Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cheese Crackers


I came across this Martha Stewart recipe for cheese crackers and its a great recipe.  For health reasons I have totally removed all-purpose-flour from our diet. I have been replacing all purpose flour with Besan (chickpea flour).  So I have used besan in this recipe.

Ingredients : 1 cup grated cheese (you may use cheddar, havarti, swiss or any other kind you have on hand) 
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup Besan
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tbsp milk or cream

Method: Put all of the above ingredients in a food processor and blend until it forms a dough.  Divide the dough into two parts.  Place each part in a ziploc bag and roll each part into 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Refrigerate the rolled dough for 30 minutes.  Remove from fridge after 30 minutes and remove the dough from the plastic bag cut each rectangle into 1 inch squares.  Put this on a baking tray with a parchment paper on it leaving a 1/4 inch gap between each piece.  Refrigerate this for 20 minutes.  Now preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Remove the baking tray from fridge after 20 minutes and bake for 15 to 17 minutes.  Remove the crackers from the oven and let it cool.

Note: I had havarti cheese flavoured with Jalapeno which is what I used for the above recipe and it tasted amazing! 



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Vegan chocolate Protein Balls

I wanted something quick and satisfying to eat after a run. I found this easy snack that takes 5 minutes to make once you have your food processor and all the ingredients ready.  This probably could be made in a regular blender also but I haven't tried it.

Ingredients:

Oats - 1 cup
Cashewnuts (raw or roasted) - 1 cup
Chocolate powder (unsweetened) - 1/3 cup
Protein powder - 2 scoops
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Pitted dates - 8
Ripe banana - 1 or 2



Method:

In a food processor combine 1 cup oats, 1 cup cashews, 1/3 cup cocao powder, 2 scoops protein powder 1/4 tsp salt and 8 pitted dates.  Blend for 2 minutes or so.  Add 1 ripe banana and blend again until a dough is formed. This takes a few seconds.  If its not forming a dough add another banana.  Remove the dough and make even sized balls. This makes 25 balls. You can store this in the fridge for upto a week.


Mung Bean Crepes

Crepes can be a very delicious way to eat healthy.  You can make them in so many varieties. It is great for whipping up a quick, tasty and healthy breakfast. I share one of my favourites here...

Ingredients:

Mung beans - 1 cup
Rice (any variety) - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp

Ginger - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1/4 cup chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 5  (or to your taste)
Salt
Water

Coconut oil or butter

Soak overnight 1 cup of Mung beans (green or yellow or both) see the picture below..., 1/2 cup brown rice or any rice, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds.  In the morning when you are ready to make crepes. Blend together the soaked items, 1 tbsp ginger, 5 green chilles, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 small onion (1/4 cup) to a smooth batter.
Add some water as required.  Heat a cast iron pan or any non-stick pan and pour 1/4 cup batter onto the pan and spread into a thin crepe.  This is really much easier than you think.  Once the crepe is fully cooked (this should take a minute or two) transfer onto a serving plate and spread some butter or coconut oil whichever you prefer.  Serve with your favourite chutney or sauce.  This goes very well with coconut chutney. I have posted the recipe for coconut chutney earlier.  Also at the end of this blog post you may watch the video of the crepe being made...





In the morning when you are ready to make crepes. Blend together the soaked items, 1 tbsp ginger, 5 green chilles, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 small onion (1/4 cup) to a smooth batter.  Heat a cast iron pan or any non-stick pan and pour 1/4 cup batter onto the pan and spread into a thin crepe.  This is really much easier than you think.  Once the crepe is fully cooked (this should take a minute or two) transfer onto a serving plate and spread some butter.  Serve with your favourite chutney or sauce.  This goes very well with coconut chutney. I have posted the recipe for coconut chutney earlier.  Also at the end of this blog post you may watch the video of the crepe being made...
watch the video below to see how the crepe is made...





Friday, June 26, 2015

Breakfast Smoothie!

Here is a refreshing smoothie I made this morning. Makes for a great after workout drink.


Ingredients:
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 tsp chopped ginger
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Banana

Put all of the above ingredients in a blender and grind until smooth.

Oats Smoothie for Breakfast

Ingredients ;

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oats
1 cup almond milk

pinch of turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 apple chopped into pieces
1 Banana peeled and chopped

Combine water, oats and almond milk in the blender jar. Add turmeric, cinnamon, maple syrup
Vanilla extract, banana and apple and blend until smooth. This is a great power breakfast and keeps you full for a long time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Swiss Chard, Almond & Fruit Smoothie

I made this smoothie today and felt good in my stomach after drinking it...

Here's the recipe:

Blend together 1 cup of almond milk, 1 Banana, 3/4 cup frozen cherries, 6 or 7 fresh strawberries and 1 cup (packed) Swiss chard. You may use what ever greens you have available instead of swiss chard.

If you don't have almond milk use 1 to 1.5 cups of water and a handful of almonds...


Monday, May 18, 2015

If you like to eat salad for every meal like I do and would like to make it interesting by adding on a delicious salad dressing, I found couple of great recipes on this web site called allrecipes.com I am happy to share these videos here on my blog. I have tried both these recipes and they were so good! Each time you prepare these dressings it will last a few days so you don't have to prepare a dressing everyday for your salad. Just copy and paste the links below in your browser...

Note: Greek salad recipe in the video calls for 1 cup of vinegar.  That is a lot! I scaled that down to 1/4 cup.

http://allrecipes.com/video/1061/absolutely-fabulous-greek-dressing/detail.aspx


http://allrecipes.com/video/2815/asian-ginger-dressing/detail.aspx

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quick & Easy Cholé

One of the most common dishes you will find at any Indian restaurant is a dish called "Chana Masala" or "Cholé". This is one of the most heart healthy and delicious dishes. It is so easy to make at home. I am excited to share this recipe with you all.

Ingredients:
4 tbsp Coconut oil
1 can 19oz Garbanzo beans
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida (optional) - Omit this if you want a gluten free dish
1 tbsp Besan or chickpea flour

Tomato pureé of 1 1/2 large tomato
1 1/2 tsp Ginger crushed
4 green chillies or add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder.
3 cloves of garlic crushed

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
4 tsp Coriander powder
Salt to taste
About 1/2 tsp garam masala

Method:

Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a pot.  Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the cumin seeds start popping add 1 tbsp of Besan and fry for 5 or 6 seconds until the besan turns slightly brown. Be careful not to burn it.

To this add Tomato puree, crushed ginger, crushed garlic and minced green chillies.  You may grind tomato, ginger, garlic and green chillies in a blender and add this to the pot. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

Now add turmeric powder, Coriander powder. At this time also add cayenne pepper if you are not adding green chillies.  Fry for a minute or two. Add drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, Salt to taste and 3/4 cup (or a little more)of water. Mix well and let the chickpeas cook for about 10 minutes stirring in between and making sure the chickpeas don't burn. Add garam masala powder and mix well. Turn off stove.  Add 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro or coriander leaves and mix well.

Enjoy your cholé with cooked brown rice or any type of roti or flat bread.

Friday, May 1, 2015

How To Improve Your Personality | 9 Personality Enhancing Tips



alpha m is a favourite channel of mine on youtube that has quality content. The content is mostly related to men's fashion and personality development.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Heavenly Coconut & Poppy Seed Pudding (Payasam)

I am so thankful to the many people who share their traditional family recipes on The Internet. One such site is foodandremedy.com that post traditional Karnataka recipes. Karnataka is one of the provinces in southern India offering some wonderful culinary delights.   I have tried some of these recipes and they are absolutely delicious! Most of the time I use these websites for my own reference.  I share one of my favourites today...



Poppy Seed & Coconut pudding:

Heat 2 tsp of Coconut oil or Ghee or butter. In it fry 1 tbsp of brown rice & 3 tbsp poppy seeds.  After about a  few seconds or a minute or so it starts smelling absolutely heavenly.  Now turn off stove and set the pot aside.  

Have 3 cups of water ready.  Take 3/4 cup of jaggery (palm sugar) in a pot. Add a little water to it and heat until it melts.  Strain it and set aside. If you want to skip this step just use about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of honey or maple syrup depending on how sweet you like your pudding.

To the fried poppy seeds and brown rice add 1/2 cup of grated fresh coconut, a little water, 3 Cardamom pods(slightly break it) and add to the blender and blend until smooth. Add this paste, remaining water, melted jaggery or honey or maple syrup to a pot and bring to a boil. Boil for a minute and turn off the stove. Pour this into cups and serve. This makes enough quantity for 4 people

Chia Pudding

I had mentioned previously about my chiropractor who constantly posts links to great nutritious recipes on his twitter and facebook page.  I do try these recipes when I can.  They are very good recipes. I just tried one of these...Chia Pudding....Recipe below:

In a glass or a small jar pour in 12 oz (350ml) almond milk. Add 3 tablespoons of chia seeds.  Mix well and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes;longer the better...Add some maple syrup. The recipe called for 1 tsp of coconut sugar.  I didn't have that. So I added maple syrup.

If you can please do try this recipe. It is so heavenly and filling.  I had this for breakfast and didn't feel hungry for a long time.

Monday, April 20, 2015

What to drink after a run, jog or any workout...

I often think about what to drink or eat after a workout or a run.  This is my latest favourite drink after a run...

Blend together 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, one scoop of protein powder (I use whey powder), 1 banana and 6 or 7 strawberries and pour this into a tall glass or a glass jar and enjoy it.  This is so simple and easy to make.

If you don't have bananas or strawberries simply add your favourite fruits or berries and enjoy...Sometimes I even add cranberries or cherries, or strawberries & cherries instead of bananas and strawberries...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coconut & Almond Chutney

Blend together 1 to 1 1/4 cup grated coconut, about half a cup of Almonds, Ginger chopped 1 tablespoon & 6 thai chillies until smooth.  Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add cumin seeds 1 tsp. When you hear a popping sound add a few Curry leaves and Asafoetida and turn off the stove immediately. Add this seasoning to the chutney. Add salt as required. I added 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well and serve with the crepes I have posted below.

If you don't have curry leaves and asafoetida just omit them.  But adding curry leaves and asafoetida gives an amazing aroma and flavour to the chutney.  You may also add mustard seeds instead of cumin.

Taking care of your spine...

My name is Vani and I blog about my life experiences. Starting this 2015 one of my resolutions was to increase my repertoire in music and take good care of my health. I say health because I have been suffering from chronic back and neck pain. So I signed up to have an assessment done by a chiropractor who fixes any misaligments in your spine.  It happened to be one of the best decisions I've taken.  After 2 months of treatment I have no pain in my back or my neck.  I am able to sit comfortably at the piano, meditate longer and focus better.  My walking is good... I don't feel any discomfort in my knees or lower back while I walk.  I don't get any headaches I used to suffer when exposed to sun even for 3 minutes.  I have a wonderful chiropractor who constantly gives us latest and  greatest information about nutrition and health.  You may follow him on twitter @DrSandyBhasin or facebook https://www.facebook.com/drbhasin/ to learn about proper nutrition or a healthy lifestyle.  Wishing you all a great day and a great week...

Oats, Brown Rice and Lentil Crepes or Dosa...

I made these crepes this morning and it was so yummy I had to share. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  I have to thank couple of charming ladies on youtube for sharing this recipe.  They have a channel called showmethecurry.  You can check it out if you like.

Now for the recipe...

Soak 1 cup of brown rice along with 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds in water for 7 to 8 hours.  Also soak 1 cup of white lentils (urad dal or vigna mungo) in water and 3 cups of oats (in 2.5 cups of water) for an hour.  Then grind all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth adding enough water.  Grind them in batches. Mix the batter well in a big bowl set it aside for 8 to 10 hours to ferment.

If you live in a cold climate put the batter in the oven and turn it on 250 degrees F for 4 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let the batter be in it overnight or for 8 to 10 hours. Don't open the oven door for those 8 to 10 hours.

Add salt to the batter and mix well. Now the batter is ready for making crepes or dosas.  Enjoy the crepes with coconut-almond chutney. The  recipe for the chutney is posted above... thanks for reading my blog.  You may post any questions you have regarding this recipe.