Whole grain breakfast muffin

Who doesn’t like a healthy touch – a fiber rich breakfast – in the morning? A rich breakfast to keep you strong and healthy, keeping fatigue at bay..

Instead of filling the tummy with so much grease and calories as soon as you wake up, start with something light and healthy to break the fast, for a fresh and active morning.

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The idea of whole grain breakfast perfectly fits the bill. In every manner it’s a go to snack as well if you prefer snacking in between.

The concept of adding little bit of everything, mainly oat flour, wheat flour, hint of few types of seeds and honey for sweetness did work fantastic without any hint of stickiness or dryness.  

Just rearrange the recipe and follow the instincts 🙂 Little adjustment with the flours based on the volume and density would work. And there lies the secret of having a moist breakfast muffin. This muffin has everything in it, well balanced amount of grains and ingredients to satisfy the palate. More than that since I replaced sugar with honey this is absolutely a perfect deal.  Enjoy the sweet aroma and then eat! Make everyday a better day!

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You don’t have to exactly follow the crowd since the crowd often follow things with their eyes closed, eventually ends up in the ditch. Instead consider your body and health, the easiest yet wisest approach to stay healthy

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Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles

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Our family favorite – this particular dish doesn’t need any recipes.  Ignore the basic rules and follow the instincts till you get the final picture. And you get your all you need servings in just one dish. Most of the ingredients are visible except the core ingredient, the sauce. Everything lies in the consistency of the sauce. It’s not any difficult at all. When you prepare the sauce try to balance the taste is the key. Happy cooking 🙂

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This is my version of the Chinese rice noodles, easy to prepare no mess method. I usually get bored when I see pans and bowls piling up around whenever I bring Chinese menu on the table 🙂 So I tweaked a bit, bend some rules and decided to find a no mess method. It clicked well, a big hit indeed!

Chicken
2 cups thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Hint of ground pepper
Salt to taste
Combine everything well. Keep it aside

Vegetables
¼ cup baby bokchoy, thinly sliced [save the leaves for soups]
¾ cup broccoli
½ cup mushroom
½ cup red bell pepper

For the sauce
¼ cup dark soy sauce
1 tsp corn flour
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp dark molasses
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced green onion
¼ cup water or chicken stock
Mix everything well. Adjust the taste based on your likes. Keep it aside

Here’s the preparation goes;

  1. Heat oil in a pan, shallow fry the chicken small batches at a time. Transfer it to another bowl.
  2. In the same pan, add the sauce mixture. Heat it to a point where it starts boiling. Add the cooked chicken and combine everything. Add the vegetables. Cover the pan and allow the vegetables to cook roughly. Add green onions in the end. Add more sauce if you would like. Enjoy!

Sweet plantain fritters

First and foremost, pazhampori or ethakkappam is a quintessential snack from India, mainly southern part. The name, the aroma, the picture – everything about this is delicious!  Sweet plantain is the star ingredient for this particular snack. Plantain itself is a healthy hint. With less sugar and sodium and rich in vitamin A, potassium and fiber, plantains are incredibly rich food for everyone. Ripe plantains can be eaten raw or sometimes folks would steam cook it, especially for young children.

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It is one of my staple foods since childhood. Still I drool over the sight of these bananas. The sweet aroma – as it blackens – when ripe is irresistible. When you pair it with one hard-boiled egg and a glass of milk makes it a rich and healthy breakfast.

Banana fritters

During my childhood, I used to go to my dad’s work place to eat this delicious snack at a nearby restaurant. Their version of banana fritters were different in taste and size alike. It was so delicious and worth the journey! 

Sweet plantain fritters

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pazhampori or ethakkappam is a quintessential snack from India.

Ingredients

Ingredients

-Ripe plantains – 2, sliced vertically

-Oil for deep frying

For the batter

-All purpose flour – 1 cup

-Sugar – 3tbsp

-Salt to taste

-Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp [optional]

Directions

Mix together all the ingredients for the batter by adding little amount of water at a time. The consistency of the batter should not be too thick or thin. Dip the bananas into the batter,fold them well. Deep fry them in the hot oil until light brown in color. Drain it on the paper towel. Enjoy!

Hot chocolate mix

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I wouldn’t  have tried it ever if I didn’t run out of ready to mix chocolate powder. Not a big deal, I know, but the thought was so intense. This is the time! Instead of nostalgia, this time though, curiosity kicked in 🙂

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When the scarcity and curiosity were on the scene, my instinct had to work hand in hand with them. As luck would’ve it, the trio had done a fantastic job.

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The whole scenario made me to dig deeper, to get a good sense of it. All I had to do was maintaining the consistency, and balance the taste. Vanilla and salt are two unlikely ingredients. But I took the chance anyway. Yep, although I’ve added vanilla and salt – it didn’t distract or disturb the course at all. Still it’s purely optional! It’s not that difficult as I thought it would be. Anyway, curiosity didn’t kill this cat 🙂 Oh, some people love to add marshmallows to their hot chocolate – well, maybe I should try one! You know, for us, in Atlantic Canada, it’s still Winter in the middle of Spring. Snow for some reason hesitates to leave the stage. It’s so heavenly and peaceful, indeed! 

1 cup fine sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups of powdered milk
1 drop of vanilla
Hint of salt – just a hint!!!

Blend everything well. Store it in an airtight container. Refrigerate it. Enjoy!

Quinoa peach pudding

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Well, this is my first attempt to try something sweet with quinoa. As things started to flow along, the lack of contrast made me to add some fruits, especially peaches instead of any other fruits. Luckily, I had some extra slices available in the refrigerator and seems to be apt and sort of soft for a pudding, definitely a nice contrast to the texture and tasted delicious.


Quinoa is such a versatile and diverse ingredient. I’ve been using it for quite a while ever since I came to know its copious amount of goodness as powerful as spinach, Swiss chard and beets. I wouldn’t mind spending extra dough on anything rich in nutrients. It doesn’t matter if I use it or not on a day to day basis, the flow and the steady supply of few healthy ingredients attracts a healthy and positive vibe in the kitchen. When you have that positive energy around, it automatically pulls you in that direction.

The year 2013 as “The International Year of the Quinoa” also triggered the demand and spread the awareness across the world. Before that, ages ago, people in South America had been the only folks ever knew about the rich factors of quinoa and utilizing its health benefits. The key factor is that it’s gluten free and high in protein which is great for a vegetarian diet.IMG_4756-02

Apart from its benefits, the texture of cooked quinoa is quite alluring. As it cooks, a delicate spiral ring can be seen around it. It is said to be the core of quinoa that holds most of its nutrients. A cup of cooked quinoa goes a long way. Once cooked the texture of it appears sort of fluffy and nutty which makes it a promising super food. Sweet or savory, it adapts well to almost anything such as salads, rice, yogurt etc.

There is an inedible part, the sinner saponin. It is a bitter soapy resin – an inedible powdery substance -which could easily spoil the whole thing. So remember to rinse thoroughly and get rid of any hint of resin before cooking.

IMG_4743-31 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups milk
4 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
¾ tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups of sliced fresh peaches
Few raisins

Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water for few minutes. Rinse and drain it using a strainer.

Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa to it. I would add butter at this point to avoid any cohesion.  When it starts cooking half way through, add milk to it. Stir well. At this point keep stirring since the milk has been added. This prevents from sticking at the bottom of the pan and scorching. That could spoil the entire dish. Turn the heat from medium to low and frequently stir the mixture to avoid scorching.

As it progresses, add sugar, salt and vanilla. The texture of the mixture should be neither thick nor thin, rather a smooth creamy delicious consistency. You can tweak the liquid content according to your desired level of consistency. Turn off the heat when the mixture has cooked through and creamy. Add the fruits of your choice and close the lid to allow blending everything well. You can say it is cooked when the outer ring of the quinoa pops out and encircles the seed. In the end just throwing a bit of better butter wouldn’t hurt anyone 🙂 Serve hot or cold with extra addition of fruits or nut. Enjoy,

Garlic toast – green gram sunny brunch

A plate full of pleasant ingredients and a hint of happiness – I couldn’t ask for more.  Although it was on a whim I decided to fix something quickly for my brunch. As I started adding things together, the requirements kept rising. To get an appealing texture for my brunch – two slices of garlic toast and a sunny side up egg needed something to connect each other and also a nice contrast.

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My mind was fixated on something green – mostly avocado mixture. I didn’t want to do any extra chopping or slicing or such. Simple, healthy yet elegant – that was the picture in mind. But, green gram was never in the picture. As I opened the refrigerator a quick glance at the box changed the course. The texture of it seemed right to use as the base spread. Hence the addition of green gram and then top with bacon bits and sprinkle some parsley over would go great! This is for sure a no recipe item.  

Apple pie

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Apples are nature’s own delicious treat straight from the garden and baking an apple pie is simply a pleasure if you love cooking own food and capturing it in digital format. I’ve another reason as well. My family loves my version of apple pie. When they say, my mama bakes the best pie. Honestly it scares me 🙂 That means there is no room for error and negligence! On a positive note, that’s indeed encouraging! Am so grateful for that. So I take it as a nudging force to ace it anyways 🙂  

So, my freezer has a good amount of apple pie mix ready to use. As I said, I have been baking pies all along! Although I’ve tried different recipes with the mix, apple pie stands out for some reason. I love the combined flavor of apple and cinnamon. The aroma is so delicious and divinely soothing to the senses. It gives a good vibe in the kitchen as well.

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So after the blueberry pie saga, the next in mind was apple pie. And I had a half portion of dough saved in the refrigerator and baked a fantastic looking -divinely delicious apple pie. Luckily the next morning was so darn pleasant and sunny and bright to click few pictures to save and savor the apple pie saga.