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


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. 


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

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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)

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 :-)

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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.   

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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


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. 

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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.

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September 22, 2017

Paneer Makhmali | Easy GF Side Dishes | Party Sides

How can we have a Mains and Sides week for Proteins Mega Blogging Marathon without Paneer featuring as a star ? As with most Indian families, Paneer is a favourite with my kids too. I make a lot of dishes with Paneer, but in this particular dish, Tofu (or any vegan cheese) can be easily substituted. So, adapted from Vaishali's recipe, this was one of the few bookmarks I was happy to make twice over and we loved it a lot. Thank you Vaishali, I made a few twists and the kids were thrilled to see a new variation for the weekend dinner.

More Paneer dishes on the blog:

Nargisi Kofta Curry (Mock Egg Gravy)
Shahi Paneer Masala (Side dish for Roti)
Paneer Pudinawale (Paneer in Mint gravy)
Paneer Tikka Manchurian
Matar - Paneer (Peas - Paneer gravy)
Paneer Potato Curry ~ Cottage cheese and Potato curry
Low fat Palak Paneer
Paneer Kulcha (stuffed flatbread)
Paneer Kebab (appetiser)
Paneer Chilli Bites (Appetiser)
Pista Rasabali (a delicious sweet from orissa)
Mini Paneer & Spinach Tarts (Appetiser)
Paneer Manchurian (indo Chinese starter)
Paneer Bharwa Shimla Mirch (Bell peppers stuffed with scrambled and spiced Paneer)
Paneer Gulab Jamun (Indian Dessert with a twist)
Paneer Aloo Paratha
Low Fat Paneer Makhanwala
Raisin and Paneer Pulav
Palak Paneer Parathas (Flat bread stuffed with spinach and Paneer)
Paneer Pav Bhaji
Methi Chaman

Well, as you can see we are a family of Paneer lovers. Lets get to today's recipe. The prep stages are slightly longer but totally worth the effort :-)

Paneer Makhmali - a GF Paneer based Gravy
Cuisine : Indian, Course : Sides ; Serves : 4
Serving Suggestions :  Flatbreads / Pulav
Prep time : 20 mins, Cook time : 15 mins
Protein Source : Paneer (Cottage Cheese) & Cashewnuts

Oil - 2 tsp
Malai Paneer - 250 gms - cut into medium chunks
Onion Paste - 2/3 cup
Fresh Tomato Puree - 1 cup
Soaked Cashewnut paste - 1/2 cup (can also use sunflower seeds as in the original recipe).
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - a pinch
Coconut milk - 1/4 cup (opt.)
Ginger - 1 inch long
garlic - 3 medium pods
Kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp (crushed)

Dry spices: Garam Masala, red chilli powder.

Prep work:
Soak 3 TBSP cashew nuts in warm water and grind to a paste.
Blanch and puree 3 medium sized tomatoes.
Dry saute 2 medium onions & ginger and garlic till soft, Cool and puree.

 How to make:
In a pan, heat oil, add the onion-garlic-ginger paste, saute well. Add the dry spices. saute till raw smell disappears.
Add the tomato puree and the cashew nuts puree. add a bit of warm water and let it simmer.
Then add the kasuri methi, paneer and let it simmer.
Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 1-2 mins more.
Serve warm with Chapatis / Phulkas.

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September 21, 2017

Kabuli Channa Pulao - Gluten free and Vegan | One Pot Dish | Easy Lunchbox recipes

I am quite partial to chickpeas and usually have a huge batch of cooked and frozen chickpeas in the refrigerator. My kids are very fond of Chole and I love Chickpea and Sweet potato salad made with chickpeas so these two dishes get made very often. Apart from this, potato chickpeas soup, the Moroccan Harira soup, beetroot hummus ,Tikki and of course Tikki Choley chaats are also very welcome at home.

Today's recipe is something I have adapted from a cooking show and was very filling and enjoyed at home. I am so glad we have another vegan rice dish that can be used as a filling lunch box item too ;))

So let's get cracking on this beautiful one pot meal (and I love these one pot meals : it saves so much time not to mention lesser vessels to scrub and clean, don't you think?)

Here are some more One Pot Meals / Lunchbox Ideas:

Menthye Bataani Bhaath (Fenugreek-peas rice)

Thakkali Saadam (Tomato Rice)
Fada Nu Khichdi 
Achaari Pulav
Thinai Khara Pongal (foxtail Millet One Pot savoury Pongal)
Sambhaar Sadam

Btw, What's your favourite one pot meal ? 

Prep time - 15 mins ; Cooking time - 15 mins 
Serves - 3
Vegan and GF one pot meal
Protein source - chickpeas 

Basmati or any long grain rice - 1 cup
Cooked chickpeas - 1 cup (if using canned, drain and use)
Salt to taste 
Oil - 1 TBSP
Bay leaf - 1 no
Green Cardamom - 2 nos.
Cinnamon - 1 stick 
Black Cardamom- 1
Mint leaves - 2 handful
Dry spices - 
Coriander powder - 1 Tbsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 TBSP

To Grind :
Onion - 1 large 
Soaked Cashew nuts- 1 T (skip for any nut allergy)
Soaked poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 3 pods
Coriander leaves - 1 handful
Green chillies - 2 (adjust spice)

Wash rice twice or thrice till water turns clear. Soak for 20 mins.
Soak cashewnuts and poppy seeds in warm water for 10 mins. 
Grind all ingredients under "to grind" using minimal water to a thick paste.
Drain water from rice after 20 mins and keep aside.  

In a pressure cooker or a deep pan, heat oil. Sauté bay leaf, cardamoms, cinnamon. Now add the ground paste and sauté till the raw smell disappears. 
Add the chickpeas & soaked rice and sauté for 1 min. 
Add the spice powders, mint, salt and water and bring to a boil. (I usually add water in the ratio 1:1.5 for pulao). 
Pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Release pressure, fluff up the rice and serve hot with any raita

Notes - 
  • If not using a pressure cooker, cook till rice is done but not mushy. Serve warm 
  • I don't use canned chickpeas but use homemade frozen n cooked chickpeas. If doing so, bring the frozen chickpeas to room temp before adding to the cooker.
  • If using raw chickpeas, soak for 10-12 hours / overnight. Drain the water completely, wash and pressure cook till soft and then use. Adding just pre-soaked chickpeas with the soaked rice may not work well. If it works for you, please share your success here via a comment 
  • You may also add , like I did when I made this dish again, a handful of chopped veggies like beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower along with the chickpeas to make an even more nutritious meal. 
  • For a Jain version, you may skip the onions, garlic and ginger. It will still taste great ! 

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