They say Breakfast is a very important meal of the day and I know that lot of you ladies, like me, do not feel like cooking breakfast in the morning. I am definitely not a morning person and that is why I skip breakfast sometime because I just don’t feel like cooking as soon as I get up. I tried making eggs and toast for sometime but I just didn’t feel like doing it in the morning. So I ended up eating the leftover dinner for breakfast because all I had to do was just heat it in the microwave and it’s ready.
But for the past week, I have been thinking of going back to being healthy. I have lost the way ever since I came back from our trip to India. I stopped keeping my eye on the food I eat and suddenly I realized that some of the clothes feel tight on me and that is not good. So I ended up looking for ideas to get back to being healthy.
And lo behold, I found a health blog called Running with Spoons and I am getting ideas from her recipes and I love it. I kind of tweaked her recipe to what I had in my pantry and I made this oatmeal smoothie and ever since I am addicted to drinking them in the morning and I don’t feel hungry for at least 3 hours and that is great.
Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie
- 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Organic Multi-grain Hot Cereal
- 1/2 cup Whole milk
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1 tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 2 tsp Cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp Honey
- Place all the ingredients in a container and soak them overnight.
- The next morning, just add them to the blender and blend till they have a smooth consistency.
- Add additional water if you think it is too thick.
And there it is a yummy morning breakfast which I have been drinking with variations each day. Some days I add fruits or dates or almond butter, etc. I think this is one of my favorite, easy and quick breakfast in the morning.
I have never cooked Tomatillo in my life and somehow I just thought it was just a green tomato. Then I saw this in my grocery store and I thought why not try something. They looked gorgeous. They are covered by a dry papery skin and inside is a shiny green tomatillo. Be sure to wash the tomatillo since it kinda had a sticky feel to it.
I was looking at some recipes to try and then thought why not a Tomatillo Sambar since I have never made it before it could have been a disaster but somehow it turned out good. It was a little bit since I never thought that the Tomatillo will be sour but it worked out fine in the end.
Instead of the traditional Toor dhal, I used the Masoor Dhal because of the cooking time and it was really good.
- Tomatillo - 8 pieces
- Masoor Dhal - 1/2 Cup
- Red Onions - 1, Sliced thin
- Sambar Powder - 1 Tbsp
- Curry Leaves - 6 leaves
- Asafoetida - a pinch
- Sesame oil - 2 tsp
- Cilantro - handful, chopped
- salt to taste
- Add the Dhal, tomatillo and 1 1/2 cup water in the pressure cooker and switch it off after 5 whistles.
- Then in a kadai, add sesame oil and saute the onions till they get translucent.
- Add 3 cups of water, curry leaves and asafoetida to the onions and let it boil for about 5 minutes.
- Add the sambar powder and boil again for 5 minutes
- Add the cooked dhal, tomatillo and salt to the mix and boil it for about 5 more minutes.
- Switch the burner off and add the cilantro to the sambar.
I am obsessed with Thai Iced Tea and I think it’s more to do with the flavor. They have a distinct flavor which I love and it is also very addictive. I always get these in Thai restaurants, Though I love it, I still don’t like the sugary taste of it since they do add a lot of sugar. So I decided to try it at home. I researched online and found that Pantai Thai Tea is a good brand to use. I found them on Amazon and it as like $7 so I decided to see if I could find it in Asian Market. And I did find it from our nearest Asian Market and it was $3.99 and I was like :yay: and I was so freaking happy I found it.
When I opened the package the first thing which I noticed is the smell. It smells flowery but I just can’t hit on the exact smells. After lot of research (yes, I wasted my time doing it), I found that they add Dok Nom Maew which is a flower found in Thailand. But today they add artificial flavoring which taste like that. Also a thing to keep in mind is that it has food coloring which gives it a distinct orange color tea. Personally, I don’t mind it. I did find a recipe but I did find it too sweet. So with trial and errors I finally found a recipe which works for me .
- 16 oz/500ml Water
- 1/4 cup Thai Tea Mix
- 2 tbsp of Agave nectar
- 1/4 cup of Half & Half
- Boil the water and switch it off.
- Add the tea leaves to the water and leave it for 5 min
- Strain the water and leave it to cool off till its in room temperature
- Then mix the agave and the half & half.
- Serve it with some ice cubes.
I absolutely love looking at food blogs because you can be inspired and get ideas. I was searching for some dessert recipes since I have guests coming over for dinner tonight and I found this recipe and I fell in love with it. I HAD to try it. I love coconut milk and pudding/payasam who doesn’t love it . I found the original recipe from here but I changed some ingredients to suit me 😀 .
1 1/2 cup tapioca seeds
3 cups coconut milk (drinking variety, found in the milk section near soy, almond milk, etc)
1 can of coconut milk (cooking variety)
1 1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp of Pure Vanilla essence
12 pods of cardamom, powdered/crushed
handful of cashew nuts, broken
handful of raisins
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp ghee
- Soak the tapioca seeds in coconut milk (drinking variety) overnight.
- Place them in the stove and add the can of coconut milk (full fat). Let it boil in a medium heat. Stir occasionally so that the seeds don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once it is boiling, add the vanilla, cardamom and sugar. Stir them and let it boil for 10 min.
- In a separate pan toast the sesame seeds till its light brown and keep them separately.
- In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of ghee and fry the broken cashew buts till its brown and keep them aside.
- Then add the raisin and fry till they get swollen and keep aside.
- Finally add the fried cashews and raisins to the pudding and stir them.
- Serve the pudding in a dish with toasted sesame seeds on top :D.
They tasted amazing, but I think I should have reduced the amount of sugar at least for me but hubby thought it was good 😀 . Add sugar to your taste but this vegan dessert is fantastic version of our normal Payasam. Thank God It came out good 😆 .
Ever since I have been playing with my iPad, I have found an app called Flipboard which is one of my favourite of the bunch. I have been subscribing to the food category and I found this recipe in one of their article. I took this recipe from a website called the year in food. As soon as I read this recipe, I had to do it. My mouth was watering for so many days and I finally did them on last wednesday. It is quite easy.
Strawberries – sliced, 16 0z
Coconut milk – 2 cans, not lite
Powdered Cardamom – 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Preheat oven to 350 deg
- Add 1 tsp sugar to the sliced strawberries and place them on a foil in the oven. Roast for about 30 min or till the strawberries are lightly caramelized.
- In a pan, Pour coconut milk, cardamom and sugar over a low flame. Stir till the sugar is dissolved and then cool it for 10 min.
- Combine it with the strawberries and pour them into the Popsicle mold.
- I got 6 Popsicle and lot of leftover which I kept them in the freezer in a box.
One of our friend is a Vegan and we have invited them over to our house and I did this dessert . It’s really simple and super tasty 😀 . I never thought that it would be this easy. I was pretty skeptical when I got all the ingredients. I searched in the Internet and have joined 2 version to make this dessert. This recipe serves about 5 cups of dessert.
24 oz Silken Tofu, firm
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp of Vanilla essence
4 large Bananas
6 Cinnamon Graham Crackers
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp water
9 oz disposable plastic cups
- Add the pieces of Graham cracker, water and oil and make them into a crust. It must look like a very dry dough.
- Then in a different blender add 2 bananas, sugar and vanilla essence and blend them to a smooth paste.
- Then add the tofu and the soy milk and blend them. It ends up being a thick mousse like consistency.
- In a plastic cup, first add the cracker crust and press them so that it becomes a layer. Add some banana slices as the next layer and followed by the tofu mixture. Smoothen the top of the mousse and decorate it with a piece of banana.
- Refrigerate them for at least 2 hrs or in my case overnight .
I wanted to make soup for a long time and finally decided on making a Mushroom soup. This recipe was taken from The complete book of soups and stews by Bernard Clayton, JR.
Mushroom, sliced into thin pieces – 1 1/2 pounds
Heavy Cream – 2 cups
Milk – 2 cups
Butter – 1 stick
All purpose Flour – 2 tbsp
Ground Pepper – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Melt half a stick of butter in a heavy bottom pan.
Once it melts, add the mushroom and toss them around for a minute and close the pan for about 10 min or more till the mushroom is fully cooked.
Once done, keep aside to cool and then grind them in a blender or food processer. Grind them to a smooth paste.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a moment or so until it bubbles.
Gradually, add the cream and milk mixture, stirring over medium heat until the soup is smooth and thick, about 5 min.
Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and bring it to boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 min, stirring occasionally.
P.S. This soup is so much filling that you don’t need an entrée 😀 . Just serve this with a toast.
This has been taken from Traditional Sweets by Mallika Badrinath.
Dehusked white sesame seeds – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Ghee – 2 tblsp
Cooking soda – a pinch
- Dry roast sesame seeds little at a time till it puffs up. Take care not to discolor it.
- Heat ghee and sugar together in a heavy frying pan.
- Reduce flame and stir just once or twice till sugar is melted completely.
- Remove from fire and quickly mix the sesame seeds and cooking soda.
- Apply ghee to rolling pin and on top of a thick plastic sheet.
- Pour nut mixture on top of the sheet and quickly, roll it with rolling pin.
- Cut into pieces when it is still warm.
Since my mom is here for some time, she is trying lot of stuffs from the cookbooks I have so I decided to post some of the recipes she tried . This was taken from Vegetarian Gravies by Mallika Badrinath. She is a popular south Indian lady who has published lot of cook books and she also has a cooking show. Mom did change some method from the original recipe.
1 can Chick peas/Chole/Channa
1 can, chopped tomatoes
1/2 inch Ginger
7 flakes of Garlic
Lemon sized Tamarind
1 tblsp Jaggery
2 tblsp oil
1 tblsp Ghee
Salt as required
2 tsp Chilli powder or to your taste
1 inch Cinnamon
1 tblsp cut Coriander leaves
- Grind onion, garlic, ginger along with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Keep them aside.
- Grind the tomatoes separately.
- Heat Ghee in a frying pan, add cumin seeds.
- When it splutters, add the masala paste & oil and fry in medium flame till ghee separates from it.
- Add tomato puree and keep stirring constantly until the moisture is completely absorbed.
- Add salt, chilli powder, tamarind extract, jaggery and chick peas. Cook until the gravy is thick enough to serve.
- Remove from fire, garnish with corainder leaves.
- Serve hot with chappatis or puris.
P.S. I am into photography these days 😉 . I will be talking about it in the future.
There are lot of recipes out there for this but this recipe is for people who have slow cooker. I have one with me and I didn’t know what to cook with that. Then I found this book for slow cooker and they have amazing recipes. This is a perfect recipe for people who is having a party in their home. This recipe is taken from Flavours of India by Patak’s Food.
Serves : 4 Preparation time : 10 min Cooking time : 2 hrs
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
500 g Canned chickpeas
15 g Onion, chopped
200g Canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Patak’s Tikka Masala Paste
1 tbsp Patak’s Madras Paste
1/2 tsp Sugar
200 ml Water
1 tsp Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in the pan and saute onions until light golden brown.
Add Patak’s tikka masala and madras paste and saute for further 1 min.
Add the tomatoes, cook for further 1 min.
Add the cooked chickpeas, sugar, water and mix well. Trasnfer to the slow cooker and cook high for 2 hrs.
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
Tip : A quick alternative to chickpeas is 200g dried yellow lentils.