Almond Butter Coffee Smoothie

Make the best coffee smoothie with instant coffee!  This delicious smoothie is a simple recipe with just four ingredients that makes the perfect morning boost or post workout snack.
Continue reading “Almond Butter Coffee Smoothie”

Cauliflower Steak with Hummus Dressing

These Cauliflower Steaks with Hummus Dressing are simply seasoned with a balsamic marinade and making them absolutely delicious.  Tender and packed with flavor, the pomegranates add a but of crunch, the hummus adds a bit of tang.  It makes the perfect vegetarian meal or side dish.
Continue reading “Cauliflower Steak with Hummus Dressing”

Roasted Vegetables Barley Bowl

A delicious and nutritious Roasted Vegetable Barley Bowl filled with barley, arugula, hummus, a variety of veggies including asparagus and blistered tomatoes, all topped with a sprinkle of chili flakes for just a little heat.  It’s perfect for a weeknight meal.
Continue reading “Roasted Vegetables Barley Bowl”

Top 15 Recipes of 2022

The year 2022 has been very eventful for us.  We’ve had lots of travel, covid, a kitchen renovation, and so much more.  Crafting and creating has been challenging but fun nonetheless in all of these environs.  So here are my top 15 recipes that were the most popular this past year.  I’m so happy you enjoyed them as much as me!

I wish all of you a healthy and Happy New Year as you read the top 15 from this year based on reader reviews and responses.  I hope to continue growing and sharing my love of cooking with you in 2023.  Here are the top 15 recipes of 2022.

Sprouted Moong Beans Sabzi Gujarati Style

Growing up, my Mom would make Moong Bean Sprouts Sabzi often. My brother and I weren’t the biggest fans (though a big part was that we wanted American food like the rest of our friends, not DBRS (Dar Bhaat Rotli Shaak) everyday.

Now as an adult, I see that Mom was making one of the healthiest plant proteins out there to make sure her kids got their nutrition. And now I’m doing the same. Maybe not as a child, but definitely as an adult I love this sabzi. Super simple to make, in less than 10 minutes, a depth of flavor from various spices, and packed with a powerhouse of nutrients, it’s a win win!

Pistachio Pudding Bundt Cake

A simple bundt cake that is moist, light, fluffy, and a little crunchy.  Fresh ground pistachios in the cake with some more drizzled over the top of a beautiful sugar glaze, this Pistachio Pudding Bundt Cake is beautiful to look at and divine to eat.

Roasted Rainbow Veggies
Roasted Rainbow Veggies

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.

Mango Lassi Loaf Cake
Mango Lassi Loaf Cake
Light, moist, and elegant loaf that tastes like Mango Lassi and is made without butter and eggs.

Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet
Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet

An effortless one skillet vegan recipe filled with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas, spinach, grilled lemon slices, and of course orzo!  Simple, healthy ingredients that come together quickly for a perfect weeknight meal, this Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet is a dish that everyone can enjoy!

Teriyaki Tofu Noodle Bowl
Teriyaki Tofu Noodle Bowl

Crispy, sweet, and salty bites of tofu paired with sauteed bright broccoli on a bed of rice noodles.  It can’t get any better than this.  Filled with protein, this Teriyaki Tofu Noodle Bowl is perfect for a weeknight dinner or lunch prep.

Blackened Fish Tacos with a Garlic Sriracha Aioli

BBQ season is for grilling and though I love making 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.

Couscous Arancini

Arancini is quite possibly one of the best things anyone could have created! Creamy, cheesy, fried balls dipped in warm marinara….yep, definitely calling my name.  For a little twist, I used leftover pearl couscous instead of the traditional arborio rice risotto to make these.

Middle Eastern Vegan Protein Bowl

Simple to make and ready in just 30 minutes, this Middle Eastern Vegan Protein Bowl has everything to make your belly happy! Hint of tangy, spicy, herby, crunchy, and creamy, I love every bite I take! Filled with almost 20gm protein, 50% of your daily recommended fiber, and 40% of daily recommended iron, it is one of the most nutrient dense meals out there! Side benefit, you get 4 different colors of veggies in 1 meal!

Rainbow Farro Salad

I love eating in color and this gorgeous Rainbow Farro Salad has an abundance of it. Vivacious and crunchy purple cabbage, bright red bell pepper, pretty yellow cauliflower, tangy feta, earthy dill, and so much more. All of this drizzled with just enough olive oil and lemon juice to bring it all together so beautifully that each bite has you saying Mmmmmmmm.

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan, these chickpea chocolate chip cookies are out of this world.  Pillowy soft, fluffy, sweet, melt in your mouth, chunky chocolate chip cookies.

Rose Pistachio Ice Cream

Creamy, luscious, velvety, and decadent, this delicious Rose Pistachio Ice Cream is sure to make you smile in satisfaction. Bonus, it requires no cooking and no churning!  It has become my new obsession and I’m sure it will become yours too!

Rosemary Olive Artisan Bread

Rosemary Olive Artisan Bread has a beautiful crust with a chewy inside filled with olives and fresh rosemary.  It is easy to make because there is no kneading required.  The scent and taste of warm bread and the ease of this recipe will want you making this bread over and over again.

Creamy White Bean Soup with Spinach

What is more comforting than a hot bowl of bean soup on chilly winter days? This quick recipe will have you feeling warm in no time. It’s also great for preparing large quantities so everyone can enjoy it! Nutrient dense and full of fiber, each bowl is also filled with 15gm protein!

Almond Butter Muffins

These healthy almond butter muffins are the perfect tasty treat.  They are ideal to add in the lunchbox for a snack or dessert, or even to eat for breakfast.  Each muffin is so soft, fluffy, and creamy all at the same time that I have to try not to gobble them down myself!

Thank you so much for making 2022 so special for me.  I have enjoyed and embraced cooking for you.  Which recipes have you tried?  Feel free to leave comments below, or tag me with your pictures on Facebook or Instagram.

Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet

An effortless one skillet vegan recipe filled with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas, spinach, grilled lemon slices, and of course orzo!  Simple, healthy ingredients that come together quickly for a perfect weeknight meal, this Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet is a dish that everyone can enjoy!
Continue reading “Lemon Chickpea Orzo Skillet”

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

This Dragon fruit Smoothie Bowl is a beautiful, quick, and easy tropical breakfast recipe!  Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is nutrient dense food packed with antioxidants, low calories making it a great option for vegan and paleo diets.  Made with just 3 ingredients, dragon fruit, mango, and coconut water, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Continue reading “Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl”

Haldi Doodh (Golden Milk)

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!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

 

Rosemary Olive Artisan Bread

Rosemary Olive Artisan Bread has a beautiful crust with a chewy inside filled with olives and fresh rosemary.  It is easy to make because there is no kneading required.  The scent and taste of warm bread and the ease of this recipe will want you making this bread over and over again.
Continue reading “Rosemary Olive Artisan Bread”

Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad

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”

Autumn Squash Soup

Creamy and nourishing, this delicious Autumn Squash Soup is just perfect for a cozy dinner at home during these cold days.  This soup is a spin off of Panera’s Autumn Squash Soup without the extra calories.  But don’t worry!  It still tastes amazing and just like Panera’s.  The best part is that whilst you make this delicious soup, your home is going to smell like fall.  Can it get any better?
Continue reading “Autumn Squash Soup”

Sarson da Saag, Makki di Roti

**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:

20170630_131629

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.

20170704_185922

20170704_190032

20170704_190323

Looking for more Indian recipes?  Check out some of these:
Sprouted Moong Beans Sabzi Gujarati Style
Instant Pot Rajma (Kidney Beans)
Methi Thepla
Instant Pot Kali Dal
Avocado Roti

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

 

Quinoa Fiesta Salad

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!


Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

 

How to Cook Brown Rice

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.

BE PATIENT
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

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

 

Zucchini Moong Dal

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
Spinach Dal 
Instant Pot Kali Dal 
Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

 

Farmer’s Market Crudites Platter with Hummus Two Ways

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!)
  • Radishes
  • Watermelon Radishes (slice these a little thick into rounds to give a beautiful effect)
  • Snap Peas
  • Cucumbers (I sliced these on the diagonal for aesthetics.  Feel free to slice into rounds or sticks to make them easier to serve)
  • Cherry Tomatoes

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!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

If you are looking for more delicious recipes, check these out:
Roasted Masala Chickpeas
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Spicy Garlic Hummus
Crispy Chickpeas and Sweet Potato Tacos