KitKat chocolate croissants

I had a croissant themed Valentine’s dinner this past week with cheese croissant hotdogs with a variety of toppings. However, I think the star of the evening was the KitKat chocolate croissants.

I used pretzel croissants, but any type of croissants will do. We cut the croissant across in half horizontally, but not all the way and filled it with chocolate chips. Use as much or as little as you like.

Then we toasted the croissants until the chocolate melted. After removing the croissants from the toaster over, we put a piece of KitKat in each croissant.

The nice crunch with the melted chocolate made this dessert different. We added some strawberries as well to make it more decadent.

Enjoy!

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Glorious Green Carrot tops

Only recently did I discover the joy of carrot tops. We grow carrots in our garden each summer and I usually discard the carrot tops. But I now have learnt to use my carrot tops and I actually am more excited about the tops than the carrots.

I have used the carrots tops for pesto, but I absolutely love putting the tops in my stocks. It gives the stock a whole lot flavour with so little effort. I freeze the tops and pull them out when I am making a stock.

It makes me happy to be able to use the whole plant (carrot and tops) and not have any waste.

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Roobois Chai Tea

I do like to start my weekend morning with a cup of Chai. I find it hearty and nourishing, and at the same time very relaxing to sip on my cup of tea.

I have been experimenting with different variations of spices and like this version the best. I use Roobois tea and almond milk, but this can be substituted with black tea and regular milk. I grind up a batch using my mortar and pestle and then steep up my tea when I am ready for a cup.

Chai mix

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp cloves

1 tbsp cardamom pods

1 tsp all spice

Method:

  1. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind all the spices.
  2. Store in a container. This should make about 3- 4 cups of chai

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Chai tea

1 tbsp chai mix

1 tbsp roobois tea

Method:

  1. Add 1 cup of milk to a pot. Simmer on medium low heat. Add 1 tbsp of chai mix and 1 tbsp of roboois tea. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Use a tea strainer, to strain the milk into a cup.

I usually add another cup of milk to the roboois chai mix. I find the second cup to be as delicious as the first. Play around with the amount of chai mix. If you like it less strong, then add less chai mix to the milk.

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Quick and Healthy Asian Noodle soup

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My mom makes her soup from scratch using chicken bones or ox bones, but I really do not have the time to do this. I was quite pleased with my quick soup that I made the other day in less than 20 minutes. I used chicken broth as the base and kaffir lime leaves. Kaffir leaves (available in most Asian grocery stores), provides big impact with hardly any effort. I used tofu noodles to keep the soup carb free. You can pretty much throw in any vegetables that you have available. The tofu noodles are great in the soup, as they absorb the flavour and do not get mushy when cooked.

Ing:

3 soft boiled eggs

500 ml Chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, sliced

5 kaffir lime leaves

2 tbsp sambal olek

3 carrots, sliced

3 celery stalks, sliced

12 baby bok choy, trimmed

tofu noodles

radishes , cherry tomatoes (optional)

pepper to taste

cilantro for garnish

Method:

1. Boil the eggs.

2. In a separate pot, add stock, lime leaves and garlic.

3. Start cutting all the vegetables and adding them in as they are cut (Carrots, celery, bok choy).

4.Toss in radishes and noodles.

5. When the soup comes to a light boil, add in tomatoes and turn off the heat. I did not want the tomatoes to be overcooked, just slightly tender.

6. Remove shells from eggs, quarter it and add to the soup when eating.

7. Garnish with cilantro.

Easy chicken parathal

I really enjoyed eating this chicken that I made it back to back twice. I used a heavy pot with a lid to cook the chicken. By having the lid on when cooking the chicken, no additional water was needed. The steam in the pot cooked the chicken very quickly. The ingredient list does look long, but it might be a good idea to add these items to your pantry as they can be used for various other Indian recipes. Serve with some basmati rice and enjoy.

Ing:
2 chicken breasts, sliced
½ cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic, sliced
½ inch ginger, sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tbsp coriander seeds, crushed with your palms
1 handful curry leaves
1 tbsp desiccated coconut, not sweetened
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp garam masala
½ tbsp turmeric powder
1 tsp black sesame seeds
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ cup cilantro leaves

Method:
1. Mix the tamarind paste and tomato sauce with the chicken. Set aside.
2. Add oil to a heated pot. Then stir fry the onions until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry until golden brown.
3. Add mustard seeds, and crushed coriander seeds. Let them heat up for about a minute.
4. Add coconut and curry leaves. Pan fry for about a minute.
5. Add chicken, fenugreek seeds, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, sesame seeds. Stir fry until the chicken is well mixed with all the other ingredients. Cover the pot with the lid and allow the chicken to cook.
6. Once the chicken is cooked, add the yogurt. Mix well.
7. Garnish with cilantro leaves

Baked Spinach Pakoras

These spinach pakoras do not taste like your average fried pakoras with lots of batter. Here the spinach is the star of the dish. It is really easy to make and freezes well. I used a food processor to grind and mix all the ingredients together. I found though that I had to add each ingredient one at a time, because the spinach would tangle the blades if I put all the ingredients in the bowl straight away. These pakoras are great as a side dish or as an appetizer.

Ing:

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 cup cilantro leaves

1 cup plain yogurt

1 onion, sliced

½ cup chickpea flour

1 tsp fenugreek leaves

1 tbsp garam masala

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

 

Method:

  1. Add the onion to the food processor, then the cilantro, followed by bits of the spinach.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. Form into 1 inch round balls and place on an oiled tray.
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 400 F. ¾ way through, flip the spinach pakoras, so that each side browns a little.

 

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Easy cauliflower rice

This vegetable dish could be an entrée or a side dish. I love the flexibility of it.  I had it as an entrée for my lunch and just added a boiled egg, to make it a more balanced meal. You will need a food processor though, to grind up the cauliflower. I also added in some left over vegetables that I had on hand as well.

Ing:

1 cauliflower head

2 shallots, sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

1 tbsp sambal olek

1 ½ tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp olive oil

½ red pepper, sliced thinly

Method:

  1. Cut up cauliflower to small pieces. Using a food processor, grind to small pieces resembling grains of rice.
  2. Heat pan. Add Olive oil. Add in shallots and cook until almost golden brown.
  3. Add in garlic. Stir fry for a few minutes until golden brown.
  4. Mix in cauliflower and red pepper.
  5. Add in sambal olek and mustard and mix with cauliflower until well combined.
  6. Dish is ready when the cauliflower is a little tender.

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Another variation

I found this lovely yellow cauliflower and sprouted beans the other day and decided to make cauliflower rice again. This time, I pan fried some mustard seeds with onions.  When the onions were nice and golden brown, added in about 6 curry leaves, the cauliflower and about a cup of sprouted beans and tossed in some kale. A lovely lunch indeed!

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Chickpea and Vegetable stew

I am trying to eat more vegetables this week and decide to make a chickpea based dish. You could easily make this into a soup by adding more liquid, or if you wanted it to be more of a dip, just use less liquid. As I wanted to have a little texture, I did not puree the mixture to finely. I used with dried chickpeas, but you could easily use canned chickpeas. I think that any vegetables would go well in this dish. Feel free to substitute.

Ing:

1150 ml chicken broth, reduced sodium

3 ½ cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

½ inch ginger, sliced

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

5 carrots

1 cup chopped mushrooms

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp tumeric powder

Cilantro for garnish

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Rinse chickpeas. In a pot, add soaked chickpeas, ginger and chicken broth. Boil until the chickpeas are soft. This might take close to an hour.
  2. Add grapeseed oil to a hot pan. Add cumin seeds and toast for a minute.
  3. Add onions, carrots and sauté until the onions are golden brown.
  4. Add garlic, pepper, mushrooms to the pan.  Add chilli powder, tumeric powder and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until nicely roasted.
  5. When the chickpeas are soft, add the vegetables to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes.
  6. When slightly cooled, puree using an immersion blender or food processor.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy all the goodness of the dish.

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Stuffed Dates with granola

This sweet treat was inspired by a recipe I saw which stuffed marzipan into dates. In effort to make this healthier, I put homemade granola into the dates. I also stuffed a couple with ground walnuts. If you are looking for a sweet treat, this certainly hits the spot. The best thing is that dates are fat free.

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Ingredients:

Dates

Granola

Method:

  1. Make a slit lengthwise on the top of the date.
  2. Remove the seed.
  3. Fill with granola of your choice.

Healthy sauteed mushrooms

I felt like eating some sauteed mushrooms without all the butter and fat that I might normally include in my mushroom dish and found this version to be very satisfying indeed. I used Dijon mustard to add a nice flavour to the mushrooms. I also used this mushroom mixture in my quesadilla with chicken and other vegetables.

Ing:

½ tbsp. olive oil

1 shallot, sliced finely

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup chicken broth

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

 Method:

  1. Heat pan, then add olive oil
  2. Stir fry shallots and garlic until well cooked
  3. Add mushrooms and stir fry to mix in shallots and garlic
  4. Add chicken broth, yeast and mustard and mix well.
  5. Cook until mushrooms are soft and there is not too much liquid.

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