Thursday, July 23, 2009

Banana Nut Bread (Serving Size 2 Loaves)

(recipe courtesy Bhavani Arvind; adapted from original recipe provided by Diana Rattray in About.Com's Southern Food Section)

My friend Bhavani had been looking for a Banana Nut Bread recipe. She had called me to say that she is sending over the recipe once she tried it at her home.

She chose the recipe by Diana Rattray featured in About.Com's Southern food section, and modified it a bit to suit her family's taste. Instead of 4 eggs, she used 2 eggs and 2 cups egg beaters, and used 1 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 2 cups as suggested in the original recipe. She mentioned that the bread came out very well, and she and her family loved it.

Here is the link to the original recipe. I did browse through the About.Com site for this recipe, and it has received very good reviews. Please note that this recipe has not been tried and tasted by me.

Health Rating: Medium

on Bhavani:

Bhavani lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and her 5 year old son. She works in Human Resources at a Corporate Travel Service company.

PS: Today my wife is making mini Banana muffins, and my daughter is lending a big hand. It's a favorite snack of mine, and it hopefully turns out good.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Couscous with roasted vegetables (Serves 4)

20 oz Store bought instant couscous plain (568g)
2 1/2 cups water
2 Zucchinis with skin
1 medium Red bell pepper
1 medium Yellow pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh chopped Parsley leaves
1 tbsp fresh chopped Basil leaves
1 medium red Onion
3 tbsp dry raisins
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts

There are so many different ways to prepare this simple Mediterranean dish. We had to go visit someone one evening, and I ended up preparing this for dinner. Mainly I just wanted to cook something real quick as I didn't want to be late.

Pour 2 1/2 cups of water in a vessel along with 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once the water is boiling, add the couscous. Shut the fire off, mix the couscous well in the water, and cover the vessel and set it aside. The couscous should be ready in approximately 5 minutes.

In the meantime, cut the red onion, zucchini, red and yellow peppers into similar 1/2 inch size pieces.

Pour 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan on medium fire, add a little black pepper, and then the onion and the raisins. After a few minutes of stirring, add the rest of the vegetables and the desired amount of salt. Cook the vegetables until they start to turn brown, and are cooked and crunchy to taste.

Stir the couscous and put it in a big bowl. Add the cooked vegetables. At this point add 1 tbsp each of freshly chopped parsley and basil, as well as 3 tbsp of toasted pine nuts. Mix everything together properly and serve the dish warm or hot.

Health Rating: High

Ingredient Substitute/s:You can add fresh cut tomatoes to this, grilled chicken, or exclude the raisins and add fresh goat cheese instead. You can get as creative as you want with this dish and veer away from the traditional way of preparation. I am thinking of an Indian version which I will post once I have perfected it :-).