Lentils with spinach – dal palak

This nutritional lentil dish packs an additional punch thanks to the addition of spinach. It’s vegetarian, gluten free and low fat giving you all the benefits of lentils (good protein, digestive health, weight loss etc.) and spinach (weight loss, eye health, anticancer and immunity boosting). Have it as a soup, over rice or scoop it up with a chapati.

Servings: 4. Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas or yellow lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (or olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves minced fine
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, diced fined
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water

Method:

  • Start the instant pot or pressure cooker or ninja foodi in Saute mode
  • Heat the oil/ghee
  • Add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let them splutter for 10 seconds
  • Add garlic, let it splutter for 10 seconds
  • Add chopped tomatoes, spices and fry for 30 seconds
  • Add in the lentils, stir and add in water
  • Close lid of cooker and change mode to pressure cook
  • Pressure cook for 15 minutes
  • Let the pressure release naturally
  • Open the lid and add in the spinach and lime juice. Stir well and let us rest for 3-4 minutes, covered. The spinach will melt
  • Serve as a soup, over rice or with chapatis

Air fryer spicy peanuts

Looking for a quick snack, air fryer roasted peanuts come to the rescue. These roasted peanuts typically accompanied a drinking session, a nice accompaniment to a cold glass of beer or a glass of scotch or lemonade! Often made for parties, you will find yourself mindlessly grabbing a handful while you are busy catching up with someone.

Time:20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Smoked paprika or Red chilli powder to taste
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Preheat air fryer to 350 degree Fahrenheit on air crisp setting
  • In an air fryer safe dish, add oil and chili/paprika and salt
  • Toss the peanuts in and shake to coat it well
  • Put the container in the air fryer and air crisp for 15 mins, shaking the container intermittently
  • After 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 340 degrees and roast for another 5 minutes
  • Remove from air fryer and let cool for a bit before serving
  • Enjoy!

No-bake easy Chocolate Cheesecake with orange liqueur

This Father’s day turned out to be an unusually special one. My dad is visiting from India (the first time we have him here for Father’s day), my mum’s cousin Fr. Allan is visiting and of course, Nilesh. Three fathers in the house – we had to make something special! But after toiling over several dishes for lunch, I wanted a chocolate dessert that would make Nilesh’s day but would also be special and yet, easy.

That’s where this easy, no bake chocolate cheesecake comes in. I didn’t have the ingredients for a pie crust and even without that, everyone said this was finger licking good! And the orange liqueur with a dusting of shaved dark orange chocolate – ooh, heaven!!

Try it – this will be the highlight of every dinner party, and celebration.

Prep time: 10 minutes Chill time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I use Kirklands)
  • 11 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • Optional but it definitely elevates the flavor- 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier Orange & Cognac liqueur and 1/4 cup shaved dark orange chocolate

Method

  • Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds and then continue hearing in 10 second increments, stirring until chips are melted
  • In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, sugar on medium speed with mixer. Gradually add melted chips, until blended
  • Fold in whipped topping, until blended
  • If using liqueur, pour in and blend
  • Spoon into a pie bowl or if using a prepared crust, spoon into crust
  • Refrigerate until firm
  • Garnish with shaved dark orange chocolate and whipped topping
  • Serve

German Apple Pancakes

We stayed over at our friend Prafulla’s house one weekend and awoke to this delicious aroma wafting from the kitchen. Cinnamon, apples….was that really apple pie for breakfast?? Instead we were greeted by an oversized and very fluffy pancake baked with apple slices and drizzled with Maple syrup. And while it was not apple pie, we werw not disappointed.

This delicious and yet, simple and quick but so special breakfast has become my go to and it was great to see both my dad and Nilesh enjoy it on this Father’s day weekend.

I highly recommend this. It comes together so quickly and you will be asking yourself why you want to make individual American pancakes when this one is so easy and quick!

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time:20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large apples (honeycrisp or gala) – peeled or unpeeled, cored and thinly slices
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour (no need to sift)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or regular)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder(or per taste)
  • For serving: Optional: Maple syrup to drizzle and confectioners sugar for dusting

Method

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
  • Take two 9-inch round cake pans and grease evenly with butter
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, flour, salt, sugar, and half the cinnamon powder
  • Layer the apple slices on the bottom of each pan
  • Pour the mix into the two cake pans distributing evenly between the pans
  • Sprinkle remaining cinnamon powder over each pan
  • Put pans in the oven
  • Bake uncovered until puffed and golden brown about 20 – 22 minutes
  • Drizzle maple syrup and dust confectioners sugar
  • Serve!

Dragon Fruit Bowl

For those hot summer days, here’s something to cool you down.

Dragon fruit aka pitaya is a superfruit native to Central America. It is a fantastic source of fiber, magnesium and vitamin C. The perfect fruit to start the day energized or to refresh yourself at the end of a hot day.

Prep: 5 minutes        Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 can (403ml) unsweetened  coconut  milk
  • 1 cup frozen dragon fruit
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • Sweetner of choice, as desired

Method

  • Pour coconut milk into the blender bowl
  • Add in the remaining ingredients
  • Blend 45 seconds
  • Pour into serving containers
  • Add in toppings of your choice like raspberries, almond slices, granola, banana slices, or pineapple chunks
  • Serve

Barbecue pulled pork – slow cooker/ Ninja Foodi /oven

Pulled pork simmered in a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce bringing back memories of a roadtrip  down to Texas where we had the most delicious and moist pulled pork – in the parking lot of a restaurant because of Covid. As we reminisced over the trip, we had to replicate the flavors at home.

Servings: 8 (for 8 sandwiches)

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1.5 large onions, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 lbs pork shoulder butt roast
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon  red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (see notes to make barbecue sauce at home)

Method

  1. Lightly rub the pork with salt and pepper
  2. If using a Ninja Foodi, put on the sear option on high
  3. Pour the oil into the bottom of a slow cooker, dutch oven or the Ninja Foodi
  4. Add the onions, garlic
  5. Add the remaining ingredients including the pork
  6. Cover the container to cook:
    1. Turn on the slow cooker and set for high
    2. For Foodi, switch to slow cooker option and set to high
    3. For oven, preheat to 250F. Cover dutch oven and place in oven
  7. Cook on high for 5-6 hours until the pork shreds easily with a fork
  8. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred the meat using two forks
  9. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, and stir the meat with the juices in the pot
  10. Serve on hamburger buns with a side of beans, coleslaw and potato salad

Notes:

  • Home made barbeque sauce:
    • Ingredients:
      • 1.5 cups ketchup
      • 2 tablespoon molasses
      • 3 garlic cloves minced
      • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
      • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
      • 1  teaspoon black pepper powder
      • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
    • Method
      • Combine ingredients in a pot on the stove. Simmer for 15- 20 minutes until sauce has deepened in color. Store in a tightly covered lid for upto 10 days

Mango Chia Seed Pudding

If you love mango and tropical flavors, this chia pudding is for you. A combination of coconut milk, combined with chia seeds and mango pulp, makes for a delicious pudding that will energize you and fill you up. A great way to start the day or a pick-me-up during the day.

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk (alternatively, almond or any other milk, or 1/2 cup coconut cream with 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1 cup unsweetened mango pulp
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Toppings: Mango cubes, pineapple, berries, almonds, granola

Method

  • In a large, lidded bowl, mix the mango pulp and almond milk. Stir
  • Add in the chia seeds and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon. Ensure no clumps of chia seeds remain
  • Close with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Top with mango chunks, pineapple, berries, granola, or nuts

Try these other chia seed pudding flavors:


Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

This deliciously sinful, chocolate chia seed pudding is for when those chocolate cravings hit or if you want dessert for breakfast without feeling guilty. This calls for only 5 ingredients and you likely have them already.

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (alternatively, any other milk)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Toppings: Berries, almonds, granola

Method

  • In a large, lidded bowl, whisk in the cocoa powder into the almond milk, removing any clumps
  • Add in the chia seeds, vanilla essence and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon. Ensure no clumps of chia seeds remain
  • Close with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Top with berries, granola, or nuts

Try these other chia seed pudding flavors:


Matcha Chia Seed Pudding

Sophie loves her matcha boba tea and was very happy when we made a matcha Chia seed pudding. Not only did the matcha powder give it it’s beautiful green color, the matcha flavor was elevated with the use of coconut cream. If you love matcha, this pudding is for you! It will energize you while filling you up.

Why Matcha? Did you know it’s full of antioxidants, can speed up metabolism, and lower bad cholesterol? And of course, chia seeds contain protein, fiber and the good-for-you kind of fat

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Toppings: Berries, almonds, granola

Method

  • In a large, lidded bowl, whisk the matcha powder, coconut cream and almond milk, making sure no clumps remain
  • Add in the chia seeds and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon. Ensure no clumps of chia seeds remain
  • Close with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Top with granola, fruit or nuts

Try these other chia seed pudding flavors:


Chia seeds pudding

Something I always struggle with is what to eat as a snack or have ready for breakfast for the kids to grab quickly before school. This chia seed pudding fits the bill – it is a make-ahead, easy and yet healthy breakfast or snack option that is energizing and filling. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. And best of all, it is so good for you.

Chia seeds contain protein, fiber and the good-for-you kind of fat. Soak them in a liquid and you get this smooth, gelatinous pudding texture. Add a little sweetener, a topping of your choice like fruit or granola, and who can resist dessert, and a healthy one at that??!

I make this Chia seed pudding with simple ingredients. And then top it with granola (at time of eating) or layer it with fruit for a grab-when-you-need option. I have found that 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 1/4 cup of milk is the ideal ratio.

Once you have this, it may soon be a go-to, so check out the links below to other chia-seed pudding options.

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light coconut milk or almond milk (or cow’s milk)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1.5 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Toppings

  • Berries
  • Granola or chopped nuts
  • Chopped fresh mango or pineapple
  • Coconut flakes

Method

  • In a lidded container, pour in the milk. Stir in the chia seeds. Cover the container and shake well to combine. Wait for 2-3 minutes and then stir well with a spoon making sure to break any clumps
  • Add in the vanilla essence and maple syrup, and stir
  • Cover with a tight light and let set in fridge overnight or at least 2 hours
  • When serving, top with your favorite fruit, nuts or granola, and enjoy!

Other Chia Seed Pudding recipes: