Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Scrambled Eggs with Pasta Sauce, Croutons and Green Pepper

This is so not the traditional scrambled eggs that you would make for breakfast. I had some leftover canned pasta sauce (from the spaghetti recipe) that I used up with eggs. I also quickly chopped up just enough of green pepper.

So beat up two eggs in a bowl, add the pasta sauce, green pepper, salt and pepper. Mix it up real well and pour it onto a hot oil in a saucepan. Keep stirring until the eggs are cooked. I like the eggs well cooked so I even cover the saucepan with a lid to cook it through and through. After a few mintues, if you want to add a little crisp and crunch to the dish, add in some croutons and there! you are done! Empty it into a bowl and enjoy your hot breakfast with a cool glass of orange juice.

This is how it will look once cooked!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Vegetable Curry ( Sabji ) with Coconut Milk

A super easy recipe! Heavy influence from the Indian cuisine :)

You need:
1 Potato
1 Green Pepper (Capsicum)
1 Onion
1/2 Teaspoon of cumin seed
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric for the colour
1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Powder for the spice
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala for the flavour
Half a bowl of coconut milk (fresh/canned/powdered)
Salt according to taste.

So, let's get cracking on the steps. This post will be very pictorial so just scroll down and follow the illustrations!

Heat oil in a saucepan (1-2 tbsps). Make sure it's very hot before you add cumin. Once they sizzle giving out the beautiful aroma, add in the peeled and chopped potatoes. This must be added first because potatoes take the longest to cook among the other veggies and putting these first in the hot saucepan make them cook quickly.

 Once they are cooked add in the chopped onions and capsicum/green pepper. Saute them for a few minutes only to keep them nice and crunchy.

Next, add turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and enough salt.

Give it a quick stir and then add coconut milk. Let this boil for a few minutes. The curry will start thickening. That's when you turn off the stove!

Things that go with the curry: Rice! Best combination ever. (I used brown basmati)

And tada! That's how my meal looked after plating up. As you see I thickened my curry and hence you don't see it flowing. If you don't thicken it this much you can also use rice noodles with this curry.

Pondering over:
I was planning to add garlic and ginger too. But I didn't know how it would taste with the coconut milk. But I suppose they do this all the time in South East Asia. What do you think?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Garlic and Herb Spaghetti (Vegetarian)

This is a very simple and delicious dish. Took me like 10 minutes to cook it up. The trick is, prep up everything in advance. 

I used whole grain spaghetti from Barilla. Barilla, Italy's most loved brand, says so my Italian friend. Well anyway, put a pot full of water on the stove and wait for it to boil. Add a pinch of salt and add the spaghetti. Once it has softened cover it the pot with a lid so as to increase the temperature of water which in turn helps quicken the cooking process. Total cooking time may take from 7-10 minutes. Keep watching. You can tell the spaghetti is done usually by looking at the colour, it should be almost translucent. If that's tough to tell, just pull out a hot strand of spaghetti and give it a taste check! 

 Tip: Pick whole grain spaghetti if possible! It's healthier and will help you watch your curves.

While your spaghetti is cooking, lets get started on the sauce. Here I have used Garlic & Herb flavoured tomato sauce by Primo. There are some excellent sauces out in the market for example by Barilla (again). You should definitely try the Tomato & Basil sauce by Barilla. So the Primo sauce, I emtieed it in a saucepan and heated it till it came to a boil. As the label suggests its a very thick sauce so you can add water if you like. Also you see it's a pretty big can and contains substantial amount of sauce which is certainly a plus. The only drawback is the storage life of this product. Once you open the can you must use it within 24-48 hours. Since I cook for just one there is a lot that goes to waste even after eating the sauce 3 times a day. Best storage solution is to freeze the leftover sauce. It definitely lasts longer.

Tip: You know the sauce has gone/going bad when the sauce tastes extremely sour. If so, time to throw it out dearies. 

So the sauce and spaghetti are ready and time to plate up! Pile up the spaghetti on your plate/bowl and pour a nice generous amount of sauce over it. Sprinkle some Parmesan and you are good to go! Pick a nice cozy spot in your room and eat it while watching an episode of Friends or Dexter, whichever pleases you.

Tip: To make the dish more fancy, you can add pieces of vegetables in it. Try adding some green pepper, onions, mushrooms, zucchini even! or you can substitute with meat like pieces of chicken, salmon, actually anything you like! Such a versatile dish you are spaghetti!

Blueberry Flavored Cereal with Fresh Cut Strawberries

     This being my first post, I have decided to start with something really very simple. Everybody's favourite CEREAL! Let me be clear, I am not actually making cereal here. Just putting it right of the box into a bowl, pouring some milk over this and adding a few fancy touches. Voila! Breakfast is ready.

    I have to be honest here, I was never a cereal-for-breakfast person. Growing up in India, one knows that the heaviest and  the greasiest meal will always be the breakfast. Ever since I moved to Canada, yes that's where I study now, I have adapted to the quick western food habits. However, every  now and then I do long for the hot steaming food coming right out of mom's kitchen. That's when I put on my chef's hat and get down to some serious business. Well, those stories are posts for another day!

   Anyway, these days, I use this cereal: Kellogs Special Blueberry Flavour. This is sweetened so that kind of makes it a dessert-for-breakfast but it sure tastes pleasant. I buy a new kind of cereal every time I hit the supermarket, sure does keep breakfast interesting.
Tip: Check out if you have 'Food Bank' at your university/college. That's where they let you pick up limited grocery items (for free). That's where I get my cereal from. Not bad eh?

    Also, I try to pick up cereal that's not sweetened. Too much sugar not good for ya. So once you have the beautiful crisp cereal in your bowl its time to add the milk. The amount of milk and its temperature have always been controversial to me. The rule is, well, there is no rule. Feel free to add how much ever milk you feel like pouring into that bowl just make sure it doesn't overflow now. Also I like to add my milk cold straight from the fridge. I used to initially warm it up which made my flakes really soggy. One day I got lazy and didnt heat it up to find my cereal remained intact longer and hence tasted better. Well all this is your call.

   Moving on to the toppings, an ordinary one would be sugar. Only if your cereal is not frosted or sweetened. Another substitute would be to drizzle honey. The best topping would be an array of fruits! Some fruits that would go with cereal+milk would be strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, pears, basically anything non-citrusy! 

   I recently bought fresh strawberries so that's what I'm adding to my bowl. I wasn't really sure if these two berries went together. I tried it anyway and it tasted refreshing! Thumbs up for this combination. 

Tip: Never freeze leftover strawberries (or any berries/fruit) unless you plan to make a smoothie. It completely destroys their texture. I did it once with 2 kgs of fresh strawberries and when I unfroze them they were so mushy. Unpleasant. 

    OK, I never thought I could come up with so many things to write for a cereal breakfast. Yay I'm done with the first blog post! Now time to get back to my breakfast before the flakes go soggy.