November 19, 2017

Microwave Gajar Halwa | Easy GF desserts

Come Winter and we make copious quantities of Gajar Halwa and Doodhi Halwa, and so many many varieties too :) 

I usually make it on the stove top, but this is a quick microwave version I learnt from a cousin-in-law. The only effort is to watch over the Halwa to ensure its not burnt with frequent stirring. 

3 ingredients and Gluten Free dish for your party or late night cravings. Do let me know how you like it.


Similar Halwa recipes on the blog:
Prep time : 15 mins, Cook time : 15 mins , Serves : 3

Ingredients:
Grated Delhi Carrots (red variety) - 2 cups (packed)  {1 cup = 200ml}
Condensed milk - 1/3 cup (can vary according to preference, we like this mildly sweet as the carrots by themselves) 
Ghee/ clarified butter - 4 TBSP
Chopped Toasted nuts - for topping (totally optional)

How to:
In a micro-proof bowl, add half the ghee and the carrots, mix well, and let them cook for 8-9 mins on low till the carrots are soft. 
Add the condensed milk, mix well and 1 TBSP of ghee and microwave for 6-8 mins in spurts of 2 mins (mixing it every time), till its totally soft and cooked.
Once done add the remaining ghee and serve warm topped with nuts (if using)

Sending to BM 82 under Fall Desserts


November 18, 2017

Strawberry Bread pudding | easy dessert recipes

Icecream pudding enticed me enough, but combined with bread to make a delicious pudding was a great idea ! I had a pack of strawberry custard and some fresh strawberries that are just making its way to the local markets here.

So, although not a typical "Fall"fruit, we were allowed to use local pre-winter produce for this theme, so I ended up using strawberry. Kids love it for its warm, fuzzy strawberry flavour. SO, its a quick to make dessert to satiate those late-night-movie sweet cravings ! Its also a great make-ahead for parties, so you have a delicious dessert for your potluck !

Prep time : 10 mins, Setting time : 2 hours ; Serves : 4

You would need:

Strawberry Pudding mix  - 1/2 cup (Here, 1 cup = 200 ml)
Bread slices - 2, powdered fine
Hulled and chopped strawberries - 1/4 cup
Fresh heavy cream - 1/4 cup
Tutti frutti bits - 1 TBSP


How to:

Make strawberry custard as per pack instructions, cool to room temperature 
grease the ramekins lightly and keep aside.
Whisk the cream into soft peaks, fold in the strawberries, tutti frutti, powdered bread slices slowly.
Add the strawberry custard and fold again for just 30 seconds.
Pour into individual ramekins, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 140C for 4-6 mins on a water bath till it slightly browns on top.
Immediately set for 2 hours and serve chilled as is or with any ice cream :)

Sending this to BM # 82 under "Fall Desserts" theme



November 17, 2017

Eggless Pumpkin Raisin Muffins | Vegan Fall Desserts

I know I have been AWOL for a while now, but back here to make amends.

With 3 desserts lined up with Fall / Autumn fruits this week, its the best way to remedy a long absence from my dear readers and this blog, of course !

Without much ado, dig into this seemingly deceptive plain VEGAN muffin thats bursting with flavour and health. I do love pumpkin puree as one of the eggless substitutes, and not just Fall, we get pumpkins / squash through the year so thats a blessing by itself & I tend to make this amazingly delicious DIY Homemade Pumpkin Puree. I dont need to use the canned puree, but if you wish you can use the unsweetened version. 


Other recipes using Pumpkin puree are:

Wholewheat Chocochip Pumpkin Quick Bread (Can you go wrong there ? :-))
&
Almost Vegan Pumpkin and Chocolate Cake (yummm, yes!!)


More Muffin varieties on the blog (Well, as you can see we are quite the muffin-loving family :D)


Today's muffins are half APF and half wholewheat, but you can go either the whole way ! Lets get baking, then. Shall we ?

Prep time : 10 mins, baking time : 22-24 mins, Makes : 8 muffins

What you need:

Dry ingredients:

  • APF - 1/2 cup
  • Wholewheat flour - 1/2 cup
  • Almond flour - 2 TBSP (I love the nuttiness but you can skip this and adjust the liquid accordingly)
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp (totally optional.)


Liquid:

  • Homemade Pumpkin Puree (unsweetened) - 1/2 cup + 1 tsp
  • Brown sugar / Palm sugar - 2/3 cup (adjust sweetness)
  • Neutral Oil - 2/3 cup
  • Raisins - 1 TBSP
  • Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp


How to make:

  1. Preheat oven to 170C and line  the muffin pans. Sieve the dry ingredients thrice over in a large bowl and keep aside. 
  2. Now add the sugar to the puree and fold well, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and fold in till sugar melts and you have a pourable consistency. Add the dry ingredient mix and slowly fold till no dry streaks remain. You may need to adjust the liquid based on the pumpkin puree consistency.
  3. If using dairy, add a tsp of milk to adjust if too dry (I didnt need to)
  4. Spoon 3/4 of the muffin cups, top with few more raisins.
  5. Bake for 20-22 mins till a skewer comes clean.
  6. Serve warm (leftovers well for upto a week).


Sending this to BM #82 under "Fall Desserts" theme ! 




October 24, 2017

Vegan Peanut Butter Choco Chip Cookies | Eggless Cookies

Cookies are anytime snacks at home. The kids like to take some for their short (snack) break at school, and although I am not too fond of cookies, I make these sometimes and pack it especially for the little one. 

I had a jar of peanut butter and they didn't like quite as much as a sandwich (yes, my PB &J lover-readers will be disappointed!! sigh !) So, adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie with my own changes, and these were truly melt-in-the-mouth cookies. 

I prefer the crunchy ones, so that's for another day. Surely was a hit with the kids, and I enjoyed making a small batch too. I might add in a tsp or two more of flour the next time to make it less crumbly (or perhaps that's how this recipe is meant to be!)


If you are a cookie fan, check out the following options:


Eggless Vanilla Butter Cookies with Tutti frutti & Chocochip

Eggless Wholewheat Custard Powder Coconut Cookies 


Let's get to the recipe: (1 cup = 200 ml)

Prep time : 15 mins, bake time : 10-12 mins per batch, made : 12 medium sized cookies

Dry ingredients:
Maida / APF - 3 TBSP (I would recommend 1 tsp more next time)
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Salt - a tiny pinch
Nutmeg powder - 1/16 tsp
cinnamon powder - 1/8 tsp

Wet ingredients:
Powdered jaggery - 1/3 cup ( you can use cane sugar or any other sweetener but results would vary)
Dark chocolate Chocochips - 2 tsp (optional)
Butterscotch chips - 1 tsp (opt.)
Peanut butter - 1/2 cup
Oil (any neutral oil) - 1 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp



Method:
Sieve the dry ingredients thrice over. Pre heat oven to 175 C / 350F. Line a flat cookie tray with parchment or silpat. 
Mix all the wet ingredients leaving out the chocochips and the butterscotch chips. Add the dry ingredients and fold gently to make a soft dough. Add the butterscotch chips and gently mix (do not knead) till they come together,
freeze in a cling wrap for 30 mins (I didn't !)
Make small roundels and flatten with a spoon and mark out any design with the back of a fork,. arrange chocochips if using. Make similar cookies with the rest of the dough.
Bake for 8 mins and gently flip them over till they are done. leave them inside the oven once the baking time is over, they will firm up.

They make look raw, but they are done and melt in your mouth.




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
   
   
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