Meal Planning Ideas

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”

Roasted Cilantro Mint Chutney

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Yum

Growing up in an Indian household, chutneys are a must. They are an integral part of any Indian household. Whether you are eating Dosa or Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles with tomato or coconut chutney, or samosas with cilantro or tamarind chutney, or Kati Rolls or Bombay Masala Sandwiches with chutney used as a spread, it’s always prominent in Indian food.
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There are so many different kinds of chutneys prepared so many different ways, I just love the versatility of these dips.  I tried to a different approach to my Roasted Cilantro Mint Chutney by roasting the cilantro and mint with some cashews, chickpea flour, and plenty of spices.
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As you roast the herbs, they develop a char which carries into the final product and gives it just a hint of smoky flavor and smell when you eat it.
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I’ve used this chutney recipe to eat with Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles, Paneer Cabbage Cups, Spinach Dal Paratha, Aloo Paratha, and Avocado Roti.  What will you eat it with?
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From my kitchen to yours, I hope this chutney becomes a staple for you!

Roasted Masala Chickpeas

I’ve been making these chickpeas at home as a healthy snack option so I don’t turn to junk food and my girls have fallen in love with them too.  I initially started them with a basic salt, pepper, olive oil and paprika seasoning.  We love the basic and use them not only for snacking, but in salads, tacos, as a topping for soups (yup), and pretty much in anything I can add it to. Continue reading “Roasted Masala Chickpeas”

Popeye Muffins Yum

Popeye muffins are one of the girls’ favorites.  I started making these when the girls were too young to eat leafy greens but old enough to eat more than pureed meals.  They were an instant hit then, and luckily they still are now.  Vibrant green, sweet and soft…. you can’t go wrong with these!

Continue reading “Popeye Muffins Yum

Spicy Garlic Hummus

I love snacking.  Who doesn’t?!  Hummus is one of my favorite foods.  Since the first time I tried it in college, I was in love.  Recently, S (my 2 year old) has also been snacking on hummus.  And my hubs too.  This is just one of those foods where I like to add it to everything.  A great snack for S with some carrots and broccoli, or on a sandwich for my hubby, or in a wrap for me.  The versatility of hummus is amazing.
Most hummus recipes have a key ingredient – tahini, which is a paste made of sesame seeds.  Well, I didn’t have any around but I was craving hummus so here is my versions of tahini free hummus.  Hope you enjoy it!

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That’s my little helper.  She loves helping me cook in the kitchen and makes me so proud!
Drain the garbanzo beans and reserve the liquid – you’ll be using it later.  I used canned beans but you can use dried beans and soak them and cook them.  If you do, reserve the water that you cooked it in.  It’ll be used later.
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In a blender, combine the garbanzo beans, garlic, salt, pepper, Sriracha, lemon juice, half of the reserved liquid and olive oil.
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I just love Sriracha!  The kick it adds at the end of each bite when you eat this hummus is the perfect touch!
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Blend it so it becomes a good chunky paste.  This picture is deceiving – it really is chunky!
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Serve it with your favorite veggies!  S’s current fave is carrots as she gets a kick out of dipping them in her hummus.  Hope you enjoyed this as much as our family did!

Ingredients:
1 ½ cans garbanzo beans, drained
½c liquid reserved from the garbanzo beans
juice squeezed from 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp EVOO
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and grind into a chunky paste.  Serve with your favorite veggies and crackers.  Enjoy!

Baked Asparagus Fries with Yogurt Dip

I’m a big fan of Asparagus.  And of snacking.  And with asparagus being in season now, I’m trying to consume as many as I can!
A couple of years ago during Thanksgiving, we decided to have a potluck with the family.  One of our cousins brought the most delicious Asparagus fries with garlic dip and I have to tell you, they flew off the pan as soon as they were out of the oven.  Definitely a huge hit!  I could snack on these all day!
I’ll let you in on a secret – even though they’re called fries, I’ve baked them, making them healthy along with delicious.  One of the simplest recipes ever that can work as a side, appetizer or hey! a snack all for me!
Try it out:
Wash and pat completely dry the asparagus (if you don’t dry the asparagus completely, the mixture will not stick properly and will become clumpy in places – trust me, I speak from experience)
You’re going to need 2 shallow bowls – 1 for the whisked egg and 1 for the bread crumb mixture.
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Mix 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs and 1 cup grated parmesan cheese.

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Coat each asparagus first in the whisked eggs then in the bread crumb mixture and line on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes till they are golden brown.  You don’t want to nuke them so they shrivel up, just enough to cook them.  You’ll get a nice crunch to them and they should still hold their original thickness.

For the yogurt sauce,
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Whip the yogurt so it looks nice and creamy and smooth.  Then add in the dill, salt and lemon juice.  Mix well and dip away!

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Here’s the recipe:
For the Asparagus:
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed 1″ from the bottom
2 eggs, whisked really well
1 c Italian bread crumbs
1 c grated Parmesan Cheese

For the Yogurt Sauce:
1/3 c non-fat plain yogurt
3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425ºF.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.
Wash and pat completely dry the asparagus.  Dip one at a time in the egg first then in the bread crumb mixture.  Line on baking sheet.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

For the yogurt sauce,
Whip the yogurt to a smooth and creamy texture.  Add in the dill, lemon juice and salt.  Mix well.  Serve with hot Asparagus fries.

Guacamole

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Whether it’s watching sports, a party we’re hosting, or just snacking while sitting around the table with friends, this Guacamole recipe finds its way into our bellies often.  The husband and I are big avocado lovers and this guac is filled with simple flavors that hit the spot no matter the occasion.  I hope this becomes a favorite in you kitchen too!  Here’s how I made it:

Ingredients:
2 Avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tomatoes, seeded, finely diced
½ onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mash the avocados in a bowl. I like to leave some chunks when mashing as it adds a nice texture. Add in all the ingredients and mix. Don’t over mix, as this will make the avocado pasty. Season with salt and pepper per your taste. Serve with chips, in tacos, or just about anything you want!