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.

Snack on Nuts!

We eat our main meal around 12-1 pm.  Kids do not want to eat rice or main dish after they come back from school.  I also dont give them forcefully.  If I sent them sandwich at times, then I ask but they deny.   As per Ayurveda,  the heavy meal should be eaten around noon when the body is at the peak to take anything.  Our challenge is the snacks.  They come home and look for choices.  First choice is fruits.  Ofcourse, Milk is something they dont miss.  Whatever be there or not, we always have the trial mix which all of us love. Infact, I have been snacking on nuts every day for last five years.   I should thank the nutritionist who gave this idea to me.  She was like " It is of no use eating just 4-5 almonds everyday,we should consume atleast an ounce per day to keep healthy" but see the note below.  Nuts are very good source of proteins and good fats.  Almond is called as a brain food.

I dont buy the pre-mixed one.  I buy all the nuts and mix it at home as per our choice.   Nuts is one thing we keep constantly buying from the wholesaler Costco.  

What you need?

Raisins - 2 cups
Almonds- 2 cups
Walnuts - 1 cup
Pecans - 1 cup
Roasted Peanuts - 1 cup (optional)
Dates/Fig/Dark chocolates (optional)

How to make?

Just mix everything in a big bowl and store in an Air tight container.

How to Serve?

Adults everyday portion is

One fist which could have around 22-24 almonds, 5 walnuts and 5 Pecans.

For kids, I give around 10 almonds 3 walnuts 3 pecans and raisins

Occasionally, we mix in some dark chocalates or dates stuffed with almonds or with Figs.

This was recommended to me by my nutritionist.  You should consult your Dr./Nutritionist for your required quantity.

Snack Healthy and Go Nuts!

Note:

1.  Almond slices is also an available option in case you find it hard to chew almonds.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Simple Restaurant Style Tomato Soup

My kids love the restaurant tomato soup.   It inspired me to make it at home.  I have tried many times, with onion/garlic and without onion garlic and it has been endorsed by my family that it tastes like restaurant.  The fun part is that i make the cream with almonds.  The reason behind not using the milk based cream is the simple reasoning that Tomato is rich in Vit-c and it curdles with milk.

The secret to get the restaurant style taste is cook the soup veggies with the spice sack.  I use the mini tea strainer for this purpose.  It is important to just get the flavour out.  We should not grind the spices.  You can alternately use a clean soft musleen cloth to wrap your spices.




What you need?

Tomatoes-4 to 6 medium
Carrots-1 medium
Beetroot-1/4 medium for color
Beans about 10
Onion - 1 (optional)
garlic-3 pods (optional)
Ginger-1 inch
Gr chillies-3 (adjust for your spice level).
Oil- 1 Tbsp

For Spice sack:

2 cardomom pods
3 cloves
1 big cardomom
1 star anise
1 tsp of  fennel seeds


For cream:

Soak almonds in hot water for 30 mins

How to make?

Heat 1 Tbsp of Oil, saute garlic and onion for few mins

Pressure cook all the veggies including onion/garlic in sufficient water with the spice sack

Once the cooker is ready to open, sieve the veggies saving the water.  Remove the tomato peel.

Allow to cool, puree them using hand blender, transfer to a kadai, add salt and adjust spice level.

Let it all mix together in low heat for about 10-15 mins.  Keep it warm.

Now, letz make the cream

Drain water from almonds
Grind with enough water to get almost thin consistency.

Serve soup in the bowl and just swirl the almond milk over it.

Tip:

1. Coconut milk can be substituted for almond paste here.  I have'nt tried but it should taste better.





Saturday, January 25, 2014

Healthy Breakfast - Kamut puff cereal with fruits

Breakfast is a very important meal of a day.  It should not be skipped.  We dont miss it unless we have a religious reason to do so.   What to eat in a breakfast is also equally important.  Buckwheat sounds like a sister to wheat but it does not belong to wheat family.  It is a fruit seed with a distinct flavour.  It is super healthy.  I have tried it in pulaos and kichidi too.  When I roaming in the aisles of whole foods, some puffs got my attention, they were barley, millet and kamut puffs.  I got all of them in my trolley.    Then, I started thinking for ways to use it.   My husband makes very yummy cereals, I should post those pictures along with the recipe.  You got to have a passion and patience to make such cereal.  Few things, I just say that dad will make :-) Cutting everything on the same size is something I can never attempt to!  My patience is definitely lesser than his.

This is a super great breakfast with fruits,nuts and kamut puffs.

What you need?

Kamut puffs - 1/3 cup
Apple-diced-1/4 cup
Banana diced-1/4 cup
Grapes-sliced-1/4 cup (optional)
Raisins-2 Tbsp
Flax meal-1 Tbsp (optional)
Chia gel-1 tsp (optional)
Almonds-5 sliced
Walnuts-3 shredded
Dried Dates-3 cut fine

How to make?

Once all the cutting is done, just mix them well.  Add kamut puff just before serving.  

Add 3 Tbsp of Mango pulp if your taste bud demands (optional)

Note:  Kamut puff has a distinct taste.   You could use alternately kamut cereal which some health stores sell.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rainbow Raita with Avocado

Avocado is a bland fruit but very healthy.  Many people wonder how to use it on day to day basis.  I buy them regularly and use it mainly on chutneys,smoothies and Raita.   We also like guacamole.    I tried recently in boiled peanut salad and it was very good.   I called this one as Rainbow since it is very colorful.

What you need?

Avocado medium - 1
Carrot shredded-1/2 cup
Broccoli cut finely or shredded-1/3 cup
Green capsicum cut fine - 1/4 cup
Red capsicum cut fine- 1/4 cup
cucumber - 1
coriander greens - 2 Tbsp
Gr chillies
Ginger-1 inch
Yogurt - 1.5-2 cups

How to make?

1. Mash avocado with a beater (you can choose to keep it chunky or smooth)

2. Grate or cut ginger and gr chillies

3.  Mix all the veggies, avocado, ginger and gr chillies in a bowl along with Yogurt

4. Do tadka - Heat 1 tsp oil in a small kadai, add mustard, let it splutter), add 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds and 1/8 tsp of asofoedita.

6.Add coriander greens and mix well.

This goes very well with any spicy main dish like pulao or even chappathis.

Variations:

Add crunchy roasted peanuts/pumpkin/sunflower seeds

Badam ka sheera (Almond pudding)

Happy New Year!

A healthy dessert for any occasion.  I made it for Bogi festival.

We happened to taste this dish in a restaurant during our recent india visit.  We forgot to ask the chef for the recipe.    Both of us were kind of asking each other why we did not ask him. We googled  but could not find anything which would lead to that dish.    I kind of reverse engineered and came out with this recipe and it matched the original dish to a great extent.  

Jaggery is a healthier replacement to white sugar.

Here you go!

What you need?

Almond meal - 1 cup  (see notes)
Powdered Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 3 Tbsp
Milk-1/2 cup

How to make?

1.  In a pan, heat 1 Tbsp of ghee, fry almond meal in medium heat for few mins.  It should be roasted
2.  Add hot milk and powdered jaggery to this
3.  Keep stirring till the liquid is absorbed.  Add 2Tbsp of ghee and keep stirring for about 5 mins.  It should come to a thick consistency more like halwa.   It will be sticky when it is hot.  Let it cool completely.  I could not wait that longer to try!

Notes:

* Almond meal can be easily made at home.  Pulse almonds in the food processor till they are powdered.  You will run with almond butter if you run it longer.

* You can powder jaggery at home.  Some store even sell it shredded.