Sorghum Salad

I have been eating out way more than usual, given that i am new to the Bay area which is any foodie’s heaven. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know what i’m talking about. So when i eat at home, i try and eat healthy and incorporate a colorful platter of veggies either in the form of roasted veggies or a mixed vegetable soup or a salad. And when you have a dad who can put any food processor to shame when it comes to chopping veggies, it is a pleasure to eat vegetables. I love adding grains to my salad because it gives a nice bite and is very filling too. Sorghum known as Jowar in India is an ancient grain that has been in countries like India and Africa for several decades. In America, sorghum was primarily used as a cheap sweetener or livestock feed until the gluten-free diet became popular. From pancakes to popcorn, sorghum has become a common household name in America. Compared to rice and wheat, sorghum has higher calcium content and is packed with iron, protein and fiber. This salad is packed with delicious vegetables and is both adult and kid approved which makes it a wonderful dish to serve at parties.

sorghum salad

Ingredients

1 cup sorghum

5 red radish, finely chopped (if you are using the long variety, use 1)

5 Persian cucumbers, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 raw green mango, finely chopped

1/2 cup raw peanuts with skin

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice from 1 lemon

salt

pepper

Method

1. Place sorghum in a large pot with 4 cups of water, bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grains are cooked well. Alternatively, you can cook sorghum in a pressure with 3 cups of water for 3 whistles.

2. Cook raw peanuts on stove top with sufficient water or pressure cook them until soft, drain and set aside.

3. Place all the chopped vegetables in a large bowl, add sorghum and boiled peanuts. Mix well.

4. Add olive juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.

5. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

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Virtual Vegan Potluck 2014 – Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Its been more than 18 months since the last potluck and i was pretty excited to sign up when i saw this year’s potluck email from Annie. As always, this is going to be an exciting event featuring several talented vegan bloggers and their drool worthy vegan recipes. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, with the holidays coming up, there’s going to be  plenty of opportunities to cook and consume some delectable goodies.

VVP logo

This year i signed up to bring a delicious vegan soup for the potluck party. This curried butternut squash, my friends is a serious crowd-pleaser and perfect for winter.  The addition of coconut milk delivers the same luscious, silky flavors of its creamy version but without butter and cream. Healthy, tasty, fragrant, mildly sweet and spicy, this soup is definitely a keeper. Pair it with a vegan bread/ dinner roll for a wholesome meal.

vegan butternut squash soup

 Ingredients

1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

2 tablespoons freshly minced ginger

1/2 cup diced onions

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 teaspoons curry powder

1 small green tart apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 cup low sodium vegetable stock

7 oz light coconut milk

1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 dried bay leaves

juice from 1 lime

Salt

Pepper

 Method

1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven and when oil is hot, add onions and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Add garlic, ginger and continue to cook till onions are soft.

3. Add bay leaves and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute.

4. Add squash, apples, curry powder and salt, cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add stock, cover and bring it to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Add coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes.

7. Remove bay leaves from the soup and using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree until smooth.

8. Add more salt, if needed and a dash of lime juice just before serving.

9. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

 

To go to the previous blog in the potluck line up, please click on the icon below.

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To go to the next blog in the potluck line up, please click on the icon below.

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Vegan Raw Coconut Cream Pie Energy Bites

Home made energy bites or bars are so much more healthier than the store bought ones. You can control what goes in and play around with toppings and its easy on the wallet too. You’d be surprised how many Lara bars you can make at home for less than $10. These coconut cream pie bites is a Lara bar inspired recipe. The nicest thing about these bites are that you can use any kind of nuts and if you want to make it nut free, use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and they would still be delicious. A money saving tip on buying nuts, hit the bulk bin section at your local grocery store, sometimes even the organic ones are cheaper than you’d imagine. I coated some of these bites with unsweetened cocoa powder, some in toasted coconut flakes and the coconut flakes got a double thumbs up from everyone who ate them. They make a great mid morning snack or in my case even dessert.

coconut cream pie

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup cashews or pecans or any nut of your choice ( I used toasted pecans)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut

Method

1. Soak cashews and dates in warm water for at least one hour if you don’t have a powerful blender.

2. Blend all the ingredients until the mixture is well blended and begins to stick together.

3. Transfer the mixture on to a cutting board and use your hands to form a big ball.

3. Using 1 tablespoon measurement, scoop the mixture and roll them into balls. Alternatively, you can cut them into rectangles or squares and wrap individual portions in plastic wrap.

4. Coat the balls with unsweetened cocoa or toasted coconut (optional)

5. The balls store well at room temperature for 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

 

Vegan Sweet Corn Pilaf

Sweet corn is always a hit among adults and kids. Apart from corn on the cob, there are several ways to spice up this humble corn. Try the corn sundal or this pilaf and you will start appreciating corn with a whole new level of respect. This pilaf is not heavy on spices, but is very flavorful and versatile. It makes for a great picnic or lunchbox recipe and will make a tasty and delicious dinner paired with paneer masala. Add colorful peppers, green peas and carrot and make it a wholesome meal. I love the crunch and subtle sweetness of corn and mixed with spices and fragrant basmati rice, it makes a great one pot meal.

corn pulao

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for at least 30 minutes.

1/2 cup fresh or frozen organic corn

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1 Thai green chili, chopped

5-6 cashewnuts

1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns

1 one-inch piece ginger, minced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 small stick cinnamon

2 cloves

2 green cardamom

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Method

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large pot and when its hot, add cloves and cinnamon, cook for a minute.

2. Add onions and sauté till they begin to brown.

3. Add minced ginger, garlic, green chili, peppercorns and cashews. Cook for couple of minutes.

4. Remove from heat and it let it cool. Grind to a smooth paste with little water when completely cooled.

5. Heat remaining oil in the pot and add bay leaf and cardamom. Cook for a minute.

6. Add ground paste, corn, cilantro and mint. Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat.

7. Add drained rice and sauté for couple of minute, without breaking the grains.

8. Add 2 cups of water and salt, bring it to a boil.

9. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked.

10.Gently fluff with a fork and serve hot.

10 Favorite Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes Round-up

Mother’s day is on Sunday. Brunch is a popular meal for this occasion and rightly so, who wouldn’t enjoy a big, lazy mid-morning meal with or without mimosas right? If you plan to ditch the restaurants and make a special surprise meal, here’s a list of my favorite brunch recipes which can be put together without breaking a sweat.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Chilaquiles with salsa verde– This traditional Mexican breakfast/brunch dish from Lisa Dupar’s cookbook, Fried Chicken and Champagne is one of my all-time favorites. This dish is simple, flavorful, delicious and filling.

chilaquiles

Breakfast Strata– Make-ahead casseroles are the ultimate lazy brunch treat and this recipe loaded with veggies is always a big hit.

Breakfast strata

Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon bread– If you are going to cook for a mom who’s a big Starbucks fan, I’ve got you covered with this amazing chocolate cinnamon bread. This seasonal offering from Starbucks will definitely make your mom swoon.

chocolate cinnamon bread

Lavender Shortbread cookies– These classy, fragrant cookies would make a great addition to your brunch dessert.

Lavender shortbread cookies

Chipotle Style Vegan Tofu Sofritas– Taco/burrito bars is an easy and healthy brunch option. Sofritas can be made a day ahead and reheated just before serving.

tofu sofritas

Quinoa Carrot Cake Cookies– If you are cooking for a mom who is a health-nut, these cookies are just perfect. It is loaded with good stuff, vegan and gluten-free too.

quinoa cookie

Vegan Baked Parsnip Fries with Finger-Lime Ginger Aioli– Give the hash browns a break and make these baked parsnip fries. P.S. the vegan aioli is to die-for.

parsnip fries

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins– If your mom is a citrus fan like me, she is sure to love these buttery, fragrant muffins.

ORANGE muffins

Vegan Savory Aebleskiver – This Indian version of the popular Danish breakfast treat paired with tomato-cilantro chutney is a scrumptious, gluten-free brunch option.

kuzhi paniyaram

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes– Cupcakes can be part of brunch, especially for a special occasion like this. This cupcake is not overly sweet and bursts with chai spices in every bite.

vanilla chai cupcakes

 

Vegan Burnt Garlic Fried Rice

Indo- Chinese, a fusion cuisine is immensely popular in India and some dishes and recipes are unique to India and are almost unheard of in China. This burnt garlic fried rice is one such dish. Its quite hard to find a good Indo-Chinese restaurant outside of India. Inchins Bamboo Garden located in Redmond comes close to what we get back in India and this burnt garlic fried rice is one of my favorites from their menu. I’m not sure why this is called burnt fried rice, because there’s nothing burnt or smoky about this rice. Fried garlic is the star in this recipe and if you are a garlic fan, this is the ultimate treat for you. This recipe is very close to what you get at Inchins in terms of flavor and taste. At Inchins, they use basmati rice and chili paste, while I have used jasmine rice and whole chilies. We paired our rice with semi-homemade Manchurian. This rice combined with ginger-scallion noodles makes a great vegan Indo-Chinese meal.

burnt garlic fried rice

Ingredients

2 cups cooked rice (preferably one day old)

8 cloves garlic, sliced

1 bunch green onions, green and while parts finely chopped

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, finely chopped

4 dried red chilies

1 tablespoon oil

freshly ground black pepper

salt

Method

1. Heat oil in a pan and when oil is hot, add 4 cloves of sliced garlic and fry them till they turn golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside.

2. In the same pan, add dried red chilies and cook for a minute.

3. Add remaining sliced garlic and onions, sauté for a minute.

4. Add cooked rice and mix well.

5. Add soy sauce, black pepper and salt and cook till the rice is thoroughly heated.

6. Garnish with fried garlic and cilantro and serve hot.

 

Vegan Eggplant And Potato Stir-Fry

Its been almost two weeks since I posted anything on the blog, the longest break since I started this blog about 18 months ago. It is not because I haven’t been cooking, its just because I’ve been busy with other things. That said, I am going to try and be more regular with my posts. Our meals lately have been quite simple but healthy and flavorful and something that can be put together without much effort. One such recipe is this simple stir-fry. I am not a big fan of eggplant, but Yumjay is and therefore this vegetable appears on our menu at least once a week. And since i add potato to this stir-fry, I eat it without complaining. This recipe calls for basic Indian spices, the ones you can easily find in any supermarket. You can use any type of eggplant, I have used the small Thai eggplants you find in Indian grocery stores. This stir-fry along with dal, rice or roti makes a wholesome, delicious weeknight Indian dinner.

eggplant potato curry

Ingredients

5-6 Thai eggplants, cut into wedges

1 medium russet potato, skin peeled and cut into wedges

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon black gram/urad dal

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon powdered asafetida

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

5-6 curry leaves

salt

Method

1. Heat oil in a pan and when oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Let it splutter.

2. Add cumin seeds and let it cook for 30 seconds.

3. Add black gram/urad dal and cook till it turns slightly brown.

4. Add curry leaves and asafetida, cook for 30 seconds.

5. Add eggplant and potatoes, along with the powdered spices and salt, mix well.

6.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of water and cook covered for 5 minutes.

7. Uncover and cook on medium flame for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and well roasted.