Posts filed under ‘red pepper’

A wholesome weekend Brunch- Veg Fajitas with Guacamole

The lad is a foodie- much to my happiness! He tastes the food and gives an instant ‘thumbs up’ to well made dishes. Some of my trials are met with an honest ‘I didn’t like this much’ feedback along with a suggestion to ‘repair’ the dish. On some Friday nights ‘Would you like to have Pizza for dinner?’ is answered by ‘Do we have fresh Basil and Mozzarella?’ On one occasion when I asked him what he would like to have for dinner (please note: this question gets asked only on weekends) , he picked up one of my cookbooks (the one mentioned below) and wrote down, on a piece of paper -A starter ,soup, a main course and a dessert he wanted me to make for his dinner!

Most of the days it’s a pleasure to feed this child who happily eats his veggies and fruits without any fuss. On the flip side, he needs a lot of variety. He is the ‘forever hungry monster’ specially when I am home. The veggies get grilled, marinated, wrapped, sandwiched or they get topped on whole wheat ‘pizza’ to make them more interesting than the regular Roti-Sabji.

The Veg Fajita (recipe below) is adapted from a book called ‘330 vegetarian recipes for health’. This book which I picked up from the local Crossword store has been one of my ‘super finds’. All the recipes are vegetarian (no-meat, no-fish). The first section in the book includes a whole food guide for fruits and vegetables to grains and from dairy foods to herbs and spices. This vegetarian ‘mini encyclopedia’ includes essential facts about key health benefits as well as information on buying, storing and preparing whole food. The photographs are absolutely drool-worthy. The book showcases hundreds of step by step recipes from around the world. Most of the recipes are not only healthy but are also easy to follow.The book occupies is always kept handy on my book shelf since more than often I find myself referring to it for ideas to keep the foodie lad satiated. The Light meals and side dishes section in the book are our favourites. I would recommend this fascinating book to anyone interested in  finding out more about whole food.

For these colorful  Veg Fajitas, Mushrooms and coloured Peppers (capsicums) are marinated in a little chilli powder/olive oil ,lightly sautéed and wrapped in flour Tortillas. Fresh Mushrooms and coloured capsicums are usually found in our crisper since they are a hit whichever way they get served. I used our regular whole wheat  Rotis (Phulkas) to substitute the Tortillas.

Guacamole is a family favourite. We love Guacamole. Whenever I have access to good quality Avocados, the creamy dip gets slathered on breads or Rotis or is paired up with corn chips, khakras, Tacos anything that can be dipped or wrapped!. One of the very few veggie vendors who stocks ‘exotic’ fruits here in Nashik sometimes sells Avocados. Finding good quality Avocados is a challenge since they travel here all the way from Goa (that’s what the vendor tells me). I was happy to find some lush green Avocados on my trip to Nature’s basket, Bangalore.

A freshly made Guacamole served with the medley of colorful vegetables wrapped in a whole wheat Tortilla made for a wholesome weekend brunch. The foodie lad was ecstatic and lost count of the number of ‘Tortillas’ that vanished into his little tummy 🙂

Here’s the Recipe for the Veg Fajitas

Ingredients:

1 onion sliced

1 Red Pepper

1 Yellow Pepper

1 Green Pepper ( I skipped this )

1 garlic clove crushed

1 packet Button mushrooms (about  15-16 mushrooms)

6 tbsp vegetable oil ( I used the herb infused Olive oil  )

2-3 tsp Red chilli powder (the original recipe asks for 2 tbsp but I reduced the quantity since our Red chilli powder is quite hot, adjut this to taste)

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper for garnishing

To serve:

~ 6 small Flour Tortillas/ Rotis warmed.

Sprigs of fresh coriander

Wedges of 1 lime.

Method:

Slice the onion.

Cut the Peppers into strips.

Mix the onion slices and peppers in a bowl.

Add the crushed garlic.

Wash and dry the Mushrooms on a kitchen towel.

Remove the stems from the Mushrooms (Use them to make stock)

Slice the Mushrooms and add to the pepper mixture.

Mix the oil and Red chilli powder in a small cup and mix.

Add this to the veggie mixture and Keep aside for  20 minutes (or  till you  make the Guacamole recipe below)

Heat a pan or wok till hot.

Add the marinated vegetables and stir fry over high heat for 5-6 minutes, till the veggies are just tender.

Season with salt and crushed black pepper.

Spoon the filling on to each Tortilla and roll up.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Serve with Fresh Guacamole and  lime wedges.

I did not follow the recipe for Guacamole from the book.This is how I make it:

Recipe for Guacamole

Ingredients:

1 Ripe Avocado

1 small Onion finely chopped

1 small Tomato seeds removed and chopped

1 Green chilli chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Crushed black pepper to taste

Fresh coriander leaves chopped

Salt to taste

Method:

Cut the Avocado in half.

Remove the pit, scoop out the pulp from the peel and put in mixing bowl.

Mash the Avocado with a fork. I like to keep a few small pieces.

Add the onion, tomato, green chilli, lime juice, coriander leaves, salt and crushed black pepper.

Mix nicely and serve immediately with corn chips, Tacos, Khakras or Veg Fajitas.

Note: This is not one of the make ahead kind of dip since the Avocado oxidises very fast. If you haveto keep it for some time before serving cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate.

July 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm 7 comments

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Caponata recipe and a ‘Festive Giveaway’

The Monsoon is retreating (having a hail storm outside as I type this) but we are moving into another season of festivities. I am excited to host my first giveaway from CSN stores for the festive season.

CSN stores carries everything from Dining tables to cookware to shoes and bags .CSN stores has generously offered one lucky reader of My Foodcourt from USA and Canada a Gift certificate worth $60 to use on any of the CSN stores websites.

I would like all my readers to please leave a comment below this post letting me know what you like about this blog and what would you like to see more often on My Foodcourt. Please leave one comment per person along with your E-mail address. All you silent readers, now’s your chance to share your thoughts with me.:).

The Giveaway is restricted to USA and Canada readers and there may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses.

One lucky winner will be chosen randomly and the winner will be announced on 17th October 2010.

Here are the Giveaway details:

Gift certificate: A one-time-use certificate worth $ 60 at any of the CSN stores

How to enter: Leave a comment  with Email ID below this post letting me know what do you like about this blog and what would you like to see more often on My Foodcourt.

Giveaway closes: 16th October 2010, winner will be chosen on 17th October 2010.

Giveaway Valid for: Readers from USA and Canada (there may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses.)

A Special Thanks to CSN stores team for generously sponsoring this giveaway

§§§§§§§ ♥♥♥ ♪♪♪♪ ♥♥♥§§§§§§§

After the exciting  Giveaway now for an exciting Caponata recipe…..
Over the past few years Food blogging has changed my perspective about different cuisines. Chinese is no longer restricted to Hakka noodles and Fried Rice; Mexican is no longer just Tacos and Salsa; Italian is not just pizza and pasta. Surfing the various blogs each day has made me explore many vegetarian recipes beyond these popular dishes of that particular region.

Alessio  challenged us to make a Sicilian speciality-Caponata for this month’s Velveteer’s Challenge.

‘The 4 Velveteers was started by Aparna, Asha, Alessio and Pam, who are passionate about different cuisines and food in general. Each month, we will attempt a new dish and share our experiences and the recipes we used. If you’re interested in joining the Velveteers, please feel free to drop by our Google group
I have never made a Caponata before, so was quite intrigued by it.

Wikipedia describes Caponata as a Sicilian aubergine dish, a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, and capers in a sweet and sour sauce usually served as an Antipasto.

In my quest for a simple Caponata recipe I came across this recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi. I loved the use of Harissa paste- the ‘Ottolenghi  treatment’ as the recipe says- in the traditional Caponata recipe. I had some Harissa seasoning which my brother had gifted me some time back. Also the addition of raisins was quite interesting. I did not have capers neither did I have red-wine vinegar. I skipped the capers and substituted the red-wine vinegar with white-wine vinegar. I also substituted the canned tomatoes with fresh blanched tomatoes.

The loved the array of colors that the vegetables brought to the Caponata. I love eggplants in most of its form but here the humble eggplant/ aubergine was transformed into a flavorful salad with just a few ingredients. The fresh celery leant a refreshing flavor to the Caponata and the harissa added the much desired tang. The raisins were a welcome ‘sweet’ addition to the already ‘tart-spicy’ caponata.

I also added some fresh Basil leaves, which for a change are in abundance right now. I served this delicious Caponata on Bite sized- Chilly rusks.

As recommended in the original recipe, it also makes a great sauce for pasta or couscous. It’s also delicious with cheese: try spreading it over rustic bread and topping with mature vegetarian pecorino, much like the English cheese and pickle sandwich.

I could not save the Caponata to be savored the next day but you might want to make an extra batch since it tastes better the next day!

Here’s the recipe:

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi ‘s Caponata recipe

Ingredients:

2 slender Eggplants/ Aubergines diced

2-3 tender celery stalks cut on an angle into slices

1 small red pepper diced

1 onion diced

~ 3 small tomatoes blanched, peeled and chopped

Few green olives sliced

3 tbsp chopped parsley

~ 2 tbsp Fresh Basil leaves chopped

2 tbsp Harissa Seasoning

1 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar

Handful of Raisins

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp Lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Red Chili flakes as required (optional)

2 tbsp Olive oil+2 tbsp sunflower oil

Method:

Heat both oils in a heavy-bottom pan or a non stick pan.

Add the diced aubergines and fry for 5-6 minutes till golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the aubergine to a colander and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

After a few minutes, transfer to soak on a paper towel.

Add the celery to the hot oil, fry for three minutes, add the pepper and cook for two minutes. Transfer to the colander, then to a paper towel.

Sauté the onion and harissa seasoning in the oil (add a little more to the pan, if needed) for seven minutes, until soft and golden.

Drain off any excess oil from the pan, add the tomatoes and vinegar, stir and bring to a simmer. Add the fried vegetables, olives and sugar, and season.

 If the mix is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat taste and adjust the seasoning.

Add the raisins.

Leave to come to room temperature, add the lemon juice and parsley,basil leaves and Red chilli flakes(if using)

Serve with sliced baguettesor garlic bread or some spicy rusks as I did.

Thanks Alessio for introducing me to the delicious Sicilian favorite, I am going to try several other versions in several different ways from now on.

Do Check out the various versions of the Caponata on the other Velveteer’s blogs:

 Aparna’s Eggplant and Fig Caponata

Asha’s Sicilian Caponata over Zatared lavash

Sarah’s Caponata- A Sicilian Relish

Veena’s Sicilian Caponata

Ken’s Caponata jam

                                      

September 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm 20 comments

Vegetable Kung Pao

I wanted to make Kung Pao ever since I saw it on Deeba’s blog here. Being a vegetarian I skipped the chicken and used the available vegetables for this quick and easy vegetable Kung Pao.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: 

8-10 button mushrooms sliced

1 large carrot diced

1 small Red cabbage diced

4 spring onions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2″ pieces

1 red/yellow bell pepper, chopped

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1Tablespoons sherry

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons sugar

2 Tablespoons white-wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1/3 cup water

2 Tablespoons cooking oil

3/4 cup cashews

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

3-4 garlic cloves, sliced

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water, soy sauce, sherry and cornstarch.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat.

Add the cashews and stirring until light brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic & chili flakes. Stir for 2 minutes till fragrant & light pink.

Add the white part of the spring onions, carrot & cabbage and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and mushroom and cook for a 1-2 minutes more.

Add the soy sauce mixture and the onion greens and simmer for 1-2 minutes Stir in the cashews.

Serve hot over steamed rice.

December 26, 2009 at 7:00 am 8 comments

Vegetable Tagine with Harisa

This is a warm up to the 7-day recipe marathon initiated by Nupur, at One Hot Stove. Just making sure I haven’t forgotten writing posts!  Nupur has provided the much needed push for My Foodcourt and hope to reach the finish line, even though I shall be travelling.

Harisa Seasoning was not a very familiar spice to me till recently. My dear brother picked up some free samples for this from a trade fair in Berlin last month. Some Google research and I was tempted to use it immediately; Hit the bulls eye with this recipe for Vegetable Tagine with Harisa. Loved this recipe since I had all the ingredients that were required (a very rare coincidence!).

All the veggies used for this Tagine are in season now. I did not have the traditional ‘Tagine pot’ but slow cooked it on the stove top for the flavours to mingle and the result was a scrumptious spicy-sweet and tangy stew. Traditionally served with couscous, I served this with rice. As usual I tweaked the recipe a little bit to suit our taste.

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable Tagine with Harisa

2 onions, sliced

½ tsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp sugar

3 tsp Harisa seasoning

a pinch of saffron (optional)

1 tsp cumin seeds (roasted and crushed)

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

250ml vegetable stock or water

3 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped

2 large carrots, cut into chunks

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 red pepper, seeded and cubed

1 yellow pepper, seeded and cubed

2 brinjals, cubed

400g chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked

1 tsp dry red chilli powder or pepper (optional)

Salt

2 tsp Oil

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Heat the oil and fry the onion, ginger-garlic and sugar over a low heat until onions begin to caramelise.

Add harissa powder and spices and cook until fragrant.

Add the veggies, season with salt, Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Serve hot with couscous or rice.

December 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm 5 comments


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