Baby Spinach, Apple and Nuts Salad

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The season of festivity is over and its time to get back to the grind – eating clean, eating fresh and enjoying the best winter produce in your town. And thats why I say The New Year Salad Magic is here! I remember a few years back I always made resolutions of quitting sugar, eating healthy, eating more salads with the start of the new year. Obviously these resolutions worked for a few weeks and then I went back to the old way of living – cheating, cheating and more cheating! However having made no resolutions of quitting anything in the recent times, I feel I have started eating healthier and tastier food. This Baby Spinach, Apple and Nuts Salad is just a testimony to that.

Lush green and absolutely delicious, this salad makes you fall in love with it. The beautiful blend of flavors – earthy, fresh, nutty, zingy and sweet is what makes this salad complete. The lovely earthy essence of the baby spinach leaves, the tart granny smith apples, the spiced nuts and seeds, the sweet cranberries and the creamy goats cheese, all blend in wonderfully to boast of this cozy and comforting salad. Whisk together a basic homemade dressing and you are done.

So get back to the kitchen, toss up some deliciousness for your family because this salad definitely screams winter yumness to me!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (for 2 – 3 people)

  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/2 medium sized granny smith apple, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 12 – 15 walnuts, broken into 2 pieces each
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2  tbsp melon seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (you can use 1/2 tbsp lemon juice if you like less tangy)
  • 5 – 6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • pinch of dried garlic powder (you can used 1 – 2 cloves of crushed garlic)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl whisk 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and lemon until well incorporated. Add chopped basil leaves, garlic powder, salt and black pepper and whisk it and keep aside (preferably in the fridge until ready to use).
  • Put a saucepan on low – medium heat. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add paprika and saute for 5 – 6 seconds. Add walnuts and melon seeds and saute for 30 – 40 seconds until the nuts and seeds is coated with paprika.
  • Once done remove it from the heat and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix baby spinach, apple slices, onion slices, paprika coated nuts and seeds, dried cranberries and the salad dressing kept it in the fridge.
  • Toss it gently together using a salad spoon. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with crumbled goats cheese and serve immediately!

Voila!

Granola Breakfast Tarts

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Its time to awaken your taste buds and kickstart your morning in a healthy, hearty way! I love to have a sumptuous breakfast, the kind where the entire breakfast table is adorned with fresh juices, freshly baked breads, brewed coffee, perfectly cooked eggs and a beautiful breakfast dessert tart. Oh gosh! I am already dreaming about it. Very rarely my breakfast table looks so full that I am spoilt for choices. All I try to do is make one or the other dish of my dreamy breakfast table on and off. Once such dish is the fabulous breakfast granola tart.

Fancy to look but simple to make, these tarts can appease your sweet cravings in a nutritious way. Loaded with heavenly flavours, these tarts makes mornings happier and merrier. The stunning granola crust, the fresh juicy fruits and luscious yogurt – all come together beautifully. Indulgent but definitely healthy. So just when you were craving dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dessert, we got you a solution!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 3 – 4 inch tarts)

For the tart:

  • 1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (I used Quaker oats)
  • 3 /4 cup finally chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup finelly chopped hazelnuts
  • 75 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for greasing the tin
  • 1 tbsp mixed sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the filling and topping:

  • 180 grams plain Greek Yogurt (I used Epigamia Greek Yogurt)
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar (you can use honey instead)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp black chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 small green apple, thinly sliced

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C for atleast 20 minutes. Grease the tart tins slightly with melted butter and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take all the dry ingredients for tart crust – Oats, Sesame Seeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts and Cinnamon – and mix it in a bowl.
  • In another bowl whisk together melted butter and vanilla extract and then add it to the dry ingredient bowl.
  • Using a spoon mix the entire granola mix. Now transfer 1/3rd of the mixture to one tart shell. Using the back of your spoon press the granola mix towards the edges of the shell. Make sure that there are no gaps left.
  • Put these tart shells to bake in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes.
  • Once done, using the back of your spoon, press down the granola mix and then allow the tart to cool completely in the tart shell.

For the filling:

  • While the tart shell is cooling down, we can make the filling.
  • In a bowl take greek yogurt, agave nectar (or honey) and vanilla extract and whisk it using the wire whisk.

For assembling:

  • Once the tart base has completely cooled down, demould it carefully.
  • Divide the yogurt mixture between the 3 tart shells and fill it completely.
  • Garnish with pomegranate arils, green apple slices, chia seeds and any leftover granola and serve!

 

Spiced Apple Muffins

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A perfect start to my mornings be it winters, summers or monsoon are these mini apple muffins with a dash of aromatic spices. Perfectly going with my cup of morning cup of tea are these lovely little bites that has made me fall in love with apples all over again!

As a kid I loathed apples and remember my mother trying to feed me apples religiously. From overloading fruit custards with apples to making apple crumbles, she tried hard to instil my loves for apples in any way possible. It was only recently when I had a slice of an apple pie after which I started enjoying apples. I wanted to try my hands in making muffins so that I could serve them for family breakfast or brunches rather than serving Indian traditional sweets. One of my favourite breakfast table dish on which I can gorge on guilt free because it’s actually super healthy.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 12 mini muffins)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp star anise powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (if the apples are sweet enough you can reduce the sugar by 1 tbsp)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder, for garnishing (optional)
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar, for garnishing (optional)

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C for atleast 20 minutes before baking. Meanwhile oil the muffin tray or place the muffin liners.
  • In a bowl combine whole wheat flour, baking soda, star anise powder, cinnamon powder and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  • In another bowl combine apples and 1 tbsp powdered sugar and keep aside for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Combine lukewarm water, vinegar, oil and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix well.
  • Now combine the dry and the wet ingredients and then add the apple mixture . Combine well.
  • Pour the batter in the muffin liners and sprinkle cinnamon powder and powdered sugar mixture before baking the muffins for 20 – 25 minutes at 180 C.
  • Once baked, demould it and have it warm and enjoy your morning breakfast!