WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTI WITH SPINACH AND MUSHROOM IN A CREAM SAUCE

spaghetti-1180x664I really like pasta. When other people make it, that is.

I never seem to get it right—it’s never salty enough, or tastes too tomato-ey. Pumpkin, picky eater that she is, won’t touch it, and I never have the heart to make it, knowing the fight that lies ahead. As a result, we have packages of the stuff taking up space in our pantry.

I had heard that adding milk to the pasta would give it a creaminess, but I could never quite achieve it in the past. When I recently purchased mushrooms and spinach, out of the blue this recipe popped into my head. I thought it over for several days, wondering if I would screw this one up too.

When I had run out of ideas for dinner, I finally began experimenting with this combination of ingredients. I had nothing to be afraid of; it turned out beautifully, and it really was so easy.

Everyone loved it (including Pumpkin!) and I can’t wait to make it again!

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WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTI WITH SPINACH AND MUSHROOMS IN A CREAM SAUCE


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 3 cups  spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • spices (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Boil water in a stock pot and cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. As spaghetti is boiling, add spinach and mushroom.
  3. When spaghetti has been cooked al dente, drain. Rinse with cold water to keep spaghetti from sticking together. Set aside.
  4. In a separate pan, sauté onions until caramelized.
  5. Add spices. Allow them to incorporate for another minute.
  6. Add milk, turning heat to low, and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Toss in spaghetti-spinach-mushroom and continue to simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. There should be enough milk/sauce to coat the pasta. If there isn’t add more milk, little by little to achieve desired result. Serves 4-6.

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weeknight biryani {express version}

WBEV-titleBiryani is one of those dishes that’s usually reserved for special occasions or holidays.

Growing up, my mom would make it for Christmas or a birthday. My husband and I have made it for our anniversary. It’s usually not one of those everyday meals—partly because of its richness, partly because it can be somewhat tedious to make, until I came up with this Express Version. This recipe is for vegetable biryani, thus saving time, unlike its chicken or lamb counterpart.

Opinions may differ on the “right” way to make biryani, but the methods are as varied as the types of biryani themselves. This version is a quick one you can make anytime–even weeknights—whether or not they fall on a holiday.

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WEEKEND BIRYANI {EXPRESS VERSION}


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 sliced purple onion
  • 4-5 tablespoons ghee
  • 3/4 tablespoon biryani masala
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I used a mix of corn, green beans, carrots, and peas—whatever you use, make sure they are cut small)
  • 2 handfuls of raisins
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water

PREPARATION

  1. In a medium pan, heat ghee and add onions. Once onions are caramelized, add turmeric and biryani masala.
  2. After spices are incorporated, fold in vegetables and raisins.
  3. Cover and allow to simmer on medium heat until almost soft, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Wash rice until water drains clear. Place into separate pot. Add water.
  5. To this, add cooked vegetable and cinnamon stick. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and set timer for 10 minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, remove from heat and wait another 10 minutes before opening.
  8. Carefully fluff biryani with a fork and serve immediately with mango achaar (pickle) and raita. Serves 4-6.

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aloo channa masala

aloo channa titleIn Hindi, aloo means potato, while channa means chickpeas. Masala is just a general word to refer to a mix or combination of spices, different ones in varying amounts, based on the dish.

For me, Aloo Channa Masala has always been something easy and healthy to make, a go-to source of comfort food. It provides both protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer.

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ALOO CHANNA MASALA


 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 small to medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste or sauce
  • 3 green chilies (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tbsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tbsp ground coriander
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil

 

PREPARATION

  1. Soak chickpeas overnight.
  2. Boil chickpeas and diced potatoes in pressure cooker, with water level just above contents. After one whistle, turn the heat to Low, and set the timer for 35 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan and add onion slices and fry until light brown.
  4. Add turmeric, coriander, and garam masala and stir it well for few minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste/sauce, green chillies, ginger, garlic, salt and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Once the masala-onion mixture is done, add it to boiled potatoes and chickpeas in the pressure cooker. Add some water if the cooker contents are too thick. It should have the consistency of a heavy stew, not mashed potatoes.
  7. Stir in masala mixture carefully to evenly distribute it. Check for salt.
  8. Serve hot with chappatis or rice.

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