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Monday, March 25, 2013

Quinoa and Rice in a quick Chinese fried rice / Quinoa with lots of Veggies



Again the days have come and gone, more like months have come and gone...and the year is quickly passing by. Though we are still not totally out of the clutches of winter in some parts, in other parts spring has already been showing its beauty. I continue to clicks lots of pictures of flowers as I so fascinated by all the different types of flowers nature has in store! I hope everyone out there is getting to enjoy a bit of the new spring and taking full advantage of it by planting new plants. I haven't started to plant here as yet but I sure to plan on getting on that job soon. Other than that life has been normal as always. Kids and their activities takes up most of the time and I find so less time to myself. The very less time I get, I just feel like relaxing...that's the reason I started spending so less time on the blog. I keep telling myself that I should do more...but...that just keeps hanging. :)
Well no worries, that's how life is I guess and I should just keep going on with it!

The reason I make this dish very so often is to finish any leftover rice. But then there are times when I make it to have as a side dish. Though noodles are kids favorite, I think my favorite has always been the fried rice. While trying to make it healthier whenever I feel like eating it, I started making it with quinoa. But then there come days when there is some left over rice and some left over quinoa. That's when I decide to combine both of them to make  this fried rice. 
Since rice and quinoa blend together very nicely, you cannot really tell which is which. :) That helps with kids!
This dish can be made completely with quinoa or completely with rice. I just like to add lots of vegetables and egg to make it more nutritious. You can add some cooked chicken or shrimp to make it more exotic too :).  Or omit the egg to make a wholesome vegetarian dish. Add some lima beans and sprouts to make even more delicious. Well these are just a few ways in which you can adapt this dish. Its more like a pantry dish where you can put what ever is there in your pantry to make it your type of dish.



Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa (cooked and cooled)
1/2 cup rice (leftover rice or cooked and cooled)

3 garlic cloves, chopped small
2 green chilies, chopped small
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup chopped beans
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (you can use a mix of colored pepper if you wish)
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 onion, chopped
2 eggs, scrambled with pinch of salt and pepper

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp oil (can be substituted with sesame oil)
salt to taste
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Chopped scallions for garnish


Method:

Heat the oil in a wok or pan to medium hight heat.
Add the chopped garlic and green chili and sauté for 10 seconds. Add the onions and saute for another 10-20 seconds.
Add the carrots, peas, bell pepper and beans and cook for a minute or two with a sprinkle of salt.
Add the broccoli florets, with a pinch of salt and saute for another 15 seconds.
Add the cooled rice and quinoa, along with the scrambled egg. Saute on high heat to mix well. Add the soy sauce and mix well again.
Garnish with chopped scallions or green onions.
Serve hot. Enjoy!!!









Thursday, February 21, 2013

Avacado Coconut chutney







I just can't believe how fast the days go by when you don't notice...that's what I think! And so slow goes a 'day' when you keep thinking when will the day end!
Well that's how slow a day goes when you are home caring for a sick child at home. My little one was sick..not really really sick...he has been coughing his lungs off for the past 2 days....so he was home coughing, and not eating much. You try your best to get food and fluids into him...but you know how they win over us!
Well he is much better today, so I sent him to school. His main concern (for being a kindergartner) is that he has to 'write'. Yes he has no problem to go to school but all his problem starts when he has to 'write'. Well I did prepare him a little bit, I hope it helps and he will write better today and enjoy his school day with much less coughing!

I am sure everyone make salsa and guacamole at home. Here I just added some Indian ingredients and made it into a chutney which can be eaten with a regular Indian breakfast like idlis and dosas. Actually I have tried it with rice and a bit of ghee and it tastes just as good.
So you all know how good avocado is for you right. That added with some coconut makes it not only healthy but also flavorful too. 


Ingredients:

1 Avocado
1/2 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
2-3 garlic cloves
3-4 green chilies (or less)
1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

For tempering:

1/4 tsp urad dal / minapa pappu
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
1 dry red chili
few curry leaves
1 tbsp coconut oil (you can use extra virgin olive oil or any other oil you prefer)

Method:

Grind the first 6 ingredients into a smooth or a not so smooth (if you like it chunky) textured paste.

Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin and urad dal. Let this start to splutter before adding red chili and curry leaves. This is splutter almost immediately (after adding the curry leaves), remove and add to the chutney.

Serve as a dip or with idlis, Dosas or rice. Tastes good either way with all the healthy and yummy ingredients in one dish! Or if you like slather some on some toasted bread and savor it! :)

Enjoy!!!






Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Garlic Mini twisted rolls with Pillsbury Biscuit dough - Semi HomeMade!








 Though I love to bake and eat sweets, I am not completely and sweet person. If I get a chance, I would probably go for spicy dishes first, then to the sweet. But I am won't omit sugar completely! :)

I love sugar, tho I can't eat it now a days...it tempts me so! I try to keep myself away from it basically for health reasons. Especially this season, when we look for comfort food and when we are surrounded by chocolates. I do love me some sugar! But ya, for us who are trying to go healthy and all....I keep it to the minimum. This has been a trial using Pillsbury Biscuit dough, but I would surely try to go for whole wheat if possible. To eliminate the use of any extra butter, I used coconut oil. Now a days this ingredients has been given rave reviews as one of the healthiest ingredient around. I am going to try to incorporate it into regular dishes too, other than only baking, which I have been doing till now!

So with Valentine's day around the corner, and with so many 'sweets' around, I thought how about going for something spicy instead. Something easy, garlicky and spicy too. These Mini Garlic Twisted rolls are made of Pillsbury biscuit dough which comes in a cardboard can. Isn't that easy. All you need is this dough, chopped garlic, chopped coriander and few other stuff which may already be in your pantry. I like to have this as a side dish with a salad or soup. It takes under 20 minutes from start to finish. Just a simple way to whats already available and making use of it!


Time: Less than 20 minutes 
Makes 10 rolls

Ingredients:

2 rolls of Pillsbury biscuits dough

10 cloves of garlic, chopped tiny
small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional) (can use chopped green chili instead)
dry Italian seasoning (optional)
1/2 tbsp coconut oil (can use olive oil instead)











Method:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Lightly grease a baking sheet and keep aside.
Melt the coconut oil and keep aside.

Open a can of Pillsbury biscuits dough.
Lightly flour your surface and attach to dough pieces. Roll them out to make it long or oblong.

Brush on some melted coconut oil. Put some garlic, coriander and red chili flakes on the dough.
Now roll the dough into a log.
Cut in the center of the log to make two sides for twisting.
Twist both the pieces and make a circle out of it.

Brush again lightly coconut oil of the top. Sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasoning on the top.
Lay them on the baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes.

Serve them hot just plain or with some chutney!
Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!!!





The first one is plain for my little kiddo, second and third are experiments - with 3 rolls and with 1 roll.
I think using one roll makes it too small and using three makes it too big. Two rolls were a perfect size, but surely you can do what you like.



I just went crazy on the pictures - Sorry for that! But this is my first time trying to edit using my Mac and I am kinda lost. I am still learning and I hope to learn soon! It really get frustrating when you try to switch from one operating system to the other.

Coming to my Handiwork -  I made these cute Valentine's Day bookmarks for my kid's classes.
They are made using Paint chips on one side and scarpbook paper on the other. Small hearts punched out on the side and tied up with a ribbon. Arn't they cute!!















Monday, February 4, 2013

Gongura Mutton / Sorrel leaves with Lamb or Goat




This post has been sitting in my drafts for a long time...well to say actually lots of recipes are sitting in my drafts for a long time and the corresponding pictures in my pictures folder - resting! They both are not able to get together at all! I am sure the drafts are longing for the pictures and the pictures are longing for their drafts. Hopefully I will be able to bring both of them together soon! :)

Can't believe its 1st of Feb already and maybe that's the reason for all the lovey dovey mushiness going on! Its in the atmosphere, the commercially made atmosphere that is!!!
Well I don't mind it though! Atleast people get one day or one month, which ever the case maybe to declare their undying love or care for their better half or their future better half! I think its a good idea - we may not have time in our every day life and so Valentine's day reminds us to tell that some special person that 'We love them and we care for them'. I hope everyone will 'make use' of this day to it extreme! :) We shall talk about that later!

Gongura being a very popular for us Andhaites and I am sure many of you have heard about the numerous preparations with it. Here is one more popular dish called Gongura mutton. This can be made with lamb or goat, which ever you like or which ever is available at the time! A big bunch of sorrel leaves and some simple spices make this dish very delicious and yummy!
Though it takes a little long time to cook, the meat cooks, becomes tender and delectable! All the spices marinate with the meat and make a good gravy which can be eaten with rice or with rotis.



Ingredients:

1 lb mutton (bite sized pieces)
1 big bunch of gongura leaves (about 1/2 lb of leaves only)

2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp gasalu kobari paste, poppy seeds (gus gus) and coconut paste ( 1 1/2 tbsp coconut powder and 1/2 tbsp gus gus , made into paste with some water) (This is optional)
2-3 tsp of chilli powder (you may add more if you want it more spicy....I used plenty more)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste

Method:

Chop the gongura leaves, add them to a empty pot, add about 1/4 cup of water, cover it and put it on medium heat. When they are half way cooked through, add some salt and chilli powder. Let it cook fully through, which means, it becomes completely soft and mushy. Use the back of the spoon or spatula to mash it up even more. If you like it totally smooth, just process it using a hand blender or food processor. When cooked it will be about 1 cup of cooked gongura leaves.

In another pot, add the oil and saute the onions until they are translucent.
Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for another minute.
Add the chopped mutton and some salt. Let this cook for about 6-7 minutes. Add the tomato and keep cooking for another 5 minutes.
Now add the gasalu kobari paste, turmeric, chilli powder and keep cooking for another 15-20 minutes, until its cooked through. If they isn't enough water in the mutton, add some.
When the mutton is cooked through, add the mushy gongura leaves, some extra water, garam masala and coriander leaves. Let this cook for another 10 minutes, until the curry thickens to required consistency.
Serve it along side hot steamy rice or some hot rotis.
If you like the sour taste of gongura leaves and like a spicy gravy, I am sure you will like this.
Enjoy!!!



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

3rd Blog Anniversary with Condensed Milk kind of Zebra/Marble Cake!






I totally completely forgot about my blog anniversary (which passed by me couple of days ago). This tells you how much out of the loop I have been with my blog! How much I wish I could start posting everyday, but it just not happening. Lots of other stuff take up my precious time. And not only that I have been trying my other hobbies and so they have also kept me away from blogging. Well thats fine!!  :)

Things are going good on my side! How are things on your side? Kids in routine with school and activities and even our life falls into routine with them.
Holidays have come and passed us by. So there goes another year without snow and terrible cold temperatures. Can't complain as we have enjoyed every bit of it! Though I do like snow and wish sometimes that we had snow, won't complain as its not that far away, only a 3 hour drive and we get snow! With that on the back of my mind, I am not missing snow or the cold temperatures! My East Coast friends - I love you all!! :)

Other thing that I am totally hooked on to is Pinterest! I see so many great ideas, recipes and DIY stuff that I am so tempted to try all of them! I have already made a cowl and knitted a few scarves. If anyone is interested you are welcome to checkout my Photo Blog My PicXels. Yes! after a good year last year which was my first year to do a photo blog, I decided to continue with it again this year :) simply because I think I learned a lot about photography, but also because I love clicking pictures! So if you have time do check it out. Right now I am doing a mix of phone clicks and camera clicks so that I am not bored at all. :)


Since I forgot my Blog anniversary, I haven't had much time to prepare. I chose this simple, few ingredients recipe, which I have made a few times now and is fool proof. The only thing I tried new was to try the zebra pattern, hoping it will come out good! ............but I think I could have added more cocoa powder for the darker lines, so more like marble cake maybe! The lines came out very light in color....but overall it tasted good! YUM!!



Ingredients:

1 cup flour
4 eggs
4 tbsp butter (melted)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 can sweetened condensed milk (nearly 400g)

2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa powder (increase this for darker lines)

Method:

Mix all ingredients, except for the Cocoa powder into batter using your mixer.

For the chocolate part:

Divide the batter into 2 halves. To one half add 2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa powder.


Grease a pan with some butter and flour it.
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.

Using a 1/4 cup, pour both the batters in alternate pattern. That is, once pour the regular batter in the middle of the pan. On top of that, pour the chocolate batter. Do this until all the batter is used up.

Bake it for 30-35 minutes.









Thursday, December 13, 2012

Coconut and Dry red chili chutney




With Holidays around the corner and all sweet and chocolaty all the time is what I see around me. And this is the time I feel like eating spicy all the time. So lets take a different route from the sweet section to the spicy section!
In times of need, you would try anything desperately ...Isn't that right? Well that's how my life works sometimes. Well maybe not every time, but maybe sometimes right.
That applies to when you cook too. what would you do when there is nothing in the house as in ingredients and you decide you want to go big ..haha...well that's how this chutney came up. Little of this and little of that and 'BOOM' a 'chutney' is made. :)
Too much drama know?...well simply said, I prefer to have frozen fresh grated coconut in my freezer almost all of the time. It really comes in handy at time of need. Like this time when I had to make a chutney for our breakfast dosas. And I like like my chutney spicy that's why all the chilies in the recipe. Try it you might enjoy it!
Quick and easy to make, delicious too. Goes good with Dosas, idlis or even hot hot pongal.



Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (Frozen or fresh works good)
6 - 8  red dry chilies
2 green chillies
2 garlic cloves
less than a marble size of tamarind
salt to taste

Tempering :

1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
1 dry red chili
few curry leaves
1/2 tbsp oil


Method:

Grind together the first five ingredients with a little bit of water. Add the salt.
Heat a small pan with the oil.
Add the urad dal, when it browns add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add the broken red dry chili and curry leaves.
Add this immediately to the ground coconut and chili.
Mix well and serve with dish of your choice.
Tastes good with idlis, dosas and even upma.
Enjoy!!!




Monday, December 3, 2012

Pan Fried Masala Fried Fish Fillet



Well December is already here, which means few birthdays in our family and holidays for sure! Which also means lots and lots of cooking. I am hoping I can make some new dishes using some real easy ingredients! I will be sharing them with you guys so stay tuned! Dishes which will be easy to put together in time for busy days!
I am hooked on to Pinterest these days. There are some real cool stuff DIY stuff in there. if you haven't checked it out as yet, be sure to do it! Also knitting and crochet, one of passions, I have been looking at stuff and wish I could do all that I see. Which is like impossible but no wrong in wishing so right! :)
I am going to start on another knitting project, this time on the loom, a big project too, so lets see how it goes!

So with the first birthday in our home..here is what I cooked. Simple and easy to put together for sure. Delicious to eat too! Dish of the day was - Pan fried Masala Fried Fish on a bed of Vegetable pulao with a side of Onion Raita. :) wow big name!! :)


Ingredients:

4 Fish fillets (I used Tilapia, can use any white fish fillets)

Masala:

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp gus gus / khus khus / gasagasalu / white poppy seeds
2 tsp dried coconut powder or flakes
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera / cumin powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp of oil for 2 fillets of fish.

Method:

Grind the masala into a smooth paste with very less water.
Rub the masala over the fish fillet, more like patting it on the fillet.
Let it marinate for about 1/2 hour to 2 hours.
Heat oil in a large pan and fry the fillets till they are cooked on both sides by flipping them once or twice, on medium low heat for about 5-7 minutes, till the masala also gets fried to brown in color.
Serve with Rice of your choice.
Enjoy!!!



** I made a simple rice cooker pulao to go with it. Ground all the dry masala and sauteed with the vegetables of choice, only till they are half cooked. Substituted 1 cup of rice for the rice with coconut milk. Some coriander leaves and mint leaves to go with it. Everything goes into the rice cooker to cook.
Another method: Simple Rice Cooker Pulao

** Onion raita