In the Wise Words of My Mother.......Shut Up and Eat!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Indian Inspired Chia Seed Pudding

In case you missed it in food trends, chia seed pudding is all the rage. What is chia seed pudding exactly? Well let us break it down into its parts.

Chia seeds are a species of flowering plant in the mint family native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala (Wikipedia). These seeds are considered a super food. They are high in fiber, calcium, and many other nutrients. They can be used in many ways outside of pudding, but let's focus on the pudding. What's pudding? Pudding is pudding...Google that one peeps. 

This pudding was seriously inspired by Indian flavors. Now I realize that sounds a bit cliche, but I think that's okay since I'm Indian...? The flavors in this pudding are found in many Indian sweets. You've got rose, mango, coconut, and cardamom. I don't think you can go wrong with the marriage of those flavors. I sincerely hope it tastes good, otherwise that would be a serious waste of some chia seeds. 

Indian Inspired Chia Seed Pudding
  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 3/4 cups of mango pulp
  • 1 tbs. rose water
  • 4 cardamom pods, peeled and crushed
  • Dash of salt 
  1. Literally, mix everything together in a bowl, and store in the fridge for 8 hours.  
You can eat this by itself or garnish with your favorite complimentary fruit! 

Not the most visually appealing, but yummy? :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Keema Style Jackfruit Subji

I love experimenting with green jackfruit. It's incredibly versatile and it easily takes on any flavor. I often like to use it for a substitute for chicken - not that it actually taste like chicken, but it does take on a similar texture and color...You can scroll through my previous blogs and see that, indeed, I've done quite a bit of experimentation with jackfruit. 

What's wonderful about the Indian store is all the little offerings you can find within. My favorite section is the spice section. You can get your standard turmeric, chili powder, hind powder, etc., but there is a section within the spice section that is a true treasure trove. The spice boxes are the best kept secret of any Indian store. There are hundreds of spice combinations waiting to be tested out.  You can follow the recipe on the back of the box, or you can make one up. I love to make up recipes using these mixtures. I decided to make a fun jackfruit recipe using Shan's Keema Curry mix. Check out my Keema style jackfruit subji below!

Keema Style Jackfruit Subji

  • 1 can green jackfruit, rinsed and thinly sliced 
  • 1 onion, diced 
  • 1/2 box Shan Keema Masala 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 tsp. of turmeric powder 
  • Oil to cook
  • 1 tsp. of hing powder
  • 1/2 cup of water  
1. Heat oil and add hing powder

2. Once hing powder starts to sizzle, add onions and sauté until translucent

3. Add the jackfruit and season with Keema masala, salt, and turmeric

4. Add water and cook until the jackfruit is soft

5. Serve with rice, roti, or naan!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Looong Overdue Vegetarian Bibimbap Bowl

Why there hello stranger! Yes, it is I, Lady Vienna and I am back! I hope...

It's been a year and a half since I last posted anything on this lovely food blog of mine. It's almost like waiting for the new season of the BBC's Sherlock. 

So let's see, where have I been? To be honest, I've been quite lazy. My insatiable appetite for food is still there, but I just didn't make time to blog. I will be honest, I have time, but I'm just not making it. That's the funny thing about life, you will say you don't have time for the things you love, but really you simply need to make it happen because the time is always there. 

Now that I've given you that lovely nugget of wisdom, I promise will do my darndest to make more time for this food blog and bring you some lovely new recipes. 

So let's get to cooking. Lately, I've been absolutely obsessed with Korean Bibimbap. What is it exactly?

Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means "mixed rice". Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul and gochujang, soy sauce, or doenjang. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat are common additions. (Wikipedia

This dish is delicious. It's filling, flavorful, and it allows you to customize it any which way. Essentially you can take your left over vegetables, sautee them, and make a divine lunch or dinner that will keep your tummy all types of happy. 

Instead of spending $10 at a food truck everyday, I decided to try my hand at this unique dish. Now I'll be honest, my version of the Bibimbap is a hybrid between Japanese, Korean, and something else...but I'm thinking that's okay. I've also attempted to make it healthier by using brown rice instead of white rice. As long as it tastes good, its fine, right? Fingers crossed you like it! Now check out the recipe below and try it out sometime! 

  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 small bag of bean sprouts 
  • 1 container of sliced white mushrooms 
  • 1 box of firm tofu
  • 3 tbs. Korean chili garlic paste 
  • 3 tbs. Korean BBQ sauce 
  • 1 cup (per serving) brown rice 
  • Rice vinegar 
  • Oil (enough to cook with)
  • Seasoned seaweed with sesame seeds 
  • Salt to taste 
  1. Rice: I purchased a steam pack (microwavable) of brown rice. Far easier to cook...but you can commit if you would like. Once the rice is cooked, sprinkle a small amount of rice vinegar, and mix thoroughly 
  2. Spinach: In a pan, heat oil, add the spinach, season with salt, cook until soft, and set aside 
  3. Bean Sprouts: In a pan, heat oil, add the sprouts, add a splash of rice vinegar, cook until soft, and set aside 
  4. Sliced Mushrooms: In a pan, heat oil, add the mushrooms, add a 1 tbs. of the chili garlic paste, cook until soft, and set aside
  5. Tofu: Cut the tofu into large cubes, marinate in the Korean BBQ sauce, add 2 tbs. of the chili garlic paste, and mix thoroughly. Set aside and marinade for 10 minutes. In a pan, heat oil, add the tofu, and cook for ten minutes mixing periodically 
  • In a bowl place 1 cup of the brown rice and sprinkle with the seasoned seaweed 

  • In an artful manner (up to your discretion) place the spinach, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and tofu

  • Sprinkle some more seaweed on top and enjoy hot! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

VOLT: Top Chef's Top Restaurants

Some of you may no know this, but I adore the show Top Chef. I feel as though you should know this due to my over zealous foodie nature. Two weekends ago, along with my foodie partner in crime, we were fortunate enough to get reservations to Top Chef runner up Bryan Voltaggio. This was only made more exciting when I saw him prepping pork as I sauntered into the bathroom. This was wicked exciting and I squeeled to myself as the bathroom slid closed while Bryan went to town on the pork loin. We locked eyes............

The food at VOLT was true to the work I saw on Top Chef. It was simple, clean, innovative, not pretentious and more importantly, delicious. Now is the point where I can describe the way the food tasted or I can let the imaged speak for themselves.

I do both, so don't worry.

Breadsticks dusted with fennel pollen....I didn't know fennel had pollen....silly SriVani

BEER & a fancy fruity drink I didn't drink.....

The aperitif of foir gras and celery something....I didn't hate the celery which is surprising. You almost expected this to be like a mousse but instead it was like a meringue. It had an outer crunch that then dissolved on your tongue.  

Rosemary bun served by the nice bread lady

Kampachi with ginger, green apple & chive. Clean, fresh and delightful. I was even able to bear the fact that it was adorned with celery leaves

Blue crab with cucumber, green mango, and coriander. This was also a clean fresh appetizer but they definitely didn't use the traditional green mango. As someone who has had a many a green mango, this was certainly just a regular ripe mango. 

Ravioli with garlic scapes, marcona almond, goat cheese. This was oh so delightful. The filling was luscious and smooth without weighing down the taste buds. I have never had homemade pasta before and this was unforgettably forgettable. Meaning the pasta did not define the dish but merely added to it by being light, and perfectly chewy.

Lobster omelet with oyster mushrooms and asparagus. I will be honest, this dish was the least favorite served to us. While the omelet was cooked to perfection, light and fluffy. The dish itself was good, but what is really lacked was more sauce and lobster. For such a high end restaurant, I expected more lobster with my omelet. Perhaps it is my belief that, if Panera can overload my sandwich with lobster, then Volt should be able to too. Maybe it's the Masshole in me screaming for more lobster.....Anyways, the potato was also quite yummy. None of the potatoes were undercooking, a massive pet peeve of mine, but wee a bit oily. 

Damn shadows....
Halibut with asparagus, hen egg yolk, caper. To quote Neil Diamond, "so good, so good, so good!" The fish was cooked exactly the way it should be cooked, my fork should be able to peel off layers of the fish with one effortless stroke. Also, the concept of shaved asparagus was exciting in it of itself. I don't think I will be able to look at vegetable peelings the same way again.....

Lamb with farro, chimichurri, maroon carrots. Now I didn't have the lamb, but I did have the farrow and the carrots. First off, I had the carrots...if you know me (chances are if you are reading this you are probably my sister and therefore do know me) I don't like carrots. However, these carrots were wonderful. They were tender and slightly sweet. They still tasted like a carrot, but maybe the fact that they were maroon made them most appealing.....The farro was even better. This hearty grain was dressed with chimichurri. I don't know what this seasoning should taste like, but it was filled with coriander and it made me happy. 

This isn't found on the website for some reason so I shall do my best to remember this dish. It was almond cake with apple butter and apple ice cream? It was a very fall appropriate dish. It wasn't my favorite just because I am not a huge apple person, but it was still delightful.

Chocolate marshmallow, caramel, peanut......I would have licked the plate if that was socially acceptable, but it's not so I didn't. But it was damn good. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sassy Snack Sunday

Luckily the fresh corn didn't do this....
Why today is Sunday and it will be a fun-day. Seeing that it's now June, summer has made her presence known and she is here with a vengeance. This weekend, DC has seen temperatures that may give the illusion mother nature is having one hell of a hot flash. Seriously, I think mother nature is menopausal and is taking it out on the DC area.  Despite the warm heat, I could not be deterred from wandering the stalls of Eastern Market. With sweat on my back, a cloth bag on my shoulder and no skip in my step (it's really to warm to skip), I aimlessly wandered through the fresh farmers market. As always, it's a sensory overload with fresh vegetables are fruits, juices running down the pudgy cheeks of children nibbling food, dogs panting and the usual host of colorful characters. During my adventures I even managed to find fiddle head ferns which have been rare this season, literally impossible to find. While I wish I could have stocked up on a large supply, at $30/lb it was not in my budget. However,  I did score a small amount for tonight's dinner and I am excited to get my fern on. 

Once I got home I decided to make some delightful simple snacks for the week (or tomorrow depending on how long they last). Kale chips and popcorn. Two things that you can easily find in the grocery store. But why buy when they are more fun to make? Everyone loves to customize things, why not customize your snacks!?  Both kale chips and popcorn are extremely versatile and are blank slates. They can take on any flavor you want. One of my favorite spice mixtures to use on the kale chips is Trader Joe's South African Smoked Spice rub/thingy (thingy is an official term). As for my popcorn, I love to have it the way we would eat it in India,  spicy, zingy and buttery. I've made some simple cool recipes for kale chips and popcorn that will surely make the 3 o'clock sugar crash at work much more delightful. 

Spicy Kale Chips
  • 1 10 oz. bags of cut kale (it bakes down by a lot so keep that in mind when buying) 
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 tbs. salt 
  • 1/2 tbs. red pepper flakes (or your herb/flavoring of choice) 
1. Pull off any leaves from the thick stem and leave in large pieces (they don't bake well and are too fibrous to chew) and place all of the leaves in a large bowl. 

2. Pre-heat your oven to 350F

3. In a small cup combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix thoroughly. 

4. Coat the kale chips with the liquid and mix it so all the leaves are coated in the liquid mixture. 

5. Put a single layer of the leaves on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn them over after 5 minutes. Basically you bake them until they are crispy

Indian Style Popcorn
  • 2/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 tbs. salt
  • 1/2 tbs. red chili powder 
  • 2 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. hing powder 
  • 1 tbs. ghee/melted butter 
1. In a large pot, heat oil. Once the oil is hot add the hing powder. 

2. Next add 2-3 kernels and wait for them to pop. Once they have popped, add the remaining kernels and cover.

3. Shake periodically as to avoid burning. Take the pot off the stove once the popping sounds have stopped. 

4. In a small bowl, mix together the salt and red chili powder.

5. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl and drizzle on half of the melted ghee. Then sprinkle on the chili salt mixture. Cover the bowl and shake to mix. Add the remainder of the ghee and chili salt mixture and repeat. 

*Both the popcorn and kale chips can be seasoned how you wish, so don't be afraid to get creative!!! 

Ease: This will probable take you about an hour to make (for both snacks)
Yummy: Very much so, but be careful with the red chili flakes, they can be potent 
Ayurvedic Friendly: Actually I'm fairly sure they are...interesting.