook and I play his sous chef role. He is a great cook. He rarely follows recipes but he literally plays with his favorites vegetables and especially spices. He is very intuitive when it comes to food combinations. This spinach mushroom was a result of his experirments and it was yooummmy!!
Spinach Mushroom with Green Garlic Sauce
One word, Yummy!
- Wash and chop mushrooms in big pieces. Wash spinach and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a wide pan. Add chopped garlic.
- Add chopped onion and sauté it well until it turns translucent.
- Add chopped mushrooms and don't stir them a lot. Else they will start releasing water. Let them become softer.
- Add spinach, greens of green garlic and also sesame seed. Mix well.
- Stir in Italian seasoning and some salt.
- Add hot and sweet ketchup as per your taste and mix it well.
- Let it steam for a minute and then serve it hot!
My favorite summer pasta toppings include chunky vegetables, a good sauce and aromatic herbs and well seasoned al dante pasta. I like to keep the ratio of pasta and vegetables almost equal, so it’s a plate full of different colors, textures and flavors.
It’s almost end of the summer and these beautiful pattypan squash are at their peak season. I just love how they look, bright yellow skin with a small green hat 🙂
It’a a very simple recipe and perfect for weeknight dinner. You can add all your favorite pasta vegetables in this one pot dish.
Spaghetti with Pattypan Squash
Spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and all your favorite vegetables!
- Wash and chopped all vegetables as needed.
- Cook spaghetti as per instructions on its packet.
- In a big pan, heat some Olive oil and add smashed garlic. If you want take them off before adding other vegetables.
- Add other vegetables, and let them cook a bit. Add salt and pepper.
- Keep these vegetables aside. In the same pan add 1 tbsp of Olive oil and add marinara sauce and chopped basil leaves. Also add some italian seasoning if you like.
- Add cooked vegetables into the sauce and mix well.
- Let them cook little more and add cooked spaghetti and toss everything together.
- Serve hot, garnish with basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese.
Hearty Soup for cold winter days
The best thing I loved about butternut squash is that it’s practically indestructible. It lasts for months (as long as you store it in a dry, cool place) I was instantly attracted to buy a butternut squash and I did think of making soup on the very same day. The day did arrive only after few months. I peeled it and was pleasantly surprised to find it in a perfect condition. And hence the story of my butternut squash soup ended on a sweet note.
Trust me, peeling it is the hardest part. Adding onion is a good idea to cut the sweetness. Many blogs have recommended to add a green apple which I didn’t have and waiting for one might have turned into wasting couple more weeks. I had fresh rosemary, thanks to my colleague. So I used some rosemary while roasting, it added a peppery flavor to it which was pleasant. Thyme goes well with any sweeter squash and also with sweet potatoes so if you have fresh thyme feel free to use some.
Butternut Squash Soup
A healthy and hearty soup with tough outside yet soft inside butternut squash
- Wash and chop a carrot in half inch pieces.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Peel and dice butternut squash into half-inch cubes. Also cut onion into equal sized pieces.
- Spread these cubes on a baking sheet and sprinkle some olive oil so that the pieces do not stick to the sheet and it also prevents them from burning.
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
- If you are using any fresh herbs, chop them and sprinkle on top.
- Roast these vegetables for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Let them cool down a bit.
- In a big saucepan, heat 1 table spoon of butter.
- Add Ginger-garlic-chili paste if you are using it. It's optional but I find it better to offset the sweetness from carrots and butternut squash.
- Add carrots to the pan and saute for 5 minutes.
- Now add roasted squash and onions and saute for few minutes.
- Add 2 cups of broth or water. I used water and din't notice any difference.
- Blend everything with immersion blender or a standalone blender. Adjust the amount of water or broth as per your taste.
- Now take the soup in the same saucepan, add more salt or pepper as needed. Add a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes. It's ready to be served.
Note - The smaller you chop your vegetables the faster they cook so the exact time will vary. Please check after 15 minutes if they are done.
Linking to Vardhini’s Dish it Out – Squash and Sugar event happening here at MyHomeMantra
Healthy can be Yummy!
There was a time when I had Falafel wrap from Dish N Dash at least once a week. I really miss this place. Falafel was on my list for a long time but “deep-fried” and “cleaning-after-deep-frying” were the main reasons to put it off. This weekend I decided to give it a shot and instead of frying I baked flattened falafel balls and here is the result –
It takes much less time and it’s a no-mess recipe. Definitely a keeper. I served these falafel with cool cucumber dip.
Easy, Healthy and Delicious!
- I did not use canned Garbanzo beans, hence I soaked them overnight in water. Next day I cooked them in a steamer until you can smash them with a fork. Don't overcook else it will form a paster when you grind them. If you are using canned beans, skip this step and instead just drain the water and follow along.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor (DO NOT use grinder / blender), add chana (garbanzo beans) and roughly chopped cilantro and pulse it few times until you get roughly chopped mixture. Be careful not to over blend it.
- Now take the mixture in a medium mixing bowl and add all other ingredients which include finely chopped onion, finely chopped garlic and olive oil and other spices and salt to taste. Add lemon juice and mix well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the paper with few drops of oil. Alternatively, you can use the cooking spray but it's not needed.
- Drop one table spoon of mixture on the sheet leaving enough space to spread the mixture.
- With your fingers, slightly flatten the balls on the baking sheet.
- Since these are baked and not fried, only the flatten sides with become crispy so if you want go ahead and make them thinner.
- Bake these for 15-17 minutes until their bottom becomes golden brown. Once done, they slide out easily.
- Take them out and turn each falafel and bake the other side for another 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with tahini, hummus or cucumber dip.
Linking it to Foodomania’s Christmas Cook-Off Contest
We all know we should eat green leafy vegetables. And I am sure you have come across Kale Chips too. Are they easy to make? Yes and No. They are easy to make for the most part, but can easily be messed up.
When I first made Kale chips, I had no idea how Kale tastes. Its slight bitter taste does call for Indian touch like chaat masala or your favorite seasoning. If “green” and “leafy” do not strike a bell in your mind, here is why Kale is a clear winner when in comes to nutrition.
|Type of Green
Here is the 9 step recipe. Do read my tips for making crunchy chips.
Crunchy Kale Chips
Healthy and crunchy chips packed with vitamins!
- Separate the leaves, and wash them under running water.
- Dry the leaves throughly.
- Make sure the leaves are completely dry and have no moisture, especially the inner parts. Else go to step 2.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180C).
- Break the leaves in 3-4 inch pieces, discard the middle tough stem.
- In a small bowl, mix the seasoning, salt and Olive oil.
- Pour the mixture on top of the leaves and massage gently so that all leaves are coated with oil.
- Spread them over a baking sheet. You might have to do these in two batches.
- Bake them for 10-12 minutes, until they turn light brown.
- It goes without saying, use fresh Kale leaves.
- Dry Dry and Dry – After I wash the leaves, I spread them on paper towels and leave them near a window for couple of hours so that the moisture evaporates. Then I dab them with a kitchen towel. You can also use salad spinner if you have one. The moisture makes it hard for the oil to stick on the leaves and they don’t come out crunchy as you would like.
- Don’t use a lot of oil – it does not make the chips crunchier.
- Use the salt and seasoning sparingly – as you bake they reduce in volume so don’t overkill them with seasoning. You can always season them afterwards.
- Drizzle a few drops of lemon juice once the chips are cooled completely.
Take a short trip to Italy in the comfort of your own kitchen!
The biggest inspiration for this dish was the delicious pasta made by my friend in almost no time. I have promised him not to mention his name in public. I modified his recipe by adding some vegetables. But otherwise, it’s a very simple recipe and in fact I consider it to be a part of “maggie-league”. It’s that simple and yummy!
I used Barilla Mezze Penne pasta but you can use any other penne pasta and boil it as per the instructions given on the box AL Dante. Most of the ingredients are to taste so just follow your instincts
Tomato Basil Pasta
Take a short trip to Italy in the comfort of your own kitchen!
That may look like a long list but almost all vegetables are optional.
- Start boiling the pasta in a pan with some salt added to the water. This is your only chance to add salt to pasta.
- In a medium sized pan and add some olive oil and finely chopped garlic on a medium flame. This is the most important step where we flavor the oil with garlic and then Italian seasoning and some basil powder and red chili flakes.
- Now add in all vegetables starting with onion, bell pepper and lastly mushrooms. Mushrooms don’t take much time to cook so make sure you add them last. Sauté all vegetables and mix them well.
- Stain the boiled pasta.
- In another bigger pan, melt some butter on a medium flame. Add the boiled pasta with some salt and black pepper. Mix it well and add the vegetables.
- Now it’s time to add the sauces. Vodka sauce has the real taste while Alfredo sauce gives the pasta creamy, buttery texture.
- Turn off the heat, add cherry tomatoes, cut in halves and some basil leaves, roughly chopped. You can add oregano and Italian seasoning if you want. The pasta is ready!