I love baby eggplants but in India we always removed the skin and cooked it to a point where it gets mushy and it would drive me
nuts when my mom would insist that i eat this mushy eggplant curry with my rotis/bread. I wanted to come up with an eggplant dish that I would rather enjoy to eat than be forced to eat:(
So here goes people!
This is by far my best take on the Mighty Eggplant! and takes you less than 15 minutes to prepare this. Its an awesome dish to consider if you have guests coming over.
4-8 baby eggplants
Goat cheese crumbs
5-6 Basil leaves
Salt to taste
Lemon pepper powder 1/4 teaspoon
Garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon
Finely chopped onions- 1/4 cup
Habanero Mango Salsa( I sometimes make this at home using habanero peppers and finely diced mango cubes with onions and tomatoes but you can always find and buy a bottle of any salsa at the supermarket if you do not want to deal with the heat of habanero peppers)
Note: You can substitute any salsa depending on your or the guest’s tolerance to spice levels. BUT I strongly recommend this combination:) Trust me its delish!!!if you can tolerate spice or heat!
Cut the baby eggplants in half and place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper(for easy clean up). Then sprinkle salt, black pepper, lemon pepper and garlic powder on top of each half to make sure that they are well seasoned. Then drizzle some olive oil on top of each half and top it with some chopped onions, 1/4 teaspoon of the habanero mango salsa and garnish with some crumbs of goat cheese and chiffonades of basil.
Stick this into the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes. Voila! I insist on a particular combination of salsa and cheese for this particular recipe since the habanero (heat) and the mango (sweet) in the salsa cuts the tanginess of the goat cheese and the flavors become so well balanced.
Have you heard of heaven on earth?????? This dish of mine exactly feels like “heaven on earth”. Growing up as a child, my “PAATI” (nana/grandma) struggled to make me and my brother to get to eat fruits!!!!!! So she used to make this dish and it would be gone in one second:) Just like that…..
Fortunately or unfortunately:) History repeats itself. So I make this yummylicious dish for my kids as a snack (and guess who shares their snack????)and they wipe the plate clean and I mean CLEAN!!! Please try this with your kids and let me know if it worked???and I PROMISE IT WILL:) You can also serve this as a dessert if you are entertaining. Add a scoop of COCONUT ICE CREAM on top and its out of the world!!!!!! Also, if you have not-so-ripe bananas this recipe will sweeten them up and is a great way to use them.
This is how I make it:
I chop up my bananas into thin mini slices and throw in a pan not too hot with a tad bit of clarified butter in it! Trust me guys, these are small cravings and my blog always screams out Moderation so a little doesnt hurt. You can also add olive oil and I add some brown sugar and let it caramelize on a low flame for about 10 minutes. You dont want to burn the sugar so keep the fame low.
And you have Heaven on a plate! I plate mine with some basil leaves and sweetened coconut flakes- Delish!!!! Enjoy!!!!
Last weekend, I was at this brunch place in Montclair, New Jersey- Absolutely fabulous and I was thrilled to see their Vegan and Vegetarian selections on the menu.
After pondering over an extensive menu:) and the indecisive person that I am esp when it comes to food- I decided to try their Vegetarian Chickpea burger with baked Sweet Potato Fries. I must tell you this that during my stay at Double Tree in L A prior to filming Master Chef, I happened to order their Vegetarian burger made of chickpeas and it was falling apart/ crumbling to say the least and dry!!!!
This one that I tried at Montclair was phenomenal!!!! Moist, crisp, dense and came with onion, tomato, sprouts:) and pickle!
OK now, I was also thinking of coming up with a bunch of dishes with Tempeh and have been experimenting in my kitchen. Suddenly, after we finish brunch, I run across the street to WHOLE FOODS and my husband thinks I have lost it as always 🙂 I grab an organic slab of 5 GRAIN TEMPEH. Now many of you may wonder what TEMPEH is?
TEMPEH is made of natural culturing process with organic grains like soybeans, brown rice, millet, barley, rye, apple cider vinegar and tempeh culture (typically Rhisopus oligosporus)LOL (thats my inner Microbiologist speaking out). It is low in calories and a great substitute to meat due to its HIGH PROTEIN content. Tempeh originated in Indonesia and has a distinctive nutty taste and nougat-like textured.
The thing about TEMPEH I have learnt over the past few months is that it easily absorbs the flavors of the other foods with which it is cooked making it adaptable to many types of dishes. I tried substituting TEMPEH with the Indian Cottage Cheese that I use in my traditional Curry and it turned out delicious!!!
According to my research- the soy protein in tempeh tends to lower cholesterol levels, while consuming protein from animal sources tends to raise them, since they also include saturated fat and cholesterol.
I can go on and on about health benefits and effect of TEMPEH on cholesterol ………After 3 days of trips to the park with kids, I decided to take a break today and cook up something with the Tempeh that I had picked at Whole Foods. I decide to make an awesome burger with TEMPEH. I love beets and so decided to use a beet sauce and bake some squash chips to go with my burger. The key is to season my tempeh with a bunch of my toasted spices and to use a binding agent !! The binding agent that I used in this case was CHICK PEAS and it turned out beautiful. I could use potatoes but chose to give Chick peas a shot! I use olive oil and use fresh GRAY SQUASH from my Farmers Market to bake some chips to go with my TEMPEH burger:)
Chop up the onion, garlic and tomatoes finely. Remove the stems of the mushrooms and cut them into half. Take a wet paper cloth and wipe them to take off any dirt on them. Take a pan, add a teaspoon oil, transfer the chopped onion, garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add cumin, coriander, cayenne, curry powder and salt to taste.
Then transfer the mushrooms and saute with the rest for about 5 min’s or so. For the sauce, add cilantro, basil and coconut milk in a blender and blend well. Add salt to taste. Transfer the sauce to the pan and cook for 2 min’s under a low flame.
For the garnish, cut the ginger into thin strips length wise and saute with some honey or sugar.
Mushrooms-Plant of immortality?? Growing up in India, we never ate mushrooms and was never cooked in my household or my husband’s ! Me and my husband never tried mushrooms here since we were never raised eating one back home. So I had to do some research to make a delicioussssss dish that would get us to love shrooms!
Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D. It is such an excellent substitute to meat for vegetarians like me and my husband. I came up with this dish and OMG !!!!!!and there s never turning back on the shroomssss ever again:)
I make this delicious sauce with cilantro, basil and coconut milk(very little!!!) and pan sear the mushrooms with onions and peppers. The best part is yet to come- Candied Ginger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Trust me -its heavenly and I mean it. You must try this dish and you will fall in love with mushrooms. My husband did and he’s a hard one to crack( LOL )
I plate the dish with some of my cilantro basil coconut milk sauce and place the pan seared mushrooms with onions and peppers and on top for the garnish——-its Candied Gingerrrrrrrrr.
This is one of my most prized possessions and so email me if you would like to try this and I will send you the recipe:)