These heart healthy Choc chip cookies are so easy to bake and so delicious to devour!
No eggs and no additional milk and no butter were used in these cookies.
Makes about 20, 2 inch cookies.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola or any good veg oil.
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
2tsp vanilla essence
Mix all these in a bowl first.
Then add the following ingredients.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup oats (any kind)
1tsp baking powder
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup Choc chips
Mix till fully incorporated. Roll them into balls, flatten and shape them on your palms and place on greased baking trays.
Bake at 375 deg F for 12-15 mins.
Enjoy while they last!!
To be honest, this dish was created by accident. One evening, I was about to make Chinese fried rice. But everyone was so hungry as it was way past our dinner time. My husband, who couldn't wait any longer, just took the aromatic Jasmine rice( don't get me started on that!) and scooped up the stir fried vegs with tofu. And then the rest is history! It has been a frequent last minute dinner option ever since. :))
You basically need sliced yellow onions, cubed firm tofus and red peppers for nutrition and color. A lot of other vegetables can be added too! Carrots, Snap Peas, Celery....
Ingredients (for 4)
I big yellow onion, sliced thickly
3 -4 garlic cloves, pounded
3 tsp mushroom seasonings
2 tbsp. Sambal oelek
25 snap peas., ends removed and washed
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into squares
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 block firm tofu, cubed
Light soy sauce, if needed for extra flavor
Fry the onions and then garlic till slightly brown, add sambal oelek and mushroom seasoning. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes and then add the tofu pieces and vegetables. Add peanuts for that extra nutty flavor, if you would like.
Let the whole mixture simmer for another 5-10 mins and then serve hot with Jasmine rice or brown rice.
Bittergourds have numerous health benefits. Apart from reducing blood sugar levels, bittergourds have been found to kill breast cancer cells and prevent the cells from growing and spreading. They are considered the most bitter among all fruits and vegetables. To reduce their bitterness, sprinkle salt on bittergourd slices and leave them aside for an hour or so. Then, squeeze out the bitter juices and cook as your usually do.
Alternatively you can make a tasty salad as I have done below. You might wince at the very idea of eating bittergourd but this is actually a very delicious dish because the tartness of the lemon goes very well with the bitterness of the gourds. Try it- you will love it!!
Ingredients (for 4)
4-5 Baby Bittergourds
Salt and Chilli per your preference
3 medium tomatoes cubed big
4-5 sprigs of coriander chopped
1 medium red onion, cubed big
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat your oven to 350deg F (180 deg C) Wash and slice the bittergourds and put them in a large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle salt and chilli powder according to your preference and mix thoroughly.
Spray 2 large baking tray with cooking oil and spread the bittergourd slices evenly.
Bake at 350deg F for 30-45 mins till they ay turn crispy on the sides.
Remove from tray and put them in a serving bowl.
You can either mix the cilantro leaves, tomato cubes and lemon juice with the baked bittergourd slices and serve immediately or serve them all next to each other so that anyone can choose what they would like in their salad per their preference. I know some don't like the pungent smell of raw onions.
Idlis or steamed rice cakes are by themselves quite healthy because firstly, they are steamed. Secondly, they are made by grinding soaked rice and lentils and then left overnight to fermentate. The fermentation process ups their nutrition even more. It produces lactic - acid producing bacteria or lactobacilli which aids digestability and Increases their vitamin levels. I tweaked the basic lentil and substituted it with lentils with skin. Like in the photo below. Doesn't that increase the fibre of these rice cakes as well? I have read that you can even add in oats and other dry grains too.
These cakes are eaten for breakfast or dinner or sometimes even during lunch. It's a very light dish. Anand ate 6 all at one sitting! Accompanied by coriander chutney or Podi.
Ingredients (20 standard size Idlis)
1 cup Idli Rice (available in Indian Grocery Stores)
1/2 cup Urad Dal with Skin
2 tbsp. beaten rice flakes
1 tbsp. cooked rice
1/2 tsp Yeast
Wash and soak the rice separately in a bowl and the urad dal with the beaten rice flakes in another bowl around 9 am in the morning.
Around 8 at night, grind them separately. Soaked rice with a tbsp. of cooked rice and urad dal with beaten rice. Place the rice batter and the urad dal batter in a big metal bowl and mix in the yeast.
Stir and leave in a warm area to fermentate overnight.
The next morning, mix in the salt and steam in a n Idli Steamer for 20 mins.
Serve hot with Coconut Chutey, Sambar or Podi.
Making Vegetable Stock is easy as ABC. I cannot emphasize how easy it is.
Throw whatever vegetables which are growing old in your refrigerator into a stock pot and add 2 litres of water, rosemary leaves ( 1 sprig fresh or 1 tsp dried), bay leaves (2) and salt. These three vegs are essential though - tomatoes, onions and ginger. I usually put in cubed bell peppers, broccoli stems, celery stalks, cabbage or lettuce leaves. Let it boil and then simmer for an hour or so. Drain. I have not given actual quantity because I don't usually measure the amount of vegetables. But because I am putting in 2 litres of water, I must ensure that I do add in a substantial amount of vegetables. Otherwise, the stock will not have any flavor. Usually 2 litres of water with vegetables yields around 1 litre of stock after simmering for an hour.
Voila ! You now have the perfect base for flavoring rice, soups and many more delicious recipes...You can add lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves if your stock is particularly for chinese dishes. The flavor is indescribable. Nothing beats a homemade stock. Keeps for a month in the refrigerator if stored in a dry container.
The picture below shows the stock I made last weekend. It looks more like a clear soup.
Balti is a Hindi term which refers to a steel or an iron pot in which the food is cooked. It is supposed to bring out the flavor of the food. Now, where can I look for a Balti pot in USA? I used my usual non-stick cooking pan.
Balti potatoes is a dish born solely for potato lovers. Sliced potatoes cooked in oil with minimal seasonings, onion, green chilli and garlic. Simple dish to be served with any slightly heavy curry.
You can make it without all the dry spices for kids.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side dish)
6 medium potatoes, scrubbed and eyes removed
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 green chilli, sliced
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
4 small dried chillies
2 tbsp. canola oil
Salt to season
extra coriander leaves for garnish
Heat a big pot and pour in the oil.
Add all the dry spices and when it starts to splutter, add in the sliced onion
When slightly browned, add in the sliced garlic and green chilli.
When the garlic starts to brown too, add the sliced potatoes and the chopped coriander leaves. Season with salt.
Let the potatoes cook for 10-15 mins on medium heat. Be careful as the potato slices may stick to the pot. You need to gently stir till all the slices are cooked.
Serve warm with extra coriander leaves.
Kitcheri is essentially a breakfast dish served in many Indian households. Because of the lentils cooked together with the rice, Kitcheri makes a wholesome breakfast.
This is one of my daughter Riya's fav dish. We can make it healthier by serving it with boiled eggs or spicy garbanzo beans or any other tomato based curry.. Amp up the nutrition, guys!
Ingredients (serves 4)
1.5 cups of rice (white/brown)
0.5 cup orange lentils (masoor dhall)
0.5 cup green peas
2 tbsp any good quality veg oil
2 tbsp. curry powder
0.5 cup chopped coriander leaves
Cook the rice, lentils and peas in your rice cooker. It is important that the rice is not mushy-so cook with less water. Set aside to cool.
In a big pot, add the oil and let it heat up. Add the curry powder, chopped coriander leaves and salt.
Add in the cooked rice and lentils into pot and combine well.
Serve warm for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Garbanzo Beans is cooked in a spicy tomato gravy to accompany not so spicy dishes....you can also cook the beans with spinach to make it a one pot dish. Simply add the spinach five minutes before switching off the fire. Goes very well with plain rice or soft chapathis (wholewheat flatbreads).
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 cans of 15 oz garbanzo beans or 3-4 cups cooked garbanzo beans
2 tbsps any variety veg oil
1 big onion, chopped big
2 tsps ginger garlic paste
1/2 green chilli
3 tsps garbanzo spice powder (MTR Chana Masala - see picture below)
4 tomatoes, chopped big
4 stalks coriander leaves chopped big and some extra for garnishing
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Heat a sauce pot and heat the oil.
Fry the onion and then the ginger garlic paste for 2-3 mins.
Add the green chilli and then the spice powder and let it simmer for 3 mins.
Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves and let it become pulpy on medium to high heat.
After 5 mins, switch off the fire and cool the curry.
Blend the curry and put it back into the pot.
Add the tomato sauce and the cooked garbanzo beans.
Let the spicy curry simmer on low heat for 10-15 mins till the curry has acquired the rich red look as in my picture.
Serve warm garnished with more coriander leaves.
Grilled tofu with Peanut Sauce is also called Tahu Goreng in the Malay cuisine. Grilling tofu instead of deep frying retains its nutritional value yet gives it a nice robust flavor. Top it with a homemade peanut sauce. Serve this dish with a light fried rice. Both dishes are simple to cook.
I had vegetables which were about to rot. I popped all of them into a Stock pot with seasonings to make Vegetable stock. With that as the main ingredient, I made Stock Flavored Rice. Served with yummy Chinese Silken Tofu Vegetable Soup. A light non spicy meal but so so satisfying...
Ingredients for Stock Flavored Rice
1.5 cups Jasmine Rice
3 cups Vegetable Stock
2 stalks scallions cut into 2 inch strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps Mushroom Seasoning
Fry the minced garlic in oil and transfer to the rice cooker together with the rice, stock and cut scallions. Stir in the mushroom seasoning. Cook in your rice cooker as usual.
Ingredients for Chinese Silken Tofu Vegetable Soup
2 inch ginger, minced
2 tsps Mushroom Seasoning
3 tsps light soy sauce
1/4 red bell pepper, cubed
1/4 yellow bell pepper, cubed
1 small broccoli, cut into small florets
1 block silken tofu, cut into big cubes
3 cups water
2 tsps corn starch mixed in 3 tbsps water to form a thick paste
Fry the minced ginger in oil till light brown and then add in the mushroom seasoning and soy sauce.
Add in the vegetables and pour 3 cups of water.
After the vegetables are cooked, add in the silken tofu and simmer.
In the meantime, mix the cornstarch in water.
Add in the cornstarch mixture and let it simmer for 3 mins.
The soup should thicken now.
Serve hot with Stock Flavored Rice and Cilantro Dipping Sauce.