**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!
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet on medium high flame.
Add in the beets, sweet potato, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and cook about 10-15 minutes until browned and crispy. If it is still mostly raw at the 10 minute mark, cover and let it cook in the steam for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and let it heat up.
Add in the onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the beet greens and stems and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until it is just starting to wilt. Add in the veggies, and mix well.
Let the hash crisp up then remove from pan and divide between 4 plates. Top with your choice of egg and serve hot!
One of my favorite times of the year is the spring when the Farmer’s Market starts to get bigger with more and more farmers who start to bring a larger variety of produce and goodies. I’ve mentioned in the past that I like to make a menu for the week (more so my kids don’t complain they want something else than what is served), but what I haven’t mentioned is how I love going to the Farmer’s Market to do my weekly produce shopping. Sometimes, I will even tailor some of my dishes to include produce I find at the Market.
Recently, I partnered with our local Farmer’s Market (Danville Farmer’s Market) and I will be creating recipes for them a few times a month in the hopes that I can bring awareness to locally farmed produce at all of our farmer’s market. Having fresh, organic produce and supporting the local farms is a win-win.
This Spring Crudites Platter is so beautiful, we all had a bit of hard time digging in. No one wanted to mess it up. Ah well, our stomachs won that round. The beauty of this platter is that you are not restricted to the same produce I picked up. Pick up what your farmer’s market has, just make it colorful.
Here is what I used:
Purple Cauliflower (chop these into big chunks)
Rainbow Baby Carrots (trim the stems off and save to make pesto – be sustainable!)
Watermelon Radishes (slice these a little thick into rounds to give a beautiful effect)
Cucumbers (I sliced these on the diagonal for aesthetics. Feel free to slice into rounds or sticks to make them easier to serve)
As for the hummus, I chose purple sweet potato and red beets to be the base of each hummus. For the Red Beets, I roasted it with garlic, then pulsed it with a little tahini and a few other ingredients. This is by far one of my favorite variations on hummus. Paired with all that beautiful produce, it’s perfect!
For the Purple Sweet Potato, I baked it in the oven then pulsed it with tahini as well. Though the idea behind both hummus’ are the same, the flavor profile differ vastly. Yet both are addicting.
I hope you have a chance to make a beautiful Spring Crudites Platter like this for your next gathering. I promise you will love it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Place sweet potatoes, beets, and garlic in individual foil sheets. Drizzle beets and garlic with olive oil. Wrap each food tightly into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove and let cool before opening the foil wraps.
For the Sweet Potato Hummus:
Remove foil wrap and peel skin. Chop into rough chunks and add to food processor. Add roasted garlic cloves and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley, a drizzle of oil, and/or roasted chickpeas.
For the Roasted Beet and Garlic Hummus:
Remove beets from foil and chop into rought chunks.
Add into food processor with roasted garlic and the remaining ingredients.
Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes)
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with roasted chickpeas, toasted sesame seeds, and/or a drizzle of olive oil.
To Assemble the Crudites platter:
Place the bowls of the hummus in the center of the platter. Add the larger veggies first, i.e. cauliflower and carrots.
Fill in with medium sized veggies, i.e. cucumbers and snap peas.
Add the smaller veggies, i.e. radishes and cherry tomatoes.
Finally garnish with watermelon radish slices and edible flowers if you have any.
**Note: I used a whole bulb of garlic and divided between the two hummus dips as I knew I was making them at the same time (and a little extra garlic is always appreciated). If you are making only one hummus dip, follow the instructions of roasting cloves instead of the whole bulb.
Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to eat any vegetable. Having several different colors and cooking them together is the best in my book! You get plenty of vitamins and minerals and the different colors are just so pretty to look at! These Roasted Rainbow Veggies are the perfect way to serve your veggies for adults and kids, making them fun, easy, and healthy.
Rainbows have always been popular in our home, with me always telling my girls to eat their colors and the girls loving anything to do with rainbows, unicorns, and princesses. Roasting the veggies in a rainbow on a sheet pan is about the easiest recipe I have ever made. The vast array of vitamins and minerals that we get to eat with our dinner makes this one of my healthiest recipes.
For my colors, I chose beets, carrots, yellow squash, asparagus, and purple potato. You don’t have to stick to those same colors. Honestly, go for what you find in your fridge. Here are a few ideas to get you started for your own Roasted Rainbow Veggies:
RED: beets, tomatoes, red bell pepper
ORANGE: carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin
YELLOW: yellow squash, yellow bell pepper, golden beets, yellow onions
GREEN: zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts
BLUE/PURPLE: purple sweet potatoes, purple carrots, eggplant, purple onions
So now that you have options, how do you make your own Roasted Rainbow Veggies? All you need is a good chopping board, a sharp knife, and a sheet pan. As to the flavors, my standard is to add a little dried oregano for taste with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (times do vary based on the type of veggies you choose), and serve it up with any dinner.
I can’t wait to see what veggies you chose to make your rainbow. Be sure to let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram or Facebook!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these quick, delicious, and healthy Roasted Rainbow Veggies!
If you have been following me then you know how much I love my bowls. Experimenting with different flavor profiles, playing around with new dressings, and oftentimes using whatever vegetables are left in the fridge waiting to be saved from their last moments are the best part of creating my new bowl.
My brussels sprouts were facing a similar fate as mentioned above. I had enough left that I could create a whole new dish with just them, but so few that I didn’t want to waste them either. Grain bowls are perfect for these types of situations especially if you are using a variety of different ingredients.
This one turned out so delicious that I actually went out and bought more brussels sprouts even though I am trying to move on to spring veggies! We’ve now had this bowl 4 times in the last 2 weeks and no one in my household minds – in fact, they love it !
I added in some sweet potato for a little starch, sweetness, and fiber, and avocado for protein. As for the dressing, keeping it simple was the best route. I made a honey dijon dressing that worked wonders. The tang from the dijon and the sweet honey are a perfect balance to the bowl.
So…what are you waiting for? Try this delicious Brussels Sprouts Grain Bowl and become a fan too!
Growing up, my Mom would make these sprouted moong beans for dinner often. I remember my brother and I were not big fans and would hate eating them. Now that I’m an adult, maybe a switch has flipped? I don’t know but I definitely love this recipe and could easily eat this dish 2-3 times a week. Thanks Mom!
WHAT ARE SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Sprouted moong beans are basically moong beans that have been soaked in water then left in a warm place to germinate. They are very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking though many people across the globe are starting to embrace this food more and more.
Some of the more popular ways to eat sprouted moong beans is to add them in to salads and sandwiches, however, some of the more traditional ways to make them is to make a curry, a sabzi, and even dosas out of these delicious babies.
WHY SHOULD I EAT SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Because they are a powerhouse of nutrients. These legumes are one of the best sources of plant based protein providing ~14gm in 1 cup cooked. Take a look at some of these other benefits:
Fiber: 15.4 grams
Folate (B9): 80% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Manganese: 30% of the RDI
Magnesium: 24% of the RDI
Vitamin B1: 22% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 20% of the RDI
Iron: 16% of the RDI
Copper: 16% of the RDI
Potassium: 15% of the RDI
Zinc: 11% of the RDI
WHERE CAN I GET SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Moong Beans are easy to sprout at home (I love this method provided by Piping Pot Curry) or you can find them at your local Indian or Asian grocery store.
So now that you know what I know about these delicious and nutritious legumes, let me tell you how to make them. This particular recipe is my mom’s (I’ve not made a single change to it because it’s so perfect the way it is!) and I love the simplicity of it as it carries a depth of flavor too.
There are two methods of making this dish. One is in the instant pot and the other over the stove. I’ve given both versions in the recipe card below so feel free to try both to see which you prefer!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Sprouted Moong Beans as much as we do!
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).
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 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.
Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios
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.
Add in the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Mix well to combine all of the spices.
Toss in the cauliflower florets and stir to make sure each floret is coated completely.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and preferably, overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim ends of zucchini and slice in half. Scoop out flesh and save to make Zucchini Bread.
Rub oil over all 4 Zucchini boats, then season with the remaining 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp black pepper.
Bake separately but at the same time, the cauliflower and zucchini boats for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and stuff the Zucchini Boats with the Tandoori Gobi.
Broil on high for 5 minutes or until you get a slight char on the cauliflower.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chaat masala over the the boats.
Serve hot with your favorite raita!
**Bake the cauliflower and zucchini boats in separate baking sheets if possible. When you stuff the boats and return the baking sheet to the oven to broil, the remnants of the tandoori paste will burn on the pan if you are using the same pan.
The year was 2013, I had been married only a couple of months and was hosting this grand Thanksgiving for my in-laws. My mother-in-law is vegetarian as am I and so I wanted something special for a veggie dish at the table instead of roasted veggies.
No offense to roasted veggies, I love them. In fact I eat them all the time and therein lies the problem. I wanted something “fancy”, something different that I don’t have on any given night.
So I scoured the internet and landed upon this gorgeous picture of Ratatouille and thought, I can make this! And I did. It didn’t look so pretty but hey, that’s ok, I hoped it would taste delicious though. It was bland. There literally was no flavor profile to it and safe to say, both my mother-in-law and I were disappointed.
She was nice enough to pretend it was good but I couldn’t even do that!
So ever since, I’ve been on a mission to create a Ratatouille that has layers and dimensions of flavor. Safe to say, I think I found it!
Here’s the secret!
Make a sauce that keeps everyone wanting to lick it off the plate
Season the top of the veggies and not just with salt and pepper! With actual herbs!
Make enough sauce so that veggies are half drenched in it and the rest will cook in the steam of the boiling sauce in the oven.
I have been playing with the recipe for a while now and when I made the final version, I was satisfied aesthetically. The question was, would my girls eat the eggplant in it?
Recently, they’ve become very finicky eaters and it can be a real struggle to feed them even their favorite foods sometimes. But they both ate all the veggies and I couldn’t have been a prouder Mama!
Try this out for your next Holiday dinner, weeknight surprise, or Sunday dinner. It’s easy to make ahead, stores in the fridge and freezer well and is fairly simple to make!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Ratatouille!
The weather is still pretty warm out but I am mentally ready for fall! Especially with all the delicious veggies at the Farmer’s Market that are coming out for the season. The pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, root vegetables and especially all the squash and pumpkins I’m seeing everywhere! They’re all so beautiful, colorful and oh so yummy!
I was inspired during my last visit to the Farmer’s Market for this recipe. I used acorn squash because it is mild in flavor and one of the easiest squash to peel and cut. The beets added beautiful color and flavor (and lots of nutrition!), and crispy brussels sprouts once roasted are the perfect addition for texture in this bowl.
Here are a few other ingredients I used though, I definitely didn’t roast them:
As for the dressing, I debated whether to add one or not but in the end, I decided a simple squeeze of lime would do justice without taking away from the other flavors.
I was so excited just roasting the veggies because they looked so bright, bold and beautiful! The spice that I added to balance the sweet of the beets and pears out was smoky chipotle pepper to the veggies that I roasted.
This is one dish that I think is going to come up often on our table through this season! Make a big batch for a holiday dinner side, a small batch for a lunch or make it a meal for a weeknight! It’s simple, healthy, delicious, and you get to eat many of your colors!
Here are some of the health benefits from this yummy bowl:
High in Fiber
High in Protein
Vitamins K, C, A, and B-6
Good Source of Iron
Good Source of Folate
Well! What are you waiting for? You have got to try this out!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Sweet and Spicy Harvest Bowl!
Ok so I know that the name alone makes this salad sound like an explosion of so many different flavors and it is! But….. that’s what makes this salad work so well!
Between my obsession for salads and my inclination towards making my own dressings, my salad game is going strong right now. I’ve been wanting to use watermelon radish for a while now because of it’s flavor and just how pretty it looks!
Here are a few fun facts about watermelon radishes:
They are nutrient dense with Vitamins K, A, E, C, and B6.
High in antioxidants
High in fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron among many other minerals
One serving of watermelon radishes has over 1/3 of your daily Vit. C requirements!
They’re just so darned pretty
The fennel was added in to balance out the peppery flavor of the radish (though, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the hubby was going to like it as he is not a big licorice flavored guy. The best part about eating fennels to me is the licorice!). Luckily, the fennel taste was mild when combined with the flavors of the salad.
As to the Ginger Lime dressing, adding the hint of ginger balanced with a little honey in the dressing and the lime to brighten up the salad, it was the perfect choice to use this for the salad.
When I think about this salad, it really has a great balance of sweet, spicy and tangy! So perfect for a lunch meal, side dish, or a Covid free Thanksgiving dinner!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this salad!
Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with a Ginger Lime Dressing
I love the Autumn season. The colors, the change in flavors, the hint of crisp air and everything else about Fall is just perfect!
Making this nourish bowl with a hint of Fall flavors was fun. I decided to roast the veggies with oregano and smoked paprika for some warmth in the taste.
For a pop of spice, I added charred Shishito peppers which made this dish so perfect!
Instead of dressing, I used hummus which becomes smooth and creamy as a dressing when combined with the hot roasted veggies.
This nourish bowl is so filling, try it out for your next lunch or dinner. You’ll be so satisfied and comforted.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this bowl!
Bright, crunchy, colorful and easy to assemble with a creamy coconut jalapeño dressing, this salad is a perfect addition to your meal.
Easy to make, this salad has plenty of texture, meets my rainbow requirements, and is quick to pull together for any meal. A twist on the traditional slaw, the Rainbow Crunch Salad is a healthier version with a low cal coconut jalapeño dressing to finish off a delicious salad.
With school started, life still crazy between Covid, fires, and whatever else you want to throw in there, I want to keep it easy and quick for this salad. Chopping the veggies doesn’t take very long and the Coconut Jalapeño dressing is blended in less than a minute.
Here’s what you need for the salad:
Colored Bell Peppers
I’ve used this as a lunch meal, a side salad for fish and chicken dishes, or even a quick afternoon snack if I had some leftovers.
Try it out! From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!
Growing up, mango lassis were one of my favorite to order when we ate out at Indian restaurants. The sweet mangoes, the tangy yogurt, and the hint of rose at the end of each sip…. oh so delicious! The fact that mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit just adds to my love for this lassi!
A summer time must have, even my girls look forward to having a glass almost daily which just makes my heart happy. Easy to whip up, you don’t need much. A blender and the ingredients are all you have to use. I did use a dash of rose syrup to give it a summer-y floral hint which takes this lassi to a whole new level.
Have this delicious mango lassi as an afternoon snack to cool down in the heat, or pair it with some delicious Indian food. It pairs well with Masala Omelette for breakfast, or even a lunch time drink with a Desi Masala Bowl or with dinner when you try out this Instant Pot Chole.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious treat!
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!
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that growing up I was not an eggplant fan. So why am I posting 2 recipes (Baba Ghanouj and this one) with eggplant within a month? They became a part of my adult life and I learned what I was missing out on.
I’m not sure about the timeline but I do remember maybe a few months after I got married, we had gone down to see my in-laws for the weekend. Mom had made baingan bharta and I was trying to be nice so I ate it without telling her I was not a big fan of eggplant. It was ingrained in me since I was a kid that you ate what you got, especially at someone else’s house without a fuss. Man am I thankful for that specific rule!
Though I took maybe only about a tablespoon’s worth (and spread it out so my MIL wouldn’t notice – yep…. totally resorting to childhood antics), baingan bharta became a new favorite of mine. Since then, I have tried it at various restaurants and at home but nothing compares to the way my MIL makes it. This recipe is hers and I’m excited to share it.
Try to pick eggplants with fewer seeds as this will give you more flesh and will be less bitter. Male eggplants tend to have fewer seeds and to tell the difference, at the bottom of the eggplant, there will be an indentation. If it is deep and shaped like a dash, the eggplant is female, if it is shallow and round, it is a male.
If you do end up with an eggplant with more seeds, after roasting the eggplant, don’t skin it right away. Let the eggplants sit on a tray and continue steaming to soften the seeds.
You can store the roasted eggplant in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
From my Mother-in-Law’s kitchen to yours, we hope you enjoy this one!
One of my very good friends, Diana, has a plum tree that produces an abundance of plums every year. One of my favorite memories is when Sanaya was just over a year old, we had gone to her house and she let us pick plums in her backyard. We had so many plums in our hands, I had walked away to put them in a basket. When I came back, Sanaya had eaten half a plum (most of the juice was around her mouth and on her clothes) and was holding another she was getting ready to dive into. It was one the best afternoons ever!
We are a fruit loving family and we don’t discriminate (well, unless it’s mangoes – then everyone has to fend for themselves while I devour them). At any given time, there’s always fresh fruit in the house and I love that my girls share mine and hubby’s love for them. In honor of Diana’s plum tree (which I heard may not be around much longer and I almost cried), I got creative and added a little spice spin to these crumble bars.
I love this recipe because it is so easy to come together. For the filling, I stayed true to Salted Mint‘s filling. I tried out a few different variations but I love this one the best because it is simple, adds the warmth of star anise and cinnamon and tastes amazing!
For the crumble, I added hints of ginger and cardamom (I seriously felt like I could call this a Chai Spiced Plum Crumble because of the similar spices used). And the best is I can use the same mixture for the crust and crumble!
For the oats, I used old fashioned oats and mixed it by hand. You can absolutely pulse it in a food processor until you get a crumbly mixture.
I don’t think anyone can stop eating just one bar! These are so crumbly, flaky, sweet, tart, and have just a little hint of spice which just warms your insides up!
This recipe makes about 16 squares in a 8×8 baking pan. Notes:
To store, place in a sealed container and keep in fridge for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 2 months.
Keep the skin on the plums! I wasn’t sure about this when I first started experimenting but it just becomes a part of the jam and you can’t even notice it!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious plum crumble bars!
Paneer is a staple in any Indian household. It is so versatile, the possibilities are endless. I’ve marinated it in Roasted Cilantro Mint Chutney and grilled it over the BBQ, you can also grill it and use it as an addition to a salad, make Paneer Cabbage Cups, Matar Paneer, and most famously known Palak Paneer.
It may sound daunting but making paneer at home is actually very easy. There’s literally 2 ingredients involved – milk, and an acidic agent to separate the curd. I like homemade better than store bought because you can choose which type of milk you want (low-fat or full-fat) and there are no preservatives like in the store bought ones.
How to make paneer at home:
Step 1: Boil the milk
Step 2: Add in your acidic agent and keep stirring to help the solids separate from the whey
Step 3: Drain the whey so you have just the solids left over
Step 4: Rinse the solids to remove smell and taste of acidic agent
Step 5: Squeeze out excess water and hang the paneer to remove moisture
Step 6: Mold the paneer into desired shape
Step 7: Remove the block of paneer from the cheesecloth and use as desired
1. I suggest double lining the cheesecloth so that it is more sturdy and holds the paneer well when draining. This is the cheesecloth that I use and love!
2. Acidic agents that can be used are lemon juice or vinegar. I’ve found vinegar works better with curdling the solids without leaving behind a tart taste in the paneer
3. Keep the acidic agent close by so you can use it as soon as the milk is ready so it doesn’t boil over.
4. If you need to add more acid, add a teaspoon at a time. Adding too much can make the paneer rubbery
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you have fun and enjoy making your own paneer!
1. On high flame, in a deep pot, bring milk to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low. Keep stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to low and add in vinegar or lemon juice. Continue stirring so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. You should see the solids separate from the whey within a minute.
3. Turn off heat and remove pot from heat.
4. Line a colander with the cheesecloth and pour the contents into the cheesecloth.
5. Rinse with cold water to remove odor and taste of acid.
6. Squeeze the cheesecloth to remove as much excess water as possible.
7. Tie the cheesecloth to your kitchen faucet and let it stay there for 30 minutes to remove excess whey.
8. Remove cheesecloth from the faucet and twist into a round or square shape. Place it on a plate and put about 5lbs weight on top. I usually use a few canned foods cans. This will further help remove any excess moisture and whey. Leave for 30 minutes.
9. Unwrap your paneer and slice into cubes and use in any of your favorite paneer recipes!
Light, airy and packed with protein and a variety of nutrients, you don’t have to worry about what healthy breakfast to make in the mornings. Wrap them in foil, pop them in the freezer and when you want to eat them, reheat in the toaster oven or oven and they’re the perfect breakfast on the go meal.
Here are the add-ins I used:
Mushrooms and Spinach
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella
Mexican Fiesta – bell peppers and onions with fajita seasoning
Broccoli and cheddar
Jalapeño Popper – jalapeños and cheddar cheese
What toppings will you play around with?
From my breakfast table to yours, I hope you enjoy this!
Summertime salads are one of my favorites to eat. They’re simple, light, filling, and don’t take much time in front of the stove or oven. I love this Rainbow Fajita Bowl because it is so easy to pull together and you can eat it as a dinner meal or prep it on the weekends for weekday lunches.
It’s vegan but if you’re looking to add in some chicken, super simple to do that too. I’ll include it in the notes below! You can marinate the chicken 30 minutes ahead or overnight but still get an amazing, tasty, juicy chicken too!
But on to my bowl. I just love the colors in this salad. And the fact that my girls ate it because of the rainbow foods (ok, well maybe they ate one leaf of salad but at least I got one in!). Drizzle with some chili lime dressing and you’re set! The spice, the crunch, the sweet corn… I think this salad bowl is calling my name for lunch again today!
Get your kids involved in this one. Once you have all the ingredients ready, have them help you assemble them for make ahead lunches for you and your kids!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this rainbow of colors and burst of flavor!
1 tsp red chili flakes (adjust to your spice level)
3/4 tsp salt
For the Fajita Seasoning:
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
For the Fajita Bowl:
1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1 orange bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1 zucchini, sliced into 1" strips
1 yellow squash, sliced into 1" strips
1/2 purple onion, sliced into 1" strips
1 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c sweet corn
1 avocado, cubed
1 large tomato, cubed
2 c spinach, or any leafy green of your choice
3 tsp olive or avocado oil
For the dressing:
Add all the ingredients into a mason jar. Seal it tight and shake well for 3 minutes. Set aside to use later.
For the Fajita Veggies:
Mix all the seasonings together for the fajita.
In a bowl, add the onions, zucchini, bell peppers, and yellow squash.
Mix in 2 tsp oil, and 1 Tbsp of fajita seasoning mix.
Toss veggies well so they are all coated with the seasoning and let sit for 5 minutes.
In a med sized skillet, heat the remaining 1 tsp oil on med flame.
Add in the veggies and let cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring only a few times to ensure they don't stick to the pan but do get some char on the veggies.
Turn off heat and set aside.
Line a large bowl with 1 c of greens.
Layer in the veggies, sweet corn, black beans, avocado, and tomatoes.
Drizzle with chili lime dressing.
To add chicken, use the same fajita seasoning with 1 Tbsp oil. Mix together with chicken breast in a ziploc bag. Let marinate for 30 minutes or even overnight and grill over stove or bbq. Slice the chicken and add to the bowl.
Marinated Chicken can freeze up to 6 months to use at a later date.
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.
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.
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.
Growing up, my mom would make traditional Gujarati food for dinner most days. My brother and I loved eating a Gujarati thaali (not all the time) and one of my favorites was Bhinda Bataka nu Shaak. The crunchy exterior of the potato that’s just soft enough to melt on the inside and the crispy okra to finish off the dish is just the perfect reminder of home to me.
When I made this dish, I was so excited to share my love for it with kids. I’ll be honest though, they didn’t take to the okra which broke my heart. Sort of. They ate the potatoes though. But I’m going to keep trying to share my love of okra and hope one day they do like it as much as I do.
But okra is so slimy!
Trust me, I know! So my hack…. use frozen or pre-cut okra. And fresh squeezed lemon juice. Wait, what? Yep, lemon juice helps break down the slime without turning your veggies into mush.
Want to know something even more cool? The “slime” (known as mucilage) actually contains soluble fiber. Here are a few more benefits of eating okra:
High in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin, and lutein
Good source of Folate
Good source of Vit. C, Vit. A, and Vit. K
Good source of Non-Dairy Calcium, Iron, Manganese, and Magnesium
So try this delicious sabzi for your next Gujarati thaali. It’s delicious and healthy and so easy to make. Try it out!