Friday, January 31, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper, Carrot and Beet Soup

Winter brings soup season. I love to make different kind of soup to warm the body in this wintery weather. I like thick soup which coats the spoon , watery soup not a big fan of it. Only Rasam is good for thin soup but otherwise always make thick soup. This soup has bright red color with the beet and carrot in it. You can roast the vegetables in oven or on the gas stove , its your choice.

Ingredients :

1 red roasted pepper
1 red roasted tomato
big piece of ginger (the more ginger it taste better)
3 carrot
1 medium size beet (peeled and cubed)
1 tsp. Garlic powder
salt to taste
1 8oz. can of Vegetable Broth
dash of tabasco
freshly cracked black pepper
chopped coriander leaves
few croutons


Roast the red pepper and tomato on gas stove.
Put it in plastic bag so its black skin come out easily.
In a big pan, add vegetable broth, cut carrots, ginger, beet
Boiled it for 8-10 minutes.
When its cold, add broth and vegetables in mixture along with red pepper and tomatoes.
Make a fine puree out of it.
Put all again in pot and warm it the soup.
Add salt, garlic powder, black pepper.
Boiled it for 5 minutes.
To serve , take a bowl , pour the soup , top it with coriander leaves, fresh cracked black pepper, tabasco and croutons.

Quick and healthy lunch is served.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grape and Carrot Salad

Some of this days don't feel like anything heavy, that time salad comes to mind. Don't like boring tomato, onion, cucumber in my mind, that time my treasure comes to my rescue. I was looking at one of the books , which I won at Nayna's Giveaway event . It has such a simple and quick snacks and easy to prepare at home without any fancy ingredients. One recipe caught my eye, Grape and carrot salad. It has literally 4 ingredients in salad but never had it together as salad and simple and flavorful dressing, so without thinking for a minute , I made it in five minutes and enjoy it with my glass of smoothie for my healthy and quick and light lunch. Don't believe me take a look at the recipe and see. You can make it in big batch too, just increase the amount of ingredients. Thank you so much Nayna for the wonderful books. In coming future will use it more and more this easy dishes.

Do you see this nice new header? thanks to Meena from elephantsandthecoconuttrees, she made this for me. I am so thankful to her from bottom of my heart to her work and support. GOD bless you Meena.

Ingredients :

20 Red seedless grapes cut in to halves
1 medium carrot peeled and grated
2 tbsp. Roasted salted peanuts
1 tbsp. fresh chopped coriander leaves

Dressing :
1 tbsp. ground roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
pinch of chili flakes


In a bowl, add the grape halves, shredded carrot, chopped coriander and peanuts.
Mix all.
In another bowl add ground peanuts, chili flakes, lemon zest and the lime juice.
Combine to form a dressing
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat all the salad ingredients.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately with a slice of bread or pita or as it is.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Protein Packed Idli Upma

When I was making idlis, I was hoping that I can have leftovers so I can make this upma. Because its perfect for breakfast , snack or any time munching. In my house we don't consume that much idlis but we are big on dosa , uttapam and pessarattu fans so when someone comes for lunch that time I make idlis, because its filling and fast too. So at the end of the day I had 10 idlis left. I was happy because it is enough to feed two of us for breakfast. Mean time my tea get ready, I made this protein packed upma.

Ingredients :

10 Idlis (rice cakes)
1 onion chopped finely
1 green chili chopped finely
fistful of black beans (yes that's how I measure)
fistful of frozen corn
1/2  tsp.. each udad dal and chana dal
few curry leaves
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. red chili powder
lime juice to taste
2 tsp. oil


Soak all the idlis in water for 30 seconds and squeeze the water out and mashed it.
Heat a pan , add oil, when its hot, add mustard seeds, when its cracked, add udad dal , chana dal , curry leaves.
When dals become pink, add onion and chilies and cook till its pink.
Add black beans and corn , turmeric powder, red chili powder and cook till its warm.
Add mashed idlis and cook on medium flame till its become hot. Add salt.
When its done, sprinkle lime juice and serve hot with a cup of tea / coffee or have it as it is.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Paneer Gulkand Burfi / Indian Cottage Cheese Fudge with rose petals

I like to make paneer at home, specially if I have to make some thing out of fresh paneer. This is the reason I made paneer, to make burfi out of it. After making paneer if you are using it for sweet dishes, make sure you rinse it after the whey is draining out. Otherwise your sweet dish will ruin. This is simple and fast burfi if you have paneer at home, I have added gulkand to reduce sugar quantity in this and use only two tablespoons of ghee. So its not that heavy either.

Ingredients :

2 cups of fresh paneer
6 tbsp. of sugar
2 tbsp. of warm gul kand / Rose petals
6 Almonds powder or finely chopped
2 tbsp. of Ghee


Take paneer, sugar, gul kand, almond powder in a bowl and mix it thoroughly .

Heat a pan, Add ghee in it, once it melted, add paneer mixture.

Cook till its leaves side , at least good 10 minutes.

Once done, spread it in greased dish and once its cooled, cut it in desired shape.
If you like you can add melted chocolate also while cooking paneer or drizzle it on the top once its in dish.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spinach and Artichokes Stuffed Shells

Compare to regular pasta in tomato sauce we like stuff varieties of pasta, like manicotti, lasagna, shells. No offence to regular pasta , it comes very handy when you have to prepare dinner in hurry. But this dishes are always a special to us and best thing about this is you can make it and froze it and when ever you are ready to eat, just bake it or take it to your get to gather. Who don't like spinach and artichokes dip? I love it so when I was thinking what to make for Sunday diner, I thought this will be perfect to use my home made ricotta too. You need to plan in advance for such dishes, I planned my whole week's menu on Monday and then I do my grocery shopping, from Indian as well as American supermarket. so there is no way like I have nothing in my fridge or pantry. So about this dish, you love that dip , so imagine that dip with hot marinara sauce and ooey gooey cheese coming out from those shells, pair it with home made garlic bread and red wine, diner is done. For variety I added few more vegetables too. You can omit that and just keep spinach and artichoke, that's fine too.

Ingredients :

Half box of Barilla Jumbo Shells - didn't wanted to store so use only half
1 8 oz. box frozen and thawed spinach
2 4 oz. glass bottle of artichokes in oil
2 cups of Ricotta - I used my  Home Made  you can use part skim or full fat
1 shredded carrot
7 big cloves of garlic chopped
1/4 cup frozen corns
1/2 white onions chopped
1 green chili chopped
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt to taste
8 oz. bag of mozzarella cheese
1 bottle of your favorite marinara sauce


Cook jumbo shells as per box instructions.

Keep it aside.
Pre heat the oven at 375 F.

In a bowl, Add spinach, chopped artichokes, carrot, garlic, onion, corn, chili.
Add ricotta, parmesan cheese, mozzarella , oregano, red flakes, salt and mix it very well. check the seasoning before you stuff the shells .

Take your baking dish and spread two big spoons of marinara sauce in it.
Now take one shell and fill it generously , remember you have to eat it so don't be so mean and use less stuffing.
line up all stuffed shells and add more mozzarella cheese on top and marinara sauce on it.
You can use less or more sauce and cheese as per your likes. I don't like too much so I just sprinkle it.
At this point you can covered it and froze it and use it when ever you need it.

Covered with aluminum foil and baked it for 25-30 minutes and take it out foil and baked it for 5-10 minutes more.
Take it out from the oven, let it cool from 5 minutes and serve it hot with garlic bread and wine.
put rest back in oven so it stays warm.

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