Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another Quinoa Love-Salad with Kale and What are you Thankful For?

I can’t get enough of Quinoa Love,it is so versatile that can be consumed without spicing up ,
just with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of Olive oil.Kale,one of the ingredients has health and numerable nutritional benefits ,like lowering cholesterol by steam cooking it.Kale also has antioxidants properties that it has been included as one of the super foods to prevent 5 types of Cancer.Good things come the harder way ,so is, Kale has a  bland taste ,slightly sour, that I have to combine in a chick peas or a bean salad to camouflage its properties.This time,tried with Quinoa salad spiking just with minimal ingredients and tasted perfect.This healthy Quinoa Salad can be included as part of Thanks Giving Menu.

Speaking of TG,what am I thankful For in my life,

1. My Parents and Family.
2. My better half “A”-Who tries to accomplish and maintain sanity in our house.
3. My Friends and extended family.
4. For the World I live in.
5. My culture and am Proud of it.
6. Last but not the least and the most important “My two Minions (A&A)-who are  apple of  our eyes,brings smile on Mine and A’s face end of each day.
 I love to be squished between "A Cube" all the time.

What are you Thankful for?.   Happy Thanks Giving. 

                                                   Quinoa Salad with Kale.
1. Quinoa (boiled) -1 cup
2. Kale (chopped) -2 handfuls.
3. Ginger (grated) -1 teaspoon.
4. Garlic (diced) -1 teaspoon
5. Olive Oil-1/2 teaspoon
6. Salt – to taste

1.In a Wide bottomed pan add oil, when smoke start to come out of the oil saute garlic on medium        flame.
2.Add the chopped Kale and saute until it reduces  to half  in volume maintaining the green.
3.Add the boiled Quinoa, salt, grated ginger and give it a toss.
4.Switch off the flame.
5. Enjoy with chopped nuts of your choice on top.

Usually I cut kale and freeze in glass containers ,as I will not be able to use all in one time.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kashayam- A herbal Concoction to ease out Sore Throat and Cold- Re-Post

It is the time of the year we will be under the weather very often, catching cold with climate changing slowly from fall to winter, engulfing my part of the world for the next six months. Kashayam is a herbal concoction made using several herbs mentioned in the original post.If you can't find all of the herbs from the original post,it can be made with ingredients available from the pantry which is also effective and soothe the throat.

Original Version
Kashayam-A Herbal Concotion to ease out Sore Throat and Cold

                                                  Kashayam-Simple Version


1.Coriander Seed /Dhania Powder- 2 teaspoon.
2.Black Pepper Powder - 2 teaspoon.
3.Cumin /Jeera Powder -  2 teaspoon.
4.Fresh Ginger Grated - 2 teaspoon.
5.Dry Ginger Powder  -2 teaspoon.
6.Water - 1&1/2 cup
7.Honey  - 1 teaspoon


1.Bring all ingredients from 1-6 except honey to a rolling boil and allow the water to reduce little bit.
2.Strain and mix honey to the mixture.
3.It can be consumed warm or lukewarm.
4.Enjoy the soothing drink !!!

Please adjust the ingredients according to taste and spice level ,especially  ginger and black pepper .

Kashayam works well for our family.I am no expert in herbs and not sure if any of the ingredients contains allergens.Ensure it will suit you and your family prior to consumption.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kuzhi Paniyaram- Quick Version Loaded with Veggies.

Kuzhi Paniyaram is a famous delicacy of Chettinad, a southern part of India. Anytime you crave spicy, devour in to Chettinad Cuisine, well known for myriad of vegetarian dishes like puli kuzhambu,idiyappam,vegetable kurma and the list goes on. Chettinad city is also famous for its cotton sarees. The designs are very unique like their cuisine and stands out from others. Authentic Paniyaram is prepared by grinding the soaked raw and boiled rice along with urad dal, fermenting the batter like idly/dosa prior to making it. When it comes to breakfast both my parents and in-laws prefer the traditional items, mostly idly/dosa .For a matter of fact my Mother-in-law believes that idly/dosa nutritious than the modern day options. She once told me when she went to get her monthly sugar levels checked the Diabetician mentioned urad dal helps in controlling the sugar levels by keeping the glycemic index low. Though calories from rice is present, there is no added sugar . As I have explained in my previous post white sugar produces empty calories . My kids undergo high endurance physical activities at least 12- 15 hours in a week apart from their recess time playing, I need to ensure , they get enough of carbs balanced with protein and fiber in their diet. Kids generally move in fast pace and they are in constant motion, unlike the adults which increases their metabolic process and the carbs produced from rice are burnt  and converted as energy .If anyone peeks in to my refrigerator any day of the week, you can find a batch of idly/dosa batter in stock, it comes very handy for impromptu guests and last minute lunch box meals for the kids. My older one loves this version of Paniyaram for her lunch to school, since it’s easy to eat with a fork and  no messy hands. Any type of veggies can be mixed with the batter, depending on the kids’ taste and spice level. 

                                                  Kuzhi Paniyaram


1.Dosa Batter- 2 cups
2.Salt - to taste
3.Hing/Asafoetida- a pinch
4.Black Pepper Powder -1/2 tea Spoon(Kids version I replace Green Chillies with Black Pepper) 
5.Green chilies - 3cut to small pieces.
6.Red Onion- 2 table spoons(diced)
7.Carrots- 2  table spoon (grated)
8.Cabbage - 2 tablespoons (finely chopped)
9.Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - 1 teaspoon(finely chopped)
10.Oil - 1/4 teaspoon for each hole.

1.In a mixing bowl mix all ingredients together except the oil with dosa making consistency not too thick ,not too watery.

2.Mount Paniyaram Pan on a stove top with 1/4 teaspoon of oil filled in each hole on medium flame.

3.Make sure oil is hot enough ,indication steam comes out from the pan.If you drop a pinch of batter in the oil  it should sizzle.

4.Pour 1 Table spoon of Mixed batter from step 1 in each hole and cover the top.

5.Few Minutes later with a fork prick and turn to other side to cook.If the batter sticks to the pan while turning leave it on the same side extra couple of minutes .

5.Brown Crisp Texture on the outer side indicates  fully cooked and ready to eat.

6.Enjoy with Coconut Chutney.

1.If you don't have a Paniyaram pan , it can be made like a Uthappam on a regular Dosa Pan.
2.For kids it can be served with Ketchup.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rice or Quinoa what’s your Take?: Quinoa & Purple Cabbage Salad Spiked with Asian Flavors.

Quinoa & Purple Cabbage Salad Spiked with Asian Flavors.
When I discovered Quinoa few years back, loved for its versatility but the calorie comparison varies all over the internet. Some of the health website, concluded that one cup of cooked Quinoa calorie higher than One cup of cooked brown rice. But where we see the differences is most important. Following lists some nutritional values based on recommended value for daily intake.

One Cup Cooked Brown Rice                      One Cup Cooked Quinoa
Fiber- 14%                                                        Fiber-21%
Protein – 5gms/cup                                           Protein-8.1gms/cup
Folate: 2%                                                        Folate: 19%
Iron – 2%                                                          Iron-15%
Riboflavin – 3%                                               Riboflavin – 12%
Zinc - 8%                                                          Zinc-13%
Vitamin B3- 15%                                              Vitamin B3-4%

Brown rise may be high in other nutrients contents. With impressive Fiber, Protein and Iron content from a plant based source “Quinoa” has it beat. Soluble Fiber helps to reduce Fat & Cholesterol. Foods that lack Fiber spikes the sugar level quickly with hunger kicking in quiet frequently and that leads to over eating. Food rich in fiber tend to be low calorie, so you can consume little more than the usual portion.

Protein is the one activating the liver-the main organ and control operator for the fat burning .Studies have shown that if liver is working well it can increase metabolic rate which means Food rich in Protein and Fiber will keep you full for longer hours than food rich in Carbohydrate or fat can reduce the metabolic rate. My Verdict & Mantra, you might have heard already from health experts “Eat a protein Rich Breakfast” to start off my morning with minimal sugar .I have saved the “Sugar” topic for another post.

There are umpteen number of educative articles all over the internet about Fiber & Protein. Keeping in mind the listed key points helped me to make good food choices. Nutrients listed in the comparison also helps to fight against heart disease, cancer .

Being brought up in a south Indian home it will be surprising to hear I am not a big fan of rice. When we were growing up my mom used to make tiffin items for my lunch box .My friends can vouch for it. I love roti, can far and by live on it. How can god make my life simple, the man I am married to, he is Iconic figure of a typical South Indian male who wants to consume rice at least one time a day.
He will mope around, if rice is not in his vicinity consecutively for couple of days. But his eating and fitness habits are way healthier than mine.

Though I cook proper ‘southie’ meal for the man of the house daily, my intake of rice in a week is only during the weekends one time a day. Here we go to one of my favorite Quinoa salad with purple cabbage spiked with Asian Flavors. Would love to hear from you all your variations of Quinoa.

Quinoa & Purple Cabbage Salad Spiked with Asian Flavors.

Dry Ingredients.

Quinoa- 1/2 Cup Cooked
Cucumber Diced- ½ Cup
Cherry Tomatoes– Few (Not in the Pic shown usually add them when I have in stock.)
Purple Cabbage Shredded- 1 Cup
Spring Onions Diced- 1 Bunch
Carrots Shredded- 1 Cup
Cilantro Chopped- 1 Tea Spoon
Almonds (Sliced/Whole) - Few
Cashews (Sliced/Whole) - Few
Roasted Chick Peas - Few (optional- I had bought a pack of Good Beans Roasted Chick Peas for Snack to take to work.http://www.thegoodbean.com/snacks/)
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Water - 1 Cup


Peanut Butter (Crunchy/Creamy) -2 Tea Spoon
Apple Cider Vinegar - 1 Tea Spoon
Soy Sauce (The Authentic Fermented way) - ½ Tea Spoon
Honey - 1 Tea spoon
Ginger Grated - ½ tea spoon
Pepper Powder - 1/ Tea Spoon (to preferred taste)
Salt -  ½ teaspoon
Water - 2-3 Tea Spoon (to preferred consistency)
Sesame Oil - 1 Tea Spoon


1. Wash Quinoa thoroughly and ensure the outer skin is washed away as it will give a sour taste if not removed properly.

2.Combine 1/2 cup Quinoa with 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until Quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Quinoa holds lots of water, so you have to make sure you drain it thoroughly after it's cooked.

3.Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

4.Combine all the ingredients listed under dressing in a bowl and set aside.

5. In a Salad Bowl Mix well ,Dry Ingredients and Dressing bowl contents. Garnish with Few cashew Pieces.

6.   Enjoy your Salad!!!

-Be creative, add any veggies of your choice to your salad.
-Use Soy Sauce that has been produced the authentic fermented way as the modern Soy sauces     has MSG (a form of sodium contains non-essential amino acids).
-Ingredients listed under dressing can be increased and reduced according to your taste.

Quinoa & Purple Cabbage Salad Spiked with Asian Flavors.
I am not a professional health expert or nutritionist .