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Tag: #healthy

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.

 

 

Figs and almond chocolate truffles

 

img_20161205_1822402562So before I forget and get too busy with all celebrations I thought of posting this recipe as an usherer for the Christmas spirit. Have I told you that December is my favorite month? I must have…if I haven’t then there you go..now you know! Well what’s not to love about December rt? I mean I guess its everybody’s favorite month with all the Christmas festivities and the new year lurking just around the corner.

But for me its just not Christmas I have got lots of birthdays and anniversaries in this month so all in all you know I am in kind of a double festive mood! 😀 Well so for this festive season am sharing this quick and easy recipe for a chocolate truffle. Its quite healthy too and it can be gifted to your loved ones.! This recipe is a Rachel Khoo inspired chocolate truffle recipe.

Hope you like it.

Ingredients

Dried figs – 200gms

Almonds – 50 – 75gms

Dates – 5 -6nos

Goji berries – a handful (optional)

Dark chocolate/ Milk Chocolate – 250gms

Method

Check first if your figs are real hard to blend. If yes, then place the figs in a dish and pour over some boiling water to soften it. Keep aside for 30 minutes. You can even use any sort of liquor to soften the fig, thereby giving a liquorish touch to your chocolate. I opted for water well, because I was gifting it and there were kids too! Once you feel the figs have become soft and plump, put it in a food processor. Pulse it along with the rest of the ingredients till you can see them coming together. I added in goji berries because I had them in hand. Its totally optional. You can substitute almonds for pistachios as Rachel Khoo does! Portion out the mixture into bite size balls and start rolling them in the palm of your hand. Keep aside the rolled out balls in the fridge for around 30 minutes to an hour for them to firm up.

In a double boiler(bain-marie) start melting your chocolate (watch it like a hawk, don’t leave it and go). Usually you do need to use a candy thermometer but since I didn’t have one I just kept stirring till all of the chocolate melted and u get nice shiny liquid chocolate. After melting the chocolate, place each dried fruit mixture ball on a fork and drizzle the chocolate using a tablespoon over it seeing that it coats well. The fork helps the excess chocolate fall back into the bowl thereby saving chocolate (hurray!). Slowly slide the chocolate ball onto a baking paper lined sheet. Repeat the process for the rest of the balls. Whenever you feel that the melted chocolate is setting, put it back on the double boiler.

I did half of the dried fruit mixture balls in dark chocolate and half in milk chocolate. You could totally do as per your liking! Once the chocolate truffles are set, refrigerate for an hour or so and enjoy.

 

P.S.

  1. Keep in mind that while doing the bain-marie or double boiler method the boiling water shouldn’t touch the container (the one with the chocolate) placed on top as it could seize the chocolate.
  2. The bowl used to melt chocolate should be completely dry and any contact with water could eventually seize the chocolate again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One pot pasta

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I have been seeing these one pot pasta recipes all over the internet, and though I was intrigued I was kinda put off by the idea that with pasta and veggies cooking together all the veggies could turn mush. Now that didn’t sound or appear appetizing in my imagination.

So one day I wanted to eat pasta but without the heaviness of the sauces. Yet again I wanted it to taste as good, but I also remembered it being said that Italians don’t douse their pastas in sauce like us. Wow… don’t I sound like a whole lotta contradictions? Ok put the thinking cap on… or rather creativity cap on… I somehow thought of combining the one pot pasta idea and making it light. I have used all vegetables except for the fact that I added chicken stock since I didn’t have any veg stock in hand. For vegetarians, just follow the recipe to the T, only substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock. Allergic to mushrooms, (for that friend of mine who is ) you can substitute with zucchini . For the non veg lovers, just add in some roasted/grilled chicken or meat of your choice.

Serves: 2-3 people

Ingredients

Pasta (of your choice) – 250 gm

Chicken stock – 1 cube

Olives – 10 smashed with the back of your knife

Garlic cloves – 10 -12 chopped

Button Mushrooms – 200gms

Dried basil – 1/2tbsp + 1/2tbsp

Dried oregano – 1/2tbsp + 1/2tbsp

Salt – to taste

Olive oil – 1 tbsp + extra for drizzling(optional)

Lettuce – 1-2 cups roughly chopped

Water – 4-5 cups

Method

In a large pot/saucepan add in the water, pasta, half the amount of garlic, olives and chicken stock. Let it boil and cook it till the water is all gone. You can add in some of the water from the olives for extra flavor (this step is entirely optional). Season your pasta and take it off the heat. Meanwhile in another skillet, heat some olive oil and rest of the garlic. Sauté it till the raw smell disappears. Add in the herbs and let the fragrance blow you over ;). Now add in the mushrooms and cook till they shrink and get coated with all the beautiful flavors. Just before taking it off the heat add in the lettuce. Season, give it one final toss and take it off the heat.

Mix in the sautéed veggies with the already cooked pasta and serve. Top with more herbs and a drizzle of olive oil if you’d like.

 

Optional garnish: You could also add in some shavings of parmesan cheese

Roasted Garlic Hummus(without tahini paste)

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Its been almost a year now, since I posted anything on the blog. Sorry for going missing without a word but its been a busy year with lots of personal commitments. Thank you for being so patient.

Well, I am not going to start with a big story after a long break. My history with hummus is not long.I hadn’t heard of hummus when I went for a buffet which sported a vast variety of hummus. Since it looked like a bland thing I decided it wasn’t good and also advised ( I really don’t know what made me do that) my friend against having it.To this very day I regret not trying those varieties of hummus. My next meet up with hummus was when my husband took me to a Lebanese restaurant. I have been a loyal fan since.

So I don’t vouch that this recipe is the authentic recipe for hummus, because the authentic one calls for tahini paste which I dint have in my possession. But all the same, I loved it when I tried without the tahini paste. The best thing about hummus is you can tweak it and make it your own. You can add chilly and make it a spicy hummus, add basil and make it a Basil hummus, Olives for an olive hummus, and as my dear friend suggested add shredded cooked chicken for a non vegetarian hummus( I am yet to try it Neethu ;). Thanks for the suggestion)

You can use canned chickpeas for this recipe, hence saving up on the soaking and cooking time of the chickpeas. I have used kashmiri chilly powder for its milder taste. The amount of garlic in this recipe can be as per your tolerance for garlic.You can use this as a dip for your chips and crackers and what not! Or you use it as a spread on your toast for your breakfast or on you roti as I did which I will share in another post.

Ingredients

Dry Chickpeas – ¾ cup

Garlic – 6 – 8 cloves

Kashmiri chilly powder – ¼ – ½ tsp

Cumin powder – ¼ tsp

Water – ½ cup – 1 cup

Olive oil – 3 -4 tbsp

Salt – to taste

Method

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles till the are soft and give away without any resistance. Roast some garlic on a pan. You can also roast them in your oven. I dry roasted them but you can drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt if you want. In a blender, mix the cooked chickpeas,roasted garlic, kashmiri chilly powder, cumin powder. Give it a blitz, add water and blitz till you reach the consistency you like. Finally drizzle in the olive oil and salt and blitz for a last time.

Serve into a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a bit of paprika/chilly powder.I sprinkled a bit of cajun spice. Enjoy with your pita bread/nachos/chips/crackers or spread on a toast or roti.

Roasted garlic and caramelized onion wheat kulcha

 

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Have you heard of kulcha? Chances are you wouldn’t have, unless you were born and brought up in the north or had friends from there. All I knew were chapattis, then came along naans, tandoori rotis, romali rotis but kulcha is something I tasted in the restaurants of Bangalore. Hmm.. It looks like a sister of naan( wasn’t so fond of it). I wasn’t sure if I should order it.The only difference I found in it was that it had some green garnish atop unlike its other counterparts.

At last one day I summoned my guts to order kulcha. I loved the soft texture and the flavors it had, but it never crossed my mind that I could make it at home. I have always experimented with chapattis adding different kinds of spices and flavors, but never had I thought of making any other kind of roti. It was until recently when I saw the recipe for wheat kulcha that it struck me it can be made at home. I kept thinking of trying it out, but you know how laziness can be convincing at times!Usually kulcha calls for maida(white flour), but since these days I tend to be a little more conscious of what’s going in, I liked this recipe better because it is made with wheat.

So finally I decided to give the recipe a try but I changed the flavors. So this recipe is an adaptation to  Food,Fun and Frolic‘s recipe of whole wheat mint and onion kulcha.

Makes : 9 – 10 kulchas

Ingredients

For the dough

Whole Wheat flour( atta) – 2 cups

Active dry yeast – 2 tsps

Sugar – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Dried mint leaves – 1 tsp ( optional)

Lukewarm water – 1/3 cup + more to knead the dough.

For the filling

Onion – 1 large sliced

Green chilly – 1-2 chopped

Garlic – 2-3 tsp(s)finely minced

Salt – to taste

Chilly powder/Cayenne pepper- to taste( optional)

Oil – for sauteing

Coriander leaves – chopped for garnish

Method

To activate the yeast, dissolve the sugar in 1/3 cup lukewarm water and then add the yeast. Set this mixture aside for around 5 minutes until it is frothy.

To make the dough, mix together the flour, salt and dried mint( if using) in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Knead this into a nice soft dough, adding water when necessary. Transfer the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs or till the dough doubles in size.

While your dough is resting , lets prepare the filling. Heat a little oil in a skillet or brush your griddle with oil and toss in the onions. To allow the onions to caramelize quicker, season it with salt. You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.( Nah.. It won’t get spicy). Once your onions are brown, remove onto a paper towel. In the same skillet toss in the minced garlic and saute till it starts browning around the edges. You can optionally roast your garlic in an oven. Move the roasted garlic into a dish along with caramelized onions and chopped green chilly. Give it a thorough mix.

Now lets start with the kulchas. Start by slowly heating your tawa or any flat dish you use for making rotis.  Divide your dough into equal sized balls. Flatten each ball into a disc of approx. ¼ inch to ½ inch thickness.Place a small amount of the filling in the center of the disc, then pinch in all the sides of the disc to the center and make it a ball. Flatten the dough ball with your palm or roll it lightly with a rolling pin. Garnish with coriander leaves and give the kulcha another roll.

Cook this on a hot tawa till both sides are a light brown and you get those spots going on. Serve hot with a curry of your choice be it mutton curry, or chicken curry or aloo gobi.

Note:  The water shouldn’t be too hot or the yeast won’t be activated. The water should be warm to touch.

The time it takes to double differs with different brands of yeast. So give it a time from 1.5 hrs to 2.