Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaves

A few days ago, my brother and sister-in-law were blessed with an adorable little baby!  Throughout her pregnancy, we had nicknamed the baby Blueberry and called him as such.  It is in honor of his birth that I dedicate this recipe to my little munchkin.  He is so adorable and cute, I’m so excited and lucky to be his aunt!

In the spirit of welcoming the new baby, I made these loaves in mini pans but you can absolutely bake them in a regular 9×5 loaf pan.

Last week, a friend was kind enough to share lemons from her lemon tree and they are absolutely amazing.  The juice from the lemons were the perfect complement to brighten up these lovely blueberry loaves.  In addition, I added a little yogurt and replaced the sugar with honey to give it just a hint of sweet without overpowering it.  The addition of these two ingredients makes the loaves even more fluffy and light.

Pair it with coffee or chai to complement a slice of this delicious loaf for breakfast, snack, or dinner.  Once you’ve baked them, they will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week and in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Though, we’re pretty good about making sure they are eaten pretty quickly!

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy these delicious Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaves.

Here are the tools I used:

Almond Butter Breakfast Bars

It’s going on week 2 of my New Year’s Resolution of trying to eat healthier and so far, the first half of the first week did not go well.  Part of the problem is a new school schedule with the girls but the other part is me not taking accountability of the changing timetable and doing something right away.  A couple of days passed before I realized I needed to up my game quick and couldn’t wait for the weekend so came along the decision to make these delicious Almond Butter Breakfast Bars.

I love these bars because they are filling, healthy, and quick to make.  You can absolutely substitute peanut butter for the almond butter or even sun butter if you have a family member allergic to nuts.  I did use almond flour in this recipe which you can substitute for any flour of your choice.  And to make them vegan – simple, substitute the honey for agave.  That’s the best part of this recipe – it’s versatility.

Here are some great nutrition benefits of these delicious bars:

  • Great source of protein at 7.25gm in each serving
  • Provides 20% of your DRI Iron
  • Great source of Fiber and Vit. E
  • Healthy option for a grab and go breakfast that is nutrient dense rather than carb dense

So, what are you waiting for?  You have got to try these delicious bars.  Let me know what you think!  From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious Almond Butter Breakfast Bars!

Here are the tools I used:

 

Fish Tikka Masala

Fish is a big staple in our home and I try to make it at least once a week for the girls.  This Fish Tikka Masala is a great way to incorporate fish and the Indian flavors.  I actually was able to make it in 30 minutes which I was surprised about.  There is a little multitasking involved but don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it.

What is Fish Tikka Masala?  Tikka basically indicates that there are going to be pieces of meat that are either pan seared or tandoor baked. Before searing the fish, I first let it sit in lemon juice to tenderize the meat, then I marinate it in yogurt and spices for added flavor.

The Masala is a delicious tomato cream gravy in which the fish then simmers and becomes juicy and flaky.  This gravy is great because it’s not super creamy, filled with flavor without being overpowered by heat.

As to the type of fish, I used salmon as it holds really well in the simmering sauce but you can also use Tilapia if Salmon is not available.  But just as important as the fish is the sauce.  If the sauce is not good, it doesn’t matter how well you seared your fish.  There are some recipes that I want that texture and chunkiness however, this tikka masala is not it, so once the sauce is pretty much ready to eat, blend it down to a creamy texture with a hand blender.

Serve it up with some warm Naan or Rice and have yourself a delicious meal.  From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Fish Tikka Masala!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

Middle Eastern Vegan Protein Bowl

Looking for a healthy way to get protein without compromising flavor?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.  This Vegan Protein Bowl has hints of spicy, tangy, herby, and definitely brings a Middle Eastern vibe in each bite!

Simple to make and ready in just 30 minutes, you have got to try this delicious bowl.  So let me tell you a little bit about the ingredients I chose.  For my grain, I used quinoa because it packs more of a protein punch but you can definitely use any other grain.  Bulgur or Farro would be excellent substitutes to keep in line with the Middle Eastern food theme.

For added protein and crunch, I used garbanzo beans.  I love snacking on these so I actually made double the amount and the girls ended up eating most of them!

As to the veggies, I used a few different ones as I wanted to get the colors in.  To give it some warmth, I roasted the cauliflower with the garbanzos and to keep a cool factor, I made a salad of tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.

So it’s not just what ingredients I use but how much nutrition this delicious bowl provides.  In addition to almost 20 gm of protein, you are also getting:

  • Half of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of Fiber
  • 40% of DRI Iron
  • More than the recommended intake of Folic Acid
  • Meeting at least 20-50% of most of your Vitamins and Minerals DRI

The best part of making this recipe is that even though there are several different steps and techniques, you can multitask and get them all done at once without chaos in the kitchen!   Roast your veggies, while your quinoa cooks and you are making the Avocado Salsa!  So simple and easy!

Last but not least, I added a hummus dressing to pull it altogether.  I love making my own dressings and there is no way I would leave one out of a bowl this delicious.  And to be honest, I really think the hummus dressing really marries all the flavors together so perfectly.  So what are you waiting for?!  Try this recipe out and let me know what you think.  Leave a comment below, give it a star rating, or tag me on Facebook or Instagram!

From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this delicious Middle Eastern Vegan Protein Bowl!

Here are the tools I used:

21 Healthy Recipes to Kick Start the New Year

The holidays this year have been as non-traditional as possible but that hasn’t kept many of us from cooking and baking our favorite foods.  I have definitely been doing my share of baking, cooking and eating massive amounts of desserts, drinks, and carbs.  As always, this leads me to making New Year’s resolutions which have standards that are set too high.  Instead of setting impossible standards and going on an extreme diet, one of my resolutions is to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods.  Less processed, more home made where I can control the ingredients, especially the salt and sugar.

To help “reboot” our bodies and cleanse it of the all the heavy (and mostly unhealthy) foods eaten over the holidays, I’ve compiled a list of 21 Healthy Recipes to Kick Start the New Year.  It is my sincere hope that this list will help you eat healthier without having to sacrifice great taste.  Welcome to 2021 everyone!

Breakfast Oat Muffins

An easy make ahead, these delicious oat muffins are versatile and fun to make with kids.  Grab one on your way to work, school, or your home office!

Almond Coconut Porridge

A delicious porridge that you can make ahead the night before and add so many healthy toppings to, this Almond Coconut Porridge is the perfect healthy start to your day!

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Steel cut oats cooked with apples and cinnamon to give you a creamy apple pie taste are one of our favorite types of oats.  Try them out and you will want a bowl of this Apple Pie Oatmeal over and over again!

Breakfast Soufflé Bites

These easy egg bites filled with fresh and healthy veggies.  Perfect to make ahead, freeze and reheat for busy mornings.

Sweet Potato and Beet Hash with Fried Eggs

A superfood dish that can be used for breakfast or brunch, this delicious meal is the perfect start to any day.  Packed with fiber, non-dairy calcium, beets help fight inflammation, detox the body, and boost energy!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad

The perfect winter salad that keeps you full, nourished and packs a punch with a variety of flavors and textures, this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great lunch or dinner option!

Rainbow Fajita Bowl

Filled with colorful and fresh veggies, this healthy bowl is low on carbs and calories but provides a good source of nutrition.

Paneer Cabbage Cups

A fun healthy option with a bit of Indian fusion, these Paneer Cabbage Cups are light and filling.

Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles

Who says waffles have to be for breakfast only?  Or that they have to be sweet?  These savory lentil waffles are filled with 4 different types of lentils and lots of veggies.  Have a couple with a side of Masala Salsa or Chutney, you can’t go wrong!

15 minute Masala Pasta

Make a batch of this pasta sauce filled with veggies and delicious spices to freeze and use for any meal.  Combine it with your gluten free or fresh pasta and you will have a veggie loaded pasta that even fussy kids will eat in less than 15 minutes!

Fresco Carpaccio

A light and healthy salad, this Carpaccio is very simple to make and disappears just as quickly!  A great afternoon snack or side salad, you must try this!

Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad

Packed with protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruit, this delicious salad is perfect to take to work or have on the side with a meal!

Microgreens Salad

A nutrient-dense salad that is light to eat and will make you wanting more, it’s very simple and quick to put together.

Roasted Masala Chickpeas

A healthy snack that will keep you going when you have munchies in the afternoon.  Store these in an air tight container and enjoy whenever your tummy desires!

Roasted Chili Almonds

Another great snack to have or one to add to a cheese board, these Roasted Chili Almonds take only 5 minutes to make.  Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.

Rainbow Lentil Stew

This stew is filled with fresh, colorful veggies that are packed with nutrition and flavor.  You can make it in a dutch oven or slow cooker and enjoy it for one of the many rainy days ahead this winter and spring.

Sweet & Spicy Harvest Bowl

Just as it’s name implies, there are plenty of sweet and spicy notes in this bowl.  Beets, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, and pears over a bed of quinoa is just the beginning of the deliciousness here.  The veggies are roasted with chipotle powder to give it hints of spicy and smoky that bring together the perfect amount of pepper.

Spinach Dal

On a consistent rotation in our home, this Spinach Dal has becoming popular.  Taking only 10 minutes to make, you can’t go wrong with this delicious Indian lentil dish.

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

This Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash is filled with fruits and veggies and topped with a delicious Apple Cider Vinaigrette, every bite will burst with a multitude of flavors.

Easy Chicken Ramen with GF Noodles

For those rainy nights, this Ramen is the perfect way to cuddle up and enjoy a warm broth filled with veggies and gluten free fresh pasta noodles.  The best part, it takes less than 30 minutes to make!

Tandoori Gobi (Cauliflower) Zucchini Boats 

A fun fusion dish that is filled with the traditional Tandoori flavor.  Roasted in the oven then broiled, the cauliflower give hints of the charred smoky flavor combined with the Tandoori marinade.  Serve it with a side of cooling Mint-y Pomegranate Raita and be prepared to have your taste buds take a trip to India!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this list of healthy recipes to kick start your New Year!  I’m going to be adding more to continue our journey of healthy eating.  In the meantime, tag me when you make a recipe of mine on Facebook or Instagram or feel free to leave a comment below.  Let me know what recipes you would like to see also.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year filled with lots of healthy eating (and a little not so healthy eating).

~Sapna

Top 15 Recipes of 2020

The year 2020 has not been without its challenges though I feel stronger coming out of it and ready to start a new year.  One thing I am very proud of myself for doing is relaunching my blog and getting more creative with my work.  I’ve managed to publish quite a few recipes and many of them were pretty popular.  I want to thank all of you for taking the time to visit my blog and trying my recipes.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year as you read the top 15 from this year based on reader reviews and responses.  I hope to continue growing and sharing my love of cooking with you in 2021.  Here are the top 15 recipes of 2020.

Sweet Potato and Beet Hash with Fried Eggs

A delicious, nutrient dense brunch dish that will become of one your favorites right away.  Easy to make it vegan by omitting the egg, this recipe is also sustainable using the beet greens along with spinach for the base of the hash.

Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad 
A warm lentil salad with a sweet butternut squash, the crunchy seeds, apples and pomegranates with feta crumbles adding a little creaminess is the perfect blend for this salad.  Another nutrient dense dish that can fill you up for lunch or dinner.

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup 

A quick and easy soup that is packed with flavors and perfect for a winter weeknight.  Settle in with a bowl of this Instant Pot Tortilla Soup which takes only 4 minutes to cook!

Pineapple Fried Rice

A quick stir fry that takes only 20 minutes to make this Pineapple Fried Rice is filled with texture, flavor, and an exotic touch.  Try it out for your next Thai night.

Aloo Paratha


A staple in almost every Indian home, Aloo Parathas are perfect for brunch, a rainy day, or pretty much anytime!

Spiced Plum Crumble Bars
A delicious treat that can be eaten for snack, breakfast, or as a nibble with your afternoon tea.

Rangoli Ladoos 
These sweet Ladoos (truffles) are a delicious and easy recipe that can be made any time of the year, but especially for festivals such as Diwali, Holi, and Navratri.  Try them out and you will have your very own batch made in less than 15 minutes!

Tinseltown Tostadas 

A delicious, light, and healthy appetizer, these are perfect for any type of party or dinner.  Brighten up your table during the Holidays with these colorful Tinseltown Tostadas.

Tandoori Gobi (Cauliflower) Zucchini Boats

A quick and easy recipe that is packed with traditional Indian flavors, make these healthy Tandoori Gobi Zucchini Boats to bring some spice to your table.

Skinny Skillet Veggie Enchiladas


These are a great way to Enchiladas while cutting down the carbs significantly.  The flavor is still there and packs a good punch!  No wonder they are so popular.

Mango Pico


A delicious salsa with the addition of mango makes for a yummy sweet and spicy bite.  So versatile, you can eat this Mango Pico with practically anything!

Pear Halwa Cake


A delicious Indian Fusion recipe, this Pear Halwa Cake is a great dessert to have at any holiday or birthday table!  Make it for Easter, Mother’s Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries alike!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
These light and fluffy pancakes have become a weekend staple in our home.  Try them once and you’ll be addicted too!

Chocolate Samosa
A sweet twist on the traditional Samosas, these irresistible Chocolate Samosas are filled with Nutella.  I promise it will be very hard to stop at Just one!

Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles

Healthy Lentil Waffles that are packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  These are your one stop shop for a complete meal.

Thank you so much for making 2020 so special for me.  I have enjoyed and embraced cooking for you.  Which recipes have you tried?  Feel free to leave comments below, or tag me with your pictures on Facebook or Instagram.  See you in 2021!

Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios

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This fall and winter season I have been obsessed with acorn squash and pomegranates.  It only made sense that I find a way to combine the two together.  The girls love the rainbow shape this takes on when cut so I wanted to create something fun for them too.

The great thing about acorn squash is that it is a little sweet naturally but it will still take on any flavor you give it.  If you haven’t tried them yet, I made some Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos recently with acorn squash part of the filling.  It took on the spices really well so I wanted to go on the opposite spectrum this time and season it with something a little more mild.

I chose mostly fresh herbs that would bring out the more earthy flavors.  To help give it a little crust, I also added a little Parmesan.

Anyways, here are a few fun nutrition facts about acorn squash:

  • A nutrient dense food, acorn squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber yet is comparatively low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
  • Great source of phytonutrients, particularly carotenoids which have antioxidant properties.
  • Acorn squash is a starchy fruit, however, because it is so nutrient dense, there’s a good balance to eating this squash. The high fiber content slows down digestion which helps you stay full longer and slows down the release of glucose in your blood.  This process helps in maintaining weight and stabilizing your blood sugar.

So now that you know about my favorite squash this season, let’s move on to my favorite fruit of the season.

Pomegranates!

  • Pomegranates are known as one of the healthiest fruits on Earth!
  • High in fiber (7gms in 1 cup of arils), they also contain an impressive amount of protein (3gm in 1 cup of arils), and 16% of DRI of Folate (also in 1 cup of arils)
  • A great source of antioxidants which help with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • they improve exercise performance by delaying fatigue and increasing blood flow.

Basically, this is one healthy dish that you can have this winter season and enjoy every bite of it!  Try it out and tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios.

Here are the tools I used to make this dish:

 

Tinseltown Tostadas

I think hands down, these are one of my favorite holiday foods.  I’ve had so many and I don’t think I can tire of them.  Snacking is one of my favorite activities.  These delicious tostadas make it so much easier as they are low in calorie, healthy, and guilt-free.

High in fiber, antioxidants, a good source of protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals, these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas definitely pack a punch!

Between the Serrano peppers and the watermelon radish, there were some strong flavors.  I knew I wanted to use the pomegranate arils to give it a sweet note (and make it look pretty).

But it needed depth so I played around with a few options before settling on the hummus and avocado.  And yet the radish was still giving off a bit of a pungent taste and therein comes the smear of pesto.

There are so many random flavors that they work despite wanting to prove the opposite.

Make these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas this holiday season and you won’t be able to stop eating them.  From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy them!

The tools I used for this recipe are:

Mint-y Pomegranate Raita

Can I just say Oh.My.God!  This Raita is probably the most delicious I’ve ever had and to be honest I don’t think I can go back to the usual raita (with cucumbers).

So I just posted my Tandoori Gobi Zucchini Boat recipe a couple of days ago and I paired this with the boats.  I could have gone the traditional route with a cucumber raita but I wanted something different and also, I’m really in the holiday mood right now so most of my food reflects that.

If you know me, you know I like the visuals of color in my food in addition to the taste.  Well, this season, I’ve been obsessed with pomegranates.  So in my obsession for colors, I played around with how I wanted this Raita to shine.  After all, it was the most important finish to the Tandoori Boats.

In addition to the mint and pomegranates (the obvious), I included some serrano peppers to enhance the color and a few spices and garlic to give the flavor profile a boost.

Ok so, you don’t have to pair this raita with just the Tandoori Boats.  Here are a few more dishes you can add this delicious Minty-y Raita to:

Pomegranate Eggplant
Lamb Meatballs
Aloo Paratha Yum
Kathi Roll
Spinach Dal Paratha

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you love every drop of this Mint-y Pomegranate Raita!

Here are the tools I used to make this recipe:

Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos

We are a taco loving family.  I started the kids out simple with the basic filling of either ground meat or refried beans and some veggies and lots of cheese.  Though we love the basics, which often times provide a sense of comfort and nostalgia, I wanted to try something new.

Definitely no beans or meat.

I know, but trust me!  This is amazing!  You want to know why I say this?  I had to make it 5 times before I was able to get a single photo of it taken.  The first time I made it, these tacos flew so fast, I didn’t even realize what happened.  This also happened the second, third, and fourth time.  The fifth time, I made it well in advance so no one could get into them and I could actually take a photo to share with you my enthusiasm around these tacos.

So, I fire roasted the poblanos to give it a more earthy, smoky flavor.  If you don’t have a gas stove, you can totally do this on your BBQ grill or even in the oven.  You will still get that amazing smoky flavor, I promise!

Instead of beans or meat, I chose to use acorn squash to roast with ancho chili and chipotle powder.  These peppers give it a kick without making it too spicy and also enhance that smoky flavor, especially from the chipotle pepper powder.

I’m not done though!  Making this go one step further, I made a Habanero Crema with avocados, roasted garlic and a little yogurt to balance out the habaneros.

Serve it with microgreens instead of lettuce or cabbage, and top it off with a little salsa verde, and you have what I think is one of the most amazing tacos of the year!

Seriously, I’m just going to stop now and give you the recipe.  You really have to try it.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos.

Tandoori Gobi (Cauliflower) Zucchini Boats

I’ve made zucchini boats a few times so far.  Each time has been to use up leftovers from our Skinny Skillet Enchilada the previous night.  They turn out really good and Sanaya loves them but it’s the same flavor profile so as much as I love it, I still crave something a little different.

I knew I wanted to create a different filling and haven’t done much with Indian food lately so I played around with my options.  I kept circling back to this one idea of Tandoori Gobi as the stuffing.  I’m not sure where I thought of it but it wouldn’t go away so I decided, ok, let’s give it a try.

I have a great Tandoori marinade recipe that I have been using with chicken so I decided, to use the same for the cauliflower.  I treated the cauliflower as the chicken substitute and marinated it overnight also.

The cooking part was a little tricky as I didn’t want a soggy Zucchini Boat and the marinade definitely looked like it would promise a lot of liquid.  Simple trick, I baked them separately, then stuffed the zucchini with the cauliflower and broiled it on high for 5 minutes to get a good char.  Can I just say, Oh so delicious!

Also, please don’t throw out the flesh of the zucchini when you scoop it out to create the cavity for the cauliflower.  Let’s be sustainable here and make some Zucchini Bread out of it!

One more thing I love about this recipe is that it is totally a weeknight meal.  So the time on the recipe card may be a little daunting, but it’s the ease of it.  And most of the time you spend is waiting for the flavors to marinate.  It really takes maybe 15 minutes to put the marinade together, then the next day, 5 minutes to shell out the Zucchini and the rest of the time, you are waiting for it to finish baking.  Honestly, it can’t get any easier for a weeknight meal.

Serve this delicious boat with a cooling Raita to finish it off.  I made a Mint and Pomegranate Raita that made us want to lick out plates.  Recipe coming soon!

From my kitchen to yours, we hope these Tandoori Gobi Zucchini Boats rock your world!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad

Warm foods during the cold winter days just makes so much sense.  And I don’t just mean temperature but the actual foods and their properties.

When you eat warm foods, they take longer to digest because they are higher in healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates which in turn results in increased body temperature (thermogenesis).  Root veggies, fruits such as coconut and apples, and herbs and spices are a few examples of these types of foods.

This Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great combination of many of those warm foods and the fact that it’s filled with flavor, texture, sweet, and spicy makes this that much more of a delicious dish.

This is perfect to make as an entree or a side dish, or serve it up in mini bowls/plates as an appetizer.  A small amount will take you a long way as the salad is very filling.

I honestly think this is one of the most nutrient dense recipes I have.  Here are a few healthy benefits from this one:

  • Rich in Fiber and Protein
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Good source of Vit. C, E, and B6
  • Good source of Calcium, Iron, and Folate
  • Good source of omega 3 and carotenoids which have anti-inflammatory effects beneficial to all types of arthritis (Butternut Squash)
  • Boost in energy level (Lentils)

The list can literally go on about how healthy this salad is, which only adds to the deliciousness of it.

From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad.

Herbed Potato Wedges

I love potatoes.  In any form.  I don’t discriminate.  They are just so uber delicious.  But so unhealthy!  Ugh!  I wish I could eat them all the time.  However…… the few times that I do have them, I make sure they count!

I started making these potato wedges years back (in the oven as I didn’t have an air fryer then) and to this day, they are still a no fail recipe that I can always count on!  I do love the fact that they are crispier on the outside while retaining a soft, creamy inside.  If you don’t have an air fryer, don’t fret!  The oven still does a great job cooking these babies!

It’s an extremely simple recipe that doesn’t require much.  This is all you need:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Red Chili Pepper Flakes
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Parsley

These potato wedges are a favorite among everyone in the house from the kiddos to the adults, you just can’t go wrong.  Eat them for a snack, a side dish for meats, have part of your next BBQ, an app at a party, pretty much for any occasion, big or small.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Herbed Potato Wedges!

The tools that I used to create this dish are:

Pumpkin Bread

One of the best things about the Fall season is pumpkin bread.  The spices and the aroma when you are baking it compares to no other.  It makes me feel so warm and cozy and ready for the winter.

I love this pumpkin bread recipe because:

  • It’s moist
  • Easy to make
  • Isn’t too dense
  • Has all the Fall spices:  Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, & Nutmeg
  • Fun to make with the kids


Here’s a little trick….. to keep it moist, I added applesauce to the batter.  You can’t taste it but it makes the pumpkin bread so much better!

The girls have been eating it in the mornings with breakfast and I love having a slice in the afternoon with my cuppa chai.  It’s perfect to snack on any time of the day!  And with the holidays right around the corner, make an extra batch for a relative or neighbor.  What a great gift to give too!

If you like this Pumpkin Bread recipe, try out….

My Spiced Pear Loaf and Zucchini Bread.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Bread!

The tools that I used for this recipe are:

How to clean your Cast Iron Skillet

I think I’ve lost track of the amount of times I have been asked how I clean my iron skillet.  The actual process is very easy and doesn’t take as much time contrary to what many people believe.  It does seem daunting and intimidating, but trust, cleaning an iron skillet is simple.

Here are a few rules to remember:

  • Don’t use soap and water to wash your skillet.  This will actually create rust which is the last thing you want to worry about.
  • Don’t use steel wool for those stuck on foods – that will actually strip away the seasoning of the pan.
  • Don’t put it in the dishwasher
  • Clean your cast iron after every use.  You don’t have to season it after every use but definitely clean it to prevent ruining your seasoning layer

There a few tools that you will need to clean your skillet.

That’s it!  That’s all you need to clean your pan!  Now let’s get to it!

Here are a couple of examples of food really crusted on.  I made sure I used these as examples because I wanted to show that even with food stuck to your skillet, it’s still pretty easy to clean.
There are two options to cleaning a skillet with food crusted to it.

  1. Heat it up over the stove and use a spatula to scrape off the the food.  Then remove the skillet from the heat and gather the remnants with a paper towel to toss in the trash.
  2. Sprinkle coarse sea salt liberally over the skillet and scrub lightly with a microfiber cloth or chainmail to loosen the food particles, then use a paper towel to gather them up and toss in the trash.

It’s kind of gross but so satisfying to see it clean!

Look at how good that looks!  Now all you need is a little oil on a paper towel, rub it lightly over the pan and heat the pan on high flame for a few minutes to re-season it.  You’re done!

It really is a very simple and easy process!

I know this is not a typical food blog recipe but I believe that your tools should be taken care of too!  The type of equipment that you use makes a huge difference in the outcome of any meal you make.

Here are the tools I used:

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

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
  • Make sandwiches

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!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

Ratatouille

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!

  1. Make a sauce that keeps everyone wanting to lick it off the plate
  2. Season the top of the veggies and not just with salt and pepper!  With actual herbs!
  3. 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 tools that I used to make this recipe are:

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Casserole

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!

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

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
  • Gluten Free
  • 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!

The equipment I used for this dish are:

Rangoli Ladoos

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.
  • Make them vegan!  Use vegan condensed milk and coconut oil instead of ghee to roll the balls.
  • You can use frozen grated coconut.  Just leave it out for a little bit to thaw and bring to room temperature.
  • If you don’t want to use or don’t have almond flour available, substitute with the same amount of almonds and grind them up into a flour.  It’s an extra step but easy and a perfect swap.
  • When buying almond flour, make sure you buy the almond flour and NOT the blend.  I almost did that.  The blend has a mixture of rice and other ingredients that would change the taste of this dessert.


If you end up making any of these delicious ladoos, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at @bitofspice146.  I would love to see your creations!

Sweet Potato and Beet Hash with Fried Eggs

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!