Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mediterranean Pasta

This recipe is a courtesy of babycenter. I fell in love with this recipe immediately after reading it. I have made few minor changes (adding nuts and wheat germ), but kept everything else the same. I haven't tried it yet, but will update a picture once I do.

1 pound whole wheat (or high in fiber) spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine
1/4 cup roasted walnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons wheat bran

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic,

2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
thinly sliced 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips
About 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta for about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta shape. Drain. Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add half the basil, half the tomatoes, wheat bran, and pepper and cook 3 minutes. Place the drained pasta in a large serving bowl and add the garlic-herb oil. Add the remaining tomatoes, finely chopped nuts, and basil on top and toss; the heat of the pasta will "cook" the tomatoes. Season to taste. Serve with the cheese on top. (Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sweet Potato-blueberry Pancakes

Mungi has a pink eye. and a fever. My poor kiddo doesn't want to eat anything..She loses her appetite pretty quickly when she gets fever. I knew she was sick when she turned down cantaloupe (she loves melons. Actually, she loves any kind of fruits.) Occasionally, she will eat a piece of bread when she is sick. Unfortunately, we were out of bread. So, I made these for her. Hoping that she will give them a try as they are of similar texture. Not exactly of the same texture, but they are spongy, and made with flour. You know what I mean.

I looked at her from the corner of my eye, as I served her the orangee pancake, jewelled with blueberries. She took her eyes off the mickey mouse clubhouse clip she was watching on the computer, and...lo and behold, took a bite..and another, and another...Hurray!!! You have to be a mom, to know how happy I felt that minute.

This is definitely not just the 'when you are sick' food. I am sure, I will make these again, when she is making me crazy dancing, and jumping all over the house.

Sweet Potato -blueberry Pancakes

1 cup white whole-wheat pastry flour (or atta used for rotis)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. wheat germ
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar

1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (I pressure cooked half of medium sized sweet potato)
1 cup fresh (or frozen)blueberries

1 - 1/2 cups milk (or more)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix milk, oil, and vanilla together. Put eggs into the milk mixture. Break egg-yolks, and mix only until combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Make a well into the dry ingredients. Pour wet mixture in the well. Mix until the mixture comes together, and lumps are formed. Add sweet potato puree.
  4. Use more milk if needed to make the batter of right consistency.
  5. Heat a griddle. Drizzle olive oil.
  6. Pour a laddleful of pancake mix on hot griddle.
  7. Sprinkle blueberries on top.
  8. I usually put a lid on the pancake at this point to help it cook faster, and evenly.
  9. Take the lid off after a minute or so. Drizzle few drops of olive oil on top.
  10. Flip the pancake. let it cook on the other side for a minute or two.
  11. Serve with butter and maple syrup or honey. (Mungi's pediatrician warned me against using honey until she turns one.)

I repeated the same process until all of the batter was gone. I divided each pancake in two half circles. And froze them overnight on a cookie sheet. I covered the cookie sheet with plastic wrap before it went inside the freezer. I will send these one by one with mungi to the daycare for her breakfast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dudhi Dhirde (bottle gourd Pancakes)

Last night's Jr. Menu:
Dudhi dhirde - Ketchup
Egg Omelet
Orange juice

It seemed like a very busy evening yesterday. I had 25 mins in between stepping in the home from work, and heading out again for my kickboxing class. 15 of those precious 30 minutes were gone in changing into gym attire, drinking my ginger spiced tea (it was fabulous, thanx DH), and tending to Mungi. I wanted to fix something quick for Mungi's Dinner in remaining 10 minutes. A dudhi (lauki, bottle gourd) lying in the fridge grabbed my attention. What can I make out of this in a hurry ?(that Mungi madam will eat), I thought..This is what I ended up making after running from pantry, to fridge, to cooking range..

P.S.: I should stop making such ambitious plans.. I agree.. Or, at least plan in advance..Ok, for my next class, I will. I promise. After I stepped out, DH paid attention to the highchair occupant. He later told me that she ate half of dhirde, but wasn't interested in more (typical of her). So, he made an omelet for her. (again, thanx DH)..Although, the most enjoyable part of the meal for her was her favorite drink: orange juice (or AU-Ju as she calls it)

Dudhi Dhirde

1/2 cup grated dudhi (substitute zucchini, yellow squash, or cucumber)
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped fine

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup whole rice flour (or regular rice flour)
1 tablespoon rava/soji (or cornmeal)
1 tablespoon wheat germ

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. red chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. hing (Asafoetida)

1 teasp. olive oil

Mix dudhi, and cilantro with all flours and spices. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Add water until the batter is of pancake batter consistency. Hit a cast iron griddle on medium heat, brush with olive oil. When the griddle is hot, spread a laddleful of batter on it. Cover the griddle with a lid (keep an opening to let air out, otherwise the pancake will be soggy.) Let cook for 1-2 minutes.
Take the cover off. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the pancake/Dhirde. Flip with the help of spatula. (pancake should come off easily. If not, add more rice flour to the batter.)
Let cook on the other side for couple minutes.

Serve with coconut chutney, tomato ketchup, or condiment of choice.
Mungi loves to eat this with plain yogurt.

Nutritional Boosts:

Dudhi/Lauki: high in Fiber
Cilantro: High in vitamin A and K
Whole grain flours: retain nutritious parts of grains
Wheat Germ: good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium and Copper, Thiamin, Phosphorus, Zinc, Manganese and Selenium.
Turmeric: good source of Vitamin C and Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.
Hing: digestive aid

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Philosophy behind 'Mom, I Am Hungry'

While driving to work this morning, a light bulb went on in my brain. I was thinking about how I would love to have a list of meals that my 1.5 yr old daughter loves to eat. This list would come in so handy when I am trying to come up with a healthy, tasty and quick dinner for her in the evening. I thought to myself, "I should write down the simple meals I prepare for her everyday, as they meet all of the above criteria." and, "I should probably create a blog, so that other moms might find some ideas to feed their kids as well." TADA!!!

This is why I created this space. For us moms. I will write down the meals I prepare for Mungi (as I affectionately call my daughter) here. Many of the meals will have an Indian, specially marathi, origin, as I am from Pune,India. American recipes and ingredients will also make a frequent appearance, as I live in the US. Also, most of the meals will be dinner ideas. That is the only meal she eats at home on weekdays. (She goes to a daycare center as both of us work full time.) However, I will also try to include breakfasts, lunches and snacks that I feed her during weekends.

I would love to hear what you all think about recipes featured here. If you would like to share a recipe, a trick that works to feed your kid or a healthy twist to old favorites, please leave a comment.