1.12.2015

Moroccan ChickPea Patties


Surely this was the day I barely had any ingredients at home. I was out of fresh vegetables and without them I was totally out of ideas for lunch. I looked in the pantry and was delighted to see chickpeas and tomato sauce (canned of course!). I knew this would make for a beautiful meal and it is totally easy to make too. So I put my thinking cap on and decided to go the mediterranean route with aromatic flavors of cumin and paprika. I think cumin may be one of my favorite spices because in all my dishes it always adds this depth of flavor and  heat. I cannot place in words what level it takes my recipes too. So this time I decided to do the same and made chickpea patties with a mediterranean flavored tomato sauce. It was so light and refreshing that I was energized and satisfied for the rest of my day.
During my days in residency ( I am an Internal Medicine Resident, by the way), cooking has been my escape. Through my tough days, cooking dinner and experimenting in new ways is what has got me through. I do not think I could have completed my days in residency without being a chef in my kitchen. There were days when my patients did not have the best outcome. It was not anyones fault sometimes not even their own. Then I would question myself why did this happen? Being depressed and angry I would come home and not wanting to go on another day. However, I have realized to be sane during residency you need a passion beyond medicine. I am very happy I found mine. Through, cooking I can express my emotions and sometimes the love and spirituality that I get from being a physician. This blog is not only my oasis but sometimes my escape.

Back to the recipe now! This sophisticated and flavorful meal can be made under 40 minutes and will surely make your spouse or children happy. It can be placed in pita bread or in just plain whole wheat slices and just spread the sauce and it will make for a great meal for a larger family. Let me know how you like it! Stay tuned for more fun recipes coming your way :)

Ingredients:
1 Can of ChickPeas (15.5 Ounce Can)
1/4 Cup of Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons of Paprika
2 Teaspoons of Cumin
Salt & Pepper

Tomato Sauce:
1 Can Tomato Sauce (29 Ounces)
Salt & Pepper
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
A Pinch of Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresh Plum Tomato (Finely Chopped for Garnishing)

Directions:
In a food processor, place the canned chickpeas and chop until fine but not pureed. Make sure you see smaller pieces of chickpeas in your food processor when done. Place the chickpeas in a small bowl, sprinkle in the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients well. Then pour in the breadcrumbs and break one egg into the mixture. Using a big spoon, mix the ingredients well together. It is should make a semi-solid homogenous mixture. If it appears to be too liquid, add in the extra bread crumbs. Using your hands, make into small round patties. it should make approximately 4-6 patties. Heat a skillet on medium heat and pour in the olive oil. Individually place each patty on your skillet. Once a single side is brown, flip them and cook the other side. Place aside when done!

For the sauce, start by heating a saucepan on medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and when it appears to be heated pour in the tomato sauce. Start my sprinkling salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and cumin. Finally when the sauce is bubbly and aromatic, add a pinch of cinnamon. Let the sauce simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. When done serve with the chickpea Patties!

Bon Appetite!

1.05.2015

Fried ChickPeas with Avocado Chobani Sauce Wrap


I am obsessed with fresh food. I love when we can use the adjectives  fresh, healthy and tasty in one recipe. Not only did I love the taste at the time of eating but felt great afterwards without feeling too full and lethargic. I have been trying to incorporate greek yogurt a lot more in my diet to make sure I get enough protein. This recipe makes sure you get your protein and vegetables in for the day. I have sneaked protein into the sauce and of course chick peas are a great source too. The flavors of this dish rejuvenated me for the rest of the day. I stir fried the chickpeas in extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine (Ann Intern Med. 7 January 2014, 160(1):1-10) concluded that a Mediterranean diet enriched with EVOO but without energy restrictions reduced the diabetes risk among people with high cardiovascular risk. Given the recent data on EVOO, I have really started incorporating it in most of my dishes. Though, we do not follow a purely mediterranean diet, I try my best to include nuts and EVOO as much as I can. EVOO is richer and has a complex taste that really can be developed. It is also higher in calories so lesser can be used and we can still reap the benefits of it.
This recipe truly brings together the richness of EVOO, protein from Chobani yogurt, chickpeas and good fats from avocado. Try this easy and simple recipe which should be under 30 minutes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



Ingredients:

1 Can of Chickpeas (29 Ounce Can)
4 Tortillas ( Whole Wheat)
1 Large Tomato (Sliced)
1/2 Sweet White Onion (Finely Chopped)
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Avocado (Peeled and Finely Mashed with Mortar and Pestle)
2 Tablespoon of Plain and Fat Free Chobani
2 Teaspoon of Sriracha Sauce
1/4 cup of Chopped Cilantro
2 Teaspoons of Orange Zest
Salt & Pepper To Taste
1 Teaspoon of Paprika
1 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Dried Cumin

Directions:

Heat a skillet on medium heat and pour in the olive oil. In the meantime, drain the canned chickpeas and wash in a bowl. Using a paper towel, dry the chick peas. Place the chickpeas in the hot oil carefully, making sure the oil does not jump. Decrease the heat if necessary. Fry the chickpeas in the EVOO for 10-15 minutes until the chickpeas are golden brown and appear crispy. Drain the Chickpeas into a paper towel and toss in salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. For the avocado sauce, mix the finely mashed avocado with Chobani yogurt, sriracha, salt and pepper. Mix well until it is a heterogenous mixture. On a tortilla, spread the avocado Chobani sauce. Then place the fried chickpeas on top with fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Finally, place the orange zest on top. Serve immediately without folding the wrap so the beautiful filling could be seen.


Bon Appetite!!




12.17.2014

Mediterranean Grilled Paneer with Beet Chobani Sauce


Greek yogurt is a great source of protein for us vegetarians. I was introduced to it by one of my fitness-inspired friends about 5 years ago. Since then not a day goes by without chobani for me. I always used the non-fat greek yogurt which contains the least amount of carbs with the maximal protein (18 grams). At times, I was amazed that I am getting almost as much protein as a chicken breast. I have tried incorporating greek yogurt in many recipes before. One of my favorites is paneer tikka masala using chobani as the sauce. However, this time I wanted to create something refreshing and healthy at the same time. After much brainstorming, I thought of the sizzlers that I eat in Indian restaurants. The sizzle of tandoori paneer is absolutely mouth watering. However, I rarely get a chutney with it that hits the spot for me. I personally dont think anyone can make coriander chutney better than my mom but I may just be biased from childhood habits. This recipe provides a twist on the paneer sizzler that we are all used to ordering. The paneer is not marinated but infact grilled with  salt, pepper and garlic powder making it plain and simple. However, the real flavor comes from the chobani sauce drizzled on top. The plain non-fat yogurt incorporates beets, onions, cumin, paprika and fresh mint. Not only does it bring out beautiful color but also adds an essence of freshness from the cool yogurt and mint combination. The recipe is simple, fun and refreshing.

Paneer is an Indian-inspired cheese originating and consumed in the region of Punjab. It is not hard to find in the United States and is readily available at any Indian grocery store. For people in regions that are not near big cities where indian grocery stores will be available, it can be ordered with amazonfresh. It just never ceases to amaze when I can buy fresh food online.  In this recipe while grilling you have to make sure that your do not grill the paneer on both sides at the same time with the grill top pressing on it. This will dehydrate the paneer and make it very hard. I made this big mistake in a recent get together and by the time all the guests arrived the paneer was stiff as rock. Obviously embarassing! So just make sure the paneer is grilled one side at a time.  As soon as you seen grill marks, flip the paneer and do the other side. This way the paneer will remain soft on the inside.

The greek yogurt sauce will work well as a dip with pita bread as well. We will definitely be making this for our holiday party upcoming next week as one of the appetizers. The cool sauce will also be perfect in the summer for an outdoor barbeque. The pink color will definitely catch the attention of your guests and will for sure be a crowd pleaser. I hope you all try this recipe and #madewithchobani


Ingredients:

Chobani Sauce:
6 ounces of Non-fat plain greek yogurt (1 container)
2 beets peeled, boiled and chopped (Juliened)
1/2 White onion (Finely chopped)
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
Salt & Pepper
5-7 leaves of Mint (Chiffonade)


Grilled Paneer:
200 grams Paneer (Cut in thin 1/4 inch thick, 2 inches x 1 inch rectangle)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil

Directions:
Heat the grill to medium heat. Start by placing paneer, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a ziploc bag and mix well. Make sure all of the paneer is well coated. Then, place on top of the grill. Do not place the top of the grill to press the paneer. As grill marks start to appear on the bottom of the paneer (3-4 minutes), flip them all individually and grill the other side. In the mean time in a bowl, add the chopped beets, onions and mint. Combine it with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. When the vegetables are well mixed, pour in the greek yogurt. Fold the greek yogurt into the mixture. Do not stir vigorously. Just fold gently and you will start seeing the color of the yogurt change. When the sauce is well mixed, place it in the refrigarator. Drizzle on top of the grilled paneer and serve immediately.

Serves 2-3

Bon Appetite!!







12.13.2014

Delicate Caramelized Onion and Brie Quiche


 A favorite sunday breakfast treat is a quiche. This french recipe really does justice to its origin. The delicate and sophisticated flavor of this quiche brings together the flavor of France. As I mentioned earlier the key of this blog is for you to get a burst of flavor in your mouth. This recipe needs no condiments however it does require a sophisticated palate. Its not spicy but with each bite you will taste the different layer of flavor from the brie and caramelized onion. These two ingredients bring the whole recipe together so well.

I made this dish for my husband today as a treat for a Saturday morning after a hard work week. His first instinct after I place this dish on a plate was to bring out his ketchup and hot sauce. So I told him to try this just on its own. As he took a bite, every second a new flavor came out. By the end of his first bite he was truly very impressed. The rosemary really assisted in bringing out the freshness of this dish. He was truly very satisfied and was ready to start his day happy. Nowadays, I have really started enjoying the french flavors in my cooking. They can be incorporated in so many ways and can give a whole level to vegetarian cooking.

This recipe is easy to make and a classy meal on its own. It would also be great for a holiday brunch party and also as just a breakfast meal. Will surely be making this recipe soon again!


    Ingredients:
    1 Pie Crust
    8 Eggs
    5 Ounces of Brie Cheese
    1 Whole white onion (chopped in round slices)
    1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
    1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Rosemary
    1/2 Teaspoon of Sage
    Salt & Pepper
    1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a skillet on medium heat and drizzle the oliv e oil. Once the oil is heated, add in the chopped sliced onions. Stir the onions until they are brownish black. In a muffin baking sheet, start by spraying non-stick cooking oil. Cut the Pie crust using a small bowl in small round sheets that are the circumference of each individual muffin tins. Start by placing each individual pie crust into each muffin tin, then place 3-4 slices of the caramelized onions in each muffin tin. Cut the brie into 12 smaller slices and place on top of the onions in the muffin tins. In a separate bowl, whisk together 8 eggs, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour now the egg mixture into the individual muffin tins, until they are 3/4 way full. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the middle of the egg is set. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Makes for 12 mini-quiches
Serving Size: 4

Bon Appetite!
 


11.30.2014

Savory and Sweet Stuffed Biscuits


My love for biscuits started in Malaysia when my parents would take me to Kenny Rogers. I lived in Malaysia for 8 years and American food was quite popular there. Apparently in the 90s, Kenny Rogers was quite famous in Asia. Everyone just loved eating mac & cheese, creamed spinach, rotisserie chicken and biscuits. I was no different and ever since then biscuits are irresistible to me.

Biscuits could not be easier to make as a snack or a quick meal. They are buttery and so satisfying that it is always kept as a staple at my home. Even though biscuits are delicious on their own and pair well with classic American meals, I can not help myself but add a twist to it. This recipe is so easy to make and should not take more than 25 minutes from start to finish. The reason I really like this recipe is because it reminds of crepes. It is savory from the basil and mushrooms which pair well with the brie. At the same time the mild sweetness from the blackberry jam adds a nice touch.
I usually make a lot of this and then reheat or take to work. I microwave for 30 seconds after making a slight slit on top with a knife and it is as good as you just made it. This recipe would be great for a party side as well. Hope it is as delectable to you as it is to me!



Ingredients:
Pillsbury Pre-cut Biscuits
10 Fresh Basil Leaves
4 Teaspoons of Blackberry Jam
6 Baby Bella Mushrooms (Chopped and Sauteed)
4 ounces of Brie


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the Biscuit Dough until they are approximately 1/2 inch deep
Spread the blackberry jam (1 Teaspoon per dough)
Place in an ounce of brie, fresh basil and the sauteed mushrooms.

Grab the ends of the dough and bring them together. Press on top to join the ends together
This is what the final dough should look like! Place in the oven for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown.


Bon Appetite!