Recipe: Caprese Salad

caprese salad

One of our quickest (literally less than 5 minutes) pick-us-up salads is the caprese salad. I mean, who can resist juicy fresh tomatoes, basil and the soulful mozzarella 🙂 I can’t!

Ingredients:

  • as many cherry tomatoes (or regular tomatoes)
  • fresh mozzarella
  • handful of basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Mix chunks of tomatoes with chunks of mozzarella and chopped basil.
  2. Drizzle liberally some extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.

Every single bite is like a burst of freshness in your mouth. Although Fall is already upon us, give this a try with the last remaining vine tomatoes 🙂

#bee

Healthy Chocolate Cake (microwavable)

chocolate cake

Hello friends,

Do you know that the basic chocolate cake has 371 calories? What if I tell you that we can satisfy our chocolate temptations by baking chocolate cake for ourselves at home, in a healthy and easy-to-cook method?

So let’s begin baking!

Ingredients:

  • rolled oats – 1 cup (approx 80 gm)
  • white flour + whole grain flour – 100 gm
  • sunflower seeds – 1 tbsp
  • orange zest – 1 tsp (optional)
  • butter – 100 gm or 1/2 cup
  • olive oil – 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
  • eggs – 3 (separate egg yolks and egg whites)
  • cocoa powder – 3 tbsp
  • baking powder- 1 flat tsp
  • orange essence – 1/2 tsp( optional) or vanilla essence if not using orange rinds
  • milk – 1/3 cup
  • brown sugar – 180 gm
  • orange juice 1/4 cup (optional)
  • sugar syrup 1/4 cup ( mix 1/4 cup water + 1 tsp brown sugar in a pan and heat till sugar dissolves)

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, take sugar, melted butter and olive oil. Beat them together, till the mixture becomes creamy.
  2. Now add egg yolks one by one and keep beating.
  3. Now add the dry mixture of white flour + whole grain flour to egg and sugar mixture. Followed by oats, cocoa powder and baking powder. Mix them all.
  4. Beat the egg whites with 1/3 cup of milk and add vanilla essence or orange essence.
  5. Add the above egg white mixture into the batter and mix them all.
  6. Now in your microwavable greased cake tin, pour the batter and bake it in microwave on ( HIGH POWER) or 800 Power for 6-7 minutes. The time may vary from microwave to microwave. But you may set it for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes prick a fork, if it comes clean, the cake is ready or else set it for another one minute. try the same pricking fork procedure.
  7. Once the cake is baked, you may now let it rest for a while.Then when it is not very hot and comfortable to handle, remove the cake from the tin on a serving dish. When cake is still warm, now poke the cake with fork few times in random fashion and pour over the cake orange juice and sugar syrup. Allow this syrup to get absorbed by cake. This will make your extra soft and yum with its orange Sprinkle some icing sugar if you like.You may serve like this with hot cup of tea or coffee.
  8. But if you fancy some extra decoration on your cake, you try simple technique to make chocolate sauce with 1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 2-3 tsp icing sugar and milk to mix them both in a sauce consistency. Pour it over the cake and add few blanched almonds to give it a finishing and tempting look, plus they are yum and healthy 😉

My husband and I, enjoyed this cake with fruit and greek yogurt instead of any of the above. It was yum!!

#birdie

Recipe: Bhel Snack a.k.a Fruit Salad

One of the quickest healthy, yummy go-to snacks in our house is bhel! Or fruit/veggie salad with some crunchy tid-bits. Call it by any name, cuz it turns out different every time we make it 🙂 Use whatever you have at hand, you can mix-and-match so many different variations.

Basically, it’s a mish-mash of fruits/veggies along with something to hold it all together, such as puffed rice, peanuts, croutons, etc.

Bhel

Ingredients:

  • chopped fruits such as apple, pear, grapes, tomato
  • chopped veggies such as bell pepper, onion, cucumber
  • something crispy to add body and bring the dish together such as puffed rice/ rice krispies/ pori, roasted peanuts, roasted sunflower seeds, croutons
  • dressing and garnish such as lemon/lime juice, salt, chaat masala (a spice mix generally found in Indian stores), fresh coriander leaves, mint, basil.

Method:

  1. Chop all the fruits/veggies. Add the dressing/ garnish. Finally add the crunchy bits. That’s all.

Seriously, even though it seems like there are so many ingredients, it’s very easy to first gather everything, chop it up and put it together. Trust me, it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare this dish! 🙂 And there are sooooo many ways to configure it, depending on what you have in the fridge!

#bee

Recipe: Veggie Dhokla (microwavable)

Hey all!

The recipe which I’m sharing today is my personal favorite. Bee finds it yummy and healthy too. 🙂
The basic idea is to have dhokla. To prepare it quick and simple way.
So let’s get started.

Ingredients:

dhokla base:

  • chickpea flour (besan) – 1/2 cup
  • semolina (suji) – 1/2 cup
  • yogurt – 1 cup
  • salt pinch
  • asafoetida (hing) – pinch
  • fruit salt – 1 small sachet or soda bicarbonate – 1 tsp

veggie mix:

  • corn kennels – 1/3 cup
  • red pepper – 1/3 cup
  • capsicum – 1/3 cup
  • paprika 1 tsp
  • olive oil – 1-2 tsp
  • salt pinch
  • red chilli powder pinch

tempering:

  • lukewarm water – 1 cup
  • white rice vinegar – 1tbsp
  • salt
  • sugar
  • coconut desiccated and coriander leaves and chopped green chillies (optional) to garnish

Method:

1.) Mix all the ingredients under the dhokla base except soda bicarb. Keep it for later use.
2.) In a dish mix all the ingredients under veggie mix. Transfer them on grill tray and grill them till they are golden brown.

dhokla veggie mix
3.) Once the veggies are grilled, mix them into the base mixture and mix them. Add soda bicarb or fruit salt.
4.) Microwave them for 4 – 5 minutes on HIGH POWER (the timings may differ from microwave to microwave and its high power temperature). To check you may poke a fork into the cooked dhokla and if the fork comes out clean, it is done.
5.) Now mix lukewarm water, vinegar, salt and sugar (do remember we added salt in base as well as veggies, so don’t add too much of it).
6.) Pour this water syrup on the dhokla and let it get absorbed.

7.) Once dhokla has soaked the syrup, you may garnish it with chopped coriander leaves, green chillies and desiccated coconut.Seve with tomato ketchup or green mint chutney.

#birdie

Kale Mushroom Pasta

So, here’s a simple healthy pasta recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sliced onion
  • sliced mushrooms (as many!)
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • lots of kale (or spinach)
  • pasta (I used penne + fusilli)
  • water + cream (or coconut milk)
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • cheese (I used muenster)

kale-mushroom-pasta2

Method:

0. Boil water in a big pot. Once it starts boiling, add some salt and the pasta. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes (read instructions on the package). Drain it and keep aside. Also, save some of that pasta water in a separate bowl, we’ll use it in a bit.

While the pasta was cooking, I started my prep work as follows:

1. Heat up a little oil in a pan, saute the onions. Then add garlic.

2. Toss in the mushrooms, let them sear a little.

3. Add the chopped tomato, saute a little.

4. Sprinkle some crushed red chilli pepper flakes, and salt.

5. Then, add the water saved from pasta pot and some coconut milk (just because I had some leftover). It adds that creamy flavour which goes well with mushrooms. Alternatively, you can add water plus a little cream. Or even just plain water works great. Add generously enough to cover up all the veggies. The pasta will soak up all the liquidy goodness!

6. Add pasta and chopped kale. Cover the pan. Lower the heat. Cook for 8-ish minutes. Let the flavours get to know each other.

7. Sprinkle with some (or lots!) cheese, it’ll melt right away and enjoy 🙂

#bee