Schezwan Veggie Patties

If you liked the Schezwan sauce recipe from last week and have tried it out, you will enjoy this recipe all the more. Even if you haven’t, you might be tempted to try. Pan-fried patties are a good way to get yourself to eat all those veggies, without having to complain about the taste (in case you are not so fond of them), or if you need a break from making salads and/or subzis. So, go and camouflage all the veggies that your spouse or your kids don’t like and turn them into a patty (but don’t deep fry them). Pan-frying in the right amount of oil yields an equally appetizing taste while retaining the “healthy food” status. Feel free to incorporate broccoli, cabbage or any vegetable you want to experiment with. Send me a note on how they turn out.

Watch your family’s reaction as they take the first bite. If they have merrily devoured the patties, you may let them in on your secret. 😉

 

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Know your nutrients: This is a low calorie appetizer with some fiber, the amount of which can vary depending on the vegetables used. Use potato only as a binding agent and more of colorful veggies. If you use whole wheat bread (at least 3 g fiber per slice), it will add more fiber to the dish, but then the dish will not be gluten-free. You can serve it as a light meal with a soup preferably containing beans or chicken to add protein to the meal. 

Per serving (2 patties) : 110 cals | 2 g protein | 6.5 g total fat | 2 g fiber

Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients (10 patties, 5 servings)

1 cup green beans, halved

1/2 carrot, cut into 10-12 slices

1/2 cup green peas

1 medium cooked potato (US) or 2 medium potatoes (India), peeled & mashed or 1-2 slice of whole wheat bread

4 tsp oil (used in two parts: 2 tsp + 2 tsp)

2 tbsp Schezwan Sauce

Salt to taste

Procedure

  1. Boil a potato, peel & mash it. If you have already pressure cooked potatoes along with your rice &/ dal/beans the previous day, it can save you time. Alternatively, grind whole wheat bread in a grinder to make fine powder. Use this as a binding agent instead of potato. Moisten the bread if needed.
  2. Pass the veggies (carrot, green beans, peas) through a grinder to make a coarse mixture. Be careful not to make a fine or smooth paste, otherwise the texture is lost and the taste will not be the same.
  3. Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and add the ground veggies. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then add the Schezwan sauce, and salt to taste and mix well. Continue to saute for 2-3 mins and turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, add the mashed potato. Adjust salt and make 10 patties. Delicately roll the mixture to a ball and lightly flatten them.
  6. Heat 2 tsp oil in the same pan & pan-fry the patties on both sides.
  7. Serve with ketchup as a snack/appetizer or a light meal with a soup preferably containing beans or chicken to add protein to the meal.

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Schezwan veggie patties

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Yummy Lauki/doodhi Dhokla (steamed calabash savory cake)

After spending about 2 years (on and off) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, it was hard to not fall in love with the Gujarati delicacies- khaman dhokla, dhokli, theplas, handva, muthiyas, undhiya etc. However, the generous use of oil/ghee made it a little hard for me to enjoy those dishes without critical evaluation. So, with some determination and courage to try out a hybrid of two of my favorites – lauki muthiya and handva, I conjured up this “formula with halves” 🙂 This makes it easier to remember the recipe too!

I will let you try this recipe, as I reminisce the days we spent in Ahmedabad. The aroma of methi theplas being roasted early in the morning by my neighbor, while I prepared tea with lemon grass, is a fond memory.

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View from our kitchen window

How to serve: Enjoy this dish with a cup of masala chai.

Know your nutrients: This dish serves as a good low calorie, nutritious snack with moderate amount of protein. Most of the snacks can be high in calories & sugar, and/or low in protein. I have used coarse semolina which contains more fiber than fine semolina or semolina flour. However, there was no source to quote its nutrient content. As such, I have used values for semolina flour.

Per serving: 103 cals | 4 g protein | 1 g fiber | 3 g total fat 

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Chatpata Aloo Gobi (Spiced cauliflower potato filling for your tacos/ wraps)

A dear friend requested I post some recipes without onion and garlic. I know its not just me but a lot of people love O & G; they really make food flavorful and are part of most cuisines. I thought it would be a bit difficult to make food as delicious without these ingredients. However, my mom reminded me of some of her recipes that are in fact quite delicious, and don’t require O & G. I had somehow forgotten about those dishes :). During certain religious celebrations as well, Hindus are required to cook without O & G. Its only a matter of different combination of ingredients that make a dish lip smacking, without using a whole lot of oil! So, I hope you enjoy and let me know if you liked this dish. More such recipes on their way ~~~

How to serve: This dish can be served as a subzi with whole wheat roti, or a filling for your tacos and wraps. Add lettuce, tomatoes (and onion for those who love raw onion), lemon juice, cilantro etc over your tacos or serve as a side salad along with beaten, low fat yogurt dressing.

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Know your nutrients: Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts etc. It is valued for its anti-cancer properties attributed by glucosinolates. Make sure you prepare any of these vegetables at least once a week! Enjoy 2-3 servings of this dish and reap the benefits as well. It also contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your body from oxidative stress and builds resistance.

This is a low calorie, high fiber dish with vitamin C.

Per serving: 97 cals| 3 g protein | 3 g fiber | 5 g total fat | 56 mg vitamin C

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Palak with Panfried Tofu Pakora (Panfried Tofu fritters in Spinach Curry)

To all the palak paneer lovers, this dish might be a pleasant surprise! I love paneer and a lip smacking palak paneer for sure. Every bite of this home-made dish sort of has a calming effect on you!! This palak curry is inspired by mom’s palak paneer, which I attempted several times with disappointment. One time there was too much onion, another time too much tomato and other times God knows what. Seriously, for a while, I did not even bother to make it. Yesterday, for some reason, I just got the courage to try it one more time. I went by my instincts to get the proportions in order and followed her steps without slacking. And yes!! I was super happy with the outcome, which is good- it means I will be happier taking photos even in low light with whatever gear I have. I wanted to try it with tofu. But tofu by itself is quite bland and so I thought of turning it into a pakora, the Indian fritterSometimes, I feel pakora might be an easy solution to making anything you don’t like into something you will enjoy~ :)) Of course, you guessed it – I wasn’t going to deep fry – use of too much oil and smoke in the house….and then you are left with oil that you shouldn’t really use again…. na-a. So yeah, pan-frying it is! The pakoras turned out quite good and I ended up eating quite a bit while photographing. And it wasn’t even lunch time…:O

Now, a few seconds for learning…

Know your nutrients: Tofu not only adds variety to the usual palak paneer dish, but it also incorporates some more Iron. Spinach is rich in iron and the tomatoes in the dish provide some vitamin C that can promote its absorption. Ideally, serve this dish with a fresh tomato side salad as well or serve a citrus fruit for dessert. These tips are especially useful for vegetarians, who may have difficulty consuming sufficient amounts of iron. Paneer is quite rich in Calcium and may inhibit the absorption of iron in the spinach, which also contains some calcium, folate and beta carotene. So, try alternating between your favorite palak paneer and palak with tofu pakoras 🙂 to get your calcium as well as iron.

Per serving

Palak curry: 68 cals | 3 g protein | 2 g fiber | 5 g total fat | Good source of Iron, Vitamin A, C, Folate

Tofu Pakoras: 95 cals | 6 g protein | 1 g fiber | 6 g total fat | Good source of Iron

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Flavorful Coleslaw (Cabbage & yellow pepper salad) – Boost your vit C

Flavorful coleslaw

This is a very interesting and unique recipe that I’ve developed using ingredients, all of which (except for salt & pepper) contain vitamin C, an important and volatile antioxidant. Here’s how you can make this simple & refreshing salad that you can add as a side to your meal, or as a filling in your burritos, or wraps or sandwiches.

Know your nutrients: Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues; facilitates healing of cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. As an anti-oxidant it is all the more important for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes etc. who have greater physiological oxidative stress. It can help you relieve your acidity problem by reducing the production of excessive gastric acid. Include it with iron rich foods in your meal and you can boost your iron absorption significantly and thereby increase your Hemoglobin levels. So much for the educational info on vitamin C. Enjoy this salad and leave a comment on the recipe or for the educational info. Thank you! 🙂

Per serving: 24 cals | 1 g protein | 2 g fiber | 0 g total fat | 78 mg vitamin C

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