Showing posts with label Eating Healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eating Healthy. Show all posts

Friday, April 7, 2017

Baked Spring Rolls


I have always fried spring rolls and have not tried baking them until today. I don't know why I always felt they would not be crispy enough. But this time they were as good as fried ones and my husband could not tell that they were baked  until I told him which kind of left him confused. They were not only crisp and crunchy but also not oily. I smeared them with olive oil and they turned out great. I can eat them without feeling guilty as they are healthy.   


Ingredients: For 12 Spring Rolls

24 Spring Roll Wrappers
1/2 Cup Shredded Chicken (1/2 Chicken breast)
1/2 Tsp Garlic paste
2 Cups Japanese style flat white Cabbage (finely grated)
1/4 Cup Carrot (thinly grated) 
2 Tbs finely chopped spring onions
1 Boiled egg
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper 
1/2 Tsp Hoisin Sauce
2 or 3 drops of Sesame oil
2 Tbs Olive oil
Flour and water paste
Sea Salt as required

Method:

1. Steam the chicken breast in a covered pot with a little water, garlic paste, salt and pepper till completely cooked. Remove and let it cool.

2. Grate the cabbage finely or slice thinly with a sharp knife to get long shreds. Add one tsp salt to the cabbage and mix it well by rubbing it with the salt with your fingers till the salt is dissolved and the cabbage starts oozing out water. Drain the water and repeat working with your fingers this time without the salt. Drain well again. Then wipe the shredded cabbage with paper towels till dry. Set aside.

3. Grate the carrot or make thin juliennes from thinly sliced carrots. Finely chop the spring onions.

4. Grate a hard boiled egg. Shred the steamed chicken with a fork and knife. 

5. Mix together the carrot, cabbage, spring onions, egg and chicken. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper as per taste, then 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce and 2 or 3 drops of sesame oil.

6. Place a portion of the filling in the near corner of the spring roll wrapper and apply the flour and water paste to the far corner away from you. You can also use egg white to seal instead of flour paste. Roll over neatly while tucking the near corner under the filling. When you roll to the centre of the square fold in both the sides then roll again tightly till the end (I used 2 wrappers for each roll coz my filling was a bit moist and I didn't want them to get soggy). For exact instructions please watch this video.

7. Brush the spring rolls with olive oil and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

8. Bake in an oven preheated at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30- 35 mins. The timing may differ with other ovens. When you are half way through baking turn them over and then bake till golden or evenly browned. Enjoy with sauces of your choice. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Broiled Golden Pomfret with Chaat Masala

The golden pomfret (pompano)  is a soft mild flavoured fleshy fish with a buttery flavour and no fishy or gamy smell. When fresh it tastes very delicious. You can use any kind of spicy or herb flavoured marinade on it and it works very well. This time I used chaat masala along with the other spices and it was just so delicious! My husband who is always quite reluctant when it comes to eating fish, actually enjoyed eating it.


Ingredients:
1 Golden Pomfret fish (around 1.25lbs)
 Juice of half a lemon
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Kashmiri red chilly Powder  
1 Tsp MDH Chaat Masala 
1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper 
1 Tsp ginger garlic paste
1 Tbs Olive oil 
Salt to taste

Method: 
1 Clean the fish by scraping the skin and cut into two filets with out removing the skin. You could ask the fish vendor to clean and make filets for you. 

2. Sprinkle salt and lemon juice on the fish filets and rub them well. 


3. Mix together the black pepper, turmeric, red chilly powder and chaat masala with the ginger garlic paste and smear this marinade on the fish filets well. Leave to rest for half an hour. 

4. Heat a cast iron frying pan, brush it with 1 or 2 tsp of olive oil and place the fish on the pan skin side down. Let the fish get fried on the bottom  well. 


5.  Switch off the stove, drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the fish and then place the frying pan with the fish on the top rack of the pre heated oven.

6.  Broil the fish on high for 5 - 6 minutes till the fish is browned all over. Switch off the oven. Tranfer to a serving plate and enjoy the crispy delicious mouth watering fish. 


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Apple Mango Ginger Salad
























This salad tasted delicious and I finished it all. The tartness of the apples with the delightful aroma of the mango ginger along with the other ingredients kicked it up a notch. Mango ginger is a root vegetable like ginger with a slightly sour taste of unripe mango and a sharp spicy taste of ginger in a mild form. It has great health benefits. It is mostly used in pickles and can also be used as a flavouring to enhance the taste in meat, chicken or vegetable preparations. Here I used it in this salad with great success. 
























Ingredients:
1 Tart apple
1 hot house Tomato
6 garlic stuffed big green olives
1 tbs pickled mango ginger
1/2 cup grated carrot
5-6 Red/green leaf lettuce
Sesame seeds for garnish

Dressing:
2 tbs Olive Oil
Juice of half a lemon
Pink salt
Black pepper
1/2 tsp Harissa paste 
Brown sugar

Method:
1. Cut the apple into small dices. Chop the stuffed olives with the garlic and chop the pickled mango ginger. 

2. Gently squeeze out the seeds from the tomato, remove its stem and cut into small dices. 

3. Clean, wash, drain and dry the lettuce leaves. 

4.  Mix together the diced apples, tomatoes, grated carrots, chopped olives and mango ginger. 

5. Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients till it emulsifies and changes to a creamy texture. Add this dressing to the salad and quickly mix well. 

6. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Spoon all the salad on to the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle some brown(roasted) sesame seeds on top for garnish. Serve immediately. 

Notes: 
1. Add the dressing just before serving the salad or else it will turn runny. 

2. You can pickle the mango ginger by cutting it into dices and adding vinegar and salt and store in a clean glass bottle. You could also use it in many preparations. 



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup

Nothing is more comforting to eat on a cold wintry rainy day than a bowl of creamy leek and potato soup with soft buns and mustard chicken to go with. The smooth texture of the soup with the flavour of leeks is so soothing to the senses and highly delectable. It is such a hearty, healthy and nutritious soup and so easy to make in no time. 



Ingredients: 
1 large Leek
2 Yukon gold potatoes
2 tbs Butter
2 Garlic cloves
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 cup Chicken  stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
Chives or spring onions finely chopped(optional)
Salt to taste
Method: 
1. Clean and wash the white and light green parts of the leeks and cut them into small pieces. Peel, wash and cut the pototoes into small pieces as well. Finely chop the garlic. 

2. In a soup pot melt the butter on medium heat, toss in the garlic, give it a stir and add the leeks and potatoes. 

3. Turn over and saute in the melted butter till they sweat and soften a bit. 

4. Add 2 cups hot water and the 1 hot cup chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Let it cook on medium heat till the potatoes and leeks and very soft. Switch off the stove and remove the bay leaf. 

5. Using a hand held immersion blender, puree the cooked leeks and potatoes until smooth, adding a little water if too thick. I also added the shredded chicken pieces from the chicken soup stock and blended everything together. 

6. Add half and half or heavy cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper if necessary. And if the soup appears to be thick add a little water and if it is too runny, leave it on simmer for sometime till it thickens.  

7. Garnish with chopped chives or spring onions and serve hot in soup bowls.  Enjoy with bread, buns or dinner rolls.





Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cranberry Sauce

The store bought cranberry sauce was awful, it was like a jello paste and I didn't like it at all. I looked up recipes and found the Pioneer Woman's cranberry sauce recipe very interesting.  It was so simple and when I tried it out, it was amazing. I made a slight change to the recipe by replacing the tartness of the cranberry juice with the sweetness of orange juice. I also added a blob of butter to give it a glaze and buttery flavour. We all licked the bowl clean, it was tongue tingling, tangy, sweet and so yummy. Here's the link to Ree Drummond's recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/homemade-cranberry-sauce/

Here's my recipe: 

Fresh Cranberries - 1 pack
Orange juice - 1 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tbs
Maple syrup - 1 cup
Orange zest - 1 tbs
Butter - 1 tbs

Method:

1. Rinse the fresh cranberries in cool water after picking the bad ones out, drain and put them in a pot. 

2. Add the orange juice, lemon juice and maple syrup and bring to boil. Skim off the froth that floats on top. 

3. The berries start popping out when the maximum heat is reached. Stir on and off and let the sauce thicken. 

4. Add the blob of butter and orange zest, simmer a bit to get the right jelly like consistency and remove. 

5. Allow it to cool before transferring to a serving bowl or jar. 

6. Enjoy with turkey or chicken. 





Friday, March 18, 2016

OAT MEAL PORRIDGE

I

Ingredients: 
Steel cut Oats - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups
Cloves, Cardamoms - 1 each
Cinnamon Stick - 1/4"
Fresh Mint leaves -  6
Onions chopped - 2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
Canola/Olive Oil - 1tsp


Method:

1. Boil 2 cups of water in a sauce pan and add 1/2 a cup of steel cut oats to it, give it a stir and let it cook for 20 mins. 

2. When it is done remove from stove, add required amount of salt, throw in the fresh mint leaves and keep aside. 

3. Take another small pan and heat the oil. Add the cloves, cardamom and chopped onion. Stir till the onions become translucent and golden. Add the ginger garlic paste and quickly fry a bit with the onions. Switch off the stove, pour this tempering over the cooked oats and enjoy. 

 Tips: 

1. Add the tempering to the cooked oats as quickly as possible. The cooked oats tend to dry out quickly. It should be like a porridge consistency, neither too runny nor too dry. 

2. Another method of cooking the oat meal porridge is to fry the onions with the whole garam masala spices (cloves & green cardamoms), saute with the ginger garlic paste, add the water and when it comes to a boil add the oats and wait till they get cooked which is 20mins. 

3. The mint leaves should not be added to the tempering, but to the oats as a finishing touch to 
enhance the flavour. 

4. The same methods can be followed with Quick Cooking Oats as well. 

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


Friday, November 13, 2015

My Canadian Thali


"Thali" literally means a plate and in India it is used to serve a variety of dishes, so the meal itself is referred to as a "Thali" such as a vegetarian thali, a fish thali etc........

I enjoyed eating "Thalis" in India. It is so exciting to wait for the "Thali" to be served at a restaurant and interesting to see the different kinds of vegetables, lentils, chutneys, pickles, breads served in little bowls placed in a big round plate or platter. I wanted to create my Canadian Thali similar to something like this, but filled with dishes that suit the canadian taste.

For the Cranberry sauce I followed Ree Drummond's recipe (the Pioneer Woman) and it was so delicious! She uses maple syrup, orange juice and orange zest which is a great combination of flavours.

My Canadian Thali has the following:

1. Naan (brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven).

2. Zucchini (cut into 3 inch pieces, sprinkled with salt, pepper, basil and olive oil and baked in the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 - 20 mins or till done).

5. Pan fried Baby Veal (recipe will follow)

6. Butternut squash (cut into half, seeds scooped out, brushed with some melted butter and baked in the oven till it is done, that is when it turns a little brown and starts leaving an aroma)

7. Prepare all the above dishes, place them on a plate side by side and enjoy with toasted Naan. 

Egg Plant Tapenade



This is a mediterranean recipe that I modified to suit my taste. I flame grilled the egg plant to give it smoky flavour and substituted pine nuts for walnuts and sun dried tomatoes for fresh ones. The smoky egg plant combined with the slightly tangy and nutty flavours turned out really delicious. We should not forget that the egg plant is the king in this dish, so care should be taken not to over power it with other flavours. Therefore adding just the right proportions of everything makes it not only enhanced in flavour but also in taste.

Ingredients:
Large dark purple egg plant - 1
Sun dried tomatoes             - 1 tbs
Walnuts(lightly toasted)        - 2 tbs
Extra virgin olive oil              - 2 tbs
Pitted kalamata olives          - 8-10
Lemon juice                         - 1 tsp
Small onion(finely chopped  - 1
Garlic clove                          - 1

To garnish:
Ground Cumin                   - 1/2tsp
Cayenne pepper/paprika    - 1/4tsp
Extra virgin olive oil            - 2 tbs
Cilantro finely chopped      - 1 tbs

Method: 
1. Flame grill the egg plant on the gas stove till it is charred all over and becomes soft. Leave it to cool.
2. Toast the walnuts with a little olive oil. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in just a little water.
3. Remove the charred skin from the cooled egg plant, clean well so that no charred remnants are sticking to the egg plant, cut it open without loosing its juices, scrape out the seeds if they are too big and hard, otherwise you can leave them.
4. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a sauce pan and fry the chopped onion, once it is translucent add the chopped garlic clove, walnuts, give it a quick stir and remove from stove.
5. In a dry grinder, grind together the chopped onion and walnut mixture (pour it with the olive oil in the pan into the grinder) along with the sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper to make a smooth paste. You can add a green chilly if you want some heat. For me without thegreen chilly it tasted better.
6. Now mash the egg plant with a hand blender and incorporate the ground mixture into it to make a sligthly smooth but still a little coarse paste. The roasted egg plant should be well blended with the ground paste.
7. Transfer the contents to a serving bowl. Add chopped cilantro, a dash of  lemon juice, adjust the salt and mix well.  Sprinkle cumin and cayenne or paprika on top, drizzle olive oil and enjoy!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Zucchini Papaya Salad


Ingredients: 
1 Cup Light green zucchini
1 Cup Papaya (not so ripe)
4 Tbs Peanuts crushed
1 Tbs Sesame seeds

Lemon dressing:
1 Tbs Lemon juice
1 Tbs Olive oil
1/4 Tsp Sesame oil
1/2 Tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper as required

Method:
1. Peel the Zucchini and Papaya. Wash and towel dry. Grate into thin long strips or julienes.

2. Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds.

3. Mix all the dressing ingredients and whisk well till it emulsifies and thickens.

4. Pour the dressing over the grated zucchini and papaya.

5. Top with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.

6. Enjoy.



Friday, August 21, 2015

Spicy Carrot and Green Apple Salad



This recipe is adapted from a carrot salad recipe I found on one of the south indian blogs. It is a very refreshing salad and I like it very much. The sauteed mustard seeds add an extra flavour to the salad.

Ingredients: 

Carrots shredded - 2
Green Apple Shredded - 1
Fresh Cilantro - 1 tbs
Fresh lemon juice - 1 tbs
Ginger grated - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fresh Curry leaves - a few
Green chillies - 1 small (optional)
Vegetable oil - 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. Mix together the shredded carrots and apple. Add chopped cilantro.
2. Heat 1/2 tsp vegetable oil in a small sauce pan. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is just hot to make them splutter. Add the chopped curry leaves and remove immediately and pour it on the shredded salad mix.
3. Add lemon juice, salt and sugar, toss well and serve. Enjoy!

Apple grape salad



A refreshing salad for lunch or dinner as a snack or a side dish in summer.  This is a very simple salad to make from the fruits you have at home, especially when you are pressed for time and your imagination has deserted you. Cut up an apple or pear, some grapes or berries and throw them in together with a handful of spring mix, garnish with some chopped walnuts, drizzle some dressing on top and voila your salad is ready in no time! You may any dressing of your choice. I also use lemon poppy seed dressing sometimes.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

Green apple - 1
Red grapes  -  1/2 cup
Spring mix -   1 cup
Walnuts      -   1tbs

For the lemon dijon dressing:

Lemon juice (fresh) - 1 tbs
Dijon mustard - 1tsp
Brown sugar   -  a pinch
Olive oil          - 1tbs
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Wash, peel and thinly slice the green apple. Deseed and cut in half the red grapes.
2. Layer the spring mix on a plate, then throw in the apple slices followed by the grapes on top.
3. Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a bottle and shake well to blend.
4. Sprinkle chopped walnuts and drizzle the dressing on top.
5. The salad is now ready to be served. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chicken Dijon

This is a quick chicken dish for those who are pressed for time and want something quick and easy to make and at the same time is good to eat.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
Chicken breast - 1 lb
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Djon mustard - 2tsp
Mayonnaise- 4 tbs
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil- 2 tbs + 1 tsp

Method:
1. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces.
2. Rub garlic paste, salt and pepper.
3. Add 2 tbs olive oil to a sauce pan. Stir fry on medium heat till they are well cooked  and are golden and crispy. 
4. Remove from pan into a serving bowl.
5. Combine dijon, mayonnaise and olive oil and add it to the chicken. Mix well and enjoy.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Oats with poached egg


I got tired of eating oats with milk and sugar, so tried this indianized oats recipe which my mom used to make, gave a twist to it and enjoyed it so much! I added my own home made yoghurt (which had turned a little sour) along with fresh curry leaves and chopped cilantro. The Poached egg in the oats was just perfect, so lip smackingly yummy and really satisfying to have it in the morning as your first meal of the day. It was also a very nutritious and healthy breakfast.

Try this recipe.

Ingredients:
Quick cooking Oats -  1/4 cup  (cooking time -1.5 mins)
Onion chopped - 1 tbs
Ginger garlic paste - 1/8 tsp (optional)
Green chilly deseeded (optional) - 1 very small
Curry leaves or mint (fresh) - 4 or 5
Cilantro (chopped) - 1 tsp
Yoghurt - 1 tbs (optional)
Egg - 1
Salt to taste
Water - 11/2 cups
Olive oil - 1 - 2 tsp

Method: 
1.Put the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat.
2. Add the chopped onion, curry leaves and the green chilly. You may omit the green chilly if you don't want it or add half of it. I added a very small one after removing the seeds just for the zing. It wasn't hot for me.
3. Fry till the onions turn translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste - a little just for its flavor, then the whipped yoghurt. You can make it without the ginger garlic paste and yoghurt too and it still tastes good.
4. Now add the water and let it come to a boil.
5. Add the oats, salt and chopped cilantro and let it cook for 2 mins.
6. Break the egg first into a small bowl then slide it slowly into the sauce pan with the runny oats.
7. Simmer for 2 more mins till the egg is poached to your choice - half done, well done or runny. I like it with the center still runny but the sides slightly done. Add a tablespoon of some sour yoghurt and chopped curry leaves as a final touch and enjoy!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Avocado Mango Salad




Ingredients:
Ripe Avocados - 2
Ripe Mangoes - 1
Hot pickled peppers - a few 

For the dressing:
Lemon juice = 2 tbs
Salt to taste 
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tbs
Dijon Mustard - 1/2 tsp

Method:  
1. Peel, remove the stone and cut the avocado into cubes.
2. Peel, wash and cut the mango into cubes too.
3. Add coarsely chopped pickled peppers.
4. Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients. 
5. Sprinkle dressing on the avocado mango pieces.
6. Toss gently with two forks and serve. 





Egg Plant Bun Sandwich


Those who are not fond of egg plant would love this sandwich for sure. It can be packed for lunch to school or work place. So quick and easy to make and so healthy and nutritious!


Ingredients:
Egg Plant large - 1
Buns                 - 1
Dijon Mustard  - 1 tsp
Cream Cheese   - 2 tbsp
Green Olives     -  2-4
Pickled Dill       -  1 tsp chopped
Pickled Peppers  -  1- 2 rings chopped
Olive Oil             - 2 tbs
Salt and Pepper to sprinkle on the egg plant.


Method:
1. Wash, wipe dry and cut the egg plant into slices.
2. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, brush with olive oil and bake in the oven till golden brown at 400 degrees fahrenheit for around 10 -15 mins.
3. Mix together cream cheese and dijon mustard then add the chopped olives, pickled peppers and dill. You may add some chopped parsely or cilantro if you want. Mix well and keep aside.
4. Toast the two halves of the bun and spread the prepared cream cheese dijon mixture on the insides of the bun halves.
5. Place the baked egg plant slices on top of the bottom bun half spread with cream cheese mix, then drizzle some ketchup and/or chilly sauce on them,  top with the other half of the bun which is also spread with cream cheese mix and enjoy your yummy healthy and nutritious bun sandwich.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Black Rice Porridge


I had this porridge for my breakfast this morning instead of oats. I made it with the left over cooked black rice that I had in the fridge. It tasted nutty and delicious and I enjoyed eating it and wished there was more.... 

The health benefits of Black rice are amazing. It is a naturally gluten free grain, a super food that can keep you healthy. You will be surprised to know that it is packed with 18 amino acids and loaded with vitamins (a good source of vitamin B and E), minerals, is rich in iron and full of antioxidants. A spoonful of black rice has more antioxidants than a spoonful of blue berries. It is called a super food because of its high nutritive content and is known to prevent major diseases like cancer, Alzeimer's, diabetes, and lowers the risk of heart attack, also helps reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Studies show that Black rice contains a large amount of anthocyanin, an ingredient capable of controlling cholestrol levels than any other supplement available today. Read more about black rice on http://www.blackrice.com. 

I had also posted a black rice recipe earlier and it was a black rice salad. You can view the recipe here: http://www.mamasecretrecipes.blogspot.ca/2011/09/black-rice-salad.html

For best results in cooking Black rice, it has to be soaked overnight. Otherwise it takes longer to cook. It is better to cook it in the water it has been soaking in as its nutrients would be lost. 


Ingredients: 

1 Cup Black rice 
1.5 litres (6 cups) of Water 
1 Small Sliced Onion 
1Tsp Butter / Olive oil
1/4 Tsp Ginger garlic paste 
1/2 Tbs Salt
1 Tsp Chopped Cilantro 


Method: 

1. Wash the rice 2 or 3 times and soak it in water overnight. There should be at least 2 inches of water above the rice.

2. Bring to boil 1.5 litres of water in a pot. Add the black rice and 1/2 tbs of salt. 

3. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Stir one or two times just to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

4. Check to see if the rice is soft  and cooked, but not mushy.  If not, then add a little more water and simmer for some more time. 

5. To a sauce pan on medium heat add the butter or olive oil and fry the sliced onion till soft and golden. 

6. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry with the onions.

7. To this add the cooked black rice and 1 cup of water. Let it simmer till the water evaporates and starts thickening. When it attains porridge consistency, remove from heat. 

8. Garnish with a little chopped cilantro and serve warm. Good as a breakfast cereal. Very tasty and delicious.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Egg Salad


Ingredients:
Spring Mix - 1 cup
Boiled eggs - 2 sliced
Black and Green olives - 2 each crushed 
Tomatoes - 1 diced
Mushrooms sliced - 2 lightly fried in olive oil. 

For the Dressing:
Lemon juice - 2 tbs
Olive oil1 tbs
Salt to taste
Pepper - 1/2 tap
Dijon mustard - 1/4 tsp

Method:
1. Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the dressing ingredients and whisking them well. 
2. Add 3/4th of the dressing to the spring mix after adding sliced fried mushrooms, olives, and diced tomatoes. Toss and mix well.
3. Layer the salad mix on a serving plate. Top with sliced boiled eggs.
4. Drizzle the remaining dressing on the eggs and enjoy. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Apple berry salad


This is a very nutritious and yummy salad that you can make with any kind of berries and apples at home. It is my own creation. Last time I used blue berries instead of strawberries and red baby romaine leaves and it was as good as this one. You may also add dried cranberries if you wish. As for the nuts I used almonds and I don't think any other nuts would go well with this salad. The almonds, sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds I feel is a good combination and should not be replaced with anything else in order to enjoy this salad. Also the apples have to be sweet and I used Fuji apples.

Well here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
Fuji apple - 1
Strawberries or blueberries - a few
Baby romaine lettuce - a few leaves
Almonds - 6
Blue poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sunflower seeds - 1/2 tsp

Dressing:
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Frank's red hot - 1/2 tsp
Honey - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tbs
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt and Pepper 

Method:
1. Wash and thinly slice the apple and cut the slices into smaller bite size pieces.
2. Slice the strawberries as well. If you have blue berries, just throw them in.
3. Mix together the apple and strawberries. Sprinkle over, the sesame and poppy seeds. Chop the almonds and set everything aside.
4. Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients and whisking the mixture well.
5. First drizzle a little of the dressing on the romaine leaves and arrange them on a salad plate.
6. Then drizzle some more dressing on the apples and berry mixture. Mix well.
7. Put the apple and berry mixture on top of the arranged baby romaine leaves.
8. Throw in the sun flower seeds and chopped almonds on top, drizzle the rest of the dressing and enjoy.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Koobideh

My Koobideh call for no fat, absolutely no fat at all. Yet when I made them nobody could tell the difference! They were just as juicy as any other koubideh and everybody just enjoyed them asking for seconds and thirds.

I always wanted to make koobideh but without fat and each time I tried they turned out so dry and tasteless that it felt like eating a piece of cardboard. I got fed up and stopped trying altogether.

 It so happened that after making kibbeh there was so much extra lean finely ground beef left over and I had to use it all up (I never refreeze any food after partially or completely defrosting it). While I was just speculating on how I could make juicy kebabs with it, what I should add - eggs and cornstarch or  mushrooms, etc, etc, my eyes fell on the almond butter bottle in the shelf and lo and behold my juicy koobideh were born!

What can be a better substitute to fat other than almond butter? It not only gives a better taste but is a much better healthy choice as well. "Almond butter is not only a good source of protein but is packed with monounsaturated fats, which are good for the heart, and also helps to control blood sugar".

Some people might argue that the fat burns off when you grill them so why take the unnecessary expensive alternative of using almond butter. The fact is that the fat does not entirely burn off. When the kebabs cool down you can still see a film of fat sticking to them. And this fat can clog your arteries and give you a heart attack.

Here's the recipe!

Ingredients:
1 kg Finely ground extra lean beef (no skin and 0% fat)
1 tbs Garlic paste                            
1 tsp Black pepper ground              
2 tbs Fried onions (either store bought or home made)
2 tsp Seven spices                          
1 tsp All spice                                
1 tsp Cumin powder                      
1 tsp Salt as per taste)
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup Almond butter                         -
1 tbs Vegetable oil (optional)
1-2 tbs Water                                      
4-6 Flat metal skewers                

Method:

1. Grind together fried onions, garlic paste and fresh parsley along with all the spices and 1 tblspn of water.  Add this paste to the ground beef.


2. Add the 1/2 a cup of almond butter with the almond oil to the beef. Keep kneading it like dough till it stops sticking and starts leaving the sides of the container.  If it is too sticky and dry add just 1/2 - 1tbs of water. The more you knead the lighter the kebab texture. The kebab dough should be moist and airy and should not stick to your hands. Knead well and leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour or two.

3. Do not add any extra vegetable oil if the almond butter is runny and if you can see the almond oil covering the top of the almond butter.

4. Brush the skewers with oil as this makes it easier to slide off the kebab when it is done. With clean wet hands take a golf size ball of the prepared ground beef and wrap it around the skewer till it holds together. Shape it into a nice, long, smooth and round sausage then with your index and middle finger mimicking scissors pinch both ends of the kebab alongside to form ridges.


5. Repeat the steps for all of them. Leave enough room on either side of the skewers so as to rest them on the grill.

6. Set your oven to broil on high (or 550 degrees fahrenheit).

7. Take an old cookie sheet and cover it with tin foil. Place the skewers on the cookie sheet. Then place it under the grill in the top position of the oven.

8. Broil for 3-4 mins on each side. Do not over cook as they would harden. When you see them turning golden brown turn over and cook for another 3- 4 mins till they are done. Keep some tin foil ready. Remove them from the oven. Slide them off with the help of salad tongs into the tin foil and wrap them up immediately.  This helps in retaining the moisture and heat till you serve them. You have to be very careful and use oven gloves while handling the skewers as they are very hot.

9. Serve them hot with persian or afghani rice and yoghurt mint chutney which you can make by adding 1 - 2 tsp dried mint leaves, 1/2 and inch chopped ginger, salt and pepper to 1/2 a cup yoghurt.

10. You may also grill some vegetables (tomatoes, green, red peppers, onions etc) in a skewer to eat with the kebabs.   Serve them hot on a bed of sliced onions and mint chutney with persian or afghani rice. Enjoy the koobideh and eat your way to health.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Black rice salad



Yes, Black rice is the kind of food that can save your life! It is one of the special breeds of rice specifically reserved for kings in ancient times. It is chinese black rice and is different from wild rice and thai black rice. Rich in iron, vitamin E and full of antioxidants it has a natural healing power and anti-aging properties. It has more antioxidants than blueberries, less sugar and high fibre. It is a good substitute for prescriptive drugs which are taken to break down arterial plaque and fight high cholestrol levels. Unlike the prescribed medications it has no side effects. It has also become known as the 'super food' because of its high nutritional value. Read about the health benefits and some interesting facts on www.blackrice.com . Want to try it? It is available in Costco.


Ingredients:
Black rice - 2 cups
Red pepper - 1
Green pepper - 1
Spring onions - 2 stalks
Cherry tomatoes - 10
Curly Parsely - 1/2 cup chopped

Dressing:
Olive oil -2 tblspns
Juice of 1 Orange
Juice of one lemon
Lemon zest - 1 tspn finely chopped
Chopped ginger - 2 tblspns
Dijon mustard - 1/2 tspn
Salt - 1/2 tspn
Black Pepper - 1/2 tspn

Method:

1. Wash the black rice 3 or 4 times in water and let it soak overnight or for at least 2 hours.

2. Boil the soaked rice in a large pot filled with water. Add 2 tbs salt and let the rice cook till it is just done (al dente not overcooked). Drain and set aside till it cools.

3.  Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Cut the green and red pepper into small dices, chop finely the green onions and parsley, deseed the cherry tomatoes, cut them into halves. Use paper towels to dab the vegetables dry.

4. Add the cut vegetables to the cooled black rice. Sprinkle salt and pepper as required. Mix well with a fork.

5. For the dressing whisk all the ingredients well. Keep aside.

6. Drizzle the dressing on the rice salad just before serving.  Enjoy.