Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10 minute gourmet meal.

I kid you not, this took me ten minutes to prepare (minus the preheating time).

In the spirit of kale week, I made some kale chips. Yep, I'm hopping on the food blog bandwagon once again! These kale chips are popping up everywhere these days. But now I know why.

The oven was preheated to 375F.

I drizzled some olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika onto some chopped kale on a baking sheet and mixed it around. Then I put it in the oven for 10 minutes.

While waiting, I made a quesadilla.

I took out a skillet and warmed up two miniature corn tortillas. Then I sprinkled on some grated cheese and sliced tomatoes and let it heat up.

After that, the kale chips were complete!

Quicker than I ever expected!

Kale is a really tough and hardy green, unlike spinach which is really light and easy to chew. I never would have expected this, but these kale chips were extremely thin and almost melted in my mouth! With the seasonings, they were delicious! I was shoveling them into my mouth like crazy.

Who says you can't make a gourmet meal in a rush?! (I prepared and ate this meal in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. Ridiculously easy).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hello there, blog. Nice to see you again!

It's been way too long since the last time I updated.

Fortunately for you, I am back with a vengeance! And so is my cooking!

I have a lot to say.

On Thanksgiving day, I went to a Zumba class. (Typical Tulika, blah blah blah). For the next 3 days, my obliques/abs/core was sore. Yesterday, I went to the same Zumba class. The soreness never really had a chance to go away.

The point I am trying to make here is that I think Zumba is on to something. So yesterday, on a whim, I decided that for my kickboxing class (today) I would change the warm up and make it "Zumba" style. I also thought I'd switch out my regular killer abs-on-a-mat workout and substitute it with a Zumba-esque abs workout. And that's not all. I thought I'd use some kind of Hindi/Bhangra/really hip and catchy Indian song for the abs portion.

I think my class enjoyed it. Plus it made the usual routine more interesting. Especially the part where I blasted Bhangra through the speakers at the rec.

Anyway, after teaching my class, I attended yet another Zumba class (I apparently didn't get enough of a work out with TurboKick), but halfway through the class I felt really exhausted. So I stuck around for a couple more songs and left after 40 minutes.

In summary: I came home and wanted to eat something ASAP.

By the way, it's kale week!!!

What's the easiest way to get full quickly? Eggs.

I made poached eggs and sauteed kale and placed them on slices of wheat toast.

Egg--mid poaching.

Kale-- sauteed in olive oil and garlic and herb seasoning. 

Sprinkled with a little salt and pepper on top.

The egg looks pretty artsy. Actually what happened was, I didn't use a slotted spoon when taking the poached egg out of the water. And the egg yolk broke while using a regular spoon. So I had to rescue some of the yolk and hence the artsy looking yolk on top.

I highly recommend using a slotted spoon. It's a lot easier. 

Friday, November 26, 2010


Happy black Friday/day after Thanksgiving/day of recovery after large amounts of eatin'!

I apologize for my lack of blog updates. I've been too busy working out, sleeping, and eating for the past few days.

Yesterday, at around 3pm, I decided I wanted to cook something.

I whipped together the following:

Creamy Whole Wheat Pasta Casserole
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Vegan Carrot Cake

I started with the carrot cake, since that had the longest baking time. This is similar to the vegan chocolate cake I made a while back.

  • 1 box carrot cake mix
  • 1 block tofu (soft works best)
  • 1 cup water

The store was out of soft tofu and my only choices were extra firm and super firm. (Of course, that's what happens the only time I don't want firm tofu!)

So I blended the tofu and started adding the cake mix little by little along with some water.

The mixture started becoming too thick for the blender. So I went with the old fashioned whisk.

The mixture went into a lightly greased baking pan.

And into the oven at 350F for 31 minutes.

In the meantime...

The batter is 100% safe--no raw eggs! And delish!
31 minutes later- complete!

Next up: casserole.

  • 1 can cream of broccoli soup
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups water
  • fresh spinach
  • frozen edamame
  • whole wheat penne pasta

First I made the pasta.

For the sauce, I mixed the soup and milk over medium heat.

Then I added the fresh spinach, frozen edamame, and one cup of water.

I tore up the spinach so there wouldn't be large leaves in the sauce.

I added the rest of the water, and let the sauce simmer for a bit. Then I added black pepper.

After the sauce was ready, I placed the cooked pasta on a lightly greased pan and poured the sauce on top.

I placed this and the sweet potatoes in the oven.

The casserole was in the oven for about 15 minutes.

The sweet potatoes actually cooked a lot quicker in the microwave-- note to self for next time!

So I peeled the sweet potatoes and then mashed them. Nothing too complicated-- just added some salt, pepper, and lemon juice for seasoning.

Lastly, the quickest dessert ever: crustless pumpkin pie. I tweaked this recipe a little bit and only used 1 teaspoon of egg whites (because that's all I had left) and added one teaspoon of baking powder.

Unfortunately, I didn't get after pictures of the desserts. But I've made similar ones before so just check out the above links. :)

24 hours later, the carrot cake (to which I added cream cheese frosting...which makes it quite un-vegan, but quite a bit tastier!) is 3/4 finished. The casserole was almost completely gone 20 minutes after its completion.

Successful? I think so! Hooray for holidays!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I was hoping to make another cooking video today. However, after a 9 hour day at school, the only thing on my mind was making a quick meal and eating it while mindlessly watching some tv.

I decided to make a baked sweet potato. (Don't even get me started on the nutrition facts of sweet potato vs. regular potato!)

I poked a few holes in the potato and microwaved it for 4 minutes.

I got this cute little Fage (nonfat Greek yogurt with lots of protein and did I mention zero fat?) recently.

Perfect topping for my baked potato! (Looks and tastes like sour cream. Seriously).

I added some diced olives and black pepper on top.

I ate this with a large spinach salad.

Oh but wait, a meal for me is incomplete without some form of dessert.

The other day at the grocery store, I came across some SoDelicious Dairy Free ice cream. I've heard about this from a lot of other foodies, so I thought I'd just try it out. It is completely natural, and I can pronounce every ingredient. It also has a lot less fat (especially sat fat!) and sugar. And since I like adding (unnecessary) crunchiness, I topped my bowl of ice cream with some almonds.

Deeeeelish. Ice cream in front of the tv? Nothing better.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Pre-Thanksgiving Feast.

Dinner parties are the best. Especially when you get to cook, and other people compliment you on your good food.

Just kidding. (Sort of).

I had the pleasure of cooking/preparing a huge feast with a few of my friends who happen to be avid blog readers. (It is evident that these girls are avid blog readers based on the menu items that were chosen!) Quite flattering, I must say. :)

Neeru, myself, Zaynah, and Pooja [and Sarah, not pictured :( ].

There were several parts to this meal. The appetizers included a spinach, beet, garbanzo, and feta salad (dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil), stuffed mushrooms, and sweet potato fries.

Since I made the sweet potato fries earlier today, I have pictures!

Chopped sweet potatoes.
Tossed sweet potatoes in olive oil, paprika, and black pepper.
 After heating in the oven for ~10 minutes on each side at 400.

The other appetizers:

I was pretty obsessed with these stuffed mushrooms that Pooja prepared. I will definitely be obtaining that recipe from her soon.

The main dish was a spaghetti squash casserole that resembled lasagna. 

Layers of the spaghetti squash casserole (from bottom to top):
  • spaghetti squash
  • homemade tomato sauce*
  • spaghetti squash
  • ricotta cheese
  • homemade tomato sauce
  • diced mushrooms
  • parmesan cheese
*Homemade tomato sauce: simmer over medium heat a combination of garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, 1 cup water, olives, and leftover spinach mixture that was used for the stuffed mushrooms.

The spaghetti squash casserole was put in the oven at 375 just until the cheese melted (about 15 minutes). More baking was unnecessary as the spaghetti squash had already been cooked as had the sauce.

For dessert, Zaynah took over the fruit tart. Except for the fact that I asked her if there was some way we could incorporate some pumpkin puree, because 1) I have a lot of it and 2) it's almost Thanksgiving, so why not?

So we tweaked the recipe a bit, and added 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree and less lemon juice. Everything else stayed the same.

With cinnamon sprinkled on top, it tasted like a warm pumpkin pie!

Overall, it was a wonderfully delicious and filling meal. Thanks to everyone for their efforts. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Commence the holiday festivities!

It's a short week, so I thought I'd incorporate some pumpkin and other Thanksgiving-esque foods for the duration of it.

I got the inspiration to combine pumpkin and almonds for today's recipe from my friend Nick!

Savory Pumpkin Quinoa

I bought some new quinoa recently.

As usual, I sat in the aisle (no, I actually did not stand) at TJ's comparing the nutrition facts of regular quinoa and red quinoa. I concluded that red quinoa has 1 gram more protein and 1 gram less fat than regular quinoa. Plus it looks cool.

I prepared the quinoa. In the mean time, I sauteed some fresh spinach in a drizzle of olive oil.

I added about half a cup of pumpkin puree and some almonds.

When the quinoa was ready, I mixed it in with the pumpkin mixture.

And added some salt and pepper. (Though it tasted quite good even without seasoning!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I decided to conclude this week by combining cauliflower with its close relative, broccoli in a simple steamed dish.

I sauteed some frozen broccoli with olive oil and garlic.

Then I added the cauliflower. I really wanted a creamy sauce for this, without real cream of course.

So I mixed together about a tablespoon of mustard, some oregano, parmesan, and a teaspoon balsamic vinaigrette. 

I poured this sauce over the veggies with a small amount of water (1/4 cup) and covered the pot for a few minutes. 

And then added some crushed red pepper.

That was easy.