Monthly Archives: January 2012

Vegetarian Baked Ziti


  • 4 oz pasta such as Penne, Rotini etc.
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1, 10 oz pack frozen mixed vegetables
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ¾ cups pasta sauce
  • ¼ cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • About 1 cup or more mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling


  • Cook pasta and drain.  Set aside
  • Add pasta saucepan and ricotta cheese to a saucepan and cook on medium heat until ricotta cheese is melted and sauce start bubbling.
  • Set aside
  • Pre heat oven to 400F
  • Add oil to a skillet and when hot add onion and sauté until soft
  • Add garlic and sauté for another minute or two
  • Now add cumin and fry until fragrant.
  • Thaw vegetables and add to the skillet and cook until all the water is absorbed and the vegetables are soft.  Add chili powder
  • Now add the cooked sauce to the vegetables and mix well.
  • Add cooked pasta to the vegetables and mix thoroughly
  • Transfer to a oven proof dish and sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes or the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly
  • Let cool and when serving sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese
  • Serves: about 2 – 3 as a main dish

Eggless Banana Cake

I have always wanted to make eggless cake.  I found this eggless banana cake recipe from  I modified that recipe quite a bit for my taste.  I reduced the amount of sugar and replaced castor sugar with brown sugar.  I like the taste of brown sugar since it’s not too sharp.  I also added  lot of orange juice which gives a nice flavor in combination with bananas.  Following is the recipe.


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 2  oz butter melted
  • Juice and grated rind of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup mashed banana
  • ¼ cup pureed dates
  • 2 oz walnuts chopped


  • Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Butter a 9x9x2 inch cake pan and set aside.
  • Sift flour and baking powder and set aside
  • To puree date, add about ¼ cup hot water to dates and leave aside for about 15 minutes
  • Puree dates in a blender
  • Make juice from orange and add enough hot water to make 1 ¼  cups liquid.
  • Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Now add orange juice, vanilla extract, mashed banana, pureed dates and beat on low speed
  • Add the flour and beat mix well.
  • Now add chopped walnuts and mix until all the ingredients are mixed well
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about one hour or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack.

Avocado Sweet/Dessert

Avocados are not that common in Sri Lanka.  I came to know about this fruit only when I was a teenager.  Also this fruit is called “Butter Fruit” in Sri Lanka.  My uncle had a huge tree in house and when he gave us some of these fruits, we didn’t even know what to do with them.  So he said just add some sugar and eat as a dessert.  My mother added some milk and sugar.  When we ate this sweet for the first time, we all immediately liked it.  But some people add condensed milk to add extra sweetness and richness.  I feel like it becomes too sweet and the smell of condensed milk overrides the pleasant smell of Avocados.  So here is that very simple recipe:


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • About 4 – 5 teaspoons generous castor sugar
  • ¼ cup cold whole milk
  • Cashew nuts lightly toasted and broken into small pieces


  • Cut avocados and scoop out the flesh
  • Mash it with a fork until it is almost like a paste (you can leave a  bit small pieces)
  • Add sugar and milk and beat/mix thoroughly.
  • Chill for about an hour or two
  • Equally divide the dessert into 4 bowls
  • Sprinkle with toasted cashew nuts
  • Serve cold.

Note: Try serving it with a scoop of ice-cream or just sprinkle a bit of chocolate syrup over the avocados.

Pizza Roll-Ups



  • 1 lb frozen pizza dough
  • ¾ lb potatoes
  • 1 medium carrot shredded
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chili
  • Few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • Thaw dough according to package directions or lightly oil the dough and leave at room temperature for about 6 hours
  • Boil potatoes until three-quarter done
  • Drain and let cool.  Peel off the skin and chop them roughly into very small pieces
  • Heat oil in a skillet and add onion and sauté until lightly golden
  • Add cumin seeds and sauté for another 30 seconds
  • Add potatoes, carrots and green peas, chili powder and cook on low flame mixing thoroughly
  • If needed sprinkle little water at a time until vegetables are quite done
  • Add crushed red chili and curry leaves and cook for another minute
  • Let cool
  • Pre-heat oven to 375F
  • Take the thawed dough and place on a floured surface.
  • With a rolling pin spread the dough into square about 10 inch x 6 inch

  • Spread the cooked vegetable on the dough evenly leaving about 1 inch around the edge.
  • Roll the dough carefully and seal the edges

  • Snip off the excess dough from the ends and seal them firmly
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes
  • To serve, cut them into thick slices.


Instead of rolling like this, you can also make buns – take the thawed dough and make small portions.  Make a well in the middle and add a spoon full of cooked vegetable and seal it to make a bun.  Bake as mentioned above.


Zucchini and Mushroom in Coconut Milk



  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 6 oz sliced white mushroom
  • ½ cup red onion sliced
  • 1 green chili slit lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½  teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ cup coconut milk


  • Slit zucchini lengthwise and cut diagonally into thin slices and set aside
  • Dry roast coriander and cumin seeds lightly and let cool.  Once cool grind to a fine powder
  • Add oil to a covered saucepan and sauté onion lightly golden
  • Add green chili and sauté for one more minute
  • Add ground coriander-cumin and chili powder to the saucepan and mix well.  Make sure the flame is set to very low.  Otherwise it will start smoking
  • Add zucchini, mushroom, and coconut milk and cook on medium flame for about 6-7 minutes.
  • If the curry starts drying out, sprinkle a little water – about 1 – 2 tablespoons.
  • Serve warm with rice or Rotis

Yields: 2-3 servings as a side dish.

Quinoa with Roasted Veggies

I like to roast vegetables instead of sauteing them on a stove top.  Especially with the cold weather and windows shut, sauteing in oil makes the whole house smell.  So this is one of the most easiest way to cook vegetables which is quite healthy and time consuming.  Once you put the vegetables in the oven, you don’t have to stand next to it.  So here is a quick version of Quinoa dish.



  • ½ lb vegetables such as green beans, bell pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms.
  • ½ lb sweet potato
  • 5 red radishes
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed grounded
  • ½ teaspoons roasted cumin seeds
  • ¾ cup white quinoa
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • Salt to taste


  • Pre-heat oven to 400F
  • Slice bell pepper into thin slices.  Break the cauliflower into small florets.  Slice mushrooms into thick slices.  Chop green beans diagonally into 1 inch pieces
  • Cut sweet potatoes into about ½ inch cubes
  • Add all the vegetables to a cookie sheet with salt and sprinkle with olive oil and mix well
  • Bake for about 45 minutes
  • Let cool
  • To cook Quinoa: add quinoa to a skillet and roast lightly on medium flame.  About 5 minutes.
  • Stir water and salt to quinoa and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed.  About 10 minutes
  • Let cool.  Now mix vegetable with quinoa and season with salt and pepper
  • Serve with mango pickle.
  • Serves 2 as a main dish

Vegetable Rotis



  • 1 cup shredded leeks + carrots
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Water to mix dough


  • Shred carrots and chop leeks into fine pieces
  • Chop green chilies into small pieces (rounds)

  • Add oil to a skillet and when hot add chopped onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add carrot, leek, and green chili and sauté on low flame until cooked
  • Season with salt and let cool
  • to make the dough, mix flour salt and oil and add the cooked vegetables
  • add enough water to make the dough
  • transfer dough to a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about ½ hour.
  • To make the roti, divide dough into 10 portions.
  • Take a portion and place on a board and sprinkle a little flour and roll out with a rolling pin into thin rotis

  • Cook rotis on a skillet on both sides until done.
  • Serve warm with chickpea curry or any other curry

Variation:  You can add other vegetables like cauliflower, green beans etc.  But make sure you cut them into very fine pieces.