Creative on the menu

This is your one stop for recipes, DIYs, tutorials to anything creative and fun.

Category: Breakfast

Whole wheat Banana bread with chocolate chips

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Are you guys much of a bread fan? Well I was a big fan of the bread and butter when I was a kid and we didn’t have much options other than the humble milk bread. Brown, multigrain whole wheat bread all came in the last decade into the picture. I am yet to discover an easy bread recipe to bake at home. Anyways, why all the talk about bread? Its because today I bring to you a recipe that gets all the ticks on the “health meter” if such a thing does exist. It is made with wholesome meal/ whole wheat flour, no sugar or any kind of artificial sweetener.

So bananas are kind of under-appreciated by me. I love the banana flavor in any ice cream or candy but as a fruit its never got my attention. But, besides me, the rest of my family are banana lovers. We get different varieties of bananas and everyone munches on it as a snack except me. But this all changed when I was pregnant, in fact the only snack and fruit which I could eat without having nausea was banana. So during my whole term I had bananas of all shapes and sizes!

My Aunt B had sent me recipes of many chefs when I had just got married. It all just got archived in my email until recently when I chanced upon them and struck gold. She has been kind enough to send me so many varieties of recipes and I have been trying them ever since. Its during one of these trials that I came across this banana bread and we love it! We love this banana bread as such but you could have it slathered with butter/chocolate spread/lemon curd with your cup of afternoon tea. The key point to be noted in this recipe is the use of overripe bananas (the blacker the better) which lend to the sweetness of the bread as we don’t add in any sweetener in the recipe. You could add cinnamon streusel to your banana bread or nuts/seeds for added crunch or chocolate chips as I did. Hope you love this recipe.

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Source: Catherine’s recipes

Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients

115g / ½ cup butter, plus extra for greasing

5ml/ 1 tsp baking soda

225 g/ 2 cups whole meal (whole- wheat) flour

2 eggs, beaten

3 very ripe bananas

30 – 45ml / 2-3 tbsp. milk

½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and base line a 9*5in loaf tin. Cream the butter in a bowl until fluffy. Sift the baking soda and flour, then add to the creamed butter, alternating with the eggs.
  2. Peel the bananas and slice them into a bowl. Mash them well and stir into the cake mixture adding enough milk to get a dropping consistency. Add in the chocolate chips and give a stir.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

“Healthy” Nutella / Chocolate Hazelnut butter/ gianduia

I know I am a bit late (ok very late) in wishing you guys but I sure did remember you all during the holiday season! J So here’s wishing you all a very beautiful new year from the Creative on the Menu team.

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I think I can somehow compensate for all the delay with the recipe I am going to post. I am pretty sure all of you are Nutella lovers out there! So recently I saw this post, which was showing that 75% of Nutella was sugar and the rest was hazelnut and chocolate. I don’t know how far it is true! Well that made me looking out for a good Nutella recipe. I mean why have all that sugar?

Found this recipe on Pinterest, which is a “healthy” take on Nutella. Guess what! It just takes 4 ingredients to make it!

Source : Minimalistbaker

Ingredients

Hazelnuts – 100gms

Dark chocolate – 1/3 – ½ cup broken to pieces

Salt – a pinch

Vanilla essence/extract – ½ tsp

Method

Preheat the oven to 175C/375F. If using raw hazelnuts, like I did, dry roast them for around 15 minutes [ this step is necessary to just get the oils of the nut out which will help form the nut butter]. If using already roasted hazelnuts just roast them for around 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let it cool. Once it is cool to touch put in a blender/food processor and blend till you can see the hazelnuts blending to a smooth butter consistency. Meanwhile in a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Put the melted chocolate along with salt and vanilla essence into the hazelnut butter. Pulse till its completely combined. Voila your hazelnut chocolate spread is ready! Transfer to a mason jar and enjoy!

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I found the chocolate hazelnut spread sweet enough so didn’t find the need to add anything to it. But it again depends on the chocolate you are using. You can easily add a tbsp. of honey or maple syrup if you wish, but according to the recipe I followed this could firm up the end result.

Note: If using hazelnuts with skin, once they are roasted just let it cool slightly put in a kitchen towel and roll with your hands. Try to get off as much skin as possible because the lesser the amount of  skin, the creamier your Nutella will be.!

Navel Orange and Lemon Curd

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For all those of you who think this is a curd or yogurt based recipe (like I had thought) well its not. Its more of a dessert spread, which you can spread on your toast or bagel or pipe into your doughnut or fill in your cakes. I tasted my first lemon curd when my Uncle brought us a jar from New Zealand. My husband and I fell in love with it in the first whiff and taste! I then itself wanted to give it a try but never got around to it, because we only get key limes here not the really sweet sour lemons you get abroad.

There are different types of curds ranging from the sour lime curd to the sweet orange curd. I didn’t want to go and try lime curd in my first try. So the inspiration of this curd recipe came from Masterchef Australia where Matt Sinclair fills his doughnuts with orange and lemon curd. So decided to tweak this recipe by adding lemon extract. I found the curd tad sweet, so maybe you can reduce the amount of sugar (by a couple of tbsp.) to suit your taste.

Dollop it on your ice creams or swirl in your yogurt and enjoy.

Source :Citrus curds

Ingredients

Juice from navel orange – 1 cup

Orange Zest – 1 orange

Egg – 1

Egg yolks – 2

Granulated sugar – ¼ cup

Unsalted butter – ¼ cup

Lemon extract – 1 tbsp

Salt – a pinch

Method

Pour the orange juice into a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then bring to a simmer and let it reduce down to about 3/4 cup.

Transfer the juice to a measuring cup to cool, and stir in the zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, and sugar. When the juice has cooled to room temperature, whisk it into the egg mixture in a steady stream.

Set a clean bowl with a strainer over the top next to the stove.

Pour the egg and juice mixture back into your small saucepan and set it over medium heat. Stir slowly but constantly until the mixture has thickened to a pudding-like consistency — about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture is 180°F.

Strain the mixture into the clean bowl to remove the zest and any bits of cooked egg. Stir in the butter, lemon extract and the pinch of salt while the curd is still warm. Mix until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

 

Poached eggs in a tomato gravy

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Today is World Food day and I thought what better to post than my most favourite ingredient in the whole wide world, the humble egg. This recipe is Pinterest inspired (Eggs Pizzaiola ). I love eggs (I repeat, loooove), been a fan since I was a kid. My dad used to make these scrambled eggs of which the major chunk would go to my tummy. Be it the humble bull’s eye or the evergreen omelet, if there’s egg being cooked in the kitchen I want one egg for me too! **stuffing an omelet as I type this blog**

So new recipes for egg always get my attention. This recipe is quite easy as such, but if you want to make life simpler don’t chop them tomatoes, just blend them. You can also use canned tomatoes. There’s something so oddly comforting about dipping your bread, toasted or plain, into a bowl of hot rich tomato gravy and breaking into the yolk of that poached egg…YUM! I usually make it for breakfasts but there is no stopping you from having it for dinner. Oh did I mention its healthy too?! So here’s the recipe

Ingredients

Brown eggs – 3 (you can use any fresh eggs)
Garlic – 4-5 cloves (suit to your taste)
Green chilly – 2 (depending on how hot your chilly is)
Chicken/veg cube – ½ – 1 cube (according to taste)
Tomato – 3-4 medium chopped
Capsicum – ½ finely chopped
Dried herbs/Basil/Oregano – 1 tsp
Water – 3 -4 cups (in case using cube) else substitute with chicken/veg stock
Oil – 1.5 tbsp.
Salt – to taste
Pepper – to taste

Method

In a pot, heat oil. Sauté garlic with green chilly and dried herbs. Once fragrant add in the finely chopped capsicum along with the chopped tomatoes. Cook it till the tomatoes become mushy and capsicum turns soft. If using blended tomatoes, first cook the tomatoes down then add the capsicum and cook till the capsicum becomes soft.
[Unlike my usual take on cooking capsicum, here I cook it till it becomes soft to get maximum flavor into the gravy].
Now add the stock/water. Let it come to a boil and reduce to a little thick consistency. Reduce the flame to a medium. Add in the eggs one by one. The trick here is to drop the eggs as close as possible and not from a height. You could even break the egg to a small bowl and then slide into the simmering gravy. Repeat for all the eggs. Cook the eggs covered for around 2 – 3 minutes (to get a runny yolk) or till the egg whites turn opaque. Switch off the flame and season the eggs with salt and pepper.
If you like the egg yolks to be cooked through, then cook them for 5 – 7minutes covered. Serve immediately with fresh or toasted whole wheat bread.

P.S. You could optionally add celery/ red onions to the gravy for a good flavor.
You could also garnish with chopped cilantro or any fresh herb of choice.

Overnight oats

 

img_20160623_215655349I thank my lucky stars for this recipe J. For my bachelor friends and my friends who want to gain “brownie “points with their wives, to all the working ladies and mums, this recipe is for you. I had always wanted to try out this recipe but never got around to try it.

Now with my hands always full I am looking for quick recipes. This recipe requires minimum effort and what’s best is morning when you wake up you don’t have to think about cooking breakfast. Just open that fridge, top it up and eat the oats from the jar :D. It can also be served as a on-budget dessert J. Once you got the ratios, from there everything is pretty much your canvas, from toppings to sweeteners to fruits.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

Oats – 1 cup

Curd/Yogurt – 1 cup or ½ cup thick curd + ½ cup slim milk

Dates (pitted) – 5 numbers

Raisins – 1 handful

Honey – 2 tbsp.

Almonds – 10 nos. roughly chopped

Chia seeds – 1 tbsp.(optional)

Flax seeds (optional) – ½ tbsp.

Fruits of choice

Method

The basic rule for this recipe is the ratio of the oats to liquid which is 1:1. It could be anything from milk/Slim milk, any kind of nut milk (for the lactose intolerant), soy milk, curd/yogurt or a combination of curd and milk.

In a mixing bowl mix oats with curd. If you are using the thick curd variety, I would recommend loosening it up with water or slim milk (curd:milk=1:1), especially if you are adding chia seeds[ chia seeds absorb moisture]. I prefer my overnight oats a little runny. This is an optional step, if you prefer your yogurt/curd thick then don’t add water or milk to it. Now add chia seeds (if using) and give it a mix. Roughly tear apart the pitted dates and add to the mix along with the raisins. Give this all a mix and transfer to individual mason jars/ bowls. Keep this in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, just before eating it top up with chopped almonds, flax seeds (if using) and any fruits of your choice (apples, pears, muskmelon, peaches). Drizzle with a tbsp. of honey for each jar/bowl. Give this a gentle mix and enjoy cold 🙂

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P.S.: I added all my crunchy elements (i.e. nuts and flax seeds) the next morning because I didn’t want it soggy. You can always add it the previous night in the mix, especially if you have no time to do it the next day.

You can use any sweetener from brown sugar to maple syrup. I used honey for its health benefits and add as per your liking. 1 tbsp. seemed sweet enough for me.

You can substitute chia seeds with sabja seeds/black khus khus

You can even have this oats warm, if you’d like, by just heating it in the microwave J.

 

Hope you find this recipe quick and easy. Please try and let me know what you added to your overnight oats to make it your own creative canvas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg sandwich with Garlic Butter grilled mushrooms

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As a kid my favorite breakfast/snack was always bread. Bread and butter and I was the happiest person in the world.Not that much has changed but I guess as those taste buds kicked in, I started loving other flavors.I still love bread but maybe not with butter, so I end up experimenting around with it. From finger food, sandwiches, bajjis to upma, bread is one versatile ingredient.

This sandwich is an adaptation from Jamie Oliver’s burger and Marias Menu egg sandwich. This sandwich has all the elements from the fresh lettuce to the grilled mushroom and the moist egg mixture. This is a sure winner for kids, for evening snacks or even guests.

Ingredients

Bread – 8 slices toasted

Egg – 2 boiled

Onion – 1 small chopped

Tomato – ½ medium chopped

Lettuce – a few leaves

Green chilly – 2-3 chopped

Garlic – 4-5 small cloves chopped

Tomato ketchup – 1 – 2 tbsp

Button Mushrooms – 100 gms

Garlic butter – 1 tbsp

Mayonnaise – ½ tbsp

Salt – to taste

Pepper – to taste

Oil

Method

Boil the eggs to your liking. You can used hard boiled or soft boiled eggs for this. Prepare the mushrooms by squeezing out the stalks off the head. Chop the stalks to add for the egg masala and keep the mushroom heads aside for grilling.

Heat some oil and saute the garlic and green chilly. Once its gets fragrant add in the onions. Cook till soft and add chopped tomatoes. Cook them till mushy.Season with salt and pepper. When its time to take it off the flame, add in the tomato sauce,saute and take off the flame.

In a bowl, smash the boiled and de-shelled eggs with a fork. Add in the tomato mixture. You can optionally add in the mayonnaise. Season accordingly.

While the egg mixture is getting ready you can get heat up the grill/skillet. Brush lightly with oil. Grill the mushrooms with the open side facing the grill first. Flip and grill till you get a nice brown on the mushrooms.  Switch off the flame. Add in a dollop of garlic butter in the mushroom head center.

Now lets assemble this beauty. Take 2 slices of toasted bread. Place a lettuce leaf on each slice. Top one slice with the egg mixture , and seat the grilled mushroom on top of that. Close with the next slice and bite into heaven.

 

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Note : You can use any store bought garlic butter. I used homemade garlic herbed butter, whose recipe I will be sharing on later.

 

Pizza on toast

 

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I know how breakfast planning can be. I am always planning a breakfast the night before . Sometimes I can be so lost in it, and still not figure out. Am sure if you have a kid, you sure are looking around for options to get them to eat veggies. So apart from the toasts and jam spreads, this can be a variety for them and it is easy to make. Which kid doesn’t love pizza rt?

This time I have made it on a tawa, but you can always bake it in an oven.You can vary the toppings according to your preference. If you are a veggie add in sauteed mushrooms or corn. For a non vegetarian, you can add in ham, pepperoni, salami, diced chicken or sausages like I did.

Ingredients

Bread : 8 slices.

Cucumber : ½ cubed

Sliced olives: 3 tsp

Cherry tomato : 5-6 nos

Chicken Sausage: 2 nos

Dried oregano : ½ tsp

Dried basil : ½ tsp

Mozzarella cheese : grated

Salt : to taste

Pepper : to taste

Butter or Oil – optional

Method:

Saute the sausage just enough till its crisp. You can optionally boil or steam it for healthier options. Keep all your veggies cut and ready before you get your tawa heated. Mix all the veggies except the cheese with the sausage and season it.

If you’d like you can butter your bread and toast it. [I totally omitted the butter] Once its done on one side , flip it, top with your veggie sausage mix and grate cheese on top of that. Cook till the other side is also done. Remove from the flame and serve it hot.

Note: You can spread some tomato sauce on top of the bread before topping it.

 

 

Whole Wheat, Oat and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Whole Wheat pancakes

Whole Wheat pancakes

Pancakes, is not a common breakfast dish for an Indian household. I discovered this beauty when we were in US, 2 years ago. The first time I made it, my husband loved it. It was a simple pancake with maple syrup dripping through its edges and served with a side of fresh fruit. Oh yes! Thats when I had my first date with maple syrup , that gooey runny dark liquid which looked like honey. My first impression wasn’t love for it, I was hesitant but my husband had undying love for it.  Its been a long way for me and maple syrup ,and I have come to love it in my own way .

Ya! I know we were talking about pancakes. So, pancakes seemed versatile to me . I used to mix in chocolate chips or dried cranberries( I always had this in stock).Thats when my husband suggested to try wheat instead of all purpose flour.Now this was a foreign dish to me, easy to whip up in the mornings so I did some googling and tried some recipe for a wheat pancake. The resultant pancake was dry and not so tasty like its counterpart. I never did a retry until  recently.Mondays being blue and mundane, was once cranky day for us. Sometimes when I had nothing planned for breakfast ,I would whip up pancakes on Monday mornings. I noticed it really made us a wee bit happier for the day. So he decided lets make Monday ,THE PANCAKE DAY! Yaay!  Now who wouldn’t love that eh? Some motivation to go to office or school on that day of the week!? Its one of these Mondays that I decided to give wheat pancakes a retry. Since I haven’t started recipe writing for sweet stuff I turned to Google 😉

This recipe is totally healthy with wheat and oats in it, no butter or oil. You get your healthy dosage as well as fibre for your kids. To make it more interesting you can add in chocolate chips. I tried a batch with chocolate chips , another with butterscotch chips and dried cranberries.

Serves : 2 people

Source : Sally’s Baking addiction

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour(or white whole-wheat) – 1 cup

Instant cooking  oats – ½ cup

Salt – ¼ tsp

Baking powder – 2 tsp

Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp

Egg – 1 or Egg Whites – 2

Milk – 1 cup

Brown sugar – 2 tbsp

Curd/Greek Yogurt – ¼ cup

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

1/2 cup add-ins like chocolate chips or fruit, optional

Directions:

Toss the flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Whisk in the brown sugar and yogurt until no lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla until combined.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir gently until just combined. Do not over mix the batter or your pancakes will be tough and very dense. Add any mix-ins you prefer, but again – do not over mix the batter.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with cooking spray, oil, or butter. Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the center or sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes.

Serve immediately with a glug of maple syrup. Pancakes taste best right after they are made.

Note : Since greek yogurt isn’t readily available here, I substituted it with curd. Whats better than normal pancakes? Buttermilk pancakes!

You can substitute brown sugar with normal white sugar or demerara sugar. But do keep in mind demerara sugar will take more time to dissolve.