Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thai-style Peanut Noodles

 I wanted to make something different than the usual Vegetable Noodles recipe and when I saw this pack of spaghetti, decided to try a peanutty version....  The last time I made something similar was inspired by the thai red curry, so I added some red curry paste and a touch of coconut milk but this time it was coated in a smooth peanut sauce and delicious. Once the veggies are cut, this dish will be ready real fast. You could add some pan-fried tofu cubes, along with the noodles but since I didn't have any in stock, I skipped them this time.

THAI STYLE PEANUT NOODLES

Thai Style Peanut Noodles


Ingredients:
Spaghetti/Linguini - 8 to 10 oz, dry
Veggies of choice (Red Onions, Carrots, Broccoli, Red & Green bell Peppers, Cabbage) - 2 to 3 cups
Tofu - 1/2 cup (optional) - cut into cubes and tossed in a pan with some oil and salt

Peanut Butter - 1/4 to 1/3 cup
Sriracha Chilli Sauce/ Chili Garlic Sauce/ Sambal - 2 tbsp (or to taste)
Soy Sauce - 1 to 2 tbsp

Lemon Juice - 1 tsp (optional)
Ginger - 1 tbsp, minced finely
Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves, minced finely

Oil (Sesame or Canola) - 1 tbsp
Spring onions / Cilantro leaves - 1 tbsp for garnish


Method:

1) Heat plenty of water in a big pan and when boiling add about half tsp of salt and drop the noodles. Cook until al dente or follow package directions. Drain the noodles , reserving some of the pasta water.

2) In a wide kadai/skillet,  heat oil and add ginger, garlic & whites of spring onions (if using) then add the veggies and saute them till tender crisp. Don't add salt since the peanut-butter and soy sauce have plenty of sodium.

3) In  a small bowl combine the peanut butter, soy sauce & chilli sauce and add a few tbsp of the pasta water to make the peanut sauce. 


4) Add this sauce to the veggies and mix well before tossing in the noodles (and tofu, if using) &  allowing the sauce to coat them uniformly.Garnish with coriander leaves or spring onion tops.



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Faux Dahi Papdi Chaat

Wanting a quick snack over the weekend, I decided to put the rather large bag of baked Pita chips that my husband got from Costco, to use.... We had some of it plain, some with hummus but lately we had been ignoring it... so an idea to use those chips instead of the regular papdis came into my mind... They were crunchy and sturdy so would be a perfect replacement. Having store bought tamarind date chutney and green chutney in the fridge always makes snacks like these a breeze... I boiled a few potatoes and had some cooked white peas (vatana) after making ragda patties so used that but a can of chickpeas would also work... Another good substitute for the papdi would be tortillas cut into circles (with a cookie cutter) and baked in an oven for about 10-15 mins till crisp.

DAHI PAPRI CHAAT

Faux Dahi Papdi Chaat

Ingredients:
Pita chips/ Baked tortillas - as required
Potatoes - 2 medium, boiled and peeled (I microwaved them with water for about 7 minutes)
Cooked / canned chickpeas or cooked yellow dried peas (vatana) - 1 cup
Chilli powder - half tsp,
Salt - to taste
Green Chutney
Tamarind - Date Chutney
Yogurt - 1/4 cup, preferably thick
Sev - for garnish
Red Onions - 1/4 cup, chopped
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped

Method:
1) Cut potatoes into small cubes and toss with some chilli powder and salt.

2) When ready to serve/eat, spread pita chips on the serving plate as a single layer.

3) Top with the potatoes, then the peas or chickpeas

4) Drizzle the green chutney and tamarind date chutney followed by required amount of yogurt.

5) Top with the chopped onions, coriander leaves and sev. Enjoy immediately.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

E.A.T. Sandwich

I already shared this avocado-tomato open faced sandwich that I quite love and this sandwich is essentially similar but it just incorporates a few more ingredients to make it even more satisfying - the key ingredients are Eggs (whole or just whites, your preference), Avocado & Tomato hence the name E.A.T.

When it comes to Avocado, though it has a lot of fat, it's the good kind (mono-unsaturated) which helps improve HDL levels (good cholestrol) - so it's definitely healthy in moderation. I particularly like the Hass avocados and it may take a few tries to start liking avocado and even for those who are new to it, this sandwich is a great way to introduce this buttery fruit. I sometimes add spinach leaves as well in this sandwich (either fresh or cooked lightly in olive oil) - very versatile.



For a portable variation.... skip the bread and wrap all of these in a warm whole wheat flour tortilla, you may want to replace the tomatoes with some salsa too for a mexican twist.


EGG, AVOCADO & TOMATO (E.A.T.) SANDWICH



Ingredients: (for 1 sandwich)Hass Avocado - one half, pitted and sliced
Tomato - 4 slices
Egg - 1 or Egg whites - from 2 eggs
Whole wheat bread - 2 slices, toasted
Chili sauce or Hot and Sweet sauce or Ketchup - 1 tsp
Lemon Juice - few drops
Salt & Pepper - to taste

Method:

1) Spray a small pan with some oil and make an omlette with the egg or egg whites (depending on what you prefer), with some salt and pepper.

2) To assemble the sandwich, spread the chili sauce on one slice of bread, top with slices of the avocado and tomato slices, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper and few drops of lemon juice on them.

3) Next add the omelette and top with the other slice of toasted bread. Cut into 2 halves and enjoy the crunchy bread with the smooth, creamy avocado with the protein power of the egg complemented by the slight tang from the tomatoes. Eat your sandwich :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Greek Salad

Like I've mentioned several times before we are not really salad people - although I truly wish I was for the sake of my figure (or rather the lack thereof) :)


However there are some salads that even appeals to us such as the few that I've blogged about before and this is another one that we can add to our repertoire. When I saw some tomato basil feta cheese at the grocery store, I dreamt of a yummy pizza with spinach, red onions, garlic and this feta cheese... however when I reached home and found leftover iceberg lettuce (after making these tofu wraps) and some cucumber I decided to make a salad instead (I was so happy and this time I dreamt of a thinner version of me). I figured I would have enough leftover for lunch the next day as well since I didn't quite expect my husband to like it but I was so surprised when he almost finished the salad and kept mentioning how tasty it was.


GREEK SALAD


Ingredients:

Lettuce - 3 to 4 cups, chopped into 1 inch pieces (I used iceberg)
Cucumber - 1, big, peeled & chopped [ I didn't remove seeds but you could if you want]
Tomato - 2 small, chopped
Sun dried tomatoes - 2-3, chopped (I used the ones packed in oil but without the oil)
Red Onion - 1/4 of a big one, chopped
Reduced Fat Feta cheese - 3/4 cup (crumbled - I used Athenos brand Tomato Basil Feta - 3.5 oz)

Dressing:Reduced Fat sour cream - 1 tbsp (or use thick yogurt)
Olive oil - half tbsp
Lemon Pepper Seasoning - to taste (Or use some black pepper and squeeze in some lemon juice)

Method:

1) Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl.

2) In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and olive oil with the lemon pepper seasoning and toss that into the salad...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

I'm sure many of you have tasted these tasty Tofu Lettuce Wraps from P.F. Changs... Wanting to re-create it at home I gave it a shot one day but tweaked it a lot by adding spinach and other veggies and put roasted chestnuts instead of water chestnuts since that's what I had at home... Though palatable, it did not taste like the one from P.F. CHangs at all. After that I tried this version and we were more than satisfied. It's spicy and the water chestnuts add a lovely crunch.. and when served with crisp, refreshing iceberg lettuce it makes for a wonderful dish. We had this as dinner with some mandarin oranges for dessert - a tasty & healthy meal indeed.



TOFU LETTUCE WRAPS


INGREDIENTSFirm Tofu - 16 oz
Water Chestnuts - 4 to 8 oz (I used the canned version)
Onion - 1/4 cup, chopped
Ginger - 1 inch piece, minced
Garlic - 3 cloves, minced (or use ginger garlic paste)
Spring Onions - 2 tbsp, chopped plus more for garnish
Soy Sauce - 1 to 2 tbsp
Sriracha Chilli sauce - 1 - 2 tbsp
Honey - half tsp
Corn starch - 2 tsp
Water - few tbsp
Salt, pepper to taste
Oil - 4 tsp, divided

Marinade for Tofu
Soy sauce - half tbsp
Sriracha chilli sauce - half tbsp
Corn flour - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Black pepper - 1/4 tsp

Method:



1) Wrap tofu in a few paper towels and several sheets of newspaper and press down with a heavy weight (I put it under my wet grinder). After an hour or two, take the pressed tofu and cut into tiny cubes.


2) Toss the tofu with the marinade ingredients and set aside for 15mins to an hour.


3) In a shallow, wide pan add a tsp of oil and spread around, then put the marinated tofu and toss every few minutes until they get fried (Spray some oil if you find the tofu sticking to the pan). Remove and keep aside.


4) In the same pan, add 2 tsp of oil and fry the onions, ginger and garlic on a medium flame for a few minutes. Then add the drained and chopped water chestnuts and continue to saute for a few more minutes.


5) In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, chill sauce, honey, corn starch, water and black pepper.


6) Pour the sauces in the pan with the water chestnuts - the corn starch will act like glue and make sure the sauce coats the veggies evenly.


7) After a minute add the shallow fried tofu and combine everything together. Switch off the stove and stir in the spring onion tops.


8) Serve this with some iceberg lettuce that has been separated into leaves.