Vegetable Kebabs.....What a Treat!

Living in Wisconsin has taught me true appreciation of the few summer months we get to enjoy before the long and cold winter months take over once again.  Every year I patiently wait for the warm months to arrive and dream about being outside, cooking, eating and enjoying the garden. What I like the most about summer time is the ritual of grilling different foods and creating new recipes. Making kebabs with a variety of fresh ingredients is a lot of fun, especially now when we have the opportunity to explore local farmers' markets and select fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs. 

Today, I am excited to play with some fresh vegetables and grill delicious vegetable kebabs. These can be served warm with couscous or basmati rice, with a cooling yogurt sauce on the side. 

We love food, let's make it better!

Veggie Kebabs

1 large zucchini, sliced with the skin on
1 yellow pepper, cut in chunks
1 red pepper, cut in chunks
2 cups mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon White Jasmine Tandoori Masala
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat the grill. In a bowl mix all the vegetables with salt, Tandoori masala and olive oil. Add cilantro. Mix well and thread on to the skewers by alternating each of the vegetables. Place the skewers on the hot grill, cook each side for 5- 7 minutes. Serve warm on Couscous or basmati rice with a side yogurt sauce. 

Baked Chicken with Mushrooms

One of my favorite things is to create easy and delicious recipes. It is so much fun to play with different flavors and come up with something mouthwatering. This particular recipe has Cremini mushrooms and fresh spinach from the Farmers Market with layers and layers of flavors from our Tandoori Masala. is a journey and a destination, actually a delicious one!

Baked Chicken with Mushrooms

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons White Jasmine Tandoori Masala
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 cup green onions
2 cups Cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon White Jasmine Tandoori Masala
2 cups chicken stock

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a baking dish, place the chicken breasts. Sprinkle kosher salt. In a small bowl, add olive oil, garlic and tandoori masala. Mix well and drizzle on to the chicken breasts. Set aside. 

Heat a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add cumin, add green onions. Saute it for a minute. Add mushrooms and spinach. Saute the mixture for another couple of minutes. Add tandoori masala. Add chicken stock. Cook everything for a couple of minutes so the stock gets warm. Pour the mixture on top of the chicken breasts in the baking dish. Cover with foil and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve warm with buttered crusty bread. 

Spinach with Lentils - Dane County Farmer's Market

I love making this recipe when the season starts to change and I start to crave warm soups and stews. This recipe is a popular traditional Pakistani recipe which really warms you up. Over the years I have noticed that this has become one of the favorite comfort foods for my kids and I. Serve it as a soup or on top of plain basmati rice, it will warm you up like nobody's business. Traditionally it is called "Palak Dal" - Palak is spinach and Dal is the lentils. 

As always cook something beautiful and delicious!

Palak Dal

1 cup yellow lentils
3 cups warm water
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh spinach, chopped

Wash the lentils thoroughly, add warm water and bring to a boil. Add all spices and let it cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook for another 15 minutes. Heat the oil in a separate frying pan, add the thinly sliced onions and saute them until they turn dark brown. Top the lentils with the oil and the sauteed onions and cover the pot for a a couple of minutes.Serve warm with basmati rice.

Roasted Vegetables - Dane County Farmer's Market

As much as we want our children to be independent and move forward with their lives, it is also a challenge to recreate a new life with a different focus for yourself. One of my challenges has been to cook just for myself. It is almost impossible to cook small portions and I am not a big fan of freezing a lot of food. So, I created this recipe; roasted vegetables.

This recipe encompasses several goals; it can be used in a variety of ways, easy to make and delicious! I love these vegetables in sandwiches, salads and as a side dish with couscous or basmati rice. 

Happy Cooking!

4 cups zucchini, sliced with skin on
1 cup red pepper
1 cup yellow pepper
1 red onion, cut in chunks
1 cup fingerling potatoes
1 cup green onions
1 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons White Jasmine Tandoori Masala
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Add all vegetables in a big bowl. Add olive oil and spices. Mix well. Spread everything in a baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tandoori Squash - Dane County Farmers Market

When I think about this beautiful season I start to think about the warm and comforting recipes. I can't wait to share some of these easy, heart and home warming recipes over the coming months. Having said that, here is one of our favorite. Happy Cooking!

Tandoori Squash :

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 cup chopped yellow onions
3 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 teaspoon White Jasmine Tandoori Masala
½  teaspoon salt
1 8 oz can coconut milk
1 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a pan, add whole cumin, let it sizzle for a minute or so. Add onions. Saute the onions for a few minutes until they become translucent. Add squash, Tandoori Masala and salt. Saute the mixture for a couple of minutes. Add coconut milk and leave it to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or so. Add cilantro. Serve as a side dish.

Rainbow Carrots - Dane County Farmer's Market Series

It has been such a joy to shop at the Farmers Market these days. Today I created a beautiful recipe for these amazing carrots. It is easy, delicious and beautiful....all the elements of White Jasmine philosophy in one nice little bundle. I love using the Harissa olive oil because it adds just the right depth of flavor while preserving the natural sweetness of the carrots. 

Rainbow Carrots
1 bunch colorful carrots, sliced
2 teaspoon Harissa Olive Oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the Harissa olive oil in a shallow frying pan.

Add cumin seeds when the oil is slightly warm. Add the sliced carrots and kosher salt. Saute everything for 5-7 minutes. Carrots will be cooked but remain crunchy. Add to any salad or serve as a side dish........there is nothing bland about it!

Versatile Pesto - Dane County Farmers Market Series

I love making fresh pesto and who doesn't like pesto anyway. There are hundreds of pesto recipes but I think that it is really fun to create one with your own favorite flavors. I love to make pesto with a combination of fresh cilantro and basil, especially right now is the perfect time to experiment. How about basil, cilantro and a bunch of garlic? Don't know about you but my mouth is watering! 

It is amazing how versatile pesto can be, use it in sandwiches, pasta, add a little bit on sauteed chicken and many more recipes. 

Let's see what you think of this recipe: 

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons olive oil

Add everything in a food processor and process it for 5 minutes or until everything comes together as a paste. Spoon the pesto in a jar, top it with olive oil. Stays fresh in the fridge for a couple of weeks or in the freezer for 2-3 months. 


Campari Tomatoes - Dane County Farmers Market Series

This summer I have decided to write a blog about some of the beautiful products from our very favorite Farmers Market. This market has grown tremendously in the past ten years or so, so much so that it has become a weekly Saturday morning event for most foodies in Madison and the surrounding area. The Market is held around the beautiful State Capitol downtown Madison and walking around in a circle on the walkway around the Square is an amazing experience. You can visit all the vendors and see all the beautiful bounty of the season. 

One of my favorite things to do, is to is to get some of the farm fresh vegetables and create new recipes. This week I bought these beautiful and delicious Campari tomatoes. These tomatoes are slightly larger than the cherry tomatoes but rich in color and flavor. 

Check out this week's recipe, there is nothing bland about it!

Campari Tomatoes

1 pound Campari tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 cup White Jasmine Sajji BBQ Gouda, cut in small squares
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Cut the tomatoes in half and set aside.

In a saucepan, on medium heat add olive oil. Once the oil is warm add whole cumin and let is sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes. Add salt and chili flakes and let the tomatoes get a little softer and juicy. Place the tomatoes in a platter, sprinkle the Gouda cheese and chopped cilantro on top. Serve warm. Makes a great salad ingredient also.