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Showing posts from November, 2013

Pumpkin Coconut Cookies

Holiday season is probably the busiest baking time in any American kitchen. I generally do not go crazy over baking because of fear of consuming tons of sugar. I just bake a batch or two of cookies or a couple holiday cakes during this season.

There is one favorite cookie that I have been making for the past few years - Oatmeal coconut cookies or ANZAC biscuits. This time though, I decided to make one change and replace oatmeal with grated pumpkin. I flavored half of the batch with cardamom and the other half with cinnamon both flavors compliment the pumpkin flavor very well.

Sugar Pumpkin - 1/2 cup (grated - see notes)Organic whole wheat pastry flour - 1/2 cupOrganic dried shredded coconut - 1/2 cupOrganic coconut palm sugar - 3-4 Tbs Virgin coconut oil - 3 Tbs.Local honey - 1 Tbs.Baking soda - 1/2 tspWarm water - 1 Tbs.Powdered cardamom or cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp. ( optional )
Dry ingredients: Mix grated pumpkin, coconut, flour, sugar and cardamom/cinnamon in a bowl.  Wet ingredient…

Quick'n'healthy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating the pilgrims, and remembering their struggles in building this great country. Not sure if we can truly understand the spirit of Thanksgiving, like how an immigrant family who has been living here for generations will feel. So, we would just be celebrating Thanksgiving with gratitude for all that this country has given us over the past 12 years - which include new friends, a broader outlook towards life (including food from around the globe and an awareness of good food), and finally material things like a good job, home and a comfortable family life. Though we can claim that we made everything with our hard work, I feel a lot of gratitude to this country for giving us the freedom to be who we are, for embracing our family as part of the community and for all the opportunities that helped us in being reasonably successful in our own way.

Since we did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving we do not have any tradition to follow. We just…

Pumpkin No-Bake Pie With a hint of Ginger & Cacao

This Thanksgiving, I am making a no-bake pumpkin pie, which is plant-based, gluten free and dairy free as well. Cooking as such is involved only to roast the pumpkin, and then it is just your blender and refrigerator that needs to be at work :-) This is inspired by a recipe from Tropical Traditions. The pie filling turned out to be too good that I had to keep the pie away from the 2 foodies at home so I have a full pie for TG :-).

Raw walnuts -1 cupDried shredded coconut - 1 cupRaw almonds - a handfulFresh grated ginger - 1 tspDates - 2-3 Himalayan salt - a pinchVirgin cold pressed coconut oil - 1 Tbs. Raw cacao powder - 1 Tbs.
Powder the nuts using a dry blender or food processor.Continue pulsing after adding the dates, salt and ginger till everything forms sort of a dough.Transfer to a bowl, mix in coconut oil and cacao powder and slightly knead the dough.Grease a 9 inch pie dish with a pat of coconut oil and press the dough into it. Keep in freezer for for 30 minutes. Remove an…

Pomegranate Cacao Goji Smoothie

We love pom and since it is available only during this time (fall to early winter), we try to consume quite a bit of it during the thanksgiving season. Till recently though, taking the seeds out was a chore in itself, requiring a lot of patience and time. Not anymore, we got this savior video from Lifehacker to do this easily in no time. Since then eating pom is a piece of cake :-)

This smoothie is inspired by Cacao-goji smoothie from Passionately Raw. I thought the addition of pom into this smoothie would make a delicious and nutritious breakfast. So Enjoy pom while it is in season...

Pomegranate - 1Raw cacao powder - 1/4 cupOrganic dried goji berries - a handful (soaked in filtered water overnight)Organic raisins - a handful (soaked in filtered water overnight)Organic raw almonds - a handful (soaked in a cup of filtered water overnight)Organic banana - 1Organic frozen cherries - a handfulVirgin cold pressed coconut oil - 2 Tbs.
Take seeds out of pom, see this awesome video for an easy…

Winter Squash Buckwheat Breakfast Loaf w/ Quick Cranberry Jam

All the pumpkin/squash bread recipes that I see on the web are so sweet for us that they are more of desserts than breads. So I had to do some playing around to come up with a 'not-sweet' version of  squash bread. This one is more of a savory bread/loaf with no added sweeteners. It is made with buckwheat, so is gluten-free as well, but it could easily be adjusted for other grains/flours.

Winter Squash Buckwheat Breakfast LoafBuckwheat groats - 1 cupFiltered water - 1 cupApple cider vinegar  - 1 Tbs.Coconut shredded  - 1/2 cupCoconut oil - 2 Tbs.Winter squash - 1 cup ( I used butternut squash, peeled and shredded) Sea salt - 1/2 tspBaking soda - 1 tsp.Lemon juice - 1 Tbs. 

Mix the buckwheat groats with water and apple cider vinegar and leave on your counter top for few hours or overnight to soak well.Grind the soaked buckwheat along with the soaking liquid, coconut, coconut oil  and salt to a very fine batter.Transfer to a bowl and add the grated squash and mix well. Mix baking …

Triple-nut Cacao Fudge

My husband loves hazelnuts, cashews, coconut and above all cacao. So what do you make on his birthday - something that has it all :) This is a delicious fudge, almost raw, with slightly toasted nuts, dried coconut, raw cacao and sweetened with raw honey. Like any other sweets or desserts that I make, I would recommend making tiny slices and enjoying it for a few days :) 

Hazelnuts -1 cupCashew nuts - 1 cupDried coconut - 2 cups (divided)Raw cacao butter - 3/4 cup (loose shavings) (divided)Raw cacao powder 1/4 cupRaw honey - 1/4 cup (divided)Himalayan salt - a pinch

Toast both the nuts separately on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. (Slight toasting is enough, no need to really roast them)Grind toasted hazelnut and 1 cup of coconut along with a pinch of salt in a high speed blender or food processor to get to nut-butter consistency.Repeat the same with cashew nuts, now you have 2 batches of nut-butters - Cashew-coconut and hazelnut-coconut.Melt half of the cacao butter over warm water, add …

Acai Breakfast Bowl

We are less on dining out mainly because no restaurant can provide the comfort or the nutritional benefit of a home cooked meal. Another reason to dine out would be convenience, and in my case that does not count either because, cooking is like a stress buster/therapy to me :-). We still try out restaurants once in a while when we want to give our son the dine out experience. In the recent past, we have been picking restaurants that do business with a principle. Serving simple meals to exotic gourmet meals using sustainably grown, mostly organic ingredients.

G-zen is the latest restaurant that we tried out. It is rated as the best organic, vegan restaurant in CT. Though that was the reason to check it out, we would go back there anytime for their awesome menu made with wholesome, pure, organic ingredients. This one is inspired from G-Zen's buddha brunch menu. It is basically a smoothie, made with pure acai puree, nuts and coconut water and served in a bowl with your choice of toppi…

Cranberry-Kabocha Squash Sauce

When the weather outside gets cold, we crave for warmer food. Indian cuisine is not short of warm food, there are endless possibilities to whip up a quick'n'healthy  warm Indian meal. At times we also feel like eating something different, and if that something different can be seasonal that would be the best. When the farm stands are still selling those cute little squashes, and with cranberry showing up on the produce aisles, it is right time to mix them up in a warm and creamy sauce. It is a versatile sauce that can go with pasta, or with a warm winter salad. 

Kabocha Squash - 1 cup (peeled and cubed)Fresh cranberry - a big handfulGarlic - 1-2 clovesGreen chilly - 1-2Extra virgin olive oil - 2 TbsSea salt as per taste
Roast the garlic with a drizzle of olive oil.Roast the kabocha in the same pan, and cook covered on medium heat till soft.(about 5-8 minutes)Add cranberry and let it pop in the warm pan. Remove from flame and let it cool a bit.Blend along with olive oil and salt…

Cacao Banana Breakfast Bread

I have to admit, this is my first time ever baking with cacao. Being such a huge cacao/chocolate lover (of course I have 2 others at home who love cacao even more), I make a whole lot of goodies with cacao. Never attempted to bake though. I guess the reason being all the chocolate baked things I taste outside are so overpowered with sweetness that I never thought it is a good idea to bake with cacao. This one though is just sweetened with the addition of bananas and no other sweetener. The result is an outstanding pure flavor of cacao. I just drizzled some raw honey on my son's serving for added sweetness for him :-)

Dry ingredients:  Organic sprouted spelt flour - 1 cupOrganic raw cacao powder - 3 Tbs.Baking soda - 1 tspCinnamon powder  - 1/2 tspSea salt - 1/4 tsp
Mix everything well and keep aside. 
Wet ingredients:  Grated coconut - 1/2 cupFiltered water - 3/4 cupApple cider vinegar - 1 Tbs. (you can substitute with lemon juice)Cold pressed virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs.Well ripe bana…

Plantain Veggie Kabab

Raw bananas (nentra kaya or kerala bananas) are a staple in Kerala cuisine. Both raw and ripe versions are used equally well. I make a lot of different dishes with plantain too. This recipe is not quite from Kerala though. It is a quick and simple recipe for kababs with plantain as a base along with some veggies, herbs and spices. It is also very versatile; serve it as a breakfast just like you do hash browns, or serve for dinner along with a hearty salad, or even better, spice it up and make smaller sizes to serve as an appetizer.

Raw plantains - 2Veggies - 1/2 to 1 cup (see notes)Ginger - 1 Tbs. (minced)Green chilly - 2 (minced)Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup (chopped fine)Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspSea salt - as per tasteCashew nuts - handfulAmchur - 1 tsp (see notes)Cold pressed virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs.
Wash and boil plantains. It can done in two ways. Put the whole bananas in a pressure cooker with 1/2 cup of water and cook till you get a couple of whistles. Take out and peel.Peel and …

Carrot Coconut Laddu

Diwali is one festival that all Indians celebrate irrespective of which part of India you are from. It represents victory of good over evil, light over darkness and of course good food:). Food bloggers all over are showcasing their 'sweet' talents this time of the year. I am not a 'sweet' person mainly because I do not have a lot of patience to make traditional sweets, but I still wanted to make something quick'n'healthy for my family and also to share with friends. Here is a simple sweet made with all organic, wholesome ingredients which can be made under 30 minutes.

Carrots - 2 cups (grated)Almonds - 1/2 cup (preferably soaked overnight or at least few hours)Coconut - 3/4 cup (finely shredded)Unrefined coconut palm sugar - 1/2 cup (or less according to your sweet preference)Cardamom - 6-8 (peeled and powdered)Saffron - a pinch
Start cooking the grated carrot in a shallow heavy bottom pan, stirring every once every 30 seconds or so.Meanwhile grind the almonds …