Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Homemade Hemp Milk!

Ever heard of Hemp Seeds??

If you are looking for a quick dairy-free milk alternative, you are in a right place! I am always on a lookout for a dairy free milk options and I make almond milk almost every week. Unlike almond milk, hemp seeds doesn't need soaking before blending, making it a very convenient last minute snack option. Hemp milk is delicious smooth, rich, creamy and it tastes amazing in smoothies. It it an excellent alternative for people suffering with nut and dairy allergies.

Hemp seeds are excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and all the 10 essential amino acids along with potassium, calcium,phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin A and magnesium. Have I already sold it enough for you? 

Wait.. there is more!

Hemp seeds have anti-inflammatory properties which helps to repair tissues especially after exercise. So carry a nice big jar of homemade hemp milk when you hit the gym or go for a run next time!
Hemp seeds are highly digestible by the body and they are known as immune booster.

Here is what you will need-:
  • 1 cup raw shelled hemp seeds
  • 3 cup of water
  • 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 3-4 strands of saffron
  • 1tsp of alcohol free vanilla extract
This is a very basic recipe. You can alter this recipe any which way you like. After you try it for a couple of times, you will know what things you like mixing in it and what others you want to replace to make it to your own taste.
  1. Place the seeds and the water into the blender. Start blending at low speed and quickly move up to high speed for about a minute.
  2. Strain using a nut-milk bag which can be found at any health food store or online.
  3. Add your choice of sweetener. You can also add dates or honey instead of maple syrup. If adding dates you need to soak the pitted dates for 10 minutes and then add them while blending the milk in step 1. For maple syrup you can just mix it up after blending. Also add saffron and the vanilla extract.
  4. The milk can be stored in a glass jar for about 2 days.
Some variations-:
  • You can flavor your milk with cinnamon, cacao or a pinch of turmeric for flavor as well as beautiful color and some turmeric goodness.
  • To make the milk more creamier, add 1-2 tbsp of coconut butter to it while blending. It tastes even more delicious this way!
  • Try adding sunflower seed butter or almond butter while blending to make it more nuttier if you like. Personally I think hemp seeds have nutty taste and doesn't need any other strong flavors.
Try Peanut butter banana smoothie by replacing soy milk with homemade hemp milk or Blueberry smoothie.

 How about overnight oats mixed with homemade hemp milk for breakfast tomorrow?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Roasted Caramelized Butternut Squash with Cinnamon

And..... here I am posting after almost a year and a half! A ton of things happened during this time which kept me away from blogging. Not that I didn't have time, but my priorities changed over time and the blogging took the back seat. The love for food and sharing amazing recipes however were somewhere deeply buried in my heart and so here I am bouncing back....:)

Fall/ Winter = Butternut Squash!

It is stormy, windy kinda day here in bay area and nothing feels better than a bowl of soup made up of local, seasonal produce. Soups are a nice and warm way to end the day but  sometimes I feel more satisfied if I get to chew instead of gulp down something. Tonight, felt like one of those days. So respecting my bodies needs, I went ahead and roasted an amazing butternut squash that I got from my farm-fresh delivery box.

  • Super simple, sweet and super delicious!
  • For those who have sweet tooth.
  • For those who like to chew instead of gulp on a stormy night.
  • For those who eat with eyes first...seriously I mean look at that gorgeous color! Who wouldn't want to eat that..??

Here is all you need-:
  1. Butternut squash- peeled and cubed into 1-2 inches.
  2. Brown sugar- 4 tbsp. More if you need it to be sweeter.
  3. Cinnamon powder- 3 tsp. I like a lot you can adjust according to your taste. 
  4. Ghee/ clarified butter- 2-3 tbsp. 
Some of my readers have asked if I have an easy way to cut the butternut squash without getting my fingers cut or breaking the knife...:) Unfortunately I haven't come across any easy way of cutting raw butternut squash. There is a way to microwave the whole squash before you cut it.  Now since I don't use microwave in my house (I don't have one anymore and here is why) I wouldn't go for this option. Alternatively you can roast the whole butternut squash in the oven and then peel and chop the cubes and sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and ghee.

I am guessing that since microwave softens the squash and makes it easier to cut, the oven should do the same thing. I will be trying it out next time and will update.

  1. Place the cubed butternut squash on to the baking dish in a single layer.
  2. Melt the ghee, remove from heat,  add sugar and cinnamon powder.
  3. Mix well and pour on to the cubes. Toss well with your hands. Sugar helps to give it a nice caramelized color and flavor when finished. 
  4. Place into a 400 degrees F preheated oven for about 20 minutes tossing once or twice in between.  They should caramelize nicely and should turn soft.
Grab a fork and enjoy while they are warm!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Green Mung Bean Chilla with Carrots and Radish Ribbons and Peas Tossed with Simple Lemon Dressing.

How colorful is your meal today?

While I was going through my pictures, I found this long pending picture of bright colors. I enjoyed preparing this meal as much as I enjoyed eating. The Green Mung Bean Chilla is my all time favorite. I always add different vegetables to the chilla batter like spinach, fenugreek leaves(methi), carrots, shredded cabbage, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, thinly sliced green beans and such. In this preparation I tried to balance the colors of the dish by mixing spinach in the batter and bright white and orange salad on the side.

Nutritional Benefits-:
Green Mung Beans- 
  • They are also know as green gram. They are famous for the protein that they have in them, but apart from that, green mung beans are also awesome source of iron. 
  • They are also high in folate, which is water soluble vitamin-B necessary in production of new cells, DNA and RNA. 
  • It's even better to sprout and then use them, as vitamin C which is found in sprouts is missing in the beans.
  • This crunchy and deliciously sweet root vegetable has ample amounts of  beta-carotene, vitamin -A, Vitamin K, minerals and anti- oxidants.
  • Carrots have tons of nutritional value attached to it. Vision health, anti- cancer benefits, cardiovascular benefits to name a few.
  • Another root vegetable high in Vitamin C.
  • Radish is excellent for digestion as it stimulates digestive juices.
  • They are beneficial for symptoms of flu, cold, cough, respiratory problem.
  • Radishes can dissolve phlegm, reinforce energy as well as clear a stuffy nose.
  • White radishes (the root and the leaves) work as natural antibiotics against some bacteria.
  • Radish is a good mouth and breath freshener, laxative, regulates metabolism, improves blood circulation.
There is an old saying about radishes - "When radishes come to market, nobody will go to pharmacies."

Chilla is traditionally made up of besan (gram flour) and spices. In this recipe, I haven't added besan at all. The batter is made up of sprouted green mung daal and soaked rice ground together with some chopped spinach thrown in it.
I have also added some ginger and garlic paste along with cumin and coriander powder. 

Soaking time-:Overnight/ 5-6 hours at least
Sprouting time-8-10 hours, depending on the weather.
Preparation time-:15 minutes.
Cooking time-:15 minutes
Serves 3-4 people

For chilla-
  1. Soaked sprouted green mung daal-1 cup
  2. Soaked rice- 1/2 cup or more if you want your chilla to be crispy.
  3. Ginger- 1/2 inch piece
  4. Garlic-1/2 inch piece
  5. Chilies-1small
  6. Chopped spinach-3/4th cup
  7. Cumin and coriander powder-1/2 tbsp each
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Oil for spraying 
For the salad-:
  1. Carrots- 1 medium
  2. White Radish-1 medium
  3. Peas- a handful
  4. Lemon juice-juice of half a lemon
  5. Salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Add the soaked rice and sprouted mung beans to the blender. Add ginger, garlic, salt, chilies and blend everything well.
  • Pour in to a pot and add cumin and coriander powder, chopped spinach to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat a griddle / tawa over medium heat and once it is hot, with the help of a ladle start spreading a the batter on the tawa.
  • Let it cook on one side for about 3 minutes and then flip and cook the other side.
Putting the salad together-:
  • Peel the carrots and radish from all sides and make the ribbons out of them.
  • Toss them together along with peas
  • Mix some lemon juice with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour it on top of mixed radish, carrots and peas.
This is a perfect meal to eat with your eyes first!!!

The eye pleasing meal is headed to 2 events.

  1. Dish it out- Lentils/legumes and vegetables
  2. Breakfast recipes- from My Culinary Creations.

Nutritional Benefits Source-:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tawa Bhendi Masala

Who doesn't like Bhendi/Bhindi/ Okra/ Lady's fingers/ gumbo??? It has a pleasant, mild taste and so it can really take any kind of masalas you can think of. I make bhendi in 3 different ways-:
  1. Bhendi fry- Which is stuffed with masalas and deep fried. I make it occasionally as it is deep fried.
  2. Masala Bhendi- Cut okra in a slightly big pieces and then stuff it with gram flour along with bunch of other spices. Sometimes I also put potatoes in this preparation, when I am short on Bhindi.
  3. Chinch gulachi bhendi- This is a very traditional maharashtrian version of preparing bhendi. It is kind of curry, which has jaggery (gul) and tamarind(chinch) in it. I am hoping to post this version in the near future.
Nutritional Benefits-:
  • Bhendi contains healthy amounts of Vitamin A and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotine, xanthine and lutein. Our bodies convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A.We all need vitamin A for healthy skin, immune system,good eye health and vision. When it comes to vitamin A, it's always a good idea to have more beta- carotene rich food than to consume supplements. Excess amount of vitamin A from the supplements, makes our bodies toxic.
  • They are also excellent source of Vitamin C.
  • The pods are also good source of important minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.
Today, the recipe I am going to share with you is a little twist to Masala Bhendi. Tawa Bhindi Masala. Tawa is a fry pan which is round in shape, you can find it in any Indian kitchen as it is used to make roti's (Indian Flatbread) everyday. This recipe is very simple to make, and that's why this is the recipe for someone who is a newbie and would love to get into adventures of Indian cooking.

Preparation Time-: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time-: 15 Minutes

Serves- 2 people as a side dish.

  1. Fresh Okra/ Bhendi- 200 grams/ about 20-25 pods. Cut the top stem and discard and then slice the remaining into thin pieces.
  2. Tomato- 1 medium sized diced
  3. Onion- 1 small finely chopped
  4. Cumin Powder- 2 tsp
  5. Coriander Powder- 2 tsp
  6. Turmeric- 1 tsp
  7. Red chilly powder- 1/2- 1 tsp, depending on how spicy you like.
  8. Cumin Seeds- 1tsp
  9. Asafoetida- a pinch
  10. Cilantro- for garnishing.
  11. Salt to taste
  • Heat some oil on Tawa. Add Cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric and mix well.
  • Add chopped onion, saute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, Saute.
  • After about 5 minutes when the onions and tomatoes become translucent, add the sliced bhindi.
  • When bhindi gets cooked, add the spices(cumin and coriander) and the salt.
  • Garnish with cilantro.
If you want you can certainly put other masalas like Garam masala. I usually don't because I like the mild taste of cumin and coriander powder, which I think goes well with the Bhendi. 
If you want you can add tomatoes or add lemon for the sourness.

Few Things you have to keep in mind  while cooking bhindi-:
  1. Never put a lid on bhindi while cooking as it will retain the moisture and will make it sticky.
  2. Always add something sour to bhindi preparation, it helps to reduce the stickiness.
  3. If you are adding lemon instead of tomatoes, always add at the end of the preparation when you turn off the stove.
You might have guessed by now that Bhindi is a sticky vegetable:) So stick with it and it will nourish you!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Steaming hot idlies- A great source of Vitamin B-12 for vegetarians/ vegans

Got to try some Idli Chutney while you are hanging out in southern part of India right??? Although it isn't really a hangout for me, I know for the fact that I don't need a reason to enjoy each bite of this wonderful hot steamed Idli!

Idli/ idly is one of those delicious nutritious snack/lunch item that I can eat in any season of the year. It tastes even better in chilled winter when you can enjoy them dipping in the spicy hot Sambar. In summer I usually prefer the idli with coconut chutney. It also tastes great with number of different kind of chutney's as well, but coconut is my personal favorite. (Scroll down to see other options for the chutneys)

The mixture of rice and Urad daal makes a perfect carbs-protein combo which I absolutely love. The fermented batter increases the vitamin B-12 content in the food. It's a great item to include in a vegetarian/ a vegan diet. Fermentation of Idli is caused by the air-borne wild yeast which is drawn by the urad daal and fenugreek seeds from air.  Being steamed, idli is easy to digest.

So let's get cooking..:)

Soaking time- 4-5 hours

Preparation time- 15 minutes.

Fermenting time- overnight/ 10- 12 hours depending on the temperature.

Cooking time- 15-20 minutes.

Makes 10-12 idlies depending on the size of your idli maker.

  • 2 cups of parboiled rice or any short to medium grain rice
  • 1 cup of skinned whole urad daal. 
  • About 2 tbsp of fenugreek seeds.
  • 4-5 tbsp of cooked rice/ soaked poha
  • Salt to taste.
  • Cooking oil spray for coating the idli moulds.
  • Start by washing and soaking rice and urad daal and fenugreek seeds separately in a room temperature water for about 4-5 hours.
  • If you have a wet grinder, which I am thinking about buying, you will get awesome results, but if you don't have one, you can certainly use a nice blender. Grind the rice and the daal seperately and then mix together well. While grinding the daal you can add the fenugreek seeds into it and then grind. Make sure you make a smooth paste. while grinding the rice add the cooked rice or soaked poha to it. This is what makes idli soft and  fluffy.
  • Mix both the the batters together and don't forget to use your hands to mix it well so that the heat from your body will help in starting the fermentation process.
  • Cover and keep the mixed batter aside to ferment overnight or at least 10-12 hours.
The above procedure is the general guideline to make the idlies. However there are some variations that you should know about.

  • Different types of rice results in to different end result. Please remember to use short to medium grain rice. I have used the parboiled rice and sona masuri as well, both work well.
  • You can also use black lentils with the skin on it instead of skinned whole urad daal. The only difference you will notice is ,you will see the black fragments of the lentils into the batter and the idlies won't have the white color.
Fermentation Guidelines-:

  • If you are happened to be in a hot climate, you can keep the batter in the corner of your kitchen in a glass or a stainless steel container. Cover it lightly with the lid, don't close it completely.
  • The fermented batter doubles in size, so make sure you keep the batter in a container which has enough space needed for the batter to rise.
  • If you live in a colder region, or making idlies in winter you have a few options to ferment your batter well-:
  1. Heat the oven to the lowest temperature. Turn it off and then keep the batter inside the oven for the whole night.
  2. Without turning the oven on, just turn on the light in the oven and keep the batter inside to ferment overnight.
  3. If you don't have the oven, just keep the batter in the warm place, near your cooking range or in a warm corner of your kitchen.
  • After the batter ferments, and whenever you are ready to make the idlies,  add the salt to taste and mix the batter. Do not overmix, as the trapped air bubbles will get released. We need these air bubbles as they help make the idlies soft and fluffy.
  • Spray the idli maker and keep ready. Add a spoonful of batter into the idli moulds and steam them for about 15 minutes on a medium to high flame.
  • When done allow them to cool down for a minute and then take them out of the moulds.
  • Enjoy the hot idlies with your favorite chutney.
I have tried my idlies with my Split Pea Soup in place of sambar and I loved it. It was a great change in taste to the traditional idli- sambar combination.

Some of my favorite chutneys-:

Coconut- Coriander chutney is at the top of the list when it comes to my personal favorites,which is pictured above. The recipe of which will be coming in my next few posts. When I make only chutney with idli and not the sambar, I sometimes like the dry chutney. Here are some of my favorite chutneys.
If you have your favorite chutneys that you enjoy with steaming hot idlies, I would love to try them out. If you try any of my favorites, I would love to hear about it too.

These idlies are headed to Priya's May 2013 edition of Healthy me & Healthy us event hosted by Jayanthi.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Coolest Drink for Summer!

Hello from hot and humid Chennai! It will be 2 months soon since we are in Chennai. We came here in the first week of April, it was just as humid and hot as it is today. Officially the start date of summer is May 15th. Although I don't agree. The summer for me started on April 2nd for me....the date I arrived.

If you are happened to be in one of such climates where you feel that you need some drink that really cools you down, this is the drink you should try. It has all the cooling ingredients. I just decided to put all the cool things together and the results had to be amazing. It has fresh coconut water, mint leaves, chia seeds, and cardamom and a squeeze of lemon.

I know it's not the best picture, but this is what I was able to capture sine I am some 8000 miles away from my SLR....:( I took this one with a random Nokia phone, the name of which I am not even curious to know.

Getting back to the drink.....

I think cardamom really takes it to another level. There are two types of cardamom used in Indian cooking. One is big black cardamom, which is usually used in heavy dishes like biryani, pulav , punjabi currys and the other is green cardamom which is used in light and sweet dishes like kheer, and drinks and such. It's a great digestive tonic, has awesome anti- inflammatory, anti- microbial, diuretic properties and helps in detoxification of body. It also has soothing effect on muscles, nervous system and gives mental clarity.

So here it goes-:

  • Fresh coconut water of 1 coconut.
  • Mint leaves just slightly teared apart with your hands.
  • Chia seeds- about 2 tbsp
  • Green Cardamom- about 2-3, peel and discard the outer shell and use only small black seeds which are inside. Crush them and add.
  • A squeeze of lemon. Lemon if you are drinking in the morning and lime if you are drinking in the evening. Lemon makes your body alkaline if you have it in the morning and acidic if you are having it in the evening. Always use lemon in the mornings and lime in the evenings.
Mix well keep it for about 15 minutes to let the flavors come together and then indulge...:) The chia seeds will swell, the mint leaves will release nice aroma and flavor, cardamom will do it's job and your body will bless you about 2 hours later. That's right, at this very moment as I am writing this blog entry, I could feel my body feeling cool from inside, and I am not feeling restless as I feel every evening due to the hot conditions here in Chennai.

The one thing you should always have on your list when you visit south indian cities like Chennai, is SPICES. Oh..boy I can't stress it more, they are local and fresh, the smell makes me feel like living here forever.( I hope my hubby is not reading this..:)) The freshness is something that will last on your tongue forever. It's unbelievable!!!

Another thing you should have on your list is a visit to Nalli Silks while in South India. Absolutely gorgeous collection that one shouldn't miss..:)

Oh.. and the drink will be shared on Zesty South Indian Kitchen's Favorite Recipes Event:Drinks.
Thanks Swathi for hosting the event and let me link it to it. I hope you will like my addition.

A friend of mine has shared this amazing song on FB that I want you all to listen to. It's been just an hour and I am already hooked on to it. Loving it. I guess it's perfect background for writing a blog post.
Here it goes...Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oats Almond Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Back to back second sweet post! Hmm.....After all, it's the holiday season we are talking about..:) This is a wonderful idea for an edible holiday gift for your friends and family! Make sure you double or even triple the batch, if you are gifting them because you might gobble them even before packing them as a gift...:)

These chewy gooey cookies are super simple to make and you almost can't resist eating them when they are warm and just right out of the oven. They are filled with goodness, right from the flavor to the nutrition. The oat and the almond flour provides you the protein and the chocolate chips does their part of providing antioxidants without sacrificing the taste..:) If you keep the sugar part to minimum, (which I always do) eating a cookie in the morning in your breakfast, is not at all a bad idea.

These cookies make a great portable edible holiday gift...!

Of course I can't take credit for this delicious recipe. It goes to Richa of VeganRicha.

Makes 16-18 about 2 inch cookies.
  • 1/2 cup raw almond flour
  • 1/4 cup almond milk( add few tbsp more if you feel that the dough is dry and doesn't come together.)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2-3 tbsp of lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 th tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil.( optional if you want chewier cookies)
  • Chocolate chips- as many as you want (I used vegan chocolate chips from Whole Foods.)
  • Cinnamon powder- 2 tsp ( Any spice of your choice , ginger powder would also be great in this cold weather.)
  • In a bowl, mix almond flour, oat flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and the spices of your choice. Mix well.
  • Add almond milk and coconut oil to the mixture and mix everything together for about couple of minutes until the mixture gets all wet and forms a slightly sticky dough. The mixture should also be sticky at the same time.
  • Chill the dough for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • After 20 minutes, remove from the fridge and If the dough looks dry and doesn't come together, add a tsp of almond milk.roll the dough into balls, shape them like a cookie and then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for about 17-19 minutes depending how big you have shaped your cookies. 
  • Cool ( if you can wait that long..:))and enjoy!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Raw Almond Cacao Truffles

It will be almost a month since I have posted a  new recipe! I have been just cooking and cooking and not getting enough time to actually sit and type in front of computer. As a result I now have too many drafts sitting back there. I decided to break the long break with this delicious Raw Almond cacao Truffles. Vegan, delicious chewy brown balls are so fun to share this holiday season!

Since the holidays are in the air, I have been cooking a lot of sweet stuff lately. Not everything is worth landing up on the blog, since I have been experimenting a lot.

These cuties are our this year's holiday favorites and  I will be making at least  2 more batches before the holiday season ends just because they are so simple to make and are guilt-free at the same time. Almonds, cacao powder, dates and almond milk that's it!!

Let's dive in-:

Ingredients-: Makes about 24 pieces
  • Raw almonds- 2 cups
  • Medjool Dates(Deseeded)- 12  Soak them for 15 minutes
  • 4-5 tbsp of Almond milk or any non-dairy milk
  • 1/4th cup of cacao powder
  • A pinch of salt.

  • In a food processor, blend in the almonds, salt and cacao powder to a fine flour like consistency.
  • Add the dates and blend well by pulsing. 
  • Add almond milk or the milk of your choice so that the mixture starts to come together.
  • With the help of small spoons drop the mixture on to a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer and roll into round balls and then coat with the cacao powder.
  • You can store in the refrigerator for upto 1 week if they can last that long..:)
  • Serve at room temperature.

These truffles are going to Let's party- eggless bakes and treats, also linking CookCookandCook, and Thoushaltcook and also to grand festive feasts.

Thanks to my dear friend Swapna for the nice serving platter!

lets party - logo

Friday, November 9, 2012

Raw Mango with Chana Dal / Kairichi Dal

Raw mango is definitely not in season, but I found a really nice green raw mango at whole foods last week and couldn't resist myself from buying. On my way home I was thinking about delicious Kairichi dal( Raw mango with chana dal) that my mom used to make in summer. I am a big fan of raw mango, not the one we get here but the one that I used to eat back in India. Really tangy and tarty! Yum!!!
Without thinking twice, I came home and soaked chana dal and waited  for four hours to get started.:)


  • 1 cup of chana dal soaked minimum 4 hours.
  • 1/2 cup of shredded raw mango
  • 1 green chilli- chopped
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 3 tbsp of shredded fresh coconut
  • Few springs of cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
For tadka/ tempering
  • Oil-1/4th cup
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
  • A generous pinch of asafoetida
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • Drain the soaked chana dal and pat it with a paper towel to get rid of most of the moisture.
  • In a blender, add the chana dal, green chilli, salt sugar and blend well.
  • Add the shredded raw mango to the chana dal mixture and keep aside.
  • Tadka/ tempering- In a kadai add oil, when heated add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves and dried red chilli. Turn off the heat.
  • Pour the tadaka over the chana dal mixture and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and shredded fresh coconut over the dal and serve.
  • Since the dal is raw make sure you add a generous pinch of asafoetida to make the dish easy on your stomach. Also make sure to keep the portion right (light)..:)
  • Also I have noticed that the raw mangoes you get here are not much sour in taste. So if you think, that you need the dal to be more on the sour side, please increase the quantity of raw mango.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Split Pea Soup with Baby Kale

What a perfect cloudy day for a hot bowl of split pea soup and a crusty piece of bread! I don't think I need anything more from life at this moment. Just finished reading a book called Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner. Extraordinary book that talks about living in present moment and enjoy all the small and big joy that each moment brings to us. Decide your goal, keep the focus on it, but don't think that achieving the goal would be the only thing that make you happy, rather enjoy the process of reaching toward the goal while living in every moment on the path. A must read you all!

I always have great time updating and posting my recipes here on my space, but more than that I enjoy taking pictures and adding them to my post. Here is one of such pics.

Here is how they look before jumping into pot!

As promised yesterday (my FB followers would know) here is a post while we all await for the election results!

This is a kind of recipe that you can work on while you watch CNN/ MSNBC or any of your fav news channel today. 

Here is what you will need-:
  • 1/2 cup organic split peas( it would be great if you can soak them for a couple of hours. If you don't have time you can use them as is.)
  • 2 cups of organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of organic Baby kale
  • 1/2 medium onion - chopped
  • Garlic- 2-3 cloves
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil- 1 tbsp
  • All spice- 1 tsp
  • Bay Leaf- 1
  • Jalapeno- 1 cut into small pieces
  • Turmeric- 1 tsp
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Paprika- 1-2 tsp
  • Herbamare- to taste ( use it instead of salt. If you have never used it before, you should give it a try. It's a sea salt with a nice blend of organic herbs and vegetables)
  • Vegetables of your choice- carrots, mushrooms, bok choy etc.
  • Water as needed.
  • In a large pan, put Extra virgin olive oil. After it gets heat up add chopped onion and saute it for a minute and then add the garlic and bay leaf.
  • In a minute add turmeric and jalapeno. Then add veggies and saute for about a minute. Add washed soaked split peas. If you haven't soaked them already, take it into account that you might have to cook them longer than if you would have soaked them.
  • Add vegetable broth and some water if needed. Bring everything to a boil, lower down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the peas get cooked. 
  • Add in the super food- baby kale and mix well. Also add all spice, herbamare to taste and some more water or vegetable broth if it is too thick for a soupy consistency.
  • Give a nice mix and let everything come together for 2-3 more minutes.
  • If you want you can use a hand blender to puree the soup. Pour a few ladles aside and then puree the remaining soup and mix both together to get a nice consistency. For me I love the heartiness of the soup and like it as is.
  • Ladle into a bowl and serve with a crusty bread...YUMM!!!

While the discussion/ polls heat up, ladle yourself a nice hearty bowl of this soup and a bread to go along! Having said that let me go back to the news and hope for the best next 4 years ahead as last 4..:) Fingers crossed!!!