Thursday, January 31, 2019

Layered Greek Dip

This shop has been compensated by Chobani. All opinions are mine alone. #ChobaniSavor


Up your appetizer game with this layered Greek dip! A perfect shareable appetizer served with pita chips; this dip is a smart alternative to game-day classic dip and chips! 



Who does not like a fuss-free appetizer while watching a game? If a crowd-pleasing dip is something you enjoy making, this recipe will be your favorite! Not only is this dip easy to make and customize; it has ZERO cooking involved and can be made ahead. 

We are hosting the Big Game this year (yet again!) and I am already preparing my list of recipes and trying a few out before I make them for the viewing party. Though I have a couple of other recipes in mind, this one is my personal favorite for sure! 

Taco 7 layer dip is THE most popular dip with chips for game days, movie nights and get-togethers. Check out this twist on the infamous dip; the Greek Layered dip! ZERO cheese, no cooking and full of delicious ingredients. I tried this a couple of times already and I am addicted. I do not need chips for this one; I only need a SPOON! 

Video Recipe




Why make Layered Greek Dip?

For the last few of years of hosting game days; I have made dips and served them with chips. From Mexican 7 layer dip with tortilla chips to Spinach Artichoke dip with potato chips and from regular hummus and pita chips to Indian style chutney with papad; I have made it all. 

This year I decided to make something different. Greek ingredients find a permanent spot in my pantry so I picked this dip for my party. The BEST part about this cheese-free dip is the ease with which it comes together. With a preparation time of under 10 minutes; this, make-ahead dip pairs well with pita chips, vegetables or to enjoy with a spoon! 


The dip includes layers of Greek Yogurt, hummus and vegetables. The dip is finished with Chobani® Savor™ Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt topper. Have you tried this topper yet? It is plain yogurt in an easy-to-use, resealable squeeze pouch for a mess-free topping you can feel good about incorporating into your favorite meal and snack recipes! 

Swapping Chobani® Savor™ topper for sour cream is a smart alternative to boost nutrition and keep calories lower, without sacrificing on taste. 

Chobani® Savor™: avg. 25 calories; sour cream: 60 calories per 2 tbsp serving. 

Find Chobani® Savor™ topper with all of your favorite Chobani® products in the yogurt aisle at Walmart.


The SEVEN layers in the dip

Wondering if the dip can replace the Mexican dip? YES, I promise! This dip has seven layers too; just that they are cheese-free yet filling and delish. The layers in this dip are:

1. Chobani® Plain Greek Yogurt 
2. Hummus of your choice
3. Lettuce
4. Onion, tomato and cucumber
5. Sliced Olives
7. Cilantro, mint and scallions

You can get everything at Walmart. It is my one stop shop for all my Big Game needs!

The layers are balanced in taste, texture and flavors. A dip full of colorful ingredients, this one will soon become a family favorite for sure. Whether it is game-day or movie night; New Year eve party or birthday parties; this dip is PERFECT for all occasions! 


Get the dip right each time

While the dip is pretty easy to make; there are a few things to keep in mind while making it. No one likes watery dips and keeping a few things in mind will yield a PERFECT dip each time! 

  • Make sure you have Greek Yogurt. It should be really thick, so that it does not make the dip soggy
  • Drain ALL the liquid from the olives. That helps in making the dip liquid free 
  • If you have washed the lettuce leaves just before making the dip, ensure that they are drained well 
  • Layer the yogurt and hummus first. Then add all the vegetables. Finally, add the Chobani® Savor™ Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt topper
  • Make the same dip in single serve glasses if you would like every guest to enjoy their own dip! 


Now with all the information about the dip and why to make it; here is the recipe to enjoy the dip for your game day party! 


Ingredients

Iceberg Lettuce 4-5 leaves, shredded
Onion 1/2 medium, diced
Cherry Tomatoes 8-10, diced
Cucumber 1/2 medium, diced
Olives 12-14, sliced
Scallions 4-5 stalks, chopped
Mint leaves 10-12, chopped
Cilantro a few stalks, chopped
Hummus 1 cup (store bought or homemade)
Greek Yogurt 1 cup
Garlic 1-2 cloves, minced
Za'atar Spice 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp



Method

In a bowl mix together Greek yogurt, salt, za'atar spice and lemon juice. Mix well. Set aside.

In a glass dish spread the yogurt first. Using a spatula level the yogurt. Next goes the hummus. Level that too.

Add lettuce on the hummus. Next, onions, tomatoes and cucumber. 

Layer olives, add some Chobani® Savor™ Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt topper. Sprinkle scallions, cilantro and mint. 

Chill covered with cling wrap till ready to enjoy. 

Serve with your choice of chips or vegetables. Dig in! 



Stop by Walmart and pick up your Chobani® Savor™ Whole Milk plain Greek Yogurt topper today!

Red Lentil Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto

This post is sponsored by Barilla but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. #TeamCleanPlate

30 minute weeknight meal; this Red Lentil Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto is addictive and easy to make! Vegan and Gluten free too! 


Shouldn't all meals be easy to make? Such that everyone on the family can enjoy as a one pot meal? Yes, right? If this is what you think everyday; this post is tailor made for you, I promise! 

Pasta has always been a special ingredient in my pantry. Different shapes and sizes of dried pasta, colorful sauces and varied add-ins have always found a favorite spot on our dinner table. We love our baked casseroles with pasta, pesto based sauces, pasta salads and minestrone soup with pasta in it. 

Today's recipe is something we have loved for a while now. An easy to make pasta recipe that takes only 30 minutes from start to finish; this is a FULL meal made in just one pot! And did I tell you, this one has ZERO cheese or butter?


How to make cheese-free Pasta?

If you think pasta HAS to be laded with cheese, butter or cream; think again. Pasta recipes can be GOOD for you; just like this one. This recipe uses just a few ingredients that are balanced, easy to source and makes a great dinner recipe. 

The recipe has a pesto in it; but mind you, it is not your regular pesto. This pesto has sun-dried tomatoes added to it. The flavor that it adds to the pesto is so awesome; that I am not making the regular pesto again! The creaminess from pine nuts and tomatoes is enough to NOT add any cheese to it. Plus, no sprinkled cheese on top. So the recipe is Vegan! 


What ingredients go in this recipe?
The STAR of this recipe is the RED LENTIL PASTA from Barilla. A grain free recipe made from JUST one ingredient; this pasta has superior taste and texture. Plus, it matches perfectly with a variety of sauces (another addictive recipe tomorrow!) and is good for you, I promise! 

I am still imagining how wonderful it is that Barilla picked Red Lentil and converted it to pasta. What was once just a lentil; now is an ingredient to make the most delish pasta! If you like this one; you should check out the Barilla Chickpea Pasta on Amazon too. They are both super addictive! 

Buy yours HERE!!


The pesto sauce is the next ingredient in the recipe. One notch higher than the regular sauce, no cheese and no preservatives, this pesto is made from scratch and takes less than 5 minutes to whip together. Not just for pasta, this one is great to dip breadsticks too.


We love our pastas full of garlic and so I added a couple of tablespoons. Modify it based on your preference. I added just a couple of vegetables but you can add more for sure. Broccoli, carrots and mushrooms work great in the recipe! 



Why you should make this one?

The above should have convinced you to make this recipe for weeknight dinners. But if you are still thinking and debating, here is why you should make it:
  • Comes together in under 30 minutes
  • Vegan and Gluten-free
  • Delicious and easy to make
  • Zero cheese, butter and heavy cream
  • Great for weeknight dinner
So, now, head straight to Amazon; get your set of Barilla Red Lentil Pasta and start this recipe. You will be hooked for sure! 



Ingredients

For the Pesto

Sun-dried Tomatoes 1/2 cup, drained
Basil 1 cup, packed
Pine Nuts 2 tbsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Flakes a pinch


For the Pasta

Barilla Red Lentil Pasta 2 cups (Get yours HERE)
Garlic 2-3 cloves, minced
Onion 1/2 medium, diced
Pepper 1/2 medium, diced
Sun-Dried Tomatoes 1/4 cup
Spinach 1 cup, chopped
Black Olives 6-7, sliced
Dried Oregano 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tbsp


Method

To make the pesto, blend together all the ingredients under 'pesto' except olive oil in a high powerful blender. Once the texture is coarse, add the olive oil and blend till smooth. Use some water if required. Transfer the pesto to a jar and let it rest.

Boil the Barilla Red Lentil Pasta in boiling water for 7-8 minutes. Remove and drain. Set aside.

In a pan add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Once hot, add garlic. Sauté till fragrant and add onions and peppers. Let them cook for a couple of minutes and add the spinach leaves. Cook till the leaves wilt and add the cooked pasta. Add olives and sun-dried tomatoes. 

Season with salt and dried oregano. Mix well and turn down the flame. Toss the pasta in prepared pesto and serve. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Veggie Roasted Tomato Sandwich

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VeggieNewYear #MorningStarFarms #CollectiveBias


All your breakfast favorites come together PERFECTLY in this sandwich. Easy to m
ake and needs just a few pantry essentials! Need any more to WOW your family?



January is coming to a close, how is everyone doing on this year's New Year resolutions? For those of you who decided to include plant based recipes in your diet, I hope you have been able to stick to the resolution! 

A lot of readers have told me they are able to get meatless lunch and dinner but struggle for breakfast. Sausage, eggs and recipes made using meat and eggs is what they enjoy and cannot find a replacement for these that is meatless. Today, I have a breakfast recipe that has become a family favorite lately! And it will soon be your favorite too! 

If you are looking for as-is meal solution for breakfast, lunch or dinner; this post is tailor made for you! MorningStar Farms® Sausage Patty, available at Walmart makes a great addition to any meal. These are not just for vegetarians; they are for everyone! Get your favorites from their products on Walmart Grocery by clicking on the image below! 


What is in this breakfast sandwich?

If you ask anyone for their favorite breakfast recipe; it will be among the following: sausage, bacon, eggs, yogurt, potatoes, tomatoes and bread. I picked a few ingredients from the list and put together a sandwich that is delish and easy to make. 

I picked these ingredients and matched them to make a flavorful sandwich. Yogurt, tomatoes and veggie sausage patty go in my sandwich, along with basil pesto and greens.

Yogurt is a breakfast classic and it combines with hot sauce in this recipe! Plus, who can go wrong with oven roasted tomatoes? We love our tomatoes roasted with minimal spices and just a little olive oil. I used these to complete the sandwich and the result has been YUM! 



Variations

In this recipe I used MorningStar Farms® Sausage Patty. However, if you check out your Walmart Grocery app you will see that MorningStar Farms® has a lot of options. Pick your favorite patty to build the sandwich. 

I used mixed greens here, but feel free to use spinach, lettuce or a combination of your favorite greens. Basil Pesto is ALWAYS in my freezer and that is what I used for this one. The freshness from basil always makes the best sandwiches. 



I skipped the cheese and mayonnaise in this recipe and used just Greek yogurt. It was perfectly creamy, and I did not miss either of the ingredients in my sandwich. 

Another important part of the recipe are the Oven roasted Tomatoes. I used Roma as they are super flavorful. Use green tomatoes or heirlooms. They have a little more moisture and will take longer to grill. Thick slices are yummy but take forever to grill. 1/4 inch slices work perfectly for us! 



Ingredients

Bread 2 (burger buns, ciabatta bread or any other breakfast bread)
Salad Greens 1/2 cup
Basil Pesto 1/4 cup
Greek Yogurt 1/4 cup
Hot Sauce 1 tsp
Roma Tomatoes 2
Oregano 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil 1/2 tsp



Method

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Slice Roma tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano on them. Add some olive oil on the slices.

Place MorningStar Farms® Sausage Patty on the baking tray as well. Bake for 10-12 minutes; till the patty is crisp. Remove patty from the tray and continue to bake the tomatoes till the tomatoes lose all the moisture (about 30 minutes in all). 

Meanwhile, mix in hot sauce with yogurt and set aside. Keep pesto ready. Grill a breakfast bun of your choice and keep ready.

To assemble the sandwich, place the sandwich bread. Spread pesto on the slice, add salad greens. Next place a few slices of oven roasted tomatoes, two MorningStar Farms® Sausage Patty and Spicy Yogurt. Spread pesto on the other slice and place it on the yogurt. 

Enjoy immediately or pack for a quick breakfast at work or school! 



Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Instant Pot Paneer Butter Masala

Creamy, rich and delicious restaurant style Paneer Butter Masala. This recipe is super easy to make in the Instant Pot and is best served with Tava NaanGarlic Kulcha and Jeera Rice


Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

I have posted a variety of Indian recipes on the blog. Various curries, rice recipes, snacks, appetizers and desserts. Today, I am posting yet another easy Indian recipe that can be made at home for restaurant style meals. 

Paneer Butter Masala is a popular Indian curry that is PERFECT with naan, roti or parathas. This curry is often ordered from restaurants, had at weddings and other occasions or made at home. This creamy curry is now easy to make with the Instant Pot! 


A mildly sweet and super creamy preparation of paneer (Indian cottage cheese), this curry has a base of onion, tomatoes, cashews and cream. Flavored with Indian spices, Paneer Butter Masala is pretty easy to make in the Instant Pot. A fairly complex recipe can converted to a one pot meal with this recipe! 

Video Recipe





Paneer Butter Masala vs Paneer Makhani

Paneer is a popular ingredient in Indian cooking. A favorite among many people, there are TONS of recipes using paneer. From paneer palak and paneer tikka to paneer pasanda and paneer chilli, all these recipes are super delicious and popular.

However, the MOST popular paneer dishes are Paneer Makhani and Paneer Butter Masala. While a lot of folks use these names interchangeable; there are subtle differences in them.


Paneer Makhani is made by adding tomato puree to sautéed garlic and onion. For Paneer Butter Masala, diced tomatoes are added to butter with garlic and onions. The tomatoes get cooked with the other ingredients and then it is pureed. 

Both curries are made with cashews and cream; and both have some butter in them. Given Makhani means creamy and Butter is creamy too; both these curries have creaminess in them. That makes them a little heavy to eat and call for a nap after enjoying them with HOT naan! 



Why use the Instant Pot to make this?

Most Indian curries tend to be pretty tedious to make. They call for a ton of pots and pans and need complex ingredients. By using the Instant Pot we can convert these complex recipes to one pot methods. They take far less time to make without compromising on the taste. 

This curry is one such recipe. Simple ingredients are used, it needs only one pot (especially if you have an immersion blender) and is no fail. I have made this recipe several times, finally got to shooting it and writing it out this week! 


Love Instant Pot recipes? Try these easy to make Indian recipes using the Instant Pot:


Important Ingredients in the recipe

As the recipe name mentions, this curry is made EXCLUSIVELY in butter. Paneer Butter Masala tastes perfect when butter is used. If you use oil, the curry will definitely not taste the same. 

The paneer used in the recipe determines how good it tastes. Good quality Malai paneer or freshly made paneer can be used in the recipe. If using homemade paneer, make sure it is pressed well and diced. Else the paneer will crumble in the gravy. 


Raw cashews work best in this recipe. Roasted cashews do not process to a smooth paste and tends to yield a thin gravy with pieces of cashews. I used cream from a store in the recipe. If you have homemade cream, that works too. 

Garam Masala is used here for flavor to simplify the ingredients. If you like, you can add whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. It can be added to the butter and then pureed with the other ingredients. Sugar is added in the recipe. This little amount of sugar goes a long way in making the taste balanced. Finally, kasoori methi is used here. It gives a characteristic flavor to the curry. Try not skipping this one! 

Now, with all that information, hope you try this recipe. Looking for serving suggestions? Try this Tava NaanGarlic Kulcha and Jeera Rice



Ingredients

For the Gravy
Onion 1/2 cup, diced
Tomatoes 1 cup, diced
Garlic 2-3 cloves, chopped
Ginger 1 inch piece, chopped
Green Chili 1, minced
Butter 2 tbsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp


Other Ingredients
Paneer 400 grams, cut into cubes
Fresh Cream 1/2 cup
Kasoori Methi/ Dried Fenugreek leaves 1/2 tsp
Cilantro to top



Method

Set the Instant Pot to 'Saute' and Normal. Add butter and let it melt. Once the butter melts, add garlic, ginger and green chili. Add onion and mix well. 

Next add the tomatoes and cashews. Mix well and add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, salt and sugar. Mix well and add 2 cups water. Mix well.

Press 'Cancel' and set the mode to 'Pressure Cook'. Set pressure to high and time to 3 minutes. Close the lid, move the valve to 'Sealing' and let the gravy cook. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. 

Then, move the valve to 'Venting' to release the remaining pressure. Open the Instant Pot. Either with an immersion blender or using a blender, process the gravy to a smooth paste. 

Transfer the gravy back to the pot. Set the mode to 'Saute' and add the fresh cream. Mix well and add the paneer cubes. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes and add kasoori methi. Mix well and serve topped with cilantro. 



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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Baked Stuffed Dabeli | Potato Stuffed Buns

Bread dough stuffed with tangy, sweet and spicy potato filling and add-ons and baked to perfection; this version of Kutchi Dabeli is addictive, delicious and easy to make! 


We are just a couple of weeks away from Super Bowl! One of the most watched game here in US, this game is amazing to enjoy with friends and family. Apart from the game, the highlight is definitely the food! Chips and dips, pizza and Nachos are the MOST popular game-day recipes. 

When you have the same recipes over and over again, it might get boring. That is when you need some new ideas to enjoy. This post is definitely handy for that! Whether party or not, this BAKED version of Dabeli is amazing, I promise.


If you are wondering what I am talking about, here is what I mean. Dabeli, a popular Indian snack is made by adding a sweet and spicy potato filling in a bun, toasting it with butter and enjoying. I have made the traditional recipe many times, here is a slight variation that is fun and makes a BIG batch at once. 

From making bread separately and making the filling, then stuffing and baking; I moved the steps around and filled the stuffing in bread dough, baked and then broiled the ENTIRE batch. The result is 15 stuffed buns made at once! 


I have made several trays of this in the past. Most of the time it has been in India; for my family that loves Dabeli. I barely get to shoot there; given I am on a vacation. So this time I made this in such a way that I could shoot it and share it here. And even before the post made it to the blog, I made another two batches over the weekend! 

If you are a fan of stuffed breads, here are the recipes I have posted in the past. They are readers' favorites already and I add another one to the list today! 
Coming back to the recipe, Dabeli is a popular street snack from India. Originally from the state of Gujarat, this recipe is now popular all over the country and beyond. The main important elements of the dish are the sweet and spicy filling, soft bread that is perfectly toasted with butter. I have the traditional version of the Dabeli on the blog already. Find it here: Kutchi Dabeli.


Variations

For this recipe I used all purpose flour for the bread. However a mix of all purpose and whole wheat or 100% wheat flour can be used too. Just make sure you add essential wheat gluten to make the bread soft.

The filling is made from boiled potatoes, masala and a few add-ins. I used store bought Masala, but many people prefer a home-made one. There are several recipes online to make it.

The add-ins can be customized as per liking. Add tutti-frutti if you have, leave them if you don't. Skip peanuts to make it nut-free. Pomegranate is great for a sweet taste. I would recommend not leaving that out. 

Last, my favorite butter to use for such recipes is the Indian brand 'Amul'. Having grown up with it, I would strongly recommend that for the same flavor as the Dabeli from India. 

The first couple of times I served the Dabeli after baking. The top was soft and did not feel like the traditional one. Then I spread butter on top and broiled them. The result was PERFECT! So I concluded it is my favorite way to make them! 

With all this information, hope you are ready to make your own version of Dabeli! 



Ingredients

For the Bread Dough

Unsalted Butter 3 tbsp
Active Dry yeast 2 1/4 tsp
Warm Water 1 cup
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp


For the potato filling

Potato 2, boiled
Salt 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Lime Juice 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Garlic 1-2 cloves, minced

Finely diced onions 1/2 cup
Pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup
Tutti-frutti 1/4 cup
Sweet Dates-Tamarind Chutney 1/2 cup
Cilantro to top
Butter to top


Method

To make the Bread Dough

Add 1 tsp salt and sugar to warm water (110 F -115 F). Add yeast and mix well. Let the yeast bloom for 10 minutes. Once the yeast blooms, add it to the base of a stand mixer or a bowl. Mix in all purpose flour, melted unsalted butter and remaining salt. 

Knead till the ingredients come together as a soft dough. Apply oil on it and rest covered for an hour.

Potato Filling

Heat oil in a pan, add Dabeli Masala and minced garlic. Let it cook for a couple of minutes till the raw flavors vanish. Mash the boiled potatoes and add to the pan. Add all the other ingredients under potato filling and mix well. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes and turn down the flame. Set aside.

Using a deep plate or bowl, press down the potato mixture. Spread masala peanuts, half the sev, tutti-frutti, onions, cilantro and pomegranate seeds on it. Press it all down and refrigerate till making the dabeli.


Sweet Dates-Tamarind Chutney

Take 2 cups of dates, with pits removed. Mix with 1/2 cup of tamarind, half cup jaggery, a pinch of cumin seeds and 2 cups of water. Pressure cook the mixture till 3-4 whistles or till the mixture is cooked. Cool the mixture, and make a thick paste. Add Chaat Masala and ground Roasted Cumin powder. This can be stored for several days by freezing the mixture.

To roll the Dabeli

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Divide the bread dough into 15 equal parts. In each part add 3 tbsp of potato filling and 1/4 tsp of sweet dates tamarind chutney. 

Roll the dough into a smooth round and place in the baking tray. Apply some oil/butter on them and cover. Let the breads rise for an hour in a warm place. 


To bake and finish the Dabeli

Once the Dabeli rises, preheat oven to 400 F/ 205 C. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, till the top is golden brown. 

Remove tray and spread some butter on top. Set the oven to Broil and place the tray in it. Broil for 2-3 minutes so the top is buttery and crisp. Serve with some sev, onion and cilantro. 


DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.