Posts tagged ‘main course’

20 minute Pasta Dinner

This is something I threw together quickly one night. It helps to use the convenience of some frozen veggies. When I cook pasta, I often don’t use the whole thing at once, so I often sometimes freeze the cooked and unused portion. Then the most I have to do is pop it in the boiling water to reheat and use immediately. Saves time! Not really a recipe, but this is what I did:

  • Spaghetti noodles (previously cooked and frozen. or cook it fresh)
  • Broccoli (frozen)
  • Spinach (frozen)
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped garlic
  • 1 shallot sliced thinly
  • Crushed or broken red chillies
  • Sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Feta cheese, crumbled, optional
  • Nutritional yeast- optional (great for adding vitamins to a veggie diet)
  • Panko breadcrumbs (a TBS or two)
  • Italian dried herb blend
  • Salt to taste

Bring a cup or two of water to boil. Add in the broccoli and cook till done. Then add the spinach and spaghetti. Once those are thawed and warm, turn off the heat and drain.

In the meantime, heat a saute pan and add olive oil. Then shallot, garlic, red chillies until slightly browned. Add sundried tomatoes… Then the veggie/noodles, stir well. Heat another tsp of oil and add to it the italian herb blend, then the panko bread crumbs and heat until they are toasty. Sprinkle on top of the noodles, along with nutritional yeast and feta cheese. Voila!

This is my entry for Presto Pasta Night hosted this week by The crispy cook.

And also for Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Sambhar… more or less

This is sort of a cheat sambhar.  The cheat part is the dal. Toor dal is traditionally used, but it does take more time to cook. So today I have used masoor dal(*you could also use moong dal)000000. The flavor is a little different, but still tasty. This particular sambhar goes especially well with idli, but also good with rice.

This is enough for 2-3 people… you could make a bigger batch if you prefer.

  • 1/3c dal rinsed
  • 1 1/3c water
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 red potato chopped
  • handful of green beans chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • half red onion chopped
  • 1/2t mustard seeds
  • hing
  • methi seeds
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1t sambhar powder
  • 1t coriander powder
  • 1/2t red chili powder (or less)
  • salt
  • tamarind (1Tbs size soaked in water)

Wash the dal and add to the pressure cooker with water, turmeric, and the veggies up to and including onion. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. This can also be done in a regular pot for about 20 minutes since masoor dal cooks fairly quick.

Once it whistles, remove the pan from the heat and wait for the pressure to release. In the meantime, heat a pan and add a couple teaspoons oil. I often use coconut oil for health reasons and I think the flavor goes well with Indian food. Add mustard seeds once the oil is hot and they should start popping almost immediately. Add a pinch of hing and the methi (fenugreek) seeds. Then add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Cover the pan for a few minutes and the tomato will become very soft. At this point, mash the tomatoes in the pan then add the masala powders. It will form a paste like consistency and you will see oil at the sides of the paste. That’s exactly what you want. Now, add the tomato mixture to the dal and bring it back to a boil. Squish and squeeze the tamarind pulp into the water and strain. Add to dal. You will probably need to add another cup or so of water at this point (I use the water to rinse out the tomato pan, so I don’t lose any of that yumminess). Boil the sambhar (more like a simmer) for about 10 minutes to cook the tamarind, then turn off the heat. Let it sit for some time so the flavors blend before serving (if you can wait!).

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