April 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Methi & Aloo Subji

Methi & Aloo Subji
One of my favorite vegetable dishes is Aloo & Methi which means Potato with Fenugreek Leaves. The leaves are grown from fenugreek seeds and are a little bitter in taste but very healthy for you. They are full of antioxidants and rich in minerals. I like to prepare this dish because it is very easy, tasty and good for your health.  It is also very quick and fun to eat with Paratha, an Indian leaven bread or roti.

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Serves: 4
Recipe Type: Vegan, Antioxidant, Gluten Free

Fresh Methi Leaves

1    Small Tomatoes, cubed
2    Medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed = almost 2 cups

(Keep cubed potatoes immersed in water until ready to cook.)
2    Bunches Methi leaves, washed and plucked = almost 2 cups

(Methi leaves are available frozen in Indian stores.)
1    Tsp Salt
2    TBsp Oil
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Chilli powder (more or less according to taste)
2    Tsp Coriander & Cumin Powder


  1. In a skillet, heat the oil on medium heat.
  2. Add fenugreek leaves and drained potatoes.  They will start to sizzle.
  3. With a spatula, stir methi & potatoes. 
  4. Add all the spices. 
  5. Stir again and cover with the lid.
  6. Lower the heat.
  7. After a few minutes, you will see that the potatoes are cooked. Check by cutting into pieces: if it is easily to do, it is ready. 
  8. Add tomatoes and stir. 
  9. Serve with chapatis or ready made whole wheat tortillas.When you serve whole wheat tortillas, warm them on a grill on medium heat. Apply butter and serve warm. It is also great when served with warm roti. Check website or video for Roti Recipe.


Nutrition Facts per Serving

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Health Benefits of Fenugreek Leaves

Home Remedy for Balancing Cholesterol

Studies have found people who took 2 ounces (56g) of fenugreek seed each day had significantly (around 14 percent) lower cholesterol levels after 24 weeks, and had lowered their risk of heart attack by more than 25 percent. Therefore, a recommended remedy for lowering cholesterol is to take 2 ounces of seeds throughout the day. The seeds can be sprinkled onto prepared food, or they can be consumed with water if they are in capsule form. 

Treating Diabetes and Lowering Blood Sugar Levels

Studies have shown that participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating fenugreek. Therefore, a recommended home remedy for treating Type 2 diabetes is to consume 500mg of fenugreek twice daily. 

Herbal Cure for Skin Inflammation

Research has shown that Fenugreek is an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, and gout. Therefore, a simple skin inflammation remedy is the following:
  • Take a spoonful of fenugreek and grind it into a powder.
  • Mix the ground powder with warm water.
  • Take a simple piece of clean cloth and soak it into the mixture.
  • Apply the soaked cloth directly onto the affected skin as a poultice.

Natural Cure for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine. Therefore, for an effective remedy against heartburn or Acid Reflux, simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds onto your food. Another option is to take one teaspoon of seeds and swallow them with water or juice before any meal. 

Home Remedy for Fever

The Fenugreek herb has been known to help reduce fever when taken with lemon and honey, since it nourishes the body during an illness. Therefore, to treat a fever, simply consume one to two teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds three times a day along with an herbal tea (such as green tea) with a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice. Some health food stores also sell herbal Fenugreek teas, which can be used instead of the green tea. 

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Opo Squash with Bengal Gram Dal

Opo Squash with Bengal Gram Dal

Opo Squash is famously known as Lauki or Dudhi. Bengal Gram Dal is known as Channa Dal. This vegetable subji is often cooked at my home for dinner. In Ayurveda, Opo Squash is at the top of the list of vegetables for our body's health. As you know, Bengal Gram Dal is also highly recommended to be used as a sugar stabilizer. Here is a quick recipe that is Jain, Vegan, and low in sugar.

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Recipe Type: Jain, Vegan, Low Sugar

Bengal Gram Dal


1    Opo Squash, peeled and cut into cubes = almost two cups
1    Cup Bengal Gram Dal, washed & soaked for 2 hours
1    Medium Tomato, chopped
1    Green Chili
1    Tsp Grated Ginger
Curry Leaves (optional)
Cilantro, chopped for garnish
Salt to taste
2    TBsp Oil
1/4 Tsp Chili Powder
1    Tsp Coriander Powder
1    Tsp Cumin Powder
2-3 Small Cinnamon Sticks
2-3 Cloves
1/4 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice

  1. In a pan on medium, heat the oil.
  2. Add cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  3. Once they start popping, add cut Opo Squash and Bengal Dal.
  4. Add 1 cup of water to cook and bring to a boil.
  5. Once it starts bubbling, add all of the spices and stir.
  6. Cover and reduce the heat.
  7. It will take almost 5-7 minutes to cook. 
  8. Occasionally stir and cover so that the steam helps it cook.
  9. Check with your fingers by taking out few begal gram dal and pinching them to see if they are cooked.
  10. Opo squash should change color as it cooks.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro. 
  • Serve with rice and Chappati.
  • Gujarati Kadhi made with buttermilk can be served with this as it compliments the gram dal very well.
Serving is 1/6 of Recipe.

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The Health Benefits of Squash

The winter squash group includes pumpkin, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash. Winter squash, like other richly colored vegetables, provide an excellent source of carotenes.  Generally, the richer the color, the richer the concentration.  They also offer a very good source of vitamins B1 and C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fiber, and potassium. Winter squash are also a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin.

Studies have shown that, due to their carotene properties, winter squash exert a protective effect against many cancers, particularly lung cancer.  Diets that are rich in carotenes (especially pumpkins) offer protection against cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that pumpkin seeds are helpful in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Since summer squash have a high water content, they are not as nutrient-dense as the winter varieties.  Summer squash still provide several nutritional benefits.  They are low in calories and provide a decent amount of vitamin C, potassium, and carotenes.     

Studies have shown that juice made from summer squash is equal to juice made from pumpkins, leeks, and radishes in their ability to prevent cell mutations.  Summersquash are especially beneficial during the summer months due to their higher water content. They protect against dehydration and the carotenes help to protect against the damaging effects of the sun.  


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Menu of the Week: Italian

Here are a few of my favorite Italian dishes to make for an Italian Feast!
Click below on the images or links for the complete recipes!

Other Possible Italian Recipes:

Italian Spaghetti with Zucchini

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quesadillas with Homemade Salsa & Guacamole

Quesadillas are instantly satisfying and fulfilling. Make them for a quick Saturday lunch to have a change from regular sandwiches. As you all know, it is a great Mexican dish that is low in fat. Homemade guacamole and salsa is also very tasty and fun to make and eat!

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Recipe Type: Vegan, Mexican, Appetizer/Snack
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients for Homemade Salsa:

4    Medium Tomatoes
1    Medium Onion
4    Tsp Salsa, store-bought
2    Cloves Garlic, fresh
1    Tsp Ginger Paste
1    Green Salerno Pepper
1    Bunch Cilantro, washed & cut
Salt to taste
1    Can Tomato Sauce

Directions for Salsa: 
  1. Use a chopper or Cuisinart to chop all of the ingredients. It should not be totally liquid. You should still see some pieces.
  2. Make this salsa ahead of time. Refrigerate to mellow the taste.
  • Mangoes and/or ripe papaya may be added to enhance the flavor.
  • More Green Chilies may also be added.

Ingredients for the Guacamole:

2-3 Avocadoes, ripe, peeled and smashed 
1    TBsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Fresh garlic, crushed 
Cilantro, chopped
Onions, chopped

Directions for Guacamole: 
  1. Mix together and serve.

Tips for Guacamole: 
  • I try to leave one avocado seed in the guacamole.
  • Guacamole Ready Mix package also works well.

Ingredients for Quesadillas:

1    Package Tortillas
1    Can Black Beans
Olives, chopped
Spring Onions, chopped
Red Onion, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Jalapeño, seeded & chopped
1    Cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (or Vegan Cheese )
Chopped Vegetables of your choice 

Directions for Quesadillas: 
  1. In a skillet on medium heat, lay one tortilla and layer all of the ingredients on top.
  2. Now cover with another tortilla.
  3. Heat for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Check that the cheese has melted.
  5. Cut into pieces and serve with homemade salsa and guacamole.
  6. Garnish with lettuce and sour cream.

Tips for Quesadillas: 
  • There are different varieties of tortillas available in the market.
  • Here I have used one package of cilantro jalapeño tortillas.

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