Monday, June 29, 2009

Homemade veggie pizza!!!

I decided to celebrate my first blogoversary with a homemade veggie pizza. I wanted to keep it simple and I am glad it turned out to be that way.
I was little worried about it. Initially I was thinking of buying a fresh pizza dough from my favourite pizzeria. In the mean time,I searched few recipes online, browsed through some videos and finally decided to make a homemade dough, just to make the whole experience more adventurous......:P

Pizza as we all know a great party food, kids love it too. Ultimate finger food to munch on. So let's not spend more time in discussions, let's just hop on to the recipe along with some step-by-step pictures.

Here is the list of ingredients I used:

  1. 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  2. 1 cup of all purpose flour
  3. 1 package of Active dry yeast (I used FLEISCHMANN'S)
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  6. 1 cup of very warm water
  7. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ( I used extra virgin olive oil)
Here is how you make the dough:

  • Take 1/4 of warm water in a bowl and add the yeast in to it. Stir the yeast well until dissolved.
Heads up: The temperature of the water is the key here. Too much hot water will kill the yeast and less than warm temperature will not yield any effect. The perfect temperature is 120° F to 130° F.
  • Add the remaining 3/4 cup of water in the same bowl with the salt, olive oil and wheat as well as all purpose flour. Mix well. Use your hands to mix and knead the dough.

  • Add some more flour if you want to make a soft dough.

  • After making a soft dough keep it in the bowl and cover it with a wet towel.

  • Keep it covered in a warn place. I kept the bowl over the stove top, that's the place where I usually keep my yogurt to set. Keep it for 60 minutes.
  • Check after 60 minutes, the dough should have doubled in size.

  • Punch the dough down , knead it for 3-4 minutes more, coat the dough with some Olive oil and keep it covered again for 30 minutes.

  • Your dough should be ready in an hour and a half.
Easy right? Not very tough.
Now it's time to prepare the toppings for the pizza. You can really go crazy with the toppings. I love my pizza with all kinds of veggies in the world. One more reason I like homemade pizza is because I can through any veggies I like and I have on hand. When you go out to eat pizza or order a takeout, there are very limited choice of veggies available.

I made this with the following veggies:
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Green bell pepper
  • Red bell pepper
  • Lots of zucchini.....I love it on pizza.

Last but not the least....CHEESE........mozerella. Parmesan will work fine too. I find mozzarella better because it melts well on the pizza.

Time to put everything together:

Set the oven to 475° F.
  • On a pizza pan sprinkle some cornmeal/ flour . Place the dough on the pan and using your hands just spread the dough over the pan.

  • Those who love thin crust, make two parts of the dough and take one to spread across. Thick crust lovers can use all the dough.
  • After spreading the dough, apply the pizza sauce all over the base. I used ready made pizza sauce, you can also make it at home. There are plenty of recipes available online for that.

  • Next comes the veggies. Spread over all of them on the pizza.

  • Top the veggies with mozzarella cheese.

  • Brush the edges of the base with extra virgin olive oil. This will give nice crunchy browned edges after the pizza is done.

  • Slide the pizza in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Make sure that your base is cooked completely.

Pizza will be ready in about 35-to 40 minutes depending on the oven. You will know when the cheese starts to bubble and pizza will have a nice brown color just like this...

Something that I would do different next time-: When I checked my pizza after 35 minutes, I felt that my base wasn't cooked well, so I had to keep it for another 10 minutes or so. It turned out well, but I think it will be better if I prebake the crust next time, just for 5 minutes or so, that will make the pizza bake evenly.
What do you think? I would love to hear your experiences...:)

ohh and don't forget to grab a slice....


Friday, June 19, 2009

An entry to No croutons required.

Hello everyone, here is a small request to all of you out there. If you like my Spinach Soup recipe, then please vote for my recipe at Tinned Tomatoes. The winner will receive a plaque to display on their blog.

I would love to win my first plaque, so if you like my recipe and it's presentation and if you feel it's worth winning the plaque, then please visit Tinned Tomatoes and vote for my recipe. The last day to vote is coming Sunday.
I would appreciate your effort.

Thank you.

After completion of one year of blogging here comes my first entry to the next year's. Well this was posted last year, but the theme of the event is matching to my post, so I am sending the entry to one of my favourites " NO CROUTONS REQUIRED"!!!

This is a monthly food blogging event. This time it is hosted my Lisa's Kitchen. They are looking for a soup or a salad that feature leaves.

I decided to send my spinach soup recipe.

So here you go:

I wanted to serve something in a cute little white bowl that I recently bought. The first thing came to my mind was a colorful spinach soup which is full of nutritional value as well as rich flavor. Every time I make this soup I use different recipe, the reason is I don't remember the recipe I used last time. It's funny, because I make this soup all the time, at least once a month or so...:)

So this time I am documenting it down so that I won't forget it. Although I kind of like the newness of this recipe every time. So I guess I might document it today in my blog, but I don't think I would be using it next time......lols!!!

Whatever, here is how I made my favorite soup-:

  1. Heat some unsalted butter in the pan, add chopped onions fry for a minute
  2. Add 1 chopped potato to it.
  3. Add half a cup of vegetable stock and and half a cup of 2% reduced fat milk( I used 2 % , you can certainly use whatever you have on hand.) Bring it to a boil. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes on a lowered heat.
  4. Add cut spinach leaves, keeping aside few leaves to add later when you blend the mixture.
  5. Add 2 cups of stock to it. Bring it to boil. Allow to simmer for 10 more minutes with a lid on it.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool down, before you blend that in a mixture.
  7. When you blend the mixture, make sure you add remaining spinach leaves. This will give your soup nice green color.
  8. Return the mixture to the pan heated with little more butter. Heat the mixture, add some salt, sometimes I add crushed cumin seeds that gives nice fresh taste to the soup. But you can skip that. Do not allow the soup to boil. Serve in a nice plate garnished with spinach leaves and some Parmesan shaves or any grated cheese you like.
This is a perfect soup for cold winter weather. Spinach has tons of nutrients, it's a very good source of iron as well. So make a bowl for you and savour the warmth in the cold winter or on a gloomy rainy day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Hurrayyyyyy!!!! Today is the day to celebrate my first blogoversary....:) I wrote my first post on this blog on June 18Th 2008. I was always a total foodie, and with this blog I got my own place to share my experiments with all kinds of food.

In this year I have written 42 posts. I have participated in 8 blog events altogether.

The things I could have done better:
  1. I could have taken some photography classes/tutorials to improve the quality of photos in my blog. Although I did some experiments and I guess I improved over the year.
  2. There is always a room for background materials or should I say presentation materials like plates, decorating stuff.
  3. More and more blog events - There is no end to this. I love blog events and sending entries to them is a a sheer pleasure. I should have participated more.
  4. Some photoshop training might have helped me to play with the images more.
The Things I would like to do in next year:
  1. I would like to be more regular with my posts coming year.
  2. I want to host my own event here on my own blog.
  3. I also want to participate in foodbuzz more actively.
  4. I want to include healthy recipes.
  5. I want my blog to look good.
  6. I should be adding more external links to my blog to make it more resourceful.
The whole year has been an amazing journey. I can't find words to express my feelings towards the blogging community. It means so much to me. I really thank from bottom of my heart to all the bloggers, readers, my friends, my parents, and all those known and unknowns out there who supported me throughout the year.

So what's for the celebration???

Celebration can't be without food. Right? I will be starting this year with a post of a homemade veggie pizza!!!

If you are a first time visitor to my blog, please leave your comments, I would like to know who you are and if you are a regular commenter, thank you very much and I hope you keep coming back. You can grab some cake and enjoy!!!!

Photo by flickr user: serahsonline

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crunchy garbanzo beans!!!

Some time back I posted toasty edemame. Since then I wanted to try garbanzo beans the same way.  When I googled for the same, I found a whole lot of results for my search.
I decided to go by my own instead.

This post is an entry to one of my favorite blog events My legume love affair.
This time the event my legume love affair-twelfth helping is hosted by Annarasa. Here is the lovely badge created by Susan for MLLA-12th helping. This is the second time I am participating in the event.

Making this simple yet crunchy snack is very easy. There is hardly any recipe to follow. All you need to take care about is the temperature of the oven and how long you keep the beans inside the oven.

I started with soaking garbanzo beans in water overnight.

The next morning I pressure cooked the beans with 3 whistles. Added a little bit of oil while cooking the beans to prevent the vent from becoming clogged.

Alternatively these beans can be cooked in a pan, with beans and water as 1:3. When the water comes to bubble, lower the heat and simmer partially covered for half an hour.
You can take a look at the detailed precedure here.

After cooking the beans, I drained them over the colander and dried them with the paper towel.

In a bowl I added following spices for seasoning.

  • Salt
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Olive oil.
I used everything above as per taste.

In a bowl, toss all the above spices with the garbanzo beans. Mix well and spread them on the baking sheet covered with aluminium foil in a single layer.

You can use any mixture of spices like curry powder, garlic salt, pepper powder, chili flakes, or any dried herbs you like. Adding the salt and olive oil while baking  with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of chaat masala, will do wonders.
If you have used any other combination of spices for the same recipe, I would love to hear from you. Please leave your creative inputs as comments in this post.

Preheat the oven to 425F. In about 25 minutes, crunchy toasty garbanzo beans will be ready for snacking. Just give them a toss after 15 minutes in oven. If you want them to be really crunchy keep them in for a longer time, and if you wish you like them to be chewy, keep them for 20-25 minutes. You can always taste and decide.

This is a very healthy snack for anytime in a day.  Store them in a air-tight container. Garbanzo beans are the good source of fibre, Iron. For the nutritional information please visit

Enjoy these little babies with a wedge of lemon!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thanks people for all the concerns!!!

It's been more than a month and a half since I have posted anything on my blog. It was a tough time for me to stay away from this part of the my world. Now I am back and I will promise to myself that I will keep my blog updated again.
During this time, many of you e-mailed me, left comments on the entries asking whether I am doing ok, and why not posting anything for such a long. Thank you very much to all the readers and all the concerns you all had for me.
I really thank all of you from bottom of my heart, your concerns made me come back sooner than I probably would have.

Thanks once again.