Tag Archives: breakfast

Freezer-friendly Tofu/Kale Wraps

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Looking for a second idea for our Mother’s Day bunch, my brother-in-law and I chanced upon this one. At a first glance it looked boring and bland. But our wives are suckers for healthy food and this one had Kale AND Tofu! So, we decided to make it (link to recipe here).

The recipe IS bland. However, when eaten with a nice salsa (here is one idea), it tastes pretty good. Second, use real cheese if you are not vegan. It significantly cuts down time and you don’t have to go hunting down nutritional yeast.

 

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Liege Waffles aka the “Cakey” Belgian Waffle

Liege Waffle

Liege Waffle

Well known for their chocolates and waffles, Belgians certainly seem to have a sweet tooth. A trip to Brussels in June this year confirmed that reputation for me (check out the posts on Belgium chocolate here).

While it is somewhat easy to get access to Belgian chocolate in the US, Belgian waffles are a different story. What passes for a Belgian waffle in the US is somewhat divorced from reality. For the uninitiated there are essentially two types of Belgian waffles – the Brussels waffle and the Liege Waffle. While both are yeasty and cakey, Brussels waffle is usually lighter and rectangular. This is the kind that is usually served with powdered sugar, strawberries and cream. The Liege waffle is denser and uses Pearl Sugar that caramelizes when it is being made. The result being a sweet waffle, that has a nice crunchy coating of caramelized sugar on it. Here is a good resource on the difference between the two (click here).

Given how much we enjoyed our Liege waffles while in Belgium, I set about trying to recreate it when back stateside but no luck. I knew that caramelized sugar was key but I just couldn’t figure out how to get the right sugar to caramelize and when to incorporate it into the recipe. The second big mistake I was making was trying to make the Liege Waffle from a batter (the result were still good – click here). What I realized is that you need a dough, not batter to get that cakey goodness. Many failed experiments and Google searches brought me to Baker Bettie and her Liege Waffle recipe (click here).

Here was something that finally made sense. So I tried the recipe and I am happy to report, it worked quite well. It is a smart recipe that uses sugar cubes instead of Pearl Sugar and you definitely do end up with a nice caramelly crust. The only thing I did not like was that the waffle was a little more dense than I would have liked. More experimentation is needed there. NOTE: I did not use a mixer, since I don’t have one. I used my hands and I  used half the sugar cubes the recipe called for –  it seemed to work well.

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Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Growing up in India, biscuits are cookies you dip into your tea or coffee and eat. In the Southern US, Biscuits are something completely different. They are a crumbly, savory bread usually consumed with an unappetizing grey goop called gravy. Being vegetarian, I have only had gravy that is not made with animal parts a handful of times. It is nothing remarkable and I can take it or leave it. On the other hand, I have become a fan of Biscuits.

Till I realized how easy they are to make, I used to buy frozen Biscuits from the grocery store and bake them for breakfast. I realized quickly, that they are ridiculously easy to make (the realization came in the form of a recipe on a Bisquick Pancake Mix box) and never went back to the pre-made, store-bought, version. Recently though, having some Buttermilk left over in the fridge, I discovered a recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits (link here), which takes Biscuits to a different level.

I took the recipe and added my twist to it. I added a cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese to the dough. I also minced some Garlic, melted a Tbsp of Butter and half-way through the baking, brushed the Biscuits with Butter and put some minced Garlic on top of each. They turned out really well. Here is the recipe.

INGREDIENTS (for 10 Biscuits)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp melted butter

3-4 cloves garlic – minced

STEPS

1. Preheat the oven to 450F

 

 

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Cut the cold butter into small chunks and mix into the dry ingredients. It should look like a coarse meal.

4. Add the buttermilk and mix till just combined – you don’t want to overdo this. If you overknead, gluten develops and your Biscuits will not be crumbly.

5. Add the shredded Cheddar and mix well.

6. The dough should be wet. If it is not, add a little more Buttermilk.

7. Pat, not roll, out on a dry floured surface (if you roll, gluten could develop). Keep it about 1 inch thick.

8. Cut rounds from the dough (I used the neck of an emply Jam bottle) and put them on a cookie sheet.

9. Bake for about 5 minutes. Take out, brush with butter and put a little minced garlic on top of each.

10. Bake another 5-7 minutes till the tops are golden brown. do not overbake.

11. Take out of the oven and enjoy warm with Butter or Jam.

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Quinoa repurposed for a South Indian recipe – Quinoa Upma

Quinoa Upma

Quinoa Upma

Upma is a staple in South Indian (esp. Tamilian) vegetarian cooking. Made with semolina, it is often served for breakfast or “Tiffin” (afternoon snack) with Coconut Chutney. A couple of years back a friend in the Bay Area, Shubhra Srivastav, had made Quinoa Upma for us when we were visiting her. It was very good but I had forgotten about it till recently when my wife cooked up a batch of her special Quinoa salad (recipe here) and had a couple of cups of cooked Quinoa left over.

The next morning, I made Quinoa Upma with the leftovers and discovered that a) it is much easier to make than regular Upma b) is healthier and c) tastes pretty good. So here is an approximate recipe since, as usual, I was winging it and not taking measurements when cooking.

INGREDIENTS (breakfast-sized portions for 3-4 people)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

A pinch asafetida

1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds

8-10 curry leaves

1/2 onion diced

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups cooked Quinoa

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

STEPS

1. Heat oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add asafetida and mustard seeds till they begin to sputter.

2. Add the curry leaves for till they just start to wilt and add the onion.

3. Fry the onions till they start to brown and add the peas. Cook, stirring often, till the peas are cooked (about 6-7 minutes). Add a small amount of water if you need to (a few Tbsps) to cook the peas).

4. Add the cooked Quinoa, season with salt. Heat through.

5. Squeeze half a lemon on top (add more if you like the tartness) and serve hot with Coconut Chutney or an Indian style pickle of your choice.

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Soyrizo: a very good idea, Breakfast Tacos

Soyrizo Breakfast Tacos

We love Breakfast Tacos. There have known to be frequent sightings at breakfast time in the foodydoody household. A while back I had posted a recipe for making them (click here). We used to usually make some hash browns, drop some eggs and scramble them, and then eat them rolled up in a flour tortilla with cheese, salsa and pico di gallo.

But something changed recently. I discovered Soyrizo. It is a vegetarian take on Chorizo, a highly spiced Spanish/Mexican sausage and it is delicious. In fact, some people swear that Soyrizo tastes better than the real thing. Unfortunately I have no point of reference to confirm that. The best part is that it takes Breakfast Tacos to a completely new level. Very easy to use, just heat some oil and fry the Soyrizo for a little bit. Then mix it in with the Hash Brown/Egg mixture and you are done. Fold the mixture in a warm flour tortilla and eat with the usual fixins’.

Yum! Yum! Yum! Yum! Tum! Delicioso!

 

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Recycling leftovers – Chickpeas Veggie Patties

Cholle Veggie Patties

I hate waste especially as it relates to food. I am glad my wife feels the same way. In our house, the kids are expected to finish whatever is on their plate. Groceries are seldom thrown away unused and we try and figure out a way to consume anything we buy. Given that we live in Texas, restaurant portions can be, well, Texas-sized, so we bring leftovers home and consume them later.

I hadn’t consciously thought of this till recently. One morning last week, my mom, who is visiting from India, decided to recycle leftover Cholle for breakfast as patties. As I was teasing her for not letting anything go to waste, I started thinking about why is my mom the way she is. My parents, and my parents-in-laws grew up in an India of scarce resources. They were middle class (the classic definition, not the new political take on it) and had to manage with little. As a result, it was drilled into all of us from early childhood that waste is bad, frugality is good and one should consume what only what one needs. While this was never explicit, it is amazing how ingrained this belief system is in both my wife and I.

Anyway, my mother had cooked us some Cholle for a meal and there was quite a bit leftover. So she did what any good cook does. She improvised. She chopped some onion and green chili. Heated the Cholle and dried off the water to make them really thick. Then mashed the chickpeas with some bread slices (End slices. She was thinking reducing waste here as well). Added the onion, green chilies and fashioned patties out of the mix. This she pan fried and voila, she had veggie burgers. They tasted great. You can add potatoes, rice, grain, quinoa, all kinds of stuff to them if you like. You and your imagination can do whatever you like with these. Amazing stuff.

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Breakfast Tacos

Potato and Egg Breakfast Tacos

With school starting tomorrow, our house, like many others, will be scrambling in the morning to get the kids out of bed, fed and out of the door. Many studies have shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Despite the mad scramble that ensues in the morning,  we try and make sure that our kids have some carbs and protein in every breakfast. And so we have come up with combos – Veggie Sausage and Bagels, Veggie Sausage Patties and Waffles, Pancakes and Omelets etc. One of the breakfast items that we often make combines protein and carbs and is a hit with the kids – it is the potato and egg Breakfast Taco.

We live in Texas and one of the best things about the Lone Star state is Tex-Mex food. Quite different from Mexican and Cal-Mex cuisine, Tex-Mex is satisfying and flavorful in a way few cuisines are. And the best part for me, is that it is a vegetarian friendly cuisine.

One of the relatively unknown cast members in the Tex-Mex ensemble, Breakfast Tacos are flavorful and very easy to make, all you need is access to some good flour tortillas (a plug for the Texas chain, Taco Cabana is in order here. They have some of the best flour tortillas you can get. They make them fresh in their stores. You can buy them by the dozen), salsa, pico di gallo, shredded cheese and eggs. Some Tex-Mex spices come in handy if you have them, or you can get by with salt and pepper.

So for all the parents worrying about what to feed their kids in the mornings with limited time, here is a recipe that works quite well.

INGREDIENTS (for 6-8 tacos)

1 Tbsp cooking oil

1 Medium sized Idaho Potato – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 Medium onion – diced

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp Fajita seasoning (optional)

3-4 eggs (use 3 if you want less eggs or 4 if you want more)

Shredded cheese (Mexican blend or Cheddar)

Fixins’ – Salsa, Sour Cream, Pico di Gallo, Jalapenos etc…

6-8 Flour Tortillas

STEPS

1. Soak the potatoes in water for a few minutes to get the starch out. If you are pushed for time, just wash the potatoes.

2. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan with a lid.

3. Add the onion and fry till it starts to brown.

4. Add the potatoes and spices and mix well.

5. Cover with a lid and let the potatoes cook till they start to brown. TIP: If you are pushed for time, you can nuke the potato cubes before you throw them in with the onions so that they are “pre-cooked”.

6. Break the eggs into the mix and scramble them with the cooked potatoes.

7. Warm the tortillas in the microwave.

8. Scoop a generous portion of potatoes and eggs, add cheese and fixins and you are good to go.

9. Eat and repeat step 8.

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