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Baby Food 101

10 Aug

I am finally posting my baby food recipes out here after my long lazy stupor. I am not a nutrition expert and this is just food that my children eat. But it’ll surely give you moms out there some great ideas to mix and match different foods together and create new and interesting meals for those picky eaters 🙂 So here goes –

Quinoa and Cauliflower and Corn

Cook quinoa separately

Cook cauliflower and corn separately. I made it slightly dry with a hint of Indian spices. The advantage of making it this way is it can also serve as an adult side dish as well.

Mix almost equal portions of quinoa and cauli-corn and coarsely blend in the processor. Depending on how your baby does with solid food, you may grind it to a paste or just leave it coarse. Also you can make just one portion or 2-3 portions for multiple meals. When I am making multiple portions, I save them in individual single portion boxes or jars so it’s very quick to use for later.

 

My new secret ingredient

13 May

I discovered this little wonder just a few weeks back. I knew it existed out there. I had seen it, picked it up for a closer look multiple times. I had also put it away with a sense of guilt. In my mind, no self-respecting cook with decent culinary skills would even think of using GARLIC POWDER!! My mom would surely disown me if she ever found out. So I am going to keep it that way unless she reads this post and I’ll just have to settle for being the black sheep of the family who uses garlic powder. In the past, I would have been ashamed of the fact but now I am going to say, ‘SO BE IT’ after having discovered the usefulness of the secret garlic weapon.

My guilt is lessened by the fact that I am using it in quick-fix-meals that need to be fixed quickly, so the lesser you have to deal with, the better, without really compromising the taste. Here is a very simple and easy pasta recipe

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INGREDIENTS –

1 onion

1 green bell pepper

1 can of olives, drained

olive oil

grated parmesan cheese

your favorite pasta (I used egg noodles)

salt and pepper

GARLIC POWDER

crushed red pepper (optional)

METHOD –

Chop the onion and bell pepper length-wise and saute over olive oil until semi soft. Add salt to taste. Cook the pasta in boiling water mixed with salt. Drain. Add cold water (to stop further cooking) and drain again. Mix with the vegetables, add the drained olives, grated cheese and more olive oil if you like. Now add the GARLIC POWDER and see the wonderful transformation in the taste. Add crushed pepper for extra hotness. Voila, ready to serve!

I love my new secret ingredient 🙂

Tofu and Potato Cutlet

4 May

I made spicy tofu lettuce wraps the other night but the husband didnt really digg them, so I was left with a bowlful of the tofu filling and the hate-to-waste-food nut that I am, I saved it and let my imagination run wild and came up with these the next day. Trust me, they look(and of course, taste) better in reality than this awful camera-phone picture.

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Here’s how the recipe goes –

Ingredients:

A cup and half of tofu mixture (use leftover wrap filling, otherwise you could make it using hand crumbled tofu, chopped red chilies, onions, minced ginger and garlic and if you like peas and carrots too)

4-5 boiled and mashed potatoes

1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)

salt to taste

bread crumbs to cover the cutlet (optional, I dint use them)

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together, make round balls and press them with your hands into patties/cutlets. If you are using bread crumbs then roll the patties in them. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil sprayed with oil. Bake on both sides in a 300-350 deg oven for 15 min on each side. The cutlets will be brown and crisp when done. You can even shallow fry them on the stove top in a pan. Cool slightly and serve with hot sauce or mint chutney. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!!

Favorite chicken marinades

31 Mar

Two of my favorite chicken rubs

Rub #1

Mix together basil(dried or fresh), dried oregano, dried onion flakes, crushed red pepper, salt with plain yogurt. You may add water if the yogurt is too thick. Coat the cleaned chicken(could be chicken breasts or thighs or wings) with the mixture and leave for a few hours. Can be cooked on a grill, or a simple saute pan until a little blackened and tender or as you like it.

Rub #2

Grind coarsely mint leaves, cilantro(coriander leaves), few drops of lemon juice(do not go overboard), green chilies, few garlic cloves and salt. Add some yogurt to the blended mixture and coat the chicken with the green marinade and leave for a few hours. Can be grilled or simply sauteed in a pan on the stove until fully cooked and starting to blacken.

Both of them are equally AWESOME. I could not decide which one was better!!

Red and green

7 Mar

Carb watchers – this is a very simple and healthy recipe. Chop one red pepper and two zucchinis and saute them in half a tablespoon of oil until soft. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, crushed pepper etc. whatever you feel like for extra zing. Tastes delicious!!

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The perfect brownie recipe

31 Mar

This is strictly my version of a perfect brownie recipe –

Ingredients

3(0.75 lbs) sticks unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

1.25 cups all purpose flour

6 large eggs

24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate chips

2 tbsp intant coffee powder

2 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12 by 18 inch sheet pan.

Melt together the butter, 1 lb semisweet(out of 24 ounces, keep 8 ounces separate for later) and all the unsweetened chocolate chips in a medium bowl over very very low heat and keep a watch on it or you might burn the chocolate (Alternatively, you can melt it over simmering water to avoid burning). Allow it to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, coffee powder, vanilla and sugar. Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, lightly mix them and allow to cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, mix 1 cup of flour(keep 1/4 cup separate for later), baking powder and salt and add to the chocolate mixture.

Mix the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of remaining flour and add them into the cooled batter.

Pour the batter into the sheet pan and bake for 20-25 min, rap the sheet against the oven to remove air and bake for 10-15 min more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Watch out for the last 10 min, so you do not overbake.

Cool thoroughly and cut into large squares.

Try it and I promise you’ll make them over and over again.