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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Apple-Mint Green Tea

Apple -Mint Green Tea 
Green Tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is loaded with anti oxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body which include improved brain function , fat loss and other incredible health benefits. The caffeine and catechins in green tea have a temperature-raising effect that speeds up your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories in the same amount of time.

 A serving of dried mint leaves provides more fiber, vitamins and minerals than a serving of fresh mint leaves and the benefits of mint extend beyond its nutritional value. Peppermint tea, made from boiling water and dried mint leaves, delivers relief from indigestion, flatulence and cold and flu symptoms. 

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 tsp dried Mint 
  • 2 Green tea bags
  • 1/4 Cup Apple juice
  • Slices of Apple and fresh mint springs for garnishing.

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.

   2.  Add the dried mint to the boiling water and let the leaves boil for about a minute.

    3.  Turn off the heat, strain out the dried mint leaves and add the tea bags into the water and soak for 10 minutes.

   4.  Remove the tea bags and cool the tea to room temperature . Add the apple juice to the cooled tea.

   5.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour the punch into ice filled glass , garnish with fresh mint springs and slices of Apple. Enjoy !

  • Can add fresh lime juice also to this punch.
  • Green tea and mint interact with certain medications and other teas, so its important to consult with your doctor before drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Simple Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe / No Onion Garlic Vegetarian Recipe

Broccoli Stir Fry

One of the most nutritious vegetables, Broccoli contains vitamins A and E, Folate, Calcium , Magnesium, Phosphorus and Iron. It has a higher vitamin C content than Oranges. It is one of the very low calorie vegetables, provides just 34 calories per 100 g. It is also rich in dietary fiber, Minerals , Protein and anti-oxidants that have proven health benefits.
Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2356/2

Broccoli is a versatile vegetable and can be served as a side dish, in a soup , salads and pastas . One can steam, roast or saute this healthy veggie to incorporate it in diet .

Here's a simple Broccoli stir fry recipe - one of the fastest cooking dishes , requires minimal ingredients and is very delicious . It goes well with steamed rice or chapatti . This is a no Onion no Garlic recipe. Toasted Sesame , chili flakes and minced ginger blends well  with the broccoli florets giving out delicious aroma.

Broccoli gets cooked faster, so take care not to over cook the vegetable. It should retain its crunchiness. (Overcooking also destroys its nutrients). 

  • Broccoli florets - around 30 ( 250 gm )
  • Sesame seeds - 3 tsp
  • Grated ginger - 1 tsp
  • Red Chili flakes - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil - 3 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Fresh lemon juice- 1 to 2 tsp

  1. Toast the sesame seeds on a skillet / pan  on low to medium heat. Keep it aside .

   2.   Heat 3 tsp of oil in a wok on medium high heat. Add the grated ginger and saute.

   3.  Now add turmeric powder and chili flakes while lowering the flame,

     4.   Add Broccoli florets , stir well . Saute for about a minute.

   5.  Add the toasted Sesame seeds and salt. Mix well , cover the pan and cook for 1- 2 minutes, so that Broccoli florets become little tender. Do not over cook the vegetable other wise it will become soggy.. Broccoli florets should retain the crunchiness (also overcooking destroys the nutrients)

6.  Put off the flame and squeeze out fresh lemon . Mix and serve immediately.. goes well with steamed rice or chapati .

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Mint and Paneer stuffed Paratha / Paneer aur Pudine ka Paratha Recipe / Healthy Kids Lunch box recipe/ No Oinion Garlic Vegetarian Recipe

Mint and Paneer Stuffed Paratha

For me more time and energy is spent in thinking "what to cook" rather than the actual cooking ! I am sure , I have echoed the scenario in almost all Indian house holds where Mommies want to serve their families with variety of food which is healthy and filling at the same time. So here's a dish which will give a delicious , filling and healthy start to your day, can be served as breakfast or in lunch box or at dinner. Sharing a step wise recipe of Mint and Paneer Stuffed Paratha.

Paratha is one of the most popular breakfast menus and a staple food of most  North Indians. It is made by rolling out whole wheat dough and then pan frying on a skillet. Parathas are usually stuffed with veggies or cottage cheese ( Paneer) . A stuffed paratha is generally eaten with a pat of butter spread on top, with chutneys, pickles, yogurt or with vegetable  curries.

Paneer aur Pudine ka Paratha is a whole wheat flat Indian bread stuffed with spiced Cottage cheese. The dough in this recipe is flavored with mint sauce. It is a delicious, tempting and filling dish, a paratha recipe that entire family will love. This stuffed paratha is generally served with pickle and sweet curd or raita.

This Paratha recipe is a flavorful variation to the usual Paneer Paratha . It is a perfect balance of fresh mint with soft crumbled cottage cheese. The home made Paneer - Cottage cheese retains its freshness and softness even after cooking. This is no Onion no Garlic recipe.

Peppermint herb or Pudina is one of the popular herb known for its characteristic refreshing cool breeze sensation on taste buds. It is an excellent source of minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Manganese and Magnesium. The mint herb contains no Cholesterol, however, it is rich in essential oils, vitamins and dietary fiber, which helps to control blood Cholesterol and blood pressure inside the human body.
Source: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/peppermint.html

Ingredients: For the dough
  1. Whole wheat flour / Gheu ka atta - 1 cup
  2. Carom seeds / Ajwain - 1 tsp
  3. Oil / Ghee- 1 Tbsp
  4. Salt as per taste
  • To be blended in a grinder into a Mint sauce - For the dough
  1. Mint leaves / Pudina - 1/4 cup
  2. Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  3. Cumin seeds/ Jeera- 1/2 tsp
  4. Green Chilies- 2
  5. water
  • For the Stuffing
  1. Crumbled fresh Paneer ( Cottage Cheese)- 150 gm
  2. Roasted Cumin Coriander powder / Dhaniya Jeera Powder - 2 tsp
  3. Fennel Seeds / Saunf- 1 tsp
  4. Red Chili Powder / Lal mirch powder- 1 tsp
  5. Turmeric / haldi - 1/2 tsp
  6. Black Pepper powder/ Kali mirch powder -1 tsp
  7. Chaat masala- 1 tsp
  8. Salt to taste / namak swad anusar
  • Other Ingredients:
  1. Whole wheat flour for rolling
  2. Ghee for pan frying
     Method :
  1. For the dough - Combine all the ingredients along with the mint sauce in a deep bowl, mix well and knead into a semi-stiff dough, using enough water. Cover and keep aside for at least 10-15 minutes.

     2.  For the stuffing : Grate the Panner ( cottage cheese) or simply crumble if using fresh home made one. Add all the spices to it, mix well to form a dough without adding any water. Divide the stuffing into 5 equal parts and accordingly make balls of dough too.

   3.  Roll out a portion of the dough to a small circle  using little flour , place the stuffing in the center , fold the edges towards the center, press well to seal it so the stuffing doesn't spill out. Now using some whole wheat flour roll out again gently like we roll for normal chapati. Heat a nonstic tawa (griddle) and cook each paratha using a little ghee, till golden brown spots apperaon both the sides. Repeat the same for all the Parathas.

   4.  Serve these irresistible Parathas immediately with thick curd and pickle. Enjoy !

  After making Parathas, some dough was left out, so I just rolled small circles out of them and deep fried them to make puffed and super soft Pudina or Mint Porris ! The pooris just vanished in no time. Try out these simple Pudina pooris and kids are certainly going to love the colorful pooris..

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Pineapple Fried Rice Vegetarian Recipe / Thai Cuisine

Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe

Last week , I was on a family vacation to Krabi - a southern town of Thailand . The beautiful tropical beaches and the timeless natural beauty of Thailand mesmerized us ! Got a chance to know about exotic Thai Cuisine. One such dish was The Thai Pineapple Fried Rice. Back home from the heavenly vacation , the first thing in my mind was to try hands on this exotic dish .

The Thai fried rice recipe differs from the Chinese fried rice as it is prepared from the Thai Jasmine  Rice instead of the regular long grain rice. The typical Thai Pineapple fried rice normally contains meat (Chicken , Shrimp, Crab) Eggs ,Onion and Garlic. The seasoning includes Soy sauce, fish curry powder, sugar and salt.

The Pineapple Fried Rice is the signature dish of the Thai Cuisine. Here I am sharing the vegetarian version of the classic Thai dish . The recipe calls for use of fresh Pineapple chunks which give the wonderful flavor . The sweet and spicy fried rice gets its rich texture due to the addition of Cashew nuts and Raisins. Easy and quick recipe which can transform left over cooked rice to a flavorful fried rice dish. This dish can be served as main course during vegetarian dinner , specially the festive seasons. It will surely be a treat to ones taste buds !

Source: http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipesstepbystep/ss/pineapplerice.htm

 Juicy, deliciously tangy and sweet Pineapple fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. Very low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. This delicious, healthy and nutritious fruit can be eaten raw or used in cooking.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Thai Pineapple fired rice:
  • 3 cups cooked rice, preferably 1 day old. 
  • 1 Cup Pineapple chunks ( have used fresh..but can use canned too)
  • 1/4 cup frozen pea
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 shallots , thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1/4 cup cashews and raisins
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 4 tsp oil for stir- frying
  • salt as per taste
  • 1/4 cup -Spring onion greens and fresh Coriander for garnishing

Method :
  1. The recipe calls for using at least one day old cooked rice, if using left over cooked rice add little oil to the rice ( 1 tbsp and work through with your fingers. This is to separate the grains and avid them from sticking together. Set aside. (I have cooked the rice 4 hrs prior to making the fried rice as I believe in fresh cooking )
  2. In a small bowl mix the curry powder and Soy sauce .( I have used regular vegetarian curry powder)

  3. Drizzle 1-2 Tsp. oil in a wok over medium- high heat. Fry the cashews and raisins and keep aside.

  4.  Now add Chili flakes, garlic ginger and shallots , stir fry until fragrant. 

 5.  Add the carrots and peas. Add little salt.  Stir fry for another 1-2 minutes. Now add the soy sauce and curry powder mixture. mix well. Be careful while adding salt as soy sauce also has salt and cooked rice too.

   6. Now add the rice, Pineapple chunks, fried cashews and raisins. Gently stir fry to combine over medium high heat and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes. can drizzle little (3-4 Tsp) vegetable stock or water so the rice does not completely dry. If desired can push ingredients aside and add a little more oil to the wok ( this is to give the rice a special shine like we get in the restaurant fried rice)

   7.  Remove from heat. Do a taste- test for salt/ flavor, adding a few shakes of salt or little more Soy sauce, as needed. If too salty for your taste , add a squeeze or two of lime juice. Top with spring onions and coriander.

  8.  To serve, scoop rice onto a serving p,latter ( or in a carved -out Pineapple, if serving at a party and enjoy !

    If you are looking for some more recipes using Pineapple, you can check out for Pineapple Jam and Pineapple Jam Tarts recipes on my blog.