Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beet-Spinach Salad (Red & Green Salad)

I got this recipe from a salad cookbook. As usual, I made modifications to the quantities to my liking and used the ingredients that I had.

Beet-spinach salad

2-3 beets, boiled & diced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 orange
1 tsp fine sugar (I used regular sugar)
1 tsp fennel seeds (Gujarati: variyaali)
salt & pepper
baby spinach to make a bed for salad

First of all, boil the peeled beets in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.

Once boiled and cooled a bit, dice the beets and set aside.

Dicing the boiled beet

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan. Add orange juice, sugar and fennel seeds and stir well until sugar dissolves. Add salt and pepper to taste and add diced beet to it. Stir to coat all beets with the dressing and then remove from the heat.

Cooking diced beet with dressing

Arrange baby spinach leaves in a plate or bowl and put the warm beet on top and serve immediately.

Warm beet on baby spinach

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vegan banana-walnut bread

Baked this vegan banana walnut bread for Valentine's day. Surprisingly enough, it turned out really delicious.

Thanks to MM for the recipe. It is from a vegan cook book but I've modified most of the ingredients to my liking.

Dry ingredients:
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c walnuts, chopped (the original recipe had ½ c)
3 tsp baking powder (the original recipe had 4 tsp)
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp ground nutmeg (the original recipe had ¼ tsp)
¼ tsp salt, or to taste

Wet ingredients:
2 c bananas, mashed (the original recipe suggested 1 c)
½ c apple sauce, sugar free
½ c Dates, chopped pieces
¼ c maple syrup
¼ c olive oil (the original recipe suggested safflower oil)
½ tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I actually set it to 360.

Dry ingredients

Place dry ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix well.

Combine wet ingredients in another bowl & then add dry ingredients and mix well.

I took a 6x10 pan as I didn't have a 5x9 inch loaf pan like the recipe suggested. They suggested to well oil the pan but I lightly oiled it.

Baked banana bread

Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out dry. I baked it for 45 minutes.

I eat it warm with my favorite flavor of ice-cream for dessert or have it with cold milk for breakfast. :)

Banana bread slice

Creamy Corn-Tomato Bisque Soup

The original recipe is from

I modified it a bit to change the ingredients to make it vegetarian and some quantities of the items too have been changed.

1 tbsp olive oil
½ red onion, chopped
5 red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, & chopped
1 cup yellow corn kernels, boiled
4 cups water
1 tsp sugar
½ cup heavy cream
Salt & black pepper to taste
½ cup chopped fresh mint

Heat the oil in a big pot and add the chopped onions and cook well until they turn lighter shade of brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, water and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by one quarter, about 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Tomato base cooking

While that cools, boil the corn in a separate pan. Alternatively, you can roast the tomatoes and corn. That will give it a better taste than just the boiled/cooked version.

Preparing Corn-Tomato Bisque Soup

In a blender, puree the soup in several batches until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Strain into a clean pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add corn kernels and boil some more. Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat gently over low heat.

Garnish with the fresh mint before serving the soup.

Creamy Corn-Tomato Bisque Soup