Mar 20, 2013

Pan Seared Tofu with a Tomato Ginger Sauce

Protein Protein Everywhere (PUN INTENDED!)

It was about 20 minutes until dinner time and I had no brilliant ideas. I opened the fridge. Saw the usual - tofu, and a lots of color..tomatoes chillies, cilantro, lemons - and we had some bread at home. So there it is. Seared tofu with a tomato ginger sauce!

I have made this recipe with cubed tofu several times but this way it is just quicker. Skip the heat if you prefer but with the ginger the heat and the lemon add a perfect kick! Again like most other recipes this will be stove-to-plate within 20 minutes. 

High protein, low sodium, low fat recipe.


  1. Firm tofu, large rectangular pieces, drained and dried.
  2. 3 large tomatoes ( I use plum or roma)
  3. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  4. 2 tbsp freshly chopped ginger
  5. 2-3 Thai hot pepper (optional)
  6. Salt
  7. 3-4 tbsp oil
Dice the tomatoes and the cut the ginger finely.

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin and thai hot  chillies
Add the tomatoes, ginger, salt and some turmeric (optional) and cook with the lid covered for 5-8 minutes to get a smooth sauce.

In the mean while drizzle a few drops of oil on the tava and let the tofu pieces get a bit crispy.

Add 2-3 big tbsps of the sauce onto the tofu and let them cook with the sauce for 3-5 min.

Serve with  a lemon/cilantro garnish. Prep Time: 2-3 mins: Cooking time 15 mins: Serving size: 1-2

Mar 11, 2013

Herb Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

This recipe is a quick and easy fix for all your carb cravings! Me and Siva indulge in these after a long and hard week or on a Sunday morning brunch!!
Again, like most of my recipes this is inspired from a spice blend from my mom. She uses these with garbanzo beans or with Kaala Chana (a Black Chickpea). I use with potatoes or Tofu! 

  1. 2 lbs Red potatoes, diced
  2. 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  3. 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  4. 1 tbsp dried mango power/ or lemon zest
  5. 3-4 tbsp oil


 In a blender add the coriander and cumin seeds and blend to get a coarse powder. (see picture)

Add the oil to a non stick pan (the better your non-stick pan the less oil you need). Allow it to heat up.
Add the spice mix to the oil and let the oil acquire the flavor from the spices.

Add the potatoes and stir well. Add the salt and mango powder or lemon zest. If you have neither just add 1-2 tbsp lemon juice in the end.
Cook at medium heat for 10-15 minutes. The potatoes will become tender within the first 5-8 mins. At this time increase the heat to high if you like the potatoes crispy. Let them acquire a brown crust.
 Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve with bread or rice. 

Cooking Time: 15 Mins, Prep Time: 5-10 mins. Servings: 4-6.
Herb Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

Feb 25, 2013

Vegan Cardamon Sweet Coconut Rice

I am not good at desserts. At least not yet! The recent snow storm in Minnesota made me crave for some of my mom's classic fixes. Sweet coconut rice made with jaggery and freshly grated coconut bursting with freshly ground cardamon flavor.

I was an extremely picky eater and my mom used to pack a freshly cooked lunch everyday, which she used to cook from scratch every morning before school. Not only did she make a huge variety of dishes, she made desserts for the lunch pack too. This was a delightful treat after lunch. Even to this day I have no clue how she pulled off so many delicious meals in the morning time. I think moms are magicians!  Anyhow, while I prepared this recipe I wished I could share it with my mom...oh well someday:)


  1.  2 cups cooked white/brown rice. I used brown.
  2. 1/2 cup jaggery. I know this needs some shopping in the Indian/Specialty stores. Try brown sugar instead. But frankly I just feel the recipe calls for ja---gge---ry!
  3. 2-4 tbsn Fresh or dried coconut. Now I grew up eating the fresh coconut version but I tried it with the dried ones. It was a close second.
  4. 4 cardamons
  5. 2 tbsp water

  1. In a pan add the jaggery and water and allow to melt into a caramelized sauce texture (~5-8 mins). Keep at medium heat and don't let it burn.
  2. Add the coconut and cook briefly (~5mins)
  3. Add the rice and stir well. 
  4. Stir for 5 mins to get a consistency shown. Garnish with cardamon and enjoy!

Prep Time 5-8 mins. Time: 15 mins.


Feb 18, 2013

Vegan Pasta Upma!! A quick and easy lunch option!


Its amazing how fast Mondays go by (best part of Mondays!) and the recipes I have taken pictures of, while they were being made, remain on my computer staring at me every time I return to my desk for breaks from running experiments screaming to be published. With that said here's a quick and easy lunch option for this week.

This is another one of Siva's creations. I have to say, his simple recipes are a life-saver on busy week-days. Even easy to clean the kitchen afterwards!

 This is a versatile option with possibility of countless variations for lunch. Makes a good portion to last a couple days (at least), so you dont have to worry about planning for lunch pack.

I call it Upma, because its a take on a Classic South Indian dish made with cream of wheat, which I will update very soon.

Feb 4, 2013

20 Minute Monday Meal!! Peppers and Tofu Stir Fry

Yeah its Monday again! If you are way behind schedule, then home cooked (vegan) dinner might seem like a distant possibility. STOP before you head to the freezer to thaw out a pizza or reach out to a boxed dinner.

Here is a 20 minute monday meal! Its extremely healthy, high in protein will fill a family of four (when served with bread) and yes its VEGAN!


1.     2 Large bell peppers diced. (You can also use red or yellow ones).
2.    1 pack (~200 g) Extra firm tofu, drained and cubed.
3.     1 red or white onion, finely chopped.
4.     1 tsp cumin

5.     2 tsp trmuric
6.     1 tsp red chilli flakes (optional)
7.     2 tsp oil
8.     Salt to taste
9.     Lime, cilantro and ginger (optional) for garnish

Jan 31, 2013

Ten Minute Vegan Nuggets - High Protein and Low Sodium

On wednesdays I usually get lazy, grow tired of the work week and start thinking of the glorious friday ahead. This is day I have the least motivation to get dinner and next day's lunch pack ready. Siva comes to rescue by cooking up his master recipes. This one is his creation. It needs almost no prep time and is ready to eat in 10 minutes! Healthy, high on protein, low sodium and fills you up.

Note that I have listed some spice variations that you can use too.

  1. 1 packet Morning Star Griller's Vegan (contains four patties) Cut these into small cubes.
  2. 1 strand Curry leaves. You can also try adding dry basil or rosemary instead.
  3. 1 tsp cumin. Leave this out if you are using an Italian/European spice.
  4. 1-2 Thai hot peppers. Substitute with red chilli flakes, which will go very well with basil or rosemary.
  5. 1 tbsp any oil.
  6. Salt
  7. Optional seasoning spice mix of your choice. Siva uses Tava Fry blend   available in any indian store. 

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cumin and thai chillis ( or dry basil, rosemary or red chilli flakes) and allow the oil to acquire the spice flavor.

Jan 29, 2013

Raw Vegan Sesame Cardamom Truffles

This is quite possibly the simplest of the recipes I have ever come across. You need only 3 things. Sesame seeds, Indian brown sugar (jaggery) and cardamom. My mom in-law made this when she was here. Simple tasty and yeah it is RAW VEGAN!

Jaggery is an ingredient that one would need to go to the local Indian store for (I am not sure if Whole Foods sells jaggery). I havent tried to replace it with dark brown sugar. Try it and do post if its possible.


1. 2 cups slightly roasted sesame seeds.

2. 1 Cup jaggery.

3. 3-4 Cardamoms.

Jan 28, 2013

The GLT Lentil Soup -With garlic lemon turmeric


  1. 2 1/2 Cups soaked lentils. You can also use presoaked lentils. Available at Trader Joe's or walmart.
  2. 2 tbsp oil. Any oil will work. I prefer sunflower oil. 
  3. 1 large tomato or two small- chopped.
  4. 1 clove of garlic minced fine.
  5. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds.
  6. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
  7. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  8. 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional).
  9. 1 strand curry leaves (optional).
  10. 1/2 lime
  11. Cilantro and lime wedge for garnish. Serve it with some freshly made guacomole and toasted bread.
  12. Salt to taste