Thursday, April 8, 2010

Barley & Veggie Salad with Greek dressing

Today I'll share a quick salad recipe with Greek yogurt dressing just perfect for summer. In summer during daytime, I don't feel like eating, I kind of loose my appetite (which happens to many people), during that time a simple cold salad what I prefer to indulge, which is healthy as well as yummy. To make this salad nutritious and filling for me, I used cooked barley and well soaked green beans and veges on a bed of lettuce with chilled yogurt dressing. Yummmmmyyyy.....

Ingredients : (serves 2-3 persons)
Cooked pearl barley : 1 cup
Green beans : 1 cup(soaked overnight)
Carrots : 1
Red beets : 1
Cucumber : 1
Small radishes : few
Tomato : 1
Fresh parsley(finely chopped)

For dressing :
Greek Yogurt : 1/3 cup ( or normal yogurt will also do)
Juice of 1 lemon
Honey : 1 tblsp.
Olive oil(prefered)/vegetable oil : 2 tblsp.
Garlic : 1 clove(big-grated)
Salt and ground Black pepper to taste

Method :
  • To cook the barley, boil some water, add barley and little salt. Cook in reduced heat until barley in tender(it takes about 30-45 minutes average).
  • Soak green beans in enough water overnight. Don't need to boil.
  • To make the dressing : In a bowl, whisk together honey, lemon juice, yogurt, garlic and little salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
  • Assembling the salad : cut all the veggies into bite size pieces. Before serving, in a big bowl, add the veggies, cooked barley and soaked green beans. Add chilled yogurt dressing. Mix and finally sprinkle chopped parsley. Season with salt and black pepper if needed.
  • Serve.......................
Sending this to Usha's Healthy Inspiration - Salad event
and to my event "Spotlight : Summer food & drinks",
and to Madhuri of Cook-curry Nook on her event "Serve me some - Salad"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pasta in Alfredo Sauce ( low-fat version)

Alfredo Sauce is a rich, creamy accompaniment to any pasta. Alfredo sauce is a white sauce, traditionally it was made with butter and Parmesan cheese, but more modernly, and especially in the United States, alfredo sauce also includes heavy cream. In many parts of the world, Alfredo sauce is prepared separately from the pasta. In Italy, the country where these sauces and pastas are originated, Alfredo sauce is not made separately from the pasta. Instead, the ingredients are added to the pasta individually and the whole mixture is tossed to coat the pasta.  

This Alfredo sauce with any kind of pasta is one of my family's favorites. It may not come to the low fat recipe category, but for a special treat you can't beat cheese and pasta together! Once in a while, we deserve some indulgence, right?
In my low fat Alfredo sauce version, I don't add cream, I totally avoid it, instead I use both parmesan and mozzarealla cheese. To substitute the cream, I use flour with milk and it makes this sauce extra creamy but lower in fat.

Pasta (any kind of pasta will go, I used large shell shaped one)
Garlic : 3-4 cloves(big-minced)
Onion : 1(medium-sliced)
Broccoli, potato & peppers : 1 cup(sliced lengthwise)
Parmesan cheese : 1/3 cup(shredded)
Mozzarella chesse : 1/3 cup(shredded)
Milk : 1/3 cup(approx.)
Flour : 3 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Butter/oil : 2 tblsp.

Method :

  • Boil water in some heavy bottomed pan, add salt and pasta. Drizzle little oil while cooking pasta to avoid sticking to one another. Cook until pasta is done, approx. 12-15 minutes. Pasta should not be over cooked, not too soft, not too hard. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat butter or oil in a pan, shallow fry the sliced veggies with salt and set aside. In the same pan, add onions and minced garlic. Saute for a while, but don't let them get brown. Add flour now, stir continuously, when it starts changing colour, add milk. Cook until it thickened. 
  • Now add shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese little at a time and stir to mix it with the sauce. Before adding cheese, lower the heat to low to avoid burning. 
  • After adding the cheese, add pasta and coat well with the sauce. If you think, the sauce is little thick, add little more milk and adjust the creaminess of the sauce. Add salt and pepper to the pasta according to your taste.
  • Mix well and cook gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring in between, so that pasta can absorb the sauce. 
Serve topped with some extra parmesan cheese, tomato slices and parsley.

Earlier pasta recipe reposting for the event :

Classic Mac n Cheese with vegetables(stove top version)

Sending these pasta dishes to Sowmya for her Cooking with pasta Event.

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