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Category Archives: Side Dish

Baked Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Picture of fries made from sweet potatoes.

Image via Wikipedia

by chefpriyanka
I love fries- who doesn’t! You’re only LYING to yourself if you say that you don’t like fries. I don’t eat fries because they’re deep-fried and unhealthy. Of course if someone handed me a nice crispy curly fry or waffle fry, I wouldn’t be able to refuse! However, I don’t like getting that greasy, fatty feeling that I generally get after eating deep-fried food; another reason why I avoid fried items!
But, this weekend I made some sweet & spicy sweet potato fries that were amazing- crispy, light, salty, sweet, spicy what can be better than that! Plus, sweet potato is generally low in calories (~150/medium potato) and high in Vitamin A and Dietary Fiber. Baked crisp with melted brown sugar and spicy cayenne- believe me the combination is delicious!
Baked Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries:
  • 3 sweet potatoes- washed & scrubbed
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2-1 tbsp smokey paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • salt- to taste
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar (for garnishing)
  • few sprigs of chive- finely chopped
  • PAM olive oil flavor

1. Preheat oven to 425. In a small bowl whisk together oil, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika.

2. Cut the potatoes into strips (french-frie size) and lay them on a baking sheet. Pour oil mixture over potatoes and toss until evenly coated. Spray with some pam and make sure each strip is hitting the baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar evenly over potatoes.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes until darker and crispy, tossing every 10 minutes. Remove and cool. While cooling, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and garnish with chives. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce- I recommend Honey Mustard YUM :)

Serves 4

Look at those crispy fries sparkling with brown sugar.. yummy..

 

Want MORE Vegan?

Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”

Roasted Garlic Baba Ghanoush

Indian Sloppy Joe (Pav Bhaji)

…and more..

Nutritional Info

 

 

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Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary, Chili & Chives

Russet potato with sprouts. Sliced (left) and ...

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a great holiday side -dish for our next Christmas party! The title is self-explanatory, but this ain’t no typical Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes.

  • 4 medium Idaho potatoes- scrubbed
  • 2 heads of garlic- tops trimmed off
  • 4 dried cayenne chilies
  • 3-4 sprigs of rosemary- fresh
  • 1 cup fat free half&half (I use Land-o-Lakes Brand)
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 6-7 sprigs of chive- finely chopped
  • 1/3-1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese
  • salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • PAM olive oil flavor

1. Preheat oven 425 degrees. In a sheet of foil place both garlic heads, chilies, rosemary sprigs, salt and pepper. Spray liberally with PAM and fold foil to create a packet. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until cloves are soft and rosemary and crispy. Remove and cool.

2. Meanwhile, cut potatoes in half and boil in salted water with peel on until fork tender. In a small bowl squeeze in garlic cloves, add rosemary, chilies, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and garlic is mushed. Add this mixture to the potatoes and combine thoroughly. In a slow stream, add half&half and light cream. Mash together until smooth and well combined. More or less milk can be used to achieve desired consistency. Then stir in the grated parmigiano. I like smashed potatoes a little chunky and smooth. Taste for salt.

3. Place on a pretty serving platter top with a sprig of rosemary and chopped chives and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil (if you want!) Dig in!

Serves 6


Nutrition:

I cut the fat by a pretty substantial amount by using light cream instead of heavy cream and fat free half&half. If you want to keep it completely healthy, use only fat free half&half. The consistency will still come out yummy. I also didn’t put any butter, which traditional mashed potatoes have (it’s really not necessary, because the strong rosemary and garlic flavors keep it yummy)! Plus this dish serves 6, so a little light cream won’t kill you ;)

Like Potatoes? Try these!

Spicy Cumin Potatoes with Green Chili Tofu

Baked Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

 

 

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Rose Infused Red Velvet Cake Pops

Photograph of a slice of a 4-layer red velvet ...

Image via Wikipedia

by chefpriyanka

Growing up I wasn’t a very big fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t really like red roses and I hate hearts (maybe I’m traumatized by all the heart shaped jewelry that Staten Island girls wore). But, nonetheless I do like to indulge in chocolate and desserts whether or not I have a valentine. There’s no rule that says ‘you can only eat chocolate & strawberries if you have a valentine.’ If you want to make a special dessert for yourself or a loved one then this recipe is perfect for you!

I’ve been seeing ‘Cake Pops’ pop up everywhere! It’s the new fad in the dessert world. If you’re not aware of their existence let me fill you in. It’s moist cake mixed with frosting and enrobed in chocolate. And what’s better than rich Red Velvet cake enrobed in intensely dark chocolate? Well, infusing it with rose and topping with real silver leaf are just a few tweeks and additions that I thought would make it go from great to awesome. The process isn’t hard, it’s just a bit time consuming. But, if you’re looking to indulge and treat yourself or a loved one, then the time and effort are definitely worth it!

Red Velvet Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups + 5 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli Bran)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used Homemade)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • PAM Baking Flavor

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (I used Philadelphia Brand)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp rose water/essence

Chocolate Coating:

  • 4-5 bars dark chocolate, melted (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao)
  • silver leaf (optional)- available at Indian Grocery Stores

Process:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rectangular pan (~9×13) with PAM and line with parchment paper. Spray with PAM and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix and set aside. In a large bowl add the eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, oil, food color and rose water. Using a hand mixer beat on low for 1-2 minutes until blended well. With the mixer on low, add about 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients and blend. Do this continuously until the dry ingredients are blended well with the wet ingredients and is smooth. Do not over beat. Pour into greased pan and bake for 35 minutes. Turn halfway through.

3. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Using the sides of the parchment sheet, lift the cake out and cool for another 15-20 minutes or until completely cool. Using a serrated knife, trim off the hard edges.

4. In a large bowl add cream cheese, butter and rose water. Beat on low speed for 1-2 until creamy and blended. While beating add in 1/2 cup at a time of confectioner’s sugar. Beat until everything is blended and creamy (resembles frosting).

5. In a large bowl crumble the whole cake into small pieces. Mix in the frosting using a spatula until its incorporated well and resembles a thick crumbly dough. Roll into 1-2 inch thick balls. Press together with fingers to make sure that the cake sticks together as a ball, and smooth using the palms of your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 1 hours- till its chilled & hard, not frozen solid.

6. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl. Take about 4 balls out of the freezer at a time and thoroughly coat each ball, dunking them into the bowl of chocolate. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to dry. Decorate tops with drizzled chocolate (optional). Once the balls are all dry (few hours or over night) carefully decorate with the silver leaf.

 

Like Chocolate AND Dessert AND Yumminess?

Banana Bread Cake Pops

 

 

Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes

 

 

Mini Apple Tartlets with Chocolate

 

Peppermint Bark

 

 

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Stuffed Mexican Pizza Towers with Avocado-Jalapeno Crema

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and even if you’re not Irish, doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the festivities! Growing up in New York City, I’ve witnessed all kinds of St. patrick’s Day celebrations, and if you’re hosting a party of your own then this will be the perfect addition to your spread of delicious food! They’re my Mexican Pizza Towers with an Avocado-Jalepeno Crema.

So, it’s not really Irish, or from a region close to Ireland at all, but it IS green and awesome! Now, I’m not much of a historian, but according to some Irish legends, Saint Patrick used a green shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to pre-Christian Irish people (yes, grade school does come in handy once in a while!). That being said, even though my appetizer pizzas are Mexican, they fit right into the St. Patrick’s day theme! A great size, these pizzas are perfect for big parties where most of the guest are just grabbing bits of food here and they’re a good size to hold and eat! Loaded with smokey refried beans, spicy vegetables and a crema thats smooth, creamy and spicy all at the same time! Your guests will keep asking for more! Meat eaters won’t miss the meat, and vegetarians AND vegans will be happy! Plus, they’re super healthy and nutritious!

Tower Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 large white onion- finely diced
  • 1-2 (depending on size) red/green bell peppers- finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic- crushed and minced

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds (be generous)
  • salt- to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 roma tomatos- seeded and finely diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro- washed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese (I use Sargento Brand or vegan substitute)
  • Avocado-Jalepeno Crema (RECIPE BELOW)
  • Smokey Refried Beans (RECIPE BELOW)
  • curled lemon peels- garnishing (optional)

Tools: 2-3″ round cookie cutter, non-stick pan, toaster oven

1. In a medium-sized skillet spray with a little PAM and pour olive oil and set over medium-high flame. Add cumin seeds and toast for 30 seconds or so then add onions and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, then add the bell peppers. Add all the seasonings, including salt and pepper. Saute for about 5-6 minutes because the vegetables should be soft and flavored well. Taste for salt and seasonings.

2. While the vegetables are cooking, use the cookie cutter to cut out round tortilla disks. 3-4 large tortillas should make about 30-32 disks.

Place on a baking sheet in a toaster oven, and toast for about 5 minutes, just until they’re slightly golden color and crispy.

3. To assemble, place a layer of crispy tortilla disks on a serving dish and pile about 1-2 tbsp of bean mixture. Spread evenly, but not too much near the edge of the disk. Top with about 1 tbsp vegetable mixture and cheese (more or less depending on how much you like!).

Place another disk on top and press down slightly- you don’t want the mixture to be oozing out! Drizzle on avocado-jalapeno crema and garnish with chopped tomatoes, cilantro and lemon peel. To add a festive and more green touch, I sliced fresh jalapenos and layered them on the serving dish- just in case anyone wants an extra spicy kick!

Makes about 16 pizza towers

Smokey Refried Beans:

  • 1 can refried beans (I used Old El Paso- make sure they’re vegetarian!)
  • 1 medium onion- finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic- crushed and minced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • coarse black pepper- to taste
  • salt- to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor

Tools: non-stick pan

1. In a large non-stick skillet spray with PAM and set over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and toast for about 30 seconds. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cayenne pepper, black pepper and seasonings. Saute for another 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add salt and combine, and then add the refried beans and reduce heat to medium-low. Make sure to combine everything well and taste for seasonings. If it seems too thick, add a little warm water. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until heated through and flavored well. Once finished, set aside.

Avocado-Jalepeno Crema:

  • 2 ripe avocados- pitted and diced
  • 2 jalapenos- finely diced (I keep the seeds, skin and all!)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • 1/4 cup (a little bit less) reduced-fat sour cream (I used Breakstones brand or vegan substitute)
  • half a handful cilantro- finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) water

Tools: Blender

1. In a blender add avocados, jalapenos, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro and sour cream. Blend on high until thick and smooth- it will be a little chunky. Blend on low and slowly drizzle in water until creamy and a bit thinner- not too thin, you want it to be the consistency of cream. Set aside.

Like Mexican? Check out these Zesty & Healthy Dishes:

Spicy Enchiladas with Smokey Corn & Roasted Pepper Sauce

10 Minute Pita Mexi-Pizza

Gourmet “Taco-Bell” Mexican Pizza

Garlic-Chili Guacamole

 

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Saffron Couscous Side-Dish Recipe

Delicious with or without saffron, this Kurdish-influenced side dish is an excellent alternative to rice. Saffron Couscous is wonderful served warm, or at room temperature. Delicious with roasted lamb, it’s also excellent with your favorite fish.

 
 

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Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon Recipe by Nigella Lawson

Pikat4

Image via Wikipedia

These are little potato pancakes made with “Smash” instant potato, remember “for mash get smash”

 

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Fast Food Style Hash Browns Recipe

Bleu cheese omelette and hash browns

Image by Premshree Pillai via Flickr

How to make delicious fast food style hash browns. A couple of months ago I uploaded a bbq hash brown recipe and received a number of requests on how to make fast food style ones, so here they are!

Ingredients:

4 peeled potatoes — parboiled until they start to soften
1 beaten egg
2 tbs skim milk powder
1/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp softened butter
Oil to fry in

I hope you enjoy! :)

 

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