Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lasagna - Veggie Version..

Residing in Bahrain, we always have a challenge of finding veg food.. of course there are options but surely not ample.. and finding a veg lasagna .. far fetcheddd... thus, the decision of trying one at home.. and after reading a dozen recipes and an average experiment.. finally I succeeded ..

Also, this version is low on cheese..Arunesh is health conscious and thus, I decided to use our Indian version of cheese.. PANEER or Cottage Cheese.. Thou I did use Cheddar for garnish ;)

Sharing the version of my VEGETABLE LASAGNA with you... It surprised me.. and I am sure it ll surprise you too once u try it... it was simply yumm...

Ingredients (for a big dish)
Lasagna Sheets - 6 (I had rectangular ones)
Onions - 1 cup (finely chopped)
Garlic - 1 teaspoon (finely chopped)
Babycorn - 1 cup (diced)
Broccoli - 1 cup (small florets)
Mushroom - 2 cups (sliced)
Tomato - 2 cups (diced)
Tomato Ketchup - 1 cup
Cottage Cheese/ Fresh Paneer - 200 grams (crumbled)
White Flour - 2 Tablespoons
Milk - 2 cups
Parmesan Cheese - 2 Tablespoons
Black Pepper
Red Chili Flakes
Olive Oil
Cheddar Cheese - for garnish (grated)
Mint Chutney - 2 Tablespoon (Optional)

We need to prepare each layer for the lasagna and compile in the end before baking.. our layers would be: Lasagna Sheets, Vegetables, Paneer, White Sauce.

For the Vegetables: Heat a little Olive Oil in a non-stick pan. Add Garlic and Onions. Fry till Onions are translucent. Add Babycorn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, add Broccoli and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then, add the Mushrooms and Tomatoes along with some salt and let it cook. Once the vegetables are tender, add Tomato Ketchup and mix well. Adjust the spice levels with pepper, chili flakes and salt.

For the White Sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of Butter in a non-stick pan. Add White Flour and roast on high heat till it becomes brown. Add 2 cups of milk and stir continuously (this shall help in avoiding lumps) Once the mixture boils and starts to thicken, add Parmesan, Salt, Pepper and Oregano. Remove from heat and keep aside.

For Lasagna Sheets: There are 2 kinds of sheets available in the market - those which can be used raw and shall cook while baking & those which need to be cooked before layering. Please follow the instructions given on your box. I used the ones that had to be cooked in salted boiling water for 8-9 minutes.

For Paneer: Crumble the Cottage Cheese/ Paneer finely with hands. Add 2 Tablespoons of Mint Chutney (Mint Leaves blended with salt, green chili and little water) and mix well. This will add a minty flavor to the Paneer. However, this step isn't necessary - you could use plain Paneer instead.

Layering: Take a square baking dish and brush Olive Oil on the base and the sides. Cover the base with Lasagna Sheets (cooked in my case) Pour a layer of Vegetables. Sprinkle crumbled Paneer and then pour a layer of White Sauce. Repeat this layering another time (White Sauce being the final layer) and finally garnish with grated Cheddar Cheese.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-30 mins at 350 F (or till the cheese becomes brown)

Serve piping hot... and I assure you ll keep going back for another bite :))

Linking the recipe to:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Crazzy Cooking Challenge .. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I love Cheese.. its just so yummy.. So when I stumbled across this amazing Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Cooking Classy, I knew my search was over and this would my recipe for the Crazy Cooking Challenge..


Though the recipe has ham in it.. I was just so fasinated with the idea of combining Cheese & Broccoli that I decided to make a vegetarian version of the recipe.. substituting ham with some sliced fresh button mushrooms.. And trust me, the sandwich came out yummm..

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Bread - 2 slices (brown/ white/ whole-wheat)
Cheddar Cheese (grated) - 3 Tablespoon
Parmesan Cheese (grated) - 2 Tablespoon
Broccoli (chopped into small florets) - 3-4 Tablespoon
Button Mushrooms (sliced) - 3
Onion Powder - a pinch (optional)
Garlic Powder - a pinch (optional)
Black Pepper - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Olive Oil - 1 Tablespoon

1. Add water to the broccoli florets in a bowl and microwave for about 30-45 seconds - this will soften the broccoli. Alternatively, you could steam it too.

2. Combine Cheddar Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Steamed Broccoli, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder & Onion Powder in a bowl and mix well.

3. Layer the mixture over a slice of bread and then place the sliced mushrooms on it. Top with the other slice and press the sandwich gently with with both hands.

4. Heat a non-stick pan and drizzle 1/2 a tablespoon of Oilve Oil on it. Place the sandwich over it immediately. Flip the sandwich after about a minute but do remember to drizzle the balance Oilve Oil before you place the uncooked side. Leave it for about another minute before serving.. Incase you want the cheese totally melted, the sandwich could be heated for a lil longer...

5. Serve hottt.. this Crunchy Grilled Cheese Sandwich will keep you wanting moree...

Have fun visiting the other Crazy Cooking Challenge participants through the linky party below!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Strawberry Smoothie

 I am a Smoothie fan... for me, it wins over milk-shakes or over any drink for that matter... I experiment with almost every fruit .. will share the good ones off and on...

This is a fairly simple and probably the most common Smoothie... yet wanted to share it.. it's an all time favorite :)

Strawberry Smoothie

We would need:
Fresh Strawberries 6-8
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Vanilla Ice-cream 2 Tablespoons
Crushed Ice
*Sugar (optional- as per taste)

In a blender combine strawberries, milk, yogurt, vanilla ice-cream and sugar (optional). Toss in the ice. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses and serve.

Icy cold strawberry smoothie.. yumm !!

Linking this to: Tickling Palates' Lets Cook Fruits ; Cool Summer Sips by Pages ; Jump N Jive by Icypritz

Let's Cook~With Fruits

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cheesecake.. with Blueberries

As I write today.. am thrilled.. writing after a month feels so so good...

In one of my earlier posts, I remember mentioning how 2012 has been a health - disaster year for me and the same continued... But now hopefully it's all good and I am back to cooking.. blogging.. sharing :)) .. so I thot this post should be something sweet ... Thus, sharing my recipe of CHEESECAKE with you... served with fresh BLUEBERRIES..

This onezz is for my sister... it's her fav dessert.. and I wish to make it for her soon...

Sweet Biscuits (I use Marie) - 250 grams
Butter - 125 grams
Condensed Milk - 1 can (400 grams)
Cream Cheese - 350 grams
Lemon Juice - 1/3 of a cup
Blueberries - 1 cup

Crush Biscuits until powdered - add melted butter and mix well with your hand.

To set a cheesecake, you could either use a cake tin with detachable base or a round glass bowl with a flat base. In case you are using a round glass bowl, line the inner side of the bowl with aluminium foil (this will help in de-moulding the cake later). I used a flat base glass serving dish and lined it with foil. Spread the buttered crushed biscuit and press it well with a back of a spoon. Refrigerate for 15 mins.

Beat Cream Cheese in a seperate bowl till smooth and fluffy. Gradually add condensed milk and continue beating until smooth. Eventually add lemon juice and beat well. Pour this mixture in the refrigerated mould and refrigerate again till set. (best would be to refrigerate overnight)

Once set, de-mould by pulling the cake out gently along with the foil. The foil can then be removed.

Our Cheesecake is ready.. it can be topped with Blueberries.. Strawberries.. Chocolate Flakes.. any topping of your choice.. I used Blueberries :)) .. slice and serve..

Linking this recipe to Divya's Showcase - Desserts event..

and.. to Srivalli's Kid's Delight.. hosted by UK Rasoi