Jambalaya is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French influence consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with the rice. I decided to make a vegetarian version of this dish using whatever vegsetables I had on hand and kidney beans as a protein substitute for the meat.
This is a highly recommended dish to anyone who has only 30-45 mins to cook and is looking for a hearty meal to feed the family. And a big plus ? it requires only 1 pot!
Vegetarian Jambalaya (Serves 4)
3 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pounded
2 celery sticks, sliced thin
1/2 a large bell pepper, cut into big pieces
1 litre veg stock
1 can of tinned tomatoes
6-8 baby okras
6-8 baby corns
1 cup of Arboria rice
1 can of kidney beans
Salt & Pepper
Chilli Flakes or Paprika
1) First, take a large heavy pot and fry the onion, garlic, celery and bell peper for 8-10 mins till cooked.
2) Pour in the veg stock.
3) Add in the diced canned tomatoes. If you don't have any canned tomatoes, just chop up two medium sized tomatoes and add them to the pot. At this point, add salt, pepper and some chilli flakes for heat.
4) Next, add in the washed Arborio rice. Arboria rice is recommended when your dish requires a creamy texture. If you don't have this specific rice, any shortgrained white or brown rice will do. Keep stirring regularly to avoid the rice sticking to the base of the pot.
6) When the stock has reduced in quantity, add the okra pods and the baby corns. I don't add this too early as then the okra will overcook and turn mushy.
7) Next add in the kidney beans.
8) When the stock has been totally absorbed by the rice and vegetables, turn off the fire and let it cool slightly before serving warm, garnished with parsley leaves.
9) Enjoy this wholesome guilt-free, gluten-free vegan Hearty Vegetarian Jambalaya.
An easy french toast recipe that allows you to whip up these sweet delicious protein rich bread triangles in minutes!
Ingredients (3 servings)
3 slices of bread, cut into triangles
1/2 cup fresh milk
2 tbsps caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
1)Mix all the ingredients and whisk them till well combined.
2) Dip each triangle into the egg batter and let it soak for a few minutes.
3) Heat a skillet and swig a little canola oil.
4) Fry the dipped bread triangles in batches.
5) You can have them on their own or serve with honey and whipped cream too!
There are tons of pancake recipes out there. Why is this recipe so special? Well, this recipe is from my sister June who passed it to me years ago. It has been very well received for years in my family and friends. It’s a simple basic recipe for fluffy soft melt in your mouth pancakes and so many other variations can be made out of this one basic recipe. Like you could add mashed bananas, blueberries or raspberries or choc chips etc. I added chop chips this time round at the request of my younger Daughter Riya.
Ingredients ( for 6 pancakes)
1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsps caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup fresh milk
2tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Other additions ( Optional)
1) Mix all the dry ingredient first and then add all the wet ingredients.
Get a pancake pan ready and when hot, grease it with a mix of butter and canola oil. Pour the batter in and add the chop chips on TOP. Drizzle a few drops of butter and canola oil mix.
2) When the bottom looks light brown, flip over and let it brown on the other side.
Enjoy with a drizzle of maple syrup on top and butter on the side.
Quiches are savory pies made with a short crust pastry. It can be rather time consuming making the pastry, blind baking them and then adding in the filling and then baking them again. A crustless version is easier and even though we may miss the yummy buttery crust, having no crust helps us to dig into the filling direct. Agree? :)
I have used the most basic of vegetarian filling - spinach and mushrooms, with skim milk and Parmesan and Mozarella cheese. It is so easy that the prepartion takes barely 30mins and another hour for cooking and baking. Spinach and Mushroom Pie will make a great party dish and will be an awesome breakfast surprise for your weekend family time too!
Ingredients (for 6 slices)
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
200gm button mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly
125 gm fresh baby spinach, washed
4 large eggs (reduce to 3 if you are watching your cholesterol)
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup grated Mozarella Cheese
Salt & Pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 180 deg C or 350 deg F. Coat a 9-inch pie dish with olive oil spray and leave it aside.
2) Gather all the ingrdients. TOP Picture - Sliced mushrooms, washed baby spinach, canola oil and minced garlic. BOTTOM Picture - salt, pepper, skim milk, Parmesan Cheese, Mozarella cheese and eggs.
3) Heat the canola oil in a pan and fry the minced garlic for 2 mins. Then add in the sliced mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper.
4) Once the mushrooms have cooked , add in the spinach and let it wilt.
5) After 3-5 mins, it will look like this. There will be a lot of water from the mushroom and spinach. If you cant wait for all this moisture to evaporate, just pour away the water like I did. Keep aside.
6) Get a mixing bowl and whisk the eggs, skim milk and Parmesan cheese together. Season with salt and pepper.
7) Pour the sauted spinach and mushroom into the oiled pie dish and spread it out evenly.
8) Pour the egg mixture into the pie pan.
9) Spread the mozarella cheese all over.
10) Bake in the preheated oven for 40 45 mins or till the crust is golden brown.
11) Enjoy your crustless Spinach and Mushroom Pie !
Watercress plants are an aquatic perennial herb found in abundance alongside slow running waterways and near natural springs. Watercress leaves and stems are both edible and are rich in many Vitamins - Vitamin A, C, E and K and other essential minerals. Obviously very low in fat and cholestrol and a good source of protein, folate, magnesium, potassium (I could go on and on here). But the best thing is it makes a great soup - both in western version nd the chinese version. I have posted the western version here wih home made croutons. Makes a great winter warming soup. The recipe is skinny too - only skim milk and olive oil has been used. You can substitute with butter and cream for added richness.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1) Cube the potato and chop the onion finely.
2) Clean and wash the watercress leaves and stems.
3) Heat a deep soup pot and pour 2 tbsp EVOO. Fry the chopped onion, minced garlic and potato cubes for 3-5 mins.
4) Add in the vegetable stock and skim milk and cover. Cook for 5 mins till the potato cubes are done.
5) Add the watercress leaves and stems and cook for another 3-5 mins.
6) This is how it would look at the end of the cooking time.
7) Process this in a blender and return it back to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
8) To make your own croutons, cut bread into cubes and fry them in a pan with EVOO till they turn light brown on all sides. I used foccacia bread for that earthy meditaranean taste.
9) Serve with homemade croutons and a swirl of EVOO. Top it off with a few low fat Feta Cheese crumbles for that extra flavor.
What follows is a twist to my earlier recipe on 27th Jan 2015 Grilled Feta Cheese and Potato Cutlets ...I have simply added cauliflower florets instead of just having plain potato cutlets. The cauliflower blended well and we could hardly make out that it was hidden in the cutlets. Another great way to integrate vegetables in kid loving great snacks. These delicious cutlets always add a wonderful addition to our meals. You won't comprehend what I mean until you taste it for yourself :)
(Makes 18-20 cutlets)
2 medium potatoes
200 gm cauliflower
1/3 cup of chopped scallions
1 cup of feta cheese crumbles
2cups of bread crumbs - 1 for mixing with the cutlets and another cup for dredging
1 cup of skim milk
Oil for grilling
Steam the potatoes and the cauliflower seperately till soft and then mash well.
Mix the mashed potato and cauliflower with scallions, feta cheese, 1 cup of bread crumbs and salt. Watch out for the salt as Feta cheese comes with its own salt load.
Shape into 2 inch patties and then dredge in the skim milk and then breadcrumbs after.
Grill on a low pan with minimal oil on medium to high heat till golden brown on both sides. Again, because of its rather delicate nature, handle the flipping very carefully.
Enjoy with, well....with anything !!
These vegetable and tofu skewers will brighten up any barbecue or parties. An easy marinade and an even easier way to get all the ingredients grilled, Who wants to bite into uncooked mushrooms or onion? Simple Fried Rice as a side dish helps to complete the meal. Vegan and Vegetarian. Gluten and Dairy Free.
These skewers can be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes (or an hour if you are marinating longer) and the simple fried rice prob another 30 mins? This whole meal can be prepared in an hour flat. In fact, I constantly challenge myself to cook a meal, be it lunch or dinner, in 1 hr. Do you think I succeed?
Ingredients for Vegetable and Tofu Skewers( 4 sticks)
1 small zucchini, sliced medium thick
8 white mushrooms, stems trimmed and washed
1/2 yellow onion, cut into big pieces
1/2 block of firm tofu, cubed medium
2 red baby bell peppers, sliced medium thick
Oil for grilling the tofu and Vegetables.
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbsps EVOO
Freshly Ground Pepper
Method for Vegetable and Tofu Skewers
Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Immerse all the vegetables and tofu in the marinade and keep aside for 30mins to an hour. The longer the better as the flavors would have then infused in the vegetables and tofu.
After an hour, take a grilling pan and heat 2 - 3 tbsp. canola oil. Grill the vegetables and tofu, turning over, until they are cooked and tofu is golden brown on all sides.
Pierce the vegetables and tofu with a skewer in an alternating fashion.
Serve warm with a Simple Fried Rice.
Ingredients for Simple Fried Rice (Serves 4)
1.5 cups of Jasmine Rice, cooked and cooled
2 tbsps. canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
3 Garlic cloves, pounded
1 cup of mixed vegetables (carrot, peas, beans and lima beans)
1 tbsp. sambal oelek or any other chilli paste.
1 tbsp. mushroom seasoning
Light Soy sauce per your preference.
Method for Simple Fried Rice
Heat a deep pot and fry the onion and then the garlic till light golden brown,
Add in all the seasonings and the mixed vegetables and cook for 5-10 mins.
Put the cooked rice in and combine well.
Serve warm with any vegetable and tofu dish.
Homemade Garlic Bread or Bites beat the store bought ones because you can use a healthier bread as your base and you can use fresh garlic in olive oil instead of frozen herbed garlic butter loaded with preservatives and salt!
These bites make great accompaniment to soups or they can be served as party appetizers. I have used a lot of garlic, an entire bulb to be precise, but if you are not a fan of this pungent but health miracle, reduce to your preference. The same goes for the scallions.
And if you are a garlic fan like me, then would you agree that there is nothing more heavenly than the beautiful aroma of fried garlic?
Here is the recipe for my last post (for the time being) in my series of Bites :
Ingredients ( for 6 Garlic Bites)
2 tbsp EVOO
10 garlic cloves, pounded or ground
6 slices of multigrain baguette
2 stalks of scallions, sliced thinly or 1 tsp dried chives
A pinch of sea salt
Heat a pot with EVOO and fry the pounded garlic till very light golden brown.
Add in the scallions and toss in the pinch of sea salt. Not too much because the baguette usually comes with sufficient sodium.
Switch off the fire after a minute and spread this garlic scallion mix over the baguette evenly.
Grill in the toaster for 5 minutes or till golden brown around the baguette slices and on the top. If you grilling large quantities, you can use the oven at 350 deg F or 180 deg C for 5-10 mins. Do keep an eye so that baguette slices don't burn.
I simply love Avocado - that creamy buttery fruit mostly found in South American and Mexican cuisines. Did you know that Avocados are also known as alligator pears or buttery fruits??!! Well, I didn't.. The versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of mono unsaturated fat. They are a nutrient dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
These Avocado Bites are so easy to prepare and it requires minimal preparation time. They would be great as sides or as party appetizers. When I had prepared these today morning, the bites were rather cold by the time I could eat them after the photographing. Imagine, if they had been served warm straight from the toaster or the oven....Mmmmm.
1 multigrain baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices (You can use any other type of baguette but I personally like the taste of multigrain because of the added nutty taste and flavor)
1 ripe avocado
Sea salt and Black Pepper Grinders
Red Pepper flakes
Preheat your oven to 350 deg F.
Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and toast them lightly till golden brown (roughly 5 mins). Remove from oven and arrange them on a large serving plate.
Peel the avocado and cut them thinly into 1 inch slices to fit on the baguette.
Arrange the avocado slices on the baguette - roughly around 3-4 per baguette slice.
Sprinkle lemon juice all over the avocado slices to prevent oxidizing (believe me - it doesn't look pretty with those dark patches) and then grind sea salt and pepper over the bites. Toss red pepper flakes for added heat.
Sprinkle more olive oil over the bites and serve warm immediately.
On a personal note :
Most days, when I have ripe avocados at home, I would sprinkle lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and gobble it up with my egg white omelette for breakfast. Its another simpler way to enjoy this delicious fruit.
What can be more comforting than a plate of cheesy warm macaroni and cheese? I was not a fan of mac and cheese in restaurants because they were loaded with just too much sodium! My younger daughter Riya loves Mac & Cheese and I felt awful depriving her of such a comforting dish. I came across an online recipe with sharp cheddar cheese but I felt it would be a little too sharp for children. I used mild cheddar instead and substituted full fat butter with light butter (50% less fat).
This is a recipe for a basic Mac & Cheese. You can even bake it with breadcrumbs sprinkled on the top. There are so many other varieties online as well.
Ingredients (for 4)
3 cups medium size elbow macaroni/shell macaroni
2 tbsps. light butter (or the usual butter if you prefer regular mac and cheese)
2tbsps all purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
4 tbsps. grated Cheddar Cheese
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Parsley Flakes for garnish
Boil macaroni in salted water till al dente. Drain and set aside.
Take a medium sized pot and melt the light butter.
Add flour and whisk until it becomes a thick paste.
Next, add milk and cheese alternatively till cheese melts and the whole mixture become sticky.
Then, add in the boiled macaroni and give it a stir.
Check for seasoning and add in salt and pepper if required.
Garnish with parley flakes and serve hot with roasted vegetables/baked potato wedges and a simple garden salad.