Friday, May 11, 2018

Three Bean Salad.. and a Mother’s Day Giveaway!


What better occasion than Mother’s Day to share this very informative post with you all. As mothers we do everything for everyone else but us. We forget about our health, our well-being and “me” as an individual. In this day Cancer is ubiquitous. Every family has atleast one person who has been diagnosed with some form of cancer or the other. For us as women, breast cancer is most concerning. Breast cancer has become quite commonplace today. We can however fight it with good, healthy food and lifestyle. These are also the topics that Dr Kristi Funk addresses in her latest book “Breasts, an owner’s manual" which was released onto the bookshelves on May 1st , 2018. 

For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Kristi Funk, she is a leading board-certified breast cancer surgeon and specialist in comprehensive wellness, including nutrition, fitness, and stress management. Best known as the breast surgeon for Angelina Jolie and Sheryl Crow, Dr. Funk has compiled her accessible and powerful strategies for reducing cancer risk and achieving optimal overall health into this much-anticipated book, Breasts: The Owner’s Manual

To get your own free copy by participating in the giveaway, all you have to do is enter your email Address. 



Dr. Funk embraces meat reduction for healthy living. She personally provided a selection of delicious Meatless Monday recipes exclusively for us bloggers to try. Today I am sharing with you another of her very healthy, quick and easy recipe which is right up my alley: a three-bean Salad! This is a salad that can be rustled up within minutes. It would make for a delicious weekday meal, perfect for potlucks, parties, picnics and barbecues!! Do try it. 




I have tried not to alter anything and I am presenting Dr. Funk’s recipe verbatim.

Three beans walk into a Salad..

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 can black beans (rinsed well)
1 can kidney beans (rinsed well)
1 can chickpeas (rinsed well, save chickpea liquid)
1 avocado cut into half inch cubes
2 Persian cucumbers chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup tomatoes (chopped)
1 tsp fresh oregano (preferred) or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 to 3 T of red wine vinegar
1-2 T chickpea liquid
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine beans, veggies and avocado and toss gently. Add oregano, then toss, add chickpea liquid, then red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Chill the beans before making this if you are planning to eat it right away. Or you can make it (minus the avocado), chill for an hour, then add the avocado right before serving.

I am bringing this salad to all my friends at Angie's Fiesta Friday #223. Her cohost this week is the amazing Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau.



Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!


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Monday, May 7, 2018

South of the Border Burrito; Meatless Monday vegan recipe and a giveaway!!




My family is a connoisseur of vegetarian food. Fish and chicken is cooked only occasionally. I love fish and cannot resist grilled chicken. However, my husband and kids prefer vegetarian food over non-vegetarian. Needless to say, I therefore end up cooking more vegetarian dishes than non-vegetarian. Truth be told, personally for me, cooking a vegetarian dish is much easier and quicker than non-vegetarian.



I am a huge supporter of the Meatless Monday Movement. I often feel that people in the West have this misconception that a meal is incomplete without some form of animal protein and that animal protein is essential for normal growth and development.  Indian cuisine proves that this is a myth. Many Indians are vegetarian and lead a healthy, whole and successful life. 

Coming back to the recipe on hand.. when Taylor from Meatless Monday told me about an opportunity to work with Kristi Funk by trying one of her healthy recipes that support her  latest book filled with tons of information regarding breast cancer, how to prevent it with a healthy lifestyle, I was all for it! I am always on the quest for cooking in a healthier manner. I grew up in a family where 1 liter of oil would last the entire month. This recipe of Kristi’s uses no oil at all! I had to try that. I have to tell you, it came out delicious!! 




For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Kristi Funk, she is a leading board-certified breast cancer surgeon and specialist in comprehensive wellness, including nutrition, fitness, and stress management. Best known as the breast surgeon for Angelina Jolie and Sheryl Crow, Dr. Funk has compiled her accessible and powerful strategies for reducing cancer risk and achieving optimal overall health into a much-anticipated book, Breasts: The Owner’s Manual, which came on shelves May 1, 2018.



Dr. Funk embraces meat reduction for healthy living. She personally provided a selection of delicious Meatless Monday recipes exclusively for us to try. One of them was the South of the Border Burrito. I tried it and everyone at home loved it! It was quick and easy. I would have never imagined that cooking without oil would taste so good! I made some minor changes to it due to lack of some ingredients. I didn’t have cilantro or avocado and therefore skipped it. I used chopped lettuce instead. Instead of Braggs amino acids I used tamari sauce. I have described the recipe verbatim as provided by her.

If you would like a copy of Dr Funk’s book, sign up with your email to participate in the give away! 




Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz.) organic firm or extra firm, well drained tofu (prep technique below)
1 onion
1 large green pepper
1 large red pepper
2 handfuls chopped spinach
2 tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
2 T Bragg Amino acids (or tamari)
Veggie broth to broth sauté
Salsa
1 Avocado
Cilantro to taste
Whole grain tortillas

Directions:

Heat pan with a tiny bit of broth just covering the bottom of the pan. Once the broth is simmering, add the chopped onions, tomatoes and peppers. Sauté until they start to get soft (about 6-8 minutes). Keep adding broth by the tablespoon when pan is gets too dry.

Crumble tofu (I use my hands), add turmeric and Bragg Amino acids and sauté until everything is starting to brown just a bit.

Add spinach, turn OFF heat, and toss for a minute or so.

Taste and decide if you want to add a little more Bragg’s.

Heat tortilla until soft and fill with mixture. Add salsa, cilantro and avocado and wrap into a burrito.

Tip: Draining tofu completely is important. Cut the tofu block in half and press in clean kitchen towels, then wrap in a dry towel and place under a heavy pan (or a stack of books!). Leave for at least 20 minutes and change out towels if they get too saturated. Better yet, buy a tofu press... such a great gadget to have!

I am bringing this salad to all my friends at Angie's Fiesta Friday #223. Her cohost this week is the amazing Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau.


Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!



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Monday, January 1, 2018

Carrot Halwa/ Gaajar ka Halwa; quick and healthy version



Happy New Year to all of you. To start off the year on a sweet note, I rustled up together some carrot Halwa or gaajar ka Halwa as it is popularly known. This is akin to a pudding where in shredded carrot is cooked with milk or milk solids, sugar and clarified butter. This is a winter delicacy. I remember the last time which was basically my first time making carrot halwa. It was almost 25 years ago on New Year’s eve, where I spent half the night cooking the carrots, waiting for it to reduce. You guys know that I am not a person for long drawn process. I never ventured to make it again until now. This time I used a quick technique which was basically a trial and error which worked out well. I bought shredded carrots which I pressure cooked with condensed milk which I then cooked on stovetop for a few minutes and reduced the liquid. Add in some raisins , nuts and clarified butter and Viola! Gaajar ka Halwa is ready!



You must try this technique to see the ease of making it. You will never use any other methods.


Servings: 3-4


Prep time: 5 minutesCook time: 45 minutesTotal time: 50-60 minutes


Ingredients:


Shredded carrots: 4 cups
Condensed milk: 1 can
Clarified butter/ghee: 2 tbsp 
Cardamom powder: 1/8 tsp
Raisins: 2 tbsp
Nuts: 2 tbsp, chopped. ( I used slivered almonds)

Method:


In a pot take the shredded carrots and condensed milk. Cook this in a pressure cooker. It takes about 15-20 minutes. Turn off the pressure cooker. Open only after the steam is completely released.

Now cook on medium high on stove top, stirring intermittently until the liquid is almost gone. Reduce flame to low. 

When the carrots are cooking, lightly toast the raisins and nuts in 1 tsp clarified butter. Add this to the above pot with the remaining clarified butter. Mix well. Add the cardamom powder. Stir. Turn off the flame. 

Garnish with pieces of nuts. 

Stays fresh for upto 1 week in the refrigerator.

Serve warm as is or with ice cream!

Enjoy!

Cooking made easy:


Regular milk/evaporated milk or heavy cream can also be used. You can also pressure cook using water and then add milk solids such as mava.

Tip for healthy living:


Desserts are best eaten in small quantities just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent you from craving it.

Food for thought:


We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, to have the life that is waiting for us. E.M. Foster



Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!




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Monday, December 25, 2017

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies



Merry Christmas to all of you ..It is finally Christmas Day before I could post this recipe.


It is the Holiday Season!! It is that time of the year when there are festivities everywhere! It is a season of giving.. It is also the season of meeting deadlines before the Christmas break. That with all the events happening, not to mention regular work, it leaves very little time to go on a baking spree. You still want to make stuff.. That's why I made these crinkle cookies!! The good news: they were a huge hit at work and everywhere I brought them! 



The best news: they are super easy and a no-brainer to make. It takes very little time. The reason being that they are made from a red velvet cake mix by Duncan Hines. You can find the recipe on the box and online here.



Today I am sharing this recipe with you.


Servings: makes around 30 medium sized cookies.


Prep time: 15-20 mins Cook time: 16-18 minsTotal time: 30-40 mins


Ingredients: 


Red Velvet cake mix : 1 package 
Eggs: 2 large
Butter: 6tbsp, melted
Lemon zest: 1 tsp
Powdered sugar ( confectioner's sugar): 1/2cup
Cornstarch: 1/2 tsp 


Method:


Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease it and keep ready.

In a bowl mix together cornstarch and powdered sugar and keep ready.

In a bowl mix together cake mix, eggs, butter and lemon zest until well mixed. 


Pinch a little of the dough and make a 1 to 1.5 inch ball. I used an ice cream scoop to do this. Do this with all available dough.


Now roll each of the balls in powdered sugar mixture and place it on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. 



Bake for 8-10 mins or until a toothpick when inserted comes out clean.



Cool on a cooling rack. 



Store in airtight container when cooled. Stays fresh up to 10 days!



Enjoy!

I am sharing these delicious cooking at my dear friend Angie's Fiesta Friday #203. If you haven't partied there yet, you should. It is super fun!


Cooking made easy: 


Keeping the cookie dough in the freezer for some time makes it easier to handle the dough. 

Tip for healthy living: 


Making snacks at home is much healthier and better for them than store bought ones. 

Food for thought: 


Christmas is the day that holds all time together. Alexander Smith




Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!




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Friday, December 22, 2017

Apple pie



There are many reasons for this apple pie! My son has been asking me to make him apple pie for days now!! I have had the mini-apple pie pan that I have been meaning to use for more than a year now!! We went apple picking and even brought apples for the pie but never made them! I even got the crust couple of weeks ago but only on Thanksgiving Day did I eventually get around to making the pies! There is a story behind that too.. My husband was very sick on Thanksgiving day and was resting. The kids and I were pottering around the house with nothing much to do. When my son went to take a nap, I told my daughter that we should make the pie. We got together and made the pie.



 Really, this pie was super easy to make!! Made me wonder why it took me so long to make it!! Anyways, when my son woke up from his nap and wandered into the kitchen, he had a puzzled look on his face. He said," mommy, I smell something good!!" When I showed him the pie, he was beyond thrilled! He wanted to eat one immediately. He was super delighted that he had his own personal pie!! 



Believe me when I tell you guys that he did not move from that chair until the entire pie was all gone!! Isn't that just cute!! For me, the pie had served it's purpose. I had made 4 mini-pies. Of the remaining three, I gave one to my neighbor and brought two with me to my friend's place when we came for dinner. 



I never realized that making apple pie was this easy! I would have made it ages ago!! 



Servings: 4 ( 1 pie per person)


Prep time: 20-30 mins Cook time: 40-45 minsTotal time: 60-75 mins ( not including the cooling time).


Ingredients:


For the filling: 

Apples: 6 medium sized, peeled and thinly sliced.
Brown sugar: 3/4 cup
Cornflour: 1 tbsp
All purpose flour: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp
Nutmeg: 1/8 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

For the crust:

1 box ready-made rolled pie crust. I used Pillsbury.


Method: 


Preheat the oven to 425 deg F.

In a bowl gently mix together the sliced apples, sugar, salt, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and lemon juice. Keep aside. 

Thaw the crust as per instructions on box. 

Unroll one pie crust on the clean counter top or cutting board. Using the cookie cutter, cut 4 circles. 



Place one each in each of the pie moulds of the pie pan. Fill each of them with the prepared filling until 3/4 th full. 


Cut 4 more smaller circles using the cookie cutter. Place each of them on the pie filled moulds. 


Stick the edges together. Make holes on the top crust. 



Brush the top crust with milk. 

Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 mins. 

After 15 mins, reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 deg F . Using 2-3 inch wide strips of foil, cover the edges of each pie. 



Bake for another 30 mins. When done take it out and place it on the cooling rack to cool down. 



Serve as is or ala mode with ice cream or whipped cream!!


Enjoy!!

I am sharing these delicious cooking at my dear friend Angie's Fiesta Friday #203. If you haven't partied there yet, you should. It is super fun!

Cooking made easy:


If you don't have the mini pie pan, you can make the pie using the regular 9 inch  pie pan. Use one rolled crust for the bottom. Fill it until 3/4 full, place the other on top. Crimp edges together. Using a sharp knife, make slits in the top crust in any pattern that you wish. Baking time is similar as before. 

Tip for healthy living: 


Brown sugar is healthier than the white granulated sugar as it tends to be less processed. You can also use other naturally occurring or less processed sugars such as raw sugar, jaggery and honey.

Food for thought:




Failure will never overtake me if my desire to succeed is strong enough. Og Mandino


Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!





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