June 21, 2014

Orange Fig Chocolate Mousse

This is probably the quickest chocolate mousse you can ever make. It is raw, vegan and sweetened only with the natural sweetness of fruits. My son is generally not a big fan of figs or avocado, but one spoon of this wholesome mousse in his mouth and he could not resist anymore. He is a fan of this combination now:). 



Ingredients:
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice - from 3 clementines
  • Dried figs - 4
  • Raw cacao powder - 3 Tbs
  • Avocado - 3 (well ripened)
  • Orange zest - to garnish

Directions:
  • Add orange juice and fig to a blender/Vitamix and puree well.
  • Add cacao powder and avocado flesh and continue blending till creamy and fluffy, for about 20 - 30 seconds.
  • That's it, scoop into 3 or 4 mini dessert cups, optionally garnish with bits of orange zest.
  • Enjoy!!
 Note: this is just mildly sweet, so feel free  to increase number of figs if you want a more sweeter version.

June 19, 2014

Guava Quinoa Salad

Guess what is the newest kitchen gadget I have got ? No, no, it is not one of those high tech gadgets that people usually rave about. It is a Molcajete (traditional mexican version of the stone mortar & pestle). It took me a while to season it and start using it, but it is worth it, I tell you. I am reinventing all the mexican flavors of salsas, guacamoles and also some not-so-mexican chutneys and sauces made fresh. Each time burning some calories too in the process by lifting, holding and washing the heavy molcajete ;-)

Have you tried guava in a salad? Today's recipe is a simple guava quinoa salad, dressed with some freshly made tomato salsa. This can be made with other tropical fruits like mango or pineapple, just keep in mind to choose no-so-ripe fruits. Very easy to put together for a light and summery dinner or lunch. 

Salad:
  • Quinoa - 3/4 cup - soaked for 12-18 hours
  • Guava - 1 large - medium ripe
  • English cucumber - 1
  • White onion - 1 cup
  • Tomato - 2 small
  • Cilantro - for garnish
Directions:
  • Drain and cook quinoa with 3/4 cup of water. Let it cool.
  • Chop all ingredients finely.
  • Toss everything together and mix with the fresh tomato salsa. 
  • Serve as a light dinner or as a starter salad with your lunch. 
  • Enjoy!!


Fresh Tomato Salsa:
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Green chilly -1-2
  • Red onion - 1/2 cup - chopped
  • Tomato - 1 small - chopped
  • Cilantro - big handful chopped
  • Himalayan pink salt - as per taste
  • EV olive oil - 2-3 Tbs
  • Lemon juice - 2 Tbs
Directions:
  • Crush cumin seeds in your molcajete, add chopped green chillies and crush them too. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients one by one by handfuls, crushing them slightly. 
  • Transfer to a bowl and keep aside while you prepare the salad.
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Absolute Bliss Hawaiian Breakfast Fruit Salad

If I was living in Hawaii, what would I be eating for breakfast every day... hmmm..I love tropical fruits, so I will have as much of them as possible. How about a fruit salad using almond chia pudding with an array of tropical fruits like pineapples, mangoes and bananas .. yummm absolute bliss !!! This is a new family favorite here in New England. Hope you all enjoy it too :-) It is mildly sweet with natural sweetness from the fruits and from the coconut water. You get a nice bite and crunch from the toasted ginger and coconut. Above all, with the chia seeds, almonds and coconut water, you get energy for the whole day, which is very essential from the breakfast. 

Ingredients:
  • Chia seeds - 6 Tbs
  • Coconut water - 2 cups 
  • Almonds - a big handful 
  • Pineapple - 1/2 of a medium fruit
  • Mango - 1 
  • Banana - 2-3
  • Shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Chopped ginger - 1 Tbs

Directions:
  • Blend almonds and coconut water till puréed well. 
  • Add chia seeds, mix well and keep aside on the counter top overnight or for a few hours. 
  • When ready to make the salad, chop all the fruits and add to the chia mix (chia pudding) 
  • Toast shredded and chopped ginger on medium heat till slightly red. 
  • Serve the fruit salad topped with the toasted coconut/ginger.


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Plant based pot luck party@UrbanNaturale

June 11, 2014

Watermelon Avocado Mint Salad

What are the first few things that come to your mind when you think about summer? Watermelon should be one of them right? We buy and eat a lot of watermelon during the season. Watermelon juices, granitas, slushies, salads or cut them up and enjoy just like that. Mint is probably the best thing that can pair up with watermelon, be it in a juice or in a salad, and so is avocado. So here is a salad that is very much 'summery' using the whole of the watermelon (including the rind) along with mint and avocado. We can eat just this salad for days and forget that there are other things to eat :-)


Ingredients:
  • Watermelon (red flesh) - 3 cups (cubed)
  • Watermelon rind (white flesh) - 2 cups (cubed)
  • Avocado - 2 (medium ripe) 
  • Mint - 8-10 stems 
Directions:
  • Dice watermelon into small cubes.
  • Chop watermelon rind into smaller cubes. You can also substitute watermelon rind with cucumber.
  • Take avocado meat and dice into small cubes. 
  • Take out mint leaves and chop them fine.
  • Mix well, toss with the freshly whisked onion dressing. 
  • Enjoy on a sunny summer afternoon !!



Dressing: 
  • Red onion - 1/2 medium
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1 Tbs
  • Lemon juice - 2-3 Tbs
  • EV olive oil - 2 Tbs 
  • Himalayan pink salt  - as per taste
  • Green chilly - 2-3 

Directions:
  • Chop the red onions really fine. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  • Keep aside while you prepare the salad.            



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Hearth and Soul Blog Hop

                                       

June 8, 2014

Salmon Chickpea Burger

Can Burger and Quick'n'healthy go together? Well, if you stick to your clean standards in choosing the ingredients and if you use a little bit of planning, then Yes, they can go together. I have a growing up teenager at home, who for most of the time is very adaptive to our healthy, clean eating. Sometimes though he gets excited if I make a burger or a pizza or something that falls under the generic kid friendly category. So here is something that I make to excite my foodie teenager. Hope you and your teenagers enjoy it too.

Ingredients:
  • Wild caught Alaskan salmon - 2 steaks (6 oz each)
  • Chickpeas - 1/2 cup soaked overnight - I use black channa, but chickpeas work just as well 
  • Ginger - 2 Tbs
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves
  • Green chilly - 3-4
  • Coriander leaves - 5-6 stems
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Flax seeds - 2 Tbs
  • Paprika - 1 tsp
  • Sea salt - 1 tsp 

Directions:
  • Grind chickpea coarsely using blender or food processor. Stop and scrape sides frequently so that you can control the grinding. Transfer to a bowl.   
  • Do the same with ginger, garlic, green chilly and coriander leaves. Add to the chickpea. 
  • Clean the salmon and remove skin. Mince it using food processor or blender. You can also just chop it really fine. Transfer to bowl with chickpea mixture. 
  • Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
  • Grind the flax seeds in your coffee grinder and add to the mixture.
  • Add all spices and salt. Mix well and form sort of a dough.
  • Divide into 6 equal parts. Shape into patties of about 3-4 inches diameter. Arrange  them on a baking tray patted with virgin coconut oil or lined with parchment paper.
  • Drizzle drops of coconut oil on each patty and bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned.
  • I don't make sandwiches, since this already has the carbs from chickpeas, but you can definitely serve it on homemade burger buns. 
  • I serve them with a mint yogurt chutney on a bed of fresh baby greens salad. 
  • This makes 6 burgers. Enjoy!!

June 1, 2014

Crispy Baked Spinach Falafel w/ Apple Tzatziki Sauce

Looking for a quick'n'healthy dinner idea that is grain-free, gluten-free and vegetarian? How about if you can also put this together in no time? I know you see all these 30 minute meals and microwave meals on TV.. I even saw a commercial on plated meal recently. What I am talking about is a meal cooked from scratch with all wholesome and clean ingredients.

If you have to ask me my favorite cuisine other than my own, that would have to be Mediterranean. It is healthy, flavorful and flexible. Here is a baked version of spinach falafel which is given a little extra kick with the addition of green chillies. I am pairing it with an apple tzatziki sauce to cool it off a little bit. You can make the tzatziki sauce vegan by omitting the yogurt and adding extra cashews and extra lemon juice.



Spinach Falafel

Ingredients: 
  • Chickpeas - 1 cup (Soaked for 12-18 hours)
  • Spinach - 2 cups
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves
  • Green chilly - 2-3
  • Red onion - 1/2 cup (chopped) 
  • Coriander leaves - 8-10 stems 
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika - 1 tsp 
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tbs

Directions:
  • Drain the chickpeas well. Grind coarsely using a food processor or blender (stop and scrape sides frequently so that you can control the grinding and it does not become a fine paste).
  • Chop the spinach, garlic, green chilly, red onion and coriander very fine. You can add this to chickpeas while grinding, just make sure that everything just gets chopped and not ground to a paste. 
  • Transfer to a bowl, add the in spices and salt. Mix well and make sure everything is holding together well. 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix baking soda with lemon juice and add it to the chickpea 'dough' and mix well.
  • Divide into a small walnut sized balls and spread them on a greased baking sheet. Give them a slight press to make small patties. 
  • Bake for around 20 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
  • Serve warm with freshly made mango tzatziki sauce.
  • Makes about 24 falafels. Enjoy!! 


Apple Tzatziki Sauce:

Ingredients:
  • Apple - 1( preferably granny smith)
  • Lemon juice - 2 Tbs
  • Homemade organic yogurt - 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nuts - a handful
  • Green chilly 2-3
  • Garlic - 1 clove
  • Himalayan pink salt - a pinch

Directions:
  • Peel off apple skin and chop apple very fine.
  • Add the apple skin to a blender jar. Add half of the chopped apple, cashew, lemon juice, green chilly, garlic and salt. Puree till nice and creamy.
  • Transfer to a bowl, add remaining half of the chopped apples and yogurt. Mix well.
  • Enjoy!!