ironamma

A new wave of vegetarian cooking!

Iron Amma: The Vegetarian Chef

Good vegetarian food; I won't let you down

Welcome to my website!

I’m a chef, inventor and a passionate foodie. This website comes as an extension of all of those passions and addresses my specialty: Vegetarian Cooking!

I’ve been experimenting with cooking since I was a child, always putting a spin on classic dishes and inventing many of my own.  My style has always been a mash up of global and Indian cooking, local and exotic ingredients, and a dedication to flavor and health consciousness.

Vegetarian cooking has grown tremendously in the last few decades and I hope this blog helps continue this culinary trend. I strive to create savory, delicious, and healthy food. I hope you’ll find my recipes and cooking tips useful and inspiring.

Tofu and Buckwheat/Soba Noodle Soup (Vegan)

Rainy day soup!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 40 fl oz V8 – spicy hot or regular
  • 1 package (14 oz/397 g) extra firm organic tofu – crumble into pieces
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro – finely cut
  • 1/3 cup broken buckwheat noodles
  • 1 tsp MTR Rasam powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger juice or 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

PREPARATION:

  • Bring V8, tofu, ginger juice and garlic salt to a boil in a 4 qt pot on medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to simmer; add buckwheat noodles and rasam powder for few minutes.
  • Just before serving add the sesame oil and cilantro.
  • Enjoy as is!

Sticky Pineapple Rice/Quinoa!

sticky pineappleMy daughter did not take up the juice diet as she’s about to have a baby. In her last weeks she has been getting more hungry than usual, probably to put the fat on my grand-daughter. I can hardly wait. As the rest of the household was juicing she had less variety of food to eat than usual.

However, she made it work from our fruit juicing as there was some pineapple pulp/juice left over with some cooked rice and Quinoa in the fridge. Her mind working overtime decided to make sticky pineapple rice/quinoa dish. Had a small taste…it was too good! Tangy, salty, sweet and hot – all tastes in one.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup cooked Quinoa
  • 1 cup broccoli – cut small florets
  • 2 cups pineapple pulp juice (juice with a juicer without using a strainer/ or can throw a couple slabs of pineapple in the blender and finely blend)
  • 3 garlic cloves – slice
  • 1/4 white onion chopped
  • 1/4 finely minced jalapeno green chilli
  • 1 tsp red chilli oil - contains sesame/soy/ginger/garlic oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

PREPARATIONS: 

  • In a pan heat olive oil and red chilli oil on medium, add and saute garlic & onions until golden.
  • Then saute broccoli florets for a few minutes. Remove florets to a plate.
  • Then add the green chilli, cooked rice/quinoa, salt and pour in the  pineapple pulp until it thickens and becomes sticky.
  • Garnish with broccoli florets

*Note:

  • Cooking Rice/Quinoa: Microwave uncovered 1/2 rice and 1/2 cup quinoa in 3 cups of water for 15 – 20 min.

The great “Holiday Weight” Juice Escape

Layout juicing

Dear Readers,

With a successful Thanksgiving potluck behind us, the Holiday Weight season was upon us. To combat this members of the IronAmma household banded together to do a pre-emptive juice fast for 10 days. We have successfully fasted for a total of 9 days with Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes, Celery, and other vegetables. However, since this is our 10th day and most important day we thought we would go jungle wild with fruits.

For today’s juicing adventure we are going to tackle Grapefruit with 3 juicing recipes including a homemade sparkling cocktail. All the juicing has been done with the OMEGA 8006 Nutrition Juicer.

Our ingredient list is as follows:

          FRUIT                       JUICE YIELD                          TASTE

  • 4 lbs of kiwi                        27oz.               Prickly & Med Sour
  • 10 lbs oranges                     85 oz.             Bland & Little Sour
  • 10 lbs ruby grapefruit       80 oz.    Tangy: Low Sweet/Low Sour/Slight Bitter
  • 1 pineapple                         25 oz.         Mellow &  Medium Sweet
  • 12 limes                               13 oz.              Sour & no sweetness
  • 1 large ginger root              5 oz.        Fiery, Intense, no sweetness
  • ¼ large watermelon         32 oz.           Refreshing Med. Sweet
  • Organic apple juice for sweetness (bought fresh squeezed from Costco)

Juices galore

Combo 1: SUNRISE  

  • 1/3 cup Orange
  • 1/3 cup Pineapple
  • 1/3 cup apple
  • 1 spoon ginger

TASTE: Mellow & Sweet with orange front and a pineapple back down the palette, slight ginger kick throughout

 Combo 2: ORANGUTAN

  • 1/3 carrot
  • 1/3 watermelon
  • 1/3 grapefruit
  • ½ spoon ginger

 TASTE: Flavors compete; tastes healthy but not tasty (not recommended)

Combo 3: SWEET N’ SOUR

  • 1/3 apple
  • 1/3 watermelon
  • 1/3 grapefruit

TASTE: Flavors go nicely; watermelon mellows the apple sweetness and mellows grapefruits sour tang

Combo 4: SPARKLING VIRGIN ISLAND

TASTE: Sparkling water dilutes kiwi, apple and pineapple sweetness while lime balances flavors. On the rocks tastes the best *** substitute vodka (Grey Goose) and serve on fruits to ease boredom of 2 hours juice squeezing.

Ironamma’s favorite:

The Sweet N’ Sour was my favorite combination. Grapefruit juice is one of my favorite flavors and the sweet warmth of the apple/watermelon really complimented that sour tang. It was an excellent way to finish my last day of juicing.

All in all juicing was a big success everyone in the household lost 4-5 pounds. Most importantly we had to think about our food based on nutrition and health. The juicing only allowed for fresh produce, so the act of buying fresh produce and getting used to preparing meals at least for an hour a day was a practice that we developed along the way. Juicing is the start to building healthy practices and giving the body the nutrients it needs. We hope to stick with a healthier kitchen, supporting more vegetable and fruits than usual. Stay focused and fit.

Black- Eyed Peas/Lobia with Barley Soup

Black- eyed pea or bean, a legume that has high nutritional value (calcium, folate, vitamin A, etc) is known as the soul food of the South. This is a wholesome soup with pressed barley (oshi mugi) which gives it a subtle thickness.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups black-eyed peas – wash and soak in hot water for ~ an hour (or use fresh shelled or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup pressed barley soak with peas
  • 1 can/14 oz/411 gm cut tomatoes or 4 large Roma tomatoes dice
  • 1 large red onion – chop
  • 1/4 cup cilantro – chop
  • 1 leek stalk – cut thin round slices (optional)
  • 7 cups water

Fresh blend:

  • Food process 5 garlic cloves, 1″ ginger piece, 1/2″  fresh turmeric piece, 1/4″ mango ginger  and 1 green chile

Seasoning:

  • 3 tbsp Mediterranean oil blend/canola,olive,grape seed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp onion seed
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder/hing
  • ~ 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (Kashmiri) or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice (optional-if tartness required)
  • 1 tbsp dry onion flakes

PREPARATION:

  • In a pressure cooker temper cumin, onion seeds and hing in hot oil.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add and saute dry onion, cut onion, leek and fresh blend until light golden.
  • Add the rest of the seasoning except salt, garam masala and lemon juice.
  • Saute 3 – 4 min. Then add black-eyed peas, barley and cut tomatoes. Add 7 cups of water.
  • Cook for ~ 15 min. First on high until the steam is released then reduce to medium low.
  • Turn of heat. Wait until the cooker has released all the steam before opening it’s lid.
  • Add salt and garam masala; cook for a few min more. Mash some of the the peas and tomatoes against the side of the cooker.
  • Garnish with cilantro before serving.

*Note:

  • Enjoy with your favorite munches or scoop of cottage cheese!

Pumpkin Cream Soup

We recently were gifted a Vitamix blender from Costco. After going through some of the Vitamix recipes, my daughter and I decided that since it’s the season of “pumpkin” that we would take the Butternut squash recipe in the book and remake it with pumpkin and put our own twist on the spices. It is fun to take a original recipe and turn it into a beautiful new one, except for things like Jalapeno corn bread – don’t TOUCH that recipe. (we’ll post that closer to Thanksgiving – if you are lucky!!)

The winter evenings are coming closer, and we are experiencing colder mornings and nights – Sopa is an excellent way to warm up and be satisfied. The way we mixed all the ingredients has a South American touch. South Americans use a lot of squash, and corn in their recipes so you guys can think of the Macchu Picchu mountains while surrendering to this soup. Perhaps you will think instead of a spooky Halloween where you are in a dark pumpkin patch and an evil witch is following you. Wherever your taste buds and imagination take you, I am sure you will enjoy this blend of vegetarian soup.

 INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 cups chopped pumpkin – add 2 tbsp of water and microwave uncovered for 5 minutes
  • 1/4 cup of Pepperjack or Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Organic 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup of V8 Juice Low Sodium
  • 1 Green Chile
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Onions
  • 1/2 cut chopped apple
  • 2 stalks of Green Onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon of blended Italian spices
  • 1 cup of Tortilla Chips
  • Top with Croutons as needed

PREPARATION:

  • Take all the ingredients above. Throw it in the Vitamix blender/ or other blender.
  • Slowly blend on low speed and ramp up to the highest speed.
  • Let all the ingredients get pureed into soup form.
    • (The Vitamix does take hot ingredients so after you heat the pumpkin in the microwave you can dump straight into the blender)
  • The soup should already be warm because of the cooked pumpkin, if not transfer soup from blender into a microwave friendly dish and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes.
  • Top with Croutons, or sliced apples.

20121028-214322.jpg

Lime Tart Delight

Festivities have started! Time to polish those sweet making skills……..Bring out the pans, the whipping cream, and let’s have a party! One of my dearest friend put together an awesome potluck Diwali Party. My contribution was a lime tart and it was wonderfully greeted with hungry smiles!

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs (food process)
  • 5 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds

Filling:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (use Florida key limes for their tartness and aroma rather than the Persian ones that are readily available)
  • 1 tbsp grated lime zest

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest
  • Fresh berries – blackberries and raspberries; lime wedges

PREPARATION:

  • Food process graham crackers, butter, ground almonds and sugar. Pulsate to mix.
  • Press onto the bottom and sides of a greased 9″ tart pan.
  • Bake at 325* for ~ 15 min or until the edges are lightly browned.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk, lime juice and zest. Acidic reaction between the lime juice and condensed milk will cause it to thicken.
  • Pour over crust. Continue to bake for 12 – 14 min.
  • Cool on wire rack until warm enough to handle to transfer to a serving plate. Tart crust should be warm to remove from the tart pan intact.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs
  • In large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken
  • Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form
  • Fold in sour cream and grated lime peel
  • Spread whipped mixture over tart
  • Then garnish with the berries and lime wedges

*Note:

  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Nutrition facts: 1 slice = 288 calories
  • Try; fold in 2 tbsp coconut powder for the topping spread

Stacked Apple Ring Pancakes

Lightly dusted with sugar and cinnamon powder makes these apple ring pancakes scrumptiously mouthwatering! You don’t have to drench them in syrup to make them tasty. Take this healthy snack to the ballpark and see your team win! Go Giants!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large apples 1/4″ slices – remove core with a cookie cutter (I used large Fuji apples that are very sweet)
  • 2 cups Bisquick pancake mix
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar or agave
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 egg (optional – I did not use)
  • 1 tbsp powder sugar for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for dusting
  • Extra oil or butter
  • Extra Bisquick for dredging

PREPARATION:

  • Whisk together Bisquick, oil, sugar, salt, milk, vanilla extract and rose water in a large bowl.
  • Heat and grease griddle with oil on medium.
  • Sear apple rings on both sides for few mins. Make sure it retains its crispness.
  • Dredge the apple rings in Bisquick flour.
  • Then dip in the pancake batter and cook on the greased griddle on medium low.
  • Spray or sprinkle oil on the top side before flipping to cook.
  • Stack the cooked rings and dust it with sugar and cinnamon powder.

*Note:

  • Use this recipe to make fritters. Follow all the steps except searing the apple rings.
  • Deep fry them in canola oil on medium.
  • They taste like doughnuts with more of apple taste inside.
  • Use the egg in the batter.
  • Try pineapple, Asian pear or other fruits.

Ironclad Review #2! Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice quick bread!

In the spirit of October my daughter and I decided to rendezvous at a good friends place. As we walked in Ashwini Srivatsan had a plan up her sleeve. She had been in the kitchen planning to bake something delicious. 30 minutes after catching up we got a whiff of delicious pumpkin spice aroma from her kitchen. In another 30 minutes she pulled it out of her oven and settled it to cool. As soon as it was cool she cut it and it was a race to get a slice as we all hoarded the kitchen.

The Ironclad Review for the Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice quick bread is an even bigger 4 knives out of 4. You can use the batter as bread, cookies, or even pancakes. What’s wonderful is that the batter is not too sweet, and the spices are even keeled throughout. It cooks fast and slides right off the pan for a clean finish. This will be a great addition for a Halloween get together. Spread the aroma of Pumpkin Spice in seconds and enjoy!!

Green Beans with Chana Daal Palya/Sabji

I have learnt this palya from my Mother-in-Law who cooks amazing food as her main ingredient is love. She usually adds different peas or beans like black-eye or shelled beans of broad, round or curved green beans. Here I will use chana daal instead of the above.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups diced green beans
  • ~ 3 to 4 tbsp chana daal – wash and soak in hot water for 15 min
  • 4 to 5 Thai green chilies – slit in halves
  • 3 to 4 curry leaves – julienne cut
  • fresh blend of 1/2″ ginger and 1/4″ turmeric – use small food processor
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut or frozen
  • 1/2 lemon – juice
  • 3 tbsp cilantro – mince
  • ~ 4 tbsp water

Seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad daal
  • 1/3 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • ~ 1 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp palya powder (optional – should be added after the beans are cooked)

PREPARATION:

  • Temper mustard and urad, then add asafoetida, green chilies, curry leaves and fresh blend for ~ a min.
  • Reduce heat and add soaked chana daal.
  • Saute for ~ 3 min before adding the green beans.
  • Add water and turmeric – stir and cook for ~ 12 min on medium.
  • Add salt after 6 min of cooking.
  • Cross cover the lid and stir in between to retain the green color of the beans.
  • When the beans are soft and tender add coconut and lemon juice – stir.
  • Turn of heat and garnish with cilantro.
  • Enjoy with flat bread or rice.

*Note:

  • Sprinkle coconut to individual serving for those who like it rather than adding it in the whole dish!

Turtle Sculpture out of Fruits

How long do turtles live? Over a 100 yrs. This turtle fruit sculpture is amazing; refrigerated will live for 1 wk.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1302281/Amazing-sculptures-carved-fruit.html#socialLinks

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