Vegetable Puffs

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My love for Vegetable puffs has been intense ever since a kid. It is a great snack, a perfect party dish and a great food on the go. It tastes best when served hot and can be accompanied with tomato ketchup or sriracha sauce. The stuffing is really a personal choice and can be adjusted according to taste, preference and availability. Making puffs are so easy it you have the puff pastry sheets readily available. I have made the pastry sheets from scratch, but if you want to save some time I would recommend getting it from the grocery store. Pepperidge Farm Company sells puff pastry sheets in the freezer section in majority of the grocery stores.

I make Vegetable puffs all the time. Vegetable puffs are perfect snacks for long road trips or for parties. Prepping puff is very simple and if you prepare the filling ahead of time, you can pop the puffs in the overn and 20 minutes later, you will have a fabulous snack ready! You just cannot go wrong with these yummy delights. Vegetable puffs can be eaten anytime of the day. These are great as breakfast snack with tea or coffee!

Ingredients:

1 package peppridge farm puff pastry (2 puff pastry sheets)

2 medium onions (finely chopped)

2 medium tomatoes (finely chopped)

1 cup peas

2 green chilies (finely chopped)

2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

4 medium potatoes (boiled-peeled-mashed)

2 tbsp paprika powder

2 tbsp garam masala powder

2 tbsp cumin powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp oil

Salt per taste

Method:

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Before I start making the suffing, I usually take out my pastry sheets from freezer. It usually takes 10-15 minutes for the thawing process.

To prepare stuffing: Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds to hot oil. Once the cumin seeds stop crackling, add the green chilies and onions. Saute until the onions turn slightly pink. then add tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste. Saute for few more mintues. Add all the seasonings/salt and mix well.

After few minutes, add your peas and mashed potatoes. Keep mixing until all the ingredients are mixed well. After 5 minutes turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely before you spoon it on the puff pastry.

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While your pastry sheets are thawing, pre-heat your oven to 400F. Spoon the filling on the pastry sheets after they are properly thawed. Seal the ends of the pastry sheets. Bake for 20-30 mintues at 400F and your vegetable puffs are ready! Serve hot with ketchup or tea.

Tips:

This dish becomes very easy if you prep for stuffing ahead of time. Also you can stuff the puffs and freeze them on the baking tray. You can put them  in zip-lock bags once frozen.

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Vegetable Tofu Spring Rolls

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Spring rolls are my favorite restaurant food but now that I have made them, they are definitely my favorite food to snack on especially with my own version of stir-fry veggies with tofu stuffing! I have tried spring rolls at many restaurants but they always lacked something. I was home and had plenty of time to think about this dish and what exactly I would like to have in it. I just took variety of veggies available in my refrigerator and stir-fey with sriracha sauce and then added my grilled tofu with greens. It is important to have all your components ready before you begin rolling. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Working with one rice paper at a time, dip the paper into the warm water for few seconds to soften. Be careful not to soak for too long otherwise it will start sticking together. This dish is super easy and great way to use variety of vegetables. Healthy and filling snack! The flavors are versatile and can go from light and refreshing eaten alone or turn deep and full with one quick dip in the sauce. I hope you like my version of spring rolls!

Ingredients:

4-6 Rice paper sheets

10 Grilled tofu slices

1 Carrot julienne, small strips

1 Bell pepper julienne, small strips

1 cup Cabbage (chopped)

1 cup Zucchini (chopped)

1 cup Onions (chopped)

2-3 Green chilies (finely chopped)

Bunch of spinach

Bunch of artisan lettuce

2 tbsp Soy sauce

2 tbsp Sriracha sauce (with seeds)

1 tbsp Olive oil

Method:

Finely chop all your vegetables and grill your tofu strips and set aside.

Heat your pan with olive oil. When hot add your onions, cabbage, and zucchini. Stir-fry for few minutes. Add sriracha sauce, soy sauce and mix well. Then add your carrots and bell pepper. Saute for approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely.

Have all your ingredients in front of you before you start rolling. Have a bowl of luke-warm water for the rice paper. Wet the rice paper until only slightly firm, put on a chopping board and pile all the ingredients onto one side of the paper. To roll, take the end closest to you. Gently pull the rice paper away from the cutting board and fold it over the filling, similar to how you would roll a tortilla burrito. Fold the sides inwards, and tightly roll the rice paper. Repeat the same steps with remaining rice paper and serve it with your favorite sauce/dressing. I love making these in batches and storing them in refrigerator. Its great way to keep healthy snacks ready on the go! The end result is a simple easy, flavorful and healthy snack that was also very fun to make.

Tomato Garlic Rasam

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After long holiday week with family and eating varieties of food, I thought of having a meal that is quick and easy. My Husband and I both are down with cold. Winter has knocked the doors, with shorter days and longer nights. Since last week we have been getting snow quite frequently. Being sick in this freezing cold winter days, I just wanted something that will comfort my throat and heal my cold. After couple of home-made soups, I thought of making Tomato-Garlic-Rasam.

Rasam is very quick and easy dish. The word Rasam is obtained from the Sanskrit word “Rasa” which means juice. A common south Indian dish that is regularly prepared in most homes, you could say this dish is the Indian version of spicy soup. There are many varieties of Rasam such as tomato-garlic, lemon, jeera and the list continues. I am sure there are many unique ways of preparing this dish but this is how I learned from a friend. Last year when I was sick my friend use to make this dish for me and since then I fell in love!

Tomato Garlic Rasam is very soothing and a great remedy for cold and sore throat. It makes a very rare appearance in my kitchen. I always prefer this dish on a cold rainy day or when I am sick with hot piping steamed rice.

Ingredients:

6-8 Garlic pods (crushed)

2 tbsp Peppercorn (crushed)

1 tbsp Cumin seeds (crushed)

2 Tomatoes medium ripe

1-2  cup of Toor dal water (2tbsp of dal with 1 cup of water in pressure cooker)

1 tsp of Tamarind paste

1 tsp of Oil

Salt per taste

Coriander chopped for garnish

Method:

Coarsely grind the peppercorns, cumin seeds and garlic. I love using pressure cooker to cook toor dal. I use only 2 tbsp of dal with 1 cup of water in pressure cooker. I also put my two tomatoes in there to cook while the dal is cooking. Afterwards I take the tomatoes and peel the skin and grind them into fine paste. I leave the cooked toor dal on the side and only took the broth.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the coarsley grind mixture of peppercorn, cumin seeds, and garlic. Roast the mixture for 1-2 minutes then add your tomato paste, tamarind and toor dal broth. Add salt as per taste. When it comes to boil, turn off the stove, add coriander leaves and close the pan. Ready to serve!

P.S. Make sure you use well ripened tomatoes for preparing this dish. Don’t overboil the rasam. If you are sick prepare rasam with more crushed peppers, garlic and few pieces of ginger, It really helps with sore throat and cold. Trust me!