Basil Zucchini Cakes

Enjoy the summer vegetables before they are gone !!

So we’ve been lucky to have vegetable stand a mile away from our house this summer. Every week, I take my basket and fill it up with fresh vegetables for a nominal price as compared to our grocery store. Last week I started noticing, that some of the vegetables were not as ripe looking as they were before. Ah.. that’s when I realized summer is coming to a close.. so, Enjoy the summer vegetables before they are gone !!

I got some green, firm zucchini to make a stir fry but thought otherwise today. I have used zucchini in salads, stir fry(s), fried, grilled and raw before.

Here is my simple and delicious way to showcase this summer vegetable.

Enjoy !

For 2-3 adults

2-3 firm, green zucchini(s) – washed and grated with skin on

1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese

2 carrots, peeled and grated (for color)

2 Tbsp fresh basil chopped

2 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped

1 clove garlic grated

1 Egg

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

salt, pepper and cayenne pepper as desired

All gourds have a lot of water content. Squeeze the grated gourd to remove extra water.

Mix all the ingredients. Make patties with your hands almost like burgers. (about 1/2″ thickness).

In a shallow non stick pan, heat up about 2 Tbsp of OO. On Medium heat, slide the patties one by one leaving about 2-3″ space between each for easy turning.

Cook for about 5-6 min on each side on medium heat.

Serve with marinara or hot sauce OR maybe between burger buns as a veggie burger.

Freeze in parchment paper for later use if you have extra patties.

Enjoy !!

Beet Kuttu

Kuttu or Koottu is a dish made with vegetables and daal (lentils) primarily in the southern part of India. You can make this with a variety of vegetables. My personal favorite is with gourd but I also love this sweeter version with Beet root.

Hope you enjoy the delicate flavor of this dish. Enjoy with steamed rice or hot chapattis.

Boil 1 cup of yellow lentils in salt water till cooked.

Boil/ pressure cook beet roots till soft.

Peel and dice. Admire your stained hands 🙂

Grind 1/2 a cup of shredded coconut, 2-3 whole red chillies, 1 Tbsp of cumin seeds with 1/4 cup of water.

Sautee 1/2 a red onion, mustard seeds, curry leaves and the daal in about 1 Tbsp oil. Add salt and red chilli powder.

Mix the beetroot into the daal mixture and cook on medium heat for about 8-9 minutes.

Enjoy !!

Watermelon Beet juice

Great way to start your day!!

1/2 a seedless watermelon, skin removed and cut into chunks

2 beet roots, peeled, chopped and boiled till super soft

2″ ginger root peeled, roughly chopped

Handful of mint leaves

Juice of 1 Lemon

Blend all the above. Strain to remove the pulp. and CHILL !

Add some sea salt and fresh cracked pepper before serving.. You’ll be in for a sweet surprise !!

Enjoy !!

Freaky Thai Curry

So I know I have mentioned this before but let me just tell you again.. I love Thai food.. I do.. I really do.. I love the spices, I love the flavors.. the aromas.. the the the.. you get it.. It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s tangy.. It’s just ummm perfect..

I think in a way it’s just exotic.. I think Thai food, I think the images on TV and in magazines.. I am suddenly transported to a serene country side with lush green forests, orchids blooming everywhere, and gentle music in the background.. wait, that reminds me of our local Thai restaurant.. anyway, bottom line is people, I love Thai food and this below is my version of Thai curry.

2 skinless, boneless Chicken breasts sliced thin

1/2 Green bell pepper

1/2 Red Onion

2 Roma tomatoes

Handful of peas

Any assorted veggies

I love color in my food so go crazy with your veggies.. You cannot go wrong

1 cup of firm tofu cubed, browned in a little OO

1/2″ root of ginger, skin peeled and grated

1 cup of coconut milk

1 tsp sugar

Salt, cayenne and pepper

Handful of fresh basil chopped, curry leaves, cilantro and kaffir lime leaves. (Use fresh bay leaf instead as an option)

2″ stalk of lemongrass, smashed

Curry Paste (Blend the below in a smooth paste)

2-3 whole red chillies (soaked in warm water for about 5-6 minutes)

2-3 cloves of garlic

1/4 Onion chopped

1 Tsp brown sugar

1 Tsp fish oil

2 Tsp(s) soy sauce

1 Tsp turmeric powder

2 Tsp(s) cumin seeds

1 Tsp Coriander seeds

In some OO, sautee some onions, ginger and the curry paste and cook for about 5-6 minutes till brown (NOT BURNED). Add the chicken and brown the chicken on medium heat. (about 6-8 minutes). Add the coconut milk and all the veggies. Add the spices and the herbs. Add about a cup of water. Simmer on medium heat (covered) till the chicken and the veggies seem tender.(about 10 minutes).

Add Tofu and cook for about 2-3 minutes more. Add some fresh curry leaves, basil and cilantro and remove from heat. (Make sure you remove the stalk of lemongrass before serving !)

Serve with your choice of rice.

Enjoy !!

Curried Chicken and Mango salad

So I came back home today after a VERY long day.. My day started out pretty lame. Stuck in traffic for over an hour, spilled coffee on my cream silk skirt, ate a salad with chicken WITH SKIN ON !!! Of course lost my appetite at that point.. and it continued to go downhill even further.. my team mate dropped the ball on a major release we had going on, too many fire drills at work and well, I can go on and on.. In a nutshell, I NEEDED chocolate.. Which I did manage to get .. Along with a latte, a hot chocolate and a bag full of potato chips.. SO.. yeah.. I abused my body today !! big time.. Stress and BAD FOOD choices..

So, by the time I got back home, I was starving.. and cranky.. and did I mention starving.. Needed a snack .. pronto !!

Looked in the fridge and found some leftovers… Jackpot !!

1 grilled chicken breast – chopped/ shredded

1/2 green bell pepper – chopped

1/2 red onion- chopped

2 stalks of celery – chopped

1 carrot – grated

Handful of cilantro, mint and basil – chopped (from my home garden)

1 Tbsp Mayo

2 Tbsp yogurt

1/2 tsp whole ground mustard

1 tsp all spice powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

salt, cayenne and pepper

and then I found a Mango.. Ummm

1/2 Mango – chopped

Mix all the above together.. Adjust heat on the spices per taste. Chill for atleast an hour.

I ate the above with crackers.. I made Luca a wrap out of it and Kish just used a spoon..

Enjoy !!!

Baked Peaches with Stilton and rosemary honey drizzle

Ummm… So I woke up this morning and man, it felt like fall is around the corner. There was a gentle nip in the air and the sky was still warming up.. Nothing makes me happier than thinking about fall ..well nothing more than the season of autumn itself.. but we all know its summer !! still summer !! and the basket of fresh and juicy golden peaches that I got from my local farmer’s market sitting in my kitchen is a gentle reminder of that.

but I thought to myself how do I make myself a “fall” treat in this hot weather..

Problem solved.. I create the below for us to share.

Baked Peaches with Stilton and rosemary honey drizzle

1 Peach per person, washed, wiped clean, halved and pitted

1 Tbsp of Stilton cheese (or any bleu cheese would do; I love Stilton.. It’s creamier and just strong enough to make an impact in this dish)

1 Tbsp of honey

1/2 a sprig of fresh rosemary

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper .. Oh yeah ….

Stuff the peaches with the cheese and rosemary. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup (if you like better) and baked in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes.

Broil the tops for 2 minutes till you see the charred color.

Sprinkle some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Enjoy with a glass of your favorite Shiraz.. Happy “Fall” !!

Cold Asparagus Salad

You gotta love summer !! I got a bunch of these delicious green crisp Asparagus and I couldn’t wait to do something with them. Now one rule I have for Asparagus is I cannot see them cut, chopped, sliced .. That’s just a crime !! against Asparagus..

So I am going to make us something that just subtly enhances the beautiful fresh nutty flavor of this wonderful vegetable and keeps its shape.

Cold Asparagus Salad with a raspberry vinaigrette

1 Bunch of fresh asparagus (snapped at the ends to remove the hard stalky part)

Raspberry vinaigrette

2 Tbsp Raspberry Vinegar

2 Tbsp OO

1 Tbsp Honey

Salt and pepper

Shake the above in a glass jar till the mixture thickens.

Blanch the asparagus in boiling salt water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and submerge the asparagus in ice cold water for about 5 minutes. This will instantly stop the cooking process and keep the asparagus green. Drain and chill the asparagus for a couple of hours.

Toss with the vinaigrette and serve chilled.

Budget Brunch Sundays 08/21/2011

Mushroom and Pesto Frittata

So, what is a frittata you ask ? I call it an open faced omelette and instead of serving it folded, you cut it up in slices and serve with cold/hot with a salad or bread.

So today we are making a mushroom and pesto frittata.

To serve 2-3

A cup of baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

1/2 a spanish onion sliced fine

1/2 a tomato chopped fine

2 Tbsp pesto paste

4 Eggs beaten till fluffy

salt and pepper

Fresh parmesan shavings to serve with

Sautee Onions, tomatoes and Mushrooms for a couple of minutes in 1 Tsp of OO.

Add the eggs and reduce the heat to low. Add salt and pepper. Cook for about 8-9 minutes on low till the eggs are set.

Finish off the top of the eggs in a preheated oven at 350 for 5 min.

Garnish with fresh cheese shavings. Serve with a simple fruit salad.

Enjoy !

Test driving "Random Thursdays"

Hello Party people,

I am going to try something new here. A series of blogs for “Random Thursdays”.
I decided to go with this instead of “Left over Thursdays” as I got the feedback that, not a lot of people have left overs on a Thursday as people tend to cook on the weekend so left overs usually are available on a Monday or a Tuesday rather than a Thursday..

so thanks for the feedback !!

So for our first edition of Random Thursdays..

I am going to share with you the recipe for Paneer tikka flatbread.

(Even though today is not a thursday.. anywhooooo )

To serve 4

For the dough:

Recipe coming soon.


Paneer (2 cups cubed/shredded)

1 Cup fresh mozzarella cheese shredded/cubed

1 cup of baby spinach

1/2 red onion sliced REAL thin

1 green bell pepper sliced REAL thin

Tikka sauce:

1 onion and 3 tomatoes blended into a paste

1 Tsp garlic and ginger paste

1 Tsp garam masala

1 Tsp coriander powder

1 Bayleaf

1 stick of cinnamon

2 Tbsp sour creme

2 Tsp Yogurt

Salt and red chili powder to taste

Saute’ everything except for the dairy products in about 2-3 Tsp of OO.

Saute till the mixture separates from the side of the pan on medium heat.

Add sour creme and yogurt. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

Let it cool.

Marinate the paneer in 1/2 a cup of the tikka sauce for about 30 minutes.

Spread your dough out on a non stick cookie sheet very thin. You should be able to see the sheet through the dough. Bake the dough for 5 minutes in a pre-heaten oven at 400 degrees. This is your flatbread base. Use a fork and “jab” the base to remove any air bubbles. (This will make the base crunchy and not soft)

Spread about 1/2 cup of the tikka sauce on the base. Sprinkle the rest of the toppings.

Make sure you don’t over load the base. If there are too many toppings, the flatbread will be soggy instead of crunchy.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy with mint chutney.

It’s amazing that fresh Italian mozzarella has a very similar consistency as that of paneer. If you see how both are made, you will not be surprised as to why. I like using fresh mozzarella a LOT as I am a paneer addict and when I don’t get fresh paneer, I goto fresh mozzarella.

Enjoy !!