Ranch Pasta Salad

BM #106: Week 1, Day 3
Theme : Packed Lunchboxes

It’s almost funny that I am posting this recipe. This is a proper summer pasta salad and it’s a cold, cold day here in Jersey today. The weather was good yesterday and so I thought a salad with fall colors would be great. I wasn’t expecting the temperature to drop so much today.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Even though it’s cold outside, these salads still taste good. When you are having it for lunch, it’s at room temperature and not very cold. My son likes it that way. There is always fruit in his lunchbox, it’s almost always apples and grapes as it stays without getting crushed. Sometimes I add berries in too, but I don’t overcrowd it.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves: 2

Ingredients :

  • 2.5 cups cooked pasta
  • 2 cups diced vegetablesI used cherry tomatoes, orange pepper, zucchini, corn, sliced olives
  • 2 tablespoonsmayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried red chili flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, mix mayo and ranch dressing with salt, red chili flakes and pepper. I use a lot of pepper in pasta salads.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add all the chopped vegetables and the cold pasta.
  3. Mix the dressing, taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve cold.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Advertisements

Olive oil Pasta Salad

BM #105: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Pasta Salads

For Day 3, it’s a very simple pasta salad. All it has is olive oil and some dried herbs. It’s my friend’s recipe and she has made it for us a couple of times. Shreyas really loves it. So I thought of blogging it here, that way I won’t forget about it later!

My friend uses dried Italian seasoning, but I have used a mix of various dried herbs. I mostly have oregano and basil, so many times that’s what I use. I add a good dose of freshly ground pepper when making this. I also add more vegetables– chopped tomatoes, zucchini and thawed corn are the usuals. But here I have done it that way my friend does with just broccoli.

To cook broccoli, you can toss it to the pasta pot when pasta is cooking. I usually add it at the last five minutes. This avoids overcooking. The broccoli floats on top, so it’s easy to take it out. I cook the whole pack of pasta and refrigerate it once cool. That way it’s easy for me to pack pasta for my son’s lunch with different sauces.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cooked pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar,optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice/vinegar if using and the seasonings.
  2. Toss in the pasta and broccoli florets. Mix everything and taste test to adjust seasonings.

Notes:

    You can add more vegetables of your choice to the salad.
    The flavor is Better if the salad rests for an hour or two.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Djuvec Rice


BM# 103: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Balkan States

While looking for recipes from the Balkan states, I came across this dish that’s similar to ratatouille. A little bit of reading online told me that Djuvec (pronounced as joovetch), can be a vegetarian or meat based stew. It can be made with a variety of vegetables and you can add beans or meat to make it a complete meal. When rice is added, it becomes djuvec rice and a main dish that can be served on its own if preferred. The recipe is common to the Balkan states so you might find it marked as Bosnian/ Croatian/ Serbian depending on the blog you read from.

I made it for lunch recently and loved it. To an Indian, this is similar to tomato rice loaded with vegetables and free from the regular masalas.

Read on for the recipe.


Recipe source: Bosnian Djuvec rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth/water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small capsicum, diced small
  • 1 small eggplant, diced small
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced small
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, or per taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a big pan and sauté onions, garlic, capsicum, zucchini and eggplants.
  2. Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the tomatoes and green peas along with chili powder and salt. Mix well and cook until the tomatoes are mushy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in the rice and broth/water. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Let the water come to a boil. Cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all the water, about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat. Done!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Coriander Pesto Pulao

BM# 103: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Recreate into a new dish

I had picked up a bunch each of basil, mint and coriander when I did grocery shopping last month. I made pesto with basil leaves and then made another pesto with the coriander and mint leaves with almonds. Since there was so much pesto, I was looking at ways to use it up beyond pesto pasta and sandwiches. Pesto rice came to my mind and it sounded like a good idea.

Since the base for my pesto was already coriander, I decided to make it similar to the coriander pulao I usually prepare. I still have some pesto leftover, I think I will be making this pulao again. This pairs well with plain yogurt and chips.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced into thin pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 8-10 beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced capsicum
  • Salt

To grind:

  • 1/3 cup mint coriander pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1″ ginger piece

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice in 3 cups of water. Set aside.
  2. In a blender jar, blend everything under the “to grind” list to a smooth paste. You might have to add a tablespoon or two of water to help with grinding. Set aside.
  3. In the Instant Pot, turn the Sauté function on. Add ghee or oil and once it’s hot, add the onions and all the other vegetables. Sauté and cook under the vegetables are almost cooked.
  4. Add the ground pesto coconut paste and cook over low heat for about a minute.
  5. Drain the rice and add it to the pot. Sauté for a minute. Add three cups of water and salt as needed. Cancel the Sauté function and change it to Manual function. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
  6. Serve it hot with an onion Raita or plain yogurt on the side.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week