Potato casserole with cashew sauce (Vegan)

By Shalini Kolluri

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This creamy potato casserole is a warm and wholesome dish makes a frequent appearance on my dining room table any time I need to make something delicious and easy for guests. When its raining outside and I need some comfort food, this is my go to recipe. You can’t go wrong with potatoes that are cooked, sliced, and layered with savory cashew sauce.

The cashew sauce a luscious vegan cashew sauce that can sub for just about anything thick, creamy and dairy-based and it can be made in five minutes!

Why use nutritional yeast?..Nutritional yeast is a common cheese substitute in many vegan dishes. But it’s not just for vegans or vegetarians — nutritional yeast works in any soup or stew, and is wonderful on popcorn too!

Just one tablespoon of nutritional yeast can contain :

  • 180% Daily Value B1 (Thiamine)
  • 160% Daily Value B2 (Riboflavin)
  • 70% Daily Value B3 (Niacin)
  • 140% Daily Value B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • 40% Daily Value Folic Acid
  • 40% Daily Value B12
  • 3 grams protein
  • 1 gram fiber

When I used to go over several vegan recipes, I often saw nutritional yeast popping up in several places and frankly it was a little off putting. It was only when I started using it that I understood that not only does it greatly enhance the nutritional value of the dish , it also add a beautiful brothy flavor to the dish.

So, coming back to the casserole..

Ingredients:-

1  cup (boil them for 15 minutes or soak them for a couple of hours)

salt

1 ½  teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon nutmeg powder

4 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups + 2 tablespoons water

5 large potatoes

1 large onion

salt

1/4 table spoon red chili powder

1 cup chopped cilantro or 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 cup fresh peas

Method:-

Preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C. If you don’t have time to soak the cashews, you can boil
them for 15 minutes.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into very thin rounds. Put the potatoes into an oiled
medium-sized deep baking dish.
Cut onions into half and slice them. Add onions,spinach and peas to the potatoes along with salt, cumin and chili powder.
Mix everything with your hands and press the potatoes down.
Now make the cashew sauce. Drain and rinse the cashes. Put them into a blender along
with salt, pepper, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, garlic and water. Blend for a minute or two, until smooth.
Pour the sauce evenly onto the potatoes. Bake the casserole for an hour or until the potatoes are completely soft.
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Black bean and corn rice

My Lean Streak

By Shalini Kolluri

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This Tex-Mex corn, beans and veggie favorite is great with rice or even on salad. I love putting the mixture over hot rice with cheddar. Sometimes, I eat this for lunch heated in the microwave topped with a small scoop of lite sour cream.

Black beans can be replaced with kidney beans or chickpeas. It totally depends on what beans you have available in your kitchen. This is a great recipe that can be easily altered to what you have on hand. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:-

4 cups cooked brown rice or white rice

1 can black beans rinsed and drained

1/2 cup cooked corn kernels

1 cup diced tomatoes

1cup scallions/onions chopped

1⁄cup cilantro, chopped

2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons lime juice

tablespoon oil

1teaspoon salt

1 cup finely cut red/green bell pepper

2 dashes hot sauce ( I used cholula hot…

View original post 57 more words

Black bean and corn rice

By Shalini Kolluri

IMG_1988

This Tex-Mex corn, beans and veggie favorite is great with rice or even on salad. I love putting the mixture over hot rice with cheddar. Sometimes, I eat this for lunch heated in the microwave topped with a small scoop of lite sour cream.

Black beans can be replaced with kidney beans or chickpeas. It totally depends on what beans you have available in your kitchen. This is a great recipe that can be easily altered to what you have on hand. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:-

4 cups cooked brown rice or white rice

1 can black beans rinsed and drained

1/2 cup cooked corn kernels

1 cup diced tomatoes

1cup scallions/onions chopped

1⁄cup cilantro, chopped

2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons lime juice

tablespoon oil

1teaspoon salt

1 cup finely cut red/green bell pepper

2 dashes hot sauce ( I used cholula hot sauce)

pepper

cumin powder (optional)

Method:-

In a bowl, combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, salt, cumin powder and pepper and hot sauce. To serve, Place a scoop of hot rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture. Stir together before eating.

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Apple pineapple crumble (Vegan)

By Shalini Kolluri

pie

Kicking back with a plate of warm crumble and custard while watching Netflix is one of my favorite things to do. I love how the whole house gets filled with the delicious aromas of vanilla and cinnamon and how cozy the house gets from a day spent having fun, baking this recipe in my kitchen.

Not only is this recipe healthy, it is 100% vegan. Apples are high in fiber as they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which is great for a healthy digestive system. Added to that, rolled oats increase the fiber content which help you poop like a champion and control your apatite.

There’s just enough oil and sweet in there to make sure this recipe tastes like a treat, but it’s pretty light and healthy compared to most holiday desserts.

Enjoy!!

Ingredients:-

Filling:-

6 medium sized apples  (I used Fuji)

1 cup pineapple chunks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 table spoons orange juice

A little orange zest

Crumble topping:-

1  1/2 cups rolled oats

50 g organic flaked coconut

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste

3 tablespoons organic maple syrup

3 tablespoons  cold pressed coconut oil

1/2 cup walnuts

Method:-

Wash the apples. Cut them into wedges with the skin left on – make sure to remove the center. Place the apples into a large heavy based pot.

Combine with the apple juice, vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest.

Cook over a medium – low heat for about 20 – 30 minutes – stirring occasionally until the apples have completely softened and collapsed. I like to cover the pot for the first 10 minutes of cooking, which allows for more liquid to be released from the apples and helps to keep them moist.  Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking, if necessary which helps some of the excess moisture evaporate.

To make the crumble

Combine rolled oats, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, oil and walnuts into a food processor.

Process for a few seconds or until mixture is combined and lovely and crumbly. Taste and adjust if necessary.

Preheat your oven to 160 C / 315 F. Pile your apple mixture into a suitable sized pie dish or baking dish.

Scatter the crumble over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden and delicious looking.

Remove from the oven and serve alone or with your choice of custard, yogurt or coconut cream.

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Blueberry pineapple juice

I whipped this up on the spur of the moment, having no idea it would taste this good! I used  blueberries and frozen pineapple. This refreshing juice couldn’t be easier. It is perfect for the hot summers. Both pineapple and blueberry are packed with anti-oxidants. Pineapples are a perfect weight loss food : they consist of water (86%) and carbs (13%), with almost no protein or fat.

This recipe uses coconut water to add that tropical touch to it. You could also use plain water instead.

Hope you enjoy drinking it!

juice

Ingredients:-

1 cup fresh bleberries

1/2 cup coconut water (I used Zico)

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

Method:-

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and you reach the desired consistency. Add bananas and unsweetened almond milk if you want a smoothie.

 

 

Lunch box idea:chickpea arugula salad

By Shalini Kolluri

It’s full of fresh veggies, spices, feta, leaves and chickpeas. No cooking required; all you’ll do is chop the veggies and toss them with the light dressing. You can refrigerate it in the fridge for an hour or so, but it isn’t necessary.

My new favorite salad. It’s crisp and fresh, with lots of zip. I normally eat this salad for lunch as it is but you could eat it with quinoa.

Chickpeas nutrition truly proves what an amazing superfood they really are! Especially for vegetarians. It has 268 calories,  12.5 grams of dietary fiber,  14.5 grams of protein, 4.2 grams of fat, 84% manganese , 71% folate, 29% copper, 28% phosphorus, 26% iron.

This protein-rich salad is perfect for potlucks, packs well for lunch, and it’s easy to make!

Ingredients:-

1 can chickpeas drained

a small amount of feta cheese

1/2 cup grape tomatoes cut in halves

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup  baby arugula

1 cup chopped cucumber (washed and peeled)

1 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped white onion or scallion

1/4 teaspoon oregano

ground pepper

salt

3 tablespoons of lime juice

1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

a pinch of paprika (optional)

Method:-

Add the chickpeas, arugula and veggies in a salad bowl.

Add pepper, salt, oregano, garlic powder and paprika / chili flakes and toss.

To this add lime juice and live oil (3:1) and mix.

Serve as it is or serve with cooked quinoa.

 

 

 

Healthier Cookie for a Stealthier You

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First let me say the most important thing — these cookies are my daughter’s fave and are hence very dear to my heart. Made with rolled oats and whole wheat and of course a megaton of love, these cookies are absolutely the shit. And at the cost of sounding crude, they are the s@#* in two ways — they also cure your constipation… lol.

To make a cookie jar full of these beauties, you will need:

         1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar 

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon (20g) dark molasses

1 and 2/3 cups (140g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats

1 cup (125g) whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Method of Preparations:

Using a mixer or whisk, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed till they achieve a silky smoothness. Then, add in an egg and mix with high speed for about a minute.  Then the molasses and vanilla and mix on high.

In a separate bowl, toss in all the dry ingredients — the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Fold this mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate. Chill the dough for at least 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 325°F or 163°C. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place them two inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centres will look soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Making ahead of time: Cookies stay fresh in air-tight containers at room temperature for up to a week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let the cool dough come to room temperature before baking. Baked cookies freeze well for up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough after it thaws.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

Palak Anda: A lean mean spinach egg curry

spinach egg curry
This is a boiled egg recipe that stands on a luscious green spinach onion tomato sauces spiced in typical North Indian fashion.

It’s healthy, it’s hearty and most of all doubles as comfort food that lights up the soul and chases away the blues. 

To cook up this beauty, you will need:

8-10 boiled eggs

Two small or one large bundle of spinach

One generous handful of coriander leaves (cilantro)

One or two Serrano chillis

One medium sized onion, chopped fine

One day pod of garlic, minced fine

One inch cube of ginger, chopped fine

Two medium-sized tomatoes, puréed 

A neutral oil such as vegetable oil or canola

Two tablespoons of dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) or fresh leaves

Whole garam masala — cumin, cloves, bay leaf, cardamom and a small cinnamon stick

A tablespoon of coriander poweder

Salt

Half a tablespoon of red chilli powder 

A neutral oil

A tablespoon of yogurt

Method of preparation:

Add spinach to boiling water and blanch it. Bring out the spinach using a strainer. Once the spinach cools down, grind with fenugreek and corriander leaves.

Coat the bottom of your pot / skillet with oil. Turn on medium heat. Add in cumin seeds, two cloves, a small cinnamon stick, a bay leaf and two cardamom pods. Once they are roasted and an aroma develops, add in minced ginger and garlic, and chopped onion. Once the onion browns a bit, add in the finely chopped tomatoes and cook with a lid till the tomatoes are tender and a sauce develops. Then, add in the spinach purée and season with salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder. Underseason when in doubt. You can always add in more later. Cook with an open lid over a low flame for 10 mins and stir in the yogurt. Toss in the prepped boiled eggs and cook for two minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning for taste. Add some lemon if you like. 

Serve hot with rice, bread or flatbreads. Although I can eat a bowl full as is!

Hearty and Healthy Black beans and Veggie stew

By Mini Kolluri

Black bean stew, veggie stew, healthy stewBean stews are super common in both Indian and Mexican cuisines. But this one swears allegiance to neither camp since it’s something that I just threw together and was lucky to chance upon a spectacular result. It’s hearty but not heavy and healthy but comforting. Ideal for a weekday dinner or for a kiddie meal. Or of course anytime in the cold cold winter.

To make enough stew for six servings,

You will need:

One small onion, chopped

Two medium sized tomatoes

One cup butternut squash cubes

One corn cob

Half a green pepper

19 oz can of cooked black beans

Oil – canola, vegetable or olive

A medium-sized pod of garlic

Salt

Red chilli powder

Thyme

Cumin powder

Method of preparation:

Line the pot with a thin layer of oil. Heat over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and chopped garlic. While the onions cook, chop the pepper and butternut squash and add it in. Add in the corn kernels and stir. Chop up the tomatoes and add them in. Once the vegetable cook down a little, season with salt, chilli powder, cumin and thyme. If in doubt add seasoning conservatively. You could always add more later. Stir.

Add the beans from the can along with the water it comes with. Add in another half cup of water. Feel free to use soaked and cooked beans instead if you like. Once the beans are in, cover with a lid and let it cook for 20 mins over a low flame. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Serve with rice or as a soup.

Black bean soup, veggie soup, veggie stew, black bean and vegetable soup

Thai green curry (Vegan)

By Shalini Kolluri 

The Thai green curry is the perfect go to comfort food on a hungry winter afternoon. It is not only rich and flavorful, it can be custom made to suit all your veggie cravings. I love using eggplant and sweet potato in my curry as it enriches the taste and consistency. Hope you enjoy eating this simple yet delectable recipe!

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Ingredients:-

1 can low fat coconut milk

1/2 cup vegetable stock

4 teaspoons soy sauce

4 teaspoons sugar / agave

6 tablespoons Thai green curry paste( Thai Taste, Maesri, and Thai Kitchen)

1/2  cup diced white onion

1/2 cup plum tomatoes

1 eggplant chopped in pieces

1 cup diced (1/2 inch) red bell pepper

1/2 cup diced (1/2 inch) zucchini or other summer squas

1/4 cup diced (1/2 inch) peeled sweet potato

1 lime

8 large basil leaves (cut)

salt (drizzle)

Method:-

Spoon 6 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top of the can into a medium saucepan. Pour remaining contents of can into a medium bowl, and mix well. In a medium bowl, combine vegetable stock, soy sauce, and agave.

Place saucepan of coconut cream over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add curry paste and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until very fragrant, about 3 minutes; adjust heat as needed to prevent burning.

Add in the vegetables. Boil for 10 minutes on low. Making sure the veggies are tenderly cooked.

Stir in coconut milk – soy sauce mixture, bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to low for 10 minutes.

Add salt and 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice to taste; you may use the juice of an entire lime.

Stir and mix well.

Add up to 1/4 cup water if the curry seems too thick.

To serve, place the curry in a serving bowl and garnish with the basil or cilantro.

Serve with jasmine or brown rice.