Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Okay, so i have just about the easiest recipe for amazingly delicious corn soup.

You will need:
1 can of cream style corn (see picture)
1 jalapeno pepper
Black pepper
Paprika (if wanted)

Start by opening up your can of cream style corn and pouring the entire can in a pot and turning the heat on medium on your stove. Mix the corn around so you lose your lumps and add in milk. The amount of milk depends on how thick/ thin you want your soup. I generally put in 1/3 cup of milk; however, you can change that by adding more or less.

Mix the corn into the milk well. As it is starting to warm up, cut your jalapeno into tiny little chunks. Add in as many pieces as you desire. I generally add in half the pepper because i like my soup a little spicy. If you don't want your soup spicy, add in 1/3 of the pepper. Sprinkle in some salt and black pepper and paprika if you desire.

The big thing about this soup is that it all pretty much depends on how spicy, salty, thick, thin YOU like it to be! You are your own chief so experiment and see what works best for you!

Let the soup boil with all the ingredients for about 3-5 minutes and you're ready to enjoy!

The picture i have attached is basically what the end product will look like!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jalapeno Poppers

I've had numerous people who have been interested in my past experiments with jalapeno poppers. Though I've never had the opportunity to eat a popper before, they had definitely made my mouth water with their spicy fried cheesy deliciousness.

So I got my experiments to work, the only downside of this experiment was cough and sneezing while removing the seeds. This of course led me to be very weary of poppers. I missed their hot deliciousness because I stared at them in horror of their spicyness. Alas, they were not spicy at all.

On to the recipe.

Cut the jalapenoes in half, leave the top part (see how they are jut 70% up to the top). Leave the stems on.

The most dangerous part - Deseed and remove the membranes. Wear gloves if you are scared. (A secret - if you get really spicy pepper juice on your hands and want to get it off, use DOVE - the soap bar worked wonders for me)

Above you will see the workstation - Cheese, flour and breadcrumbs (I added salt, white pepper and thyme to my breadcrumbs) and an empty bowl. That empty bowl will have the binding agent, the secret to eggless Jalapeno Poppers.

Before we make the secret to Poppers, we stuff string cheese into the jalapenos. Cut the cheese to the appropriate size and get ready for a mess.

To make the secret following the directions below -

1 Tbs Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder
3 Tbs Boiling Water
1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Milk

Combine the boiling water and egg replacer powder and whisk until thick and foamy. Add to a separate large bowl. Whisk in the non-dairy milk until thick and frothy. Set aside.

(This tip is from VeganYumYum, though she hasn't included instructions for poppers yet.)

Then all you do (before getting the oil warm) is dip the stuffed peppers in the egg replacer mixture, roll around in flour - let sit for 10 mins, then redip in the egg replacer mixture and roll around in bread crumbs. Let sit for a bit.

Warm up the oil, and FRY!

(I recommend making two batches of the mixture if you make more then 8 poppers, because the measurements above barely covered 8.)

Dangerous and yummy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Strawberry Salad

This is for Nicki Auntie!

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

So the Vinaigrette (recipe can be found here)
The salad -

Main things you need
sliced strawberries

Things I've added
candied walnuts
feta cheese

(I say it helps to have some nuts)

This is a really yummy salad and simple.

Also the pasta is a fancy alfredo recipe that I got from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I warn you, its not healthy. (Hence the veggies and salad in the pic)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good Ekadashi Dish

I know Ekadashi is still about a week away, but this is one of my favorite ekadashi dishes.

Start with a potato - See small yukon gold potato

Grate and put in water, rinse out the potato starch

Lay out to dry on either a cloth or paper towel, layer another on top. (I sometimes add weight so as much of the water gets absorbed.)

Once dry, in a warm pan, put some oil and add half of the shredded potatoes. DO NOT TOUCH. Leave it alone till the edges are looking nice and brown.

Then sprinkle some yummy cheese. (Use good melting cheese.) You can add tomatoes, or chopped serrano or bell peppers, whatever you are desiring. Sprinkle some black pepper. Do not sprinkle salt!

(Its really easy to over salt this dish, but if the cheese isn't salty enough you can always sprinkle it on top after you've tasted it.)

(Look at the gooey cheese. And see the browning on the edges? That's what you have to wait for before you touch it.)

Add the second half of the shredded potatoes, then carefully cover the pan with a plate, and flip the hash browns onto the plate. Then slide it back into the pan, so the beautiful golden bottom is now the top. Cook until the bottom is nice and golden brown. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

This dish is really yummy, and really simple when you are hungry. The first time you attempt this dish it might be hard not to disturb the potatoes, but trust me, leave them alone, otherwise you'll ruin that beautiful crust you see up there.

Enjoy a stuffed hash brown for me!

(Tomorrow Mira's new favorite salad and salad dressing)

Such a long wait....

Sorry for the long absence, been busy trying to finish my paper so I can get closer to graduating. So I get tired of writing.

A simple dish - A Caprese salad with a twist.

Normally, most people make their caprese salad with fresh mozarella, good tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil.

But I didn't have mozarella and I had amazing tomtatoes and basil. So I made a monterey jack cheese caprese salad.

Remember, do not put salt or pepper. The goal is to enjoy the taste of tomatoes, good cheese, and good olive oil all with some yummy basil.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dorm Enchiladas Challenge

So the point of this site isn't always to create something elaborate, but mostly something yummy. I know when I lived in the dorm, I would often crave my mom's enchiladas. I don't think I've ever found a more fulfilling enchilada recipe until I started playing with my own. Today I present the DORM Enchiladas.

The recipe below is a little much for a dorm, but parts could be done and stored, but the really nice thing about this recipe? You can make everything in the microwave (especially if you have a microwaveable rice cooker. (The microwaveable rice cooker is one of my trusty kitchen side kicks. All college kids who want easily accessible food should get one!)

So the hardest thing first - Yummy rice that goes well with mexican food.

Ingredients can be seen in the picture (except the water)
jalapenos chopped
tomatoes chopped
can of tomato juice (when cooking the rice for then 60% should be the juice, you are cooking the rice in the juice, not flavoring the rice with the juice)
Adobo sauce (this is a mexican tomato based paste, usually kept in oil. It is hard to find without onions and garlic, but it is worth the time, and it lasts a long time. It also doesn't go bad)
Bufalo brand Chipotle sauce - also a hard, but yummy find (I love adding this to the 'I'm Lazy quesodillas').
(NO SALT, everything else has plenty)

Mix and cook as you would most rices.

But I warn you this rice is awesome!

Next - the sauce (here I'll give you two, because after I made this, I made another batch that was AWESOME! All due to that amazing Adobo paste and chipotle sauce.

Sauce #1 (Make in a glass bottle - see the bottle!)
Ingredients -
Tomato paste
honey (to sweet the sauce)
cayenne pepper
crushed red peppers (red pepper flakes)
water to thin the paste

Mix, make sure to break up the chunks of tomato paste, then microwave.

Sauce #2
adobo paste
chipotle sauce
cayenne pepper

mix, break up adobo paste chunks, microwave
Add tomato puree, mix, taste. (Don't eat it all!)

Beans -
canned beans - (Bearitos is cute brand right?)
other flavorings (I used green tabasco to use it up, and cholula sauce)
thin with water

warm corn tortillas in microwave (20 secs) until they are softened

wrap beans and cheese and put in plate
put sauce on enchiladas

I decorated mine with olives and tomatoes, but I've done bell peppers or hot peppers (anything you have really).

sprinkle cheese - microwave until cheese is melted.

Yummy! I generally love enchiladas, but what I love about Dorm Enchiladas is I make everything in the containers I'll keep the leftovers in (except the rice cooker). So clean up is easy. Enjoy!

Tomato Cucumber Salad

I created this salad because a fellow graduate student brought cucumbers from his garden to share with various labs. My inspiration for this salad comes from Tasty Kitchen.

My edited recipe -

Ingredients -

Good cucumber - thinly sliced
tomato - thinly sliced
balsamic vinegar
cheese cubes/pieces (optional) (I used some parmesan and cheddar)

This salad was yummy, very light and represhing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ideas for Ricotta

So I have less then half a container of ricotta cheese in the fridge. I don't know what to do with it. I don't have time to make lasagna, raviolis or any stuffed items right now. So what else can I do with it? Any suggestions?

Dessert ideas?
With fruit?
With tomatoes?
Anything that simple.


Breakfast Pasta

I'm back and caught up on other things. So I can share some more recipes. (I have a handful 'in stock' now, including some that friends have shared.)

And a super cute picture of my niece!

So Monday night, my brother crashed at my place and I wanted to make sure he had something to eat before I left for work on Tuesday, but I had no leftovers in the fridge or milk (for him to have cereal) since I had cleaned it pretty well last week.

What to make?

Luckily I had frozen half a can of diced tomatoes! (Never put an open can in the fridge or freezer. Always move it to an alternate container. Thank you Janki's mom for reminding all of us awhile ago!) And I still had those cool purple carrots. And some fresh basil from my little plant outside.

So I decided to make some pasta with a quick tomato sauce.

Quick Marinara sauce (some tips from Mario Batali, some cause I'm crazy?)

Shredded carrots (mine were shredded purple carrots - but yours can be normal)
roughly chopped reconstituted Dried Mushrooms (you don't have to put mushrooms, but if you have them why not?)
Can of diced tomatoes
dried oregano
olive oil
freshly ground pepper (I love my pepper mill, GET ONE if you don't have one!)
couple of leaves of fresh basil (only if you have it)
slivers of parmesan (use a vegetable peeler to get nice slivers)
1/3 bag of pasta (I used rigatoni cause that's what I had)

1. Boil Pasta water
2. Put Olive oil in a pot and heat, when the oil is warm add the dried oregano
3. Add carrots and cook for awhile
4. Add mushrooms and cook for awhile
5. Add salt and continue cooking

6. Add tomatoes, more salt, honey and pepper. Adjust the taste to your liking.
7. Cook for a bit till a lot of the water has burned off. Then rip the basil leaves into shreds and add that to the pot.
8. After the pasta has finished cooking and been drained off, add the sauce and pasta together
9. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan slivers.

10. Try really hard to make sure your brother doesn't eat everything, but give up when you realize he hasn't had cheese in over 4 weeks.

(I couldn't eat the finished product at the time, but Ambrish's verdict was that it was really good.)

Total time (and I wasn't trying to speed) 40 mins tops. But that could have been sped up if I wasn't wasting time in the kitchen, or was multitasking or was a little more organized on Tuesday morning.

The fastest marinara sauce I've ever made - Less time that it takes to make Pasta. (Maybe next time we'll feature that)

So my question to the various people reading this. Let me know how you make a quick, minimal shopping marinara sauce. (I want people to use the comments! Please? If I put another picture of my niece tomorrow?)

Friday, August 7, 2009

In Richmond, VA

Sorry I haven't posted in the last couple of days. I've been in transit. I am now in Richmond, VA. If I discover any new food finds I will share them here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


So last week I discovered I probably missed all of asparagus season. Even though I probably only eat it once or twice a year I was sad that I missed asparagus. So after realizing how easy it is to make asparagus incredibly delicious with very little effort I decided to buy some from the store (Oh Noes!).

Anyways, this recipe is so yummy and so easy.

1. set oven to 375ºF
2. Wash bunch of asparagus
3. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper (parchment paper = I don't have to wash the pan or 4. 4. Cut off about 1 inch of the bottom (in some cases you might want more if the asparagus is pretty woody)

5. place asparagus in a single layer on the paper
6. Drizzle olive oil on the asparagus - don't skimp
7. sprinkle with salt and pepper

8. bake for 20-30 mins till the asparagus is soft

9. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.

We'll talk about the salad tomorrow (yummy salad).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pesto Potato Salad

Okay so yesterday I made Pesto Potato salad using a Smitten Kitchen recipe, but since it was Ekadashi I didn't use the green beans and instead replace it with oven roasted tomatoes from 101 cookbooks (check the bottom of the recipe to see the instructions for the tomatoes).

So what did I do?

First - Oven Roast the tomatoes (they take a long time)

cut cherry tomatoes in half

then toss them with olive oil, a little salt and honey (the original recipe calls for brown sugar, but I love my bee spit).

After tossing them with the yummy mixture above, lay them out (cut side up) on a oven safe pan (I used a pizza pan with parchment paper, so there won't be any clean up). And bake them in a 350 ºF oven for 45 mins. (I can't remember how long I baked them, but strangely it takes a long time.)

Then the Potatoes

So the smart way to do this is roughly chop (ie don't be a perfectionist about this) yukon gold potatoes and put them into a pot of salted water, cook for about 14 mins (key here DO NOT LET THEM OVER COOK!)

Now the way I did it cause I was distracted -

I boiled whole yukon gold potatoes for more then 30 mins, then realized my mistake, then roughly chopped them and cooked for about 4 - 6 mins (This strangely worked well cause I avoided turning my potatoes into a watery mess. Yucky!) Drain the potatoes when done.

while potatoes are cooking, make up a mess of pesto without pine nuts.
in the pesto I used: a bunch of basil, olive oil, salt and pepper

In a food processor throw in the basil, grind till its fine, then drizzle in olive oil till everything is nicely mixed - then add salt and pepper.

Then using a vegetable peeler slice slivers of parmesan cheese. (Keep on side)

Last but not least - pan roast some pine nuts (takes about 5 mins, do not leave them alone!)

Ok - we are almost done - take the drained potatoes, the pesto, some balsamic vinegar (the recipe calls for white balsamic, but I don't own white), salt, pepper, cheese, pine nuts and the tomatoes. Mix!

Adjust taste to your liking. Enjoy!


Tired, post I will tomorrow

Hello! I made Pesto potato salad - yummy, but it will take to long to post tonight and I am tired from cleaning the whole apartment today.

Later internet!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dinner Party

So I went to a dinner party at my friend Chris' place and we all made different food items. I made a yogurt parfait. (I forgot to take pictures :-( ) But the recipe is as follows:

Greek yogurt (Fage brand yogurt, but try to avoid the fat free version) flavored with honey and vanilla.
sliced strawberries (though you can make it with any berries, peaches or plums)
and your favorite granola

I let the yogurt mingle with the honey and vanilla in the fridge for awhile.

After I prepped the parfait at Chris' place I got bored waiting for our friends, Ann and Kevin, so I decided to try to make a fancy looking drink.

So I made up sparkling strawberry lemonade.

Into a sauce pan/pot put honey, fruit, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Let it bubble for awhile - mine was a really pretty red boil (I wish I had gotten some pictures).

I let mine bubble until the strawberry slices were falling apart.

Then in a cup I put ice and poured the syrup and sparkling water - stir!
(I recommend putting the sparkling water first then the syrup, either way its really pretty!)

(That's my coworker Chris! Chris stay away from my pretty drink, I know the pink drink is enticing you!)

You should make this - its a wonderful non-alcoholic mixed drink.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fat-free potato chips are my savior?

This recipe goes completely to Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

So these are simple,

I started with two golden potatoes - which are delicious already.

Peel and thinly slice potatoes - if you have a slicer, they will be even and nice, but don't worry, cause I don't have a slicer and I was able to slice some nice slivers of my potatoes. Not perfect, but decent all things considering.

Then lay the slices out a piece of parchment paper. (Don't use a paper towel - I did this when I ran out of parchment paper - no go! the potato slices stick like nobodys business. Also, don't do plates, they stick worse to plates then paper towels). Then salt, ensure you don't don't oversalt cause after the first 10 pieces the salt can get to you. (You can add other seasonings, but I recommend getting the basics down. Its amazing how simple of a recipe it is and yet how easy it is to screw up)

Then microwave (Fat Free Vegan Kitchen says 4-6 mins) till the chips are starting to bubble and brown.

Stop the microwave for at least 1 min, then cook it till they look goldenish. Not all will be goldenish, since in my case the outside ring of slices cooked almost till burnt and the inside was slighty under done. In cases such is that, removed the finished ones and continue cooking.


So yummy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Corn nu Shaak and a Strange Pasta Dish

First of all - what is shaak? Well shaak is a traditional Indian style vegetable dish. It can either be dry or liquidy. Dry shaak is more like a spicy saute, where as liquidy shaak is more like a stew.

So today's dinner started off with two thoughts - the first was - I have a fresh corn in the fridge and I should use it before it goes bad. The second thought was I have sweet potato bisque (from trader joe's) and I'm just not in the mood for soup, so how can I use it.

So we'll start with the corn. I decide to make corn nu shaak - which means shaak with corn. This shaak contains the following ingredients (Thanks to my buddy Prati for this recipe)

can of blended diced (or crushed tomatoes)
fresh corn, shucked and frozen corn (you can do all frozen)

the sauce consists of the following:
mustard seeds
cumin seeds
cayenne pepper
chick pea flour
crush peanuts
honey (can use sugar, brown is preferred, I like honey for tomato based sauces)
and oil

So I heated the oil up (for a vaghar)
once the oil was warm, I added
mustard seeds - when they popped I added
cumin seeds, cayenne pepper, chick pea flour and crushed peanuts

I sauted them for a bit and as they finished cooking I added the blended tomatoes

let that cook for awhile, then add in the frozen corn and continue to cook - total cooking time - 20 mins or so - the corn should be cooked through.

add honey to cut the sour taste of the tomatoes and salt to taste.

Now the experiment - the sweet potato bisque from trader joes (so if it was winter time I would have gobbled this soup up in a day or two

This is the ingredients list - look soup without garlic or onions! But I had no desire to eat it. So I brain stormed with my buddy Ken and we came up with a casserole with penne pasta and the bisque used to make a sauce that mimicked cream sauce in texture and flavor.

So I boiled up some pasta - without oil!

and laid it out in a casserole dish, and used the pasta water water to make the sauce -

Trader Joe's sweet potato bisque
ground pepper
parmesan cheese - I recommend the good stuff, but I used both the big container and the good stuff (cause I ran out)
cayenne pepper
salt to taste
water to thin the sauce

So I just threw the above into a pot, boiled it up for a bit, adjusted the flavor and added it to the casserole dish

then add the veggies - I only had purple carrots (you could use any carrots, or no carrots - it didn't add much to the dish other then veggies)

The carrots look a lot prettier then in this picture - they are really nice looking carrots - just purple!

I tossed everything together, sprinkled shredded provolone an top and popped into a 350º F oven and cooked for probably 20 - 30 min (everything is cooked except the carrots) you just want the sauce to thicken, the cheese to melt and the veggies to soften a bit.

Let it cool for a bit and serve

I serve with toasted bread crumbs (I later discovered this was not necessary but when I took the casserole out I felt it missing some texture, so I toasted it up, but upon eating it I realized it wasn't necessary at all)

So the verdict - yummy! It looks like pasta and dal, but its yummy! Pictures don't do the flavor justice. So pasta and a sweet potato sauce - Yummy and filling (though a little high on the carb factor, not a perfect meal)

Note on the purple carrots - the verdict is still out in my book if I like the carrots from the market, but research does say that more natural colors in one's diet ensures that we get a variety of useful chemical, including a variety of anti-oxidants (chemicals that help prevent DNA damage and thereby prevent cancer). In addition, in the wild carrots were never just the bright orange we associate them with, instead they came in a wide variety of shades. So celebrate diversity in vegetables. Don't let the media tell you what color your carrot should be.

(I want a blue carrot, blue anyone? See one recently?)


Alrighty, let's get down and dirty into this whole Swaminarayan Diet ordeal. The main components of the diet? No meat, no eggs, no onions, no garlic and no gelatin. Yes, this means no skittles, starbursts, majority of cakes/donuts/cookies/brownies and almost ALL food you get in restaraunts because of the onions and garlic. So...what exactly do we Swaminarayans eat? Do we starve oursleves? Let me simply put this...NO! As you can see from Mira's mouth-watering cake, we most definitely found our way around the food we cannot eat and turn it into something we can eat. It takes some experimenting, but afterall, that's the fun part, right? So..just a quick reason as to why we don't eat these things which you all probably feel like make food taste very delicious. We don't believe in killing or harming animals even for sacrificial purposes. We treat all living things equally and therefore we cherish the animals in our world. This includes eggs because the chicks do havea chance to live. The no to onions and garlic is more character based. It has been studied and reported that people who eat onions and garlic are more likely to be angry and have a short temper. And why should we eat the anger-causing food when there are a plethora of other spices which make food taste just as yummy?? Another big thing in our diet is that we don't cook with alcohol. We don't drink alcohol and nor do we add it into our food. So no rum cake or wine vinegeratte. i don't think i need to go into detail about why we don't drink alcohol. It's simple..we don't want to damage our liver nor do we want something which is going to intoxicate us going into our bodies.

So in short, the point of this blog as was earlier mentioned is to make all sorts of recipes ranging from cakes, brownies, tiramisu, cheescake and pudding to enchilladas, pizza, soups, sandwhiches and stir-fried vegetables which are ALL Swaminarayan diet-friendly! You must try the recipes and see just how flavorful everything is!

Just remember to have fun, be yourself and enjoy what you're making. The main ingredient is love!


Hello and Jai Swaminarayan,

Welcome to our blog, which is an attempt to create crazy concoctions that happen to taste good (well that's just the chemist talking). If you like what you see please comment and harass us to cook more. We will try our best to take pictures, improve pictures, improve our writing, etc

If you have recipes you would like to contribute, please let Ruchi or myself know, we would love to have both short term and long term contributers as long as its within the guidelines of the Swaminarayan diet.

Now for some sillyness.

Cake on my counter - see heavy cream in background

Cake in the fridge - see all sorts of yummy in there.

Cake in the fridge. (Why is there a Triscuit box in there?)

This is a giant cake that I made for a pot luck dinner (recipe to follow, maybe tomorrow), but this cake wasn't supposed to be a giant cake. It was originially supposed to be half the size, two round cakes with chocolate and strawberries as part of the filling. But I doubled the recipe, without realizing that the recipe was already for two round cakes. So instead of a reasonably sized chocolate cake (yum, chocolate!) it was a giant chocolate cake. (Oh and I was lucky that I had parchment paper sticking out of the cake pan, cause each cake grew out of the pan - way out! On a side note - this is the one an only time I have ever taken the time to decorate the cake, normally its make cake, eat cake for me.