May 10, 2013

Grilled Nectarines


6 nectarines, halved and pitted
Vegetable oil
Blue cheese
Coarsely ground black pepper


Heat grill. Brush cut side of nectarine with oil and place on the grill, cut-side down. Grill until caramelized. Turnover and grill for 1 to 2 minutes until almost soft. Place nectarines on a platter, cut-side up and place a dollop of cheese in the center of each nectarine, drizzle with honey and ground fresh pepper over the top.

May 9, 2013

Vegetable Au Gratin

One of my favorite dishes which my mom loved to make for my whole family when I was back in India. And now it’s my turn to start the tradition. Vegetable Au Gratin is a French dish, it’s a medley of vegetables baked in a cheesy herbed white sauce. You can use any vegetables you like fresh or frozen it tastes great. 

2 cups chopped in to small cubes vegetables (fresh or frozen - peas, carrots, beans, corn etc.)
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1 cup cheese (Mix of Mozzarella and Cheddar)
pepper to taste
salt to taste
Ingredients for White Sauce:
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp All Purpose Flour (Maida)
3 cups whole milk
1 tsp garlic paste (optional)
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 cup cheese (Mix of Mozzarella and Cheddar)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tsp dry oregano

Directions for white Sauce
Heat butter in a pan, when melted add the garlic, all-purpose flour and saute on medium heat till the raw smell goes, keep stirring in between. (Should not turn brown)
Remove from heat and add 1 cup of milk mixing to make sure there are no lumps.
Add the rest of the milk mix and make sure there are no lumps.Put back on the heat and cook on medium till the sauce thickens. Keep stirring in between.
Add the salt, pepper, red chili flakes and dry oregano. Mix well. Remove from heat. Add the cheese, mix well.

Final step:
Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F.
Steam the vegetables in microwave for 3 mins till half cooked. Drain all the water.Mix salt, pepper and dry oregano to the vegetables and keep aside. (The White sauce too will have salt so go easy on it)
Mix in the steamed vegetables to the white sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Transfer to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. For crispiness you can top it off with some bread crumbs
Bake for about 20 minutes till the cheese has melted and golden brown. Remove cool for 10 minutes and then serve with toasted bread. 

Colorful bean salad with walnuts and feta

This salad is time-saving and packed with healthy nutrients, and leaves you feeling lighter and full of energy particularly on an ardent summer day. Each time you toss the salad you can change the flavor to suit your taste buds.
1 cup kidney beans (Rajma)
1 cup chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
½ cup sweet corn shredded
2 cups green sprouts
1 thinly sliced green Bell pepper(capsicum)
1 shredded red bell pepper
1 shredded yellow bell pepper (optional)
2 Onions finely chopped
5 crushed walnuts
1 tbsp feta cheese
1 lemon squeezed
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Boil the kidney beans, chickpeas and sweet corn separately and set aside.
2. Soak green grams overnight to produce sprouts.In a large bowl, mix kidney beans, chickpeas, sweet corn, and sprouts together.
3. Add to it shredded bell peppers in different colors, as many as you can get, including capsicum together with chopped onion, and blend it.
4. Then add crushed walnuts, and a generous sprinkling of feta cheese.
5. Squeeze a full lemon on the mixture and sprinkle salt as per taste.Dress it with olive oil.
6. To add more flavors I would l like to add sliced strawberries and sprinkle some dried cherries. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar can do wonders to the mix as well (optional)


½ Cup of Double Strength Coffee
½ Cup of Whole Milk
1-2 Tbsp of granulated sugar
1-2 Tbsp flavored syrup (ie: mocha, chocolate or caramel)
1-2 Cups of Ice
Brew the Coffee
The Frappuccino will taste best with freshly ground coffee, so if you have a coffee grinder, buy the beans whole and grind them just before brewing. Make the pot of coffee with twice as much ground as you would typically use for a cup of coffee.
Cool the Coffee
Here is the part where a little patience is required. Pouring the coffee straight into the ice will shock the freshly brewed coffee, and it will not taste as good. Let the pot cool naturally, or place it in the refrigerator to cool a little more quickly, until it is at least room temperature.
Mix in the Blender
once the coffee has cooled, add it, along with the sugar, milk and syrup into the blender and blend on high for about 20 seconds. Then, fill your blender with ice and Blend on high for another 20 seconds or until the texture is slushy.
Pour it in a glass and top the drink with whipped cream and drizzle it with your favorite flavored syrup.
Enjoy this tasty treat as a midday indulgence or as a sweet treat among friends. You are gonna love every bit of it!!!!!