Brussel Sprout, Burrata & Bacon Salad

I made this amazingly fresh and satisfying salad for a friend’s birthday and I was unbelievably surprised how well the flavors of cheese, bacon, brussel sprouts, and the sweet and tart dressing balance each other out and are flat out delicious! My husband and I love brussel sprouts, but cooking them whole or halved can get boring and I was looking for a new way to eat these. A raw preparation was definitely not at the top of my mind since I’ve become so used to cooking them in my cast iron pan like my recipe of ‘Roasted Brussel Sprouts‘. However, I found so many burrata and brussel sprout salad recipes online and realized that for my taste, something major was missing – that was bacon!! Bacon makes everything better, yes. However, this salad REALLY is complete with the added salty-crispiness added by the cooked bacon.

Share this salad with your loved ones – if you are vegetarian, you can substitute the bacon for crispy tortilla chips (which you can buy from the supermarket as ready-to-go salad topper strips), or you can also add toasted sliced almonds for that extra crunch!

Love,
Priyanka

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Ingredients

10-15 slices of bacon
1 red onion, finely sliced
5 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for drizzling
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus extra to taste
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 balls burrata cheese (or good buffalo mozzarella), room temperature

Directions

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions and cook until browned and beautifully caramelized (about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally).. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to soak in the flavor.

In a separate pan, cook bacon until crispy (but not burnt). Set aside for later once cooked.

Meanwhile, wash the brussel sprouts and remove outer leaves. Trim off the bottom nubs with a knife and cut each brussel sprout in half. Using either a mandoline (careful not to cut your hand!) or with a sharp knife, cut the sprouts into paper thin strips. trim nubs and halve sprouts. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut sprouts paper-thin. (An awesome shortcut is to use the slicing insert on a food processor to skip this step and save yourself a lot of time!).

Transfer shaved leaves to a mixing bowl. Add onions and mix until evenly combined.

In small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of honey and salt and pepper, to taste. Taste the dressing and adjust honey/lemon juice/salt/pepper as needed to reach the balance you want. It’s ok if it’s a little salty and tart as it will even out when tossed with the sprouts.

Toss slaw with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Taste and adjust seasoning with extra salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed. Let sit at least 10 minutes so sprouts can absorb the flavors.

Put the marinated slaw in your serving bowl. Place burrata balls on the side in the serving bowl (so that your guests can take as much (or little) cheese as they want), and season the cheese lightly with salt and pepper and the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add in cooked, crispy bacon on top of the slaw.

Enjoy along with the rest of your meal! 🙂
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‘High Tea’ Cucumber-Chutney Sandwiches

I grew up eating these delicious, light, fluffy sandwiches. My fondest memories of my summer days when I was in school include going for a rigorous swim, after which my mom would whip up these sandwiches for a light snack. These are often served in homes in India, and my guess is that this was India’s version of the British ‘tea sandwiches’. In India, they slather on butter instead of cream cheese, but I prefer the lightness (and lower calories) of using a light whipped cream cheese.

If you are making these for a party and want a sleek presentation, cut off the ends of the bread slices before cutting them into thirds for bite-sized sandwiches. When making these at home, I prefer not wasting the ends of the bread, and quite frankly, I love the rustic look! 🙂

Enjoy this airy (and deliciously vegetarian) recipe from my childhood days. Share them with your kids, family, and friends and pair it with a delicious cup of cardamom tea to feel like royalty and have high tea! 😉

Love,
Priyanka

Cucumber and Chutney Sandwiches PK
Yields: 1 beautiful sandwich
Ingredients
2 slices of white or buttermilk bread (or any other bread you enjoy)
1 tablespoon of light, whipped cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons of cilantro-mint chutney
1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced into disks
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Fun idea: Stuff these sandwiches with some crispy chips like doritos for an added crunch!

Directions
Spread the cream cheese on one slice of bread. Now lightly salt and pepper this piece of bread. Now spread the chutney over the cream cheese (this minimizes the bread getting soggy from the chutney). Now arrange the slices of cucumber on top of either side (you can add less or more cucumber according to taste).

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Healthy Nachos

Have you guys been tempted by the oozy, amazingness of cheesy nachos at a baseball game or your local taqueria? DON’T DO IT!!! There is absolutely no reason to take in that synthetic, re-heated cheese and poison your body with it, when you can make even tastier nachos at home with real cheese! 🙂 This is a no-cook recipe that takes less than a few minutes to assemble and less than 2 minutes in the microwave. A one-plate meal or finger-food, depending on what your craving is. Serve this as a hot appetizer at your next party too!

Enjoy!

Love,
Priyanka

Nachos PK

Ingredients
tortilla chips, of your choice (white corn or yellow)
one can of black beans, drained
finely diced onion
grated cheese of your choice (I prefer using a blend of mozzarella and cheddar, or you can also use a ‘mexican blend’ found at most grocery stores)
sliced green chili
salsa, of your choice (I like to use both salsa verde and a corn salsa!)
sour cream
Optional topping: grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken

Directions

Fill a microwave-safe plate with tortilla chips. Top with black beans, onion, cheese, chili slices (and cooked chicken, if you want). Microwave for approximately 1 minute 30 seconds (depending on your microwave strength) until cheese is perfectly melted. Top with salsas of your choice and drizzle with sour cream. Enjoy hot! 🙂

Spicy & Crispy Indian Fish

A dear family friend of ours is an AMAZING cook and she recently made her specialty fish dish for my mom when she was recently unwell. This is my attempt to recreate it from what I remember, but this is an adaptation since I have added coriander powder and tested my own variation on how much of each ingredient goes into the paste. My favorite part of this dish is the crispy exterior and succulent interior combined with the spicy, garlic paste that the fish is coated with.

Pair this with rice, bread, tortilla, or eat it by itself withs one veggies for an absolutely gorgeous weeknight (or weekend!) meal. 🙂

Enjoy!

Love,
Priyanka

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Ingredients

6 white fish filets of your choice (tilapia works really well as it is flat and crisps beautifully!), but you can use other fish
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1.5 teaspoon red chili powder (you can reduce or increase this based on your spice preference or to make it more kid-friendly)
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon of ginger paste (or finely minced ginger)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
the juice of one lemon (or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
Optional garnish ideas: fresh cucumber, red onion, avocado

Directions

In a blender, pureé all of the marinade ingredients until well-incorporated. Using gloves (to avoid smelling like fish as well as saving yourself from the hot chili powder), spread the marinade paste all over both sides of the fish filets. If you have a few minutes to spare, let them sit in the marinade for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up your skillet over medium-high heat.

Once the skillet is hot, turn down the heat a notch and add the filets.

Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish you are using), undisturbed so you get a nice crispy crust. Flip the fish and cook the filets until cooked to your liking.

[Note: when I am using tilapia, I cook the first side for about 4 minutes, and the other side for approximately 3 minutes for a total of 7 minutes.] Plate the fish, sprinkle it with Kosher salt, drizzle fresh lemon juice on it, and enjoy fresh & hot! 🙂

Cookie Butter Milkshake

I was walking through Trader Joe’s, and given the curious consumer that I am, I always make a pit stop at the ‘tasting station’ to see what little tasties they are offering. I usually don’t ever buy whatever they are tasting, but this one fine day, the cookie butter milkshake grabbed ALL of my attention. I went back for a second one, and HAD to recreate it at home. Friends that I have served this to can stand by the fact that this may very well be THE best milkshake in the entire world. Just when you thought that peanut butter-chocolate or strawberry-banana combinations were your favorite, THINK AGAIN!!!!!!

Cookie butter (a.k.a. ‘speculoos‘) is not peanut butter, it’s not almond butter. If you’ve ever had biscoff cookies, this is a butter made out of those gorgeous little bites of heaven. It is made out of cinnamon-spiced cookies, blended into a smooth, creamy, and outright ADDICTIVE butter. This recipe is not easy on the waistline, but indulge a little and share this recipe with your loved ones on a hot day! Treat yourself and replace a meal with this milkshake. You won’t regret it and will become an addict (like me). 😉 Enjoy!!

Love,
Priyanka

PS – so sorry, but I had to be cheeky with this post’s picture. This milkshake feels a little healthier when paired with an apple 😉 Life is all about balance, right?

Cookie Butter Milkshake PK

Yield: 1 amazingly delightful and perfectly balanced milkshake (picture above shows the amount that is yielded by below ingredients)

Ingredients
1/3 cup milk
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1.5 tablespoons of speculoos cookie butter (available for purchase at Trader Joe’s)

Directions

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend for approximately 15-25 seconds, until you reach the milkshake consistency you desire. Note: If the shake is too thick for your liking, just add a little more milk and re-blend. Serve in a glass and enjoy immediately (with or without a straw/spoon!) 😉

Grilled Corn with Cotija Cheese, Cayenne & Lemon

Hi my loves! This summer, you MUST get outside and grill some beautiful corn! This preparation of eating whole corn on the cob is a mix of my experience eating road-side roasted corn in India with my love for Mexican flavors (i.e. the salty Cotija cheese!). This is an easy appetizer to complement your grilled vegetables and meat at your next outdoor soiree. Enjoy!

Love,
Priyanka

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Ingredients
4 corn on the cob, husks removed but stem attached for easy handling on the grill
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (available at most mexican supermarkets)
1 lemon, cut in half

Directions
Grill the corn on the cob directly on the grill until done to your liking. Meanwhile, prepare your cayenne-lemon paste. In a small bowl, juice the lemon halves and add the cayenne pepper. Using one of the lemon halves as a ‘spoon’, mix these two ingredients into a paste and reserve this lemon half to apply the paste to the corn! Just leave it in the bowl.

Once your corn is grilled, apply the cayenne-lemon paste to the corn using the lemon half. Finish the preparation by sprinkling the beautiful cotija cheese on top and enjoy hot! 🙂

Cheesy & Creamy Broccoli Soup

This is the quintessential, classic green vegetable soup that we all grew up on in America. Our parents ‘conned’ us into eating green veggies with this soup, but perhaps we conned them into enjoying such a luscious and creamy and cheesy treat! 😉 My soup craze continues, and I hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious recipe that you can share with both your young and adult friends!

Love,
Priyanka

Yields approximately 6 servings
Broccoli Soup PK
Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian!)
6 cups broccoli florets, steamed
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream (or milk, for a lighter version)
3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized stock pot, and saute onion and celery until tender.

Add broccoli and broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Put all the ingredients in a blender (don’t fill the blender pitcher more than halfway full and be sure to hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel). Carefully start the blender, pulsing first, then leaving it on the ‘liquefy’ or ‘puree’ setting for about 30 seconds-1 minute (depending on the strength of your blender).

Note: If you do not own a blender, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.

Pour blended soup back into a saucepan, add cheese, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes on low-medium heat. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper, according to taste. And serve hot with a crouton garnish! Enjoy 🙂