Blog Bites 8 : Pasta for me tonite!

Dinner time and I have to cook  specifically something for myself as hubby is out of town. What better way to indulge in some blog surfing and dishing out some good recipes to try.
I came across the event Blog Bites 8 hosted by One Hot Stove. The whole purpose of the event is to try out new recipes from your fellow blogger and criticise, praise or out-pour your emotions in words…..
This month’s theme was to try a single dish for dinner that contains all the major food groups, that is filling and satisfying and tasty.The challenge was also  to make one dish meals beyond rice-based ones, like casseroles, over-stuffed wraps, stews and pasta dishes.

But I want to have pasta for dinner!!!

I went ahead with pasta and challenged myself that I would use something different in terms of sauce.I found the right recipe for my kind of liking and it is……

Summer Vegetable Pasta with Lemon Basil Almond Pesto by taste space – steam,bake,boil,shake!
Saveur also shares the recipe for the Lemon Basil Almond Pesto, which is simple, easy and the the best part is you can store it for two weeks .I can make this pasta again for my hubby once he’s back next week 🙂

I cut down on the quantity to serves two. I used carrots, mushrooms and green pepper. A well deserved salad after a long day’s work and very refreshing for a humid place like Mumbai.I loved the tangy lemon taste and almonds added richness to the sauce.Overall a filling dish and made my night!!!

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Asian Noodle Salad with Sesame & Peanut

I came across the event ‘In the Bag’ which gives you ingredients to innovate a whole new recipe.For this month’s event  mushroom,herbs and nuts were the suggested ingredients. I liked the entire concept and I quickly started gathering the ingredients……
Asian noodle salad can be made with various ingredients and they can be a healthy dinner after a long day’s work. I hope you like my version of the Asian Noodle Salad with Sesame & Peanut.

2 cups noodles (any kind, I used durum wheat noodles)
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2tsp crushed garlic
2tsp olive oil

for salad dressing
1tsp soya sauce
1tsp agave nectar or honey
1tsp red wine vinegar
1tsp olive oil
1tbs roasted and coarsely ground peanuts
1/2tsp pepper powder
1tsp chilli flakes (optional)
salt to taste

for garnish
1 cup basil leaves
4tsp roasted sesame seeds

Cook and drain the noodles. Allow it to cool. Heat oil in a pan and add crushed garlic. I let the garlic turn a bit brown and crisp because it gives a nice flavor to the salad. Add mushrooms and let it cook until soft. Allow the mushrooms to cool.
Once the mushrooms are cold, add the salad dressing and mix well. Garnish it with sesame seeds, basil and serve at room temperature or cold.

This is my submission to this month’s In the Bag hosted by Julia from A Slice of Cherrypie and Scott from Real Epicurean, to No Croutons Required – Noodles, hosted by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen, to SOS Kitchen Challenge hosted by Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Kim from Affairs of Living and to Souper Sundays hosted by Deb from Kahaki Kitchen.


Beet Appetizer Salad/Moroccan Beet Salad

Moroccan salads play a big role in Moroccan cuisine, and most families serve them almost daily. Garden-fresh vegetables might be peeled and chopped before being tossed with a vinaigrette, or they might be cooked with spices and olive oil to make dip-like salads. Most salads can be refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Handling of beet has always been a concern for me….I found some helpful tips on how to handle beets:

  • Choose beets of uniform size to promote even cooking.
  • To retain nutrients and color, boil, bake or steam without peeling first. The skin will easily rub off under cold running water after they are cooked.
  • When trimming, leave at least an inch of the leaf stems attached and do not remove the root. The stem and root are removed after cooking.
  • If you must peel before cooking, a swivel vegetable peeler works better than a paring knife.
  • To avoid staining your fingers, wear rubber gloves when handling beets.
  • To remove beet juice from fingers, rub with wet salt and lemon juice and then wash with soap and water. For cutting boards and plastic containers, use a
  • bleach solution.
  • 1 Tablespoon of vinegar added to beet cooking water will not only reduce the odor of the cooking beets, but also help them retain their bright color.
  • For older beets, try adding a pinch each of sugar and salt to each cup of cooking water to revive sweetness and color.
  • Beets are naturally high in sodium, so no salt is necessary in the cooking water.
  • To microwave whole beets, pierce the skin and place one pound in a micro-proof dish with 2 Tablespoons of water. Cook on high for 9 to 12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before cooling and peeling.
  • To avoid bleeding of color into other ingredients, add beets just before serving if possible.
  • When cooked, drain off the hot water and fill the pot with cold tap water. Do this a couple of times, until the beets are cool enough to handle. Now take each beet in your hands and just slide the skin right off with your fingers. How easy!!!

(Source: homecooking.about.com)

2 medium sized beets, boiled & diced 
1 small onion, diced
1 tomato, skinned, seeded & diced
1 tsp crushed garlic cloves
2 tbs finely chopped parsley
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
4 medium sized potatoes, boiled & sliced

For the dressing

2 tsp vinegar
4 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

green or black olives for garnish

Mix together the dressing ingredients.
Combine beets in a salad bowl with the onion, tomato, garlic cilantro & parsley.Pour over half the dressing, toss gently. Place the sliced potatoes in a shallow bowl & toss with remaining dressing.Chill both beet and potato salad for 30 minutes.
When ready to assemble, arrange beets, tomato & onion in the center of a shallow bowl & arrange potatoes in a ring around them. Serve cold garnished with olives.
(Source: recipeland.com)

This is my submission to this month’s destination Morocco hosted by My Kitchen, My WorldVegetarian Foodie Fridays hosted by Breastfeeding Moms Unite!, Healing Foods – Beet, hosted by Mharo Rajasthan’s Recipes & Siri’s Corner, Low Oil/Low Calorie hosted by Mharo Rajasthan Recipes & Foodelicious, Dish name starts with ‘B’ by Learning-to-cook, and finally to this week’s Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.

Phew!!!!


Mixed Baby Corn & Cinnamon Salad

I was going through my list of events for this coming week and I came across no croutons required hosting corn as the main ingredient. I couldn’t resist it..as corn is my favourite veggie and I use it a lot in my cooking…. I have already posted three recipes with corn in them 🙂
So here I am with another one….

You can either cook or serve the corn raw (I prefer it cooked). Baby corn, unless overcooked will retain its crunchy texture, especially since you eat the whole corn including the core. On its own, baby corn can have a slightly sweet flavor.It retains the flavors of sauces applied to it and adds interesting texture and visual appeal to a dish.

2 cups cut canned or fresh baby corn (I used canned ones)
1 cup sprouted beans
1 cup chopped gherkins (used gerkins with yellow mustard)
1/2 chopped green olives
1/2 chopped tomatoes
2tsp finely chopped celery
1tsp of cinnamon powder
1/2tsp dried basil
2tsp Olive oil
1tsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and serve cold.

This is my submission to this month’s No Croutons Required, hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes and this week’s Souper Sundays, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.


Sprouted Mung & Pomegranate Salad

Sprouting of mung can be a little bit of extra preparation for this crunchy salad. DK form Chefinyou gives a detailed description on ‘how to sprout mung beans’, a must read…

Pomegranate adds a little sweetness to the salad. Its great flavor and health benefits have made it a great candidate for those who seek natural health foods.

Tips on how to buy & store pomegranate: (source eatingwell.com)

Look for pomegranates that feels heavy for their size, indicating particularly juicy fruit.Pomegranates should have soft, leathery skin; avoid fruit with shriveled skin.

Store pomegranates at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or refrigerate for up to 2 months.Pomegranate seeds and juice can be frozen for up to 6 months.

2 cups of sprouted mung beans
2cups of pomegranate
1cup finely chopped cabbage
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (seeds omitted)
4tsp grated coconut (preferably fresh)
4tsp finely cut cilantro leaves
2tsp lime juice
2tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and serve cold.

This is my submission to this week’s Souper Sundays, hosted by Deb from Kahakai Kitchen and My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.


Sweet Corn, Red Pepper, Gerkin & Green Olive Salad

As the name suggests, the ingredients are not tough to guess. It is simple and easy to make any time and anywhere.The entire combination of veggies is cruncy and refreshing.

Gerkin is a fruit similar in form and nutritional value to cucumber. They are usually picked when 4 to 8 cm (1 to 3in) in length and pickled in jars or cans with vinegar (often flavored with herbs, particularly dill; hence, “dill pickle”) or brine to resemble a pickled cucumber.In India we have a wide range of spicy pickles and pickled gerkins are not in use in many households.
The ones that I have used, are flavored with yellow mustard. You can use gerkins without any flavoring too…

1 cup sweet corn
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup gerkins
1tbs green olives
1tps red wine vinegar
2tps olive oil
1/2 tps pepper
salt to taste
cilantro & mint for garnish

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and garnish with cilantro and mint. Serve at room temperature or cold.

This is my submission to this week’s Souper Sundays hosted by Deb.