Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Walnut Salad dressing

Salads has become part of weekend menu.  We get so many varieties of salad.  We eat healthy but never tried salads before since they always needed some kind of dressing.   I do not trust any store made foodies since I believe that no else is as concerned about our health as ourselves.    My older one loves salad and I thought of giving it a try.  I made few dressings and some of them were well received.

What you need?

Walnuts-1 cup
Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Pepper-1 tsp 
salt - 1 tsp
Lemon juice-1 Tbsp

How to make?

1. Soak walnuts in hot water for about an hour.  You would use the water too, so dont add too much water.

2. If you are using italian seasoning, crush them with your palm and add it to walnuts

3.Add salt and pepper and blend all together.  Add water little by little if required to make it in running consistency.

4. Whisk lemon juice and it is ready.  

Make salad of your choice and drizzle this over it.   

Variations:

1.  Walnuts can be replaced with Almonds

Melon popsicle

No guilt of having popsicles! since they are made at home.  Even kids can make it.  It is that simple.  There is abundance supply of Melons in summer (Water melon, honey due melon, cantaloupe).  I read in one of Vasant Lad's Ayurveda books that Melon should be eaten by themselves.  We should not eat it with any other fruits/food.     I read the same in another western diet plan as well.  It looks like there is something about it.   On a hot summer afternoon, we make wedges of melons and sit in my patio and enjoy them.   Popsicles are the most wanted item, if we make it with real fruit then there is no guilt of serving them.

I made these popsicles with Cantaloupe melon.

What you need?

   Cantaloupe melon cut into cubes-3 cups
   Maple syrup/any sweetener-2 Tbsp

How to make?

    Blend all together and fill it in your popsicle mould.

Let it freeze for 4 hrs and it is ready to Go!

Happy Summer afternoons!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Purple Noodles!

Noodles are easy to make lunch dishes.  I never buy sauce for my pasta/pizza.   We will have so much of control on the quantity and quality of ingredients when we make it at home.  They are not so hard to make as well.

I love colors, yes on veggies too.  Purple cabbage is one such fantasy.   Thy are not like their green counterparts, it never shrinks when you cook.  If you overcook, it turns greyish and does'nt look good.  So, there is a small trick in cooking them.  More to that, if you add lemon juice at the end, it turns pinkish purple which adds more beauty to it.

Coming to the recipe!

What you need?

Noodles of your choice
italian seasoning-1/2 tsp
purple cabbage finely shredded-2 cups
carrot finely shredded-1/2 cup (optional)
Ginger/gr chillies shredded-2 tsp
pepper powder-1/2 tsp
Oil-1 Tbsp
Lemon juice-1 Tbsp


How to make?

1. Boil sufficient water with water, once it bubbles, add the noodles, cook till they are soft.

2. Drain in a colander and cover with a lid so that they do not over dry.  Save the water.

3.  Heat Oil in the pan, add italian seasoning, pepper powder, once they sizzle, add purple cabbage, fry on high heat for 3-4 mins, mix in the noodles, give a thorough mix.  Add 1/2 cup of the water that you saved.

4. Add shredded carrot and lemon juice. Mix well and switch off the heat.


Tip:

Purple cabbage has to be finely shredded, I use my cuisinart veggie stand.  




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strawberry Avocado popsicle

What does hot weather remind?  Popsicles and icecreams are top selling items.   I had never known about popsicles before coming to US.   First, I saw my neighbour giving their kids colorful bars!  Wondering what they are,  I did a google search and found an healthy alternate.  I bought moulds first and have made a variety of popsicles.  Infact, I have never attempted to buy popsicle from store.  Most of the store bought popsicles has low quality sugar either from high fructose corn syrup or other sources with vibrant artificial colors.  

Avocado has a silky texture and it tastes pretty good on Smoothies and Popsicle.   I make Popsicle with smoothies or home made juices.

I do not mix milk or yogurt with strawberries since body does'nt absorb the nutrients of berries with protein rich milk products.  Also, berries are rich in Vit-C and hence do not go well with milk.

What you need?

Strawberries- 1 box (15-20 berries)
Avocado- 1 medium
soaked dates-15

How to make?

1. Soak dates in just enough hot water.  Once cooled, check for seeds and remove.
2. Blend everything into puree
3. Pour into BPA free moulds and let it freeze for 5 hrs or more

To use:

Rest the popsicle in warm water for few mins to loosen them lil bit from the mould.  Enjoy!








Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Small Grains - Conscious Replacement of Rice

Rice was not part of everyday meal till 2 generations back.   People used a variety of grains out of necessity or just by usage.   I am very surprised with the way Rice dominates our day to day lives.   In today's world, it is up to you to choose what you want to eat.  It is a conscious decision though.  Remind yourself that they are also palatable if you are hesitant about the taste.  

Last week I made pongal with a millet (pani-varagu in tamil) and it tasted awesome.  No one could make a difference if it was made with rice or pongal.  Some millets needs to be roasted before you cook them.   Those tactics has to be learnt.

We dont need to run behind expensive grains like Quinoa.   I was shocked with the price raise of this grain. Compare the nutrition and taste of Quinoa vs other millets.  It is quite comparable.   Price is one tenth.

Welcome small grains into your pantry for a healthier cooking!  I m just being a motivator here.  I cook small grains quite often and make rice quite occasionally.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Millet Greens Pulao

Millets belong to small grain family.  Traditionally, people were eating different types of grains.  Rice was cooked only on big festivals occasionally.    I was unaware of all these facts till couple of years back.    It is quite stunning with the amount of Rice and Wheat that are produced globally to meet the demands.  When the demand goes high, the quality goes down.    We should consciously see what other small grains we could cook in our day to day practice for the betterment of our health and also for our future generation.    I used to cook these grains only for us and make rice for kids.  Slowly, I introduced it to my kids and they eat all the different grains now without any comments.  It does taste good.  



What you need?

Fox tail Millet - 1 cup

Mixed Greens (Spinach or kale or swiss chard)-2 cups
Tofu-10 to 15 cubes
Onion - 1 
Ginger/Gr chilli paste- 1 tsp
Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
crushed peanuts-1/4 cup
Coconut Oil-2 Tsp

Tadka

Mustard, chanal dal-2 tsp

How to cook?

Cook millet in 2 cups of water with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oilive oil in rice cooker.  Let it cool  and  fluff it with fork in a big dish.  It is important to keep the grains seperate.  It should not become mushy.

Heat oil in a Kadai, tadka with mustard, chana dal, ginger gr chilli paste, fry onion with little salt till transulent. 

Add all the greens and fry them.  Add required salt, turmeric (1/4 tsp) and garam masala once they shrink.   Let all the moisture evaporate.  Add Tofu and mix gently.

Reduce heat and fold in the separated millet.  Let it stay for about 5-7 mins with occasional stir.

Add crushed peanuts and it is ready to be served.  Serve hot for best taste.

I served it with boiled peanuts curry.

Note:

You could just use one variety of greens on this recipe.  I just used since I had to use them up.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dark chocolate Truffles

Dark chocolates are one of the super foods.   We got used to this couple of years back.  Truffles is very simple to make and tastes very good.  The super chef who makes it all the time is my hubby!  I am just posting the recipe!

What you need?

Dark chocolates chunks-1/2 lb
Shredded nuts(Almonds/Walnuts)-1 cup
Raisins-1/2 cup
Butter-1 Tbsp (optional)
cinnamon-1/2 tsp(optional)

How to make?

1. Boil water in a pan.  Mix dark chocolate in another cup with little water and keep this on the boiling water. Chocolate should melt thoroughly. Once melted add butter and cinnamon if you are using them.

2. In another bowl, mix in the nuts, raisins and pour the chocolate over it.  Mix well.

3. Line parchment paper in a big tray.  Scoop a teaspoon of chocolate mix in equal distances.

4. Freeze it for 2 hrs.  Check if they are solid if not keep it for longer depending upon your refrigerator.

It is ready to eat!  You can save the rest in the refrigerator for later use.