I'm Sapna, a foodie, blogger, wife, mom of two beautiful girls, and lover of spices. I have a background in Nutrition and Dietetics, which I use to incorporate healthy options into all of my recipes. I love traveling to new places, trying new food, and in turn, creating them in my kitchen to relive the magic. When I'm not in the kitchen, I love curling up with a good book, playing with my munchkins, running, hanging out with friends, and gardening.
I love bread. In any form. I love carbs, what can I say?!
One of my favorite recipes is this delicious Rosemary Focaccia Bread. It is so light, springy, soft, and oh so delicious straight out of the oven, it’s hard not to eat the entire loaf.
Even better is that making this bread is so easy. Doesn’t matter if you’ve never made bread before or are an experienced bread baker. This Rosemary Foccacia Bread is a fail safe recipe.
So, if you have more restraint than I do (literally have to stop myself from eating it straight out of the baking dish!) then here are a few different ways to serve this bread:
As an appetizer with a dipping oil
As a side with a main dish
Toast it up to serve with soup
What kind of flour do I use?
Good question! I’ve tried this with only All Purpose flour and only Whole Wheat flour and as a mix of both. Here are my results:
All Purpose: comes out amazingly soft, springy, and delicious. Not so healthy though but it does taste divine!
Whole Wheat flour: comes out tasting delicious but is very dense and doesn’t rise so well. Also, does tend to be a bit chewier.
50/50: a great combination for both. You get a little healthier flour in there but also the light, airy texture that you are looking for in a Focaccia.
In the recipe, I’ve included the ratios for the 50/50 combination. Try out both and let me know what you think!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious Rosemary Focaccia Bread!
**It is important that the water is not too hot or too cold when you are mixing it with the yeast. If it is too hot, the yeast will be killed and your dough will not rise. If it is too cold, the yeast will not activate properly and your dough will rise, but not by much and you will have a very dense bread.
**You do not need a stand mixer for this recipe. If you do not have one, feel free to use your hands!
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 c warm water
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, divided, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp oil, divided
coarse sea salt to garnish
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and water. Mix together well with a whisk. Let stand for 5 minutes so the yeast can bloom.
In the following order, add butter, then flour then the salt.
On setting 2, mix for about 5 minutes or until dough has formed and is pulling away from the bowl.
Take 1 Tbsp oil and grease the bowl well, then use the remaining to coat the dough.
Cover with plastic film and let rest for 1 hour. Dough should double in size.
After an hour, reshape into a tight oval. Let rise in a greased dutch oven or baking sheet lined with silicone. Let rest another 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Right before placing dough in oven, brush remaining oil over the dough, use a knife to slit an X on the top and sprinkle the remaining rosemary all over the dough.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle coarse sea salt over the hot bread.
Serve warm with your favorite dipping oil, as a side to a main, or use as a sandwich or toast.
The year was 2013, I had been married only a couple of months and was hosting this grand Thanksgiving for my in-laws. My mother-in-law is vegetarian as am I and so I wanted something special for a veggie dish at the table instead of roasted veggies.
No offense to roasted veggies, I love them. In fact I eat them all the time and therein lies the problem. I wanted something “fancy”, something different that I don’t have on any given night.
So I scoured the internet and landed upon this gorgeous picture of Ratatouille and thought, I can make this! And I did. It didn’t look so pretty but hey, that’s ok, I hoped it would taste delicious though. It was bland. There literally was no flavor profile to it and safe to say, both my mother-in-law and I were disappointed.
She was nice enough to pretend it was good but I couldn’t even do that!
So ever since, I’ve been on a mission to create a Ratatouille that has layers and dimensions of flavor. Safe to say, I think I found it!
Here’s the secret!
Make a sauce that keeps everyone wanting to lick it off the plate
Season the top of the veggies and not just with salt and pepper! With actual herbs!
Make enough sauce so that veggies are half drenched in it and the rest will cook in the steam of the boiling sauce in the oven.
I have been playing with the recipe for a while now and when I made the final version, I was satisfied aesthetically. The question was, would my girls eat the eggplant in it?
Recently, they’ve become very finicky eaters and it can be a real struggle to feed them even their favorite foods sometimes. But they both ate all the veggies and I couldn’t have been a prouder Mama!
Try this out for your next Holiday dinner, weeknight surprise, or Sunday dinner. It’s easy to make ahead, stores in the fridge and freezer well and is fairly simple to make!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Ratatouille!
The original idea with this recipe was to make Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts. But I sent hubby to get this week’s groceries. I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before but sending the hubby out for groceries is always picking a random card from a deck. You never know if you will get the groceries you asked for but he will definitely come back with items you never knew about or sometimes with everything but what was on the list.
Luckily this time, I did get my chicken….. just not the breast – he came back with tenders. So imagine my surprise when I’m in the middle of making dinner and I have chicken I cannot stuff. Since it was almost dinner time and I would very quickly have 2 little munchkins turn into monsters if not fed, I had to do some quick thinking. Between my hubby’s quirky shopping and my quick thinking, I’m excited about this casserole!
The kids loved it and the hubby took seconds and leftovers to work for lunch! Talk about a win-win. Anyways, on to the this delicious recipe!
I love this recipe because it’s fairly healthy, easy to make and not much fuss! You can even make it ahead and keep it in the fridge, then just pop it into the oven when you are ready for it.
The stuffing is easy with spinach and cream cheese being the star. I kept the chicken pretty simple with just a salt and pepper seasoning because I used my Veggie Pasta Sauce for the top and then layered on some cheese to give it a little melty, gooey finish.
Try it out and tag me to tell me what you think! From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Spinach Stuffed Chicken Casserole!
Squash season is in full swing and I’m loving experimenting with all the different varieties out there. One of my favorites is butternut squash. It’s vibrant orange color, the sweet taste, and the versatility of the flesh is just great to work with. You can mash it up or cube it and add it into most dishes. For this recipe, I decided to throw a twist and stuff it instead.
This dish is perfect to add for the vegetarians (and non-vegetarians) at the Thanksgiving or Holiday table. It’s rich and bold colors match the flavors that draw together the different fruits and veggies I’ve used.
Aside from being so flavorful, it is also extremely healthy. Here are a few benefits you will get from this dish:
High in protein
Good source of Fiber
Good source of Iron
Low in Fat
Good source of Potassium and Magnesium
Good source of Folate
Good source of Vit. C and Vit. K
High in Antioxidants
I know butternut squash is one of the harder squashes to chop but I have a trick! Heat the squash in the microwave for 3 minutes and it will soften up enough that you can chop the ends easily and scoop out the flesh also. I know putting a whole squash in the microwave might seem daunting, but trust me it works!
When I initially made this recipe, both the hubby and I found it a bit dry and realized right away that it needs a sauce or dressing to help it out. After going through a few options, I settled on a simple Apple Cider Vinaigrette. It has all the elements for the fall, doesn’t overpower the stuffing and gives you just enough of a pop in flavor. Most importantly, the stuffing doesn’t feel dry anymore!
So….. what are you waiting for? Try this out and make it a part of your holiday table or Sunday dinner! From my kitchen to yours, I hope you love this Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash!
*To prep in advance, you can make the stuffing 1-2 days prior and reheat it once the squash is done cooking.
*Also garnish with feta to give a creamier taste.
For the Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash:
1 large butternut squash
1/2 c dry quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
1 c low sodium veggie broth
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 c walnuts, roughly chopped
2 c spinach
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 red apple, chopped
1/2 c pomegranate seeds, plus extra to garnish
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cloves garlic, whole
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp Avocado Oil, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub with agave)
5 Tbsp Avocado Oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the butternut squash in the microwave for 3 minutes to soften it up. Trim the ends and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
Use 1 Tbsp oil to coat both halves of the squash. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Add 4 garlic cloves to each squash and make sure to coat them with the seasoning.
Turn the squash upside down and roast in oven for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, combine quinoa and veggie broth and bring to a boil on high heat.
Reduce to medium heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated.
Cover and let steam for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Set aside to use later.
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium flame. Add in the onions, celery, and apples and saute until they have softened (5-6 minutes).
Add in the garlic, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Saute for another minute to combine the flavors.
Add in the spinach, walnuts and pomegranates and mix well.
Remove from heat and add in cooked quinoa. Mix well.
For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients into an airtight jar and shake vigorously to emulsify.
When squash is ready, remove from oven and flip over gently. Scoop in the filling evenly into both craters. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp oil over both fillings and bake for an additional 10 minutes to give the stuffing a crispy, golden crust.
Transfer squash to a serving platter, drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with additional pomegranate seeds.
Diwali has always been a special festival growing up in my family… in fact for most Indian families. It’s the Festival of Lights, where we celebrate faith and hope and wish that everyone has a bright future, happiness and prosperity in their lives.
Everywhere you look, Diwali takes over with lights and colors. Rangoli designs are a prominent component of Diwali, with the idea that it brings strength, good luck and genorosity. Keeping in mind that very foundation of colors and brightness, I decided to bring the spirit of rangoli to my mithai (sweets) for Diwali this year.
Coconut ladoos are very popular in Indian and the best part is, they are very easy to make. The basis of each ladoo was kept the same with the main ingredients being coconut, almond flour/ground almonds, and condensed milk. The ratios vary based on the flavor and additions of the ladoo.
Here are the flavors I decided to go with:
Mango (seriously, how could I not include this flavor?!)
Lavender (because it’s a new obsession and the flavor and colors are so amazing!)
Rose (the colors, the fragrance, and the taste are so pretty, it makes me feel like a princess when I’m eating this!)
Mojito (…..yep. No alcohol, but that hint of lime and mint….YUM!)
Coconut Almond (the original cannot be overlooked!)
Some tips to make it easier for you when you make this:
Use a non-stick skillet to make these. It prevents the mixture from sticking and makes the process that much easier.
*If using frozen shredded coconut, make sure to thaw it out to room temp to avoid extra moisture in the final product. *If you don\'t have almond flour, substitute with almonds 1:1 ratio and grind into flour *To make this VEGAN, use vegan condensed milk and switch the ghee and use coconut oil
A couple of months ago, I won our local Farmer’s Market cooking competition and part of my prize was a big box of fresh goodies from the market. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to get fresh veggies and fruits! I honestly felt like a contestant on Chopped from The Food Network in that I wanted to use all of my produce and come up with a delicious dish.
Well, considering there were so much produce, I’m not sure I would be able to eat more than 3 bites of any dish made from all of the veggies and fruits! One of my favorites in that box was the beet greens with their beautiful red stems. I’ve had quite a few people ask me what I use them for and what they can cook out of them. A definite go to are to cook them down like collard greens but I wanted to do something more creative and decided to add the beet greens to a hash and topping it with an egg made it the perfect breakfast for a busy day or a big, healthy lunch bowl.
The vibrant orange and red colors of the root veggies as they are being cooked, the bold green of the beets…..eeek! I’m salivating just thinking about this recipe. The best part is all the nutrition you get in this sustainable hash:
high in dietary fiber
high in folate
good source of potassium
good source of non-dairy calcium (the beet greens are)
great source of B-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (these flavonoids have strong anti-cancer and antioxidant properties)
Topping this hash with a fried or hard boiled egg adds a little extra protein though to keep it vegetarian/vegan, you can always replace the egg with a grilled tofu steak.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious and healthy Sweet Potato and Beet Hash!
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet on medium high flame.
Add in the beets, sweet potato, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and cook about 10-15 minutes until browned and crispy. If it is still mostly raw at the 10 minute mark, cover and let it cook in the steam for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and let it heat up.
Add in the onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the beet greens and stems and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until it is just starting to wilt. Add in the veggies, and mix well.
Let the hash crisp up then remove from pan and divide between 4 plates. Top with your choice of egg and serve hot!
Pizza is one food my girls are very picky about. I know… I was surprised too! Usually, kids love pizza but my oldest decided she didn’t like pizza after having it at 7 different birthday parties in a span of 1 month. I get it, I totally do. I would be tired of it too!
For me, pizza is the ultimate go to with unlimited toppings and variations. I didn’t want Sanaya to feel an aversion for one of the most loved foods on this planet so I stepped in. After trying so many different pizzerias, I finally decided to make it at home.
This Garlic Herb Pizza Dough is so delicious and light. When the dough is rolled out, it’s not too thick and makes for a nice flatbread. Some days, I will roll it out into 1 large pizza and others, I’ll get the girls involved and have them decorate their own personal pizzas. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this delicious garlic-y, herb-y pizza dough!
Try it out! It is so delicious!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy your pizza party!
The weather is still pretty warm out but I am mentally ready for fall! Especially with all the delicious veggies at the Farmer’s Market that are coming out for the season. The pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, root vegetables and especially all the squash and pumpkins I’m seeing everywhere! They’re all so beautiful, colorful and oh so yummy!
I was inspired during my last visit to the Farmer’s Market for this recipe. I used acorn squash because it is mild in flavor and one of the easiest squash to peel and cut. The beets added beautiful color and flavor (and lots of nutrition!), and crispy brussels sprouts once roasted are the perfect addition for texture in this bowl.
Here are a few other ingredients I used though, I definitely didn’t roast them:
As for the dressing, I debated whether to add one or not but in the end, I decided a simple squeeze of lime would do justice without taking away from the other flavors.
I was so excited just roasting the veggies because they looked so bright, bold and beautiful! The spice that I added to balance the sweet of the beets and pears out was smoky chipotle pepper to the veggies that I roasted.
This is one dish that I think is going to come up often on our table through this season! Make a big batch for a holiday dinner side, a small batch for a lunch or make it a meal for a weeknight! It’s simple, healthy, delicious, and you get to eat many of your colors!
Here are some of the health benefits from this yummy bowl:
High in Fiber
High in Protein
Vitamins K, C, A, and B-6
Good Source of Iron
Good Source of Folate
Well! What are you waiting for? You have got to try this out!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Sweet and Spicy Harvest Bowl!
Ok so I know that the name alone makes this salad sound like an explosion of so many different flavors and it is! But….. that’s what makes this salad work so well!
Between my obsession for salads and my inclination towards making my own dressings, my salad game is going strong right now. I’ve been wanting to use watermelon radish for a while now because of it’s flavor and just how pretty it looks!
Here are a few fun facts about watermelon radishes:
They are nutrient dense with Vitamins K, A, E, C, and B6.
High in antioxidants
High in fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron among many other minerals
One serving of watermelon radishes has over 1/3 of your daily Vit. C requirements!
They’re just so darned pretty
The fennel was added in to balance out the peppery flavor of the radish (though, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the hubby was going to like it as he is not a big licorice flavored guy. The best part about eating fennels to me is the licorice!). Luckily, the fennel taste was mild when combined with the flavors of the salad.
As to the Ginger Lime dressing, adding the hint of ginger balanced with a little honey in the dressing and the lime to brighten up the salad, it was the perfect choice to use this for the salad.
When I think about this salad, it really has a great balance of sweet, spicy and tangy! So perfect for a lunch meal, side dish, or a Covid free Thanksgiving dinner!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this salad!
Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with a Ginger Lime Dressing
I love the Autumn season. The colors, the change in flavors, the hint of crisp air and everything else about Fall is just perfect!
Making this nourish bowl with a hint of Fall flavors was fun. I decided to roast the veggies with oregano and smoked paprika for some warmth in the taste.
For a pop of spice, I added charred Shishito peppers which made this dish so perfect!
Instead of dressing, I used hummus which becomes smooth and creamy as a dressing when combined with the hot roasted veggies.
This nourish bowl is so filling, try it out for your next lunch or dinner. You’ll be so satisfied and comforted.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this bowl!
This orzo is creamy, spicy, and full of flavor. I love orzo but wanted to do something different than the standard mediterranean orzo salad I have (which is delicious by the way!) so I decided to play around with it. And boy am I glad I did!
Fennel has a delicious licorice taste without being so powerful and combining it with the onions and caramelizing them was just the perfect way to give this orzo a sweet flavor to balance the spice.
I did top this with a piece of chicken for the husband but you can make it vegan by omitting the chicken! So easy to make it work either ways.
If you do use the chicken, you can either bake one if you have the time or use a rotisserie chicken as a hack to cut the time.
Perfect for the upcoming autumn season, try this delicious bowl of orzo and bring a little sweet and spicy to your soul!
I’ve recently learned that my girls like chickpeas in any form. I used to think it was just Roasted Masala Chickpeas that they gobbled down, but I’ve been paying attention and I’m glad I have! Watching both of them gobble down this stew was amazing. They are one of the few girls who also love to eat spinach in any form, cooked or uncooked (I feel blessed) so I knew I was going to use it to give some green to this dish!
I’m totally adding this to my weeknight meal list as it took me only 20 minutes to pull together! I got the couscous started on the side and takes only 15 minutes to make!
Can you tell I’m ready for the autumn season to begin? I’ve had a fun summer enjoying the hot weather but between the smoke from all the fires and a broken AC during the multiple heat waves, I am looking forward to the end of the year. Hot stews are just the thing to warm you up during the cold months and this recipe is a great one where you get to spend more time enjoying the food than making it!
Try it out and let me know what you think. Tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146 and use the #bitofspice146 hashtag. I would love to see your versions of my recipes!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious stew!
I feel like almost every culture has their version of beans and rice. There’s the Latin style with adobo seasoning, the African style flavored with smoked paprika and garlic, Creoles use the “holy trinity” for theirs, Jamaican red beans and rice have coconut milk and scotch bonnet peppers, the Japanese use Adzuki beans with their rice, and the Indians have Rajma Chawal. Why are red beans and rice so common everywhere?
I don’t know. But what I do know is they make a complete protein when eaten together so it’s really beneficial to vegetarians and vegans who don’t get their complete proteins from animal protein to feel full.
I never thought Rajma was all that special until my friend Sumit made it one day. He makes the most amazing Rajma so I never bothered to learn because I could just call him up! But now he’s moved to a different state and it’s not as readily available so I have tried and tried and tried to perfect my Rajma.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this classic dish of Rajma!
** If you don't have time to soak the beans overnight, increase instant pot cook time to 45 minutes ** the amount of water I used gives this rajma a thicker gravy. If you are looking to have a more soupy rajma, add an additional 1/2 c of water.
Set Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. When it's heated, add in cumin seeds, hing, and cinnamon stick. Let them roast and sizzle for 30-60 seconds.
Add in the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
When the onions are golden brown, add in tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well and cook for another 3 minutes.
Drain the soaked rajma and add to the pot. Mix well to coat all of the beans in the gravy.
Add in the water and mix.
Turn off the saute mode and cover the instant pot with the vent in sealing position.
Set to Bean/Chili mode which will automatically set the time to 30 minutes.
When the timer beeps, release the pressure from the instant pot and open lid. Stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with rice or naan.
For Stovetop instructions:
Follow the same recipe above and cook in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.
For Slow Cooker instructions:
Kidney Beans have a natural toxin called phytohaemagglutinin which is hard to digest and may cause nausea/vomiting. If you don't presoak the beans, then I recommend not using the slow cooker method to cook rajma. If you do presoak the beans, then:
Boil the presoaked kidney beans for 20 minutes, then follow the same recipe above. Set heat to high and cook for 5-6 hours.
Every Indian household is sure to have samosas for any occasion. Whether we were visiting relatives or friends, at a wedding, holidays, celebrations of any kind…. well, you get the point! Samosas everywhere. When I went off to college, my mom used to make dozens and dozens and put them in large zip top bags that I would freeze and microwave them as I was in the mood for them.
My roommates and friends at college also benefited. There were many nights sitting in our common room studying over samosas, sharing heartbreaks or girl talk or just hanging out.
These samosa puffs are a fun twist to the traditional samosas that are usually filled in a cone made of freshly kneaded dough. The girls had fun with the flaky pastry and loved that I kept the filling with the traditional potatoes and peas that they are used to.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious Samosa Puffs!
Heat a nonstick pan on medium flame, and add oil to it.
Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle.
Add in the ginger and Serrano pepper and cook for 30 seconds.
Add in the peas and cook them for 2-3 minutes.
When the peas have a bright green color to them, add in the chaat masala, cayenne pepper, cumin powder, and fennel powder. Mix well and let the spices cook for an additional 30 seconds to bloom them and release the flavors.
Finally, add in the boiled, crumbled potatoes and salt and mix well. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In each pastry square, fill about 1-2 Tbsp of filling in the center.
Brush the edges with milk and seal tightly. If needed, use a fork to seal the pastry.
Repeat until all the puff pastry sheets are filled.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Brush the Samosa Puffs with more milk on the outside to give it a crisp surface while it bakes.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the pastry has cooked through.
Bright, crunchy, colorful and easy to assemble with a creamy coconut jalapeño dressing, this salad is a perfect addition to your meal.
Easy to make, this salad has plenty of texture, meets my rainbow requirements, and is quick to pull together for any meal. A twist on the traditional slaw, the Rainbow Crunch Salad is a healthier version with a low cal coconut jalapeño dressing to finish off a delicious salad.
With school started, life still crazy between Covid, fires, and whatever else you want to throw in there, I want to keep it easy and quick for this salad. Chopping the veggies doesn’t take very long and the Coconut Jalapeño dressing is blended in less than a minute.
Here’s what you need for the salad:
Colored Bell Peppers
I’ve used this as a lunch meal, a side salad for fish and chicken dishes, or even a quick afternoon snack if I had some leftovers.
Try it out! From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!
Growing up in a Gujarati household, anywhere we went, you were guaranteed to have theplas packed. Whether we were traveling by car, plane, train, pretty much any vehicle, Mom would always have a foil packet filled with theplas. I would always get annoyed that we would be the family opening a packet of “Indian smelling food” but guess what…. I am my mother now. Quick to make, easy to pack, not much fuss and muss associated with them, and filled with nutrition, they are the perfect snack or meal to have.
Easy to eat anywhere on the go, similar to a thin tortilla, theplas are made by adding fenugreek leaves (methi) to the dough before kneading it. Instead of water, this dough uses yogurt as a binder making it a healthy and delicious meal or snack.
Fenugreek leaves are an under appreciated green that I have not seen outside of Indian food culture. Some of the healthy benefits they provide are:
lowering blood sugar
reducing cholesterol levels
increasing milk production for nursing mothers
help with appetite control
Adding in the yogurt to knead the dough helps provide calcium and protein. I use a multi grain flour to make these and between that, the yogurt, and the fenugreek leaves, 3 of the food groups are already incorporated into these theplas!
Added benefit, “roti” and yogurt is one of the girls’ favorite meals so it’s easy to sneak in different veggies and they’ll gobble it up.
Try out these methi theplas at home and I hope you like them as much as we do!
2 c whole wheat flour, plus a little extra to roll the theplas out
1 c yogurt
1 c methi (fenugreek) leaves, frozen or fresh and chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to spice level)
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil, plus a little extra for cooking
In a large bowl, add the flour, fenugreek leaves, turmeric, cayenne pepper, hing, and salt. Mix well.
Add in the yogurt and knead to form a soft dough. If the dough seems a little tough, add a Tbsp of water at a time to soften it up.
Once kneaded, add 1 Tbsp oil to coat the dough.
Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 20-25 equal portions.
Dust the thepla dough in flour and roll them out into thin circles to approximately 6 inches in diameter. As you roll them out, you can keep dusting the dough in dry flour to prevent sticking when rolling them out.
Heat a skillet on high heat and place the rolled out dough on the skillet. After a few seconds you will notice small air pockets popping out. At this point flip the methi thepla and smear a little oil over the top and using a flat spatula, press lightly in a turning motion to cook the thepla.
Flip the thepla to the other side and press and turn in a similar way. You will notice brown spots around the cooked thepla. Remove from heat and place on a plate.
Continue this process until all the theplas are cooked.
This chimichurri sauce is a must have in your kitchen. Traditionally served with meats, I use it on salads, meats, and vegetable dishes. I first had this a couple of years ago when I was trying out a new recipe. I love the simplicity of the flavors combined with the layers of all the elements you can taste. Continue reading “Chimichurri Sauce”→
This Chickpea and Tomato Soup is healthy, delicious, carb-free and easy to make in less than 30 minutes! All you have to do is chop and simmer the soup until it’s done! A family favorite, we add this to the rotation in the fall and winter months almost on a weekly basis!
The girls love this because it is simple, yet flavorful and they have so much fun making it with me (and eating half the ingredients).
Though traditionally mild in flavor, I’ve added fresh and dried herbs as well as a small parmesan rind to bump up the flavor. You will be amazed at the difference the cheese rind makes. If you don’t have any, don’t worry … the soup is still delicious!
To store cheese rinds, simply keep the rinds in a sealable plastic bag and place in the freezer indefinitely. Pull it out whenever you are ready to use it. Such a simple and delicious trick!
I did omit the pasta that is usually part of a traditional Italian Chickpea and Tomato Soup because I do serve this with bread on the side. However, feel free to add in the pasta if your heart and belly desire. Simply add in 1 cup of any small pasta you have at home (mini macaroni, ditalini, mini shells are some examples you can use).
From my kitchen to yours, I hope this soup brings as much comfort and warmth to you as it does to my family!
Breakfast is always the hardest meal for me to be creative with. I’m constantly trying to make different foods to keep the days going and prevent burnout on any single dish. We’ve cycled through oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, eggs in all forms, muffins, and so many other variations of the above!
I had some crepes leftover from another meal and decided to use them for breakfast. You can make the crepe batter fresh in the morning or pre-make your crepes and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Go nuts with the filling. I kept it simple with some sautéed spinach and cheese but you can add in turkey slices, ham, bacon, or other veggies like tomatoes, squash, and onions.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this breakfast!
In a bowl, mix together eggs, milk and water. Add in the melted butter and vanilla extract.
In another bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps left and you have a smooth, creamy, thick batter. Use a hand blender if needed.
Heat a nonstick, lipped frying pan on medium flame. Pour ¼c of the batter into the pan and tilt in a circular motion until all of the batter has been spread evenly through the pan.
Cook for 2 minutes without disturbing it. The edges of the crepe will start to peel. Gently lift up and flip to the other side and cook for another minute.
Remove from pan and set aside.
For the filling:
Heat a nonstick skillet on medium flame and add the oil. On one side, crack the eggs and let them cook until they are done over easy.
On the other side of the same skillet, add the garlic and roast for 30 seconds. Add in the spinach and mix with the garlic.
Season eggs and spinach with salt and pepper.
Add filling to the center of your crepe, layer it with a slice of cheese, then an egg. Fold over each side to create a pocket square. Sprinkle green onions over the top and serve hot!
Enchiladas are one of my favorite Mexican meals. What I don’t love is the amount of work and clean up goes into making a good batch of enchiladas. Making the filling, rolling the enchiladas, and the baking sometimes feels like too much work. And I don’t always have an hour or more to dedicate on a weeknight when I am craving enchiladas. Let’s be honest… I don’t think anyone does.
These Skinny Skillet Veggie Enchiladas satisfy my cravings for enchiladas without the fuss. I can make them in less than 30 minutes (yep!) and the only dishes I have to clean are my chopping board and skillet! Literally made it super easy!
You can work ahead for these and have the veggies chopped up to save time but really, it’s not that time consuming. Speaking of veggies, of course I added a rainbow of them. Yellow squash, green zucchini, red bell peppers, purple onions, corn, and poblano peppers!
If you want to add meat, a quick shortcut is to add in shredded rotisserie chicken. Cut down the amount of beans by half or increase the amount of enchilada sauce by another 1/4 cup to avoid having a dry dish.
Make sure you are using an oven safe skillet. Here is the one I like to use. You only need to pop the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes so the cheese can melt and get a golden color.
For spices, I used smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder and a little ancho chili powder. I know it seems like a lot, but a little of all of them really helps create a depth of flavor.
2 green onion stalks, green part only (save the white bulbs for another recipe), chopped
1 lime, sliced into wedges for garnish
Preheat oven to 450ºF
On medium flame, heat an oven proof skillet and add oil to the skillet
Add in the poblano peppers, and onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic and roast an additional 30 seconds
Add in the squash, zucchini, and bell peppers and saute for an additional 3 minutes until they are tender
Add in the spices, beans, and corn and mix well
Stir in the enchilada sauce
Toss in the tortillas to cover the skillet evenly, and with a spatula, gently press into the mixture to cover with enchilada sauce. Don't mix it in, you just want it coated with the sauce so it doesn't dry out
Turn off heat and sprinkle cheese evenly over the top
Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown on top
Remove from oven and let cool for minutes before serving
I’ve been really getting into making my own dressings lately. I like it because it’s easy to control the ingredients, eat healthy, and so fun to get creative with out of the box dressings!
When I was thinking about this dressing, I knew I had to do something different so that I can keep a hint of the sweet coconut while incorporating other flavors. As they say, sweet and spice makes everything nice (or something like that anyway). Of course I had to add jalapeño peppers to this to give it a kick and the best part is you get a hint of each of the flavors without one overwhelming the other.
I paired this with a Rainbow Crunch Salad (coming soon!) and it was absolutely amazing.
Try out this coconut jalapeño dressing with these other recipes:
If you don't have coconut cream, you can use coconut milk. The clot at the top of the can when you open it that has separated from water is cream. Scoop it out and save the water to use in another recipe.
1 13.5oz can of coconut cream
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Add all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth consistency.
Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Growing up, mango lassis were one of my favorite to order when we ate out at Indian restaurants. The sweet mangoes, the tangy yogurt, and the hint of rose at the end of each sip…. oh so delicious! The fact that mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit just adds to my love for this lassi!
A summer time must have, even my girls look forward to having a glass almost daily which just makes my heart happy. Easy to whip up, you don’t need much. A blender and the ingredients are all you have to use. I did use a dash of rose syrup to give it a summer-y floral hint which takes this lassi to a whole new level.
Have this delicious mango lassi as an afternoon snack to cool down in the heat, or pair it with some delicious Indian food. It pairs well with Masala Omelette for breakfast, or even a lunch time drink with a Desi Masala Bowl or with dinner when you try out this Instant Pot Chole.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious treat!
Summer salads are my favorite. Simple ones that take less than 10 minutes to make are even better. Ok let’s be honest, pretty much any salad is my favorite. They’re just so delicious and fun and contrary to popular belief, don’t have to be filled with just greens!
When I started making this tomato avocado cucumber salad, it was originally for the girls so I can get them used to eating fresh uncooked veggies too and in salad form. For them of course I did a simple dressing of oil, salt and pepper, and for the adults, I added a couple more ingredients to bring it to the next level.
Just like the salad, the dressing is simple and I didn’t worry about making it separately. I just added the dressing ingredients directly to the salad and gave it a good toss. Saves me on an extra dish and also, worrying about the ratios of oil to acid.
What do I need for the DRESSING?
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Red Chili Flakes
What do I need for the SALAD?
Oregano – lots of it
Basil – definitely tons of it
Ok I know what you’re probably thinking. Lots of Basil and Oregano in the salad? Have I lost it? Actually, surprisingly no! The peppery basil and the earthy oregano completely transform this dish!
When I made this salad, it was supposed to be for a side and I actually ended up eating a little more than a side’s worth which left no room for dinner………
So it’s safe to say this salad can be a side or an entree!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious salad!
I had my first ricotta pancakes a few years ago when I was out for a brunch with my girl friends. They were light, fluffy and creamy all in one bite! Oh so delicious!
I added a hint of lemon to these to give it a bit of tang and brighten them up. My girls could taste it and loved it which I thought was amazing! I believe it’s going to become our weekend tradition!
You can taste the ricotta but it adds moisture and creaminess to the pancakes that takes them to a whole other level. It really is the perfect start to your day and weekend.
While you heat up your griddle, mix the dry ingredients in 1 bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Then combine the two and whisk so the batter is nice and smooth! It’s really a simple recipe that doesn’t take too long.
Add in some berries while the pancakes are on the griddle or serve a bowl of berries on the side – you can never go wrong with berries on pancakes.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy these delicious pancakes.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta and milk until you have a smooth texture.
add in the zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and sugar. Whisk well.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Make sure there are no lumps left.
On a heated griddle, melt a little butter and pour 1/2 c batter. Let the pancakes cook for a few minutes. The bottom should be a nice golden color and there should be plenty of bubbles on the top. At this point, flip the pancake and continue to cook for another couple of minutes to cook the pancake through.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, add some berries and serve with a side of maple syrup or you favorite syrup.
I love a traditional banana bread but I also love changing out the fruits and making different types of loaves. This Spiced Pear Loaf gives me a peek into the fall with its hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger; the sweet pear chunks added in… oh so delicious!
This bread uses milk and oil in addition to the pear chunks to give it just the right amount of moisture. Use a 1:1 ratio of whole wheat flour and oats for a healthy balance of carbs, and just enough brown sugar to combine with the warm spices to bring fall home any time of the year!
Use this loaf for a snack during recess, packed in your lunchboxes, or even as a sweet treat post meals. So delicious and scrumptious, you have to try it out!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious treat!
Cheese boards are so delicious, easy to pull together and fun to share with friends, on a date night, or sometimes, even for a simple dinner with some wine! Yes, I have eaten cheese boards for dinner, though it hasn’t happened much lately and I just found out of one my closest friends does the same with her husband! A cheese board for dinner is actually fun!
Building one takes less than 10 minutes and you can make it as fancy or simple as you want.
TYPES OF BOARDS:
There are many different types. One of my favorites that I use is my slate board, but I also have a wooden and a marble one. To build a cheese board for the hubby and me, I use the slate one or the marble one for just myself. When we are hosting a dinner I like to pull out my large wooden one so that there is plenty to go around for everyone. If I have a party, I’ll pull out all three and save the smallest one to create a kid’s cheese board (more to come on that one). There are some cute individual slate boards also if you want to do a social distance cheese board so each person has their own.
Cheese knives are also important and I like this set which also tells you which is to be used for the type of cheese you are serving. A simple set like this one is also handy to have.
Think variety with texture and type of milk. I like to have about 3-4 different cheeses on my board. My favorite is goat cheese, so I will always have that on my boards. This takes care of my soft cheese but if you want a different type of soft cheese, try Camembert, Feta, or Brie.
Move on to the semi-hard cheeses and there are so many options! One of my favorites is a wine soaked cheese that my cousin Sweetu introduced me to. This is available in most grocery stores now so just check out the cheese section and look for one! Some of my other favorite semi-hard cheeses include Gruyere, Manchego, and Gouda. Pick 1 or 2 of these and add them to your cheese board.
Finally, the hard cheeses that are waiting for their turn! Asiago, Parmegiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Cheddar are some of my favorites.
Once you have picked out your cheeses, try spreading them out around the board so that you have space to include other foods.
This is the perfect time to get creative. I always add the basics of crackers or bread and sometimes both. You can also add in some breadsticks if you have. Those always taste good!
Add in some fresh fruit – anything you have on hand. Grapes are a traditional choice you can always bet on. Other options include thinly sliced apples or pears, strawberries and raspberries. Think color when you are adding these to your board as you want it to pop!
A little sweet is always welcome to the board. My favorite go to includes fig marmalade or honey. Pair them with any of the cheeses and it’s sure to become an instant hit!
If you have something sweet, there has to be space for something salty too! I love having some nuts on the board and to add the salty to my crunchy, I include Roasted Chili Almonds.
There will be times when I want some extras. A really good option is roasted garlic (recipe to come soon…check back!) and/or some artisan bread. In the cheese board pictured for this post, I included an artichoke focaccia bread. A little of the roasted garlic butter spread on the focaccia is simply divine!
Don’t stress when you build your board and just have fun. I like to build the board about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Finally, sit back, enjoy your cheese board and have fun!
The first couple of days back to school reminded me of how I felt when I had my kids. I thought I was prepared but you never are. So this weekend, I’m working on some meal prepping and planning so that I can save time and focus on work and the girls’ school time. Continue reading “Meal Planning Ideas”→
I was never a big ramen fan until my sister-in-law Sarika took me to this tiny little ramen restaurant in Oakland. I can’t stress enough how good that ramen was. It was simply delicious with layers of flavor in the broth and each bite just filling you with warmth and comfort.
Recently, Taste Republic and I decided to partner together to come up with some new recipes and when I saw their gluten free linguini, I knew I wanted to make ramen with it instantly. Fresh pasta that are thin enough to substitute for traditional ramen noodles and they cook in just 3 minutes!
This recipe literally took me less than 30 minutes to make and part of the reason is I used rotisserie chicken. A perfect weeknight recipe that’s a little different from having to precook in an instant pot or slow cooker (don’t get me wrong, I love both of those devices!) and you can still make a delicious meal in 30 minutes – yes please!
*If you cannot find mirin, you can always substitute with a dry sherry or sweet marsala wine. You can also use dry white wine or rice vinegar but be sure to add 1/2 tsp of sugar for every Tbsp of liquid. To make this recipe Vegan/Vegetarian: replace chicken broth with low sodium veggie broth. Omit chicken and add tofu.
5 c chicken broth
5 cloves garlic, minced
2" knob of ginger, sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp chili flakes
1/3 c soy sauce, low sodium
1/4 c mirin*
6 oz mushrooms
1 9 oz package of Taste Republic gluten free linguini
2 rotisserie chicken breasts, sliced
4 c spinach
2 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp spring onions, sliced
sesame seeds to garnish
In a deep pot boil water for the eggs. For soft boiled eggs, cook for 7 minutes then transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. For hard boiled, cook for 13 minutes then transfer to an ice bath.
To make the ramen broth, combine the garlic (with 1 tsp set aside for the spinach), ginger, 4 Tbsp soy sauce, mirin, chili flakes and broth in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
In a skillet, heat the sesame oil and cook the remaining 1 tsp garlic for 30 seconds. Add in the remaining soy sauce and spinach and saute for 1-2 minutes. Do not let the spinach completely wilt. Remove from heat and set aside.
When you've removed the eggs from the water, add in the noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the noodles and transfer them directly to your bowls.
Add in the broth, chicken, spinach, mushrooms and eggs. Top with spring onions, chili flakes and sesame seeds.
All I can say is that things are getting crazier! My first born is starting Kindergarten tomorrow and though it’s going to be different because she’s going to be upstairs in her room instead of at a new school with new friends, I’m still an emotional wreck! I just can’t believe she’s grown so much! Where’s my baby that I brought home from the hospital? I have a 5 year old now!
Let’s talk food so I don’t have to think about that… for now. This dish actually does take 15 minutes to make. No joke. How? Because I use Taste Republic‘s gluten free, fresh fusili pasta. The more I try their fresh pastas, the more I’m loving them. So far, the cauliflower linguini, tortellini, and now the fusili have been on point! Even better, because it is fresh pasta, it takes 3 minutes to cook!
Once upon a time, the girls would eat nothing but red sauce with their pasta. Then it went to green (pesto). Then brown butter. We are now back to the red sauce which I am thankful for because this masala pasta uses marinara sauce combined with spices to give it an Indian twist.
Here are some ingredients that are key to this pasta:
Taste Republic Gluten Free Fusili – fresh pasta that is great with taste and time! Frozen Mixed Vegetables – this is my first hack to make this dish in under 15 minutes. Favorite Marinara Sauce – I use whatever jar I have opened in my fridge and it works perfect Indian spices: cayenne pepper, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder – this give the pasta additional depth of flavor. Add just enough to give it a hint not take over the dish!
This fusion dish is amazing because of the mix of flavors and how quickly you can put it together. Try it out and bring a little of India and a little of Italy to your home.
From our kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this 15 Minute Masala Pasta!
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’m all about healthy and easy recipes that taste delicious. With school starting around the corner, remote learning set for us and as new Kindergarten parents, I’m trying to stay ahead of the game and put together meals that take less than 30 minutes so I can focus on my family.
When Taste Republic and I partnered together to create some delicious recipes with their fresh, gluten free pastas, I knew I was going to hit the spot with all of my cooking goals (it took me about 20 minutes to make this one – also because I kept having to add ingredients that were “disappearing”). I have been having so much fun trying out all the different ones that they have and their 4 cheese tortellini is one of my favorites!
The tortellinis are so delicious, light, and filling. You can taste how fresh they are and they cook in just 5 minutes! I did add a few twists to this salad which take it to a whole new level.
Here’s what you need to make this Greek Tortellini Salad:
Cheese Tortellini – fresh gluten free tortellini made by Taste Republic works so well with this recipe but if you don’t have access, you can use any fresh or frozen tortellini. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes Cucumbers Olives
Chickpeas Avocados Fresh Basil – yep, this takes the flavor up to a whole other level Feta Cheese Greek Salad Dressing – I added quite a few seasonings and some red chili flakes to mine to give it an additional layer of flavor
If you have little helpers in the kitchen like I do who eat most of my ingredients as I’m cooking (they call it quality control), then I suggest increasing the quantity. I’ve lost pretty much every single veggie in this salad to my little munchkins and it makes my heart full that they love eating this salad as much as I do.
This Greek Tortellini Salad is great to eat right away or even if you refrigerate it and have it at a later time. It can keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, but if you are planning on eating it later, I recommend adding the feta right before you are ready to eat it.
A perfect salad for the summer, you can make this for about any event! Serve it for lunch or dinner, take it on a picnic, as a side for a barbecue, or even some backyard camping!
Check out Taste Republic for a store near you to enjoy their amazing fresh, gluten free pastas.
From our kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious salad!