Monthly Archives: March 2015

Brown Rice with Roasted Beets and Beet Greens


Roasted beets and beet greens with rice – sounds interesting.  I came across this recipe a while ago (probably a year or more) in New York Times website.  When I first saw this recipe I was a bit hesitant since I did not know how it would turn out and never made an attempt to make it.  So over the weekend I was planning what to cook for the week and came across this recipe again and thought to give it a try.  I drove all the way to a farmers market where they sell really fresh bunch beets with fresh greens. I modified the original recipe to adjust for some ingredients which I did not have.  After all the twists and turns from the original recipe, this came out really good with a sweet taste from the beets and sour taste from the red wine vinegar.

I know a lot of people throw away the beet leaves.  But these leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals.  You can find another recipe for beet leaves I have posted a while ago at –  Beet Leaves Fry



  • 1 cup brown rice (you can buy the rice packets which has other whole grains as well)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 medium red beets
  • 1 small yellow beets
  • cooking spray
  • 1 bunch beet greens and stems
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 red radish


  • Add rice and water to a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until almost water is absorbed.  Set aside covered
  • Preheat oven to 425 F.  Spray  cooking spray to a cookie sheet
  • Peel beets and chop them into thin 1 inch cubes.  Spread them on the cookie sheet in a single layer and spray a little bit oil over them.
  • Roast beets for about 15-20 minutes.  Once roasted, red beets will become a little darker in color and will shrink.  Yellow beets will retain their color but shrink as well.
  • Add cooking oil to a skillet and add sliced onion and saute until they are translucent.  Now add chopped garlic, beet stems and the red wine vinegar and saute for another 2-3 minutes
  • Add beet greens to the skillet and lower the flame and saute for only one minute since these leaves are very soft.
  • Add cooked rice and mix well.  Sprinkle a little water and cover and cook for a minute or two stirring frequently.  Turn off flame and let stand covered for about 10 minutes.  This will let rice absorb the flavor of beets and the vinegar
  • Thinly slice red radishes diagonally.  Add a little oil (or cooking spray) to a skillet and add sliced radishes and fry for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Garnish pulav with radishes.

Yields: 2 main dishes

Source: Adapted and heavily modified from New York Times

Variations:  Roasted tofu can be added to the pulav since tofu does not have a distinct flavor and will not spoil the flavor of this pulav.


Vegetarian Yakisoba


Nothing is more delicious than home cooked food especially when it comes to dishes like pasta, noodles, and pizza.  I love trying different cuisine recipes but have never thought of trying any Japanese recipes.  Probably I have been under the impression that Japanese cuisine is mostly based on sea food, sea weed and sushi.  So I was browsing through different recipe website and found recipes for “Yakisoba” which I have never even heard before.  So immediately I decided to try this entirely new unheard recipe.

After a little research I realized Yakisoba is one of Japan’s best known street foods.  While in the US it is called soba noodles which is a buckwheat noodle, in Japan this dish is made with ramen noodles.  In the Japanese traditional cooking, the sweet and tart flavor of this dish comes from chuno sauce.  So the best replacement for this sauce can be Worcestershire sauce with chili paste.  In the traditionally this dish consists of cabbage, carrots, onion and scallion.  But I included other vegetables to make this a wholesome healthy dish.

Note: For stronger and spicier flavor, you can increase the chili paste and Worcestershire sauce.  I would suggest for the below dish add an extra teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and an extra half a teaspoon chili paste.


  • 4 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon spicy chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced (or chopped)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 large Portabella mushroom caps
  • 7 oz water packed extra firm tofu
  • Cooking spray
  • Toasted sesame seeds


  • Drain tofu in paper towel and cut into half an inch cubes
  • Slice mushroom thinly.
  • Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili paste, and sesame oil and a small bowl and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Spray a little oil to a cookie sheet and spread tofu and mushroom in one layer.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Bring a large saucepan with water to a rolling boil.  Add noodles and cook for about 3 minutes or al dente.  Run under cold water and drain
  • Add vegetable oil to a skillet and once hot add onion, garlic, carrots and cabbage and stir fry on high heat for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add roasted mushroom, tofu, noodles, and sauce mixture to the skillet and mix well and cook on very low flame for about a minute or two.
  • Divide equal portions to 2 plates and sprinkle with toasted sesame seed.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 8 minutes

Yields: 2 main dishes


Vegan Corn Cakes



  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped button mushroom
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely ground corn meal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seed (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • Chopped tomato, spring onion, cilantro for garnish


  • Add 2 teaspoon oil to a skillet and when hot add mushroom, bell pepper, corn kernels and saute for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add chopped scallion and mix and turn off the heat.
  • In a mixing bowl add the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, chili powder, and cumin seed and mix well
  • Add coconut milk, water, 1 tablespoon oil and whisk until smooth (batter should be similar to pancake consistency)
  • Transfer the sauteed vegetables to the batter and mix well
  • Heat a skillet and spray a little oil.  Pour mixture spoonful of batter and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn over and cook further 2-3 minutes until golden.
  • Transfer to a plate and garnish with toppings as mentioned above or any of your favorite topping.
  • This will go well with tomato-chili salsa or even a dollop of sour cream (optional and non vegan)
  • Yields: 6-8 pancakes

Source: Chelvi’s Original

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Orange Zest


Nothing better than a warm soup on a cold winter day.  I have hooked into butternut squash soup since the time I started buying lunch at whole foods market during working days.  In fall, they make one of the best butternut squash soup with apple.  I have already posted a simple version of butternut squash soup (  But I have been wanting to make this soup for a while.  But while I was browsing through their website, I found a butternut squash soup with ginger.  So I decided to make this fragrant ginger spiced soup.  You can get a lot of different butternut squash soup recipes on their website.



  • 3/4 lb butternut squash (after peeling and removing middle pith and seeds)
  • cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup milk (whole milk will give a good taste, but I used 1% milk)
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Cut butternut squash into one inch cubes.
  • Lightly add cooking spray to a cookie sheet and spread cut butternut squash and roast for about 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, chop onion into thin slices
  • Add oil to a saucepan and add onion and ginger and saute for a few minutes, until onion is translucent
  • Add carrots and roasted butternut squash to the sauce pan.  Add vegetable stock and cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for a few minutes.  Puree in a food processor.
  • Return the pureed butternut squash soup to the saucepan and add milk and orange zest and heat until it start to bubble
  • season with salt.
  • Spoon soup into soup bowls and garnish with chopped parsley
  • Yields: 2 bowls

Note: Regular milk can be replaced with unsweetened soy or almond milk.

Spicy Snake Gourd Curry



  • 1 teaspoon urad dhal
  • 2 teaspoons chana dhal
  • 4-5 dried red chilies
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 of a small red onion
  • 8 oz snake gourd
  • 1/4 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • Curry leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste


  • Dry roast urad dhal, chana dhal, and red chilies and let cool
  • Grind together dry roasted ingredients, cumin seeds and coconut into a paste adding water when necessary
  • Slit snake gourd lengthwise and remove seeds.  Half each portion lengthwise and then cut into about 3/4 inch pieces
  • Heat oil on a saucepan and when hot, add onion and saute until transparent
  • Add snake gourd to pan with spice paste, salt , curry leaves and water.
  • Cook until gravy thickens and gourd is soft.  If needed add extra water to cook.
  • Serve with rice or roti

Carrot Cup Cakes


I am not a fan of carrots and I rarely eat them and if so, it should be in salads.  But this morning I was wondering what to make for breakfast and found a big bag of carrots in the refrigerator. So immediately came up with the idea of about making these carrot cup cakes.  They don’t take too much time to make and the baking time is only 25 minutes compared to breads like banana bread or any other fruit loafs. Since these are low fat cup cakes, they are quite moist inside but a bit crunchy on the outside.  These cup cakes can be topped with cream cheese frosting or butter cream frosting.  Since I don’t like cream cheese I decided not to add the cream cheese topping.  Well when it comes to butter cream frosting, I cannot stop from indulging on them.  So to avoid indulging in too much fat I decided not to add that as well.  But there are a lot of recipes on the internet for cream cheese frosting and butter cream frosting.

One idea I can think of when making the cream cheese frosting is to add lemon/orange peel or orange essence or a few tablespoons of fresh orange juice to the butter cream frosting.  Or you can even sprinkle a little bit icing sugar on the top (when cup cakes are completely cooled though)



  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup firmly packed grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 8 muffin cups with paper casing (probably to a 12 muffin pan)
  • Beat eggs lightly with a electrical beater.  Add sugar and beat well until the mixture is smooth.
  • Now add oil and beat well
  • Add shredded carrots, walnuts, and almond and beat
  • In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and all spice.
  • Fold in the flour mix in 2 batches into the we ingredients and mix well
  • Spoon batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then cool on wire rack until completely cooled
  • Store in a tight container in a cool place.
  • Note: if you leave them on the counter for too long these cup cakes tend to dry out (especially here in the US because of the cold and less humid weather)
  • Yields: 8 cup cakes

Soba Noodles with Aromatic Almond Sauce


I am starting to love noodles the fact it is quite easy to cook and you can mix and match different vegetable you want.  So this time I thought of trying it with arugula.  Yes, arugula – some thing so different that I wanted to try.  To mask the strong taste of arugula I thought of making this spicy almond sauce (you can try it with peanut butter though, unfortunately I cannot).  Any way for my surprise it turned out to be really good.  So now this will be one of my weekly dinners.


  • 4 oz soba noodles
  • 6 oz asparagus cut into about 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium red bell pepper sliced thinly
  • 2-3 teaspoon canola/cooking oil
  • 7 oz water packed tofu
  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • salt to taste

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (roasted almond butter gives a nice fragrance compared to raw almond butter)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon spicy chili sauce
  • water if necessary


  • To make the sauce, in a small bowl combine all sauce ingredients except water.  Mix well.  If the sauce is too thick, add a little water to make it to the consistency of thin sauce
  • Cook soba noodles according to package directions and drain
  • Drain tofu and wrap in a paper towel and leave for about 15 minutes to drain the water
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.  Cut tofu into 2 inch strips.  Spray cooking oil to a cookie sheet and spread cut tofu in one layer.  Spray oil over tofu and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.
  • Add canola oil to a skillet and when hot add bell pepper, and asparagus and saute on medium flame for about 10 minutes.  At this point bell pepper and asparagus should be firm and crisp but cooked.
  • Now add roasted tofu to the skillet and add the sauce and mix well.
  • Add cooked noodles and mix in with the vegetables and sauce.  It would be better to use a folk to not clump the noodles
  • Turn off the heat and mix in arugula.
  • Yield: 2 main dishes