Growing up in an Indian household meant turning to natural and food remedies for minor ailments. If you had a tummy ache, Mom made us eat carom seeds or even cumin seeds. If we had a cold sore in the mouth, she would make us keep a clove on the sore for a few hours. There are so many more remedies that my mom and grandmother used but the one I remember and is most popular these days is turmeric.
As soon the cold weather set in or the first cough or sneeze of the season was heard, my mother would add turmeric to everything we ate. She would also make us drink Haldi Doodh or turmeric milk before bed each night. As a child, I hated this. As an adult and a mom, it is now my go to. Over the years, I’ve changed it from the basic turmeric and milk to adding a few new ingredients. Take a look!
Turmeric – the most important ingredient as it has natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The powder form is most commonly used though sometimes, I do use the actual root.
Black Pepper – has anti-inflammatory properties and improves brain function. It is most important in this recipe because it activates the curcumin properties in turmeric therefore making the turmeric much more effective.
Honey – is full of antioxidants, antibacterial, and antifungul properties. It’s also an age old remedy used to help sore throats.
Cardamom pods – have antioxidant and diuretic properties, and is rich in compounds that help fight against inflammation.
Ginger – also has anti-inflammatory properties, helps lower blood sugars, and improve heart disease risk factors. Ginger also helps fight against bacteria and viruses which can help reduce the risk for infections.
Cinnamon – is also loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it helps lower blood sugar levels, and helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.
Basically, every spice added to this recipe has anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties or both. I normally use cow’s milk when I make this for the kids but I have made it with almond milk and it has turned out just as good. I do recommend not to use sweetened milk if you are using a plant based milk as it changes the taste of the final product.
Here’s to wishing a healthy winter and a Happy New Year with my first recipe this year!
This Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad is filled with bursts of sweetness, texture, and nutrients. The quinoa soaks up a delicious Maple Dressing and the arugula gives just a hint of a peppery note. What’s best is it’s great to eat for lunch, or have as a side dish. Continue reading “Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad”→
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”→
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:
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.
Once it is heated, add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onions, garlic, and ginger and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions have become translucent.
Add tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the washed dal and water. Mix well.
Press Cancel and close the lid with vent in sealing position.
Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 4 mins. After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually (5 minute NPR).
Once the pressure is released and you have opened the lid, in a tempering pan, heat oil. When it is heated through, add cayenne powder and dried red chili. When it starts to sizzle, add chili oil to cooked dal. Squeeze in lemon juice and give it a good stir.
Crisp, cold watermelon tossed with tangy feta and fresh mint is the perfect summertime salad to have on a hot day. This refreshing salad is a great side to have with grilled chicken, steak, and even hamburgers! Continue reading “Summertime Watermelon Salad”→
This one pan salmon is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. Ready in 15 minutes, it’s a nutritious meal the whole family will enjoy!
I love the idea of using just one pot or a pan. Not only is cleanup easy but you don’t spend forever in the kitchen cooking after a long hard day of work. Don’t get me wrong, the kitchen is my happy place. But weeknights are crazy when the kids are hungry and don’t have the patience to wait for me to cook an elaborate dinner.
My favorite part is that the girls eat the rainbow veggies I add on the side. The colors look so pretty and the girls love their rainbows as much as I do. Chopping the veggies and seasoning them doesn’t take very long and adding that glaze on the salmon with a little honey and mustard mix is perfect to brighten up the salmon.
I kept the seasoning for the veggies pretty simple – salt, pepper, and a little dried oregano. Why? Because I want the salmon to shine too. The veggies have their color that attracts you to them so the salmon should have something too, right? The glaze is very easy to make. Just mix a little dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and of course fresh squeezed lemon juice. Brush it on to the salmon and voila! All that is left to do is bake!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious One Pan Salmon with Rainbow Veggies!
Line up all the veggies on a sheet pan as well as the salmon filets.
Drizzle the oil over all of the veggies, and then season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Gently mix to make sure the seasonings have evenly coated the veggies.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the glaze and whisk well to emulsify.
Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze onto the salmon (if you are using skinless salmon, make sure to brush both sides of the salmon).
Bake for 13-15 minutes in the oven then remove.
Let cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Notes: *I prefer to use fresh salmon for this recipe, however, if you are using frozen salmon, make sure to thaw it at room temperature to allow for even cooking time. *If you would like a crispy crust, stop baking 1-2 minutes early, change oven setting to broil and keep in oven for another 2-3 minutes after the baking time is over. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
If I gave my youngest Fish and Couscous everyday for the rest of her life, I wouldn’t hear a single complaint. She loves it that much and we usually have it on the menu biweekly. The Garlic Lemon Sauce is absolutely finger licking delicious! Paired with a flaky and tender Mahi Mahi, well, you will also be adding this fish to your rotation.
Everyone says eating fish is healthy and to incorporate it more in your diet. But why? Here are few good reasons why:
Fish are high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help lower cholesterol and heart disease
Rich in Iron
Rich in Vit. B which promotes healthy brain function
Rich in Potassium which promotes a healthy heart
Fish can be tricky to cook sometimes because it is very easy to overcook leading to a tough meat (trust me, I’ve done this on many occasions). A few tricks I rely on to serve the best flaky fish are:
Be sure your filtes are about 6-7oz each, with at least 1-inch thickness. If your portions are thin or too small, they’ll tend to overcook.
Always pat dry excess moisture from the fish; this step is super important, as it affects how well your fish will brown. A paper towel works wonders
Buy fresh or quick-frozen, high quality fish… wild is best, and will provide best flavor.
⁄Crunchy on the outside, creamy and buttery on the inside, these avocado wedges are the perfect snack. They are remarkably tasty, easy to make, and impressed my 5 and 4 year olds. Honestly though, anything that is breaded and fried is an automatic win in my book. I’ve had these in tacos too and seriously, they are delicious.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT AVOCADO FOR THIS RECIPE?
Personally, I like to use avocados that have just turned ripe. They’re still a little firm but ripe enough to be creamy when eaten. A good scale to use is if they are good enough to use for Guacamole then they are too soft to use for these wedges. You don’t want the wedges to melt and loose structure because they are too ripe.
AIR FRYER vs BAKING
I used an air fryer for this recipe because it gives the crispy exterior that you would see when deep frying. If you don’t have an air fryer, baking is just as good but beware that it will take a little longer to cook them. I have given instructions for both in the recipe card.
ARE THESE HEALTHY IF THEY’RE FRIED?
Yes they are because they’re air fried! And avocados are definitely healthier than traditional potato wedges. Don’t get me wrong, I love potatoes in all its many glorious forms but I do love a healthy alternative any day. Here are some of the many nutritional benefits to these Avocado Fries:
Provides about 5 gm protein per serving
Almost ¼ of your DRI Fiber
About a third of your Folic Acid DRI
Almost ¼ Vit. K requirements
Great source of potassium, phosphorous, Vit. A, and Vit. B6
So what are you waiting for?! Try these incredibly delicious Avocado Fries and fall in love with a new way of eating fries!
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!
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!
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.
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).
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
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!
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!
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”→
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!
We’ve been doing some heavy eating lately so I decided to play around with some easy, simple salads. I didn’t get past this one to try any others this week. This Spinach Watermelon Salad is so good, I just want to eat it all the time! The Basil Vinaigrette adds the perfect zing and hint of spice to bring it together perfectly.
I love to cut up the watermelon and keep in the fridge so that it is nice and cold. The cold sweet watermelon, crunchy spinach and onions, the salty feta…. yep, I want some now!
This salad took less than 10 minutes to make (including the vinaigrette). You absolutely have to try it out. It’s amazing!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you eat this over and over again as much as I do!
I’m a firm believer in easy meals that are healthy and don’t take much of my time. This Sausage & Zucchini Linguine is just that. It literally took me 15 minutes to make (with Aishani in the kitchen “helping” me) and was loved by everyone.
Here are a few things I like about this pasta dish:
Gluten Free (cauliflower based linguine …. so delicious and guilt free!)
Ready in 15 minutes!
The combination of sausage and spices packs a punch of flavor
Bright and colorful veggies
A little munchkin, who in the name of cooking with me, ate a good amount of my sausage and bell peppers during the cooking process
Taste Republic has their cauliflower linguine in most grocery stores so go get a pack! (This is not a paid ad, I just love their pasta).
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this fun and easy meal!
Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite soups. Especially this instant pot recipe which takes only 4 minutes to cook! It’s filled with delicious veggies and spices like ancho chile and chipotle powder to build a good depth of flavor. Perfect for a hectic weeknight or a cold day, this tortilla soup is a great way to use up pantry essentials. Continue reading “Instant Pot Tortilla Soup”→
Both the girls need their dal (lentils) at least once a week and I love it! It makes me so happy that they turn to Indian food for comfort and norm. I try to vary out the dals that I feed them so they get a variety of nutrients and flavors and I get to rotate my lentils. Continue reading “Spinach Dal Yum “→