Category Archives: Healthy

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I got very excited to see a healthy recipe this time in the Daring Baker’s Challenge. A nutritious Seed and Nut loaf which also happens to be gluten-free.

For the August challenge Susan from The Kiwi Cook dared us to make Seed & Nut Loaf – a super healthy and gluten free alternative to standard wheat based bread.
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Some notes from Susan – The psyllium hulls is the ingredient that binds the loaf together in the absence of flour. If you have a nut allergy, you could make the loaf exclusively seeds. If you use ground flax seeds instead of whole, you will need to add more water to the mix. Oats are inherently gluten free, however they can be cross contaminated with wheat products. If you are gluten-sensitive, ensure your oats are certified gluten free. Buckwheat or spelt flakes make a good alternative. While you can use any nut you prefer, it’s best to chop them fairly finely; if the nuts are too big, it’s harder for the loaf to hold together around them and you might end up with a very crumbly loaf. I find sliced almonds work really well. A silicon loaf pan is ideal for this recipe, as you can check whether the loaf is holding together before removing it from the pan. While I have used a nonstick pan successfully, once or twice some of the mixture has stuck in the pan when I’ve inverted the loaf as such, if you don’t own a silicon pan, It’s important that you line the pan with baking paper, then peel the paper off once you extract the loaf from the pan prior to baking it further. While the idea is that you can mix all the ingredients in the loaf pan itself, I found it easier (and less messy) to combine the wet and dry ingredients in a large bowl, before transferring it to the loaf pan. While you can ‘rest’ the mixture for a minimum of 2 hours, she recommends resting it overnight as it sets up much more firmly and is easier to extract from the pan during baking. All that soaking also ensures optimal nutrition and digestion.
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Recipe Source – www.mynewroots.org

Gluten – free Seed & Nut Loaf – Daring Baker’s August 2015 Challenge

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup flax seeds
  • ½ cup sliced almonds (or whatever nut you prefer)
  • 1½ cups gluten free rolled oats (or try buckwheat flakes or rolled spelt flakes)
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoon psyllium seed husks (3 tablespoons if using psyllium husk powder)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (it’s fine to reduce this if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or liquid honey; for sugar free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee, melted
  • 1½ cups water

Instructions

In a standard sized silicone, nonstick, or greased and lined loaf pan, combine all the dry ingredients It’s easier and less messy to combine in a large bowl first. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a separate bowl. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and combine until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (while the mixture will be wet, there should be no excess liquid).Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight. The

mixture should feel very firm to the touch. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F.Then bake bread initially for 20 minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven, place a wire rack over top and invert to remove the bread (if you’ve lined the loaf tin, you should remove the lining at this point). Put the now inverted loaf on its wire rack into the oven again and bake for another 30-40 minutes (it should sound hollow when tapped). The loaf should be starting to brown on the outside - this gives a lovely nutty crunch to the finished loaf. Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2015/08/gluten-free-seed-nut-loaf-daring-bakers-august-2015-challenge/

Using a fine serrated knife for slicing worked better than a typical bread knife with its more exaggerated serrated edge, which made for a very crumbly slice. You can store the loaf in an airtight container (or wrap it in plastic wrap) for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for at least 3 months (it helps to slice it first before freezing so you can enjoy that occasional piece of toast!)

This ‘bread’ makes fabulous toast! Toasted with almond butter and slices of Banana or with some avocado is truly delicious!!!

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gOBI 1
Learn how to make Gobi Manchoorian/ Gobi Manchoori

Gobi Manchoorian/ Manchoori is an Indo Chinese food which is quite popular in India. It is said to have been developed by the tiny Chinese community that lived in Kolkata for over a century.  It is nothing but fried cauliflower tossed in a sweet and chili sauce. There are two different variants of it, dry and gravy. If I were frying I would use all purpose flour and cornstarch to make a thin batter; dip the florets in the batter and then deep fry.  Once that is done follow the below mentioned sauce recipe.  Few recipes even call for Ajinomoto (MSG) to increase the taste however I try to avoid it due to health reasons. Some add food colors to give the florets a bright red color, which is quite common in restaurants. I avoid that as well.
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In the past I have baked the same dish using different flours – chickpea,all purpose and even whole wheat flour. The problem was it wasn’t as crispy as I had expected it to be also there would a thin layer of batter stuck in the base of the florets. This used to put me off. That’s when dusting cornstarch came to my mind. I actually used about 3-3.5 tablespoon of cornstarch. The cauliflower florets baked beautifully, ending with a crispy texture. But the only thing was I could feel the cornstarch even after baking ( I realized I added a lot).The next time I would work with 1.5-2 tablespoons only. I know fried ones are the best but I wanted to try something that I could enjoy whole heartedly without worrying about calories. Making junk food healthy is a very smart idea🙂 .
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To me these tasted great, not as crispy as the fried ones but slightly close to it. Once they are coated in the sauce, I don’t see much of a difference. A good sauce is the key! If you plan to use them just as plain fritters, do season them with salt, pepper, cayenne and some turmeric (for the color) before baking. Also broil it for about 2-3 minutes towards the end to make it more crispier.

Baked Gobi Manchoori

Serving Size: 3

Baked Cauliflower with sweet and Chili sauce - healthy twist to a tasty junk food.

Ingredients

  • Baking Cauliflower
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets about 5-6 cups
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For the Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2-3 garlic pods, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 thai green chillies, chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper, cubed
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Green chili/red chili sauce, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro , chopped
  • Salt as needed

Instructions

Preheat oven at 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Wash and dry in a paper towel. Place all the cauliflower in a large bowl. Drizzle oil over the florets coating it well. Now add the cornstarch and toss it. Spread it evenly on the lined sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip each floret. Increase temperature to 425F. Bake again for about 20 minutes. You will end with slightly crispy florets with a brownish tinge. Feel free to broil it for about 2 – 3 minutes for more crispier option, which I didn’t.

Sauce - Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, ginger, chillies, onion and bell pepper. Saute until the onions turn pink. Do not overcook the veggies, do retain the crunchiness. Now add the ketchup and soy sauce. If you are using the chilli sauce, please add now( We don’t eat too spicy food, so I avoided the sauce). The mixture will start sizzling. Add the cauliflower,lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Garnish with cilantro.

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2015/03/baked-gobi-manchoori/

If you are thinking of gravy please add some water mixed with very little cornstarch towards the end and then a quick boil will result in a semi gravy Manchoorian sauce. Serve as an appetizer or along with fried rice/noodles. Spring onions are a great choice too, if you have some handy do add it right at the end.

Enjoy guilt free!

 

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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”.

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

Notes

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

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2014/09/broiled-quinoa-avocados-with-jalapeno/

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!

Enjoy

Nina!

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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.
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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!

Ingredients

  • 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
  • GUACAMOLE
  • 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

Instructions

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!

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2014/09/baked-quinoa-and-oats-patties-with-white-beans/

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 kick..so don’t miss out on that!

Enjoy!

Nina

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