Monday, 26 September 2016

590. Spinach stuffed tomatoes

Enjoying the cold weather

I am thoroughly enjoying the cold weather in Bangalore. Makes me feel more energetic. While my family is posting pictures of still hot summers in UK, hubby is saying that weather is getting hotter in Mombasa, Bangalore seems to be getting colder. We get the occasional showers and its pretty windy where we are living. Cold weather means cups and cups of hot drinks, mostly green or herbal tea or plain hot water.(can't drink those in Mombasa!) I love sipping on mint tea. The 'sabjiwala' who comes thrice a week to our complex to sell vegetables and fruits has a policy of not giving small bunches of coriander and mint. I have to buy a fat bunch and land up using the mint for tea. What a change from the few stems of coriander, spinach and mint I get back in Mombasa to these fat bunches.
Our #FoodieMonday#Bloghop team decided on stuffed vegetables as our 59th theme. I've already blogged stuffed bhindi and brinjals (photos need serious updates!). My daughter is not a huge fan of parwal(pointed gourd) so couldn't use those. Its a much bigger version of the ivy gourd and I love the vegetable. The sabjiwala (vegetable man) brought some nice tomatoes on Thur and so I decided to use that. 
Ok guys, I know tomatoes biologically are not classed as vegetables. They are classified as fruits. However, approval from the group is all I needed to execute the bookmarked recipe. 
I'd wanted to make these stuffed tomatoes to serve with breakfast for a very long time. But you know how bookmarked recipes seem to collect dust if they don't come to your mind. Participating in various month or weekly groups allows me to go through some of these bookmarked or jotted down recipes. 
Sunday was supposed to be a heavy breakfast day with stuffed tomatoes, toast, spanish omelette, the works. I made the stuffed tomatoes and daughter and son in law to be decided that we were running late so they would skip breakfast! I had my breakfast, stuffed tomatoes and toast... no omelette :( and we rushed off to complete some wedding work. 
These stuffed tomatoes are so easy to prepare and can be served for breakfast along with eggs, bacon, sausages or even as a side dish during lunch or dinner. Remember how for breakfast hotels serve grilled tomatoes? I love them. So go on make these yummy stuffed tomatoes and just pretend that they are vegetables and not fruits!!!








SPINACH STUFFED TOMATOES
Makes 4

2 cups of finely chopped spinach
¼ cup chopped onions
3-4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped finely
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
1 tsp butter
4 ripe but firm tomatoes
4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

  1. Wash and wipe the tomatoes. Slice the top put of with a sharp knife.
  2. Make cuts into the septa(the 3 thick parts of the inner tomato).
  3. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the seeds and pulp. 
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of salt into the empty tomato shells and leave on the side till required.
  5. Heat butter gently over low heat in a wide pan.
  6. Add chopped onion and garlic and stir fry till the onion becomes soft.
  7. Increase the heat. Add chopped spinach and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till cooked.
  8. Take the pan off the heat. Add salt and pepper. Mix the spinach mixture well.
  9. Switch on the grill(broiler) at medium setting.
  10. Stuff the tomato shell with the spinach mixture.
  11. Sprinkle each stuffed tomato with grated cheese.
  12. Grill or broil for 10 minutes or till the cheese melts.
  13. Serve immediately with eggs and toast or with pasta. 
Tips:
  • Use the scooped out pulp for gravies or soup.
  • Use a really sharp knife to slice off the top of the tomato. I always believe that if you cannot cut a tomato without squishing it, the knife is not sharp.
  • Add stuffing of your choice.
  • Don't over grill or broil the tomatoes or else they'll become mushy.
You may want to check out the following:
stuffed brinjal
bharela bhinda nu shaak
zucchini boats




Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop



Friday, 23 September 2016

589.Moroccan Couscous Salad

A different taste

   The August theme for Shhh Cooking Secretly was exciting. Participating pairs travelled to different parts of the world. We're going to be able to see dishes that are prepared in Indonesia, Brazil, Morocco, Sri Lanka, France and Mediterranean. I'm eagerly waiting to see what they all prepare. My partner for this month is the talented and friendly Shobha Keshwani. Her blog Shobha's Food Mazaa has different types of recipes ranging from simple chutneys to complex breads.If you're ever looking for some authentic Sindhi recipes then be sure to check out her blog.
  Shobha and I got Moroccan cuisine. She gave me couscous and olives as the ingredients to prepare some Moroccan dish and I gave her lentils and tomatoes.Must admit that though I have heard a little bit about Moroccan food, I never really checked out the cuisine in detail as most of their dishes are meat based. So having couscous as one of the ingredients I was really happy. Couscous is a staple for any Moroccan dish. Couscous is served with stews or tagine as its called. Tagine is usually prepared from chicken or lamb. 
   The Berbers, the first inhabitants of Morocco used locally available ingredients like olives, figs, dates to prepare the stew. Over time traders and conquerors influenced new food customs. However the strongest influence in cuisine came after the Arab invasion. They brought with them different spices, cooking sweet and sour food. Later invasion by British and French added more flavours to their food. Modern Moroccan cuisine includes salads made from couscous.
   I decided to make a refreshing and filling salad with the two ingredients given to me by Shobha... couscous and olives. This couscous salad is quite different from the ones prepared in the Mediterranean region. Moroccans tend to flavour their food with a mixture of spices. The most famous spice is 'Ras El Hanout'. It means 'head of the shop'. This spice is used as a marinate and the blend can vary from a few spices to up to 30 different spices. No two blends are the same. It varies from shop to shop. 
    I made a seven spice blend to add to the salad. This salad is definitely very unique, sweet and sour with spices. Check out the recipe.




seven spice blend




MOROCCAN COUSCOUS SALAD
Serves 4

½ cup couscous
½ cup hot water
¼ tsp salt
1 cup cooked chickpeas
¼ cup cranberries or raisins
2 cloves of garlic-minced
1 medium onion -cut into rings
3 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup diced red bell pepper (or any other colour)
12-14 olives (green or black)
½ cup grated carrot
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp seven spice blend

For Seven Spice Blend:
1½ tbsp black pepper powder
1 tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp cardamom powder
generous pinch of nutmeg powder


  1. Put couscous in a bowl.
  2. Pour hot water over the couscous. Add salt and mix. Cover the bowl and let the couscous soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Fluff up the couscous using a fork. Leave it on the side till its required.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a wide pan. Add onion rings and stir fry till they are caramelized.
  5. Add minced garlic, diced red pepper,cranberries or raisins, olives and chickpeas. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add salt and the seven spice blend. Mix well.
  6. Take the pan off the heat. 
  7. Add the mixture to the couscous. Add grated carrot, coriander and lemon juice.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Put the salad in the fridge to cool till required. 
Tips:
  • Add saffron if you like to the couscous.
  • Add orange juice for a different flavour.
  • Coking instructions for couscous may vary. Read the instructions on the packet. 
  • Fluff up the couscous gently using a fork.
  • Store the remaining spice in an airtight container. Use to it marinade meat or use it again for your salad.
  • I soaked ½ cup of chickpea overnight in warm water. Next day I drained out the water and added fresh water. I added ½ tsp salt and cooked the chickpeas in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Drained out the water and used the chickpeas for the salad.
You may want to check out the following:
eggplant yogurt salad
Burrito Bowl Salad
Sending this recipe for the following event:

shhh

Monday, 19 September 2016

588. Amiri Khaman/Gujarati Sev Khaman

Angels are often disguised as daughters

    The week just goes by so quickly. Every day I wake up and say to myself,  2more months, few more weeks before the wedding and so much to do. Yesterday when we were discussing with my future son-in-law and his mum what happens after the wedding ceremony, so it was like bidaai (farewell to the bride) will happen and we take Nami (my daughter) with us. I wanted to burst into tears at the moment, as reality is fast approaching that she will belong to some other family. I had to be really strong and keep a smiling face, but am sure that if hubby dear would have been with me I surely would have burst out crying. As I am writing this, I do have tears in my eyes and right now(Sunday night) am sitting along at the dining table and writing this post and can cry openly. 
    I nearly was going to skip this week's #FoodieMonday#Bloghop, our 58th one with the theme tea time savouries. But, as my blog is not only for food recipes but also a place where I pen down my thoughts, events, happenings etc, I decided to write so that my heavy heart can feel lighter. Blogging is also my way of relaxing and calming myself.
    In this modern age, I know its not like before where daughters were not able to communicate with parents and her family, but its not the same. Priorities change and I feel that I'm losing her. After a few days of her marriage she will be back with us as her hubby to be will be going off to Dubai and she will have to wait till she gets a job there. But for now I feel that a part of my heart will leave me forever.
   When my mum had got married in the early 50s, life for her was really tough. She was the first one from her family to leave her village Koyali in Gujarat and come all the way and that too along by flight to Nairobi, Kenya. It was after nearly 10 years that she was able to go back to India to visit her parents. In the meantime, the only way to communicate with her family was by letters which took days and weeks to arrive back then. 
    Immediately after my marriage, my parents moved to UK. Though I could speak to them over the phone every week(in the 80s phone calls were very expensive), I saw them after 2 years when my mum and dad came to Kenya when I delivered my first born.Well, life has to carry on and we cannot keep our children attached to our apron strings. They have to lead their own life.  
    Coming to my contribution for the tea time savouries, I decided to make Amiri Khaman. I've made the snack a few times and simply love it but hadn't got down to blogging the recipe. I decided to make this snack on Saturday as I thought that when my future son-in-law and his mum arrive, I will serve it as a snack. However, Bangalore traffic is so bad, that it took them nearly 4 hours to reach home, so there was no tea time but served this preparation along with the dinner. 
     Amiri Khaman or Gujarati Sev Khaman is an easy recipe. You can also prepare this using ready made dhoklas(dhokras) or make the dhoklas at home. The recipe for khaman dokhla(dhokras) is easy.I prepared the dhokla at home. What I love about this recipe is that if you are fighting for time, make the dhoklas whenever you have time, store it in the fridge and use it whenever you want. It also does not require any chutneys. I prefer using half besan flour(chickpea flour) and half semolina as that make the crumb much better.
    So what is Amiri Khaman or Gujarati Sev Khaman? Its simply dhoklas that are crumbled, tempered and served with sev, coconut and pomegranate. Serve this at tea time with hot masala tea or a cold drink. Check out the recipe and enjoy this tea time snack.

   






AMIRI KHAMAN/GUJARATI SEV KHAMAN
serves 6-8

For the khaman dhokla:
1½ cups besan flour(chickpea, chana flour)
1½  cups semolina(sooji)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp garlic paste
¼tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1½ tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp eno (fruit salt)
1-1½ tsp salt
1½ cups warm water

For tempering(vaghar):
2 tbsp oil
1tsp mustard seeds (rai)
2 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
1 sprig curry leaves(limbdi, kari patta)
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
2-3 green chilli cut into thin slices
½ cup chopped cashew nuts
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice

For serving:
6-8 tbsp pomegranate seeds(arils)
½ cup grated fresh coconut
½ -¾ cups thin sev

Preparation of the khaman dhokra:

  1. Mix besan flour and semolina together in a big bowl.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients for dhokra, except for the eno and mix well.
  3. Cover and keep the mixture on the side for 15-20 minutes
  4. In the meantime get your steaming device ready. If you have a dhokla steamer then use that. I don't have one here so we need to improvise.
  5. Take a wide saucepan with a lid or a wide wok. Put about 2 -3 cups of water in it.
  6. Keep it on a medium low flame to heat.
  7. Take one steel or aluminium plate which is about 7-8" in diameter.
  8. Grease it with oil well.
  9. Put a ring or stand in the water on which the plate will rest. Put the plate on it.The water should not get into the plate.
  10. When the water begins to boil, take the mixture and add the eno (fruit salt).
  11. Mix it very well till the mixture becomes fluffy.
  12. Pour the mixture into the plate. 
  13. Cover the pan and steam the dhokla for 10 minutes over medium high flame.
  14. After 10 minutes take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and the plate with the dhokla.
  15. Let the dhoklas cool down completely.
Preparation of the amiri khaman:
  1. Crumble the dhokras with your hands till it resembles like bread crumbs.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. When it is hot, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, chopped cashew nuts and stir for a few seconds.
  4. Then add curry leaves (take the leaves off the stem), asafoetida, chopped green chillis and coriander.
  5. Stir fry the mixture for a few seconds.
  6. Add the crumbled dhokra. Lower the heat.
  7. Mix very well. Add lemon juice and mix.
Serving amiri khaman:
  1. Spoon the tempered dhokla crumbs into serving bowls.
  2. Sprinkle with sev.
  3. Top it with pomegranate and grated coconut and serve.
Tips:
  • Add extra lemon juice according to your taste.
  • You can add more roasted cashew nuts on top if you like.
  • Don't worry if you don't get pomegranate(which I don't get sometimes). Serve it with finely chopped grapes or cranberries.
  • If you find that the crumbled mixture is too dry, add about 1-2 tbsp water when you have tempered the mixture.
You may want to check out the following:

salted roasted peanuts
yummy corn snack


Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop



Tuesday, 13 September 2016

587. Italian Pumpkin Bread (Pane di Zucca)#Breadbakers

 Italian Pumpkin Bread/ Pane di Zucca#Breadbakers

   I love these monthly themes that we have in our Bread Bakers group. For the month of September Kylee of Kylee Cooks suggested we bake with pumpkin or pumpkin spices or both. I nearly skipped this round as I have already baked quick pumpkin breads and pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin pancakes didn't sound that interesting. Then I came across this interesting yeast bread on Chef Bikeski's website. Fell in love with the lovely sunshine coloured bread. Baked 2 small loaves of this bread. Gave one as a present to a family friend and the other one we enjoyed it toasted with some butter, cheese and soup. Semolina adds an extra crunch to the bread. Eating the bread without toasting makes it taste like a normal bread but toasting it makes it crunchy. I didn't have any hazelnuts so I added walnuts instead. I love pumpkin but usually use it make soups or as a curry. Here in Kenya we tend to get pumpkin mostly whole year round. The locals make a lovely stew with pumpkin, amaranth leaves and if you're at the coast, fresh coconut milk is added to it. We rarely see those huge pumpkins that are available in US or Canada. We get smaller ones and sometimes they will appear green with streaks of orange or yellow.
   So here's my yeast bread with pumpkin puree. Hope you like it and please do check out what other bakers have baked using pumpkin or pumpkin spice or both.








 ITALIAN PUMPKIN BREAD/ PANE DI ZUCCA
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves

2½ -2¾ cups all purpose flour(plain flour)
1½ cups fine semolina
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp salt
¾ -1 cup warm water
2½ tbsp butter
2½ tsp instant active dry yeast
½ cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
2 tbsp raisins or currants - soak them in 1 tbsp warm water for 15 minutes
2 tbsp sugar (optional) depending on how sweet the pumpkin is
extra butter or olive oil for greasing
extra flour for dusting


  1. Mix flour, semolina, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, water and butter.
  3. Mix the dough. I did the whole process in a machine as the dough can be sticky.
  4. Knead the dough for 7-10 minutes in a machine, 10-15 minutes by hand. 
  5. Add the nuts and soaked raisins(currants). Knead it into the dough.
  6. Form the dough into a round ball. Grease it with some butter.
  7. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover it with a tea towel or cling film and let the dough rise for 11/2 hrs or till its double the size.
  8. Gently knead the dough. Divide into 2 for smaller loaves. Shape the dough into round shape.
  9. Place the shaped dough on a greased baking tray.
  10. Let the loaves rise for 35-45 minutes or till the dough is double in size.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  12. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Smaller loaves will take less time about 30 minutes.
  13. Cool the loaves on a wire rack.
  14. Serve the bread with soup, cheese or even toast it and enjoy with some butter, jam or marmalade.
Tips:
  • Use fine semolina and not the coarse one.
  • To make fresh pumpkin puree at home, I cut the pumpkin into thick slices, coat it with oil and roast it in the oven for 20-30 minutes till its done. Scoop out the flesh and puree it in a food processor.
  • If you happen to get a pale pumpkin, add ½ tsp turmeric powder to the pumpkin puree to give it that nice golden colour. Anyway turmeric is good for health and a natural colour.
Check out the bakes using pumpkin from my fellow bakers:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers




Monday, 12 September 2016

586.Chickpea Quinoa Burgers

A New Home
  Moving homes is not a joke at all. In fact its very stressful. When one accumulates all the things one has into boxes, you realise that its a lot of stuff! How much can one person own in a lifetime? A lot! New gadgets, new crockery, new clothes, new shoes, all with different designs and colours and we  buy it. The world of advertisement is certainly doing a very good job. Though I may own a frying pan which can double as my tawa and use it to roast rotis on, I still want one for the parathas, one for the eggs, and perhaps different sizes too, a small for the fried eggs, a medium for the chilas and perhaps a big one for the dosas or crepes. Our wants and needs are endless.
   We had got the removal company to help us. I realised that they didn't really understand the concept of packing a box to the maximum, using every empty space to fit in all the goods. They just dumped everything in the box and packed it up, half empty or with still with a bit more space. I think before they becomes packers they all should be given a suitcase and basic things we normally travel with and a bit more and ask them to pack that all in a small suitcase and should weigh only 15kgs. Then perhaps they will understand how to use every nook and cranny of a box.
   Once we dealt with the packers, then comes the worst part.... setting up home. If patience could be weighed, then I probably have a tonne of it! Patience with all the various fundis as we call them in Kenya or repairmen/vendors. Right from the guy who is suppose to measure your windows for the curtains to the bathroom accessory fitter, no ones really keeps time. So waiting patiently for them to turn up has become a part of my daily routine now.
    Having said all that, the most satisfying part of the whole procedure is when the house slowly takes shape of a home. And yes, my daughter and I are getting there slowly but surely. The kitchen is functional, we've got a small garden in the balcony and hopefully by the end of the week, our bathrooms will be fully equipped, curtains will be hung up and we'll have more time to prepare for the wedding.  
    A functional kitchen meant that I could take part in the 57th theme
of#FoodieMonday#Bloghop which is#burger fillings. We had to make a burger filling and opt for ready made or home baked buns.  I opted for ready made buns. Since I arrived in Bangalore, we've been having take aways and eating at restaurants as the kitchen was not functional. It got fully set up and running last Wednesday. So Thursday I knew I was going to cook at home. Fed up of eating heavily spiced and chilli food, my daughter and I wanted to have something healthy, light and not spicy.
   So then I thought why not make the burger filling healthy without much spices. Also I had to make something that was rich in protein(my daughter is following a diet whereby dinner has to be protein rich). Quinoa and chickpeas are both rich in protein. I added the potato to hold everything together. My daughter decided to have the burger fillings without the buns.
    So who says that burgers are junk food? Burgers can be healthy and tasty at the same time. Instead of serving them with the normal french fries I opted to serve them with a healthy salad. Fresh dill was enough to add flavour to the filling. Serve these burgers without feeling any guilt. Filling and super healthy.






Chickpea Quinoa Burgers
Serves 4

For the burger filling:
1/4 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup mashed potato ( 1 small potato boiled and peeled)
1 cup boiled chickpeas
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 -1 tsp salt
6-8 chopped green olives
2 tbsp chickpea flour (chana/besan flour)
3-4 tbsp olive oil

For serving:
3-4 lettuce leaves, chopped
1 tomato, cut into rings
1 small cucumber, cut into round slices
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into slices
4 slices of cheddar cheese
4 burger buns

For the sauce :
1/2 cup thick yogurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
a generous pinch of salt
1/4 tsp minced garlic

Preparation of the burger filling:
  1. Wash the quinoa in a strainer or sieve under running water, gently rubbing it.
  2. Boil water in a pan. When it comes to a boil, add the quinoa.
  3. Cover the pan and cook the quinoa over low to medium heat till its done. Stir the mixture occasionally so that the quinoa does not stick to the pan.
  4. In the meantime, process the cooked chickpeas in a food processor to a coarse paste.
  5. Put the minced chickpea paste into a boil.
  6. Add the mashed potato, chopped dill, garlic, salt, pepper, olives, chana flour and the cooked quinoa.
  7. Mix everything well. The mixture should not be watery at all.
  8. Divide the mixture into 4 parts.
  9. Oil your hands lightly with some olive oil. Form each part into a thick disc, according to the size of the buns.
  10. Put the patties in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preparation of the sauce:
  1. Put a muslin or cotton cloth in a sieve or colander. Add yogurt to it and let the water drain out for 15-20 minutes. 
  2. Add fresh chopped coriander salt and garlic and mix well.
  3. Keep the sauce on the side till required.
Preparation of the burgers:
  1. Heat a wide pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and place the patties in the pan.
  2. Let the patties cook till they turn light golden brown.
  3. Flip them over and cook the other side till it becomes light golden colour. 
  4. Remove the cooked patties from the pan and keep them on the side.
  5. Cut each burger into half.
  6. Lightly toast them under the grill or in a frying pan. I allowed them to toast on the pan without adding any extra oil.
  7. Now its time to assemble the burgers. Put some shredded lettuce on the bottom halves of the burger buns. Top with sliced cucumber, carrot,tomato and cheese. Place the patties on the bed of vegetables and cheese. Top with a tbsp of the sauce. Place the top parts of the burger buns over the patties. Chickpea quinoa burgers are ready to be served.
Tips:
  • Serve the burgers with your choice of vegetables.
  • You can serve tomato ketchup and chilli sauce with the burgers.
  • Add finely chopped spring onion to the burger filling if you like.
  • If you find that there is some water left when you cook the quinoa, strain it out.
You may want to check out the following:
cemita buns


bean burger

Sending this recipe to the following event:

Blog Hop






Monday, 29 August 2016

585. Burrito Bowl Salad

A Healthy Way of Life

      Women constantly have to worry about weight issues. How many times have you heard men discussing about their weight problems? The world's general conception of a perfect figure, ideal weight, right curves in the right places for women is colossal. Men seem to just lead a happy, eat all you can sort of life without any issues. Not saying that there are no obese men, there are many with this fast pace and fast food era that we are living in. I've battled with weight issues ever since I delivered my twins. Have not managed to get back to my ideal weight. Being a food blogger really doesn't help, but I've been through all the programs and diets that most women try out... moong dal diet, salads and soups only, detox diets, yoga, fast walking, gyming, cross trainers, treadmills, calorie counting etc etc. However, one thing that I lack is consistence as I get bored with a fixed routine very easily. 
    Now that I'm in my 50s, I just cannot be bothered with all these fad diets, zumba, hot yoga, trampoline, circuit training etc. I've got to think about my creaking knees. So now I just stick to making healthy choices and exercising regularly (preferably walking). The exercise part I still have to be more disciplined. My healthy choices are no sodas, no packet juices, no to bowlful of fried snacks, reducing carbs in my meals,can't remember when I last had store bought cookies. So yes, slowly getting there. 
    Salads are a part of my daily diet. I try to have salads only for either dinner or lunch. I rarely will have a basic salad of tomatoes, cucumber and onion on my table.That's an absolute emergency solution. Most of salads I prepare are wholesome, healthy, filling and colourful.
   When #FoodieMonday#Bloghop decided on #Salads as our 55th theme, I was more than happy. With my daughter visiting us and on a pre-wedding fitness program, salads are prepared everyday. For this week's salad theme, I decided to make a burrito bowl salad. Burrito bowls normally have rice as the base and usually have re fried beans as one of the options. Burrito bowls are so versatile as one can choose to add anything right from avocados to meat. To make it into a healthy but filling burrito bowl salad, I used quinoa as my base. The few tortilla chips served with the salad, takes care of the desire or urge to have a crunchy munchy snack.
  Quinoa(keen-wah) is gluten free and one of the very few plants that are rich in protein and contains all nine amino acids. It actually is a seed and not a grain or cereal. Quinoa was mostly consumed in South America and became a superfood just a few years ago. Its rich in fiber and has low glycemic index which means its good to control blood sugar. Quinoa is rich in essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron etc. 
  Here's my healthy and filling burrito bowl salad.






BURRITO BOWL SALAD
Makes 4

1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup cooked red or black beans
1 medium red pepper (or any other colour)
1 medium avocado
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
½-¾ cup tiny cubes of cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped spring onion
2 cups chopped lettuce leaves
1 cup guacamole
1 cup tomato salsa
a few tortilla chips


  1. Wash the quinoa in a sieve or strainer.
  2. Put 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the washed quinoa and salt. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat so that the quinoa simmers. Cover and cook for 5- 7 minutes or till the water evaporates.
  5. Remove the quinoa from the saucepan and put it into a bowl. Separate the grains using a fork. Let it cool down.
  6. Slice the bell pepper.
  7. Peel and slice the avocado. Drizzle some lemon over it so that it does not turn dark.
  8. Cut the cherry tomatoes into half if you using them.
  9. Before you assemble the bowls, divide all the ingredients except the guacamole and salsa into 4.
  10. Put the quinoa at the the bottom.
  11. Then arrange the tomatoes, beans, corn, pepper, avocado, lettuce over the quinoa.
  12. Sprinkle chopped spring onion and cheddar over the arranged salad.
  13. Serve the burrito bowl salad with salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips on the side.
Tips:

  • Add cucumber, red onions, steamed broccoli, sauted mushrooms if you like.
  • Serve with sour cream if you like.
  • Add fresh coriander(cilantro) if you like.
  • Use lettuce leaves of your choice. If you don't get lettuce leaves, use shredded cabbage.
You may want to check out the following:

watermelon cucumber salad
beetroot orange salad

Strawberry Mango Mesclun salad
Sending this recipe for the following event :

Blog Hop

Monday, 26 September 2016

590. Spinach stuffed tomatoes

Enjoying the cold weather

I am thoroughly enjoying the cold weather in Bangalore. Makes me feel more energetic. While my family is posting pictures of still hot summers in UK, hubby is saying that weather is getting hotter in Mombasa, Bangalore seems to be getting colder. We get the occasional showers and its pretty windy where we are living. Cold weather means cups and cups of hot drinks, mostly green or herbal tea or plain hot water.(can't drink those in Mombasa!) I love sipping on mint tea. The 'sabjiwala' who comes thrice a week to our complex to sell vegetables and fruits has a policy of not giving small bunches of coriander and mint. I have to buy a fat bunch and land up using the mint for tea. What a change from the few stems of coriander, spinach and mint I get back in Mombasa to these fat bunches.
Our #FoodieMonday#Bloghop team decided on stuffed vegetables as our 59th theme. I've already blogged stuffed bhindi and brinjals (photos need serious updates!). My daughter is not a huge fan of parwal(pointed gourd) so couldn't use those. Its a much bigger version of the ivy gourd and I love the vegetable. The sabjiwala (vegetable man) brought some nice tomatoes on Thur and so I decided to use that. 
Ok guys, I know tomatoes biologically are not classed as vegetables. They are classified as fruits. However, approval from the group is all I needed to execute the bookmarked recipe. 
I'd wanted to make these stuffed tomatoes to serve with breakfast for a very long time. But you know how bookmarked recipes seem to collect dust if they don't come to your mind. Participating in various month or weekly groups allows me to go through some of these bookmarked or jotted down recipes. 
Sunday was supposed to be a heavy breakfast day with stuffed tomatoes, toast, spanish omelette, the works. I made the stuffed tomatoes and daughter and son in law to be decided that we were running late so they would skip breakfast! I had my breakfast, stuffed tomatoes and toast... no omelette :( and we rushed off to complete some wedding work. 
These stuffed tomatoes are so easy to prepare and can be served for breakfast along with eggs, bacon, sausages or even as a side dish during lunch or dinner. Remember how for breakfast hotels serve grilled tomatoes? I love them. So go on make these yummy stuffed tomatoes and just pretend that they are vegetables and not fruits!!!








SPINACH STUFFED TOMATOES
Makes 4

2 cups of finely chopped spinach
¼ cup chopped onions
3-4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped finely
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
1 tsp butter
4 ripe but firm tomatoes
4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

  1. Wash and wipe the tomatoes. Slice the top put of with a sharp knife.
  2. Make cuts into the septa(the 3 thick parts of the inner tomato).
  3. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the seeds and pulp. 
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of salt into the empty tomato shells and leave on the side till required.
  5. Heat butter gently over low heat in a wide pan.
  6. Add chopped onion and garlic and stir fry till the onion becomes soft.
  7. Increase the heat. Add chopped spinach and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till cooked.
  8. Take the pan off the heat. Add salt and pepper. Mix the spinach mixture well.
  9. Switch on the grill(broiler) at medium setting.
  10. Stuff the tomato shell with the spinach mixture.
  11. Sprinkle each stuffed tomato with grated cheese.
  12. Grill or broil for 10 minutes or till the cheese melts.
  13. Serve immediately with eggs and toast or with pasta. 
Tips:
  • Use the scooped out pulp for gravies or soup.
  • Use a really sharp knife to slice off the top of the tomato. I always believe that if you cannot cut a tomato without squishing it, the knife is not sharp.
  • Add stuffing of your choice.
  • Don't over grill or broil the tomatoes or else they'll become mushy.
You may want to check out the following:
stuffed brinjal
bharela bhinda nu shaak
zucchini boats




Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop



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Friday, 23 September 2016

589.Moroccan Couscous Salad

A different taste

   The August theme for Shhh Cooking Secretly was exciting. Participating pairs travelled to different parts of the world. We're going to be able to see dishes that are prepared in Indonesia, Brazil, Morocco, Sri Lanka, France and Mediterranean. I'm eagerly waiting to see what they all prepare. My partner for this month is the talented and friendly Shobha Keshwani. Her blog Shobha's Food Mazaa has different types of recipes ranging from simple chutneys to complex breads.If you're ever looking for some authentic Sindhi recipes then be sure to check out her blog.
  Shobha and I got Moroccan cuisine. She gave me couscous and olives as the ingredients to prepare some Moroccan dish and I gave her lentils and tomatoes.Must admit that though I have heard a little bit about Moroccan food, I never really checked out the cuisine in detail as most of their dishes are meat based. So having couscous as one of the ingredients I was really happy. Couscous is a staple for any Moroccan dish. Couscous is served with stews or tagine as its called. Tagine is usually prepared from chicken or lamb. 
   The Berbers, the first inhabitants of Morocco used locally available ingredients like olives, figs, dates to prepare the stew. Over time traders and conquerors influenced new food customs. However the strongest influence in cuisine came after the Arab invasion. They brought with them different spices, cooking sweet and sour food. Later invasion by British and French added more flavours to their food. Modern Moroccan cuisine includes salads made from couscous.
   I decided to make a refreshing and filling salad with the two ingredients given to me by Shobha... couscous and olives. This couscous salad is quite different from the ones prepared in the Mediterranean region. Moroccans tend to flavour their food with a mixture of spices. The most famous spice is 'Ras El Hanout'. It means 'head of the shop'. This spice is used as a marinate and the blend can vary from a few spices to up to 30 different spices. No two blends are the same. It varies from shop to shop. 
    I made a seven spice blend to add to the salad. This salad is definitely very unique, sweet and sour with spices. Check out the recipe.




seven spice blend




MOROCCAN COUSCOUS SALAD
Serves 4

½ cup couscous
½ cup hot water
¼ tsp salt
1 cup cooked chickpeas
¼ cup cranberries or raisins
2 cloves of garlic-minced
1 medium onion -cut into rings
3 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup diced red bell pepper (or any other colour)
12-14 olives (green or black)
½ cup grated carrot
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp seven spice blend

For Seven Spice Blend:
1½ tbsp black pepper powder
1 tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp cardamom powder
generous pinch of nutmeg powder


  1. Put couscous in a bowl.
  2. Pour hot water over the couscous. Add salt and mix. Cover the bowl and let the couscous soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Fluff up the couscous using a fork. Leave it on the side till its required.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a wide pan. Add onion rings and stir fry till they are caramelized.
  5. Add minced garlic, diced red pepper,cranberries or raisins, olives and chickpeas. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add salt and the seven spice blend. Mix well.
  6. Take the pan off the heat. 
  7. Add the mixture to the couscous. Add grated carrot, coriander and lemon juice.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Put the salad in the fridge to cool till required. 
Tips:
  • Add saffron if you like to the couscous.
  • Add orange juice for a different flavour.
  • Coking instructions for couscous may vary. Read the instructions on the packet. 
  • Fluff up the couscous gently using a fork.
  • Store the remaining spice in an airtight container. Use to it marinade meat or use it again for your salad.
  • I soaked ½ cup of chickpea overnight in warm water. Next day I drained out the water and added fresh water. I added ½ tsp salt and cooked the chickpeas in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Drained out the water and used the chickpeas for the salad.
You may want to check out the following:
eggplant yogurt salad
Burrito Bowl Salad
Sending this recipe for the following event:

shhh
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Monday, 19 September 2016

588. Amiri Khaman/Gujarati Sev Khaman

Angels are often disguised as daughters

    The week just goes by so quickly. Every day I wake up and say to myself,  2more months, few more weeks before the wedding and so much to do. Yesterday when we were discussing with my future son-in-law and his mum what happens after the wedding ceremony, so it was like bidaai (farewell to the bride) will happen and we take Nami (my daughter) with us. I wanted to burst into tears at the moment, as reality is fast approaching that she will belong to some other family. I had to be really strong and keep a smiling face, but am sure that if hubby dear would have been with me I surely would have burst out crying. As I am writing this, I do have tears in my eyes and right now(Sunday night) am sitting along at the dining table and writing this post and can cry openly. 
    I nearly was going to skip this week's #FoodieMonday#Bloghop, our 58th one with the theme tea time savouries. But, as my blog is not only for food recipes but also a place where I pen down my thoughts, events, happenings etc, I decided to write so that my heavy heart can feel lighter. Blogging is also my way of relaxing and calming myself.
    In this modern age, I know its not like before where daughters were not able to communicate with parents and her family, but its not the same. Priorities change and I feel that I'm losing her. After a few days of her marriage she will be back with us as her hubby to be will be going off to Dubai and she will have to wait till she gets a job there. But for now I feel that a part of my heart will leave me forever.
   When my mum had got married in the early 50s, life for her was really tough. She was the first one from her family to leave her village Koyali in Gujarat and come all the way and that too along by flight to Nairobi, Kenya. It was after nearly 10 years that she was able to go back to India to visit her parents. In the meantime, the only way to communicate with her family was by letters which took days and weeks to arrive back then. 
    Immediately after my marriage, my parents moved to UK. Though I could speak to them over the phone every week(in the 80s phone calls were very expensive), I saw them after 2 years when my mum and dad came to Kenya when I delivered my first born.Well, life has to carry on and we cannot keep our children attached to our apron strings. They have to lead their own life.  
    Coming to my contribution for the tea time savouries, I decided to make Amiri Khaman. I've made the snack a few times and simply love it but hadn't got down to blogging the recipe. I decided to make this snack on Saturday as I thought that when my future son-in-law and his mum arrive, I will serve it as a snack. However, Bangalore traffic is so bad, that it took them nearly 4 hours to reach home, so there was no tea time but served this preparation along with the dinner. 
     Amiri Khaman or Gujarati Sev Khaman is an easy recipe. You can also prepare this using ready made dhoklas(dhokras) or make the dhoklas at home. The recipe for khaman dokhla(dhokras) is easy.I prepared the dhokla at home. What I love about this recipe is that if you are fighting for time, make the dhoklas whenever you have time, store it in the fridge and use it whenever you want. It also does not require any chutneys. I prefer using half besan flour(chickpea flour) and half semolina as that make the crumb much better.
    So what is Amiri Khaman or Gujarati Sev Khaman? Its simply dhoklas that are crumbled, tempered and served with sev, coconut and pomegranate. Serve this at tea time with hot masala tea or a cold drink. Check out the recipe and enjoy this tea time snack.

   






AMIRI KHAMAN/GUJARATI SEV KHAMAN
serves 6-8

For the khaman dhokla:
1½ cups besan flour(chickpea, chana flour)
1½  cups semolina(sooji)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp garlic paste
¼tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1½ tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp eno (fruit salt)
1-1½ tsp salt
1½ cups warm water

For tempering(vaghar):
2 tbsp oil
1tsp mustard seeds (rai)
2 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
1 sprig curry leaves(limbdi, kari patta)
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
2-3 green chilli cut into thin slices
½ cup chopped cashew nuts
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice

For serving:
6-8 tbsp pomegranate seeds(arils)
½ cup grated fresh coconut
½ -¾ cups thin sev

Preparation of the khaman dhokra:

  1. Mix besan flour and semolina together in a big bowl.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients for dhokra, except for the eno and mix well.
  3. Cover and keep the mixture on the side for 15-20 minutes
  4. In the meantime get your steaming device ready. If you have a dhokla steamer then use that. I don't have one here so we need to improvise.
  5. Take a wide saucepan with a lid or a wide wok. Put about 2 -3 cups of water in it.
  6. Keep it on a medium low flame to heat.
  7. Take one steel or aluminium plate which is about 7-8" in diameter.
  8. Grease it with oil well.
  9. Put a ring or stand in the water on which the plate will rest. Put the plate on it.The water should not get into the plate.
  10. When the water begins to boil, take the mixture and add the eno (fruit salt).
  11. Mix it very well till the mixture becomes fluffy.
  12. Pour the mixture into the plate. 
  13. Cover the pan and steam the dhokla for 10 minutes over medium high flame.
  14. After 10 minutes take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and the plate with the dhokla.
  15. Let the dhoklas cool down completely.
Preparation of the amiri khaman:
  1. Crumble the dhokras with your hands till it resembles like bread crumbs.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. When it is hot, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, chopped cashew nuts and stir for a few seconds.
  4. Then add curry leaves (take the leaves off the stem), asafoetida, chopped green chillis and coriander.
  5. Stir fry the mixture for a few seconds.
  6. Add the crumbled dhokra. Lower the heat.
  7. Mix very well. Add lemon juice and mix.
Serving amiri khaman:
  1. Spoon the tempered dhokla crumbs into serving bowls.
  2. Sprinkle with sev.
  3. Top it with pomegranate and grated coconut and serve.
Tips:
  • Add extra lemon juice according to your taste.
  • You can add more roasted cashew nuts on top if you like.
  • Don't worry if you don't get pomegranate(which I don't get sometimes). Serve it with finely chopped grapes or cranberries.
  • If you find that the crumbled mixture is too dry, add about 1-2 tbsp water when you have tempered the mixture.
You may want to check out the following:

salted roasted peanuts
yummy corn snack


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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

587. Italian Pumpkin Bread (Pane di Zucca)#Breadbakers

 Italian Pumpkin Bread/ Pane di Zucca#Breadbakers

   I love these monthly themes that we have in our Bread Bakers group. For the month of September Kylee of Kylee Cooks suggested we bake with pumpkin or pumpkin spices or both. I nearly skipped this round as I have already baked quick pumpkin breads and pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin pancakes didn't sound that interesting. Then I came across this interesting yeast bread on Chef Bikeski's website. Fell in love with the lovely sunshine coloured bread. Baked 2 small loaves of this bread. Gave one as a present to a family friend and the other one we enjoyed it toasted with some butter, cheese and soup. Semolina adds an extra crunch to the bread. Eating the bread without toasting makes it taste like a normal bread but toasting it makes it crunchy. I didn't have any hazelnuts so I added walnuts instead. I love pumpkin but usually use it make soups or as a curry. Here in Kenya we tend to get pumpkin mostly whole year round. The locals make a lovely stew with pumpkin, amaranth leaves and if you're at the coast, fresh coconut milk is added to it. We rarely see those huge pumpkins that are available in US or Canada. We get smaller ones and sometimes they will appear green with streaks of orange or yellow.
   So here's my yeast bread with pumpkin puree. Hope you like it and please do check out what other bakers have baked using pumpkin or pumpkin spice or both.








 ITALIAN PUMPKIN BREAD/ PANE DI ZUCCA
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves

2½ -2¾ cups all purpose flour(plain flour)
1½ cups fine semolina
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp salt
¾ -1 cup warm water
2½ tbsp butter
2½ tsp instant active dry yeast
½ cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
2 tbsp raisins or currants - soak them in 1 tbsp warm water for 15 minutes
2 tbsp sugar (optional) depending on how sweet the pumpkin is
extra butter or olive oil for greasing
extra flour for dusting


  1. Mix flour, semolina, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, water and butter.
  3. Mix the dough. I did the whole process in a machine as the dough can be sticky.
  4. Knead the dough for 7-10 minutes in a machine, 10-15 minutes by hand. 
  5. Add the nuts and soaked raisins(currants). Knead it into the dough.
  6. Form the dough into a round ball. Grease it with some butter.
  7. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover it with a tea towel or cling film and let the dough rise for 11/2 hrs or till its double the size.
  8. Gently knead the dough. Divide into 2 for smaller loaves. Shape the dough into round shape.
  9. Place the shaped dough on a greased baking tray.
  10. Let the loaves rise for 35-45 minutes or till the dough is double in size.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  12. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Smaller loaves will take less time about 30 minutes.
  13. Cool the loaves on a wire rack.
  14. Serve the bread with soup, cheese or even toast it and enjoy with some butter, jam or marmalade.
Tips:
  • Use fine semolina and not the coarse one.
  • To make fresh pumpkin puree at home, I cut the pumpkin into thick slices, coat it with oil and roast it in the oven for 20-30 minutes till its done. Scoop out the flesh and puree it in a food processor.
  • If you happen to get a pale pumpkin, add ½ tsp turmeric powder to the pumpkin puree to give it that nice golden colour. Anyway turmeric is good for health and a natural colour.
Check out the bakes using pumpkin from my fellow bakers:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers




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Monday, 12 September 2016

586.Chickpea Quinoa Burgers

A New Home
  Moving homes is not a joke at all. In fact its very stressful. When one accumulates all the things one has into boxes, you realise that its a lot of stuff! How much can one person own in a lifetime? A lot! New gadgets, new crockery, new clothes, new shoes, all with different designs and colours and we  buy it. The world of advertisement is certainly doing a very good job. Though I may own a frying pan which can double as my tawa and use it to roast rotis on, I still want one for the parathas, one for the eggs, and perhaps different sizes too, a small for the fried eggs, a medium for the chilas and perhaps a big one for the dosas or crepes. Our wants and needs are endless.
   We had got the removal company to help us. I realised that they didn't really understand the concept of packing a box to the maximum, using every empty space to fit in all the goods. They just dumped everything in the box and packed it up, half empty or with still with a bit more space. I think before they becomes packers they all should be given a suitcase and basic things we normally travel with and a bit more and ask them to pack that all in a small suitcase and should weigh only 15kgs. Then perhaps they will understand how to use every nook and cranny of a box.
   Once we dealt with the packers, then comes the worst part.... setting up home. If patience could be weighed, then I probably have a tonne of it! Patience with all the various fundis as we call them in Kenya or repairmen/vendors. Right from the guy who is suppose to measure your windows for the curtains to the bathroom accessory fitter, no ones really keeps time. So waiting patiently for them to turn up has become a part of my daily routine now.
    Having said all that, the most satisfying part of the whole procedure is when the house slowly takes shape of a home. And yes, my daughter and I are getting there slowly but surely. The kitchen is functional, we've got a small garden in the balcony and hopefully by the end of the week, our bathrooms will be fully equipped, curtains will be hung up and we'll have more time to prepare for the wedding.  
    A functional kitchen meant that I could take part in the 57th theme
of#FoodieMonday#Bloghop which is#burger fillings. We had to make a burger filling and opt for ready made or home baked buns.  I opted for ready made buns. Since I arrived in Bangalore, we've been having take aways and eating at restaurants as the kitchen was not functional. It got fully set up and running last Wednesday. So Thursday I knew I was going to cook at home. Fed up of eating heavily spiced and chilli food, my daughter and I wanted to have something healthy, light and not spicy.
   So then I thought why not make the burger filling healthy without much spices. Also I had to make something that was rich in protein(my daughter is following a diet whereby dinner has to be protein rich). Quinoa and chickpeas are both rich in protein. I added the potato to hold everything together. My daughter decided to have the burger fillings without the buns.
    So who says that burgers are junk food? Burgers can be healthy and tasty at the same time. Instead of serving them with the normal french fries I opted to serve them with a healthy salad. Fresh dill was enough to add flavour to the filling. Serve these burgers without feeling any guilt. Filling and super healthy.






Chickpea Quinoa Burgers
Serves 4

For the burger filling:
1/4 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup mashed potato ( 1 small potato boiled and peeled)
1 cup boiled chickpeas
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 -1 tsp salt
6-8 chopped green olives
2 tbsp chickpea flour (chana/besan flour)
3-4 tbsp olive oil

For serving:
3-4 lettuce leaves, chopped
1 tomato, cut into rings
1 small cucumber, cut into round slices
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into slices
4 slices of cheddar cheese
4 burger buns

For the sauce :
1/2 cup thick yogurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
a generous pinch of salt
1/4 tsp minced garlic

Preparation of the burger filling:
  1. Wash the quinoa in a strainer or sieve under running water, gently rubbing it.
  2. Boil water in a pan. When it comes to a boil, add the quinoa.
  3. Cover the pan and cook the quinoa over low to medium heat till its done. Stir the mixture occasionally so that the quinoa does not stick to the pan.
  4. In the meantime, process the cooked chickpeas in a food processor to a coarse paste.
  5. Put the minced chickpea paste into a boil.
  6. Add the mashed potato, chopped dill, garlic, salt, pepper, olives, chana flour and the cooked quinoa.
  7. Mix everything well. The mixture should not be watery at all.
  8. Divide the mixture into 4 parts.
  9. Oil your hands lightly with some olive oil. Form each part into a thick disc, according to the size of the buns.
  10. Put the patties in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preparation of the sauce:
  1. Put a muslin or cotton cloth in a sieve or colander. Add yogurt to it and let the water drain out for 15-20 minutes. 
  2. Add fresh chopped coriander salt and garlic and mix well.
  3. Keep the sauce on the side till required.
Preparation of the burgers:
  1. Heat a wide pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and place the patties in the pan.
  2. Let the patties cook till they turn light golden brown.
  3. Flip them over and cook the other side till it becomes light golden colour. 
  4. Remove the cooked patties from the pan and keep them on the side.
  5. Cut each burger into half.
  6. Lightly toast them under the grill or in a frying pan. I allowed them to toast on the pan without adding any extra oil.
  7. Now its time to assemble the burgers. Put some shredded lettuce on the bottom halves of the burger buns. Top with sliced cucumber, carrot,tomato and cheese. Place the patties on the bed of vegetables and cheese. Top with a tbsp of the sauce. Place the top parts of the burger buns over the patties. Chickpea quinoa burgers are ready to be served.
Tips:
  • Serve the burgers with your choice of vegetables.
  • You can serve tomato ketchup and chilli sauce with the burgers.
  • Add finely chopped spring onion to the burger filling if you like.
  • If you find that there is some water left when you cook the quinoa, strain it out.
You may want to check out the following:
cemita buns


bean burger

Sending this recipe to the following event:

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Monday, 29 August 2016

585. Burrito Bowl Salad

A Healthy Way of Life

      Women constantly have to worry about weight issues. How many times have you heard men discussing about their weight problems? The world's general conception of a perfect figure, ideal weight, right curves in the right places for women is colossal. Men seem to just lead a happy, eat all you can sort of life without any issues. Not saying that there are no obese men, there are many with this fast pace and fast food era that we are living in. I've battled with weight issues ever since I delivered my twins. Have not managed to get back to my ideal weight. Being a food blogger really doesn't help, but I've been through all the programs and diets that most women try out... moong dal diet, salads and soups only, detox diets, yoga, fast walking, gyming, cross trainers, treadmills, calorie counting etc etc. However, one thing that I lack is consistence as I get bored with a fixed routine very easily. 
    Now that I'm in my 50s, I just cannot be bothered with all these fad diets, zumba, hot yoga, trampoline, circuit training etc. I've got to think about my creaking knees. So now I just stick to making healthy choices and exercising regularly (preferably walking). The exercise part I still have to be more disciplined. My healthy choices are no sodas, no packet juices, no to bowlful of fried snacks, reducing carbs in my meals,can't remember when I last had store bought cookies. So yes, slowly getting there. 
    Salads are a part of my daily diet. I try to have salads only for either dinner or lunch. I rarely will have a basic salad of tomatoes, cucumber and onion on my table.That's an absolute emergency solution. Most of salads I prepare are wholesome, healthy, filling and colourful.
   When #FoodieMonday#Bloghop decided on #Salads as our 55th theme, I was more than happy. With my daughter visiting us and on a pre-wedding fitness program, salads are prepared everyday. For this week's salad theme, I decided to make a burrito bowl salad. Burrito bowls normally have rice as the base and usually have re fried beans as one of the options. Burrito bowls are so versatile as one can choose to add anything right from avocados to meat. To make it into a healthy but filling burrito bowl salad, I used quinoa as my base. The few tortilla chips served with the salad, takes care of the desire or urge to have a crunchy munchy snack.
  Quinoa(keen-wah) is gluten free and one of the very few plants that are rich in protein and contains all nine amino acids. It actually is a seed and not a grain or cereal. Quinoa was mostly consumed in South America and became a superfood just a few years ago. Its rich in fiber and has low glycemic index which means its good to control blood sugar. Quinoa is rich in essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron etc. 
  Here's my healthy and filling burrito bowl salad.






BURRITO BOWL SALAD
Makes 4

1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup cooked red or black beans
1 medium red pepper (or any other colour)
1 medium avocado
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
½-¾ cup tiny cubes of cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped spring onion
2 cups chopped lettuce leaves
1 cup guacamole
1 cup tomato salsa
a few tortilla chips


  1. Wash the quinoa in a sieve or strainer.
  2. Put 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the washed quinoa and salt. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat so that the quinoa simmers. Cover and cook for 5- 7 minutes or till the water evaporates.
  5. Remove the quinoa from the saucepan and put it into a bowl. Separate the grains using a fork. Let it cool down.
  6. Slice the bell pepper.
  7. Peel and slice the avocado. Drizzle some lemon over it so that it does not turn dark.
  8. Cut the cherry tomatoes into half if you using them.
  9. Before you assemble the bowls, divide all the ingredients except the guacamole and salsa into 4.
  10. Put the quinoa at the the bottom.
  11. Then arrange the tomatoes, beans, corn, pepper, avocado, lettuce over the quinoa.
  12. Sprinkle chopped spring onion and cheddar over the arranged salad.
  13. Serve the burrito bowl salad with salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips on the side.
Tips:

  • Add cucumber, red onions, steamed broccoli, sauted mushrooms if you like.
  • Serve with sour cream if you like.
  • Add fresh coriander(cilantro) if you like.
  • Use lettuce leaves of your choice. If you don't get lettuce leaves, use shredded cabbage.
You may want to check out the following:

watermelon cucumber salad
beetroot orange salad

Strawberry Mango Mesclun salad
Sending this recipe for the following event :

Blog Hop
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