Tag Archives: cooking zen zone

Moroccan Tajine

I’ve always loved exotic hand-painted pottery from all parts of the world. There is something organic and artistic about pottery serving pieces that gets me excited every time I see them. They make all my food look beautiful and appetizing. My fetish for handmade pottery is how I came across this beautiful Moroccan pottery called tajine.  Years ago when North African cuisine was first featured in the Williams-Sonoma California catalog I bought a Moroccan tajine pot from them. It is no surprise that I bought it because it is a gorgeous piece of hand painted pottery! What makes these North African pottery so unique and beautiful are their intricate hand-painted designs in vibrant colors and ethnic motifs. Tajines look like art pieces, each one different from the other, and each one a potter’s masterpiece. Very often among North African families tajines are collected as family heirlooms and passed down generation after generation. Continue reading Moroccan Tajine

Thanksgiving 2019 Vegetarian Dinner with Family and Friends

Happy Saturday!  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was busy cooking all day until dinner time at which time we had friends join us on this very special holiday.  Being vegetarian coming up with a Thanksgiving dinner tends to be tough for me as we don’t do the usual turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, or cranberry sauce.  However if one is willing to venture away from the traditional Thanksgiving faire there is no shortage of vegetarian options for a delicious and festive Thanksgiving dinner. Continue reading Thanksgiving 2019 Vegetarian Dinner with Family and Friends

Mint, Cardamom Ginger Tea & A Visit from my In-laws

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you had a good weekend and are looking forward to a fabulous week ahead.  Today I would like to share another tea recipe that I recently learnt how to make from my brother’s in-laws who visited us from Dallas, Texas last week.  Darshana and Yogesh came on a fall-California road trip and headed up from LA to Northern California to visit with a friend of theirs and us. It was a quick 2-day visit during which time I took them around our beautiful hilly terrain and of course showed off my garden 😊. Continue reading Mint, Cardamom Ginger Tea & A Visit from my In-laws

Late Harvest Tomato and Onion Rustic Galette

A rustic galette made with juicy late summer tomatoes all cooked with butter and onions – Mmm Mmm good this simple savory tart is. Seriously folks, the kids and I couldn’t stop eating this tomato tart. To make this delicious tart all I did is take my Mom’s tomato and onion on toast recipe and added it to a pastry dough.  And since this is a tomato tart after all, to keep the juicy tomatoes from sogging up the pastry crust, I lined the pastry crust with sharp cheddar cheese.  That’s it. A delicious tart made with as few ingredients as possible to appreciate the pure simple flavors of tomatoes and onions.  You have to give it a try! Continue reading Late Harvest Tomato and Onion Rustic Galette

Vegetarian Jambalaya

Just pile on the vegetables, add the herbs, toss in the rice, splashes of Tabasco and voila! Jambalaya at your table!  This classic Louisiana rice dish is one that I’ve wanted to make forever but had a hard time finding a good vegetarian recipe. Finally I decided to mess around with a traditional jamabalaya recipe and make it vegetarian. I used a recipe by local Louisiana chef Amelia Durand which I found on foodnetwork.com. Though Amelia’s recipe is very meat heavy with lots of spicy sausage, ham and shrimp, boy did that jambalaya look delicious. I figured with so many good things in this dish like tomatoes, celery, carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, herbs and Tabasco sauce, it has to taste good even if I made it without the meat. I was right! This is one delicious jambalaya! Continue reading Vegetarian Jambalaya

Spring Onion Pizza with Kale Leeks and Gorgonzola

A spring veggie pizza full of delicious spring green veggies that you don’t even require a salad to go with it, and the best part is that it’s easy and tastes great. I made this pizza for my daughter Anjali over the weekend as an alternative to another pizza I made with mushrooms, which Anjali absolutely does not like.  Rather than have her feel left out of the pizza party, I made a spring veggie pizza with a variety of veggies that are in peak season right now such as spring onions, leeks, kale, and mache leaves.  Add in salty gorgonzola cheese and a blend of parmesan and gruyere, toss in some marinated artichokes and even sundried tomatoes or olives if you like, and you have a delicious spring inspired pizza that tastes great as an appetizer or for a light lunch or dinner. This pizza is so packed with green veggies and made with whole wheat pizza dough that it feels just a little guilt free eating pizza 😋😊.  Give it a try! Continue reading Spring Onion Pizza with Kale Leeks and Gorgonzola

Paella with Spring Vegetables

A couple weeks ago was my eldest daughter Sridevi’s birthday, and all she wanted was to have dinner at restaurant Coqueta in San Francisco. Coqueta is a California Spanish tapas style restaurant situated on the waterfront on the Embarcadero in beautiful Pier 5 in San Francisco.  This is an extremely popular place and reservations are hard to come by, but Sridevi wanted this dinner so badly that she made her own reservation over a month in advance 😀. Continue reading Paella with Spring Vegetables

Spring Onion Pasta Primavera

I got this beautiful bunch of veggies in my Farm Fresh to You delivery this week and I couldn’t wait to make something delicious with them.  The box had a wonderful assortment of veggies ranging from early spring onions to green onions, leeks, kale, and celery root just to name a few. Continue reading Spring Onion Pasta Primavera

Bay Leaf Cardamom Vegetable Daal

Think Asian flavors like coconut milk and Siracha combined with North Indian flavors such as bay leaves and cardamom pods, combined with South Indian flavors such as mustard seeds and cumin seeds – this is a dish that combines all these flavors into one delectable lentil stew.  Ladled over steaming white rice with a squeeze of limejuice, this rather eclectic lentil daal is delicious and filling.  Continue reading Bay Leaf Cardamom Vegetable Daal

Indian Masala Buns

Truth be told I had never tasted Indian masala buns until one of my dear friends made them one time when I had gone over for tea, I’m talking over a decade ago! She fondly reminisced of her Dad making them for her and her brother when she was growing up and served them nostiligically for us to have with a little butter. I can honestly say I haven’t had these buns since then. That was the first and last time I had masala buns – it’s been a long time! I don’t know why then, recently I have been craving home made bread but not just any bread –  savory Indian masala buns jazzed up with onions, green chilis and spices.  Continue reading Indian Masala Buns