Chia pudding

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Three days of detox recipes, that’s the theme for this week’s Blogging Marathon.

The idea behind the detox diets is that it flushes out toxins from our body. This is a little controversial as many medical professionals believe that the body can handle the toxin eradication by itself. I am with them for most of the part. But at the same time, good sensible eating never hurt anyone. The way I look at these diets is that they help in taking a break from your regular cooking, reset your palette a little bit towards eating healthier and if you loose some weight in the bargain, then why not?!

I didn’t follow any particular detox diet plan. These are three different recipes that I tried from the internet. I was browsing this page which had a lot of sensible eating detox recipes. That is how I landed in this chia pudding recipe. The best part is that this is overnight recipe, so a little mashing and mixing in the night and breakfast is ready for you in the morning! Read on for the pictorial.

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Recipe source : Oh She Glows

For one serving, mash a banana well. Add two tablespoons of chia seeds to the bowl.

Add about 3/4 cup milk of your choice. Mix well. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2-3 hours for the seeds to bloom. Soak handful of raisins and some almonds. At the time of serving, drain, dice the nuts and sprinkle it on top of the pudding with a dash of ground cinnamon if desired.

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Hara samosa with roti

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“Honey, your breakfast is ready for clicking. Will serve it to you soon.” is a dialogue you will hear only at a food blogger’s place. Mothers usually go,”Please don’t touch the food before washing your hands.” And I go,”Please don’t touch the food before clicking is over.”

Well, the family gets used to these quirks over a period of time. Though I gotta say I dish it out to my man than to my kid. For sometime now, I have been planning so that the photo shoots are done before 3 pm. So for most part, it doesn’t interfere our lives much. But every now and then you will hear the “All it needs is a little camera love” statement.

Like this morning!

Yesterday’s leftover chapatis were given a wonderful makeover with some coriander chutney to spice it up. I made a batch without chilies for my son’s lunch box. Then I added the power packed green chilis and gave another round in the blender for the two of us. The chutney tends to be watery, so a little standing time is good for the water to separate. But I just scooped the chutney from the thicker side and it was fine.

The recipe is from Vaishali’s space. She has stepwise pictures to make this even more simpler than it sounds. This post goes to Blogging Marathon #64 under the theme wheat based recipes.

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Recipe source:  Ribbon’s to Pasta’s

Ingredients:

For grinding

  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, cleaned
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1″ piece ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 green chilies or per taste
  • salt

To serve:

  • 4 leftover chapatis/ tortillas
  • ghee/butter/oil for the pan

Method:

  1. Pulse everything from coriander to chilies together without adding any water.
  2. Take a chapati. Apply a thin and even layer of the ground chutney into it. Fold it into half. It will be a semi circle now. Apply some more chutney onto it. Fold again in half to get quarter of a circle shape.
  3. Heat this in a tawa with a little oil or ghee until its golden brown. Flip and cook both sides. Serve with ketchup or curd. Yum!!
  4. Apply chutney just before putting the samosa in the pan as the wet chutney might tear the folds if it sits for a long time.

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Koki

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It came as a shock to me that off the 30 plus recipes in my drafts folder, there are only a handful of wheat based recipes. Almost everything centers around rice. That was quite an eye opener for me! I needed to do some quick thinking as this week’s chosen theme for Blogging Marathon is wheat based dishes.

Whenever I am in doubt, I just go to Vaishali’s blog. She makes everything look simple and I always find myself willing to try her tasty, but easy to make recipes. Today’s trip ended with me trying the recipe for Koki from her space. I would have loved to try the recipe that uses up leftover rice, but looks like I should reduce my rice fixation a bit. Oh..Who am I kidding? I will try it some other time :D.

Koki is a healthier version of paratha and has a shelf life of couple of a days making it ideal for travel food. It can be made with onions and other masalas also, but that will impact the shelf life. The one here is a simple recipe with only black pepper in it for flavor.

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Add one cup wheat flour, 1 tablespoon ghee/oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt as needed. Mix with hands until it comes to a sandy texture. Make a well in the middle and add water (it took a little less than half cup for me) in small batches. Keep kneading until you get a stiff dough. Divide it into four equal balls.

Roll out the koki into thick chapati using a rolling pin. Use a little flour, if needed to prevent sticking. I didn’t need any. Score lightly with a knife in diamond pattern. Cook in a heated tawa.

Smear some ghee and flip over to cook both sides until golden spots appear. Serve with yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt as needed
  • ghee for smearing on koki while cooking

Method:

  1. Add one cup wheat flour, 1 tablespoon ghee/oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt as needed. Mix with hands until it comes to a sandy texture. Make a well in the middle and add water (it took a little less than half cup for me) in small batches. Keep kneading until you get a stiff dough.
  2. Divide it into four equal balls. Roll out the koki into thick chapati using a rolling pin. Use a little flour, if needed to prevent sticking. I didn’t need any. Score lightly with a knife in diamond pattern.
  3. Cook in a heated tawa. Smear some ghee and flip over to cook both sides until golden spots appear. Serve with yogurt.

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Yogurt smoothie

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

We are at the last leg of the alphabetical journey through popular American dishes and the last week has been more difficult than the rest of the month put together. The alphabets get tougher and the time frame gets tighter. My talk about scheduling flew off the window the minute I said it. That was fine, because I had this recipe ready a long time back. All I had to do was upload the photos and publish it. But nah, it didn’t happen. Not because I was out with my family the whole day, but the laptop went on strike.

Right now my laptop is going through a multi organ failure. The touch pad is gone and is replaced by an external mouse. The machine is extremely slow which makes my man crazy, but I am fine with it. Its sole purpose is for editing pictures and browsing. Now that’s where the second hit came. It’s not connecting to the net. That does make things difficult. To get a post up, now I have to edit using the old laptop. Use a thumb drive to copy. Then connect to our chromebook and upload the pictures and post from there.  Chromebook is wonderful, but hardly useful for my purpose. I am sure that day is around the corner when I have to shed some tears for my laptop. I am getting the handkerchief ready and waiting patiently for it to happen.

Coming to the recipe here, I went for yogurt based recipe for Y.

  • Why? Y wasn’t easy.
  • Why? There were hardly any choices. I had yam, yellow cake and yogurt to choose from. I chose yogurt.
  • Why? Its healthy, easy to make and quite popular.
  • Why? It has probiotic which makes it more nutritional than milk.

So have I answered all the question for my choice? Smoothies are popular all over the world as a healthy breakfast choice. Smoothie bowls are more of a recent trend, but its really filling and nutritious.  Smoothies started appearing in US as early as 1930. That information was new for me, I didn’t expect it to date so back. In the 70s, “Smoothie King” opened and soon had branches all over the country. So in short, smoothies are popular here and there are dedicated stores just for that!

Read on for this highly versatile recipe. You can adjust it according to what you have in your fridge.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • fruits of your choice (I used a handful of strawberries & blueberries, one banana and one kiwi)
  • 2 teaspoonful of peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar/ honey
  • Banana slices, strawberry slices, chocolate chips,pistachios

Method:

  1. Blend everything together. Taste test and add sugar to adjust the taste or yogurt to get the right consistency.
  2. Pour into a bowl, decorate with fruit pieces, nuts and chocolate chips. Enjoy!

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Uncrustables

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

Yes yes yes, I hear you…and I agree. This is no recipe. What I wanted for the ‘U’ was a classic American cake -the Upside down pineapple cake. I wanted to make it in the cast iron skillet like it was made long ago. But unfortunately, I didn’t have any of those beautiful red cherries to brighten up the cake. Or pineapples. Or eggs. Or flour.Or any other fruits in fact. All I have is, erm…the cast iron skillet :D.

Its time for grocery shopping, but before that I have to face the alphabet ‘U’. And that’s when I saw the last two slices of bread. Well, no lunch for my son tomorrow, but hurrah… I have something for you, I mean ‘U’!

More than desperation, a good reason for me to post this particular recipe is that I wanted to feature  peanut butter and jelly sandwich somewhere in this marathon. After all, that is one of the most popular food here! I wanted it somewhere in the list. I couldn’t leave it out from the marathon.

Uncrustables is a product from the brand Smuckers. Its a round sandwich with crust removed and sides sealed. There is a whole lot of Disney food art theme with these in the internet. My inspiration was from the space Like Mother Like Daughter.

The sandwich was a breeze to make, but I took a lot longer cutting/carving the our last apple in the house :-). Read on for this “recipe” before my grocery list grows any more longer!

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Idea inspired from Like Mother Like Daughter

  • Using a cookie cutter or a sharp lid, cut out circles from two slices of bread.
  • Add peanut butter on one slice and jam or jelly on the other.
  • Sandwich them together and press the edges with your fingers to seal it.
  • Cut out heart shaped pieces out of an apple and use them as balloons.
  • Cut out more slices for string, legs, hands and hips.
  • Use blueberries or chocolate chips for eyes and body.
  • Oreo cookies for ears.
  • Enjoy!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Sloppy Joes

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen popular American dishes’ as my theme.

When the month started, I was pretty confident about seeing the A-Z journey through pretty easily. But what I didn’t count was the visits we were making and the visits we were receiving. So out of the window goes the “smooth sailing” plan and now, I am just struggling to keep up the pace. Its a case I have lost already, but you just have to keep trying harder and harder, right?! Kind of like the candy factory scene from I Love Lucy.

There are recipes that I have cooked and clicked for this month, but not transferred to the computer and edited. More worrisome are the recipes that are yet to be clicked, or in other words, to be cooked. Luckily, they are few in number, but that doesn’t help. Because I am dragging my feet through the ones that are all ready. The ones that just needs to go out into the world with an introduction and the recipe details. Boy! I do hate that part :-((.

When it comes to blogging, the planning of dishes and researching recipes interest me, cooking and clicking excite me, editing is something I manage without whining, but its the pen that kills me at the end! I hate the part where I have to sit and write the recipe (least favorite) and the introduction (don’t like it if there is no personal touch to it – which is what happens when I am in a hurry to send it out. Not enough love for the post, get what I mean?! ).

Its all sloppy at the moment now. Just like these sandwiches. Sloppy Joes! Its a popular meat based sandwich, the vegetarian version is made either with lentils or beans of your choice. The dish was there in almost all cookbooks about American cuisine and in the internet as well. Sloppy though it is, it is quite popular. So here it is for the alphabet ‘S’.

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Pictorial:

Cook 3/4 cup dry green lentils (whole masoor dal) or beans of your choice with enough water. Drain and set aside. Heat one teaspoon olive oil in a pan. Saute one medium chopped red onion and one small yellow bell pepper.

Once the onion and bell pepper is cooked, add 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 2 teaspoons tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon paprika/chilli powder, 1 teaspoon vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Now add one can of crushed tomatoes or 4 medium juicy tomatoes chopped into fine small pieces.

Add the cooked lentils. Mix well and bring it to a simmer. Taste test and adjust the seasoning per taste. Serve as a filling for burger buns.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup green lentils (or lentils/beans of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • one medium red onion, chopped
  • one small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika/chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
  • burger buns for assembling

Method:

  1. Cook 3/4 cup green lentils (whole masoor dal) or beans of your choice. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat one teaspoon oil in a pan. Saute one medium chopped red onion and one small yellow bell pepper.Once the onion and bell pepper is cooked, add 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 2 teaspoons tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon paprika/chilli powder, 1 teaspoon vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Now add one can of crushed tomatoes or 5 medium tomatoes chopped into fine small pieces. Add the cooked lentils. Mix well and bring it to a simmer. Taste test and adjust the seasoning per taste. Serve as a filling for burger buns.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Quesadilla

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

Quesadilla (pronounced keisadiya) is not an American dish. It has Mexican origins, but its part of American cuisine in a big way. Mexican food as such is very popular with enough changes to suit the American palate.

Recipes as simple as this can be modified anyway you want. What I have here is a very basic and very simple quesadillas.  I usually prefer veggie and beans filling for quesadilla, but my son loves it this way with only cheese as filling and nothing else.I have used ready made flour tortillas, but you can make your own at home. Even better, use a whole wheat chapati. Cheese filled chapatis do sound good to me!

Fun thing about this post is the textiles used here. Its from my blogging friend Pavani. Last week, we had a mini BM meet. Pavani, Usha and Mireille had come over and we had a wonderful time which included a photo session and small shopping trip to Christmas tree shop near by. Any meet that includes food prop shopping is fun and this was no exception. But Pavani sent me on a sugar high when she gave all of us some textiles from her collection. I was so happy that I don’t even remember whether I thanked her at that point of time! Given that my current prop obsession is kitchen napkins for taking pictures, it was a timely and well appreciated gift.

Thanks a ton girls, you make my life so much better with your company and now, with textile pieces as well :-)!

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Pictorial:

Place a pan on medium heat. Add one tortilla with 1/3 cup shredded cheese it. Cover it with another tortilla.

Cover with a lid (optional, but it helps melt the cheese better) and flip when the bottom side is lightly brown. Take off the heat when both sides are lightly brown. Cut into eight triangles and serve with salsa. Recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ready made tortillas
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese

Method

Place a pan on medium heat. Add one tortilla with 1/3 cup shredded cheese it. Cover it with another tortilla. Cover with a lid (optional, but it helps melt the cheese better) and flip when the bottom side is lightly brown. Take off the heat when both sides are lightly brown. Cut into eight triangles and serve with salsa.

For fresh tomato salsa, mix finely chopped tomatoes(2 medium) and red onions(1/2 medium). Add salt and pepper to taste, a squirt of lemon juice if preferred and 2 handful of chopped coriander if you have them (I didn’t!). Top with a dollop of sour cream for a guilty pleasure :D.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

Valli, the brain behind the Blogging Marathon(BM) group, always gives us AT LEAST 6 months of notice before the mega marathon.But does it have any effect on me? Erm…no, not much. Its only the last two weeks that my fat is really on fire. Until then, I am cool as a cucumber.

This time, I decided the theme by February I guess. And soon after, noted down a big list of choices for all alphabets. Lost the list promptly. Promised myself a online list, didn’t do it. The story continues on the excellent lines of postponement until a wake up call finally came : March end is my son’s spring break. Spring break meant drive to my brother’s place. Not flying – driving! Let’s just say the man chooses to make life difficult at times. Let me wrap up that topic with one more line : We literally had to peel our backsides from the car seat by the time we reached our destination, the drive was that long!

So in short, the last ten days of March was set aside for 4 days in car, two days to recover each way and another 3 days with my brother’s family. I am exaggerating a bit of course, but a 13 hour drive with breaks in between really feels like forever!!

That’s the reason I got a lot done before the trip. I was done with a lot of cooking, clicking and editing before April started. But the flip side was I wasn’t done with recipe writing or the intros. So now, everyday its a task to get the post out and then catch up what everyone else has posted. So much for 6 months of notice!! I am ever going to change!!?? God knows!

Anyway, coming to the recipe here, its a diner style grilled cheese sandwich. Instead of butter for toasting the bread, mayo is used to get a much better golden color. Tomato is optional, but I like it there. I added a bit of sriracha (chili sauce) to the mayonnaise to spice it up a little.

Read on for the recipe.

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Pictorial:

Mix 4 teaspoons of mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon for sriracha sauce. Mix well.

Spread the mayo mix (or butter) to four slices of bread. Heat a pan, keep the bread slice with the mayo side down. Add a slice of cheese and sliced tomatoes on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper if you want to.

Cover with another slice of cheese and bread with mayo side OUT. Covering with a lid helps the cheese to melt better.

Cover and cook over medium to low heat until the bottom side bread is golden. Then flip it, cover and  let the other side cook. Once its browned, take off the heat, cut into two and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
  • 4 slices bread
  • 4 slices of cheese of your choice
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Mix 4 teaspoons of mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon for sriracha sauce. Mix well.
  2. Spread the mayo mix (or butter) to four slices of bread. Heat a pan, keep the bread slice with the mayo side down.
  3. Add a slice of cheese and sliced tomatoes on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper if you want to. Cover with another slice of cheese and bread with mayo side OUT.Covering with a lid helps the cheese to melt better.
  4. Cover and cook over medium to low heat until the bottom side bread is golden. Then flip it, cover and  let the other side cook. Once its browned, take off the heat, cut into two and enjoy!

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Eggs Florentine

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

It’s a good thing that we all love eggs, else the choice for the letter E would have been tough indeed. I was planning on eggplant Parmesan initially, but then again change of plans landed me in the egg world with Egg Benedict’s cousin Eggs Florentine.

Eggs Benedict is a very popular American breakfast/brunch. It has toasted muffins with bacon or ham, poached eggs and topped with hollandaise sauce. But it has many variations. In each version some or the other component is changed and is given a new name. The spinach instead of bacon is the Eggs Florentine. Most recipes for Eggs Florentine also use hollandaise sauce. But since its full of butter, so I chose a version with creamy spinach sauce.

Compared to filling a bowl with cereal and adding milk, these are a little more time-consuming. But the good thing is that the sauce and the eggs can be made ahead making it easy in the morning. Poached eggs need to be simmered until they are warm again and the sauce can be heated up too with a dash of milk to loosen it up. Then all that’s left is the toast and assembling. That is perfectly manageable, even for me!

I found these itself to be filling, but you can pair it with breakfast style potatoes for a heavy brunch. I am sure the man will like that!

 

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Pictorial:

Step 1: Poach the eggs. Bring 1 cup of water to simmer. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to it. As the water starts simmering, add one egg to it. With a wooden spoon, slowly cover the yellow with the white. Wait for about 3-4 minutes for the eggs to cook. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in paper towels. I take two eggs per person.

Step 2: Prepare the spinach sauce. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil. Add three crushed garlic pods and one small chopped onion. Add about 3 cups of chopped spinach.

Add salt and pepper and about 1 cup of fresh cream. Cook until the sauce thickens. Taste test and adjust the seasoning. Keep aside.

Step 3: Toast and assemble. Heat a pan and grill two slices of tomato per person. Slice an English muffin into two and toast it. You can use two pieces of bread per person also.

Assemble the eggs Florentine. The toasted English muffins or bread is the base. The grilled tomato goes on top of that. You can keep the poached eggs on top of that and top it with the spinach sauce. I switched to spinach sauce topped with the eggs :D. Sprinkle paprika on top and serve as brunch.

Recipe adapted from: Food Network

Ingredients:

Serves two

For the poached eggs

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar/lemon juice
  • about 1 cup water

For spinach sauce

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 pods garlic
  • one small onion
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • salt and pepper

For putting together

  • 2 English muffins, slice across into two*
  • 4 slices of tomato
  • butter for toasting, if preferred

*You can use toasted bread as base.

Method:

  1. Poach the eggs. Bring 1 cup of water to simmer. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to it. As the water starts simmering, add one egg to it. With a wooden spoon, slowly cover the yellow with the white. Wait for about 3-4 minutes for the eggs to cook. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in paper towels. I take two eggs per person.
  2. Prepare the spinach sauce. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil. Add three crushed garlic pods and one small chopped onion. Add about 3 cups of chopped spinach.Add salt and pepper and about 1 cup of fresh cream. Cook until the sauce thickens. Taste test and adjust the seasoning. Keep aside.
  3. Toast and assemble. Heat a pan and grill two slices of tomato per person. Slice an English muffin into two and toast it. You can use two pieces of bread per person also.Assemble the eggs Florentine. The toasted English muffins or bread is the base. The grilled tomato goes on top of that. Add the spinach sauce and top with the eggs. Sprinkle paprika on top and serve as brunch.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63


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Deviled Eggs

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Day 4 of the alphabetical journey through American dishes is here and we are all driving smoothly for it. Dash it….for the letter D, Deviled Eggs dishes it out better than Doughnuts, Devil’s food cake, dirt cake or dumplings. So, deviled eggs it is!

This tastes very much similar to egg salad, but then the ingredients are almost the same. Deviled eggs are popular throughout Europe and America. They are served cold, which means they are a perfect make ahead dish. These are wonderful party appetizers and there is a whole combination of flavors that you can try to make it unique. The one here is pretty basic, but you can always add your own touch.

I have no idea why its called ‘Deviled’. But apparently its one of the many names, though the most popular one, for the dish. Read on for this simple dish that can be prepared in a jiffy.

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Pictorial:

Recipe source: Deviled Eggs

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Hard boil 6 eggs. Shell them and cut into two halves. Separate the yolks from the whiles. Mash the yolks with a fork.

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Add 1/4 cups mayonnaise(4 tablespoons), 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 teaspoon vinegar, salt and pepper as needed. Mix well. If you are using a piping bag or ziploc, mash well and make sure there aren’t any lumps. Taste test and adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.

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Scoop the filling back into the egg white shells. You can use a spoon for this. You can also put the filling into a ziplock and then snip off the end and fill in the whites. Or go fancy with a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. Sprinkle with a dash of paprika.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63


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