Monday, April 14, 2014

Creamy Spinach Manicotti Pasta

Manicotti Pasta are large tubes of ridged pasta that is usually stuffed, topped with sauce and baked to perfection.

For any kind of saucy and stuffed pasta kind, I usually prefer making Lasagna. But then one fine day, when laziness kicked in :) I just thought, Why not just make the stuffing at home and use these pasta to stuff them? And thus did I explore these super easy, delicious, creamy pasta! Adapted the filling recipe from net with few tweaks of my own!

Another versatile dish that can be made well-ahead and frozen (or refridgerated for a day or two) pre-baked. Just need to thaw the frozen pasta and bake them.

Ingredients: Serves 4 to 6

  • Manicotti Pasta - 12 shells
  • Spinach - 1 cup chopped fine
  • Ricotta cheese - 1 cup
  • Garlic - 3 pods chopped very fine
  • Onion - 1/2 chopped fine
  • Red Chilli Flakes - 1 tbsp
  • Soy Crumbles/Granules - 1/2 cup (For Soy Granules-Soak in hot water for about 10 minutes, squeeze water out and set aside)
  • Mozzarella cheese - 1 cup
  • Pasta Sauce - 2 cups 
  • Olive oil - 3 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste

  1. Cook the manicotti pasta as per package directions and set aside on a oiled plate and let it cool
  2. Heat a pan with olive oil, add garlic and red chilli flakes and roast for about 30 seconds
  3. Add the chopped onions and saute until it turns pink. 
  4. Add the soy crumbles/granules and saute for about 2 minutes. Add in chopped spinach, salt and let it cook until the spinach wilts and water from spinach evaporates.
  5. Let cool the spinach mixture in a bowl. Once cool, add ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and mix well. Set aside
  6. Fill each of the manicotti pasta with the creamy spinach filling. Make sure the pasta does not break or the filling overflows. (I filled the pasta by putting the filling in a zip lock bag, made a hole in a corner and filled the pasta. Much easier than using a spoon). Repeat for all the tubes and set aside
  7. Take a baking dish and add spoonfuls of pasta sauce as bottom layer, place all the filled pasta tubes in a row. Top the pasta with pasta sauce and some mozzarella cheese (approx 1/2 cup)
  8. To Bake: Pre-heat oven to 375F and bake it covered for about 40 minutes
  9. Bubbly, Spicy, Creamy pasta ready to be relished!
  • There are numerous ways to turn creative with the filling. Shredded chicken may be added or chopped tofu is another option for vegetarians.
  • Fill the pasta using a piping bag or put the filling into zip lock plastic bag. Cut the corner and fill the pasta. This method is much better than using spoon to fill the pasta tubes.
  • For Homemade Pasta Sauce: Heat oil add crushed garlic, red chilli flakes, chopped onions, crushed tomatoes, salt, italian seasoning and let it cook until raw tomato flavor leaves. Adjust quantity of ingredients according to crushed tomatoes added.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spicy Fish Fingers

Mom is a Super Cook! When I recollect my childhood memories about eating outside food, there are very few dishes I loved to relish. One such are these Fish Fingers that was always on my menu order list when I visited a club in our hometown. 

DEEP FRIED, SPICY, CRISPY.. Who wouldn't love it!

Mom taught me how to make these Fish Fingers a very long time back! It is still one of my favorite appetizers. 

Ingredients: Serves 5-6
  • Boneless and Skinless Fish - 5 Fillets (cut into long strips) Any Firm Fish works, I used Tilapia variety
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  • Chilli Powder - 3 tsp 
  • Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Maida - 1/4 cup 
  • Bread Crumbs - 1 cup
  • Oil - to deep fry
  • Salt - to taste

  1. To Marinate the fish: In a bowl, add in ginger garlic paste, all masala powders and salt. Once well mixed, add them to the fish strips and make sure the fish is coated very well with the masala. Marinate the fish overnight or for atleast 2 hours. 
  2. For crumb coating: In a bowl, add maida, water and make a lumpless, not too thick paste. In a plate, add the bread crumbs. Set aside
  3. Dip the fish strips in maida paste and then the bread crumbs. Make sure the bread crumbs do not coat the fish in a lumpy way. Repeat the coating process for all the fish strips one by one and set aside
  4. In a pan, heat some oil for deep frying. Once hot, deep fry the fish strips until well cooked and golden brown.
  5. Drain the excess oil and serve hot with some hot chilli sauce!
  • Adjust the masala powder quantity as per desired spiciness
  • Fish can be substituted with Paneer/Tofu/Chicken. Just cut them into strips and follow the above recipe.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

No Bake Nutella Oreo Cheesecake

Lately I have been reading loads of delicious Nutella recipes doing rounds on Pinterest. Here is one dessert that was simple to make and yummy to the core!! (Adapted from the blog: My Baking Addiction)

Ingredients:  Makes 4-6 cups

  • Cream cheese - 8 ounce package (softened)
  • Nutella - 2/3 cup
  • Oreo cookies - 20 crushed to crumbs
  • Butter - 3 tbsp (melted)
  • Frozen whipped topping - 8 ounce tub (thawed)
  • Walnuts - to garnish

  1. In a bowl, stir together crushed oreo and butter. Mix until the butter is well absorbed by the crumbs. It would resemble like wet sand
  2. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and nutella until smooth and creamy. Add the thawed whipped topping and fold it with a spatula until well incorporated
  3. In a serving cup, spoon the oreo-butter crumb, followed by the nutella cream and repeat another layer
  4. Garnish with walnuts and let it cool for about 2 to 3 hours
  5. Serve chilled!
  • You may substitute stiff whipped Heavy Cream in place of frozen whipped topping, if not available

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sprouted Moong Coconut Gravy

An easy, light and delectable gravy suitable for chapathi or puri. The crunchy moong adds a wonderful flavor to the gravy. Sprouted moong can be substituted with any vegetable/paneer/tofu/boiled eggs.

Ingredients: Serves 4 for single servings
  • Sprouted Moong Dal - 1 cup
  • Onion - 1 medium chopped fine
  • Tomato - 1 small chopped fine
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Coconut paste - 3 tbsp
  • Chilli powder - 2 tsp (as desired)
  • Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  • Cardamon - 1
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves - to garnish
  • Water - 1 to 2 cups (depending on the desired consistency)

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and let it splutter
  2. Add in onions and saute until it turns mushy cooked
  3. Add in ginger garlic paste, saute for a minute. 
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, all the masala powders, salt, mix well and let it cook for couple of minutes
  5. Add in sprouted moong and mix well. Add the coconut paste, water, salt and let it cook until 4 to 5 whistles
  6. Make sure the moong is not cooked too much and turns mushy.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with chapathi or puri.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tomato Mozzarella Sandwich with Sundried Tomatoes

I love sandwiches and Panini's, especially at Panera's. Here is my take on their Tomato Mozzarella Panini with ingredients I had in my pantry. 

Ingredients:  Makes 1 sandwich
  • Whole grain bread - 2 slices
  • Mozzarella cheese - 2 slices 
  • Tomato - 2 slices
  • Spinach - 4 leaves
  • Sun dried tomatoes - 4 pieces (4 halves of tomatoes)
  • Garlic - 1 pod
  • Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Grind sun dried tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and red chilli flakes to fine paste.
  2. Spread the tomato paste on both the bread slices. Layer one of the bread with cheese, tomato slices, spinach leaves and other cheese. Top it off with the other bread slice.
  3. Butter the top bread slice and grill it on a pan or panini maker until cheese melts and bread turns crispy brown.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Another alternative for M's breakfast made me try out this Banana Bread. It was super easy to make and tasted yummy! I picked out the wonderful recipe from:

The only change I made to the original recipe was substituted 1/4 cup honey for 1/2 cup of raw sugar mentioned and for some guilt added handful of chocolate chips :)

The ripe bananas give it a wonderful flavor and sweetness so we don't need to worry about using just 1/4 cup honey.

The verdict: I would say M did not really really love it but she liked it and eats 3/4 a slice at a time :) The rest, What are Mom and Dad's for?? We just loved it!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fish Wraps using Leftover Fish Fry

Last weekend was completely a no-cook weekend, but we still relished loads of delicious home cooked meals from our friend "Amy's" Kitchen :) The best I should say was her shallow fried "Masala Fish Fry" and Fish Curry. Not only serving us for the weekend, we took some curry and fish fry for the week. 

Having some tortillas and avocado at home, my first thought was to whip up these easy "Fish Wraps" using the leftover fish fry. 

Thank you for all the delicious food, Amy!!!

Ingredients: Makes 4 wraps

  • Leftover Fish Fry - 10 small pieces cut into bite sized pieces
  • Whole Grain Tortilla - 4 medium size
  • Avocado - 2 small mashed with salt and 1 tsp lime juice
  • Tomato - 1 seeds removed and diced
  • Lettuce - 2 leaves shredded
  • Red onion - 1/2 diced 
  • Green chillies - 2 small chopped fine
  • Lime Juice - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp 
  • Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp chopped fine
  • Salt - to taste

Method: Needs to be done right before serving
  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado with salt and 1 tsp lime juice. Set aside
  2. In a bowl, add chopped onions, tomatoes, lime juice, green chillies, coriander leaves and salt
  3. Warm a tortilla and spread little bit of avocado mash on it, add some tomato-onion salsa, shredded lettuce and fish
  4. Roll it up into a wrap and serve immediately!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chicken Tenders Sandwich

Now, let's all be honest... Don't we all crave fast food atleast once in a while?!?!? I DO.. :) Hence to eliminate the possibilities of feeling guilty and with the help of food blogs, here is my take on Homemade Chicken Sandwich.

Ingredients: Makes 2 sandwiches

For Tenders:
  • Boneless Chicken Breast - 2 cut into tenders
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
  • Pepper powder - 1 tsp
  • Egg - 1
  • Milk - 1/4 cup
  • Oil - to shallow fry (or Deep fry - optional)
  • Salt - to taste
For Sandwich:
  • Sandwich Buns - 2
  • Butter - 2 tsp
  • Lettuce - 2 leaves
  • Tomato - 4 slices
  • Pepper Jack cheese - 2 slices
  • Mayonnaise - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Tomato Ketchup - 1 tsp (optional) 

  1. Wash and clean the chicken tenders and let it marinate with some salt and chilli powder
  2. In a plate, add flour, salt, pepper powder and mix well. Set Aside
  3. In a bowl, beat egg and milk. Set Aside
  4. Dip the marinated chicken tenders in egg milk wash and add it to flour to coat the chicken
  5. It is alright to have small flour lumps on the chicken, as it would give some crunchiness once fried
  6. Heat oil in a pan, fry the floured chicken until crisp and well cooked
  7. Butter the buns and toast them on the cut side. Spread some mayonnaise and tomato ketchup on both sides
  8. Layer lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, cheese, SERVE and RELISH!
  • Instead of chicken, use paneer/tofu/fish

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Orange Blueberry Oat Flax Smoothie

I am so very glad to be back after long long months! It's been double happiness I should say, to restart blogging and to celebrate my 100th post :) So here is a simple smoothie recipe that is not only filled with delicious flavors but packed with whole lot of goodness!

My daughter M has always been a non-picky eater.. so.. far... :) I always keep looking for ways to incorporate healthy eats in all her meals. Her usual breakfast mostly includes grain dosa or scrambled eggs. Just to tweak up her breakfast menu, I wanted to try smoothies. The blog world has lots and lots of delicious smoothie recipes and here I present to you a smoothie that I made with whatever I had at home. 

The result was a flavorful, creamy, pudding-like smoothie!! It was basically SUPER YUM!

The Verdict... YES she LOVED it, finishing it up in no time! :)

Ingredients:  Makes a glassful

  • Rolled Oats - 3 tbsp
  • Flax seed meal - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Orange - 1 small
  • Blueberries - a handful
  • Plain Yogurt - 1 tbsp 
  • Honey - 1 tsp (add as desired)
  • Water - 1 tbsp (add as per desired consistency for smoothie)


  • Add all the ingredients in a blender and let it blend until creamy!
  • Add enough water/yogurt as per desired taste and consistency

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quick & Healthy Chinese Chicken Stir Fry

A perfect side dish for brown rice/white rice/fried rice or as is with some sweet corn chicken soup :) Instead of Chicken, try using Tofu, Paneer or Mushrooms. It's super yummy!

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • Boneless Chicken - 6 strips (Marinate with 1 tbsp Soy Sauce, Salt and Pepper for 10 minutes)
  • Spring Onion - 5 stalks chopped
  • Green Bell Pepper - 1 cubed
  • Red Bell Pepper - 1 cubed
  • Carrot - 1 sliced thin
  • Green Chillies - 3 chopped
  • Ginger - 1 tbsp chopped fine
  • Garlic - 1 tbsp chopped fine
  • Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Rice Vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Tomato Ketchup - 1 tbsp
  • Corn flour paste - 1 tbsp+2 tbsp water
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Heat a tsp oil in a pan, add the chicken pieces and fry until it cooks and turns brown and crispy. Set aside
  2. Add 2 tsp of oil in same pan, add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Let it fry for few seconds
  3. Add all the vegetables, salt and saute them until the vegetables are cooked but still crispy
  4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, tomato ketchup and mix well for 2 minutes
  5. Add in sauteed chicken and corn flour paste. Let it fry for about a minute.
  6. Garnish with few spring onion and Serve Hot!!