October 14, 2017

Oven Roasted Vegetable Soup | Kids Delight recipes

My kids are really fond of Soups. I make it regularly for them, and try to attempt a new soup every time, although both the kids have set preferences too like the elder one likes  Veg Manchow Soup and the little one's Tomato Veg Clear Soup . I was talking to Harini (a co-blogger) some time ago and she mentioned Oats as her favourite ingredient and that her go-to dish was soups that she enjoys .That got me to thinking that I must start using Oats regularly in my everyday meals (other than the Oats Ladoo, Oats Masala Vadai, Oats Dosa, Oats Pongal I usually make). I personally prefer the Corn- Spinach Soup

Till I get to that stage, this week I present three kid-approved family recipes that we all love. The last is this delicious Oven Roasted Veggie soup thats packed with so much nutrition and fibre, it could become a meal by itself for weightwatchers and/ or diabetics as its fibre-rich, almost no fat and filling too. 

Note to self : I would add powdered Oats to this the next time I make it , but for now we truly enjoy this power packed soup that we had with Roasted Garlic Focaccia.

I thought I would  post a separate DIY post on how to roast veggies in an oven, but for now I have used the roasted veggies that I made the previous day.

Prep time : 10 mins (with previously roasted veggies) ; Cook time : 10 mins, Serves : 2

Ingredients:
Roasted Veggies - 2 cups
Unsalted homemade Veg Stock - 1 cup (200 ml)
Salt and pepper - to taste

To roast the veggies (Time taken : Prep + bake : 1 hour)
Cubed / pitted veggies (I used a mix of squash, peppers, carrots, onions and tomatoes) - 3 cups (approx 500g)
Olive oil - 3 tsp
Crushed pepper and salt - to taste


Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F. In a bowl, add all the veggies, oil, salt and pepper and shake well. Roast for upto 45 mins (or an hour) till the veggies shrivel well (toss them intermittently).  Cool well.

To make the soup:
In a blender, add the roasted veggies in batches, add as much stock as required. Blend into a smooth puree. Adjust thickness to your taste.
In a saucepan, simmer the soup / broth for 1-2 mins till warm. Stir in salt, pepper and any other seasonings as you choose

Tip:
You could add cream to make it richer. The choice of veggies is totally upto you, only tomatoes or bell peppers alone can be grilled to make this soup.  
   

October 13, 2017

Creamy Corn Cheese Crackers - Jain style | Easy appetisers

Kids love finger food & I love to make them too :  totally non-messy, filling, easy to make and easier to feed fussy kids. We made this one weekend, and it vanished within seconds. My little one is turning to be an absolute sweet-corn fan, and she loved it. I have kept the spice level low, but feel free to add tabasco, paprika or any spice to crank up the heat for adults. 

Check out similar party snacks / finger foods:

Beetroot Cutlet

and 50+ varieties of appetisers / snacks 

Let's get to today's recipe. Making this Jain / satvik is totally optional, but we liked this.

Prep time : 10 mins, no cook, Makes : 12 portions.

You would need:
Cheese crackers / Graham crackers - 12 nos.
Fresh American corn / sweet corn - 2/3 cup (not boiled corn)
Bell peppers chopped-  1/4 cup (use multicoloured to make them more appealing)
Tomato ketchup - 1 TBSP
Salt and pepper - to taste
Deseeded tomatoes - chopped fine - 2 tsp
Grated cheese - 1/3 cup (I used black pepper flavoured, but you can go with any variety)
Olive oil - 1 TBSP

Method:
Blitz the corn to a coarse mixture leaving some kernels whole (this takes less than 5 seconds)
In a large bowl, add this and all other ingredients. Mix well.
Spoon them onto individual crackers and serve immediately.

Sending to BM # 81 under "Kid’s Delight – Anniversary Party potluck"

October 12, 2017

Lemon Fresca | Easy Mocktail | Party Ideas

What's a party without a few coolers ? Check out a few kid-approved Party ideas this week. Today's Mocktail can be made sugar free too. This was made by my elder one herself, and is a quick one to make for unexpected guests or for parties too. 

If you are still planning your Diwali / Xmas party menu, here's a list of mocktails / coolers you can make for your guests.:


So, lets get to today's drink - Lemon Fresca. In Spanish, agua fresca (plural aguas frescas) means a beverage consisting of water and sugar with fruits, grains, or seeds added for flavouring.

Prep time : 5 min, Chill time : 30 min+, serves : 2

Lightly sugary Lemon syrup - 2 TBSP
Sprite / sparkling water - 200 ml
Chilled water (plain) - 50 ml
Lemon rind + peel - frozen for 10 mins
Torn mint leaves + crushed ice = for garnish

In a cocktail shaker or a steel flask, shake the ice, mint, lemon syrup and chilled plain water vigourously.Split into the two glasses, top with sprite and crushed ice, lemon rind + peel 
Serve immediately.

Sending to BM # 81 under "Kid’s Delight – Anniversary Party potluck"


September 28, 2017

Sugarfree Vegan Oats Nuts Ladoo | Diwali Sweets | Diabetic Recipes

Diabetics are often prohibited from eating sweets. This is tough, especially for those who have a sweet tooth and want to nibble through something mildly sweet. I was always looking to replace the aspartame (artificial sugars) used in "commercially sold sugar free sweets". 

Today's sugar free ladoo fits the bill - proteinicious and filling, yet not adding too many calories and not upsetting the sugar balance. A 1/2-cup serving of old-fashioned oatmeal has 5 grams of protein. 


Like yesterday's Zero cook Nuts Barfi, this is another snack / sweet nibble made with nuts and perfect for an after -workout bite or school snack. 


3 ingredient snack - 
It's proteincious, it's sugar free . it's vegan ! can't get better, don't you think :-)

Read on and find out how it can be made sugar free (Hint-Plant based sweetener)


Prep + Cook time : 10 mins, Making time : 15 mins, makes : 6 ladoos.

Protein source : Nuts and Oats

You need:

Mixed nuts (almonds + pistachios + walnuts) - 1 cup (250 ml)
Pitted Dates (I used mejdool dates) - 2/3 cup paste
Oats - 1/2 cup
Wholewheat flour - 4 TBSP

Method:

Dry roast the nuts one by one on a low flame for 30 -45 seconds till warm. Cool and powder while still slightly warm
Grind dates into a paste without adding any water. Use a little more dates to grind in slightly bulk quantity and leave the extra paste in the refrigerator.
Dry roast Oats till slightly warm, Cool and powder. similarly dry roast the atta (wholewheat flour)
Add the Oats powder and the nut-meal. Mix well, add the date paste and quickly make into ladoos. 

Notes: 

1. For younger kids or for a non-vegan version you may add ghee for binding. 
2. Dates may be replaced with any other sweetener including powdered sugar (if using ghee)
3. If you want a GF version of these ladoos, use GF Oats / Oatmeal. 

Take a look at what was blogged in the past 23 days under Proteinicious dishes:


Week 1: Condiments

Day 1 Beetroot Hummus
Day 2 Vegan Almond Basil Pesto
Week 2: Snacks 
Day 3 Ram Ladoo (Gulgule)
Day 4 Cream of Peas Soup
Day 5 Morappam
Day 6 Baked Peas Kachori
Day 7 Khatta Dhokla
Day 8 Paneer Tikka Manchurian

Week 3:  Party appetisers 
Day 9 Cheddar and Burnt Garlic Cauliflower soup
Day 10 Red Rice Idly
Day 11 Kanjeevaram Idli
Day 12 Whole Moong Chaat
Day 13 Vegetarian Shammi Kebabs
Day 14 Baked Onion Pakora

Week 4: Mains and Sides
Day 15 Methi Chole
Day 16 Panchkuti Khichdi (Combo Meal with Dahi Aloo)
Day 17 Vendakkai thayir Pachadi
Day 18 Kabuli Channa Pulao
Day 19 Makhmali Paneer
Day 20 Paneer Cabbage Paratha

Week 5: Sweet Nibbles
Day 21 Eggless Morning Glory Muffins
Day 22 No cook Dry fruit barfi
Day 23 Dry Fruit Kulfi

BMLogo Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80
   
   

September 27, 2017

Dry Fruits Kulfi | Easy Kid friendly recipes | Kulfi

Growing up, milk and its derivatives (not regarded as a protein component but for its calcium) formed a HUGE part of our lives  : milk, yoghurt (in many forms - the ubiquitous Curd rice :) , Raita,  Morkozhambu , Kadhi etc), butter, homemade ghee and so on. 

I was never and am not a coffee or tea person so milk was consumed pretty much in all these forms. Cheese was never my favourite, and consumed perhaps once or twice a year on a pizza. Paneer was and is still a delicacy and although the kids love it, I eat it just once in 2-3 months. 

Till the vegan stuff happened. 


There are millions of persons who have given up all forms of diary and made healthy lifestyle changes in their lives, primarily due to the sheer cruelty meted out to farm animals to produce milk. And some purely for health reason,and benefiting massively.



Being a lacto-vegetarian, this was a change I was unprepared for. Of course, all these milk and milk forms have their plant-based derivatives including Rice-milk, vegan cheese etc. There are organisations and blogs devoted to veganism. 


As mentioned in my introductory post this Blogging marathon, I was and am in search of viable plant -based proteins. Although I am not a strict vegan (yet!), I restrict the amount of milk / milk products consumed and increase my protein via plant sources. So, the quinoa / Amaranth / nuts and wholegrain / millets have been used more alongside the lentil and legumes like everyday Sundal or Chole


The deep fry has definitely gone down further. The husband doesnt take sugar in any form except dark chocolate, but for the kids I am yet to come down with any definite plan for them, although I know of lot of local friends and families (with very fussy and demanding kids too!) who have gone completely vegan, and are doing extremely well :-))


And the more I read and experiment, I feel that a certain moderation is required between what you have grown up with and what is doable on a daily basis. I am trying to maintain that balance.

And if you have still not slept reading the above rant, check out today's post on Dry Fruits Kulfi.Definitely a party pleaser & kids delight, make it and savour the chilled kulfi even on a rainy day.


Other Kulfi options on this blog:




Prep time : 15 mins , Chilling / freeze time : 8-10 hours, Makes : 6 
Protein sources : Nuts, Whole Milk

Ingredients: Homemade Instant Badam Milk powder- 1 cup
Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup
Whole milk - 6 cups
Nuts chopped - 1/4 cup (I used a mix of almonds, pistachio and apricots)

Method:
Boil milk with the badam powder till it reduces to 2/3, while stirring continuously. Add the sugar and mix well, blend in nuts. mix well. 
Pour into kulfi moulds, set for 8-10 hours till set.
To unmould, gently run the mould under running tap water for 4-5 seconds and enjoy :-)


BMLogo Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80
   
   

September 26, 2017

No Cook Mixed Nuts Barfi | Quick Diwali Sweets | Gluten Free Dishes

While on my mini-research into plant based protein sources, found that Nuts are a great source of proteins and provide macronutrients as well. I had bookmarked Harini's Mixed dry fruit n Nut barfi. Didn't change a thing and loved it :)

Thank you Harini for a quick and delicious recipe. And Harini says this is for those unexpected guests, but this low fat and sugar and mess free sweet nibble is a great idea for snack box or even as a post-sport snack for active kids. Roasted Gram / Putaani / Potukadalai / Hurigadale is also high in B12 and excellent for regulating menstrual cycles.  

As for diabetics and adults alike, a bit of moderation is necessary for its quite high on calories and could detract any diet if you are on to lose extra weight. 


So, do make it this Diwali or Dusherra and treat your family n friends with a healthy quick to make Sweet Nibble. 

Similar Barfis / Fudge (Indian sweets):

Badam Katli
Thengai Barfi (Coconut barfi)
Cashew Coconut Barfi


Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time : Nil : Setting Time - 15 mins 
Protein source : Nuts

Makes - 20-22 mini Barfis

You would need : 
  • Almonds - 1/4 cup
  • Cashews - 1/4 cup
  • Walnuts - 1/4 cup
  • Roasted Gram / Pottukadalai / Hurigadale  - 1/4 cup
  • Milk Powder - 3/4 cup (I used Nestle brand)
  • Powdered Sugar - 3/4 cup (original recipe said 1 cup, but we did fine with 3/4 cup)
  • Milk - 2 or 3 TBSP (or as needed) - I used 2 tsp
  • Vanilla essence - 2 or 3 drops (optional but recommended)
  • Ghee- 1 tsp (just for greasing)

How to:
  1. Dry Roast all nuts on low flame for 10-15 seconds or until warm. Cool, powder. I went a little ahead and got a slightly wet mixture (which is 3 steps short of nut butter) 
  2. While still warm, add the powdered sugar, milk powder , cardamom powder, vanilla and milk (if using) and sightly knead to a soft dough. 
  3. Pat on a greased plate / parchment paper.
  4. Refrigerate for 15 - 20 mins and then cut into barfis.
  5. If you don't add milk, this will keep for 4-5 days on the counter itself (weather permitting).
  6. But I prefer to refrigerate it.   


BMLogo Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80

   

September 25, 2017

Eggless Morning Glory Muffins | Vegan | Easy breakfast recipes

From Condiments to snacks to Mains and sides, we move to the last course : Dessert / Sweet Nibbles.

Its the last week of Proteinicious dishes, and this week we see Nuts,Seeds and some other protein sources - all in some dessert / sweet nibble format :) Bookmarked from Sapana's blog, this was a quick to make snack / breakfast and very filling and nutritious as well. I didn't make any changes except to substitute brown sugar with coconut sugar. I had a bag of sunflower seeds that needed to be used, and this was a healthy and delicious way of using them. According to this source, pumpkin seeds are pretty impressive, offering 16 percent of your daily needs in just 1/4 a cup. 


Prep time : 10 mins, Bake time : 20-22 mins ; Makes : 6

Cuisine : American , Course : Snack / Breakfast, Vegan
Protein source : Pumpkin seeds

What you need:



Dry ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder


Wet ingredients:

Coconut Sugar - 1/2 cup
2 tablespoon raisins
1/2 cup carrots,grated
1/2 cup apple,grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice ( I used the juice from 1 large sized Malta Oranges)
1/4 cup oil


To add: 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Method:

Line the muffin pan and pre heat oven to 180 C / 375 F.
Sift the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. 
Add the dry to the wet ingredients, folding gently without any dry streaks of flour. 
Fold in the pumpkin seeds as well. 
Spoon the batter into the prepared moulds, bake for 20-22 mins or till a skewer comes clean. I should have baked them for an extra 2 mins, but the coconut sugar had begun to burn slightly, so next time I would slightly lower the temperature and bake for an extra 2 mins.
Although they freeze well, serve them warm - these are really moist. 


BMLogo Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80
   
   

September 23, 2017

Paneer Cabbage Paratha | Proteinicious flatbread | Easy lunchbox options

The final in the series of mains and sides this proteinicious blogging marathon is this delicious and quick to make paneer and gobhi paratha.

Parathas & tikki / cutlets are two major ways I use to sneak in veggies that are otherwise not liked by the kids. Cabbage is a strict no for the kids older one these days and the little one is imitating her big sister. So left with a huge head of cabbage that nobody wanted to touch.

So paneer came to the rescue and I disguised the cabbage in the paratha. Served with some carrot salad (kosambari) and some quick tomato chutney (no onion no garlic version) this makes for a wholesome meal and takes care of all the macro nutrients for the day. Also makes for an excellent school Lunchbox option. 

Prep time -15 minutes , Cook time - 15 min, makes - 6

You would need:
Atta / wholewheat flour - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Grated paneer 1/2 cup
Grated cabbage 1/4 cup
Grated lauki / bottle gourd (grated and squeezed dry of all water)
Chopped coriander and curry leaves - 1 tsp each
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - in all I needed 4 tbsp
Warm water - to knead the dough

How to:
Take atta, add the veggies and mix well. Now add the spices salt , coriander and curry leaves. Add warm water very little to make a semi soft dough. Add 2 tsp oil and knead again for 2 mine. Cover and keep for 10 mins

Take small roundels of the dough, roll into a thickish paratha.
Cook on medium hot Tava / skillet till cooked on both Sides. drizzle oil to cook on medium heat.

Serve hot with any pickle / curd or tomato chutney + salad for s complete meal.


BMLogo Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80
   
   
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