Saturday, June 30, 2007

Vegetarian Chili

I looked all over for a Veg. Chili recipe and decided to do it my own simple way.
If you are going to have this for dinner try to make it in the morning. Tastes much better when it sits for long time:). Most recipes called for zuchhini but I added Mexican squash instead.

Also you can add ground chicken to this if you like some extra protein or are craving some meat.


Onion - 1/2 cup diced
Green bell pepper - 1 diced
Celery - 1 cup diced
Carrot - 1 cup diced
Mexican Squash - 2 diced
Corn Kernels - 1 cup
Artichoke Hearts - 1 5 oZ can
Button Mushrooms - 6 diced
Jalapeno - 1 diced ( I added the seeds too)
Tomatoes - 1 14.5 oz can
Red Kidney beans - 1 15 oz can drained
Ketchup - 1 Tbsp.
Orange Juice - freshly Squeezed - 1/4 cup
Vegetable Broth - 1 8 oZ can
Ground Cumin - 1 Tbsp.
Red Chili Powder - 1tsp.
Paprika - 1 tsp.
Dried Rosemary - 1tsp.
Dried Parsley - 1tsp.
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp.
Salt and pepper - to taste
Olive oil - as needed


Heat oil in a 3 qt. pan. Saute onions, jalepenos, celery, carrots and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the squash, mushrooms and corn and season it with some salt and pepper.
Saute for 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, parsley, cumin, garlic, chili powder and paprika. Stir for few minutes. Add the orange juice, veg. broth. Mix and adjust seasoning. Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts and beans. Bring to a boil and simmer. Add ketchup, mix and let it sit on low flame for 20 to 30 minutes.

I am serving this tonight for dinner with baked potato and side salad.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Random things I do in the kitchen. Just wanted to share. You might have heard about them, read somewhere but never hurts to read again ;).

- Never store tomatoes in the fridge. They lose all their nutritional value. Take them out of the plastic bag as soon as you bring them home from the store and leave them in an open space.

- Frozen vegetables are as good as fresh and sometimes better.

- Take a knife skills class at your local community college or a supermarket that has cooking classes. It's well worth it. Once you know how to handle a 10 inch knife, cooking is much easier and faster.

- Pre-cut veggies and keep them on hand - you can make your own salad bags and keep them ready.

- This is an awesome website to look into for anything and everything. America's Test Kitchen

I will add more to this list when I remember more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Easy peasy macaroni

Throw in things you got on hand and you will get this easy macaroni dish. I had to come up with something for Prabu's lunch today and this is what I gave him. I used whole wheat macaroni.


Macaroni - 1/2 lb dry - cooked per instructions on the box
Orange bell pepper - 1 cut into small pieces
Celery - 1/2 cup chopped fine
Shallot - one chopped fine
Tomatoes - 1 large chopped fine
Garlic - 3 cloves sliced
Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp.
Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Oil - as needed


While the pasta is boiling, heat oil in a shallow pan. Add garlic and red chilli flakes. After 20 seconds add shallots, celery and peppers. Season with salt and pepper and cook till veggies are a little soft but not too mushy. Add the tomatoes and cook till tomatoes wilt. Add the cooked macaroni, toss and serve. You can even add fresh basil and some pecorino romano cheese if you like.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rice Pudding/Parvanam

This is my fastest, simplest way of whipping up an Indian sweet and this is the one and only Indian desert I think I have made so far.
Couple of things to note: The water and milk you use for this recipe should be at the same temperature. Try not to use warm milk with cold water.

I have 2 different sets in my family. One set likes the pudding cold and hard like an ice cream and the other likes it creamy and milky;).

So I make it hard to start with and for people who like it creamy, I just add warm milk towards the end.


Rice - 1 cup ( uncooked)
Jaggery or brown Sugar - 1 cup or as per your taste (if you want less sweet)
Cold Water - 2 cups
Cold Milk - 2 cups
Cardamom - 4 crushed
Cashews - 1/4 cup
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Butter - 4 Tbsp.


Wash rice and water and milk to it and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on low till almost all the liquid is evaporated.

While that's getting done, add the jaggery and 1/2 cup to a cup of water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 2 to 2.5 minutes or till all the sugars are melted. Strain and keep aside

Back to the rice:). Once the rice is cooked, add the jaggery syrup to it. Mix and let it rest.

Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add cardamom, cashews and raisins. Stir till cashews turn golden brown. Add this mixture to the rice pudding. Mix and serve.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Maggi Noodles

You get these in Indian store. As a kid i hated the taste of this. But now we do cook it once in a while. They came up with whole wheat version of these noodles which aren't so bad. Here's my vegetable version.


Maggi Noodles: 4 pack
Onion - 1/2 cup diced
Tomato - 1 medium diced
Mixed Vegetables - 3 cups steamed
Garam Masala - 1 tsp.
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Taste maker - this comes with the noodles.


Boil the noodles per package instructions and keep aside.
Saute onions till they turn light brown. Add vegetable and saute them for few more minutes. Add the tastemaker, garam masala, salt ( just enough for veggies), red chili powder and stir till you lose the raw chili flavor. Add tomatoes, 1/4 cup of water and cook till tomatoes are soft. Add the noodles and mix well.

You have to eat this hot off the stove though. Doesn't taste that great cold.