Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spagetti, Pasta n Salad ..

We are here in USA for less than a decade now but somehow I never felt to cook any preparation with pasta or spaghetti. It is easily available in almost every neighborhood restaurant here in USA. But nowadays I have started experimenting like others. I will share my experiments with all my readers and followers in my simple ways.  

Macaroni fruit salad::::

I nowadays keep handful of boiled macaroni aside while preparing mac 'n' cheese and mixing with fresh summer fruits and lettuce gives a delicious cool pasta salad what goes very well with grilled fish or chicken. Though I love to have for my weekday lunch. 
Ingredients :::
half cup of boiled macaroni or any pasta,
one cup chopped lettuce,
4-5 nos. strawberries, chopped,
1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn,
1/2 cup chopped cucumber,
1/2 cup chopped green apple,
handful of chopped celery,
1/4 tsp olive / canola oil,
1 tsp white rice vinegar/ lemon juice,
1 tsp fat-free ranch / mayonnaise , 
rock salt to taste.

Mix everything together in a big bowl except ranch and lemon juice. While serving , mix ranch / mayonnaise and sprinkle lemon juice / vinegar. Add salt. You can keep it covered in refrigerator before serving.

Penne pasta with chicken n Alfredo sauce ::::

Pasta is always family favorite and complete dinner too. I felt tired of so many parties and Indian restaurant food every time. Pasta with lots of vegetables simmered in chicken Alfredo sauce was refreshing to set our taste buds. I have had this delicious dish made by Panchalee from my native place and tried with little modifications.
one packet penne pasta,
one small different color bell pepper/capsicum,
one small size onion,carrot n celery stalk,
6-7 nos. broccoli florets, medium size
one can boneless chicken pieces,cooked
one cup Alfredo sauce,
1/3 cup milk,
1/4 tbsp garlic powder, 
one cup shredded cheddar cheese,
fresh or dried parsley leaves and spring onions for garnishing,
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Heat enough water in a vessel with salt and little oil. Add broccoli florets in boiling water for 5-7 mins. Then take out all the florets and put it in cold water. This process helps to retain color and stop over-cooking.
2. Add pasta to the same boiling water and cook as directed
3. Chop finely all the vegetables and onions. Wash canned chicken pieces nicely and drain out extra water.
4. Heat oil in a pan or wok, add chopped onion and garlic powder and saute for 2-3 mins. Then add other vegetables sprinkling salt and pepper. Saute for 5 mins or until vegetables are almost done. Add cooked chicken and saute for another 5 mins.
5. Now add Alfredo sauce and mix everything slowly. If needed, add half cup more. While mixing , add milk and pepper and saute for sometime. Add cooked pasta and broccoli and mix nicely. Adjust salt here.
6. Sprinkle enough shredded cheese and slightly mix and then shift pasta to a flatten baking bowl or vessel.Preheat oven to 275F and then place the vessel or bowl inside the oven for 10 mins or until cheese melts.
7. Sprinkle finely chopped spring onions and serve hot.
You can use vegetables of you choice and leftover chicken pieces also. Instead of Alfredo sauce, you can use mayonnaise and white cheese sauce. You can toss everything with shredded cheese too and serve cold with lettuce too.
Penne pasta stir-fry :::
Pasta is always kids' favorite and I like to prepare for my son lunch box. With lots of vegetables and nice aroma of garlic gives awesome taste and nutrition too. I followed the recipe what was written on the back of whole wheat pasta packet. 
One packet of whole wheat penne pasta,
one medium size bell pepper, sliced
10 nos. broccoli florets,
one small carrot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp tomato puree,
1 tsp black pepper powder, 
1 tsp red chilli flakes,
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic,
2 tbsp butter or oil,
one cup shredded cheddar or Parmesan cheese,
one can boneless chicken cubes, drained and washed
salt to taste. 

1. Heat enough water in a large pan adding salt and few drops of oil. While water starts boiling , add broccoli florets and wait for 5 min and then take out and put all the florets in ice water. In that way, broccoli floret will retain its color and crispiness. 
2. Now add pasta to the same boiling water and cook until done. Then strain all the water and keep aside. Or use the instructions written on the pasta packet.
3. Heat butter or oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and fry on low flame for a minute. Add tomato puree and salt. Cook for 2 more minutes. And then add chicken pieces and cook for 3-4 mins and then add all the vegetables and saute on high-medium flame stirring continuously until done. Add boiled pasta and sprinkle pepper powder and red chilli flakes. Toss nicely and once done, sprinkle shredded cheese and if needed more chilli flakes and pepper powder. Serve hot.
If use canned chicken cubes then wash nicely and then add to the pan. Adjust your spice level and cheese too. You can use boiled sliced eggs too.

Easy Chicken fajita :::: 

A Fajita or Fa'hita is one of delicious and mouth watering dish in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Here grilled chicken or any kind of meat on a flour or corn tortilla along with your choice of salad and sour cream where meat usually cooked with bell peppers and onion with dashing of taco seasoning. Nowadays fajitas are very good for low-carb meals and delicious too. I prepared for the first time at home with less efforts and in my way.

3-4 wheat or corn tortillas,
1/2 lb or one medium bowl of chicken pieces,
one green bell pepper, cut into medium pieces,
one medium size onion, cut into medium pieces,
1 tbsp of taco seasoning,
1/3 tsp of pepper powder,
one small cup of shredded lettuce,
one small cup of shredded sour cream,
one medium cup of shredded cucumber,tomato, avocado and corn kernels,
a few drops of lemon juice,
a few chopped coriander leaves,
salt to taste.

Method :::
1. Take a pan and sprinkle little oil adding boneless chicken pieces and salt. Cover the pan for 2-4 mins.
2. Then sprinkle pepper powder and little water and let it cook again. Once chicken cooked or turns it white then add green bell pepper and onions and fry for 5 mins. Now sprinkle taco seasoning and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Keep aside.
3. Now wrap all the tortillas into an aluminum foil and put into an oven for 10mins at 300F to make soft. Once done, place one tortilla onto a plate and put one tbsp of chicken and then cucumber,tomato,avocado and corn kernels and then shredded lettuce and at last sour cream and coriander leaves and sprinkle lemon juice again. Serve hot.

Broccoli Chicken with Thin Spaghetti..

This is my first experiment with spaghetti at home after going through lots of recipes in different websites. I tried to keep this preparation very simple yet delicious and complete dish for three of us. My house was full of beautiful aroma while cooking this spaghetti dish with lots of thyme and rosemary leaves in marination and fresh broccoli. It is very healthy preparation but if you are calorie conscious then restrict yourself on cheese garnishing. Kids are going to love it and adults too.

Ingredients ::::
One medium size thin spaghetti packet,
1 boneless chicken breast, 
1/4 tsp thyme ,crushed
1/3 tsp rosemary crushed
5-6 tsp of lemon juice,
1 tsp of black pepper powder,
one medium size of onion, finely sliced
1 tsp garlic powder,
one big cup pasta sauce of your choice,
10 small pieces of fresh broccoli florets,
one cup shredded mixed cheese,
1 tbsp olive / canola oil,
salt to taste.

Method :::
1. Cook thin spaghetti according to the packet instructions adding salt and little oil and keep aside. Cut chicken breasts into 1/2" or bite size pieces and marinate with thyme, rosemary, pepper powder, lemon juice and salt and keep it for at least 5 hrs.
2. Heat oil in a wok or pan , add sliced onion and marinated chicken pieces and fry for 5-7 minutes or until chicken pieces half-cooked. Add broccoli florets and fry for another 5 minutes. Add pasta sauce and mix everything nicely and sprinkle garlic powder and let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium flame.
3. Now add shredded mixed cheese to chicken and stir slowly on slow flame. Add cooked spaghetti to the pan and carefully mix everything together on low flame. Take a fork in one hand and spatula on the other hand and then mix spaghetti upside down with chicken mixture. Now allow it to cook on slow flame for 5 minutes sprinkling extra shredded cheese on it or you can keep before serving for 300F inside conventional oven. Serve hot with any good quality wine or simple drinks.
I have made thin spaghetti into 3 pieces while cooking at step1 and that helps me while mixing with chicken and broccoli.If you need more spice then sprinkle black pepper powder while cooking chicken.

1 comment:

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