Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sprouts Pulao

I use sprouts in sambar, salad and thought of making this pulao yday. It was quick as well very tasty meal.

I used cracked wheat to make this pulao. It can be easily replaced with Quinoa/rice or any other grain.

Sprouts pulao

Mixed sprouts(Moong, Red and brown Moth beans, fenugreek/methi..) - 1 cup
Onion Big - 1 (cut fine)
Tomatoes - 2 (cut fine)
Ginger/Garlic paste - 2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder-1/4 tsp
Mixed spices-1/2 tsp (elachi/cloves/pepper/Fennel(sounf)
Cinnamon-1/4 tsp
pepper powder-1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder-1 tsp (optional)
Oil-1 Tbsp
Lemon juice-2 tsp

How to make?

1. Head oil in kadai. Fry onion, ginger garlic paste with little salt, add spices and then add finely cut tomatoes. Let it cook for 5 mins.
2. Add sprouts, adjust salt and add lemon juice. Cook for 10 mins

I used cooked cracked wheat to mix with this. To do that

Pressure cook 1 cup of cr wheat with 2 cups of water for 3 whistles. Let it cool, seperate them with fork to avoid lumps. You can make this ahead of time if possible.

Now, add seperated cracked wheat/grain to the cooked mixture and let everything come together for 5 mins. Switch off the stove. Add coriander leaves and serve with the any raita.

If you want to know how to make sprouts at home, refer my other posting "Sprouts Sambar"

Mixed Veggie Raita

Raita is something very simple to make and would go with anything like pulao. I make this raita to go with sprouts pulao. It tasted very good. I make yogurt at home and like it to be less sour.

What you need?

Onion - 1 medium (cut fine)
Ginger/Chilli paste - 1 Tbsp
Spinach-2 cups
Green bell pepper-1 full cut fine
Yogurt-3-4 cups
salt to taste
cumin powder-1/4 tsp (optional)
Fennel powder-1/4 tsp (optional)

Note: You can add Tomatoes, Broccoli also. I did not have them while preparing.

How to make?

I used food processor to cut spinach and carrot.

1. Heat oil in kadai, add onion and ginger chilli paste and saute for 2 mins. Add cut spinach and saute. Let it cook for 5 mins.

2. In another vessel, take shredded or cut carrots, bell pepper and any other veggies if using and keep it ready. Add cumin and fennel powder if using. Mix in the spinach mixture. Allow it to cool.

3. Add yogurt and mix well. Adjust salt. You can add coarse peanut powder, fried sesame seeds to enhance the flavour.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dates Whole Wheat Bread

I try to avoid or reduce white sugar mostly. I use less of brown sugar too. I make sweet berry smoothies with figs/raisins and dates with no sugar in it.

Recently, I read about dates and wanted to explore more. Dates have the best nutrition for dieting. I give a simple snack to my kids by inserting an almond into dates. It has low fat, good amino acids, help us digest and assimilate carbohydrates easier and control blood sugar levels.

I have been religiously following the whole wheat bread recipe for few weeks but then I was unable to stop my experimentation. I was perhaps happy with the end result of making this bread. It was very soft and porous.

What you need?

Whole wheat flour-3.5 cups
vital wheat gluten-3 tbsp (optional)
salt-1.5 tsp
oil-1/4 cup
water-1 cup  + 1 Tbsp
yeast-2.5 tsp
Dried Dates-15
br sugar-1 tbsp
pepper powder-2 tsp
ajwain-2 tsp

How to make?

1. soak dates in warm water for 30 mins.remove pits if any and blend them with hand blender or food processor.
2. In 1/4 cup of warm water(it should not feel hot if you put your finger in it), add brown sugar and yeast. Whisk slightly and keep aside for 10 mins.
It should be frothy. If not, do not continue further. Redo this step fresh.
3. Measure flour accurately with leveling knife. If using vital wheat gluten, add it first in the cup and then add whole wheat flour for the first cup and then measure rest of the quantity.
4. Add salt , pepper and ajwain to the flour
5. In another cup measure oil, water, dates mixture and mix well. Add to frothy yeast
6. Add liquid to flour mixture slowly. Knead all togehter for 10 mins to active gluten. If using grinder with dough hook, put all the flour mixture in it, start the grinder and then add the liquid. Let it run for 5 mins. Check the liquid, add 1 Tbsp of warm water at a time and check for consistency. It should be soft and elastic and not very watery. The flour should leave the sides of the grinder and also the bottom of the grinder mostly. Let it run for 12-15 mins.
in grinder, let it run for 15 mins. Added 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp water in intervals. Soft dough, not too sticky. It came out of the sides
7. Take the dough and shape into a round ball. Coat with Oil and keep it in a big vessel leaving enough room for it to double. If the external temp is very low, switch on the oven light and let it become warm (10 MIINS). Switch off the oven and put the vessel covered with oiled wax paper. Leave it there for an hour or two. If it has doubled in an hr, you can go to next step. Otherwise wait.
8. Once it is double, deflate. Made into round ball and shaped into loaf. Place it in a greased bread pan 9*5
9. Let it rest for 45 mins to an hour. The dough should have reached above the top edges. Then it is ready to bake.
10. preheat oven. Baked for 20 mins. Then covered with aluminium foil and baked for 20 mins.

Coated with Olive oil all around once it was out. The bread was Very soft inside and crust was also soft. Not very sweet. So healthy dates whole wheat bread ready for breakfast or any time.

Quick Notes:

Baking Temp - 350 F
Baking Time - 20 mins, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 20 mins.

This bread does not taste sweet. If you want it sweeter, add more dates and reduce liquid little bit accordingly.

Tastes just like Cream of Broccoli Soup

Broccoli is one of the super veggies that helps to reduce fat, it has antioxidant properties and so many nutrients. We loved this recipe since we made it first time. I tweeked in the oats broth instead of all milk. The nutty aroma of oats with milk made it thicken and tasted awesome. Kids also love it.

Broccoli finely shredded- 1cup
Onion-1/2 medium finely cut
Garlic-2 pods finely cut(optional)
Olive oil/coconut oil/butter - 1 Tbsp
salt and pepper as per taste
milk-1/2 cup
Oats broth-2 cups
Roasted oats powder-2 Tbsp

How to make?

1. Heat oil in kadai, fry onion, garlic if using with little salt till translucent.
2. Add broccoli and fry in high heat for 3-4 mins. It should still be dark green. Do not over fry.
3. Add Oats broth and milk. Adjust salt. Let it boil for 5 mins. Add water to adjust consistency.
4. If using oats powder, blend that with cold milk and then add it to kadai. Let it boil for 5 mins. Add water to adjust consistency.
5. Add pepper as per taste and server with bread crackers.

Is it not another simple one!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Quick Whole Wheat pizza with Flax

My kids love to eat pizza and a good reason for me to try out one more new item. I made whole wheat pizza waiting for the yeast to get activated for an hour so last time. I found this super quick recipe and really thought if it would work? I tried it some suspicion slightly modifying the recipe to make it whole wheat and it worked. I could make it very quick(around 30 mins) and yet a very tasty thin crust pizza. Kids were overjoyed and it made dinner for all 4 of us. Here you go for the healthier version of the pizza.

What you need?

whole wheat flour 2 cups
instant yeast 2 tsps
Sugar - 1 tsp
salt - 3/4 tsp
warm water (or a bit more)- 75 ml
ground flax seeds(Flax meal) - 2 Tbsp

How to make?

1 Preheat oven to 425.
2 In a large bowl, stir together first 4 ingredients.
3 Pour warm water into first 4 ingredients, mixing strongly.
4 Add flaxseed first, then add additional flour and stir until dough forms a ball, noting that not all the flour will likely be picked up by the dough ball.
5 gently knead dough on floured surface until smooth. Adjust by adding a tsp of flour if required.
6 Cover and let rise for 5 minutes.
7 grease two 9inch pie plates, divide the dough into two equal portion. Flour the surface and make a ball. Dust it and press them gently as circle just with hand. After making a small disc, place them on the greased plate and increase the size of the disc till they reach the wall of the pie plate.
8 Put on tomato sauce, toppings(I used onion, garlic, potato, peas, olives), then cheese, and put in oven for 15-20 minutes. Place the pie plate at the center rack of the oven initially.

Use a metal spoon or knife and lift them slightly to check if it has browned at the bottom after 16 mins. Move the pie plate closer to the top rack for the rest of 4 mins so that the cheese would brown up little bit.

Mine was ready in just 20 mins, It had thin crust and the taste was awesome.

Next time,I will add some spices into the flour to make it more interesting.