Thursday, October 16, 2014

Buckwheat (Kasha)/Note about Wheat

We switched to cracked wheat instead of rice couple of years back.    It takes time to know few facts.  I am sharing this information here to create awareness.   Wheat that we get on the stores are genetically modified ones.  Original wheat is not sold anymore on local stores.    My mom suffered with severe constipation when she started eating this wheat regularly here.  She is fine to a greater extent with the samba wheat that she gets in India.  

I have been exploring Buckwheat now and then for the last few years.   I used to cook it in rice cooker and it spreads an earthly flavor which was not so appetizing for me.    Recently, I tried cooking it in pressure cooker with 1:4 water and found to be a great alternate.     How much ever you cook, it does'nt become sticky.  That makes it perfect for pulaos and mixed rice dishes.    

Buckwheat is not even a grain.   It is a fruit seed which makes it even more healthier.    It is typically used on upvas days when they forbid grains.  It has so many health benefits including lowering cholesterol and Blood pressure.    I also read that it is great for diabetic patients.  

Explore this seed and see if it gets a spot on your pantry!

Barley Dosa/Crepes- Itz cool!

This is not my recipe!  I am just re-posting since lot of my friends/family have been asking.  It is my fellow blogger - Raji's Recipe (Vegeterian tastebuds).  She has got many healthy recipes in her blog.  I just used whole hull-less barley instead of pearl barley.    Pearl barley nutrition is quite comparable to rice.  The outer skin of the barley has the most nutrition .

I like this recipe since it uses lots of barley and we do not see any significant change in the taste of dosa.

What you need?

Hull-less whole barley-2 cups
Brown rice - 1/4 cup
Black gram - 1/2 cup
Methi seeds-2 Tbsp

How to make?

1. Soak barley, rice-methi seeds and black gram seperately for about 6-8 hrs.
2. Grind black gram first till fluffy.  Transfer to the container.
3. Grind barley, rice and methi together.  Add salt and mix well with the black gram batter.

You can adjust the  consistency of the dosa batter by adding water.

One important tip is not to ferment this batter for longer.  I just refrigerate as soon as I grind.  I keep the batter out for few hrs before I make dosa.   The batter would quickly turn sour if kept outside longer.

I called the recipe cool since it is actually very cooling to your system.   Healthy eating!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Peas Corn Sundal (Snack)

Navrathiri time is a great event for us.   Dolls sitting on the steps with the Rangoli and Diya in front of them sets the ambience for the festival.  Every evening, we make different beans for prasadam.   I always add some dressing. Typically, grated coconut is used.  Other dressings that I use are Carrot, Capsicum, Cucumber, Green Mango,  Green Sour apple, Coriander, sliced avocadoes and fresh pomegranate seeds.    They not only add color but also makes it easy to eat.  Otherwise beans are generally hard to eat, they feel dry.  

Peas  is one of the healthy snack choice.   They are quite filling too.    

Letz go to the recipe!

What you need?

Dried peas - 1 cup
Frozen Corn - 1/2 cup
Masala powder- 4 tbsp. (optional)
Green Mango - 1/2 cup (finely cut)
Lemon juice - 1Tbsp (optional)
Salt - choice
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Tadka items

Prep work:

Soak peas in water for 6-8 hrs

How to cook?

1. Cook Peas carefully either on stove top or on pressure cooker (1 whistle).  See tips

2.  Pour cooked peas over colander and let it air dry for 30 mins

3.  If using frozen corn, cook in just sufficient water to soak the corn over stove top.   Check corn for readiness and swtich off the stove.

4. Take a kadai, do tadka with Mustard seeds, red chilli powder, asofoedita and curry leaves.  Add the cooled peas.

5.   Add 1 tsp of jiggery and masala powder.  Give a gentle mix

6.  Top it with any dressing of your choice.   I used Mango (finely cut).  see tips.

7. Optionally add a tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Enjoy the healthy snack!


How to make Masala powder?

Chana dal- 4 Tbsp
Coriander seeds - 2 Tbsp
Red chillies- few (as per your spice leve).

Dry Roast above ingredients one by one.  Let it cool for sometime.  Grind all together not too soft.  It should be slightly coarse.

Tips

1.  Peas take very long to cook over stove top.  If you are cooking on pressure cooker, watch for the whistle.  It turns mushy very quickly.

2.  Cut or shredded dressing would work. 





 

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!