Thai Red Curry

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One of the most popular Thai dishes which is really easy and quick to make. Spicy, healthy and light, it’s very rare that a dish fits in well in all these three categories which is what makes it so popular. So here you go:-

Serves – 4

Ingredients:

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Red Curry Paste – 2-3 tbsp (you can follow this recipe to make it at home)
  • Coconut Milk – 1 can (14oz/400ml each)
  • Thai Chilies – 2 finely chopped
  • Brown Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce or Fish Sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Baby corn-1/2 cup
  • Red Bell Pepper – 1/4, sliced
  • Green Bell Pepper – 1/2, sliced
  • Mushrooms – 1/4 cup
  • Broccoli –  1/2 cup
  • Tofu or Chicken Breasts- 1/2 cup
  • lemon grass -1 stalk finely chopped
  • Green Onions – 5 stalks finely chopped
  • Garlic Cloves – 3-4 minced
  • Basil Leaves – 1 bunch and some extra for garnishing

Method:

  1. In a pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add garlic and chilies and sauté for a few seconds. Add in the red curry paste and mix well.
  2. Add the coconut milk and mix again. Then add in the sugar, soy sauce or fish sauce.
  3. If you are making a non-vegetarian dish, then add the chicken now, cover and allow chicken to cook partially.
  4. If you are making it a vegetarian dish, skip steps 3 and add the vegetables to the gravy. Add baby corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, lemon grass and mushrooms. (Leave broccoli at this stage.)
  5. Let it cook for a minutes and then add tofu.
  6. Add the basil leaves and cook for another 3-5 minutes. And then add broccoli.
  7. Cook till chicken / tofu is cooked.
  8. Garnish with a few more Thai Basil Leaves and serve hot with some steamed rice.
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Couscous with Chickpeas and Spinach

Sometime back this recipe was featured in the New York Times. It looked so tempting that I had to give it a try, and I must admit it turned out to be pretty darn good. The combination of spinach and chickpeas is very unusual which made me all the more curious to test it myself. To my amazement, they blended so well and the addition of spinach added a flavorful punch to the overall recipe.

This recipe goes well with couscous but tastes equally good with naan or rice.  For all those health conscious people, this dish is a very good substitute for salads because not only it is so filling, it’s highly nutritious as well.

So here it goes:

Couscous With Chickpeas, Spinach and Mint — Recipes for Health - NYTimesCouscous With Chickpeas, Spinach and Mint — Recipes for Health - NYTimes2

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Quinoa salad with kidney beans and corn

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This is our go-to recipe these days. Even though I’m not a salad freak, I relish this one so much that I can have it every other day. In addition to being a great source of protein, fibre, iron, calcium & magnesium, it has a very nice flavor too. No wonder they call it a ‘Super Food’.

So here is what you’ll need:

  • 1½ cups quinoa(raw)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups cooked kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts(lightly toasted)
  • 1 cup cooked corn
  • ½ large onion finely chopped
  • 1 finely chopped tomato (medium size)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 finely chopped green chile (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp of grated feta

Dressing:

  • 5-6 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili flakes

Method:

  1. Wash quinoa in a large bowl thoroughly, rubbing grains, changing the water a couple of times and letting them settle, until the water runs clear. Drain the water and transfer the quinoa to a medium saucepan. Boil the quinoa in salted water for about 10-12 minutes; till it absorbs all the water. Remove from heat and let it sit for another 5-7 mins. Drain the remaining water if any, and transfer to a large bowl. Fluff it with fork to help it cool more quickly.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by adding all the ingredients of the dressing in a small bowl and whisking it.
  3. To the bowl of quinoa, add the rest of the ingredients including coriander, feta and nuts. If you are using canned beans, drain its water completely before adding it to the mix. Finally pour the dressing over the salad mix and toss well. Serve at room temperature.

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do..:)

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower Steak with Mushroom Gravy

DSC_9558The moment I came across this recipe online, I was eager to try it out myself. Both, me and my husband are always on a lookout for recipes which are ‘healthy and tasty’ at the same time. I used to believe that healthy and tasty don’t go together, but the notion was completely transformed by this amazing blog-http://loveandlentils.com/. It is full of great cooking ideas that force you to believe that vegan cooking can be interesting too…:)

I modified the recipe slightly to my taste. For the steak and kale you can follow this link. For the mushroom gravy, here’s my own recipe which is slightly spicy (the way I like it).

Ingredients:-

  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 2-3 dried red chiles
  • 1 packet sliced white mushrooms (8 oz.)
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  •  ½ cup chicken stock (Vegetarians can use vegetable stock instead)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on low-medium heat.  When warm, add the garlic and dried chiles and saute for a few seconds.
  2. Add the onions, saute for a minute and then add mushrooms turning the heat to high.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the cornflour and milk and keep ready. Once the mushrooms start shrivelling and leaving water, turn the heat to medium again and add the cornflour mix and chicken stock.
  4. Once the mix starts to thicken, add the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper ( I put a lot of pepper) and coriander.
  5. Stir well for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and let it stand for a couple of minutes before serving.

Now, layer the cauliflower steak with kale and pour a generous amount of mushroom gravy over it. Pour yourself a glass of wine and savor the dish…:)

Sausage Broccoli Pasta

DSC_8294-Edit-2After my successful attempt at Aglio-e-Olio, I was tempted to explore more sauceless pasta recipes, so here is one of them.

For this you’ll need:

  • 7 ounces Whole Wheat or any other regular pasta
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1½  tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1½  tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup  broccoli sliced into small florets
  • 3 sausages links diced
  • ½  cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley for garnishing
  • Grated parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Boil and drain the pasta as per the instructions on its packet.
  2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on low-medium heat. Add the garlic and the sausages. Saute for 5-7 mins.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cover the pan with a lid for 3-4 mins. Once the mushrooms start shrivelling up, remove the lid.
  4. Add the broccoli, vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste and cook for another few minutes till broccoli becomes slightly soft (Don’t overcook the broccoli).
  5. Finally add the pasta and some parmesan and mix well.  Turn off the heat. Sprinkle some chilli flakes and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. You can also sprinkle some parmesan while serving.

Your yummy sauceless pasta is ready..:)

(You can use Chicken stock instead of  Vegetable stock and you can add veggies as per your preference.)

EAT RIGHT: word of advise from a lazy bum..;)


10-Tips-Healthy-Eating

If you are a person who simply HATES going to the gym, then this article is just for you. I am one such lazy bum who loves to eat and the thought of working out makes me sick. So I soon realized, I’d have to make some changes to my diet inorder to stay healthy.

As you all know by now, that my husband is VERY health conscious (which is not a bad thing..:P), but because of him my eating habits have improved a lot and I am very picky about the stuff that we buy from the supermarket. I thought of sharing what I have learnt with you. Here are a few things to note when you go to a grocery store:

  1. ALWAYS check the food label. People generally look only at calories and fats but sometimes ignore the sodium content. Most packaged food have very high sodium content to make it last longer. High sodium is very harmful for our health and can cause weight gain as it aids the body in water retention in addition to causing other health problems in the long run.
  2. Not all fats are bad. For example avocado and peanut butter are food items with high fat content, but their high nutrient value makes them good for your body. So don’t cross out items from your food list without completely knowing their health benefits.
  3. Another important thing to be noted is low fat doesn’t necessarily imply that it is healthy for you. Food companies use this as a selling strategy. So most low fat food items have high sugar content (specially observe on low-fat yogurts and other similar items). Low fat content is mostly compensated with either sugar or chemicals. Next time you go to a grocery store compare the labels of the low fat and the regular ones.

Me being such a big foodie, I’ve made some easy changes to my diet without essentially sacrificing anything that I absolutely love to eat.

  1. Everything in small quantities is good for you. If there is a food item which you know is not that healthy for you like pizzas or burgers or pork sausages, have them in very small quantities. If you don’t have the willpower to stop yourself from having more, then make sure to have the next meal light like only greens or soup, which is what I do..;).
  2. Keep a tab on your eating out habits. I try to eat out only on weekends when I let go of myself and fulfil my cravings but I compensate by having salads or other low calorie food during the week.
  3. If you are hungry at work or in between meals, eat fruits, cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts or just have a cup of soy milk which will fill you up without adding unnecessary calories.
  4. Switch items in your diet for healthier alternatives while satisfying your cravings at the same time.
    For example:-
    • Pick chicken sausages with no pork casing.
    • Choose thin crust and better still whole wheat while picking up pizza bases.
    • Pastas are usually high in gluten content, even the whole wheat ones have it. There are other alternatives which taste equally good like brown rice or other whole grain pastas.

So guys, these are small changes which can make a big difference in your overall health.

So Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy and above all enjoy being Lazy..;).

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-11-most-destructive-nutrition-lies-ever-told-2013-11