Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Ramen Bowl

So Thanksgiving here in Canada is just another weekday. I have been making these composed noodle soup bowls lately (you put all the ingredients in the bowl first, then pour the broth over the top) and I wanted to make one with the goodness of thanksgiving in it. Well it turned out fantastic! One great thing about these noodle bowls is you can customize each one -- so the vegetarians in our family had tofu, and I put some chicken in mine! We definitely want to make this again, so here is the recipe.

(makes 3 hearty bowls)

Ingredients (very approx, I did not measure anything):

-- ramen noodles for 3 people -- I bought the ones in individual packs and used 3 packets
-- approx. 1/2 med winter squash like butternut
-- 5 ounces baby spinach
-- 1 lb mushrooms (I used crimini)
-- 1 inch knob ginger, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
-- 1 onion, chopped
-- 1 stalk celery, chopped
-- 4 slices bread, cubed
-- 3 tablespoons butter
-- 1 tablespoon oil
-- 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
-- 1 T. better than bullion soup base (vegetarian)
-- 1/2 block med tofu, cubed and/or 1/2 cup cooked chicke
-- sage
-- thyme
-- soy sauce
-- green onions, sliced thin


1. Measure 3 large noodle bowls worth of water into a pot -- this will become your broth! But for now it is your boiling bowl. Put pot on stove, turn on to high heat until water boils.

2. Wash and cut squash in half, clean out seeds, then slice squash with skin on into 1/2 inch slices. When water is boiling, boil squash until soft but not falling apart -- I did not time this, but maybe 10 minutes? When squash is done, remove from boiling water with tongs and set aside. When squash is cool, use a knife to cut off the peel, you should have nice rings of cooked squash.

3. Then add your ramen noodles to your boiling water, cook until done, maybe 2-3 minutes for the kind you buy already soft. Take out of pot with tongs and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, in a second pan, make Stuffing Croutons -- saute the celery and 1/2 onion in 2 T. butter until soft. Add in 1/2 t. fresh thyme and 1/8 t. dried sage. Add in cubed bread and set on medium, keep the pan on medium and keep mixing every now and then until the bread is toasted and crispy. Set aside.

5. Meanwhile, in a third pan, fry mushrooms in 1 T. butter and 1 T. oil until brown, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Dump into the broth, then in the same pan fry garlic in some oil until cooked (watch it because it burns easily!) Dump that into the broth when you are done.

6. Now you flavor the broth -- add in 1 T. of Bullion mix, 1/2 t. salt, pepper, ginger slices, the rest of the chopped onion, and 1 t. fresh thyme. Let that boil for at least 15 minutes or until onions are cooked through. Taste the broth, add more salt or soy sauce or whatever you think it needs to be tasty -- this broth will be the main flavoring of the dish! 

7. Add all the soup ingredients directly into the empty soup bowls -- I like to fill approx. 1/2 with noodles, then stick 3-4 slices squash in on one side, then a big handful of spinach (fresh is OK because the hot broth will wilt it down) then 1/2 cup tofu or chicken per bowl.

8. Carefully ladle boiling hot broth onto your ingredients. Add approx. 1/4 cup stuffing croutons and sliced green onions onto the top. Serve! (with hot sauce and extra soy sauce, if you like)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Corn Chowder - light and delicious!

We went apple picking this weekend, and the farm also offered U-Pick corn as well! Of course we had to take some home. I decided to make some corn chowder with our fresh corn, and I was glad I did! This recipe is a lot lighter than some of the other recipes I googled, and truly worthy of corn just off the stalk. The real genius here is making a corn cob broth that captures every last bit of sweet corn essence.

The minimalist's Corn Chowder

Adapted from Mark Bittman


  • 4 to 6 ears corn
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped, optional
  • 1 cup milk
  • Parsley for garnish


1. Shuck the corn and use a paring knife to strip the kernels into a bowl. Put the cobs in a pot with 4 cups water; bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put the butter or oil in a saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high. When the butter melts or the oil is hot, add the onion and potatoes, along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes; add the tomatoes if you're using them and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.

3. After the corn cobs have cooked for at least 10 minutes, strain the liquid into the onion-potato mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down so the mixture simmers. When the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes, add the corn kernels and boil for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the milk and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, garnish with parsley, and serve.

Avocado Garbanzo Salad

I'm willing to bet this dish one of the most delicious healthy things you can prepare in 5 minutes or less. It's sort of like a deconstructed guacamole salad. Tonight we ate it with bread on the side, although tortilla chips would be good too. Good as a meal or as a hearty side dish.

Avocado Garbanzo Salad

-- 1/2 ripe avocado, cubed
-- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (from a can is fine)
-- 1 small tomato, cubed, or 1 large handful of grape tomatoes, halved
-- 1 or 2 T. of red onion, chopped small
-- 1/4 lemon
-- salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Squeeze lemon on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Vegetarian wedge salad

I don't often buy iceberg lettuce, but when I do, I make this salad. This is a steakhouse classic and what I think of as the "steak" of salads because you have to use a knife and a fork to eat it. We love this salad in the summer -- it's cool and crisp, rich and satisfying, and you can make it in 10 minutes. I live in a house of vegetarians, so here is our vegetarian version of the salad, but if you happen to have some cooked bacon on hand and crumble it on top, that's a happy thing too. Also -- if you don't think you like blue cheese dressing, try making it yourself before giving up entirely.


makes 2 BIG servings, or maybe 4 appetizer servings



-- 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
-- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
-- 1/2 tsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (can use soy sauce if you don't have this)
-- 1 small squirt prepared mustard
-- salt
-- pepper
-- 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
-- 1/4 cup milk
-- 1 ounce blue cheese


-- 1 head iceberg lettuce, tough outer leaves and core removed, wedged into 4
-- 2 tomatoes, diced
-- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
-- OPTIONAL: 1/2 lb mushrooms, diced and sauteed with plenty of salt
-- If you really like blue cheese -- add extra crumbles to your salad


1. To make dressing, mix all ingredients in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste.

2. To assemble salad, put 1 or 2 wedges of lettuce on a plate, drizzle with lots of dressing, sprinkle with tomatoes, red onion, mushrooms (if desired), and extra blue cheese (if desired)


Sunday, July 12, 2015


Pongal is a fluffy savory rice and lentil dish that is commonly eaten for breakfast alongside vada, sambar, and chutney -- but it can be eaten at any meal. Mahesh loves it and it is very easy to make, today I got the recipe from Amma.



-- 100 ml (between 1/3 and 1/2 cup) Green Gram Dal
-- 1 3/4 cups rice, uncooked
-- 1 heaping Tablespoon Ghee (or oil)
-- 1 1/2 t. whole black peppercorns (can break up for a more spicy taste)
-- 1 1/2 t. whole cumin seed
-- 6 curry leaves, roughly chopped
-- 2 T. peeled and minced ginger
-- 1/4. cup cashews
-- 1 t. salt


1. In a hot dry pan, toast dry dal over medium/high heat until it is very hot to the touch, about 2 minutes.

2. Turn off heat, add dry rice to the pan, and using residual heat in pan, toast rice for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add ghee, peppercorns, and cumin to a small saucepan or tawa, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add in curry leaves, ginger, and cashews and fry for another 2-3 minutes or until brown and toasty.

4. Pour rice and dal into a large pan that will go into the pressure cooker. Add 6 cups of water, salt, and contents of small saucepan. Cover and cook for 3 whistles or until rice and dal are cooked throughly.

Enjoy with sambar and/or chutney!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Potato Curry - With Skin

Potato curry is the most popular vegetarian Indian curry (at least in this house). My mother-in-law makes two versions, this is her "skin on" variety. And, because I am so awesome, I even took some photos so you all can see what this one looks like!!



-- 6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1/4 inch matchsticks (pictured below), and rinsed to remove extra starch.

-- 2 T. oil 
-- 1/4 - 1/2 t. whole mustard seed
-- 1 1/2 - 2 T. urad dal
-- 3 dashes asofetida
-- 1 1/2 T - 2 T. dried curry leaves (these are not powdered - if it is powdered use much less)
-- 1 t. salt
-- 1/2 t. spicy chili powder


1. Add approx. 2. T. oil to a hot pan, heat up over medium heat. Add in mustard seeds and cook until they pop.

2. Add in urad dal, and cook until a little brown. Add in the rest of the spices, and mix around and cook a bit.

3. Add the potatoes into the pan, and stir so they are coated with the spices and oil.

4. Mix and fry with cover off for a couple minutes, then cover and steam for approx. 10 minutes, until cooked through. Then take the cover off and fry for approx. 10 minutes more over med-low heat, until fried up a little.


You can eat this with rice and sambar, rice and rasam, or rice and Vetta Kozambo and raita, etc. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cracked Wheat Uppama with vegetables

Upama is sort of like "fried rice" in Southern India. It is commonly made with cracked wheat, rice, and puffed rice, although you can make it with quinoa or any small grain. Here is my mother-in-law's version, made with cracked wheat or broken wheat (I think this is what we call bulgur wheat) and loads of vegetables:

Cracked Wheat Upma with vegetables


1 cup broken wheat -- cracked wheat
3 Tablespoons oil
1/2 tsp. whole mustard seed
1 dash asofetida powder (optional)
1 onion, finely cut
1 green chili (spicy small one), minced
1 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger
3/4 tsp. salt.
1 big 2 small tomato, finely cut
1 large handful cabbage, chopped small (about 2 cups)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped small


1. Dry fry the broken wheat in a dry pan until it is hot to the touch -- the idea is to take away all the moisture so it is not sticky. Set aside.

2. Put 3 Tablespoons oil in the pan, heat up. Add 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed. Heat until it pops, if you want add one dash of asofetida powder.

3. Add in the onion, cook until transluscent, then add in the tomatoes, green chili, salt, and ginger, cook for a while, then add the rest of the vegetables and saute until cooked -- you are looking to cook them through, not brown them too much. NOTE: you can substitute the cabbage, bell pepper, and carrot in this recipe for 3 cups of pretty much any other vegetables you like, chopped small

4. Add your 1 cup of bulgur wheat and 2 1/2 cups of water to the vegetable mixture, boil until about half the water is evaporated, then put the contents of the pan in a pressure cooker (or in a metal container that goes in a pressure cooker) and cook for 3 whistles. Then it will be done! NOTE: If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can boil it until the wheat is cooked through.

Serve with coconut chutney -- Amma adds coriander and mint leaves into her coconut chutney to serve with this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vegetarian Muffuletta Sandwich

I've never had a real muffuletta sandwich, but I've drooled over many a photo of the meat-laden Italian classic online. For a long time I've wanted to try making a vegetarian version for us at home but hesitated because M doesn't really like vinegary things that much. Last night M was out and it was a sandwich kind of night for dinner, so I tried making my version of this recipe for Kiran and I. It turned out delicious! M tried it and loved it when he came home. I think it would make an excellent quick easy sandwich dinner for a picnic, or anytime really.

Ingredients (for the tapenade):
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1.5 Tbsp capers
  • 1.5 Tbsp canola oil (or olive oil, for best flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh thyme leaves from about 3 sprigs, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
Process all ingredients except salt and pepper in a food processor until uniform but still coarse.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients (for 4 sandwiches):
  • One loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 4 squares and sliced open like rolls
  • 4 small roasted red bell peppers, jarred or home-roasted
  • 4 to 6 marinated artichokes, quartered (I used jarred marinated, already quartered)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven or grill if you want to serve the sandwiches warm.  In a bowl, combine basil, vinegar, garlic, roasted peppers, and artichokes; let sit for 5 minutes.  After optionally warming bread, spread some of the tapenade on one side of each of the ciabatta rolls, then top with tomato, roasted pepper and artichoke mixture, and mozzarella.  Drizzle with extra vinegar from bowl and olive oil.  Easy!
- See more at:

Vegetarian Muffaletta recipe

serves 2-3 very hungry people


-- 1/2 cup pitted black olives (I used kalamata)
-- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
-- 1 1/2 Tbsp. capers
-- 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
-- fresh thyme leaves from about 3 sprigs, or 1/2 tsp. dried
-- 1 clove garlic (optional, I left this out but might try next time)
-- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (I left this out but might try adding in next time)


 -- 1 loaf ciabatta bread, or 1/2 large round italian loaf, sliced in half (I hollowed some of the bread out of the middle of the loaf to leave more room for fillings)
-- 2 large roasted red bell peppers, roughly chopped
-- 1/2 to 3/4 cup marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
-- 100 ounces (1/4 pound) fresh mozzarella, or provolone cheese, sliced. (I used provolone, and a bit more than this I think)
-- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
-- 1 bunch fresh basil
-- 3-4 pepperoncini, chopped (optional, I liked this but Mahesh preferred his sandwich without)

1. Turn on oven to 350 degrees. Wrap bread in foil and put in oven to heat up a bit while you make the tapenade.

2. While the bread is warming, make tapenade by processing all ingredients in a food processor until uniform but still coarse. Add salt and pepper to taste (although I didn't feel like I needed any)

3. Take bread out of oven. Spread tapenade on each side of the bread, as thick as you like. Top with tomato, basil leaves, red bell peppers, artichokes, cheese, and pepperocinni, if using.

4. Close sandwich. You can serve it right away, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and leave in fridge for a while for the flavors to mingle and some of the juices to soak into the bread.

5. Slice up into edible portions, and enjoy!
Ingredients (for the tapenade):
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1.5 Tbsp capers
  • 1.5 Tbsp canola oil (or olive oil, for best flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh thyme leaves from about 3 sprigs, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
Process all ingredients except salt and pepper in a food processor until uniform but still coarse.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients (for 4 sandwiches):
  • One loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 4 squares and sliced open like rolls
  • 4 small roasted red bell peppers, jarred or home-roasted
  • 4 to 6 marinated artichokes, quartered (I used jarred marinated, already quartered)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven or grill if you want to serve the sandwiches warm.  In a bowl, combine basil, vinegar, garlic, roasted peppers, and artichokes; let sit for 5 minutes.  After optionally warming bread, spread some of the tapenade on one side of each of the ciabatta rolls, then top with tomato, roasted pepper and artichoke mixture, and mozzarella.  Drizzle with extra vinegar from bowl and olive oil.  Easy!
- See more at:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Roasted Tofu & Peanut Noodle Salad -- jarred

I really like the other peanut noodle salad we make, but I wanted to try something different this week so I adapted this recipe into our mason jar salads. It is a good salad, I like the veggie mix better than the other asian noodle peanut salad I make, but even after extra salt, a big pinch of added sugar, and spicy sauce, I found the sauce somewhat bland. Maybe I could try adding some cilantro or mint in there next time.

Makes: 6 large mason jars or 4-cup ziploc round containers full of salad.


  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 14- to 16-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 7 1/2 ounces soba noodles
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 
  • 8 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage 
  • 2 med or 1 large carrot, julienned small
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced trimmed snow peas 


  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Put a large pot of water on to boil for soba noodles.
  2. Combine lime juice, soy sauce and oil in a large bowl. Stir in tofu; marinate, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tofu to the prepared baking sheet; reserve the marinade. Roast the tofu, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Whisk peanut butter, 3 tablespoons water, garlic and ginger into the reserved marinade. 
  6. Layer the Jars in the following order:
    1. Sauce on the bottom
    2. soba noodles
    3. tofu
    4. carrots
    5. red and yellow bell pepper
    6. snow peas
    7. cabbage to fill up the jar.
  7. When the time comes to eat, mix up the salad and enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mason Jar Vegetarian Nicoise Salad

I am pleased to report that Salad Sundays are still alive and well in this house! This week I wanted to try one of our favorites -- veggie Nicoise salad -- in the large round Ziploc containers I have come to know and love at lunchtime.

This one is fairly time consuming, this recipe is a combo of what I did and what I want to try next time to speed things up.

 Nicoise Salad Recipe

adapted from Simply Recipes
  • Yield:6 large Mason Jar salads, or large round ziploc container salads

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter, about 1 1/2 pounds total), each potato scrubbed and quartered
  • 12 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered 
  •  2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)
  • 1 cup niçoise olives, pitted
  • 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 ½ cups baby cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin (about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ lb baby arugula, washed


1. Boil large pot of water. Add in eggs, potatoes and green beans, bring back to boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Drain everything. (I am not sure if this timing will work, but I want to try it for next time -- eggs might need a little more, green beans a little less.)

2. Meanwhile, in a hand blender container, blend together the lemon juice, oil, mustard, and salt and pepper until emulsified. Add in the thyme, basil, oregano, and blend in spurts until herbs are minced. Mince shallots by hand and mix in with a spoon.

3. Layer the ingredients in the salad as follows: 

-- white beans
-- potatoes
-- dressing poured on top of these two items (approx. 4 T. dressing per container)
-- green beans
-- olives
-- capers
-- red onion
-- tomatoes
-- cucumbers
-- eggs
-- top up each jar with arugula

4. Close tightly, salad will keep in the refrigerator 5 days easily. When ready to eat, open and dump into a large bowl, mix everything up.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Soba Noodle Mason Jar Salads

Many people have these asian noodle salads with peanut dressing, this is the best though.

Yield: 6 large round ziplock containers
Prep Time: 1 hour


For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup shelled edamame (soy beans), cooked
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup crunchy rice noodles
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 8 ounces spring mix lettuce blend

For the Peanut Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth
  • 1 lime, juice and zest of
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sambal chili paste, or more to taste (I usually use like 1 tbsp but I like things VERY spicy)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped


    1. In large pot of boiling water, cook edamame according to package directions. When done, scoop out with a slotted spoon into a bowl, and use the same water to cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Rinse noodles under cold water and drain.
    2. Meanwhile, make Peanut Dressing: Using a small blender or hand blender, blend together all dressing ingredients except cilantro. Add in cilantro and blend until it's chopped in there but not completely disintegrated.
    3. Divide Peanut Dressing equally among 6 quart size mason jars or large round ziploc containers (this recipe made 4 T. dressing per jar, which may be too much -- will see when I eat them). 
    4. Divide soba noodles over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with spring mix. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 5 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mason Jar Vegetarian Taco Salad

Yep, I'm still on my jarred salad kick. I tried making this one for the first time last night, and it's really really good:

Mason Jar Vegetarian Taco Salad

MAKES 6 big JARS (I use the 4-cup large round ziplock containers):

1 ½ cups black beans (1 reg can)
2 cups corn (1 big can)
2 cups diced tomatoes (I like to use halved grape tomatoes)
2 cups red bell pepper, julienned (2 whole)
1/2 of 1 lb. container of spring mix
2 cups corn tortillas (optional)

Walnut meat:
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 1/2 tsp (5 mL) cumin
3/4 tsp (4 mL) chili powder (optional)
1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Creamy Avocado Dressing:
2 T yogurt
2 ounce goat cheese (crumbled)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 1/2 whole lime (juiced)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 whole avocado
3 T water 

  1. To make dressing: Combine greek yogurt, goat cheese, cilantro, lime juice, salt, avocado, and water in a food processor. Puree until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make walnut meat: add walnut halves to food processor and pulse to break up into large chunks. Add cumin, chili powder, olive oil, and soy sauce to food processor and pulse until walnuts pieces are small but still chunky and mixture resembles ground beef. Do not overprocess
  3. Assemble each mason jar in the following order:
  • First (bottom) layer: 2 heaping Tablespoons avocado dressing
  • Second layer: corn
  • Third layer: black beans
  • Fourth layer: Tomatoes
  • Fifth layer: red bell peppers
  • Sixth layer: 1 scoop walnut "meat" (approx. 2 Tbs)
  • Seventh (top) layer: fill to the top with spring mix.  
  • WRAP up a small handful of corn tortilla chips in plastic wrap and store that on top of the container. When you mix up the salad, crush up the chips and add them in. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter


This is a very good recipe -- and so fast!! Under 30 minutes.

May want to try adding garlic with the shallots and lemon zest at the end next time. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Colcannon Potato Soup

This soup is the perfect thing on a cold winter day. I suggest you go and make it right now. You can thank me later. 

Colcannon Potato Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
  • slightly adapted from this recipe


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups sliced leeks (green and white parts only)
  • 2 cups sliced and chopped green cabbage
  • 2 cups sliced and chopped kale
  • 4 cups peeled and diced Russet potatoes (about 3 pounds, 3/4-inch dice)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon better than bullion veggie bullion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced


1 Melt butter in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot on medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, cabbage, and kale, toss to coat with the butter. Lower the heat to low, cover and gently cook until the greens are wilted, about 12 to 15 minutes.

2 Add the diced potatoes to the pot, along with the water, bullion, and bay leaves. Increase heat to bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are softened and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3 Remove from heat. Swirl in the pepper, sour cream, and sliced green onions. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Yam and Chickpea Mason Jar* salad

In my continuing bid to eat healther I have hopped onto the new "salad in a jar" trend which is actually pretty fun. One or two nights a week I will fill up 4 ziplock containers (more practical than mason jars) with salads and then eat them whenever I need a quick healthy meal. They usually last 3-4 days. This one is a great one I made today, I cobbled the recipe together from a bunch of different online sources so here is the recipe all in one place:

 Yam and Chickpea Mason Jar Salad


Roasted yams:
-- 9 sweet potatoes, or yams (the orange kind) peeled and cubed -- maybe like 2 pounds worth? can also use squash for this recipe.
-- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
-- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
-- dash ground nutmeg
-- salt and pepper
-- oil

For the Tahini Sauce:
Yield: 2/3 cup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
a few grinds black pepper
3 T tahini (a fermented sesame seed paste, can find it in the middle eastern section of stores)

For the salad:
-- Spring mix (or other lettuce)
-- 2 cans garbanzo beans
-- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
-- 1/4 large red onion, chopped small
-- 1 large carrot peeled and julienned
-- 1 red bell pepper, julienned


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On two large baking sheets, coat yams with spices, salt, pepper, and oil and spread in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft throughout, turning every 10-15 minutes or so.

2. Make the tahini sauce by mixing the ingredients together with an immersion blender or other blender.

3. In 4 medium round (4-cup or quart size) ziploc containers or mason jars, layer the ingredients as follows: Tahini sauce, garbanzo beans, carrots, red bell peppers, onions, yams, cilantro, and fill the rest of the container with the spring mix.

4. Can keep in the fridge for 5 days (or more). When the time comes to eat, mix well in a large bowl and enjoy!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mason Jar Chinese Tofu Salad

When I lived in California I used to love eating something called Chinese Chicken Salad, my favorite was the one at California Chicken Cafe (I sometimes called it "California Chicken Kitchen"). Here in Vancouver this delicious salad (which doesn't have anything to do with real Chinese food, I believe) is nowhere to be found.

Today I wanted to try making some mason jar salads so I decided to make a vegetarian version of the one I missed so much, and adapt it to mason jar salad trend as well so I could keep some for upcoming meals.

This is what I did:

Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
-- makes enough for 2 Quart-size (4-cup) mason jars (or medium tall round ziplock containers, as I ended up using)
  • 1/3 cup chow mein noodles (the crunchy kind)
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 package smoked tofu (I use plain Soyganic), julienned
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted lightly
  • 1/2 large carrot, peeled and julienned (about 1/2 cup?)
  • 1/2 large red pepper, seeded and julienned (about 1/2 cup?)
  • 1 cup mandarin orange segments
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil
  • 6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (I used plain rice vinegar and found I had to add at least another Tablespoon of sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (add more to taste if you prefer a strong sesame taste)
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk well until sugar dissolves. 
  2. Pour half the dressing in each mason jar (or medium tall round ziplock container)
  3. Add half of each of the following ingredients into each mason jar, in this order: mandarin oranges, green onions, tofu, red peppers, carrots, then pack the rest of the container with the romaine lettuce. The idea is to keep the lettuce dry.
  4. Close each mason jar tightly.
  5. Now you want to make a "crunchy packet" because if you put crunchy things in the jar they will get soggy -- so rip 2 large pieces of plastic wrap, put half the chow mein noodles and almonds into the center, and twist each one up tightly.
  6. Keep the containers in the fridge,with the crunchy packet on top so you don't forget about it.
  7. Done! When you're ready to eat, dump the salad and crunchy toppings in a large salad bowl and mix it up and enjoy. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

kovakkai curry

This is the recipe for a curry made of an Indian vegetable called kovakkai (small green squashes about 1 1/2 inches long -- also called Ivy Gourd, or Tindori) from Mahesh's mother. You will notice there are no measurements or timings for this recipe. When Mahesh asked her how much spice to use, she said "use your common sense." Which is not all that helpful to me. I will try to measure and update with amounts when I figure out what they are.


-- Kovakkai (how much? we bought a lot, maybe 1 lb)
-- 1 tsp. cumin powder
-- 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
-- chile powder or sambar powder (or mix little bit of both) (I used 1 tsp sambar powder)
-- 1 tsp. salt
-- oil
-- minced cilantro


1. wash and cut kovakai into quarters length-wise
2. Heat oil in pan to medium heat. Mix three spices together, then fry in oil until fragrant, do not let the spices burn! (cook 30 seconds or so)
3. Put kovakai in the pan with salt, stir to coat with oil and spices. Cover and fry for 40 minutes over medium heat, or until kovakkai are soft and start to taste good.
4. After the kovakai is cooked through, remove the cover and fry until browned in places, 15 or 20 more minutes.
5. At the end, add in some minced cilantro.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Onion Lentil Rice

In honor of a new year and a new resolution to eat healthier in our house, here is a healthy one-pot vegetarian meal which is one of Mahesh's favorites. I believe this recipe started out as a stuffing for something else, and we decided it was the best part so just decided to make the stuffing, and it's changed up quite a bit since then. It's pretty simple so it works best with a nice dessert or appetizer course.



-- 1 cup green lentils
-- 2 bay leaves
-- 2 onions, sliced
-- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
-- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
-- 5 cups vegetable stock (or water)
-- 1 1/4 cups basmati or other long-grain rice, rinsed
-- 1 c. frozen peas
-- 4 T. chopped fresh parsley
-- 2 t. chopped fresh dill (or 1 t. dried)
-- 1 t. salt
-- pepper to taste


1. Put lentils in bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, saute onions, mushrooms, and carrots in butter until onions are translucent and starting to caramelize. (the more you can caramelize them during this stage, the better)
3. Add all stock, bay leaf, and lentils, boil 15 minutes
4. Add rice, boil until almost done (30 minutes or so) -- keep an eye on the water level during this phase, you may need to add more!
5. Add in peas, boil until cooked.
6. When cooked, add in herbs, salt and pepper to taste.