Our Veggie Eats

All about the food we eat at home, pack in our lunch boxes, and try everywhere else…. And feel it's blog worthy!

Quinoa Pongal/Vegetarian Quinoa Risotto without Cheese

Pongal is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish made with rice and yellow mung beans. Quite similar to Italian risotto without cheese. Cooked mung beans makes it creamy. This is quite the favorite dish at our home. Sometimes it feels wrong to eat a lot of white rice, which is quite common in Indian cooking. Hence the urge to try a healthy substitution. So out went the white rice and in went quinoa! But this is not to say that I do this every time I make Pongal!

1/2 C quinoa rinsed

1/4 C yellow mung dal rinsed

Pressure cook the two with 3 C water, pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Crush 1t pepper and 1t cumin together. Julienne 1/2 pice of ginger. And take 5-6 broken cashews and a few curry leaves. In a pan heat some ghee (at least 2t, more tastes better) and add the ginger, torn curry leaves and cashews. After the cashews get a golden color, add crushed pepper and cumin. Sauté until a nice aroma arises. Veggies like onion, bell peppers, spinach, carrots make the dish even healthier. Add the cooked quinoa and lentils and stir till you get a nice porridge consistency. Serve steaming hot in a bowl with a 1/8t of ghee on top.

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There are so many variations to the delectable Poha that I never tire of it. It is great for breakfast or for a quick and tasty snack after school or work. It’s easy to make and takes only a few minutes. 

This version has toasted peanuts, green chilies, shallots, curry leaves, shredded coconut, cilantro and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious!


Easy Naan Pizza


Store bought Naan topped with pesto, tomato, and mozzarella for a quick and easy individual size pizza. Great for the lunchbox as well!

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Ragi Sevai


Ragi Sevai takes a bit of planning to dish out as a breakfast menu item on a weekday morning but it is very filling and wards off pangs of hunger before lunch. I prepare the dough and press it through a tenkuzhal press into idli moulds the previous day and keep it in the refrigerator. The next morning, I steam it and sauté the vegetables and finish the dish.

Preparation: To 2 cups boiling water add salt to taste and 2 tsp oil. Lower the heat to simmer, and add 1.5 cups of Ragi flour. Stir it into a dough and switch off the heat. When cool enough to handle, press it through tenkuzhal press into idi moulds. All this can be done the day before. Refrigerate if preparing for the next day. Steam the Sevai for 10-15 minutes. In a pan, heat about 2 tbsp of sesame oil. Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds, a tsp of urad and chana dal and a pinch of asafetida. After the mustard sputters and the dals get golden brown, add curry leaves, finely chopped ginger, green chillies, cashews, chopped vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, peas ) and sauté. Add salt to taste. Add the steamed Ragi Sevai and mix well. Add grated coconut and chopped coriander and serve hot.

Ragi or Finger millet is a good source of fiber and calcium.

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Cauliflower Paratha ( Indian Flatbread)


Grated cauliflower, potato, onion, green chili, and coriander cooked with coriander, chili and turmeric was the stuffing for the Parathas. So yum with plain yogurt.

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Vegetarian Lunch


Homemade Paratha ( Indian flatbread) with potato and onion fry vegetable, avocado salad with tomatoes and red onion, Indian mango pickle and a mixed fruit smoothie with chia.

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Grilled Vegetarian Sandwich


Grilled, seasoned asparagus and veggie patty on hearty whole grain bread. Avocado with lime spread instead of butter to make in a all in one sandwich (Hey, it’s like eating a salad as well, right?)

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Vegetarian Lasagna without Ricotta

Vegetarian Lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna usually conjures up a dish with a lot of Ricotta cheese. Not one of my favorites as it usually makes the dish dense; devoid of any flavor.

Having procured a few 24 oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes, we made Marinara sauce with garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. These tomatoes are really good; not too acidic and the sauce has a very light texture. Though it’s easy to buy Marinara, watch out for the sodium levels! A quick pesto with handful fresh basil, 1/8 C Pecans, 1 oz. Parmesan and 2 T olive oil all crushed together with mortar and pestle. For veggies, we diced red and yellow bell peppers, zucchini, onions and spinach. Plenty of it! Sautéed in olive oil with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Then it was just a matter of layering the sauces, lasagna noodles and veggies; topped off with about 4oz each of Parmesan and Mozarella cheese. Baked in a 375F oven for about 40 minutes. Usually it is best to let it rest for a few minutes but we were all very hungry and couldn’t wait! Leftovers were packed for todays’ lunch, much to the delight of everyone!

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Good Old Sandwich

Focaccia Sandwich

Focaccia Sandwich

Lunch made easy with this homemade Focaccia bread filled with cheddar, grilled asparagus, caramelized onions and jalapenos (just for the adults). I was looking for a good recipe for Focaccia and this one from Anne Burrell seems to be a keeper. Very simple to make and helps when I can’t find my favorite bread at the grocery store. Truth be told, even though fresh homemade bread tastes the best, I am very likely to just buy some kind of good bread if available. Much to the chagrin to everyone at home 🙂 After all, warm bread right out of the oven is irresistible!

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Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob

Fire roasted Corn on the Cob

Fire roasted Corn on the Cob

So easy to do. Fire Roasted corn on the cob is a quick fix if you have a gas cooktop. Simply peel off the husk and all the silk and roast directly on the gas grill. Keep turning (tongs are good for this) until the entire corn is roasted. Enjoy the popping sounds as well. It takes less than 5 minutes for each. I like mine with a rub of lime and a sprinkle of cayenne.

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