Recipes for Vegetable Lasagna and White Sauce Pasta

What will happen to this world if we do not have people who love to cook and experiment with their food? People like me, who cannot cook to save their life, however are die hard foodies, would always be thankful to people like Poonam Batra and Gaytri Vyas, who have very kindly shared their recipes with us.
Poonam Batra shares this recipe for Veg Lasgna, with healthy option thrown in too.
Ingredients:
Stuffing
Mixed Chopped Vegetables (Beans, Carrots, Peas) 2 cups
Zucchini 1Cup – Chopped
Cottage Cheese 1 Cup
Onion 1 Piece – Chopped
Chilly Powder
Salt to taste
Olive oil to Sauté the vegetables
Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes 1 Kg
Sugar 3 tsp
Chilly Powder 1/2 tsp
Fresh Cream 3 tbsp
Oregano
Salt to taste
Topping
White sauce 1 1/2 cup
Fresh cream 3 tbsp
Cheese 6 tbsp
Salt and Pepper
Ready Made Lasagna sheets 10 no.s
Method
Boil the sheets in water with few drops of oil. Drain and keep it on a greased dish.
Stuffing
Sauté onions till pink. Add vegetables and cook partially. Add zucchini; make sure they are not very soft. Add the seasoning.
Tomato Sauce
Blanch the tomatoes, Peel the skin and mash. Mix everything except the cream and boil to make sauce. Add cream in the end. For healthy variation, skip cream and add milk instead. Keep aside.
White Sauce
Mix cream and grated cheese with the white sauce. For healthy variation, add grated cottage cheese and skip cream n cheese all together.
Assembling
Grease a baking dish. Line it with sauce and layer it alternatively with Lasagna sheets, vegetables and sauce. The top layer should be of the sheets. Cover with white sauce and bake till done.
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Gaytri Vyas shares recipe for White Sauce Pasta.
Ingredients

1.     2 tbsp. butter
2.     2 cups milk
3.     1 and a half cup full cream milk
4.     1 cup boiled pasta of your choice
5.     1 small tbsp. all purpose flour (maida)
6.     Mushroom thinly sliced
7.     3 processed cheese cubes or more if you prefer
8.     Black pepper
9.     Salt to taste
10.   Oregano for flavor

Method
1.     In a pan add 1 tbsp. butter, and sauté the sliced mushrooms till they are brown and
        keep them aside.
2.     In another pan, add butter, flour, roast flour so that it cooks but make sure it doesn’t get 
        brown.
3.     Add milk to it and stir continuously so as to avoid lumps.
4.     Let it heat a little and add cheese cubes in it after grating it or cutting in small pieces
        so that it melts easily.
5.     Now cook it until it comes to a boil.
6.     Add pasta, and cooked mushrooms.
7.     Bring it to a boil and you will notice that the sauce gets thicker.
8.     Add salt and pepper to taste (do not add before as the milk may curdle)
9.     Add roasted oregano on the top and enjoy with your loved ones.
Tips

1.     You can add other vegetables also of your choice.
2.     I’ve cooked it without flour but then it is not that thick.
3.     Put off the flame when the sauce is not that thick. It becomes thicker while you eat it.
4.     Domino’s oregano tastes best as the topping.
5.     This sauce can also be cooked with only vegetables, which also taste yummy.

Again friends, no one claims to be an expert here, and we all are together just for love of food. So go ahead and try these out, I am sure you would have a good time. Feel free to post your inputs, feedback or changes to these recipes in the comments.

an evening in DLF Place, Saket

 Last night Ashish, Sakshi and me planned to visit Hard Rock Cafe to hear ‘Musafir’ play. However Sakshi did not want to eat at HRC and she was insistent on trying the food court at 2nd floor of DLF Place. And being the polite and courteous gentleman that I am, I obliged the lady (Ashish had no choice in the matter you see, he is married to her :D) and we were at the Food Court deciding on what to eat.
As stated earlier, I am not a fan of mall food, and have never appreciated it, unless of course it is a known outlet running a branch there. On the contrary, this court hardly has any brands, and whatever is recognizable is far from exciting (McDonald, Subway and Haldiram’s). So we went adventurous and shortlisted three different outlets from where we wanted to order. First was this ‘American’ joint, the person at helm of things there was quite convincing and we thought of giving a shot to their veg. combo and one of the Joes, something which was an omelette with stuffing. Next was Paneer Shashlik sizzler from Kobe’s Sizzler, and finally some Mid-eastern / Israeli food from a joint called Zaitoon.

assembly line Lasagna at the ‘American’ joint..
The time taken to serve and other service of all three joints was satisfactory; I wish I could have said the same about food. The veg. combo turned out quite sad, contained one sliver of a slice of garlic bread, lasagna, mashed potato and baked beans, along with some vegetables. Let us say, it was uninspired food at its best, with baked beans, which were probably packaged, being the best item of the lot. However the second item, called the ‘Joe’, with Black Olives, Mushroom and cheese was quite good, however there is only so much you can do wrong with an omelette.

Vegetarian Combo
Paneer Shashlik Sizzler from Kobe’s
Next up was the sizzler, which did not look appetizing to start with, and did not betray its looks as well. We ate it, because we put our money in it, we were hungry and it was just, mind you just edible. Now we came to food we ordered from Zaitoon, for those who are not aware, it is Hindi for Olive.  We ordered two items, one was Paneer Baghdadi Tikka with pita, and other was Falafel with Humus and Pita. And those two dishes were the saving grace of the evening. I have got limited experience of eating humus and falafel, and mostly in backpacker areas, so I am no authority to judge its authenticity, however whatever we had was fantastic, and I am definitely going back there for more. Paneer Tikka was marinated unlike anything else I have tasted before, and went very well with pita. The pricing was very decent, and portion sizes were VFM.

Baghdadi Paneer Tikka, with Pita
Falafel with Humus
Now it was time for dessert and having been lamented by Sakshi and Ashish previous night for not having visited The Big Chill Café till date, I decided to make amends. And while we settled and were looking at the menu, I was amazed to find Banoffee pie on it, as before this, I had only heard about and had it in my travels specifically in backpacker trail (Leh, Manali, Goa, Pushkar etc.). The second thing we ordered and I cannot thank Sakshi enough for it, was Double Chocolate Decadence Cake, which is her favorite dessert and now mine as well, at least favorite chocolate flavor.

Banoffee Pie @ The Big Chill Cafe
Double Chocolate Decadence Cake

 Oh, and what happened to the band playing at Hard Rock Café, well they had a cover charge of Rs.500 per person, and all three of us being non-drinkers and our bellies full of food, decided to give it a miss and went to our favorite open air lounging area of Mocha. A Paan Hookah (Sheesha) and some white tea from north eastern part of India facilitated further conversation.

Chilling out at Mocha

PS : All the pictures used in this post have been shot using my phone camera, kindly pardon the poor quality.