Friday, May 13, 2011

Roasted Sweet and Red Potato Salad

Potato salads are served as a picnic food and a common dish in casual dining. It is prepared by tossing boiled potatoes with mayonnaise and minimal seasoning which is served warm. Here's a guilt-free version of the traditional potato salad which tastes great and has fewer calories too.


3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large red onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise  (or regular mayonnaise)
1 tsp honey mustard
1/2 - 1 tsp paprika (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, add the sweet potatoes and red potatoes. Add 2 tsp of olive oil and toss well to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes over the baking sheet and roast until the potatoes turn slightly brown, for 25-30 mins, stirring occasionally.

In a bowl, toss the onion and red pepper with 1 tsp of olive oil. Stir into the potato mixture and roast for 12-15 mins or until the vegetables are tender.

In a bowl, combine the vegan mayonnaise, honey mustard, paprika, salt and pepper with 1 tbsp olive oil and whisk all the ingredients together.

Transfer the potato mixture into a serving bowl. Add the chopped chives and pour the dressing over the potato mixture and toss well. Server warm.

Makes 3 servings.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mixed Bell Pepper Chutney

Bell Pepper (also known as sweet pepper/capsicum in other parts of the world) comes in different colors such as red, yellow, orange and green with red bell peppers being the sweetest. Peppers are a good source of essential vitamins, nutrients and lycopene which helps prevent some forms of cancer.

Most of the times, I use green peppers as they taste neutral and work well in rice varieties, gravies and grilled vegetables. For a change, I decided to use mixed bell peppers to prepare a chutney in an attempt to balance the sweetness with the perfect amount of heat to compliment it. The chutney tasted good and was a nice variation from the usual ones....give it a try.


1 1/2 cup mini peppers or mixed bell peppers, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic
5-6 dry red chillies (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp channa dal (split chickpeas), optional
Tamarind paste, to taste

Salt, to taste
2 tbsp oil

For seasoning:

1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal (black gram dal)
Few curry leaves
1 tbsp oil


In a pan, heat oil, add the red chillies,channa dal, onion, garlic and bell peppers. Sauté until the onions turn light brown and the peppers are slightly done. Set aside and let the mix cool down.

In a blender or food processor, grind the sautéed mix along with tamarind paste and salt. Add little water, if required. Pour in a serving bowl.

In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. After the mustard seeds start spluttering, pour the seasoning on the ground chutney and mix well. Serve with idli or dosa.

Makes 3-4 servings.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Italian Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad can be prepared with any type of pasta tossed with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise-based dressing. It can be served chilled and is commonly served as an appetizer but filling as a main course as well. Pick vegetables like broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions, olives and parmesan cheese that blend well and also complement the season. To toss a quick salad together, I stuck to a store-bought italian dressing but you can make your own too!!


2 cups dried tri-color rotini pasta
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped (or red onions would work too)
1/4 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 - 1/3 cup lite italian dressing
1 - 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (adjust to taste)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


Cook the tri-color pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add boiled pasta, celery, green bell pepper, roasted red bell peppers, olives, grape tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and green onions and mix well.

Add the crushed red pepper, italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and toss all ingredients together. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for  30 mins or longer. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve chilled.

Makes 4-5 servings.