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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Banana mini muffins with Rye and Oats

  
Not the standard banana muffin, but if eating healthy is a priority, try this out with your own substitutions. This did not have the normal sweetness to it as I reduced the added sugar considerably. I would have added dates if I had them on hand. 

My recipe.

1C Oats

1C Rye Flour

1/2 C All Purpose Flour

1/2 Baking Soda

1t Baking Powder

2t Cinnamon 

3T brown sugar

3/4C raisins

1/4C chopped nuts

3 overripe bananas

Milk as necessary

3t Ghee/butter

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mash bananas in another bowl and add the melted ghee to it. Add the dry ingredients slowly and fold into the banana mixture. If it is too thick, add some milk. Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients. Bake in mini muffin tin at 375F for approx 20 mins.

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Gluten free pizza…

Its difficult to imagine pizza tasting good on anything other than the standard crust. We thought so too…. But we were wrong…after trying gluten free pizza flour mix from our grocery store…what????
A few things that I liked about the gluten free flour…no kneading …. I have made regular dough without a mixer during the 3 years that we were expats…let me just say that I have the biceps to prove it…just my right hand!

Another plus …resting the dough for just 20 minutes… who wants to wait an hour when everyone is hungry….

…And no one needed to be able to toss, roll out, do theatrics or go to Italy (to learn all that) to get the dough perfectly thin…all I did was pat it out with wet hands to a thin crust( remember…no gluten, so no spring action) …. can’t beat that!

After all these pros, if the pizza tasted edible we would have called it a day and gone to bed happy…but it was a shocker when it turned out so amazingly good that I was ruing the biceps (on my right hand) I had developed when we could have been eating this the whole time! Well, the sacrifices you make before discovering gluten free pizza flour sitting on your grocery store shelf!!! And think of buying it! And buying it!!!  

  

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Penne Arrabbiata with Asparagus 

  
Delicious and quick lunch. Penne with olive oil, red chili flakes, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, onion and asparagus. The sauce simmered on the stove while the water boiled and the pasta cooked. Chili flakes in olive oil gives the sauce a nice spicy kick.

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Baked Potato with Vegetarian toppings

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Russet potatoes pierced, oiled, salted and baked in a hot 500 degree convection oven for 45 minutes direct on the oven rack. Topped it with sour cream and salsa made with black beans, red onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lime with salt to season. The most wonderful part was splitting open the potato and see the steam rising and watching the pat of butter melt on top. Goosebumps!
A great vegan option minus the sour cream.

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Ragi Sevai

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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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Mozzarella Tomato Basil Panini

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What’s my snack? A common question kids ask as soon as they come come. Today we made oh-so-gooey panini with fresh mozzarella, tomato and home grown basil seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper on honey wheat bread.

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Tomato Salad

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Beautiful red and yellow cherry tomato salad with fresh mozzarella, red onion and homegrown basil. Dressed with lime, balsamic vinegar, pepper and dried Italian herbs.

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Quinoa, Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

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Of all quinoa experiments, this dish was a definite winner. Started by sautéing onions, ginger and garlic in olive oil. Added a pinch of turmeric powder, tsp of coriander powder and a 1/4 tsp of chipotle in adobo sauce. In went chopped tomatoes and a cup of lentils. After sautéing for 5 minutes, added enough water for the lentils to cook. When the lentils were half done, rinsed and added a cup of quinoa and diced sweet potatoes? Cooked for another 10-15 minutes. Seasoned with salt and chopped cilantro. 

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Crepes with Quinoa

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The recipe is the same as Rice and Lentil crepes except that I substituted half the rice quantity with quinoa. Quinoa lends its own flavor to the dosa that is unique and delicious. Fermenting the batter improves taste further.

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