Vibrantly pink, nutty, tart, and tasty, this Beet Pesto is absolutely delectable.
Continue reading “Beet Pesto”
Crispy exterior with a soft interior made with ghee, thandai masala, sugar, and a little bit of milk. Nankhatai is a traditional Indian cookie similar in texture to shortbread. There are many variations of flavors and flours used based on where in India you are eating this delicious cookie.
Continue reading “Nankhatai Bars”
**Note: Original post created Jul 2017. Updated October 2021**
The first time I was introduced to this traditional Punjabi meal was during my wedding planning. My husband and in-laws requested that this be on the menu somewhere. I didn’t understand what it was or the goodness of it until quite a bit later (much later than my wedding). Of course, during my wedding, I didn’t remember eating or tasting anything with so much going on. After I got married, I remember my mother-in-law making it a few times for my husband and seeing the pure joy on his face as he ate the Saag and Roti. I felt, wow, such a simple meal (for Indian food) and yet it brings him so much happiness. Of course I decided to try it out on my own.
I am always told, even to this day, how this is supposed to be a really hard recipe to master. I’m definitely not making it the way my mother-in-law does, but my shortcut recipe has managed to impress her, my husband and my daughter! As they say, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I’m already in my hubby’s heart, but this is one recipe that guarantees a spot for any of you out there looking to impress your significant other.
Sarson da Saag is basically a vegetable dish made of Mustard Greens. It is very earthy in taste and rich not only in flavor but nutrients also. Mustard Greens provide an abundance of potassium and Vitamins K, A, C, and E. Traditionally, it is cooked in water and hand churned until you get the creamy, buttery consistency. If I had the time, I might try it. But since I don’t, I obviously created a shortcut (my handy dandy blender). Try it out and tell me what you think:
The saag tastes great on its own, but man does it just go a whole other level with Makki di Roti. Makki di Roti is basically corn bread. It’s not your traditional Roti that is usually soft and pliable. This is a bit thicker and can hold all that saag without getting the roti soggy. One more thing – Makki di Roti is typically made by flattening the dough between the palms. I am using a different technique by placing the dough in between a ziploc bag and rolling it out with a rolling pin. This just works better for me.
This homemade Moroccan Spice Blend is the perfect way to add a little flavor to your meats, fish, or even vegetables! Roast, grill, saute, marinate, or even simmer in a soup, this blend is versatile and will enhance any recipe you use it in.
Continue reading “Homemade Moroccan Spice Blend”
A big name with big bold flavors, this dipping sauce is creamy, tangy, fresh, and vibrant. It lightens up any foods you are eating and is great healthy dip to add to your appetizer table.
Continue reading “Avocado Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce”
Fresh and beautiful veggies from across the rainbow to make amazing salads are my favorite. This Quinoa Fiesta Salad is one of my family’s favorites. As a mom, it makes me happy that the girls are getting so much nutrition in one bowl. The kids look at the colors and get excited to eat a rainbow and I love that they are enjoying fresh and healthy ingredients!
This salad does triple duty which I love. A dish which becomes a meatless entree can also serve as a side dish or a salad depending on my mood. The cherry on top of this recipe is that it takes less than 30 minutes to make and is very forgiving if you need to substitute or leave out ingredients.
HOW DO I MAKE A QUINOA FIESTA SALAD?
1. Cook the quinoa. While the quinoa is cooking, you can get the dressing and your other ingredients ready!
2. Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing. I love this dressing because it is so light. If you choose to leave it out as I do for my girls, simply replace it with a drizzle of Olive Oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
3. Combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to mix.
4. Enjoy and get addicted to this salad as much as my family and I are!
Fresh, peppery arugula topped with golden, crispy goat’s cheese medallions and paired with sweet figs all pulled together with a drizzle of olive oil. This salad seems like it is so simple but the layers of flavors combined with the comforting, warm goat cheese are the ideal salad either as an entree or a side to any dinner.
Continue reading “Crispy Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Figs”
Sabudana or tapioca pearls cooked with sweet potatoes and cashews is a popular vegan and gluten-free dish that is consumed in Gujarati households, especially during fasts. Continue reading “Sweet Potato Sabudana Khichdi with Cashews”
**Original post published Nov. 2020. Updated Aug. 2021**
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!
This eggplant sandwich has it all. Earthy spices rubbed onto grilled veggies that have just a hint of a smoky flavor, fresh mozzarella melted just enough from the heat of the veggies. Oh, you can’t forget the rustic basil pistachio pesto that brightens up the whole sandwich in each bite.
Continue reading “Grilled Eggplant Sandwich with a Basil Pistachio Pesto”
Back to school is all I can think of at the moment. We’ve made it through the first week successfully so this week, we are adding a challenge – soccer practice. I’ve got two schools in opposite directions of each other, different timings for both kids, and now practice days. I’m definitely going to need as many snacks with me as possible. Easy to eat snacks and as healthy-ish as I can make them for my picky eaters are what I’m looking for.
These secret ingredient brownies are the perfect solution because the girls can’t taste or guess the secret ingredient! But the girls did approve of them and that is all I need to keep making deceptively delicious foods. Well, what is the secret ingredient you ask? BLACK BEANS! So when I first told the husband about my idea, he was very skeptical. He loved the black beans idea just wasn’t sure about adding it to a dessert.
But it works! You can’t taste the black beans at all, courtesy of my blender. And the addition of the beans gives the brownies a truffle-like consistency. They also remove the necessity of using flour so these become gluten free! My favorite part is that I can make these brownie bites in less than 15 minutes! Yep, ever heard of a baked dessert ready to eat within 15 minutes? It’s right here and it tastes delicious.
I wouldn’t count this as a healthy food but it is a good option to straight sweets. I won’t be making them all the time but often enough to get the girls moving. Make sure to pack one of these delicious brownie bites in your child’s lunch bag!
My oldest is going off to 1st Grade on Tuesday. I still can’t get over the fact that she is in grade school. When did she grow up? The school season starting also means sports, after school activities, homework, loads of laundry, and the list goes on. As much as I love cooking, on many of these nights, I’ll be looking for a nutritious but quick meal. And definitely meals that the kiddos are going to eat. I’ve compiled below some of our favorite family approved recipes. The best is that most of these take about 30 minutes to prepare so you can focus on homework, preparing lunch for the next day or spending time with your family.
Click on the recipe title below each image to get the recipes!
Summer is practically over in less than a week for us. I’m going to miss the lazy mornings, the relaxed schedules, and eating pancakes and french toast for breakfast. I’m looking forward to having a regular schedule in the mornings but planning them out will take some effort.
If you are looking for easy and healthy breakfasts then you’re in the right place! I’ve compiled some of our favorite breakfast recipes below. There are several chia pudding recipes as that has become a family favorite lately. Others, like the Apple Pie Oatmeal takes 3 minutes in the Instant Pot. I also like to make Almond Butter Breakfast Bars and Breakfast Oat Muffins over the weekend for on the go days.
If you want to see certain recipes on the blog, leave a comment below. I would love to create recipes for you!
Last year, I had this beautiful plan of meal planning and prepping during the school week. The goal – to provide as many nutritious and yummy meals as I possibly could for the family. By May, I gave in to grilled cheese and mac and cheese being on the weekly rotation too often. I did have a great run of healthy meals most of the year though which empowers me to write another Back to School blog post. Continue reading “Back to School Lunch Ideas”
When I first started making brown rice, I was a bit intimidated. I can cook Basmati rice with my eyes closed but when it comes to brown rice, the ratio to water is different, cook time is different, and sometimes, there is a chewy bite to brown rice. I felt so out of my element.
I have tried multiple ways to cook brown rice and this recipe has become my fail-proof method. Even better, I’ve nailed both stove top and Instant Pot methods so you can choose what works for you.
Having rice in the fridge has helped me on numerous occasions. I can use it to make Pineapple Fried Rice, serve it on the side with a salmon, serve it up with lentils and so much more.
WHAT IS BROWN RICE?
Brown rice is actually rice with the hull still on it making it a whole grain. The germ and bran are in there too which gives it a chewy texture and nutty flavor. Because brown rice has the hull, germ, and bran, it takes longer to cook.
Trust me. I feel like I’m constantly on the go, but this one recipe will make you stop and smell the roses. And it’s worth it. All you have to do is keep the cover on the saucepan and not mess with it. Once it’s done cooking, let it rest. Just like all meats, rice also wants a little rest after spending all that time cooking to perfection. The additional 5 minutes of steam will make the rice fluffy and soft.
*Pro Tip: Start your rice first then work on dinner. Your rice will cook in the background while you get everything else done and not have to wait much.
HOW DO I SERVE BROWN RICE?
So many options! Try one of the following:
Citrus Herb Salmon with a Mango Pico and Cilantro Lime Rice
Pineapple Fried Rice
Zucchini Moong Dal
Mahi Mahi with Garlic Lemon Sauce
Instant Pot Rajma (Kidney Beans)
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Curry
It doesn’t get any tastier (or easier) than this delicious Citrus Herb Salmon topped with a sweet and spicy Mango Pico on a bed of Cilantro Lime Brown Rice. Ready in 30 minutes (yep, even the brown rice), this is the perfect healthy meal to serve your family. Continue reading “Citrus Herb Salmon with a Mango Pico and Cilantro Lime Rice”
Sweet and juicy peaches combined with warm spices in this moist and tender cake is the perfect end to your summer dinner parties. Peach Season is upon us and these delicious upside down peach cakes are the perfect bite sized desserts for your party!
Whenever it is peach season during the summer, I tend to over buy fruits that are limited and that I’m addicted to. Mangoes, figs, peaches are just a few on that list. I love my fruit; raw and in its many infinite forms that I give them. Last year, I was campaigning Grilled Peach Salsa because grilled peaches are just a summertime necessity during a BBQ. Upcycling grilled peaches into a salsa was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
This year, I decided to move away from grilling and try something different. I took the original idea of upside down pineapple cake and changed it around (mostly because our pineapple ended up as fried rice!). But I also changed up the traditional upside down cake just a little. At the bottom of the cupcake tin, I placed butter cubes and some brown sugar to give it a caramelized flavor then I lined the peach slices on the sides to keep their integrity of a peach and still be part of this upside down cake.
Every single bite has a juicy peach flavor because there are chunks of peaches hidden in the cake! And for the best peaches, head to your local farmer’s market. I bet you will be able to find fresh, organic, and juicy peaches. I’ll use the ones from the store if I miss the market but they tend to be underripe and I have to wait a few days to make sure they are perfectly ripe for me to eat or even use in recipes.
Many people are unsure of the skin – should you keep it on or peel it off? I prefer to keep the skin on. It doesn’t change the flavor or the integrity of the peaches but you do get to keep all of the fiber that the skin gives.
I hope you enjoy these delicious Mini Upside Down Spiced Peach Cakes as much as we did!
Looking for more delicious recipes? Check out these:
Grilled Pineapple Peach Salsa
Grilled Avocado and Peach Salad
Fig and Pistachio Tartlets
Mango Coconut Panna Cotta Tart
Thandai Infused Rainbow Crème Brûlée (Vegan)
As I raise my girls, it has become very important to me that they keep connected to their roots and one of the ways I do this is through food. Lucky for me, they both love the typical comfort food fare of “Dal Chawal” or Lentils and Rice. A twist on the traditional Moong Dal Fry, this recipe adds zucchini and is low in calorie but nutrient dense.
Ready in just 15 minutes, this has become my latest go to recipe when I’m tight on time. Because moong dal cooks very quickly, I don’t soak them for more than 20 minutes.
Nutrition is also very important when I’m serving this dish as a main meal to the girls, and this dish doesn’t disappoint.
1 cup of zucchini moong dal gives you:
- 156 kcal
- 8.7 gm protein
- 7 gm fiber
As to cooking it over the stove versus the instant pot, traditionally, the dal was boiled first then added to the spices. I love just using one pot to make the whole dish so I usually add the uncooked dal into the spices/gravy mix then cook it in the instant pot.
I hope you get a chance to try out this delicious recipe and enjoy it as much as my family does.
Looking for more lentil/dal recipes? I’ve got you covered. Check out some of these amazing dishes:
Sprouted Moong Beans Sabzi Gujarati Style
Instant Pot Kali Dal
Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles
It’s BBQ season and though I love grilling the traditional burgers and hot dogs, I wanted to get away from the usual and do something different. These Blackened Fish Tacos are perfect with a Garlic Sriracha Aioli. A flavorful rub, crunchy carrot and cabbage slaw, the aioli to cool things down a bit and the jalapeños to add just a kick at the end of each bite is the perfect summer combination for me.
These fish tacos are a great example of a healthy-ish meal. I’ve made them so many times before and they are such a hit that by the time the fish is grilled and chopped, the tacos are made and I don’t have anything left to take pictures because it’s all eaten! I finally made some for a BBQ with my friend Michelle and her family but told them they had to wait after I made them so I could take pictures – seriously she is such an awesome friend to put up with me making her stare at her food while I’m clicking away!
WHAT FISH DO I USE?
I like to use white fish, usually tilapia or cod. When you are at your grocery store, just ask your fishmonger for their best wild caught (and sustainable is available) white fish. I’ve used both tilapia and cod for this recipe and both turn out delicious for the end result.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?
I keep the slaw simple to let the flavors of the rub on the fish and the aioli shine. All I did for the slaw is shred some carrots and mix it in with finely chopped purple cabbage, a little salt, pepper, some honey, and a squeeze or two of lime juice. So simple right?!
For the Aioli, I spent a little more time developing the flavors. I roasted garlic, used yogurt instead of sour cream to make it healthy-ish, mix in some lite mayo (this is the “ish” addition to the healthy part), add in a bit of sriracha, and again a squeeze of lime juice to pull it together.
For toppings, again, keep it simple with a garnish of chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeños.
So, don’t wait! For your next BBQ night, dinner party, or Taco Tuesday, try out these delicious Blackened Fish Tacos with a Garlic Sriracha Aioli.
Sweet, flaky, melt in your mouth delicious, and best of all, perfect to make in a pinch or for a simple dessert that looks as if you spent hours making it!
Figs are one of my favorite fruits and every year, I look forward to seeing them at the Farmer’s Market. I saw the most delicious looking figs at the market last week and knew I had to get them. I’ve been eating them with my chia pudding parfait, and just snacking on them throughout the day but wanted to jazz them up a little more.
These Fig and Pistachio Tartlets are so perfect to elevate the figs without completely losing them in a myriad of ingredients. They are extremely easy and quick to make too! I used store bought puff pastry squares (though a large sheet cut into squares works just as well), added a little butter and brown sugar to help caramelize the base, some ground pistachios to give it a nutty flavor and balance the earthiness of the figs, layered on the sliced figs and finally topped it off with some honey. Yep, I’m drooling thinking about them again!
What if Figs are not available anymore?
Yes, I dread when the Farmer’s Market doesn’t have anymore figs because they have such a short season that I try to get my figs in as much as I can during that time. But no worries! Here are a few more fruits you can use:
- Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots are in season now also. Try one of those!
- Apples, pears, and even berries would work well!
- Instead of pistachios, try using ground almonds or walnuts
How do I serve the Tartlets?
Warm and fresh out of the oven is the best way to eat these. I’ve found that if I let them sit for too long, the puff pastry can get a bit chewy. Also, don’t forget the vanilla ice cream to go with these babies.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy eating this delicious Fig and Pistachio Tartlets!
**This is not a paid blog post. I have written this solely because of my impression of Clif Family Winery during my visit.**
A few weeks ago during Memorial Day Weekend, we took a trip up to Napa. I quickly learned that I should have planned this trip months before instead of calling wineries the week of to find a reservation for tastings. Calling everywhere last minute did show me the beautiful relationship each establishment has with the others in the area. Almost every winery I called, no one had space but they were kind enough to give me names of others who might. In a world where competing businesses hardly ever refer you to someone else, this was a refreshing and welcome change. Even more impressive to me was the fact that at least 4 different places referred me to Clif Family Winery.
When I called Clif Family Winery, I was just as impressed. Friendly service over the phone, they also gave me a few more names, and offered their Piazza as their tables were fully booked. Man was I excited to visit them after hearing of them from so many different places. Added to that, they are family friendly and since we were taking my two little ones, this was a bonus.
Saturday morning rolls around and I am so excited to see Napa for the first time since Covid hit. We get to the Tasting Room, which has cycles hanging from the wall that Sanaya loves and are greeted by Jordan. He shows us to the Piazza which is this lovely outdoors area in the front where my girls can run around and also explains the different wines and bottles we can grab to take with us to the front. We settle in and I give the girls a Z Bar for a quick snack, as the hubby and I look over wine options until the rest of our party shows up. Come to find out as I’m talking to Jordan and Chef John (the executive chef) that Gary Erikson, owner of the Clif Family Winery, founded the Clif protein bars!
That’s not all they have their hands in! The Clif Family also has fruit orchards, olive trees, they harvest solar honey in Idaho and everything is grown organically. Along with this, from the produce they grow, Clif Family also makes organic and sustainable jams, preserves, and hot sauce. I came back with one of the hot sauces, the Fatalii, which I think was the spiciest one they have.
As for me, I’m a Malbec girl and their pre-release of Malbec is one of the first I noticed (it’s now released as of a few weeks ago I believe). Of all the Malbecs I’ve had, and there have been plenty of those, The Clif Malbec was one of mine and the rest of my party’s favorite. It was lighter than the Malbecs I usually have and I actually liked that. If you haven’t tried it yet, you have to. We also had the Grenache which was just as good, a little more full bodied than the Malbec but perfect to finish off our day at Clif Family Winery.
Aside from the wine for me and the space for the girls to hang out, food is the other major point I look for and Clif Family Winery does not disappoint. They have delicious culinary bites that are beautifully designed and taste like a slice of heaven. My personal favorite is the brie with the lemon marmalade. And if you’re looking for more than just a bite, their Bruschetteria Food Truck has a great selection.
So, what are you waiting for? Next time you plan to go to Napa, make sure you include Clif Family Winery on your list. They have become one of my favorites, and I’m sure they will become one yours too!
Artichokes are abundant everywhere you go these days. My favorite are the ones from our local Farmer’s Market. You can taste the fresh quality and they are so much easier to cook than the store bought ones.
When I first starting eating these, my roommate in college introduced me to dipping them in butter. While they tasted good dipped in butter, I can only imagine all of the calories and cholesterol my body was ingesting. So I started using yogurt as a dipping base instead and I love it. The yogurt dip is so easy to change the flavor profile and I can keep it as simple or complex as I am in the mood for. This particular recipe, I kept it on the simple side with a little roasted garlic, cayenne, and salt mixed into the yogurt.
The traditional way of eating artichokes is by steaming them. I could (and actually have) eaten many whole artichokes all by myself. The husband used to eat them but eventually tired of steamed artichokes and stopped. I really wanted to him to share my love for artichokes so I’ve been trying many other ways to cook them. I’ve roasted (and burnt) them in the oven, stuffed them with various fillings that just didn’t hit the spot before I created this recipe.
All I can say is, you have got to try it! Oh man am I excited to share this stuffed artichoke recipe. Here are a couple of tips though when you are making these artichokes:
- Get fresh artichokes from your local Farmer’s Market. Trust me it makes a difference. The time spent cooking, the quality in taste, and the ease of prepping the artichokes are worth it!
- When you are prepping your artichoke, slice off the top quarter of the vegetable and make sure you trim off the ends of each leaf. Using your hands, gently push apart the leaves to create a wider space in the center for the heart to hold more of the stuffing.
- Put some muscle into removing the choke. Having stretched the artichoke to be able to hold the filling, it will be easier to remove the choke and the hair-like filaments.
Well….. what is the stuffing? Oh man, the most delicious and easiest to make. I used:
red onion (the color comes out so pretty)
bread crumbs (a combination of Italian seasoned and panko)
garlic (of course!)
vegetable broth (though you could replace it with white wine – the taste would still be excellent)
a hint of pepper
Because I am stuffing the artichoke, I also did a 2 step cook. First, I par-steamed the artichoke while I made the stuffing, then I baked it all in the oven to finish cooking the artichoke and get that glorious color on the Parmesan cheese.
I really hope you get a chance to try this recipe out as it has become one of my favorites already!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Italian Stuffed Artichoke with a Garlic Cayenne Dip.