Thursday, December 25, 2014

Lettuce Wraps with Quinoa, Green Mung Bean Sprouts and Guacamole!

I hope you all had a great Christmas! Christmas is the time to enjoy with family and of course food. It is one of those occasions in a year where we all indulge a little or a little too much! 

Now that it's over why not nourish your body with some amazing lettuce wraps!

Here is what you will need-:
  • Lettuce leaves as many as you need for the wraps
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa- cook it as per instructions, add a pinch of red chilly powder and a pinch of salt while cooking.
  • 1/2 cup green mung bean sprouts- steamed with a pinch of salty water.
  • 2 avocados
  • 5/6 cherry tomatoes halved
  • Lemon Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • Salt and crushed black pepper
  • cilantro
  • Organic GMO free Corn chips to top it off for some crunchiness

  • Prepare guacamole- In a bowl, mix in chopped avocados, tomatoes, onion, coriander powder, lemon juice,  chopped cilantro, salt and pepper.  Mash them up. Set aside.
  • That's it. Starting with quinoa, guacamole, bean sprouts, assemble everything on a lettuce leaf, roll and eat! Crack up some chips on the top.

If you are not a lettuce leaf fan, alternatively you can try making some quinoa and bean sprouts chillas shown in the picture. Chop some lettuce and mix in with the guacamole and other toppings. Please stay tuned for the recipe. In the mean time you can  try making Green Mung Bean Chillas or my Spring Onion/ Scallion Pancakes and use those as wraps as well.

Pick me up Please!!!

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 2-3 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 that 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!