Oven Roasted Broccoli

When it comes to broccoli I procrastinate a lot.  I give them a glance when they lie in my refrigerator and gladly pick up any other vegetable.

Not this time though, when I saw a bunch of very fresh broccoli heads in Whole Foods. I made up my mind to cook them for dinner. The big fix was, I got a little too carried away and ended buying a little too many of them.   Given my tendency of procrastination when it comes to broccoli, I did not want to stash them away in the freezer.   And then came the idea of a green “super food” dinner.

I made Broccoli Cheese soup which I blogged about earlier and oven-roasted the rest of the broccoli.   The recipe here is adapted from The Amateur Gourmet.   Trust me, when Adam says that this could be “The best broccoli of your life”, he was not kidding.  Atleast for my life, it was 🙂

While in Adam’s post, he does not mind oven-roasting the broccoli without washing it, my conscience did not admit it. So, I washed them and thoroughly dried (all to preserve the crispiness).

I am skipping the ingredient list for this recipe, it is so pointless as the recipe is so easy and minimal.Broccoli and Potato


  • Arrange the broccoli on a cookie sheet. (4 pounds broken into large florets)
  • Toss with 4 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 fresh ground pepper.
  • Add 2-3 peeled and sliced garlic cloves.
  • Roast in the oven 15-20 min or until the broccoli are crisp and tender.   You can also see that the the tips of some of the florets are browned.
  • I also added few potato wedges and put them along with the broccoli
  • When done, remove it from the the oven.
  • Zest a lemon over the broccoli, squeeze the lemon juice over and 1 tbsp some more olive oil.
  • Top it with 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Please see the variation below)

I gave my share of the broccoli a little Indian twist.  I seasoned some home-made yogurt with mustard seeds and red chilli flakes and poured it over the prepared broccoli and potato. In this case, Parmesan was completely omitted.

Broccoli and Potato-1


Mint flavored Rice

Nothing is more refreshing than a fresh sprigs of mint leaves.  Have it in the lemonade or any dessert, it just enhances the flavor. The same applies for this comforting (one-pot meal again).   This dish has all the winning points- easy to make and is also tantalizing to your taste buds.


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 medium tomatoes
  • 1 onion (cut into fine long slices)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh mint
  • 2-3 green chili
  • Cilantro




  • Cooking rice:    Combine the rice (1 cup), water (1 1/2 cups), and a pinch of salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.   Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low as possible and simmer till the rice is done.   Move to a cold surface, spread over a platter and let cool (the idea is to have every grain separate).
  • Heat 2 tbsps of oil.  Once hot, add mustard seeds and let them pop (optional).
  • Add onion and fry till golden.  Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside
  • Puree, chilis, tomato and mint. Add salt.
  • Heat 2 Tsps of oil in the same pan and add in the tomato-mint puree.  Fry till oil starts leaving sides.
  • Lower the heat, add in cooked rice and mix gently.
  • Remove from heat.  Mix in the fried onion and fluff with fork.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with spiced yogurt or papadam


Broccoli Cheese Soup

I started the soup regimen basically as a means to reduce my postpartum weight, although a little reluctantly.  It was difficult to cut down close to starving (that was how I saw it at least in the start) that too after months of “healthy” and “large” servings I was taking because of my first pregnancy.

Eventually, a very high BMI and a knee surgery has convinced me to be conscious of my meals and here I was, scouring cookbooks and blogs to get the recipes that will please my palate.   Trust me, all you non-believers out there, soups are a great way to lose weight and stay healthy.   i must have lost at least 20 lbs from two nights of soups every week.

Yes, even the following rich version of cheesy broccoli soup is and proved healthy, at least to me.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Untitled 6


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 6 oz. grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz. freshly, grated Parmesan cheese, the original recipe calls for very finely grated Parmesan, but the lazy me, did not bother.
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 Broccoli and Cheddar Soup 2


  • Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring frequently.
  • Add in garlic, dried thyme and flour, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Slowly add in milk, broth and then the cream.
  • Cook, until mixture begins to gently bubble, stirring frequently in between and then reduce heat to low.
  • Add the broccoli pieces and cook until broccoli is done ( I added broccoli that was half steamed earlier). Cook for about 4-5 min till tender.
  • Turn heat off, add in cheese and stir until melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm.

Tomato Flavored Rice- Indian Style

Well, I know I said in the blog description that I will mostly blog about rare Indian food.   But this particular recipe ( I am sure others will follow) is an exception.

What is not to love about a recipe that is so easy that you can make yourself (and others) a fabulous one-pot meal that satisfies your taste buds in a comforting and inviting manner.


  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 green chili
  • Cilantro
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Diced cucumber- for garnishing

Make into a coarse powder

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp split chickpeas
  • 1 tsp split blackgram
  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut/ dry coconut ( I used both with great success)


  • Cooking rice:    Combine the rice (1 cup), water (1 1/2 cups), and a pinch of salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.   Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low as possible and simmer till the rice is done.   Move to a cold surface, spread over a platter and let cool (the idea is to have every grain separate).
  • Spice powder:  Heat 1 tsps of oil/ghee (clarified butter) in a pan.  Once the oil is hot enough, add the split chickpeas, blackgram, coriander seeds, cumin and red chillies.  Fry till fragrant.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Make into a coarse powder along with coconut.
  • Heat 2 tbsps of oil.  Once hot, add mustard seeds and groundnut (optional). Let mustard seeds splutter.
  • Add slit green chillis, curry leaves and onions and fry till golden.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and add salt, turmeric powder.  Fry till tomatoes are done.
  • Lower the heat, add in cooked rice and mix gently.
  • Season with the spice powder and let it sit on heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.  Garnish with coriander, cucumber and (optional) a sprig of curry leaves.


Moroccan rice salad

Moroccan Rice Salad

Serves 4-6

I fell in love with this recipe the minute I saw it on Gilt taste, wanted to try it ever since with of course few modifications of my own.    The original recipe calls for use of Harissa paste a paste used in Moroccan cooking made from peppers and spices like cumin and caraway.  While I could not find Harissa at my local Wholefoods store, I tried to recreate a paste as closely as possible to Harissa.  You can find the instructions below.
The subtle tastes of Harissa paste and lemon along with sweetness of apricots and crunchy cucumbers makes this dish quite interesting and complete.


Recipe inspired from Gilt taste’s Whitney Chen Wright:  Moroccan Brown rice salad.

Harissa Paste:

  • 1/2 cup dried chili flakes
  • boiling hot water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add hot water to red chili flakes and let sit for 5 min.  Strain well and place in a blender with rest of ingredients and process until it forms a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper per taste. Refrigerate till use.


  • 1½ cups long grain brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 large handful coriander (the original recipe calls for Parsley, but I prefer the fragrant coriander)
  • 3 scallions
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Harissa paste
  • 1 lemon, or to taste


  • Combine the rice and water in a medium pot.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low. Cover and let barely simmer till all the water has evaporated and each grain is separate.
  • While the rice is cooking, chop the coriander, scallions, and apricots, and dice the cucumbers.
  • Zest and squeeze the lemon, and mix together with the olive oil and harissa. Adjust lemon to taste.
  • Once the rice is done, remove from heat.    Add the prepared vegetables and apricots to the rice pot without disturbing the rice.  Cover and let the whole lot rest for few minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, gently mix the steamed garnishes with the rice. Add the cucumber and dressing and toss to coat.  Adjust salt and lemon zest according to taste.


Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Best part of this dish: the vibrant colors. I wont say anything more than this.

For Dressing:

  •   2 tablespoon lime juice
  •   Olive oil
  •    Salt and ground pepper

For Salad:

  •   2-3 cups of  corn
  •   1 large tomato- diced
  •   1 medium avocados, diced
  •   Butter for light frying


  • Dice tomato and avocado into small pieces.
  • Heat butter in a small pan and lightly fry the corn.
  • Combine tomato, avocado and corn in a large bowl and toss with the lime juice, olive oil and add salt and pepper.
  • Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.Tastes good either ways.Image

Spicy Stuffed Avocados

I did not think I will write about Avocados in my second post.   Not that I did not think, it just that I would not have written had I not tried these super inviting stuffed avocados.

I never liked Avocados. That is until now. Guacamole of course is an exception, always loved it.   While Dear H loves avocados, I hated them and every time I buy an avocado thinking to satiate the poor guy’s appetite, they would end up in the bin for lack of usage.   And one fine day, I was flipping through a cookbook (duh!!) in B&N while dear H was at the cash register, I happened to glance a stuffed avocado recipe with pictures so amazing.  And, it was apparent then that the poor avocados will find their way into our tummies and dear H was in for a treat.

It is simple, colorful, flavorful and filling:



  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 Large tomato
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • Shredded Mozarella Cheese- 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Chop the peppers and tomato and set aside
  • Carefully half the ripe avocados (it is essential that the avocados a little ripe. I used the shell of avocado for my stuffing)
  • Discard the seed.  Carefully remove the pulp taking care of preserving the avocado shell.
  • Cut or mash the pulp and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Add in the shredded cheese
  • Bake at 350 C for 15-20 min.