Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaf Cake

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My all time summer favorite combination is Lemon and Blueberry, and when you combine them in a mini loaf, they are irresistible! While I enjoy baking almost anytime of the day, I usually have sudden morning cravings for freshly baked goodies. And this no fail classic comes to my rescue every time. Its almost like saying that when life gives you lemons, you make these Lemon and Blueberry Mini Loafs.

The burst of freshness from the blueberries and the tang from the lemon, these mini bundles of wowness is not to missed this summer. They are an epitome of summer yumness. Buttery, lemon-y and yummy!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 – 5 mini loaf cake)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used fresh blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 80 grams jaggery powder or granulated white sugar
  • 60 grams butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp heaped baking powder
  • 1/ 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter or spray your mini loaf tins. (I used a mini loaf liner hence didn’t have to butter or spray)
  • In a bowl take the blueberries, 1 tbsp of flour and toss together until bluebrries are all coated with flour and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, lemon zest and baking soda and keep aside.
  • In a another bowl take the butter and beat it using a electric beater until soft. Add the jaggery or white sugar and beat it until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  • Add 1 egg and beat it until just incorporated. add lemon juice and beat it for 10 – 20 seconds.
  • Now add the flour mixture and milk and fold it gently until the mixture is just incorporated.
  • Add the blueberries and fold it gently into the batter.
  • Transfer the batter equally into the baking moulds and bake it for 28 -30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, let it cool down and then dive in!

Mayo Pasta Salad

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A bowl of scrumptious salad, freshly prepared chilled juice and a bite sized healthy desserts is what I usually crave for during the days when the temperature is soaring. Vibrant, fresh and delicious is what salad means to me and this Mayo Pasta Salad is my definition of a boring salad made exciting. I am sure by now you must be knowing how much I love my food and that I can’t eat the same thing day in and day out. Given this, I cannot thrive on leafy salads all the time and this salad fits in beautifully in my meal plans.

I throw in all the bits of veggies kept in the fridge, play around with a few dressing ideas and tada! my salad in ready. Creamy, crunchy, spicy and sweet – all packed in a single bowl of this mayo pasta salad that you ought to fall in love with this!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 people)

  • 1 3/4 cup uncooked fusilli pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
  • 3/4 cup peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise (I used store bought mayonnaise)
  • 6 tbsp yogurt/ hung curd (I used Epigamia Artisinal yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (I used Bhut Sriracha Sauce)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  • Put a pot of water along with a tsp of salt on stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Once done put the uncooked pasta and let it cook until al dente.
  • Once it is cooked, drain it and run the pasta under tap water and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together yogurt, sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, salt and pepper until its smooth.
  • Take a bowl add all the ingredients – peppers, broccoli, pasta, parsley, cilantro and mix it gently.
  • Add the dressing and toss it until all the ingredients are well coated.
  • Garnish with berries and serve!

Banana and Nutella Quick Bread

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It’s time to reveal my secret (not so secret anymore) elixir for times when I am down and out – Banana and Nutella Quick Bread! I made this bread with ragi and oats flour and it all about comfort and yumness! Tried, tested and never failed with this recipe. And I hope you now understand why it’s my favorite – super easy, super quick and no scope of messing it up!
The freshly grounded cinnamon-y flavor to the nutty flavor from the flours, everyone’s favorite Nutella to the goodness from the banana in every bite, makes it a delicious dessert to dive in all through the day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – you’ll fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 – 9 inch loaf)

  • 100 grams oats flour
  • 90 grams ragi flour
  • 3 ripe bananas, medium sized
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil + extra for brushing
  • 100 grams melted Nutella

METHOD

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile spray or brush you baking mould with oil and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl sift your flours, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder and whisk it. Add chia seeds and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mash the banana using a fork into small chunks. Add oil, sugar and vanilla extract to it and mix it well using a wire whisk.
  • Add the wet and dry ingredients and fold it until just combined.
  • Transfer half of it to the baking mould. Put half the Nutella and using a skewer make a design. Repeat the process.
  • Allow it to bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done take it out of the oven. Allow it to cool. Then slice it up and serve!

Thai Rainbow Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing

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I have started to believe that I have a thing towards fresh produce and making everything from scratch whether its salad dressings, breads, ghee and possibly everything within my scope. There is still a long way to go, lot of skills to learn however I am loving this. Using local and fresh ingredients rather than frozen ones adds such a depth of flavor and a feel good factor in everything you make. The effort that goes in making everything perfect for your family and friends, making everything pure and good is a true epitome of love and affection.

This salad is all about freshness – delicious and crunchy ingredients, a flavorful dressing, beautifully tossed together and yay! its ready. A perfect way to welcome the summer and enjoy every bit of homemade thai flavors.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 – 5 people)

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup red carrots, julineed
  • 1/3 cup mixed bell peppers, julineed
  • 180 – 200 grams rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 red chilli, for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup soy
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

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METHOD:

For the dressing:

  • Whisk everything together until incorporated and keep aside until ready to use.

For the salad:

  • Take a bowl filled with boiling hot water and place the rice vermicelli noodles in it. Let it soak for 2 – 3 minutes or until the noodles is cooked.
  • Once done drain it and wash it with tap water. Allow the water to completely drain off.
  • In a large bowl mix together red cabbage, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, coriander leaves, black sesame seeds and noodles and toss it so that everything is almost evenly distributed.
  • Add the dressing and toss it.
  • Garnish with red chilli, peanuts and coriander leaves and serve!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Granola

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Chocolate for breakfast – doesn’t that sound interesting enough! This delicious granola is every chocolate lovers dream come true. Make this scrumptious chocolate granola with just 11 basic ingredients and yes you’ll fall in love with it. Healthy, tasty, easy and all the good things you can think of. I am a complete coffee addict, period! I need my steaming cup of coffee to kick start my day. However this Dark Chocolate Granola is the only thing that can replace my coffee. It is super addictive and my new friend on the breakfast table. The secret to this granola is using the most premium chocolate available

The hide and seek of the chunks of dark chocolate in the chocolate-y granola is phenomenal. The nuttiness from the almonds and the tangy-ness from the berries all lends in beautifully to create a healthy breakfast and on the go snack. Try it and you’ll get addicted for sure!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 cups)

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, roughly chopped (I used 3/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup walnuts)
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin and melon seeds)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried mixed berries
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used 72% dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients – oats, nuts, mixed seeds, chia seeds, dried berries, brown sugar and cocoa powder and keep aside. Make sure to mix it well so that the cocoa powder covers the entire mixture.
  • In another bowl whisk together butter, vanilla extract and honey until incorporated.
  • Now add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix it well until the dry ingredients are coated enough.
  • Now spread out the mixture on the baking sheet and put it to bake for 20 – 22 minutes
  • Around 10 minutes into baking, use a fork to just toss the granola mix so that it bakes evenly without burning and put it back into baking for 10 -12 minutes more.
  • Take it out from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Store it in an airtight container and you can use it for 7 – 10 days.

Enjoy!

 

 

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!

Fresh Sorghum/ Jowar Hummus

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Happy 2018 folks! A new year, new aspirations, new vigor and new learnings. The year gone by was a great year with continuous learning and unlearning. And as we have ushered into the new year, I want to make this year more memorable, more fun filled and more enlightening be it learning how to become a better person, a better cook and a better human. This is not a resolution for 2018, but a small effort to embark on a journey of perfection and happiness.

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When it comes to food, I want to explore different cuisines, understand the food culture, eat clean and enjoy. What better way to start learning and cooking with local Indian produce. Winters in Indian brings a plethora of fresh produce – lush green spinach, fresh turmeric, fresh garlic and fresh grains. Loaded with so much goodness, these fresh produce is a constant reminder how beautiful India is. And what happens when you take local produce and turn it into something as simple and lovely like a Hummus. This Homemade Fresh Jowar/ Sorghum Hummus lends an exotic flavor to the usual Hummus. Easy to make with some basic ingredients and a healthy snacking option. Get your creative juices flowing because you can do just so much more than the recipe shared below. Add your favorite herbs or slather it on your toast with some veggies, this recipe will surely win your hearts this winters!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Make 1.5 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh Jowar/ Sorghum
  • 2 1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 – 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

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METHOD:

  • Put a saucepan on medium-low heat and dry roast the white sesame seeds until fragrant. Once done, remove it from the heat and let it cool down.
  • In a food processor, add the toasted sesame seeds and 1 tbsp olive oil and grind it to a smooth paste. Once done keep it aside
  • Now take the fresh jowar, parsley leaves, garlic cloves, the toasted sesame paste and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor and grind the mixture into smooth paste.
  • Scrape down the sides, add lemon juice and splash of water (if needed) and blitz it to form an almost smooth paste. (it is okay if you feel the chewy texture of the jowar in the paste)
  • Transfer it to a serving bowl, drizzle some olive oil and dried mint leaves and serve with toast, crackers or crudites.

Enjoy!