Avacado 1

QUINOA is called a complete protein. It’s one of the few grains which contain nine essential amino acids. These seeds are coated with a compound called “saponin” which makes it taste a little bitter. Saponin can be easily removed by rinsing it with water. Although some brands have the saponin already removed. It provides outstanding protein quality and is also a great source of fiber ;not to forget it is GLUTEN free. I have made a switch to Quinoa and it hasn’t been difficult at all. I am finding it hard to get him(husband) to start liking it. I try making different recipes….this one was by far his favorite.He said “ Quinoa never tasted this good”.

Avacado 3

I was planning to mix all the ingredients along with some breadcrumbs and bake them in a small muffin pan. That’s when I came across Wendy Polisi’s beautiful blog where she uses the shell itself to stuff the quinoa. So that’s what I did. Instead of regular cheddar, I crumbled two cheddar string cheese. Lemon juice, jalapeno and cilantro gives it a nice taste. The other great thing is it smells DIVINE!

Broiled Quinoa Avocados with Jalapeno

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 2 halves

Calories per serving: 223 cal each shell

Fat per serving: 16 g

Quick and easy snack made with quinoa, cheese and avocado.


  • 1 Avocado, ripe
  • 2 - 3 tablespoon quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cheddar sting cheese/ regular cheddar,crumbled or grated
  • half of an jalapeno, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • a tablespoon cilantro
  • salt as per taste


Cut the avocado lengthwise. Remove the seed and scoop out the flesh. Using a fork mash the avocado. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide the mixture among Avocado shells. Place it on a baking try and broil it for about 4-5 minutes, or until brown.

Note – You may even add some more cheese on top and then broil it.


Contains 12 g Carb, 8 g Protein and 6 g Fiber

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I like Avocados…I simply adore this delicious green fruit.  With its buttery richness and subtle flavor, it pairs great with quinoa and cheese. This is just perfect!




patties 1
Nothing excites me more in summer than shopping in the Farmer’s market! The vibrantly colored produce… bundles of flowers…fresh greens …to tasting samples …to the baked goods smell. I just get carried away and always end up buying more than it’s required for our small family. The prices are reasonable and the quality of the products is far superior. I make sure to visit several markets even if it means driving across the town! Each of these markets has something unique to offer and is an experience in itself. During my last visit, I bought two large Zucchinis which were lying in the refrigerator for more than a week. I usually make Baked Zucchini fries or Roasted Veggies or Zucchini Chutney. As I enjoy mixing different things to create something tasty, this time around I decided to blend Quinoa and Zucchini and see what I could come up with.
patties 2
Of late we have been making a change in our daily habits to incorporate healthy food. We are trying our best to cut down on processed food as well. Embracing healthy habits has taught me lot about my limits and what I need to do about it. If I had to bake Zucchini Fries, I would have to use breadcrumbs and may be an egg( I know milk can be used instead:P). So there is the extra carbs from the bread -I would love to avoid. Roasted Zucchini – well how do I use Quinoa in this? So after enough deliberation I zeroed on these healthy Patties. I did not have Hamburger buns handy so just made simple patties and topped it with chunky guacamole and sour cream. This one made a perfect snack! I don’t claim this to be a low carb food, but less than 15 g of carb is not bad at all:)

I grated Zucchini and squeezed it well to remove all the water. Added Quinoa, bell pepper,onion and a whole can of white beans to make it protein rich food(Kidney beans should work too). Since the mixture was mushy I added Chickpea flour but it was still too sticky. Ideally breadcrumbs could have done the job but I wanted to avoid it. So added a whole cup of rolled oats. Now I was able to shape them. It baked well…you may want to use just a drop of oil on top or simply use oil spray over the patties. On hindsight I should have powdered the oats, but would it be still crunchy?? Well I don’t know about it. Let me know if you’ve tried that. Here is how I made them:)

Baked – Quinoa and Oats Patties with White Beans

Yield: 15 patties

Calories per serving: 75cal each

A healthy snack made with Quinoa and White Beans along with vegetables!


  • 2 cups zucchini,grated
  • ¾ cup cooked quinoa
  • one 15oz organic white beans can(I used Northern White Beans from Trader Joe’s)
  • ½ cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 -3 thai green chillies , chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • chat masala(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil/oil spray
  • 1 avacado, cut and flesh removed
  • ½ cup of red onions, chopped
  • 1 roma tomatoes,chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno/green chillies, chopped
  • A tablespoon cilantro,chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • salt as needed
  • Light Sour cream for garnishing


Squeeze all the water from the grated Zucchini. Rinse and drain the canned beans; mash it with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients(excluding the oil) and shape them into small balls; flatten them. Place it on a baking sheet and refrigerate for about an hour. It should be a little hard.( I like to freeze it for about 30 mins)

Preheat oven at 375F. Add just a drop of oil/use an oil spray on each patty and rub it gently on the top. Bake until golden brown and crispy.( Flip halfway through). It might take about 35-40 mins.

To make the Chunky Guacamole – Mix all the ingredients. Mash them using a fork.

To Serve – Place two patties on a plate, top it with some guacamole and sour cream. Enjoy!

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My husband usually believes tasty food and healthy food are mutually exclusive! So the minute I told him I baked them and it’s healthy, he didn’t seem excited. I persuaded him to try some and guess what??? he ended up asking for an extra serving:). I felt good to prove that his theory was wrong! Each patty contains about 75 cal; 13g carb;1g fat;4g protein.

These are crunchy and best when it’s right out of the oven and definitely fills you up. Just the patty taste fine, but the topping gives it a nice don’t miss out on that!




bread 3

For the month of May’14 Aparna chose beautiful looking French Rolls/Bread for the We Need To Bake Group. Petit Pains au Lait simply means small or little breads. They are classic French Milk Rolls. These rolls are very easy to make, it took me about ten minutes to make the dough and another ten minutes to shape them. Ofcourse they take time to rise…about 1.5 hrs.
Bread 1

Usually these breads aren’t very sweet, the pearl sugar which is sprinkled on top just before baking adds to a little sweetness and crunchiness; not to forget the visual appeal:). The liquid in this bread is purely milk, it also has about 4 tablespoons of butter .

Bread 2

I believe these can also be baked with either sweet or savory fillings. When I think of sweet, chocolate chips are the first thing that comes to my mind. I plan to make a savory one soon with herbs and cheese filling:). Once baked these have a beautiful golden outside and a flaky inside ( because of the way these are rolled). You can see the inside texture in the below picture. The beautiful pattern which is made using a pair of scissors makes it even more interesting. This dough can be shaped in any form as per your choice.

bread 4

The original recipe is adapted from Gourmet by Kat.

*If you don’t have bread flour, put 2/3 tsp vital wheat gluten in your 3/4 cup measure and top up with all-purpose flour. Mix this well.
If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, then just use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.

**This topping is optional. The pearl sugar looks pretty and adds a little crunch. If you can’t find pearl sugar, use large crystals of sugar or even regular granulated sugar.

Petit Pains au Lait ( French Milk Bread/Rolls )


  • 2/3 cup warm milk (you might need a little more; I used milk with 2% fat)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon butter, soft at room temperature
  • Extra milk for brushing
  • Pearl sugar for topping (optional)**


In the bowl of a stand Mixer or Food Processor put the warm milk, yeast and sugar.Pulse a couple of times to mix. Then add all the flour and the salt and run the processor until it looks crumbly. Add the butter and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that’s not sticky. Add a little more milk (in teaspoonful at a time), if your dough is dry, until you have the required consistency of dough.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat with oil. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until double in volume. This should take about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto your working surface. You shouldn’t need any flour, but if you feel the need, just lightly dust your palms with it. Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Let them rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out each piece of dough, one at a time, into a circle about 4” in diameter. Slowly roll up the circle from one end, Swiss roll/ jelly roll style into a cylinder. Pinch the seam closed neatly, and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down. Cover loosely and let them rise for an hour or so till almost double in size.

Brush them lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts (not too deep) on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle pearl sugar/ granulated sugar.

Bake them at 400F for about 15 minutes( mine took about 12 mins only) or so until they’re golden brown. Let them cool on a rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature with coffee or chilled flavoured milk, or at breakfast.

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They’re best eaten the same day, though you could warm them up and serve the next day.Thanks Aparna for the recipe:)






Melon Pan 1

Melon Pan is a Japanese bread which is made as buns. They are soft, rich and somewhat sweet bread covered by a layer of crunch cookie. Pan is Japanese for bread but there is definitely no melon of any sort in this bread. I read about this bread only when Aparna posted it on FB for the “We need to Bake” event. I believe there are a couple of suggestions as to where the “Melon” in Melon Pan comes from. The sugar cookie topping is usually scored in a crosshatch pattern similar to the Japanese presentation of a melon wedge which is also cut into a crosshatch pattern, and bent backwards for serving.  The other suggestion is that appearance of the cracked surface of the cookie dough layer resembles a rock melon/ cantaloupe, and hence the name. Apparently, some Japanese bakers also use melon extract in these buns to add fragrance.

Melon Pan 2

Usually the buns are left plain, though chocolate chips can be added or it can also be filled with cream cheese,custard or pastry cream. Aparna mentioned that if you don’t eat egg, you can leave them out, but substitute for it in the bread dough with a tablespoon of yogurt or milk. However both doughs are made with egg as this gives the bread a better texture. The original recipe was adapted from A Bread a day .

Melon Pan 3

Melon Pan are best eaten the day they’re made. This recipe makes 8 burger bun sized Melon Pan. You can bake a half batch or even make smaller Pan by dividing both doughs into 10 or 12 instead of 8. Like I mentioned above these buns are mildly sweet, soft inside and has wonderful crunchy top. Please watch this video before you start making the bread,so you a good idea on how to shape the Melon Pan.

Melon Pan


  • For bread dough:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra as required)
  • 2 tablespoon milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 25gm butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • For cookie dough:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 60gm butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar (increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter dough)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Castor sugar for dusting (granulated sugar will do too)


Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl (or the bowl of your machine if using one). In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and cold water together with a fork till well blended. Add this to the flour mixture in the bowl.

Knead (on low speed in the machine) till it all come together as a dough and then (on medium speed) until you have a somewhat stiff dough. Add the sugar and knead well.

Now add the butter and knead (first at slow speed and then on medium) until the butter is completely incorporated into the dough and the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should well-kneaded to develop the gluten.

Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume (about an hour or so).

During this time make the cookie dough. In a bowl, cream the soft butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat till combined. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and add this to the bowl. Also add the lemon zest. Beat together until just combined.

Shape the dough into a cylinder (this will make the dough easy to divide and flatten out later), and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate the dough until required.

Now go back to the bread dough. Once it has doubled in volume, place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly grease your baking sheet or line it with parchment. Deflate the dough gently and divide it into 8 equal portions.

Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls. Work with one portion and keep the others covered so they don’t dry out.

Unwrap the cookie dough. It should be reasonably firm now and easy to work with. Slice the cylinder of cookie dough into 8 equal portions. Use two pieces of plastic sheets or cling film to flatten the cookie dough. Place one slice/ round of cookie dough on a piece of plastic sheet/ cling film. Cover with another piece, and using a flat bottomed pan, press down on the dough to flatten it, until it is reasonably thin but not very much so.

Carefully take on ball of bread dough (it will have puffed up a little so don’t deflate it), and place the circle of cookie dough on top of it. Gently press the cookie dough edge to the bread dough ball so that it covers the top and sides of the ball, but leaves the bottom open. Gently, holding the covered bread dough by the underside, press it into some castor sugar. Then using a scraper, or the blunt side of a knife, mark the top of the cookie dough side of the bread roll with a cross hatch/ diamond pattern. The pattern should be deep enough (otherwise it will disappear when the bread rises and bakes) without cutting through the cookie dough layer into the bread.

Place this on the greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this with the remaining cookie dough and bread dough balls. Let them rise for an hour.

Bake them at 350F for about 25 minutes, until the tops of the Melon Pan just start turning brown. If you let them brown too much, the underside of the bread will burn. Transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

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Thanks Aparna for the recipe.



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