Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Organic Vs Non-organic and Spinach masiyal


A while back, there was  a seminar at work during a lunch break. It was about healthy choices for busy people and it was very infomative. We had switched to organic produce long back, but i just had an overall idea of how organic is better than non-organic and this seminar was a real eye opener for me. She mentioned about the top 10 foods that we should never buy non-organice and apple was in that and i think she mentioned that a non-organic apple is  97% contaminated with the pesitcide, which was a big shock for me. We have grabbed the non-organic apples quite a number of times if we could not go to whole foods or if we are really in a hurry to just grab and go. All the other supermarkets like Publix, Krogers and Walmart carry organic produce too, but it is limited. Please check this link that lists out the top 10 foods that you must buy organic and also the ones that are okay if you dont have a choice and end up buying non-organic.

I have some more useful information to share, but don't want to overload with all information in one post and will share them as i go.

Now let me share the Keerai masiyal the way my mom and mil make. It is nutritous and is easy to make.  It has lentils for protein, the goodness of spinach. I just make this and have this with rice on hectic days.

Ingredients :

Baby spinach ( I use 1 box of  earthbound farms organic baby spinach)
Toor daal - 3/4C (uncooked)
Grated coconut -  2 spoons
Jeera / cumin seeds - 1 spoon
Redchillies - 4
Salt to taste

Mustard seeds, hing and a spoon of urad daal for seasoning.

Method :

Cut baby spinach and steam it in microwave for around  5 minutes. Pressure cook the daal and keep it aside.
Grind coconut, jeera and redchillies with little water. Add this and the steamed spinach in  a pan. Add some water and let it cook till the raw smell goes away. Add the cooked daal and salt and cook it for another 5, 10 minutes till it thickens. Season with mustard seeds, hing and urad daal.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Crunchy evening snack

I dont make deep fried snacks often and my first kiddo was asking me for Karthigai vadai one evening. It was quite late in the evening, so i didnt want to make it. But, since my kids rarely ask for something, i made this, as this is quick to put together. They both loved it.  My cousin Aruna used to make this. She used to make this with wheat flour. I added besan (chick pea flour) for some extra protein. I dont know if it really matters when it comes to deep fried snacks, but i try :)

Ingredients :

Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Besan / Chickpea flour - 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder (optional)
Curry leaves (optional)

Method :

Mix all the ingredients well. Add water little by little and keep kneading till you get a pliable dough.
Divide them into small  pieces and roll them into rotis. Now poke them with fork so they dont puff up when you deep fry. Cut them into small pieces and deep fry.

Curry leaves and/or chopped methi leaves/spinach can be added to the dough.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Healthy Masala Peanuts (Microwave)

This recipe is adapted from Mallika Badrinath's microwave recipes book. My husband and my mil both love this. As it is low fat and rich in protein, i make it often as evening snack.

Roasted unsalted peanuts - 1 cup

Besan / Chickpea flour - 4 spoons

Redchilli powder - 1 spoon

Salt to taste

Hing - a pinch

Oil - 2 spoons

Water - few spoons

In a ceramic bowl, heat a spoon of oil in microwave for a minute. Add the roasted peanuts and heat it again for a minute or two. Make sure it is not burnt. Add besan, redchilli powder, salt, hing, another spoon of oil and mix well. Sprinkle some water to make sure the peanuts are coated well with this besan mix. Heat them in microwave till they are crispy. Heat in small intervals to cook them uniformly. Stir occasionally. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Okra with Kokum

I learnt this from a friend. I tried it for the first time at home and everyone liked it and this was so easy. You don't have to cut it thin or you can even use the frozen cut okra. That saves a lot of time and this doesn't reduce much in quantity either, when it is cooked.

Ingredients :
Okra - 500gms (cut into 1 inch pieces)
Onion - 1 medium
Kokum - 4 pieces (cut into smaller pieces)
Redchilli powder - 1 tsp (adjust as per your taste)
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds, curry leaves and hing for seasoning

Method :

Soak the kokum in couple of spoons of warm water for few minutes. In a pan, heat a spoon of oil and when it is hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add curry leaves and hing and saute for few seconds. Add cut onions and kokum and saute till the onions are translucent. Add the okra, red chillipoweder, salt and cover and cook for few minutes, until the okra is well cooked. Remove the lid and cook for some more time till you get a dry curry.

Goes well with both Rice and Roti.

Kokum has sour taste like tamarind and is considered to be better than tamarind as it has some medicinal properties and is used in maharashtrian and konkani cuisine.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Low Fat Banana Bread

I am not a big fan of banana, but i like it if it is given in the form of Banana nut bread :) Another good thing about this is, it is a quick bread - no yeast, no waiting. Perfect for people like me! :)

I adapted this recipe from Joyofbaking. I reduced the sugar and oil and it was still perfect. A little bit of guilt free eating there!

Ingredients :
Ripe bananas - 2
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Low fat Yogurt - 1/2 c
Canola oil - 1/4C (Original 1/2 C)
Sugar - 1/2 C (Original 3/4 C)
Egg - 1 (Sorry didnt find a good eggless recipe!)
Flour - 1.5 C (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch

Method :

1. Mash banana with fork and mix baking soda and Yogurt to it.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, sugar and egg.

3. Combine 2 with 1.

4. Add flour, Baking powder, Salt and mix well. Transfer the mix to a bread loaf pan and bake it at 350F for 45-55 minutes.

You can add walnuts to it. Mine has a handful of chopped walnuts in it.

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