Let’s chat, shall we!? Time to end the lazy slump I’ve been rolling in lately. A lot’s been going on around here and I’m up for a full disclosure now. I did slip the news on Instagram couple of weeks ago but didn’t announce officially on the blog. So here it goes!! Drum-rolls please!!! I am going to LONDON this FALL for a one year postgraduate programme!!!!! WOHOOOO!!!!!!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!! Sorry for all the yelling but I’m SOOOOO excited for this new chapter of my life to begin. This year has been truly magical so far!
I got the confirmed offer on my admission about a couple months ago but was skeptical on sharing the news as there were so many things to consider and plan for before I decide to accept the offer. Let’s just say I didn’t want to jinx it! I was ecstatic (to say the least) to get into this prestigious college. I was (still am!) over the MOON would be an understatement. I leave in September and there is so much to do. I need to visit my parents, apply for Visa, do the shopping, pack my bags and off I go. Fingers crossed for a smooth sailing!
Now here is a bit of not-so-good-news. Umm… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue blogging along with my studies but I’m not going to incessantly worry over something I can’t control. As of now, the only thing I’m sure of is that the programme is going to be very intense and I am going to have to give my 101% attention to it, even if blogging takes a backseat. I AM absolutely ready to prioritize. I love blogging so much therefore I’ll be blogging here as much as I can until September and after that we’ll see how things go. I would love to pop over in between during my stay in London to share my experiences in new country, food related or not. I will definitely try to stay as active as possible on Instagram nonetheless so do follow me there to stay in touch and be my companion on #LondonDiaries! 🙂
This recipe I am sharing today is bonkers awesome! It is the quickest meal I have ever made (apart from toss-in-all-you-have salads or couscous!). If you can boil the pasta then you can make this recipe. This one here is basically foolproof! The tomato paste (Brand name – Splitz) I used for this quick pasta sauce is made locally in Bangalore and the ingredients list reads – Tomatoes. That’s it! It does not have any funky ingredients I can’t understand or pronounce, just pure tomato goodness without any color or preservative or salt! Too good to be true and but sadly, it is mostly available only in Bangalore. But fret not. You can go ahead and try any other good, organic tomato paste you can find in the store near you.
This packet is definitely going with me everywhere I travel. I guess it’d be a blessing during my soon-to-start student life! What a cheap, no-fuss and delicious meal option with so many possibilities. Add any number of vegetables to this dish to make it more hearty and fulfilling. Just a heaping Tablespoon of this potent tomato paste is enough for one portion. You can tell I’m quite impressed! What can I say, sometimes simple is truly THE BEST! xx
Quickest Tomato Pasta Sauce ~ Dinner for Two
Yields: 2 generous servings | Prep time: 2 minutes |Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups macaroni pasta
- 1 cup pasta water, reserved after boiling
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- Scant 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp dry basil herb
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- Shavings of Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta as per the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
- In the meantime, heat the pan on a medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic and onion and sauté for a minute. Add tomato paste and salt and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, scraping and stirring occasionally. The tomato paste will turn brown and this will enhance the flavors. Mix in basil and pepper and cook for another minute.
- Stir in 3/4 cup of reserved pasta water to the tomato paste and magically you’ll get your pasta sauce ready! If you want thinner consistency sauce, add remaining 1/4 cup pasta water too. Stir in the drained pasta. Divide between 2 serving dishes. Top with some shavings of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.
*You can add vegetables of your choice to make the meal more hearty. Just sauté the vegetables along with garlic and onion before adding tomato paste to the mix. Zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, bell peppers…. sky is the limit!
*You may also top the pasta with capers or olives.
*Use whole wheat or quinoa pasta to make this meal healthier.
*Use penne or spaghetti pasta instead of macaroni.
This peanut butter-flavored dish is a cinch to throw together. So convenient on a weeknight or when you’re just lazy. Just boil a pot of water, saute some vegetables and whisk together some sauces from your pantry. Dinner is served!
Vegetable Whole-wheat Noodle Bowl
Serves:2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total: 25 minutes
For noodle bowl:
- 2 nests of whole wheat noodles
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch thin strips
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch of scallions (spring onions), finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp lightly toasted white sesame seeds*, for topping
*You may use toasted peanuts too instead.
- 3 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- big pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp of hot water (or a little more to achieve a thin yogurt-like consistency of sauce)
- Boil a medium sized pot of water. Add the whole wheat noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add oil and sauté garlic for about 30 seconds. Add red pepper and broccoli to the pan and sauté for another 5 minutes over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for sauce, adding the hot water in increments at the end. You are going for a thin yogurt-like consistency.
- Once the noodles are cooked and drained, toss together the noodles, sautéd vegetables and scallions.
- Portion into small bowls and top with a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Just popping in to say Hi as it’s been two weeks since we last talked! I am feeling unbelievably lazy and don’t want to write much so I’ll leave you guys with this quick recipe. I hope you guys’ll understand.
Salads are usually underrated but this one right here is a total stunner. Perfect for spring! It was my first time using fennel in my home kitchen so I was quite excited in terms of what to make with it. I’m a salad person so that is what I wanted to experiment first. The combination of leek, fennel, apple and walnuts works so beautifully and sounds quite exotic but mostly they are all simple, earthy ingredients bound together by a simple dressing. I can’t wait to turn these ingredients in to a soup once the rainy days arrive in full swing(which I hope will be soon!).
Leeks, Fennel, Apple + Walnut Warm Salad
Serves: as a side for 2/a hearty meal for 1 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total: 20 minutes
- 1 apple, cored & sliced (peeling is optional, I didn’t)
- 1 + 1 tsp lemon juice, divided
- 10-12 walnuts
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 leeks
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
- 1 fennel, small bulb, sliced
- 3-4 lettuce leaves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
*Preparing Leek : Cut the ends off the leek and discard. Quarter the leek lengthwise, wash under running water to remove all the grit and cut them into slices.
*Preparing Fennel : Check this easy tutorial on The Kitchn
- Wash, core and slice an apple. Toss with 1 tsp of lemon juice to prevent discoloration and set aside.
- In a fry pan, add the walnuts and toast them on a medium-low heat until fragrant. Set aside.
- In the same fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks and thyme leaves to the pan and sauté for about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add sliced fennel, cook for another minute or so and remove it from the heat. Immediately stir in sliced apples and splash remaining 1 tsp lemon juice.
- In a small jar, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar vigorously until completely combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- In a serving plate, make a bed of lettuce leaves and top with salad. Garnish with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.
I know you think that my blog has sort of turned into a baking blog with a savory recipe seldom thrown here and there which again involves some sort of baking! (Humph.. Do I make sense?) So after throwing so many sugar-laden desserts week after week, I thought a savory recipe for brunch or breakfast (which does not involve baking) would be a great way to redeem my past actions. And when the recipe is so healthy, no-carb and wholesome, I’m sure many of you’ll be ecstatic.
With this recipe, turn your regular scrambled egg breakfast into a fancy brunch dish. With summer upon us, we require as many quick-fixes as possible. I mean, who wants to turn on the oven or spend time in the kitchen slogging over the heat! Low-fat and clean eating becomes a necessity when days are so hot and humid. This recipe absolutely fits the bill as an all-rounder meal suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
This dish is so colorful because of zucchini, carrots and broccoli. As for the recipe, these are the measurements I followed but this dish does not require following a recipe to the T so feel free to make any adjustments. Use whatever vegetables you have at hand. Go vegetable crazy! Bell peppers and beans would be quite awesome too.
So eat light & have a happy happy weekend!
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total: 20 minutes
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 small carrot, cut into julienne
- 1 small zucchini, cut into julienne
- 1/8 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or any seasoning of your choice)
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 2-3 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4-6 lettuce leaves, washed and dried (any lettuce of your choice is fine)
- In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion to the skillet and saute till golden brown for about 2-3 minutes.
Add broccoli and carrots and saute for another minute.
Add zucchini and cook until just warm. We want the vegetables to have crunch and not be mushy. Mix in red chili flakes, Italian seasoning (or seasoning of your choice) and season with salt and pepper. Place this mixture in a small bowl.
- Wipe the skillet (used to saute vegetables) with paper towel and heat 1 Tbsp butter in it over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, crack 2-3 eggs and whisk them together with milk until well-beaten. Add pinch of salt and plenty of pepper.
Tilt the skillet to ensure the entire pan is coated in the melted butter and pour in the eggs. Keep the heat on medium low. When the eggs just start to set, use a flat spatula to slowly scrape sections of eggs, creating folds. Scrape occasionally until the eggs form soft folds; turn off the heat just before they are fully hardened.
- To serve, place the scrambled eggs on a lettuce and top with onion and vegetable mixture.