Monday, September 9, 2019

Gajbaje ( Mixed vegetables cooked in coconut based spicy sauce)

Gajbaje is a traditional Konkani recipe that makes use of a variety of vegetables ( usually fall vegetables such as the gourds and the root vegetables) and is cooked in a spicy coconut based sauce. The spice level can be adjusted based on individual taste. This dish is usually a part of the festive menu as onion are garlic is not used for this dish. This is a very easy to make dish and the best thing is that one can use any leftover vegetable for this dish. 
Let’s check the recipe below.

Serving size: 4-6

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 15-25 mins Total time: 30-40 mins


Rolo banana( cooking banana): 1
Potato: 1
Green beans: 4-6,
Carrot: 1, medium sized 
Zucchini: 1 medium 
Salt: to taste 
Water: for cooking and grinding as needed.

For grinding: 
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Red chillies: 4-6
Tamarind: marble size 

For garnish:
Cooking oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp 
Curry leaves: 1 sprig.


Peel and chop the veggies into 1-2 inch size pieces. Add them to a pot with 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt and cook until just tender. 
When the vegetables are cooking, grind together all the ingredients lists under “ for grinding” to a fine paste adding water as needed. 
Add the ground masala to the cooked vegetables and bring to a boil. Turn off the flame. 

Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a small pan. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds. Once they splutter, turn off the flame and add curry leaves. Add this to the above pot.
Serve hot with rice or dosas( Indian pancakes) or Roti ( flat bread).

Cooking made easy: 

You can use any combination of vegetables for this dish. However, hardy vegetables such as gourds and root vegetables are preferred as they don’t get mushy due to the varied cooking times.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Spaghetti with meatless Meatballs served with vegan scallopini & grilled asparagus ; a Meatless Monday Meal!!

At the outset I would like to inform you that this post is sponsored by Gardein and is a review of their vegan products. 

Most days in our home we eat vegetarian meals and enjoy them. On occasion I cook fish or chicken but that’s about it. I do not cook meat. Most people find it difficult to eat a meal that is devoid of meat. Quite often they have a hard time finding a wholesome meal that is vegetarian. Truthfully, most Indian meals are vegetarian and quite wholesome. Growing up, nonvegeterian fare was cooked only on Sundays. However I understand the situation people here in the US find themselves in. That’s why when Gardein approached some Meatless Monday bloggers, I was quite happy to participate in their campaign and promote their vegan fare. 

Gardein is committed to provide high quality vegan, plant based products that are kosher and do not contain any artificial flavor, color or preservatives in them. They have a wide range of products. Last week I received a nice cooler package of the following Gardein products to try: 
  • 7 Grain Tenders 
  • Classic Meatless Meatballs 
  • Beefless Ground 
  • Chick’n Scallopini 
  • Crispy Chick’n Mandarin Orange 
  • Crabless Cakes 

Previously I have tried the Seven Grain Crispy Tenders, the Veggie burger, the Ultimate Beefless Burger and the Crispy Chick’n Patty. All of them are quick and easy to prepare items, making them perfect for a weeknight dinner. You can check the review for them here.

The kids were in the mood for sphagetti. So this time around I decided to make a weeknight meal using the classic Meatless Meatballs and chick’n scallopini. Making it was easy and everyone polished it off their plates.  

Servings: 4


Chick’n Scallopini from Gardein: 1 
Classic Meatless Meatballs from Gardein: 1
Sphagetti: 1 package ( I used Barilla)
Pasta Sauce: 1 bottle ( I used Barilla)
Garlic: 3-4 cloves, finely diced
Chives: 2-3 
Olive oil: 1+ 2 tbsp+1 tbsp
Asparagus: 6-8, broken into bite sized pieces
Salt: to taste
Black pepper powder: 1/4 tsp, freshly ground


For the scallopini: 
Cook the scallopini as per the instructions on the package. Cooks within 5 mins. 

For the Sphagetti: 
Cook the sphagetti as per the instructions on the package.

For the sauce: 
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Add the diced and crushed garlic. Sauté for 2-3 seconds or until fragrant. Add the pasta sauce and let it come to a gentle boil. Now add the meatballs in and let it simmer as per the directions on the package. When done turn off the flame and keep aside.

For the asparagus:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the asparagus, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 mins. 

Place a serving of spaghetti in the middle of the plate. Pour a ladle of pasta sauce with 1-3 meatballs on top of the pasta. Serve one slice of scallopini and a serving of asparagus.

Serve hot. I will bet that most won’t notice the difference. Gardein products are  that good!! 


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Monday, March 11, 2019

Pasta Primavera; Meatless Monday

Sometimes my children get bored of having rice for dinner on a daily basis and ask for something else.. While they are not much of a pasta fan, I think this particular time, they just felt like pasta and requested for pasta for dinner. I had a lonely pack of Rotelle pasta sitting in my pantry and decided to use it. I was going to make a basic white sauce, throw in some peas and carrots and call it a day. Coincidently, on the back of the pasta package I found the recipe for Rotelle Primavera. Usually I am wary about recipes on the box but this one was vegetarian and had green beans asparagus, green peas and bell peppers. When I looked in my freezer, I found that I had used up my peas and carrots but I had a handful of just peas. In my refrigerator I had fresh green beans and purple asparagus. I didn’t have any peppers on hand. I didn’t have half and half so I used whole milk instead, which also cuts the calories!  I decided to try the recipe. I am glad I did. It was quick and easy to make and the taste was delicious! The kids loved it and so did hubby!! I strongly recommend this wholesome pasta recipe, especially now that spring is here and there will be a plethora of fresh vegetables in the market. No, this post has not been sponsored by Ronzoni pasta!! 

Servings: 6-8

Prep time: 15 minsCook time: 15 minsTotal time: 30 mins


8 ozRonzoni® Rotelle
1/2 lbfresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces 
1 lbasparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbspbutter
1 Tbspolive oil
1 tspsalt
2 Tbspsall purpose flour
1 1/2 cupswhole milk or half and half. 
1 cupfrozen peas
1/3 cupgrated Parmesan cheese1 tsp 
 freshly ground black pepper

Method :

Prepare pasta according to package directions, adding green beans to pasta cooking water during last 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil; add asparagus. Season with salt. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetable are crisp-tender; reduce heat to medium. 

Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

 Add milk and peas. Cook, stirring frequently until mixture thickens slightly. 

Toss hot cooked pasta and green beans with sauce; serve with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. 
Serve hot!

Cooking made easy: 

You can use other vegetables that you may have on hand such as broccoli, peas and carrot, cauliflower etc. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Quinoa Lima Beans Pulao/ Pilaf

My favorite way to include quinoa in my diet is by making a salad of some kind or mix it with rice in a Pulao. I usually make quinoa-Black bean salad or make methi pulao. When Camellia sent me a bag of Lima beans, I decided to make Quinoa Pulao without any rice in it using a very simple and basic recipe that doesn’t require too many ingredients or take too much time and yet is simply delicious. The end result was more like a warm salad that is nutritious what with both the main ingredients being protein-rich and quinoa we know is a superfood! 

Do give this recipe a try. It is naturally gluten free, low fat and great for diabetics. 

Servings: 2

Ingredients :

Cooked Quinoa: 2 cups
Cooked Lima beans: 1 cup
Coconut oil: 1  tbsp
Onion: 1 medium, chopped lengthwise.
Bell pepper: one medium, diced
Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Salt : to taste
Cilantro/ coriander leaves: 1 tbsp, chopped


Heat oil in a kadai/ sauté pan. Add chopped  onions and 1/2 tsp salt. Sauté until the onions turn transparent. Add the chopped bell peppers and sauté for 2 minutes.
Now add the turmeric powder and the drained lima beans and sauté for 2-4 minutes. Add quinoa. Mix well and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until it all comes together.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve hot or at room temperature.


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Lima Beans Platter, a Slow Food USA Initiative supported by Camellia Beans

When Camellia Beans reached out to the Meatless Monday Bloggers with their Slow Food USA initiative I was quick to volunteer. inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for allinitiative encouraging vegetarian meals, Camellia Beans is a family owned and farmed business that has been providing consumers with high quality beans since 1923. Beans is a great source of protein, iron and folic acid. When coupled with a carbohydrate such as rice or bread, it makes for a complete meal. Beans form an integral part of the Indian diet as majority of the Indians are vegetarians. There exists a plethora of recipes in the Indian Cuisine that makes use of beans in some form or the other and is beautifully complimented with particular vegetables. I chose to use Lima Beans to be showcased for this special day today as it happens to be my favorite beans. I have created 3 recipes using them, all of them gluten free, diary free, nut free: Lima Beans Rice, Lima Beans in a curry and Quinoa Lima Beans Pilaf, each one competing with the other in taste and ease of making it.

It’s time to come to the table to celebrate Food for Change! Join me in supporting tasty solutions to climate change. On December 10, the global Slow Food network will celebrate Terra Madre Day. In the USA, we are taking to the kitchen to prepare plant-based meals with ingredients grown and produced in climate-friendly ways. I am sharing my food with my neighbors in my apartment building. Whom are you sharing yours with??
By acting together as a global network, we can pivot towards more sustainable food production and farming systems, and achieve a climate friendly future. Food is a cause and victim of climate change, but also a delicious solution. This year, @SlowFoodUSA has focused on the positive solutions of Slow Food to connect the dots between farmers and consumers as the everyday climate champions.

Choose climate-friendly foods, try this recipe at home, and tag your dish with #FoodforChange and #MeatlessMonday.

Click on the title for the recipe:

Lima Beans Rice:

Quinoa Lima Beans Pilaf

Lima Beans Song (Curried Lima Beans)


Camellia Beans has generously contributed many pounds of beans for our Food for Change meal participants to use, which you will/have received from Slow Food in anticipation of Dec. 10. Here is a little more about their delicious beans and some vegetarian recipes for inspiration!


Our Food for Change meal on December 10 is in support of Meatless Monday (because it’s a Monday!) and isdesigned to inspire our community to reduce their meat consumption. If you are in need of inspiration for plant-based recipes, Meatless Monday has a whole bunch of tasty-looking recipes on their website!

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Lima beans Rice

I am Indian and therefore rice has a ubiquitous presence in my diet. My husband prefers pulao( pilaf), fried rice, Biryani or any kind of one pot rice dish as opposed to plain white rice served with some curry ( side-dish that has gravy). Lima Beans is one of my favorite beans and I decided to make a rice dish using the Lima beans sent by our friends at Camellia Beans. Many of you must have eaten the cilantro lime rice at Chipotle. Imagine that with Lima beans added to it. Believe me when I tell you that not only does it taste delicious but it makes for a complete meal what with the essential elements of protein, carbohydrate, fat and minerals. 

Do try it. It is quick and easy and you will fall in love with it. You won’t even need a side dish for it! It is a great way to make use of leftover rice!! 

Servings: 2-3

Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: none
Total time: 3 mins 


Cooked rice: 4 cups 
Cooked Lima beans: 1.5 cups
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Lime juice: from one small lime
Salt: to taste
Black pepper: 1/8 tsp
Garlic powder: 1/8 tsp ( optional)


Add 4 cups of warm/ hot rice to a bowl. Now add all the other ingredients and toss until the rice is thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients. Be gentle while mixing so that the rice does not become mushy!

Serve hot with a side of your choice or eat it as is!


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