Creamy mushroom soup


We have come to the end of a month long blogging marathon and this is the last recipe of the day. It’s adapted a little from All recipes site

The recipe is very simple – cook the mushrooms and onions, make a roux with flour and milk, and cook everything together. Usually cream is used for this recipe, but I decided to go lighter and used milk instead. I also didn’t want a really thick soup, so decreased the amount of flour a bit and increased the liquids. I usually add cooked white beans or black beans to my soups to up the filling factor. Here it would have helped with increasing the protein also, but I had to skip it since I didn’t have any that day. 

Read on for the recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups chopped white mushrooms 
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoon butter in a pan. Sauté onions until it’s a little pink. Add the mushrooms and cook until it changes color. 
  2. Add one cup of vegetable broth or water and let the mushrooms cook completely. Take off the heat and once cool, purée in a blender, keeping a little aside for adding on top at the time of serving. 
  3. Heat the rest of the butter in a pan. Add the flour and mix it for a few seconds. Add the milk, seasonings and the puréed mushroom mix. Cook everything stirring frequently to avoid lumps. Add one cup of water or broth (or more) if the soup is too thick. 
  4. Take off the heat and serve with a piece of bread. 

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Microwave Scrambled Eggs

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Scrambled eggs? That too on a microwave? I know what you are thinking! It shouldn’t be in a blog, right?! Its that simple a recipe!! And yet, yours truly had no idea that this can be done until I saw it in a cookbook.

Growing up, microwave wasn’t a part of our kitchen. Amma would cook only what is needed for the day. She would cook in the morning  and leave it on top of the stove. It would all be consumed by dinner time. Rice is prepared fresh for dinner and that would impart the effect of a hot meal. You take a plate, serve yourself and eat. That’s it! There was no question about reheating the meals.

It was only after my son was born that we bothered to get a microwave. The sole purpose was reheating food as I was refrigerating food more than my mother did. So what I trying to say is that, though this recipe is very simple, I have never thought about preparing eggs this way until recently. Please don’t laugh at me :D. I am compensating for my ignorance and delayed enlightment by making this recipe regularly though.

The recipe is adapted from Pam Anderson’s  The Perfect recipe for losing weight and eating right. The original recipe had buttermilk and a small chopped scallion too in it. My husband wasn’t a fan of the tangy flavor of buttermilk at first, but he was happy man when I served it as a filling for a sandwich. So I would recommend milk instead of buttermilk if you prefer. Now I completely skip it and cook the eggs alone with salt and pepper.

Another thing to keep in mind is the timings. That would vary from one machine to another. I followed the book as such and it turned out to be okay for me. You need to experiment a bit in case the timings don’t work out for you. The idea is to cook until it is almost done and to cover and cook using the residual heat for the last part.

2MW_Scrambled_eggs

Recipe adapted from:  The Perfect recipe for losing weight and eating right.

Serves : 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheese
  • salt, pepper and red chilli flakes as needed for seasoning

Method:

Grease a microwave proof dish very lightly with cooking spray or teeny tiny bit of butter. Crack the eggs, add the buttermilk or milk and salt, red pepper flakes and pepper onto the bowl.Whisk until its mixed well.

Microwave for about a minute until its partially set. Take out, scramble with a fork and microwave again for another 45 seconds or 1 minute until its almost set.

Add cheese and scramble again with a fork. Cover and keep aside for a minute at least for the eggs to set completely. Serve as such or as a filling for a sandwich.
3MW_Scrambled_eggs

This recipe goes to this week’s Cooking from Cook Book Challenge. Please follow the link to know more about the event.
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Easy Chana chaat

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3:00 PM is panic time at my place. My son comes home by 4. Usually I give him rice and veggies leftover from our lunch. But there are times when I would have managed an easy lunch somehow and then there won’t be anything left for him to eat. Even though I know that he comes by 4, I choose only 3 PM to start panicking. I am cool as cucumber until then.

On one of those days, I made this quick chana chaat using canned beans. If you can plan ahead you can always soak and cook chana. The chutneys takes only a few minutes to make or you can always use ready made ones. I have used the recipe from Vaishali’s space. Ideally you use only sweet chutney for this, but I added a teeny tiny bit of green chutney too. My son loves the sweet chutney a lot. I make paani puri with aloo filling with ready made puris too, but for today’s post, it is the chana chaat.

Chaat in general is not exactly healthy, but this particular one is definitely healthy. There is no deep frying involved, its just cooked chana with chutneys, spices and a bit of yogurt. I added a spoon of ready made sev for a bit of crunch, but its not enough to make the healthy factor go away.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
For the green chutney:

  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 green chili (or per taste)
  • juice of a lemon
  • salt as needed

Grind everything together to a fine paste. Some people add ginger and garlic as well when grinding. You will need only a teaspoon or so of this chutney, so you can skip this if you want.

For the sweet chutney:

  • 1/2 cup of tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  •  a pinch each chili powder, garam masala and hing
  • salt as needed

Mix 1 tablespoon tamarind paste with half cup of water to get 1/2 cup of pulp. Or soak a small gooseberry sized tamarind ball in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes and then extract the pulp and discard the fibrous bits. Bring the pulp to a boil with jaggery (or sugar). Add salt and the powders. Taste test and adjust if needed. Let it cook until it thickens a bit. Take off the heat and once its cooled down, use it in the chaat.

For the chaat:

  • 1 can garbonzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small potato, boiled
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala, ready made
  • lemon juice and salt as needed
  • a tablespoon of sweet chutney
  • a teaspoon of green chutney
  • a teaspoon of sev, optional

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add the drained and washed beans, onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, potatoes, chili powder, chaat masala. Mix it in carefully and add lemon juice and salt to taste. You can add more or less chaat masala according to your preference. Add some sweet chutney and green chutney. Serve with some sev on top.

2chana_chaat

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Instant Pot Rajma Pulao

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People use weekends to catch up with stuff they are lagging behind. For me its just the opposite. I always let things go on weekends and struggle on week days to catch up with everything. My blogging front always takes a set back during the weekends.

Now ask me what I do on weekends to keep me super busy. Am I busy slaving in the kitchen and dishing out delicious curries and naans to keep my man happy? Definitely Not. In fact we eat outside, so there may not be even minimal cooking!

Am I dusting the house from top to bottom to make it squeaky clean? Goodness, No. I don’t do that on even on weekdays!!

Is my house flowing with guests for parties? No again.

Still the weekends – I don’t even know how, gets over before I know it. We might go out for a bit. But for the most part, its a laid back lifestyle, trying to catch up with friends and family whenever we can. Cooking, if at all there is any, is about making simple meals like this Pulao. Recipes where you add everything to the Instant Pot and let it do all the work. A neighbor of mine gave me another recipe for the basic pulao masala, I will post that also soon.

So after reading about my busy-doing-nothing weekend, lets move on to the recipe. Read on for the pictorial.

3rajma_pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 big onion, sliced into thin pieces
  • 1 big tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or per taste)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt as needed
  • 1 cup of cooked rajma
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
  • 1 cup of basmati rice

Method:

Soak rajma overnight and cook until its done, about 15 minutes in Manual mode if you are using Instant Pot.

Wash and soak one cup of basmati and set aside. Set the Instant Pot in saute mode. Heat the oil or ghee. Add the cloves (and if you prefer a small cinnamon stick and a bay leaf). Add the sliced onions and saute till pink.  Now time to add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.

Add the masala powders – coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Mix it in and cook for a couple more minutes. Now add the cooked rajma.

Follow it up with kasoori methi. Mix it all in. Drain the soaked basmati and add to the pot along with 2 cups of water. Taste test the water and adjust the seasonings and salt if needed.

Switch the mode to Manual. Set timer for three minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Wait for the rice to cool down a bit before fluffing with a fork. Serve with yogurt or raita.

4rajma_pulao

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Pasta Salad

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My son stands against anything with pasta and rice. He does eat both, but with such a long face that it almost makes me guilty. Almost… But I don’t give up on these two foods and keep bringing them to the table irrespective of the nasty looks, sighs and nays.

The kid does like salads, so I have started adding a bit of pasta to his salad. He seems to be okay with that. So now, once in a while, I pack a cold pasta salad for his lunch. I prepare it the night before and refrigerate so that the flavors can mingle.

A good thing about salad is that you don’t need to have an exact recipe. Whatever is available in the fridge paired with a bit of  dressing makes an excellent one. My go-to salad dressing is a mix of mayonnaise and honey mustard, but I am slowly including more of the classic olive oil and lemon juice now a days.

For a salad, I like the combination of vegetables with beans and fruits. The bit of sweetness that the fruit imparts gives a lovely flavor and the beans fill you up. Cheese is more for my son’s taste buds. For this particular dish, I had some ready made taco seasoning to be used up. So that went into the dressing with olive oil and lemon juice. This video from Tasty is what I followed for the dressing. I had to skip the jalapenos and garlic since it was for my son’s lunch box. Taco seasoning is a mix of spices and can be made at home as well. Here is a recipe if you want to make it at home.

3tacco_pasta_salad

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from: Tasty – Pasta Salad 4 ways

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked red kidney beans
  • 2 slices of cheese torn into small pieces or 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced mangoes
  • 3 tablespoons sliced olives
  • 1 big tomato, diced
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt as needed

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ready made taco seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, optional
  • 1 tablespoon jalapenos, optional

Method:

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cook roughly about one cup pasta in boiling water with salt to get two cups of cooked pasta. Drain and let it cool completely.
  3. Combine the salad ingredients to the pasta. Slowly add the dressing, mixing it in. You don’t have to use all the dressing, you can stop when you feel that the taste is fine.
  4. Do a taste test before adding salt, since pasta was cooked in salted water and taco seasoning also has salt.

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