Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding is the new shinning food for the health conscious people. Chia seed is high on fiber and works great as a post workout breakfast or a snack. This ancient grain is now locally grown in some parts of Karnataka which works out cheaper than the imported ones. Read here about the nutritional benefits of chia seeds.

The overnight chia seed pudding is so easy to make that it requires less than five minutes to assemble. I like to make my chia pudding with almond milk, sweetened with honey or coconut sugar. Homemade almond milk can be made before hand and refrigerated for 4-5 days. In the morning, I just season my pudding with i2cook’s peanut butter, cacao niba, nuts like walnuts, sunflower seeds and fruits. You can also  soak  chia seeds overnight in PB banana smoothie for some extra flavour and energy!

almond milk

chia seed pudding

Ingredients:

1/4 cup chia seeds (40 gms US cup standards)

1 cup almond milk (240ml)

1 tsp honey

Procedure:

Measure and mix all the ingredients in a glass jar. Refrigerate for min 3-4 hours or overnight. Eat chilled with your favorite topping.


PB energy bites

???????????????????????????????????? Snacking is one of the best way to stay fit and  sharing with you this super easy recipe. This recipe is especially good for women as it contains  essential nutrients like Iron from dates, Vitamins from sunflower seeds , Protein from i2cook peanut butter, Essential fatty acids from cacao nibs and Calcium & Fiber from chia seeds. The good news is that these energy boosters can be customized to your liking. You can add chocolate chips, walnuts or any kind of ingredient that you like.

Ingredients:

200 gms dates, pitted

2tbs i2cook peanut butter

1tbs cacao nibs

1tbs roasted sunflower seeds

1/2 tbs chia seeds or flax seed powder

Procedure:

  1. Pulse the dates in a blender into fine pieces so that it has enough stickiness to roll into a ball
  2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients along with dates
  3. Roll into a ball of desired size
  4. This can be stored in an air tight container for a week or refrigerated for a month. Yields about 15 medium sized pieces.


Guest post: Comfort food & corn chowder recipe

“A man is what he eats” – Ludwig Feuerbach

We all have different choices when it comes to comfort food. Comfort foods are usually simple and have a nostalgic feel to it, depending on culture and taste. It is something which we all have grown up on or find it most easy to digest on a tiring day. Some would treat comfort food as therapeutic depending on factors like stress or health. We always associate food to circumstances and comfort food is one amongst them. We also indulge in festive foods albeit occasionally. What is so special about comfort food? Why am I stressing on it so much….

Go on to Natural Mantra’s blog to read more…..

Corn chowder –  comfort food


Cocochoco Burfi (Vegan)

Sweets in India have always been rich with milk or ghee/butter. A sweet dish which is ‘Vegan’ an absolutely no, no for us, Indians…. My family will think I have gone nuts!!!
Well, for this festive season; I’ve tried  a fusion of Indo-western sweet…I know it sounds a bit too much to compromise on the  Indian burfi; but why not try something different 🙂

The recipe was  born with some basic ingredients lying in my fridge. A bit of mixing, tasting and hoping….’Cocochoco Burfi’ was  born. The strong taste of tahini takes over the flavour and keeps you wondering on every bite what is so different about it….

2cups grated coconut
1cup demerara sugar
1/2 cup mixed dried fruits (I used cashews, raisins & walnuts)
2tsp cocoa powder
1tbs tahini (I’ve used home-made)
1tsp olive oil
1 tbs dry cocoa powder (mixed with powdered sugar; 1/2tbs cocoa+1/2tbs powdered sugar)for garnish
grated chocolate for garnish ( I used dairy free & organic chocolate)

Melt sugar in a pan on low heat. Once melted; add cocoa powder and keep stirring; turn off the stove immediately.
Take some oil in a pan and add grated coconut. Let it turn a little brown and add dried fruits and turn off the stove.Mix both the cocoa and coconut mixture in a bowl with tahini.

Grease the plate with some oil and add the mixture evenly.Garnish it with dry cocoa and grated chocolate. Allow it to set for 4-5 hrs or refrigerate for 24hrs.
Carefully cut them into pieces and serve cold. You get about 12 medium sized pieces.

Cocochoco burfi is a little sticky and not dry like the coconut burfi. The use of tahini makes it a little moist.

This is my submission to this month’s SOS Challenge – Sesame, hosted by  Diet, Desserts & Dogs and Affairs of Living, to Only Festive Foods, hosted by Khaugiri and Foodelicious, to Virtual Party Snacks hosted by Ruchika Cooks and From My Home Kitchen, and to The Chocolate Fest, hosted by Cook-curry nook.


Karela Fry/Bitter Gourd Fry

I’ve started enjoying bitter gourd both for it’s health benefits and taste. It tastes really good with simple dal-chawal (lentil and rice).

Here are some tips on how to select the right bitter gourd:

  • Choose unripe ones,that are firm like a cucumber
  • Avoid those that have turned yellow/orange or  have soft spots
  • Riped ones can be excessively bitter
  • The smaller variety is more bitter than the bigger one
  • You can refrigerate them for 3-4 days
  • Keeping bitter gourds at room temperature or with other fruits and vegetables will hasten them to ripen and become more bitter

Karela Fry is inspired by an aunt of mine and I’ve tried to blend in more flavours to make it more interesting.
This is my first attempt to showcase step by step clicks 🙂

250gms bitter gourd nicely washed and dried
4tbs oil for frying
1tsp jeera
1tsp mustard seeds
2cups of finely chopped onions
1tsp of coriander powder
1tsp of chilli powder
1/4tsp garam massala
1/2tsp amchur powder (dried mango powder)
2tsp jaggery powder
2tsp coarsely grounded peanut
salt to taste
2tsp roasted sesame seeds for garnish
cilantro and grated coconut for garnish

Grate the outer skin of karela.De seed and cut them into pieces.Keep them aside.

Deep fry the cut pieces till golden brown.

Heat oil 1tbs of oil in a pan and add jeera and mustard seed. After the seeds pop, add onions. Let the onions turn golden brown and add the grated karela, coriander powder,chilli powder and salt. Cook the massala on low flame for 20 minutes. Take care not to burn the massala. If sticking to the pan, add 1-2tsp of oil and keep stirring. Don’t add water at any given point.The massala will be ready ones it’s turned blackish-brown in colour.
Add the fried karela,jaggery,peanuts and amchur.Allow it to cook for 10 minutes on low flame.You can also add some lime after you have turned off the stove.
Garnish it with cilantro,sesame and grated coconut.

This is my submission to this month’s Vegetable Marathon – Bitter Gourd, hosted by Nithu from Nithu’s Kitchen and Shilpa from Anita’s Kitchen and to SOS Challenge – Sesame, hosted by Ricki from Diet,Dessert and Dogs and Kim from Affairs of Living.


Tahini Toast

I kick start my morning with a glass of water. Recently, I purchased  India’s first natural spring water called Mulshi Springs and I really like the glass bottle…so much better than the packed plastics ones…
Morning tea is also important to me and my hubby. We can keep pouring ourselves pots and pots of tea all day long 🙂
It is always good to start your day with a well balanced healthy diet by supplementing your breakfast with some fruits and nuts; even if you are in a morning rush. Statics show that people who skip their breakfast are grumpy and irritable. So what are you waiting for…start your day with an easy to prepare Tahini Toast 🙂

for tahini
3 cups sesame
1 cup olive oil

Roast the sesame seeds until light brown. Allow it to cool.
Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The mixture should be thick, yet pourable. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.Makes about 2 cups of tahini.
Tahini can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container for a month.

for toast (2 piece of bread per serving)
2 slice wheat bread/multi grain bread (any bread of your choice)
2tsp of tahini
1tsp ground cinnamon powder
1tsp honey or agave nectar (you can add more according to your taste)

Combine tahini, cinnamon and honey/agave nectar. Toast the bread. Spread the tahini mixture over the toast while still warm.

Enjoy the toast with a nice cup of hot tea or have it on the go 🙂

This is my submission to this month’s SOS Challenge – Sesame hosted by Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Kim from Affairs of Living and to Breakfast Club # 5 – Bread hosted by Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Sarah from fingers and toes.


Asian Noodle Salad with Sesame & Peanut

I came across the event ‘In the Bag’ which gives you ingredients to innovate a whole new recipe.For this month’s event  mushroom,herbs and nuts were the suggested ingredients. I liked the entire concept and I quickly started gathering the ingredients……
Asian noodle salad can be made with various ingredients and they can be a healthy dinner after a long day’s work. I hope you like my version of the Asian Noodle Salad with Sesame & Peanut.

2 cups noodles (any kind, I used durum wheat noodles)
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2tsp crushed garlic
2tsp olive oil

for salad dressing
1tsp soya sauce
1tsp agave nectar or honey
1tsp red wine vinegar
1tsp olive oil
1tbs roasted and coarsely ground peanuts
1/2tsp pepper powder
1tsp chilli flakes (optional)
salt to taste

for garnish
1 cup basil leaves
4tsp roasted sesame seeds

Cook and drain the noodles. Allow it to cool. Heat oil in a pan and add crushed garlic. I let the garlic turn a bit brown and crisp because it gives a nice flavor to the salad. Add mushrooms and let it cook until soft. Allow the mushrooms to cool.
Once the mushrooms are cold, add the salad dressing and mix well. Garnish it with sesame seeds, basil and serve at room temperature or cold.

This is my submission to this month’s In the Bag hosted by Julia from A Slice of Cherrypie and Scott from Real Epicurean, to No Croutons Required – Noodles, hosted by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen, to SOS Kitchen Challenge hosted by Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Kim from Affairs of Living and to Souper Sundays hosted by Deb from Kahaki Kitchen.