Roasted Pumpkin Soup

I have posted a lot of fall recipes this season and here is one more.

Soups and fancy bread together is a perfect combination and I am serving my roasted pumpkin soup with fancy cranberry-walnut artisan bread I got from Traders Joes. You can get any artisan bread for this recipe.

My friends always ask me how do I experiment with new vegetables and my instant response to that is I don’t think about my recipe first, I first pick a new appealing vegetable from grocery store, bring it home, and then think about creating a recipe.

So here is the recipe for my roasted pumpkin soup:

Ingredients:

1 medium size pie pumpkin

1/2 quart of vegetable broth

5 tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)

1/2 tablespoons of cumin powder

1/2 tablespoons of coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream (or whole milk)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Misto Spray)

Garnish with parsley or cilantro or pumpkin seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Cut the pie pumpkin in half, spray olive oil (Misto Spray), and roast them cut side down into a baking pan. Remove the seeds and scoop the pumpkin filling.

Add pumpkin filling and all other ingredients. Blend all together and heat up for 10 – 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: I use soup mode 2-3 times on my Blendtec and it heats up the soup automatically in the blender.

Blendtec Soup Mode Soup

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

As we all know, sweet potatoes is a healthier choice over white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Iron, and Magnesium.

So any day when I crave for potatoes, this alternative vegetable definitely becomes my top choice. I utilize sweet potatoes as double baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, baked french fries, also them in my lentil soup. Just amazing vegetable!

For this recipe you won’t need too many ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 Sweet potato (scrub the skin and wash it well)

1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or 1 tablespoon of brown sugar)

1 pinch of salt & 1 pinch of pepper.

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon of butter (add more if you want to increase the richness)

Drizzle on top (Optional):

1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup

Crushed black pepper

Method:

I usually bake sweet potato in microwave using potato setting. It is a quicker and an easier method. You can also boil them in pot full of water or foil bake the sweet potatoes in oven at 375 for 60 minutes.

Now scope all the goodness and add all the ingredients. Mash everything and make it creamy.

Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup and black pepper.

1 2 3

Boiled Raw Shelled Peanuts (Halloween Party Snack)

You can treat raw shelled peanuts with two basic cooking method. 1. Roast them in a skillet and 2. Boil them in a cooker or a deep pot.

Here is my recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups of Raw Shelled Peanuts

6-7 cups of water

1/4 cup of salt

Method:

Clean raw shelled peanuts with water. Pressure cook all the ingredients in a cooker. Serve hot or warm. It can be a perfect Halloween party snack.

 

IMG_8807 IMG_8811 IMG_8839 IMG_8851 IMG_8861

Veggie Dumplings (Asian Pot Stickers or Momos)

Pot stickers can be easily served as a light appetizer.  I used store-bought dumpling wrappers, which are easily available in Asian and American grocery stores. Please check the ingredients as some of the brands do contain egg yolks. I got an egg free version from Asian Mart nearby, so I have posted a picture of the brand I used.

Here is a veggie dumpling recipe.

A. Veggie Filling:

2 medium carrots (shredded)

1/3 Napa cabbage (shredded)

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 inch ginger (finely chopped)

6 button mushrooms (chopped)

2 green onions (finely chopped)

2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves (chopped)

2 teaspoons of sesame seed oil

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon of ajinomoto (optional)

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar

1 teaspoons of cornstarch

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

B. Wonton Wrappers (Store-bought)

C. Dipping Sauce

1 cup of Soy Sauce

1/3 cup of rice vinegar

1/2 inch ginger (finely chopped)

1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)

1 tsp of sesame oil (toasted)

1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon of hot chili paste (Sambal sauce)

Black pepper (Add salt only if using low sodium soy sauce)

Method:

1. Heat up sesame oil, add garlic, ginger. Saute them for few seconds. Now add all veggies and saute them for 3-4 minutes. Add other ingredients and in the last add cornstarch and cilantro. Cook everything for 2-3 more minutes. Cool the mixture. 

2. Thaw wonton wrappers.

3. Take a wrapper. Apply luke warm water with a brush on the sides in circular motion.

4. Add 1 tablespoon of filling on half of wonton wrapper. Fold it as folding Mexican empanada. Seal the semicircular dumpling with fork marks.

Note: You can follow pinched patterns on the sealed dumpling. There are various days to do it. 

5. At this point you can refrigerate the dumplings for a day and roasted them the next day. This will save you time on the day of a planned party.

6. Now heat up a non-stick pan. Spray mist oil. Take 3-4 dumplings and roasted them for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

7. Add 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan and let it steam roast for until all the water is evaporated.

8. Cook other dumplings the same way. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce:

Heat up sesame oil. Add garlic, ginger, and add other ingredients. Simmer it for 2-3 minutes. Cool it off completely.

Serve all the dumplings / pot stickers with this dipping sauce.

_MG_6803 _MG_6805 _MG_6808 _MG_6813

Pan Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:

2 Large Potatoes (Boiled)

1/2 tablespoon of Olive Oil

1/2 tablespoon of Butter

Basil & Rosemary (Fresh)

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Red Chili Flakes

Method:

1. Pan roast the white potatoes (boiled) with its peel. Just burst it open with a potato masher

OR

1. Peel the boiled potatoes and dice them.

Add butter and olive oil in a pan.

Roast until gets brown and crispy. Add herbs Chili flakes, and salt-pepper. Serve hot as a side dish or a breakfast hash potatoes.

IMG_8134 IMG_7553

Entertainment Platters

Well, I prepared these attractive platters during a game night. It was so fun to share these bit size finger foods with friends and family.

You can practically serve any kind of dip with pita chips, tortilla chips, regular chips, multigrain crackers, veggies, etc.

Here are few simple ideas.

I usually serve home made dips like salsa, hummus, baba ganush, and jalapeno Greek yogurt dips. It is easy to prepare them, but if you don’t have time then just buy store bought. There are several varieties of dips available in Whole foods, Traders Joes, and other grocery stores. Try to stick with natural ingredients with less preservatives.

IMG_3500 IMG_3501

Blueberry Jam

Who doesn’t like jam. Actually in last two years, I have hardly purchased any store-bought ones, as home made jams are very easy to prepare. Moreover, you can control your ingredients, especially sugar. You can know exactly what is in your recipe, which is my all time favorite homemade cooking advantage.

I don’t have much knowledge on canning, so I make small batches of jams. Small batch can be easily consumed in a month’s time frame. Jams can be used not only on a slice of bread or a croissant, but you can mix it with granola and Greek yogurt for a perfect breakfast on the go. It can be baked in a puff pastry with brie cheese. There are several uses.

Summer is going on and we frequently visit local farms for fruit picking. If you haven’t experienced farm fresh picking, then please do so. It is a perfect day out activity with your family and friends, especially kids.

My husband and I have gone for several of them: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and apples. You can also pick pumpkins during Halloween-Thanksgiving holiday time.

Ingredients:

2 cups of fresh blueberries

1/2 lemon juice

1/2 cups of sugar

2 tablespoons of pectin (a vegetarian option)

Method:

Heat up your pan at low-medium temperature.

Add blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and pectin. Mash everything well.

Now reduce until 1/3 of the original quantity.

Cool it a bit and fill it in a clean and sterilize container jar.

IMG_7280IMG_7282IMG_7292IMG_7297IMG_7312