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!

Dry Fruit Bliss Balls

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Diwali is right here and I can’t contain my excitement. Meeting friends and family, wearing new closed, decorating each corner of the house and then the most important part – eating the most amazing array of food. The festive happiness spread to every nook and corner of the house. The flowers, the diyas, those little lights, all ready to adorn my house and then the laddus and cookies all making my kitchen smell sweet and fragrant.

I try to lose my self control during my favorite festival of the year and this year is going to be no different. Yes, I will gorge on the traditional desserts and some fried snacks during get togethers but then I will try to watch and eat. I know its slightly difficult but these pretty Dry Fruit Bliss Balls solves this problem. No compromise on the fun, food and flavor for sure!

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These dry fruit loaded bliss balls is an amazing way to serve your desserts + dry fruits this year. Pop them into your mouth and your sweet craving is taken of. Dry fruits and Diwali brings back lots of childhood memories. I have grown up watching my parents gifting dry fruits to friends and family or offering dry fruits to guests when they came to greet. This treasure trove of dry fruits is a nice twist to the usual bowl of mixed dry fruits. Fun and an easy affair, this yummy bliss ball will solve all your end minute stressful Diwali preparation.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 12 – 14 balls)

  • 1 cup Mejdool Dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins
  • 3 tbsp almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut + extra for rolling
  • 2 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 5 – 6 saffron strands, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cold pressed coconut oil (optional)

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METHOD:

  • In a food processor put dates, figs, raisins, almonds, pistachios, desiccated coconut, walnuts, poppy seeds, chia seeds, cardamom powder and saffron strands and  blitz it until the mixture doesn’t have big chunks of dry fruits.
  • Add coconut oil and grind it again. Make sure not to over grind it else you will get dry fruit butter.
  • Scrape down the sides of the food processor and transfer the mixture into a bowl.
  • Take 3/4 – 1 tbsp of the mixture and make balls out of it. Roll it into desiccated coconut and keep aside.
  • You can keep the bliss balls at room temperature and serve within 1 day or keep it in the fridge and serve cold.

Happy Diwali!

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Goodness Salad

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My simple salad is calling me yet again! This salad has everything I love – fresh produce, colorful ingredients and a sweet zippy dressing. I often end up making salads at home because I am cognizant of the ingredients that go into it, about its freshness and quality. Being allergic to a few cut vegetables, I refrain from ordering salads at restaurants, until I am extremely craving for one (and also ready to face the repercussions).

This quick salad makes you land in a win -win situation because is healthy and amazingly delicious.  Vibrantly flavoured, each element in this dish has immense character. The smokiness from the beets and corn, the creaminess from hung yogurt, the freshness from the microgrees (my new love) and those salted caramel walnuts – enough said! All of this with a honey mustard dressing, it can’t get any better.

Easy and yummy – welcome to my version of healthy eating!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 2 large beet
  • 20 pieces walnuts
  • 1 large corn cob
  • 3 cups microgreens, nicely cleaned
  • 1/3 cup hung curd
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chopped basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to  taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 220C for atleast 10 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a beets and wash and scrub it with water to remove all the dirt. Pat dry it using a kitchen towel.
  • Place the beets in a foil, coat the beets generously with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt. Cover it tightly with aluminium foil and put it in the oven to roast for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Meanwhile char grill the corn on the flame. Take a sharp knife and remove the corn kernels from the cob and keep aside.
  • Take a saucepan and put the sugar and let it melt. Once it starts to melt add the walnuts and 1/2 tsp salt and using a spatula start coating the walnuts and turn off the heat. Take the walnuts off the pan and keep aside.
  • Add the remaining salt to the hung curd and mix it and keep aside.

For the dressing:

  • Take honey, mustard, lemon juice and

Banana Bread Granola – 100th Post Celebration!

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Hello folks! I can’t believe that I have penned down 100 of my favorite recipes and shared my culinary stories with all if you. The love I have got from each of you is completely overwhelming. It is so gratifying to see the blog grow from a single viewer to a community of such amazing people who appreciate my efoorts and my love for food. I can’t thank each of you enough for your unending faith in me.

Coming to the 100th blog post celebration, means something special was cooking in my kitchen. A dish that invokes memories of my first baking experience and has become my family (and definitely my lil one’s) favorite – Quick Banana Bread. However this is not a post about the classic banana brad but something which is healthy, super easy and unquestionably delicious – Banana Bread Granola!

When you feel like munching something, a bowl of this granola with or without yogurt is all you will need to satisfy your hunger pang as well as your sweet craving. The aroma of banana bread flavors wafting through the entire house is therapeutic. The warmth of the spices and the infused banana flavor makes it quite addictive.

Just as we enjoyed this super bowl of granola, make a BIG batch for yourself because I bet this will get over in no time!

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RECIPE

METHOD: (Makes 3 cups)

  • 1 3/4 cups jumbo oats
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 15 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin/melon seeds
  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (you can use agave syrup or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium sized banana, mashed

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 165 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep aside
  • In a bowl add jumbo oats, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, salt and brown sugar and mix well so that the ingredients are evenly spread.
  • In another bowl add maple syrup and melted butter and whisk it. Add vanilla extract and whisk the mixture.
  • Now add the mashed bananas and mix it well.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and using a spatula mix it well so that all the ingredients are well coated and evenly spread.
  • Spread the entire mix onto the baking tray and spread evenly. Put it in the oven to bake for 23- 25 minutes.
  • Around 10 minutes into baking, take the baking sheet out and using a fork just mix the entire granola mixture to avoid burning of the ingredients.
  • Put it back into the oven and allow it to bake for another 13 – 15 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven, fluff it using a fork and allow the mixture to cool down completely. Only once it is cooled will the mixture get crunchy.
  • Store it in an airtight container upto 2 weeks.

Voila!

Pesto Vegetable Curry

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With the onset of summer, everyone needs an express meal which is healthy, fresh and delicious. This recipe was pure serendipity! The love of home made pesto and fresh veggies led to creation of this wonderful dish and now it’s my family’s favorite! So just when deciding on each day’s menu for dinner was becoming difficult, Pesto Vegetable Curry on a bed of brown/red rice has become a regular stress free weeknight meal.

The sweet scent of fresh basil simply exudes summer. The vibrant and mildy spiced green curry with a medley of colorful veggies screams of summer. So just when you are thinking of cooking something different, something appetizing, we’ve got this recipe up for you!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)

  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp for curry
  • 6 garlic cloves + 4 garlic cloves for curry
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched in salt water and strained
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell peppers, julienne
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, julienne
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels, boiled
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup of milk (You can use 1/4 cu of fresh cream instead)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • few fresh basil leaves, to garnish (optional)
  • cooked rice, to serve with

METHOD:

  • Combine garlic, basil leaves, walnuts and pine nuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  • Now add parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil and blend until a smooth paste is formed and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Take a saucepan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Take 4 cloves of garlic and smash it with a pestle and put it in the saucepan. Take half of the chili flakes in the saucepan and saute it.
  • Now add the bell peppers and a bit of salt and saute it for a couple of minutes until slightly cooked.
  • Put in the broccoli florets and allow it to cook for 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms, corn and remaining chili flakes and saute all the veggies until cooked by 70%
  • Now add the homemade pesto sauce prepared earlier. Add salt, oregano and let the veggies cook in the pesto paste for a couple of minutes.
  • Add milk and let the curry simmer on low flame for 3 – 4 minutes, until the curry comes to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat, add lemon juice and lemon zest, mix it with a spatula so that its well incorporated.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve it hot with rice.

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Quick Coffee Cake Loaf

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Steaming cup of coffee, reading a book and a slice of coffee cake – wonderful pleasures of life! Breakfast, brunch or tea and me time, don’t forget this scrumptious flavorful explosion bomb – coffee loaf cake.  Its moist, its delicious and everything that you need with your daily cup of coffee.

My pantry can run out of everything but coffee! It’s my lifeline to keep me going everyday. So when you combine two of your favorite things – coffee and baking, there is excitement in the kitchen and you can’t stop grinning about it. The aroma of the coffee spreading throughout the kitchen along with the nuttiness from the nuts, is simple phenomenal. Make it like a simple loaf or if you are feeling indulgent top it up with a sugar glaze or streusel topping, this cake is a crowd pleaser.

While the coffee mellows down the sweetness from the cake, the nuts add the crunch element to the loaf and the spices add the much required warmth to the cake. Yes, it takes no time to bake it and can last till 3 -4 days. Its so darn yummy that the question you should ask if will it last that long?

Bake it now, cut a slice and enjoy!

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RECIPE

METHOD: (1 – 9 inch loaf pan)

  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 115 grams unsalted butter + some for greasing, room temperature
  • 120 grams caster sugar
  • 4 tsp instant espresso powder (I used Nescafe espresso powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 30 grams walnut, toasted and crushed into small chunks
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • pinch of salt

RECIPE:

  • Preheat your oven to 180C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile grease the baking tin wit butter and line the base with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, pinch of salt and cinnamon powder and whisk it. Now add the walnuts chunks and keep it aside.
  • Meanwhile cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Now add the egg one at a time and beat it until well incorporated.
  • Now add the flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with milk.
  • Beat it just until well combined or you can use a spatula to fold it gently.
  • Transfer the batter to the loaf tin. You can top it with crushed walnuts, cinnamon and sugar mixture or bake just as is.
  • Allow it to bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once baked, allow it to cool on the wire rack and cut it into slices and eat!

Keep baking, keep eating!

Rainbow Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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The start of October means the start of festivals all across India. There is an aura of happiness and wafting aroma of excellent food everywhere. I indulge to my hearts content, however I try to reset my day by eating something healthy, atleast one meal a day. The idea of eating healthy and delicious food got me to make this Rainbow Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. It was inspired by a salad I ate at Yoga Cafe in Mumbai – simply soul satisfying!

This Rainbow Salad is indeed a treasure trove of the freshest fruits and vegetables that I picked up from a local grocery store. The vibrant colors and textures of the ingredients, makes it a picturesque plate of food where you want to dig in. The crispiness from the home grown lettuce leaves to the fresh explosion of pomegranate pearls and orange segments is blissful. The alfalfa sprouts ornate the dish beautifully and add a nice earthy feeling to it. While the tomatoes add the juiceness to the dish, the smokiness comes from the char grilled peppers. Assimilating these ingredients might be time consuming at times however the outcome is great too. The feta cheese (one of my favorite cheese) adds the creaminess to the powerhouse salad and all this is well brought together with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Remember to drizzle the dressing right before you eat it.

Yes, I am a salad person but I get bored eating the same salads again and again. However this is one salad where you can experiment with different ingredients – add some, delete some and never get bored. Eat this colorful salad, eat healthy, stay healthy!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 25 grams of Alfalfa sprouts
  • 10 – 11 pieces lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6 orange segments, deseeded
  • 1 medium sized red pepper
  • 1 big tomato, deseeded and cut lengthwise
  • 40 grams feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 10 pieces toasted walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • For the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a glass jar/container. Shake well and keep it in the refrigerator for atleast 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile brush the red pepper generously with olive oil and keep it on a naked flame so that it chars. Turn the side every 2 minutes to get a even char on the red pepper.
  • Once its grilled, put it in a bowl with cold water. Peel the skin and cut it into thin strips and keep aside.
  • Take a bowl or a platter, place the lettuce leaves. Randomly place half the grilled peppers and tomatoes on the leaves.
  • Now scatter the alfalfa sprouts and the remaining tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds, orange segments and feta cheese cubes.
  • Right before eating drizzle the vinaigrette, toss it and enjoy the salad.

Stay healthy, stay happy!

 

 

 

Ginger Spiced Chocolate Muffins

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Waking up to a cup of perfectly brewed coffee and chocolate spiced muffin is something anyone would love. These days when the mornings are less sunny in Bangalore, such a beautiful start to the morning is needed to get the day going. Reading the newspaper, sipping coffee, eating the chocolate – ginger muffins and trading stories about what is about to happen at work today – its blissful!

Among the different flavors of muffins available in bakeries, ginger spiced chocolate muffins is not commonplace. The intensity from the ginger with the sweetness from the chocolate is delicious. These little morsels of yumminess is truly a treat to yourself. Have it with your breakfast, pack these in your lunch or share it with your friends during the evening snack time, this sugar and spice combination is quite enticing. So while I am heading back to the kitchen to prepare the next batch of these deliciously soothing muffins, take a look at the recipe and make a bake these in your kitchen too.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 16 mini muffins)

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds and walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 180C for atleast 10 minutes. Prepare your muffin tray by lining it with muffin liners or spraying it with cooking spray.
  • Take a bowl and add all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and mix it well.
  • In another bowl add vegetable oil, vanilla extract, water and white vinegar and whisk well.
  • Now add in the dried ingredient mixture prepared above and fold it until well incorporated.
  • Add the chopped nuts, chocolate chips and ginger and mix it. (do not over beat the batter)
  • Now pour the batter into your mini muffin tray and allow it to bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once baked, allow it to cool a little before diving in!

Enjoy…

NOTES:

  • You can add ginger syrup in case you want more ginger flavor.
  • You can add crystallized ginger in the batter and garnish it with it too.

Beetroot, Arugula and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Sometimes all you need is simple ingredients and a zest to cook (and clean up your fridge)  to make a fantastic dish. A few days back while shopping in a super market I happen to come across fresh arugula leaves and without thinking twice I put them in the basket. Didn’t have any recipe running through my head. Back home, I kept looking at the fridge, trying to figure out what to make with these beautiful greens. My fridge was full of beets, since my 10 month old loves them and suddenly the thought of beetroot, arugula and feta salad. The thought of it made me salivate.

This salad with its deep flavors and wide array of textures is definitely a delicious offering. The beautiful color of the beets and the freshness from the leaves and herbs cools you down during hot days. The earthy sweetness from the tender beets, the salty chunks of the feta, the bitterness from the arugula all comes together to form a healthy and yummy salad. The bitter and sweet contrast in the salad is quite inviting to my palate. And then comes the toasted pine nuts which adds a nice fragrance to the salad. All this is combined together with a balsamic vinaigrette which is a merriment to my taste buds. Balsamic vinegar is a must must ingredient in my salad. It just makes the whole experience of eating greens quite pleasurable.

So now that the weekend is here and some nice indulgence is needed to kick start a fresh week, toss this salad up and enjoy to hearts content.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (for 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 2 medium sized boiled beet, julienned
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into slices diagonally
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, cut into thin slices (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup of fresh arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach (optional)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese cubes
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  • Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and whisk it for a couple of minutes.
  • Now add the chopped basil leaves, chili flakes, garlic , salt and pepper into the above mixture and mix it well.
  • In a jar or container, transfer the entire mixture, cover the lid and shake it well for a minute. Store it at room temperature or in the fridge until you will serve the salad.
  • In another bowl, take carrots, beetroot, arugula, onion , baby spinach and fresh basil and mix it well. (The best way to mix it nicely is to use your hands.)
  • Right before serving, transfer the veggies to your salad bowl, put in half of your pine nuts and feta cheese and give it a quick mix.
  • Now add the salad dressing and toss it well.
  • Finish it off by garnishing it with the remaining pine nuts and feta cheese and serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • You can use toasted walnuts, pistachios or pecans instead of pine nuts.
  • Feel free to cut the beetroot in small chunks. They look beautiful too.
  • You can use goat cheese instead of feta. Though beet and feta have an unwavering relationship.
  • You can omit carrots too. But I like carrots and beets together.