Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Low fat spagetti primavera

I have this Italian cook book of sunset publications sitting in my shelf for say 2 years. The one dish that has repeatedly captured me was their primavera which was said to be feasted by Botticelli models after their modelling...nice ah....but the usual dishes it was prepared with butter and heavy cream.....I came up with my low fat version by substituting fiber enriched Ronzoni's thin spaghetti in a box for fresh egg pasta, whole milk and cornstarch for heavy cream.
I also threw in some my favorite vegetables. You can easily make a Vegan pasta primavera out of this but substituting milk with water/vegetable stock and 2 tablespoon plain Tofutti(soy based cream cheese). This is a very healthy dish as it has a cartload of vegetables.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
8 OZ dried thin fiber enriched spaghetti(You can use any noodle like pasta, even wheat spaghetti will taste good, 80z is half the box of pasta available in unites states)
1 cup whole milk
1 spoon cornstarch
1/2 spoon dried basil
1/2 spoon pepper
2 table spoon olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan
salt to taste

2 shallots diced
10 asparagus stalks cut into small pieces(I used frozen asparagus from Trader Joe's)
4 spring onion stalks, white green all cut into small pieces
1 orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
1/4 cup frozen peas
6 baby carrots sliced(I would suggest to omit these ..because they did not taste good in left overs...yes I ate the same thing for lunch the next day...yum)
1 small zucchini diced
1 pack Enoki mushrooms ..bottom trimmed(I got this from Asian market and since I had only this in the pantry..i used this..gave a pretty look... feel free to substitute with white button mushrooms , which was the ones used in original recipe)


Boil noodles according to package drain and keep aside
Take a wide pan. Heat olive oil in medium saute shallots when they glisten, add peppers, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms. Saute till the vegetables are still in shape but cooked. I do it by closing it with a lid for say 3 minutes. You need to check with your cooking range though and also peek in between.... if you suspect charring, open and give a stir. Once veggies cook add peas and spring onions, basil, pepper and salt. saute for another minute.

Now mix cornstarch into the cold milk and pour it over the vegetables. On medium heat let it come to a slow boil.
Now add the spaghetti, and Parmesan mix well and serve. Note that I have used noodles and spaghetti and even pasta interchangeably for dish .

For vegan version microwave Tofutti for say 40 seconds, add vegetable stock or water and mix so they are incorporated. Add it instead of milk and let it bubble. You can adjust the amount of Tofutti as per your taste and use vegan Parmesan too.

Even though it may look daunting with lot of vegetables, it is very easy and quick. Put the noodles to boil, prepare the vegtables when the noodl es are cooking ...drian the noodles and then prepare the this order it will come about quickly...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tofu Chili Plate - Healthy Family dinner

I have been a passive blogger for about 3 years now. I started food blogging to distribute my recipes to my friends, but since last year after seeing so much activities going around the food blogs new resolution this year was to make my blog active too.....I was thinking of a way to do it and then I came across Meeta's Monthly Mingle hosted this time by Michelle of!!! what a way to here I go with my contribution.

My healthy dinners are usually prepared on spot with the ingredients I have at hand and this was one of them...I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed.


1 block of super firm tofu or pressed firm tofu, cut into long thin strips

1/2 green cabbage shredded finely

20 grape/cherry tomatoes

4 long green peppers sliced thinly(I used cayenne peppers, you can use de-seeded Jalapeno if you cannot find cayenne peppers)

1 small spear of broccoli sliced thinly

1 shallot diced

1 table spoon of pine nuts(you can use any nuts you have at hand)

1/2 spoon cayenne pepper powder/ red chili powder

black pepper and salt to taste

1 spoon chili oil( if you do not have this, use normal oil and a pinch of chili /cayenne powder)

2 teaspoon oil

A non stick pan/wok


Heat the pan till it becomes really hot ...add oil to the pan
Now add shallots, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cayenne powder and stir fry for say 3 minutes. The vegetables will start to wilt and your kitchen will start smelling like stir fry restaurant.

Now add the tomatoes, black pepper and salt ...saute for another 30-40 seconds and transfer into into a plate

In the same wok/pan add the chili oil and stir fry tofu with a pinch of salt. Add it to the stir fried veggies.

As the last step... in to the hot wok add the pine nuts and toast them till they start to brown slightly and add it to the plate.

Your healthy dinner is it when it is hot and enjoy!.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yellow squash sabzi

I had 3 yellow squashes that I bought on impulse when I visited the nearest grocery store. I left them in refrigerator for a week postponing the day to cook, I searched for various recipes using them I came across a pasta dish, a Mexican casserole extra...i had such big plans for the vegetable but at last I ended up cooking it into a simple sabzi...truth to be told I have no was try it.

If you do not have yellow squash use zucchini or Italian squash


3 yellow squash

1/2 spoon mustard
1/2 spoon spilt urad dal
3 table spoon olive oil

2 teaspoon onion powder
1 spoon garlic powder

3/4 red chilli powder
3/4 spoon corianderpowder
1/4 spoon cumin powder
1/2 spoon turmeric

salt to taste

1 table spoon chopped cilantro


Dice squash into small pieces with the skin on.
heat 1 table spoon oil in a non stick pan, add mustard and urad when it starts spluttering
add the onion and garlic powder saute till they becomes light brown...don't burn it
dump the squash..and mix so that the spice powder coat the squash
now add turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin powders and salt mix well.
close it with lid and leave it in medium flame for say 3-4 minutes.
then open the lid and let the liquids evaporate.
No need to add any water squash has enough water to cook by itself.

once all the water dries up add cilantro...mix well.

Serve with rice or roti.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Microwave Theratipal

Theratipal also known as paal kova or milk halwa is very famous dessert of TamilNadu, India.
This version is one of the simplest, Few years ago I came across this particular ratio in one of web page. So I did not invent the recipe, just listing it for my fellow bloggers to try.


1 can condensed milk(Do not use fat free condensed milk..believe me I tried and the result was ...yuck)
3 spoon full fat yogurt
1 spoon ghee or clarified butter

In my microwave 1200 watts with power set to 100% this takes 6-8 minutes.
So adjust settings according to your microwave.

Take a microwave safe bowl and add all the ingredients, mix well.
Microwave it for 2 minutes, take it out mix well and microwave for another 2 minutes.
Do this till you get a crumbly kind of mixture. I will try to post a picture showing exact consistency...usually that is achieved at about 7 minutes.

Make sure you do not overcook. The correct consistency in other words is the one where there is no milk liquid but neither it is rubbery. If you tend to cook for long duration it will be burnt become rubbery .

Serve it hot or cold. I like serving it hot with vanilla ice cream.