Tag Archives: Appetizer

Minestrone Soup – Guest post from Vidhya – Vidhya Vegetarian Kitchen

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I have recently started Toddler friendly recipe page and have mentioned about the guest post from Moms. Today we have a guest, My very good friend Srividhya from Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen. Ever since we knew each other I have a good rapport with her. More than blogging, I remember having lot of general and personal chat with her. Usually if I have any doubts about the food I give for my toddler or any general toddler related questions  she is one among few with whom I discuss. I told about this guest post and she instantly accepted, gave me three options and being a Minestrone soup fan I opted for this recipe.

Vidhya’s Postpartum Recipes, Festive special, Leftover Ideas, Neivediyams/Prasadams are some of my favorites. Her simple style of cooking and expressive intro about recipes are something I love about her space. I have a big list of todo recipes from her space. I can continue writing about SriVidhya but soup is waiting

Sri says,

When Vidya asked me for guest post, I was really elated and humbled and when the theme was “Toddler food” I couldn’t say no for sure. Also when Vidya asks, how can this Vidhya say No? 🙂 Vidya was my first virtual friend from the food blogging community. What do I say about her and her blog? The blog name says it all – Traditionally Modern Food. I love all her recipes and especially the baked versions of thattai, vadai and other delicacies. Its in my todo list and will be trying them soon. I got a chance to meet her also. A fun person to be with and the other thing that I like about her is she readily shares her tips that she follows for posting and stuff. Now tell me who will do that?? I am glad to find a friend for life. Wishing her good luck for all her future endeavours.

Now coming to the recipe, I have mentioned many times in my blog that my kiddo loves soup. In my opinion, soups are best ways to sneak in the vegetables.

Initially I used to give him pureed soups and then started chunky soups. The veggie chunks soaked in the soup broth is easier to chew and a great way to introduce vegetables. The Minestrone soup is a famous Italian soup and its one of the famous dish in the Olive Garden – Italian chain restaurant in US. Whenever we go there, we have this soup for sure. Its loaded with veggies, beans and pasta. I have tried similar kind with Indian spices but here is the recipe with Italian spices. Its a filling soup and you can pack this for lunch too along with some sandwich.

Blog link: http://vidhyashomecooking.com/

FB Link:  https://www.facebook.com/VidhyasVegetarianKitchen

Pinterest link: https://www.pinterest.com/srividhyam/vidhyas-vegetarian-kitchen/

Twitter link:https://twitter.com/SrividhyaM

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Ingredients:

  • Shallots: 4

  • Celery – 2 stalks

  • Carrot – 2

  • Zucchini – 2

  • Tomatoes – 3 to 4

  • Red kidney beans – 1 can

  • White cannellini beans – 1/2 can

  • Vegetable broth – 1 can (32 oz)

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsps

  • Shell Pasta – 1 cup

  • Dried Oregano – 1 tsp

  • Dried Basil – 1 tsp

  • Salt – 1 tsp

  • Freshly crushed pepper – 1 tsp

  • Grated cheese while serving – as required (Parmesan will go well, but you can choose your favorite)

  • Water – 4 cups

Steps:

  • Boil the three tomatoes in 4 cups of water till the skin peels off. It will take upto 12-15 minutes

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  • While the tomatoes are getting done, chop the shallots, celery, carrots and zucchini.

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  • Let the tomatoes cool, peel the skin and chop them into chunks.

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  • Heat the pan and add oil.

  • Once the oil is hot, add the onions and saute till they are translucent.

  • Now add the chopped veggies, oregano, basil and salt and Mix well.

  • Let it cook for up to 3-4 minutes.

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  • Now add the tomato chunks and mix well.

  • Add the pasta and vegetable broth.

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  • Let the pasta cook in the vegetable broth for 8-10 minutes till they are all done.

  • Finally add the beans and crushed pepper and let it cook for another 3 minutes.

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Thats it. Yummy soup is ready. Serve hot with shaved/grated cheese and bread.

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Notes:

1) You can use regular onion instead of shallots. The traditional recipe doesn’t call for shallots though.

2) If you notice I went with store bought beans and broth. You can make them from scratch too. Soak a handful of beans and pressure cook it by adding 1/4 tsp of salt. Similarly whenever I do kootu, I save the boiled veggie water and use it as broth. But if I don’t have it in hand I go for store bought.

3) You can also use canned tomatoes and that gives you the red color to the soup.

4)I prefer Low Sodium canned products and when you use the canned beans rinse them before adding it to the soup and adjust the salt accordingly

Honey-Glazed Almonds

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Once when we were shopping in Sam’s Club, we tried a sample of cinnamon-glazed cashews.They had a variety of nuts, both savory and sweet. I liked them and bought some of the cinnamon-glazed cashews. Its a good snack to munch on, but very high on calories 🙂 Next time when we went to Sam’s, it wasn’t available. Since then, I have been thinking of making some glazed nuts. Made some changes to the  FoodNetwork recipe, and was happy with the result! This is a Healthy snack, with nutty texture, and with the flavor of honey and cinnamon.

Honey-Glazed Almonds

Preparation Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time : 25 mins

Recipe Category: Appetizers & Snacks

Ingredients

Almonds – 1 cup

Honey – 2 tbsp

Sugar – 1/4 tsp (Optional)

Cinnamon – 1/4 tsp

Orange Zest – 1/8 tsp

Cooking Spray/Butter – to grease (I used PAM cooking spray)

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Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine Almonds, Cinnamon, Honey and orange zest in a bowl, mix well. Take baking tray and cover it with parchment paper. Grease with Cooking spray and spread the almond mixture

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  • After 10 minutes sprinkle some sugar

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  • Bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and store in an airtight container

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My Notes:

Same preparation can be done for walnut, peanuts, cashew and pecans

 

 

Sugar Snap Peas Soup

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In Genghis grill, I had sugar snap peas for the first time. Genghis grill is a Mongolian Stir fry restaurant. I liked the flavor of Sugar snap peas, it was a bit sweeter than the regular peas. I bought some Sugar snap peas with the intention of doing Stir fry. But I got inspired by lot of green soup recipes and wanted to try a soup with Sugar snap peas. It turned out to be healthy and flavorful! I used avocado for the creaminess, thereby eliminating the need to use corn flour or other thickening agents.

Sugar Snap Peas Soup

Preparation Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins | Serves: 4

Recipe Category: Appetizers & Snacks

Ingredients:

Sugar Snap peas –  1 cup + 1/2 cup, trimmed

Avocado – 1/2

Olive oil – 1 tsp

Shallots – 5

Garlic – 1 pod

Lemon Juice – 1/8 tsp

Italian Seasoning/Pepper – as needed (I used Italian Seasoning)

Salt – as needed

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Method:

  • Add oil to a pan. When oil is hot, add the shallots and garlic, and cook till onion becomes translucent.  Add sugar snap peas and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add water and close the lid . Cook until snap peas are tender

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  • Puree the cooked items in a blender. Peel and pit the avocado and add it to the peas mixture along with lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth, adding more vegetable broth or water (I added Water). if the soup is too thick. Add seasoning to the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings/pepper if desired. Serve the soup, after garnishing with roasted bread

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My Notes:

  • I have used the water in which the snap peas were cooked. Instead, vegetable broth can also be used
  • Since Avocado tends to oxidize, I have used lemon juice
  • Butter or cheese can be added to give richness to the soup
  • Avocado can be used with any soup for getting the creaminess in the soup

Taking this Soup to  the  “Soups with SS” hosted by two lovely ladies, Shruti @Cooking with SJ and Sonal @ Simply Vegetarian 777.

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Sending  this recipe to First virtual Vegan linky potluck.

 

Potato Wedges

Once in a week, some form of potato recipe will be made in our home. And with a crispy outer layer and tender inner layer, potato wedges is such a comfort tea time snack. You can either deep fry them or bake it in oven. I prefer baking as it requires less oil and doesn’t require me to stay in kitchen for a long time:)

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Potato Wedges

Ingredients:

Potatoes – 4

Olive Oil –  4 tsp

Salt – as neded

Dry Basil – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Italian Seasoning/pepper powder – 1/4 tsp (I used Italian Seasoning)

Cooking spray/Oil – as required (I used cooking spray)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wash & cut potatoes into wedges, by cutting lengthwise in half then slice each half into slices depending on the potato size
  • Place potatoes in a bowl of cold water and rest for 10  – 15 mins. Pat dry them. In a mixing bowl add potatoes, olive oil, basil, salt and Italian seasoning, and combine well

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  • Place seasoned potatoes on the baking tray and bake for 15 – 20 min (or until the potatoes are cooked through). They should be brown and crispy on the outside and tender inside. Turn in between for even cooking. Serve with Ketchup/Ranch

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My Notes:

  • Instead of adding basil before baking, you can also add after baking
  • Parsley can be used instead of basil
  • The same recipe can be done with sweet potato as well

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is one of our favorite Italian starters. Whenever we visit Italian restaurants, Bruschetta is our default order. Some dishes are easy to cook and have minimal ingredients – bruschetta is one among them. Image Bruschetta: Preparation Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins | Serves: 2 Recipe Category: Appetizers & Snacks

Ingredients: 

Garlic Bread – 7 slices

Garlic – 2 pods, Finely Minced

Red Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint, Halved Lengthwise

Dry basil – 1 tsp (Fresh basil is preferred. Since I didn’t  have them, I used dry basil)

Salt – as needed

Italian Seasoning – 1/2 tsp (Optional)

Olive oil – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Add olive oil to the skillet, over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir for about a minute. When garlic becomes golden brown, switch off the stove. Add tomato, salt and basil, give a gentle mix.  Transfer into a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two, if possible

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  • Before serving, give the tomato mixture a final stir, and spoon generously over the slices of Garlic bread

Image   Image My Notes:

  • I have used Grape tomatoes. You can also use chopped regular tomatoes/cherry tomatoes
  • I have tossed the tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes can be used as well

I tried this with French bread. It can be made with any other bread.